Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Reel Earth - The Water

I really gotta go but I was looking for resources and I found this video posted at the web site.

I have to post this look at memories of the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

Idea No. 5 Interview People That You Love

Yeah, I know I forgot about No. 4 but my brain is mush and is all all I can do to remember my name. Let me just add that other people who are sick really should stay home. I know they can't. They just should. Ok, back to the matter at hand. Idea No. 4 and No. 5 are kinda sorta related. Videoblogging Week is starting April 11th and I really would like to encourage more folks to jump in and take up the challenge.

Idea No. 4 is Interview a veteran and ask them what is important in life. Idea No. 5 is interview people that you love, don't tell them why just do it and then surprise them.

So for that you might need a wee bit of planning or idea generation. Here are a few resources to check out:

The American Historical Association has a list of various web based oral history projects.

Creative Narrations has a resource page to help you get started.

The Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress has a interview and tips page on how to do interviews.

BBC Inside Lives has viewer personal narratives. Good idea generator.

The Women In Military Service Oral History Project has written examples of women that served so that you can get an expectation of the kind of stories being told.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Camtasia 7 Preview of Audio Tweaking

The beat goes on. The tweaking of software functionality is never ending. The new version of Camtasia 7 is coming out on March 30, 2010. One of the feature that is going to be of interest is audio editing and adjustments.

If you are interested in screencasting and would like not to have to use Audacity or other audio editing software to fiddle with your audio this might be something worthy of your attention.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Idea No. 2 Record Riding Public Transportation VBW2010

Now this is a radical idea for those of us living in California. There are places where there is no mass transit. People that have public transportation use it because they don't have another mobility option or are deeply and profoundly committed to repairing the environment.

Or they are flat busted broke.

A possible idea for Videoblogging Week 2010 is to record your experience with public transportation or your hopes on one day having it.

This is an example of a video opportunity could presents itself. All you have to do is press the button. This is a video from Videorising about a Metro articulated bus driver having a bad day on Sunset Blvd. Nothing fancy, just an observation on what bus drivers face from their vehicles and far worse, Los Angeles drivers.

For Videoblogging Week 2010 Idea No. 2 is to record riding some form of public transportation. Let the rest of us see what moving from one place to another looks like in your neck of the woods.

Be respectful; don't aim your camcorder in faces without permission. Those of you in New York and the UK have special challenges. Be discreet and use the utmost care around law enforcement personnel.

For those of you in Los Angeles, the Sheriff Department does periodic checks on the Metro Red, Blue and Gold lines. Especially the Blue line due to the entrepreneurial and colorful nature of some of the Metro Blue line passengers.

Use common sense. Don't block the door if you see the Sheriffs coming in one door and the bum rush is running out the other.

Be aware of your surroundings. Practice safe vlogging.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Idea No. 1 Create A Video About A Role Model - VBW2010

I woke up this morning with an idea. So I am going to try to tweet and post suggestions that anyone can do for Videoblogging Week 2010.

You do not have to be a high tech cadet nor do you have to post every day. Sure the goal is to post every day but if you are new to web video aiming for one day isn't a bad idea.

Anyway, I made myself write down 14 ideas on what a person could record with what they currently have in their possession. These are frugal times so I really wanted to keep it simple and affordable.

But for those that are thinking they kinda sort want to do this I present this inspirational video from Mr. Mike Moon:

Idea No. 1 is to create a video about a role model, real or imaginary, that inspires you, causes you to think or is your mental talisman when things get rough.


You really don't need much. If you have a web cam, cell phone with video or web camcorder you are good to go.

Web Host:

If you can do it in 12 Seconds then is your path to glory.

You also have:
If you are doing a personal narrative or talking head video no editing is necessary. Otherwise if you have iMovie, Windows Movie Maker or any other basic editing program on your computer you are set.

So start thinking about it and let the creativity come forth.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Get Ready For VideoBlogging Week 2010

Yes, it is that time again for all good creators, artists, poets and most of all videobloggers to get busy. Videoblogging Week 2010 is April 11-17th.

A Video A Day Keeps the Sleep Away
You don't have to call yourself a videoblogger but if you are up to the challenge you create seven videos in seven days. One person, one or more cameras and an idea. That is it.

