Friday, February 26, 2010

Carly Simon's Your So Vain Video Contest

What a good idea! Carly Simon has re-recorded her classic song Your So Vain. Now back in the day there might have been a PR video created for clubs and entertainment venues to check her out before hiring her. Certainly she performed the song on the variety shows of the day but no there was no stylized music video.

There was no MTV and no conception that there would be a need for a video. Time moves on and Carly has re-recorded the song. Here is Carly explaining the contest:

Now before you go snagging hidden videos of your Ex or a Flickr photo of a Lear jet you should read the contest requirements.

From Carly's Web Site:
If you'd like to add elements of the original 1972 version of the song feel free, but your video has to incorporate at least some of the 2010 recording, making the most of the new footage that can be downloaded...

The Grand Prize Winner(s) will be awarded a screening of their video at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival in NYC, NY and will be flown to New York for the premier. The winner will also have their video featured on AOL Music at the discretion of AOL.
The Nutshell Version:
  • There is an asset list of the recordings, videos and green screen effects that you can use. There is also a link to free background sources - sweet even if you don't enter the contest.
  • You can record your own stuff to use in the video.
  • Any other contents that you did not record must be legally obtained.
  • If you are using either a standard 640x480 or a high definition camcorder that is fine, you can submit the final version in either form in an h.264 mp4 video.
  • The stock footage was recorded in in 1080 x 720 HD and are mov files. You might have to convert footage into the format you need to edit.

Again, check out the details page for more info. Also read the official rules from the recording company who may not totally gronk this social media stuff.

You, however need to gronk that you can't record other people without their signed permission, no minor children and no other logos, trademarked images or Carly bashing will be tolerated. And no Pr0n!

Read the contest rules before doing anything. If you can't live within the constrictions, don't do it.

Lemme see anything else, oh yeah. The lyrics. Be careful where you get them online. Some of the lyric sites are spammy. No worries - the lyrics to the song are at the bottom of the Vain page where countless interviewers have asked her who is the vain guy.

This one is gonna be tricky: "You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte..."

Gavotte - an old formal French dance in quadruple time

Ok, start clouding up that coffee and make videos!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Poynter News U Webinar - Creating News with Smartphones

Yep, you read correctly. The webinar is actually named Mobile Media 101: Producing News with Your Smartphone and it is open to bloggers, journalists, writers and anybody else that creates reportorial content on a mobile phone.

From News U, here is the skivvy on the webinar contents:

  • How journalists are using smartphones to create news content
  • Smartphone applications every journalist have
  • How to livestream video content directly from your phone to the Web
  • Best practices in mobile video
I hope there is time to explain how not to give it away to the networks! Ask for Stringer fees baby!

The price is right and if you are member of NABJ it is even better. If you can't attend the webinar live you can catch up on the recorded session later. Amani Channel from Atlanta Public Broadcasting is conducting the session so link up and get hip on creating mobile video content.

Dina Kaplan Interview at

Over at you can view a 15 minute interview with Dina Kaplan of

Interview with Dina Kaplan
In this interview, Dina talks about providing content across mupltiple devices, the intentions of to present some of their web series to television portals and answers the question about making money via web or transmitted video.

Who is Dina? From the bio page:

Dina Kaplan is a co-founder of and serves as the company's COO. Dina oversees business operations for the company with a particular focus on advertising and sponsorships, PR and marketing.

Before, Dina was a news reporter with WNBC in New York, Wave3 News (NBC) in Louisville Kentucky and News12 Long Island and New Jersey.

If you haven't checked out you really should spend time understanding what they do and the resources that the service provides.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pixability Helps You Create Your Business Video

Update May 5, 2014 - the company has changed the focus of the business. They now provide data information for corporate clients and analize how to position a brand into the YouTube universe. The post below is an historical marker of what the business was at the time I originally viewed the web site.

You want to create a professional looking business video but you don't have a trust fund. You just want a video to promote your business and plunk it on your web site. Pixability might be an option for you.

Pixability Business Web VideoI hope so. I had to dive deep into the Tweet stream past a lot of get rich video crud to find a sensible and viable option for business owners.

Here is the deal; You talk with Pixability about the kind of video you would want to represent your business on your blog or web site.

Yes, planning is involved.

Next, If you don't have one they will send you a web camcorder. You record video in support of your idea. Send the camcorder back to them with the video.

Pixability will compose a video that represents what you discussed with the team and you have a functional business video that you can post on your site.

No, the service is not free. But it might take less time than you figuring out video compression.

