Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Video from the Voces de Cambio Project

I and a lot of other people contributed to the Voces de Cambio Visual Storytelling Project. Basically the idea is give Guatemalan teenage girls a camcorder and some instructions and see what they will do with it.

What will they see about their world and their lives?


Lucas Mulder sent the Kickstart contributors an e-mail. This is the first video. It is in Spanish from Brenda who is interviewing a taxi cab driver.

Lucus writes:

For those who don't speak Spanish basically he talks about how he loves the architecture of the city, the traditions, the kindliness of the people who live here, and then ends with how proud he is to call himself a "Quetzalteco."

It's an amazing job for never having used a video camera before, and I'm really excited to see what the next two months will bring.

This is the kind of investment that brings me much joy. The project now has blog at http://vocesdecambio.tumblr.com

Looking for Inspiration for Header Graphics

I've been looking around at different places that can show examples of banners and header to give me ideas my Blip.tv page. I feel intimidated until I remember that there is a difference between okay and a designed header.

I am aiming for acceptable. Decent, clean and meeting the requirements but it doesn't have to be the best dang header graphic ever created. I'm looking for ideas and inspiration.

blog header banners from Smashing Magazine
There is a great web design web site called Smashing Magazine. They have a tremendous amount of tutorials and content. Smashing Magazine also has a tendency to provide free icons, graphics and blog headers and banners.

I can't use them for my needs, but here are some of the ideas that I've gleaned from observation:
  • Perhaps a wallpaper image could be placed on the header or part of the header
  • Use of transparency to overlay images
  • I like the top image of segmenting different images connected by a common theme of the the lightning.
I found another good idea at MakeUseOf using PowerPoint. It is really easy to arraign objects using PowerPoint. You can export the slide out as a jpeg and edit in a simple photo editing program. Purists may curl their lips but for those of us not able to invest 100 hours in Photoshop tutorials this isn't a bad way to go.


Open Clip Art Library
MakeUseOf lead me to the Open Clip Art Library where I can find a bunch of free or public domain clip art that I can recycle. One hitch is that the clip art submitted must be in the SVG format.

This means if I choose to use any clip art that I find I have to make sure that I have a software program that can read SVG. I have Irfanview. That sucker can read and open just about any image format from the past to the present.

Keeping my time constraints in mind, I need to review my photos and videos to see what I can come up with for a header graphic.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Thoughts on Creating A Header Graphic for Blip.tv

I need to create a header graphic for my Blip.tv account. I have a series of 350+ videos but not necessarily a web series. Well, I do now and I have to dress up the joint.

I really don’t want to switch to another video web host, I like the service. I’m not that keen on paying for boilerplate graphics. I might have to but I want to see what I can do.

These are the requirements as I understand them:
  • The header graphic size is 980 wide by 400 tall saved in the jpeg or png format
  • Aim for simplicity
  • Give a sense of what your show is about
  • Can't use a screen shot of my web site
  • Can't put my blog's web address in the header
  • Can't cram too much text or photos
  • Can't use copyrighted images


Web Series Concept


If I commit to the concept of having a web series then I need to be able to communicate what my show is about. I had to write a 150 text statement and before I could do that I had to reflect on what I have currently uploaded.
For Out On the Stoop I record my adventures and encounters in Los Angeles. I also record some of the poets for Poetry In Plain Sight that also appears on my blog.
For the time being, I'm going to support the Out on the Stoop blog and use that as the focus of the header.

What Do I Have?


I got photos and can extract screen captures from my videos. That is the good news.

If you are a for profit or commercial blog or web site you cannot use images of other people for profit generating purposes without their signed written permission. You will need to have a written release to be totally safe or you need to make use of royalty-free photos.
  1. http://www.morguefile.com

  2. http://openphoto.net

  3. http://freerangestock.com
There are exceptions for news photos or photos taken in public but I would be extremely careful and make sure you have documented how you came to take the photo or record the event.

I have an intentionally non-commercial blog. I have written or video permission to record individuals but I still have to be careful about using images of people.

Software and Resources


I have Irfanview which is the a free and simple photo editing program. I also have Corel PaintShop Pro X3 that has a side module that creates collages, SnagIt for screen captures and editing.

For animation banners I have an old version of Swish Max. I’ve got PowerPoint. As far as software is concerned I have an abundance of riches. I really can’t list all the stuff I have. I’ve forgotten.

That is the project for the week and yes, there will be video support that I’ll scrounge up from other folks or I’ll conjure it up myself.