I'll have more information later but fire up the synapses, there is more to web video than Hulu and we can prove it!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

YouTube Project: Report - Examples of What Is Being Done

These are examples of some of the YouTube Project:Report Round 1 Semi-Finalists entries. These are a few examples of user generated content.

First up is the story of Sharon Hill, who is a woman living in enthusiasm and joy.

Next is a story about Alice Fogg, who makes pillows for soldiers in Iran.

Finally, this is a story about Lolita Kintanar, director of the Canon Kip Senior Center in San Francisco

Other Posts of Interest

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

YouTube Project Report Wants Your Under Reported Stories

Goodness, things are happening all over the joint. YouTube Project:Report is in its second phase where there are looking for folks to create videos for the the news stories that you feel have been under reported.

Here are the details:

If your video is the best of show you could win a new Sony Vaio Notebook. I urge anyone who is interested in vlogging or citizen journalism is to check out the production tips videos; they are short, informative and give solid information on how to put together a video news story.

Check out the YouTube Project:Report contest rules to understand what is required, deadlines and rights of uses.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Everyday Looper - Create Your Own Loops

This is an iPhone application that has interesting implications for those folks that want to create music or music loops for their videos.

This is an demonstration of the application by, a site I have to visit more often with my wallet far, far away.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

EPA - Is My Environment Video Project

Still more on the use of video to promote or educate folks on environmental issues. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is looking for you and 15 seconds of your time and talent.

Here is the deal (i.e.) the rules from the EPA web site:

  • You may live anywhere and be a citizen of any country.
  • Videos must be 10-15 seconds long.
  • Videos must not contain violence, profanity, sex, indecent remarks or direct attacks on individuals or organizations.
  • The video must be your own original creation. No copyrighted music, video, or images may be used in submissions. If you display commercial products, obscure the label, logo, etc. so neither the manufacturer nor the specific product is recognizable. Videos containing links to commercial Web sites will not be accepted.
  • Videos must not infringe on any third party rights.
  • If we choose your clip, we will contact you through YouTube to provide the original video.
  • By submitting a video to this project, you grant to EPA a royalty-free license to copy, distribute, modify, display and perform publicly and otherwise use, and authorize others to use, your video for any educational purpose throughout the world and in any media.
  • EPA reserves the right to make your video available to the general public from its Web site and to distribute it to groups and any other organizations interested in showing it for educational purposes, including, but not limited to, on Internet sites, at conferences and events, on television, and other media outlets.
  • Entries must be received by 11:59 pm April 15th, 2010.
  • Please do not use the EPA seal or logo.
  • By submitting a video for this project, entrants agree to these rules. EPA will disqualify any entries it deems to contain material in violation of these rules.
  • EPA reserves the right to not create a compilation video if we receive an insufficient number of entries that comply with these rules.
You don't have to be a U.S. citizen. Anybody can participate. You can fetch the signs in a variety of languages from the EPA video contest page.

Planet-Connect Video Contest - Get Green

Planet Connect is looking for a few good carbon reducers to make a video about how they are making a difference.Planet-Connect Contest
All you have to do is create a video on what you or others can do to ease up on the gunk in the atmosphere. There is one hitch in the giddy-up. You have to be a high school student between 14 and 19 years of age.

Well, no matter. Pass this along to someone who is in high school. Deadline for submission is May 20 2010.

Friday, March 19, 2010

SXSW - Pop 17's Sara Austin's Interview with Cali Lewis from Geek BriefTV

Just discovered the Pop17 site and Sara Austin. Sara is documenting the people behind the screen that use the Internet to communicate.

Sara caught up with Cali Lewis of Geek BriefTV for a chat. Cali talks about how she got started and what she is lusting for in her gadget bag. There is a Droid in her future and an Apple tablet on back order.

Long past them meeting up at SXSW here are some things you should consider thinking about:
  • How are the ladies monetizing and supporting their work? 
  • How do they do what they do in terms of producing their programs? 
  • What do Sara and Cali do to market and extend their initial starting point of creating a video series to having financial sponsorship/support?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

SXSW - The Popular Podcast

There are great discussions, conversations and exchanges of information at SXSW. And then there is the other aspect. Social. And then there is the other, other aspect.