It is an option for people that know that uploading a crappy PowerPoint web video with audio is not necessarily going to make them $$$$ in a half hour.

Play it forward.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Resources on Video Journalism

There are changing being forced by technology, opportunity and initiative. Video Journalism is one of the changes that is affecting professional television reporters.

If you can train one person to interview, record and edit a story then you might not need to pay a team of people at a news station or newspaper.

video jounalism
I don't think that this necessarily a good or bad thing. The technology has brought about the ability to be flexible. Not every one embraces flexibility. This web site is a gate way to information and practicing professionals who are the one person band.

Here is an example/promotional video that I found at the web site. The reporter is David Dunkley Gyimah:

David has a web site called that shows examples of his work. He also has a blog where he talks about the craft and the realities of working as a solo journalist.

Hit the blog first - there is extraordinary stuff in his posts.

Other Posts of Interest

Monday, February 22, 2010

Somedays You Just Give Up and Then Begin Again

There are times I use Twitter to find folks who are doing interesting things with web video and videoblogging.

Then there are days when you find nothing but promotions for selling body parts, think tubesteak, get rich scenes and thin attempts to mess with your mind.

I gotta go but just as I was about to give up I find this video about TransMedia story telling at 1001 Tales.

I gotta go but it is worth a look.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

David Jones Electronic Enginering Video Podcasts

David was kind enough to answer my question about the battery of the Sony Bloggie so it is as good a time as any to show you another example of web video being used to serve a niche market. David's blog is

David is a electronics design engineer in Sydney, Australia. My knowledge of electronics extends about as far as searching for the power cord or the recharger.

Friday, February 19, 2010

CNet Review of Sony Bloggie MHS CM5 Camcorder

I have been good about controlling my desire to have almost every camera and camcorder in the world. I'm feeling a little shaky though; 5x zoom on a web camcorder can do that to a person.

This is CNet's David Carnoy's video review of the Sony Bloggie MHS CM5:

Checking the Specs

A quick saunter over to the camcorder's specification page has interesting goodies. I like the dual storage for Memory Stick and SD/SDHC card. You can never have too much storage and it is good that Sony moved a bit on the proprietary memory. Compromise is good.

Recoding times are decent for a web camcorder. It doesn't mean much to me if the battery life is only 1 hour. On the web site it states "1.9W @ 720 30p Recording". I don't know how to convert a 3.6 volt into watts to find out how long the battery will last.

And I shouldn't have to either, it should be on the specs page. I'll ask one of the folks at the Videoblogging group for an answer.

2/20/2010 Update:

David Jones was able to give me the skivvy on how to do the calculations and the battery time:

You can't tell just from the voltage rating, you need to know the
watt-hour rating. According to: the battery is rated at 3.4Wh, which means ideally it can deliver 3.4W for 1 hour, or any ratio there-of.

So if the camera takes 1.9W that's a battery life of 1.8 hours
continuous recording (3.4Wh/1.9W).

There are other technical factors involved, but that's a fairly good best case approximation.
My experience has been with other camcorders is 60 to 90 minutes depending on what you are doing and for how long.

It has got a 3.3 lens with shutter speeds from 1.5 to 4000? Seriously? I'd have to see the video and put in my guess when pixilation will occur. Still, I wouldn't mind testing it out if I wasn't on camcorder lock down.

On the negative side no external mic jack and the Picture Motion Browswer software?


Thursday, February 18, 2010

David Lee King's Primer on Web Video

David Lee King is a librarian and a videoblogger. This is a slide presentation on what web video is, what you need to get started and for those on the book beat how can it used to support the library's mission.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Soundbites - A PR Insider’s Guide to Video

Bloggers and public relations folks are having conversations with each other. It isn't always easy. The truth is that both sides can learn from each other.

This is an interesting view of how a company, Medialink, is presenting web video to potential clients. This is also an opportunity to observe the two minute information package that is being presented.

For more videos on their views and ideas on video visit the Medialinks Soundbites section of their web site.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Machine is Us/ing Us (Final Version) from Michael Wesch

Professor Michael Wesch instructs students on digital storytelling and digital ethnography.He also makes freaking cool videos using Camtasia, pen, pencil, paper and imagination.

Professor Wesch is also putting truth to power in incorporating video in his instruction and as a means to support the mission of Kansas State University. To learn more about what he is up to check out his site at Mediated Cultures.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mashable Article on Web Video SEO

I found an article on Mashable that might be of interests entitled How Web Video SEO is Finally Coming of Age.