Easy access to fermented substances. There are times when you need visual confirmation of what you did the night because you might not remember.

Monday, March 15, 2010

SXSW - The Battle for Your TV

Yes, I wish I could have gone to SXSW but those are the breaks. This is a video with Mark Cuban and Avner Ronan talking about what modality will most people use to watch videos.

Will it be a blending of traditional television or with the Internet divide and conquer. Why do we always think in absolutes? Personally I think mobile and personal tech will be one of the major delivery devices. I see a day when you use a mobile device to find content and then click a button to have it project on the wall if you want it to.

I'm not talking those 4" x 6" things we have now. Nope. Full screen, full color and 3D to cry for.

Yep. I'm patient.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

NewsU Self-Directed Class - Video Storytelling

For those of you interested in news or advocacy storytelling NewsU has a self-directed class on video storytelling. The class is designed for traditional journalists who are transitioning into multimedia journalism or anyone that has an interest in doing structured video storytelling.

NewsU has free and fee classes in journalism and multimedia topics. Basically you can sign up and dive into the freebie self-directed classes or fork up the buck to participate in webinars or full participatory classes.

I'm working my way through the class now. It is a mixture of text and video examples. There are activities to gage what you have understood so far and there is opportunity for examining a video to see how it is put together.

My break time is over. I have to head back to class.

Other Posts of Interest

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fair Use Web Resources

I created this video about some of the web based Fair Use resources back in 2009.

In the video, I pointed to a great explanation video of Fair Use but you can't see what I am talking about.

It is called A Fair(y) Use Tale created by Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University. You can download your own mp4 version at the Cyberlaw web site.

Related Posts

Maggie Lange Explains Copyright and Fair Use

This is a brief video from Maggie Lange, who is an attorney and Professor of Music Business/Management at Berklee College of Music.

In this video Maggie covers a lot of ground. She talks about the length of copyright, how an artist early in their career might assign their copyright to another entity and how there are provision in the copyright code to reclaim copyright over their work.

I had immediate thoughts of the hundreds of music artist who assigned their copyright early in their careers and lost millions of dollars because they didn't know the full impact of what they were doing.

Maggie then transition into Fair Use and the criticism/parody aspects of Fair Use.

Related Posts

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bernajean Porter and DigiTales

Digging through my bed/library pile I came across a digital storytelling resource that I have been meaning to check out. Bernajean Porter's DigiTales is a good resource on how you tell a story using video, audio, photos or other electronic media.


The web site does support her book, DigiTales, The Art of Telling Digital Stories.

The goal of the site is to help educators and students learn how to tell digital stories that can intern educate other people or even yourself. I watched some of the videos in the StoryKeepers' Gallery section. Some of those young folks will cause you to remember why education is important.

There are also digital storytelling resources for Macintosh and Windows Users and a resource page that has a lot of good content including a good example of the story making process, Seven Steps to A DigiTale.

So if you are an educator, teacher, home schooler or willing to look beyond your wall then this is a good place to visit.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

YouTube Translate - Auto Subtitle Beta?

I do find a lot of video and videoblogs. Many of those blogs are in Italian, French, Spanish and other languages. Oh the frustration of having to pass it by because I don't understand the language.

It seems Google is working on tearing down the tower of Babel again.

Google is testing out new automated captioning/subtitle features.
YouTube uses experimental speech recognition technology to provide machine generated captions, or "auto-captions." Although they're not perfect, auto-captions help make video content accessible to deaf and hearing-impaired users.
To which I reply, Yeah!

It is not just for deaf and hearing-impaired folks. Those folks who work in libraries that, for good reason or budget, don't have speakers on the computer, folks like me who do want to view content from non-English speakers and the other way around.

This would be very cool indeed. I'll dive into this later and see if there are other citations for what they are up to.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Jay Michael Video on Tools to Get Great Shots

When I look for help on a problem like I had with Magix Family Movie Creator I usually find other resources that are helpful. They don't necessarily answer the question I am looking for but the blog or web site provides good information. This is my way of making sure I check back with the site.