Chart of web video statistics

My humanity is assured; spending time cleaning up my space both on and off-line. Why do they call it a vacation when I am still working? Anyway, I'll pop in a few goodies as I move through the day.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Taschen's Web Design for Video Sites

Taschen's Web Design for Video Sites is a visual sampler of advertiser generated videos. Think of it as a historical idea generator of ad campaigns and promotional web sites that incorporated video support for their clients.

There is a brief introductory text that, boiled down to the essential message, seems to be: "Don't worry about that user generated content stuff, your (insert the blank) job is safe."

The examples range from videos surrounded by a static web page, video product demonstrations, commercials with and without interactive elements and a precious few that are looking beyond the template of analog television.

To be fair, many of the examples presented are from 2007 and 2008. A lot has changed in two years. We are still going through a transitional period. With the advent of HTML 5 there is going to be a move away from some forms of Flash Video.

High definition videos are going to require different presentation modes. And there is and always will be "the new thing."

Should advertisers be secure that user generated content will have no effect on their business and their customers?

I don't know. Not for me to say. I'm not in that business. But I haven't seen a home delivery ice man in years.

You know what I mean?

(June Update 2012 - I checked the Taschen web site. It doesn't seem to be for sale any more but you might find it at a used bookstore.)

Related Posts

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Woopid's Video Tutorials on iMovie and More

Hat tip to the TechSmith's newsletter, I just learned about Woopid The site contains short how to do it videos on all the things you tried to explain to friends and relations.

Woopid Screencast TutorialsIt just so happens that they have tutorials for newbies on how to get started with iMovie. Most videos are short and to the point, this is what you do and how to perform the task.

There are also tutorials on iDVD, Garageband, iPhoto as well as other videos for Ubuntu and Windows users.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

SFSI Presentation by Violet Blue on Viral Marketing

Violet Blue is a sex educator, writer, blogger and a bunch of other things I am forgetting at the moment. She knows a thing or to about using web video, marketing a difficult topic and providing educational outreach.

San Francisco Sex Information (SFSI) has a series of five videos of her presentation that presents information about how to use and understand the web applications, Twitter, Facebook and the ever evolving world of social media.

The focus of the videos is how sex educators and information providers can connection and outreach to people who are seeking help and information assistance. It is also the similar social media information that most of us need to pay attention to in terms of promoting and clearly defining what we do and how we engage others in communicating our messages.

Violet's primary blog is Tiny Nibbles and is is seriously not safe for work. It is great blog, I'm just saying some of the images are not work place safe if you value long term employment.

For those that cannot visit Violet's blog, San Francisco Sex Information does have the presentations on YouTube on their channel. Violet has the videos posted on her blog as well.

Other Posts of Interest

Monday, February 8, 2010

Naked Lens: Video Blogging & Video Journaling

There is a new book entitled Naked Lens: Video Blogging & Video Journaling to Reclaim the YOU in YouTube by Micheal Sean Kaminsky.

Book cover for Naked Lens
It is an invitation for self-discovery and a reclamation project for the You in the 'tubes. The above photo is linked to his Amazon page where you can view the table of contents and read a few pages from the book.

The price is right and the topic timely.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Single Promotion Video - A Little Goes A Long Way

You don't have to create a web series to promote your business, activities or as a daily post. Maybe you just need just one a short video on your web site that who you are and what you can do for potential customers or visitors.

This concept isn't anything new but sometimes it is overlooked when folks are talking about the latest whiz bang that comes along to distract. This is just an example of what you could do with one video.

Example of The video gives visitors to Kate's site a chance to meet her and understand the concepts of her business. Short, simple and to the point. It is an introduction to her business and what she has to offer.

Kate just happens to be married to a videographer/videoblogger named Rupert Howe who has a new venture called The company creates business and corporate video profiles in the UK.

So, in almost all things keep it simple sweetheart.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Quick Look At Adobe Visual Communicator 3

I remember seeing this program demonstrated at one of the DV Expositions in Los Angeles a few years ago. I had forgotten that Adobe had purchased Visual Communicator a while back.

I was messing around VideoWTF and noticed a mention of the program. So I swung by Adobe and checked out what was new about the program.

VC Product Screen
The software seems now to be targeted to small businesses, educators or those that want to present a professional message but don't have a lot of time or money.

You received a green cloth for the "green screen" effect. You can set up your script and have it projected as a telepromter on your computer screen and it works with web cams or web camcorder. It is unclear to me if the product does work with the new line of USB flash memory and hard drive camcorders. You might want to check that out be

For those in education you can add captioning/subtitles to the video. It does come with music, titles and guides to help you with the program.