Find more videos like this on IN THE VIEWFINDER

Jay Michael has a blog called In the Viewfinder. Jay also has a blog space at Ning for his community. This particular video is on some of the equipment that can make your recording better.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Not Feeling the Love For Magix Family Movie Creator

There are times when you try a software product and it does not work. I was in Target. I saw a $19.95 software program called Magix Family Movie Creator. I'm thinking I'll give it a test spin because a lot of people do need an entry level functional video editing program. You never know when you might find a gem. This wasn't it.

The short version: Resist impulse software purchases. Don't buy cheap without research. If I had known what I know now I would have not spent cash money on this mislabeled product. You should not purchase this software. Nope, nada, and heck no. There are better ways to spend your dollars.

I did stifle my impulse long enough to read the specs at the bottom of the package:
  • Pentium IV or AMD Athlon 700mhz and higher
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 1 GB hard drive space
  • Windows XP/Vista/7
This is what I have on the laptop:
  • AMD Turion 64 Dual Core Mobile
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 160 GB of hard drive space
  • Vista
In other words, what I have on my laptop far exceeded what was needed for installation. There should not have been a problem. Listen to my brief tale of woe on installation problems and my attempts at a solution.

Installation - Not

Before I install any software I do back up my system. You should do this anyway at least once a week. Terabyte drives are starting to dipping below $100 so this is one investment you have to make; especially if you are working with photos and video.

I get to the installation menu screen and click Install. That is when the triumph music plays and plays as the green bar moves cross the screen. The minutes go by. My DVD drive churns. It is not a pretty sound.

After five minutes I know I have got a problem. I pop out the disk. The music eventually stops but the green progress bar is still moves across the screen.

I try to shut down my system and it won't. I Control+Alt+Delete the heck out of it. After 10 minutes I pop the battery out.

Try, Try Again.

Now I've had issues with my DVD drive so I wasn't blaming the software just yet. I attach a USB DVD-Rom drive and try again.

Same thing. A wee bit of grinding this time but no installation and no stopping that dang music.

I'm thinking, "Well maybe I have to be connected to the Internet to make contact with the Registration server?" This should not be the case but some software vendors do have that practice. Just not before the software is installed.

I jack in to the DSL modem and find other things to do. When I come back 10 minutes later, yes, the musical triumph of non-installation is apparently holding to form.

The Invisible Product

I'm stubborn. I don't give up. No sir, I head for the manufacturer's web site. I go looking for the product in the menu. It isn't there. As of March 7, 2010 this is what I see:

Magix Product Screen 3-6-2010
No listing for Magix Family Movie Creator. Am I deterred? Heck no, I'm just warming up. I re-check the box thinking maybe I bought an outdated product. No, Vista and Windows 7 compatible.

I dive into the Support page Which is of little help because I can't register if I can't install the product.

Knowledge Base. No mention of the product. At All.

Typing in the Search box with the product name brings up other products which may or may not be the sucker I'm having a problem with.

Did it use to be called Movies to CD & DVD? Video Deluxe? Video Easy?

I don't know. There does seem to be a common issues with installation under Vista and there is a solution of sorts:

1. If your program is Vista compatible, then please use Windows Explorer to explore the CD so that you can access the contents. To do this:

2. Right click on the Windows "START" button (bottom left of screen).

3. Click "Explore"

4. Right click on your CD/DVD drive and click "Explore"

5. Then right click on the file called "Start.exe"

6. Choose "Run as administrator"

Attempting installation once more. It is honking instead of grinding. Still better than the music.

Three minutes - well, there is no music or green bar. That is an improvement right there.

Five minutes - the honking has stopped. Encouraging, but I still have an hour glass. I just noticed that the Setup.exe has the name Movies on DVD.

I re-re-check the software box. Front of the box it is called Magix Family Movie Creator. Inside the flap of the box is the name Magix MovieShow Maker. WTF?

I'm thinking this poor thing has an identity crisis.

Hmm, if those words had appeared on the front of the box I wouldn't have purchased the product. I got DVD makers up the wahzoo. I wanted a to test out a basic level video editing software.

10 minutes - Nothing.

15 minutes - my screen has just gone white or pearl gray. Still have the hourglass. I head back to the web site because there was a listing for Movies on DVD. It has no resemblance to the box before me but it does specifically state that it is for the creation of DVDs.

20 minutes - I have a "Not Responding" message on one pearl gray window but another window popped up with an installation for Movies to DVD7.