Support Resources and Groups

Adobe certainly has a Visual Communicator support forum. If you think you might be interested in the program go there first to check out what the common problems are and the type of support that is given. You can check out the help manual; but I don't think it has been updated to reflect that many people now have USB camcorders.

Rob Zdrojewski is a busy dude. He is at the helm at the Teachme Google Groups and SchoolTV Made Easy. For education folks he also hangs out at the Ask Mr. Z blog.

This is an example of a tutorial video created by Rob that explains the unintentional "Chipmunk" audio effect.

It is also a good visual example of the features of Adobe Visual Communicator 3. The background, titles and music were all generated by the program.

Frugality vs. Time Saved

Ok, I do think that $400 smackers is a lot for this program. I can buy a camcorder, green sheets, some lights and have change left over. I come from a long line of frugal women so it is my DNA. I don't necessarily by cheap but I need to know if there is value in the purchase.

If this software and the stuff that comes with it helps you to efficiently create, produce and output video on a regular basis then you have saved time and money. I believe that is called a good return on your investment.

Me? Naw, I'm old school. I want to do it myself. But there is a value in this product for those that need to produced video content quickly and not have it look tacky.

Only you can decide if this is a good option for your creation needs..

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

From Articulate - How To Create Effective E-Learning

One of my goals in creating this blog was to show that there are interlinking communities that have similar knowledge and skills that serve different needs. I have been known to poke my nose into the Rapid E-Learning blog at Articulate.

For those folks thinking about creating video information products or selling e-learning or demonstration videos there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. It is also a tremendous opportunity to carry what we have learned forward.

Articulate makes e-learning products. It is a for profit business. They would like you to purchase their products. But the company does have a lot of solid information about using the tools an software that you might have to create an effective instructional package.

In businesses and corporations e-learning is use to train staff and transmitted essential information. In an academic class setting the goals is to transmit cultural and career required content. I have to give a hat tip to the YouTube and other screencasters who are trying to explain software applications or product demos.

Yes some are demos and tutorials are crude. Some are very will done. The great news is that they are not waiting for anyone from up hight to help them figure out how to do this "right".

The YT tutorial creators are doing and demonstrating what can be done with determination and bare bones skills. They are filling a need when the manufacture of products has not fulfilled users questions on a product or service.

As always, I look to the left and to the right to ascertain a functional middle ground.

If you can, squeak out some time to roam over to the Articular blog or their free screen capture application Screenr. Get a sense of how you can make use of just in time recording or taking the long road of building a skill set that will pay you down the road for your investment.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Demo of What A Tablet PC Could Do

This is a demonstration or concept video created by Wonderfactory and to show what could be done with a Tablet PC. Or e-Reader. Or media device.

The demonstration uses Sport Illustrated reinvented:

You know, I want to whoop and holler yeah, that the ticket! I can't. And sports has nothing to do with it. It kinda helped that I know nothing about the topic so I could concentrate on the device.

Well, eh. I liked the execution of the video. I liked some of the concepts demonstrated. Browsing through a collection of stunning photographs got my attention. If I can go as deep as I want or view a galley of a specific photographer's work I could dig it.

I do expect if I'm paying that much for the device and the data plan that the videos would be larger than the traditional 320x240 or the high def equivalent. I can hear the voice in the back right corner saying, "It is a magazine, the focus should be on the text. The video is an extra."

Nope. Not anymore. With tablet PCs we are going to have to redefine a lot of concepts. What is a magazine? Photos and text in the analog paper form. Why not audio and video and photos and text?.

I would expect an audio transcription track of the text when I can't view the screen. I would hope that there would be captioned video for those environments that it is inappropriate to listen to audio. Or an adjustable text mode that knows I like x amount of light and a certain font to display the content.

And if all I cared about was fencing then I should be able to subscribe to just that area of the magazine and see all of the new and archived fencing articles.

That, my friends is going to take a lot of content. And the need for knowledgeable content creators. It also means that once again a monopoly of distribution paths is being created.

Bah! Open source baby! Except I know that at some point people are going to have to pay, either with cash or the price of attention.

Look, I still think the infrastructure of broadband/high capacity connections have to be installed. I said it before and I'll say it again, the capabilities of any wi-fi or broadband device are going be restricted until we have coast to coast fiber in those 'tubes.

I'm socking my pretend money in my imaginary tech mattress until the entire country has a functional and reliable high speed access. I can look and drool at the shiny toys but unless I can use them what is the point?