Well, in for a penny and a pound. It is chugging away. I did get to a set-up screen for program, users and templates.

I hit Next and it has been chugging away like the train from Petticoat Junction. For those of you who have never seen Petticoat Junction a brief interluded a more pleasant train chugging sound set to music:

Well, I'm calling time at 11:45am. I just got another lock up "Not Responding" message. I have now officially been stiffed $20 plus tax. I can't take it back because I opened the package and I don't know where the receipt is if I could. Which would do no good because once you open software you are toast.

I've put in almost 2 hours trying to get this program to install on two separate computers. I'm ticked off but if others can learn from my irritation it is worth the effort.

Oh, cute. A new information window: Internal error, installation aborted.

And the added kicker from another screen:

Setup.exe Bad Image

GLK44ED.tmp is either not designed to run on Windows or contains an error. Try installing the program again using the original installation media or contact your system administrator or software vendor for support.

Imagine, if you will, a grown woman hitting her head against a desk.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Sandpit by Sam O'Hare

Put your assumptions aside and open yourself to what you see. This is The Sandpit by Sam O'Hara:

The Sandpit from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.

How did he do that?

Still photography. Lots and lots of photos. Freaking amazing work.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kahn Academy Math and Science Videos

There is a demand for niche, alternative and targeted education. Salman Khan is one of the folks meeting this demand by creating math and science videos and using his YouTube Channel as a distribution point.

This is an example of a video explaining ratios:

The videos ain't pretty but they get the job done for students, parents and others that have struggled understanding math and science concepts. According to the statistics he provides on his web site, the videos have a viewership 70,000 students watching his videos a month.

There are 1,100 videos in math, science and branching out to finances and other topics.

Voluntarily. Via word of mouth and social media. For example, 15,594 people as of this writing have watched Systems of Equations.

Here is the kicker. Mr. Khan is not a traditional teacher. He certainly is educated man; Salman has a MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Math from MIT. But he was an senior analyst at an investment fund when he started creating the videos.

Salman Khan is doing this for free at the moment. There is a donate button on the web site but this is costing him money to do this. He is certainly getting paid with recognition, respect, building credibility, a loyal audience.

In fact, reading the comments on his videos has been a lesson in itself. They are some of the most respectful you'll find on YouTube. Yes, they will point out when he makes a mistake but the rascals are working together to solve math problems.

I'm sure he has bounced a troll or two but for the most part it is respectful. In some of the comments I've read there are request for specific topics of math videos. Students asking for math videos. I'm fanning myself and doing the internal happy dance.

Salmon is not the first person to post math and science videos on the Internet. There are other videos that have the same production values or are top class affairs that follow the structure of traditional e-learning and presentation.

These videos resonate with the folks from a specific population, those needing help with math and science. Students were searching in a familiar area that they were comfortable in. Salman Khan provided videos of what they wanted in a format that was accessible.

So What Can We Learn From Khan Academy?

  • Plan what you want to do and then go for it.
  • There is a need for a variety of content and education is just an example of when there is a need there is an opportunity to create a solution. Web video can be a part of that solution.
  • It does not have to Captain Wizbang fancy or expensive. Salman's videos are as basic as it gets.
  • Do not dismiss the power of word of mouth or social media.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Another Way to Animate Photos - Stupeflix

Molly at DemoGirl created a video about Stupeflix online application that can help you create movies from your photos.

Here is her demonstration on what you can do at Stupeflix.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Using Word Cloud Images to Make Animated Titles

I have been busy. I have an idea for a intro title. I'm not an artist and I have basic to intermediate video skills. I wanted to make something that wasn't automatically generated from my video editing programs.

Eh, yeah, that is not a typo. I have a few. Less than 10. I think.

Anyway, I got the idea of using the word/tag cloud applications on the Internet to help me out. The three for your consideration are:
I used a screen caption program called Snagit to collect the images and used the Snagit editor to make adjustments or flip colors.

For the cash impaired on the Windows platform you can do pretty much the same thing with Gadwin PrintScreen and Irfanview.

Mac folk can check out how to screen capture in OS X from Those on Linux frontier can check out Shutter.

This is a tutorial I made about how to do it. Learning to do tutorials is a process. I'm still in trainee mode but you gotta start somewhere, sometime.