I’m starting with the header because if I can’t do the header I certainly can’t do the poster. It would certainly save me time if I hired someone to do this for me. I don’t want to dismiss that option.

Part of the new frontier is that you have to have more than one skill set. Being flexible and adaptable is the name of the game. That creativity thing is a hill I'll have to cross when I come to it.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Quick Look at the HP V5061u Camcorder

My main advice for the day is don't try to wake up early and then stay up late trying to get stuff done. I am the sadder but wiser girl. However going down the wrong path can lead to a camcorder discovery.

I'm lying in bed trying to convince myself to wake up. I'm looking at a magazine but not seeing anything I haven't written about before. Then my eyes land on the HP V5061u camcorder.

HP V5061u

HP has a camcorder? It seems that they do and the price isn't bad if you shop around. This is a point and share camcorder that has some kicky features.

The Specs

Records on SD/SDHC cards up to 32GB. That would be 2 separate SD memory card slots.

Video Resolution: 1400x1080p now this is not the standard but at least they were honest enough to tell you that it is not 1920x1080p. If you are uploading only to the web or taking family records for DVD or HD television this is more than enough.

It also does 720p, 640x480 and for those in 56k bandwidth challenging areas on the planet you can record in 320x240. Ah, memories.

Video Recording Format: HP claims that it records in .avi so this should be ok with both Windows and Mac users. I can't say for sure.

According to the web site, the video is in the H.264 .avi format. I'm going hazard a guess that Windows Movie Maker can't open it, Windows Live Movie Maker might be able to open the video and all others editing software it depends on the age of your last update.

Unless it is really .mov. Mac folks should be hesitant about plunking down money without verification on this one until it is verified. Yet other folks are saying it is in .mov format

It is a crap shoot. There might be editing software on the DVD but it is probably for Windows users.

Battery Power: The thing I latched on to is that you can use an internal lithium battery AND it has a two AA batter chamber. This means if you lithium battery is about to drain out you can put in AA photo batteries.

Doing the internal happy dance about that one because one of peeves about my current camcorder is the 45 minutes battery life. I do like the option of being able to pack emergency power.

A lot. Especially after last weekend.

Not much more to tell. It is a basic camcorder. So I did find some videos of folks checking it out. This is an indoor example inside of a store with florescent lights:



This an outdoor demonstration:



The specs are compatible with the price which is currently somewhere between $140 and $160 depending on where you shop.

Now it is not the greatest camcorder. HP didn't have much to say about the lens, the sensor or other important items. I'm not going to kick about it much because HP has a certain quality level to their products.

For a day to day, impulse or outdoor event videos that spring up on you this seems to be functional.

I'd be willing to give it a shake out. Except I'm on a camcorder buying restriction for a while.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quick Look at Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder

A couple of days ago I got wind that Olympus announced a new camcorder. I thought this odd because they have stuck to producing digital still cameras for the longest time. I'm looking around the inter-joint and all I see are press release posts surrounded by ads.

Frustrating.

Eventually I head for the Olympus web site digital camera section. Not there. I'm baffled but it hit me. Olympus does make audio recorders. That is where I found it. Yes, it is a new recorder with a video that is located in the audio section.

Olympus LS-20M recorder
The LS-20M is a dual microphone recorder that also handles 1080p video. From the looks of the site they seem to want to market it as a Flip camcorder replacement.

I see it more as a possible alternative device to the Zoom Q3 for journalists, reporters or those that need good audio and reference videos.

There is also the musician market that also wants a portable device for their music videos or demos. In fact, looking at the special effects that this rascal can do I feel certain we are about to flooded with a lot more whiz bang videos with very little effort.

I beg of you, lay off the special effects.

Ok, let's look under the hood.

Recording Format: Good news for Mac users, it records in the .mov format. This can mean reduced headaches about getting cooperation from iMovie or the soon to be affordable Final Cut X.

PC Users, you know the drill. Can't open .mov with Windows Movie Maker or Live Movie Maker. You will need to convert the .mov to .avi with the beloved and time tested MPEG Streamclip.

Audio records in the .wav and .mp3 so you can have it either way it floats your boat. There are twin mics on the camcorder and there is an external microphone and earphone jack. Should you want more there are mic accessories that can extend your audio range.

Records on SD/SDHC memory cards and they are nice enough to fork over a 2GB card. 1080 30fps with best audio will record 15 minutes on a 2GB card. I'm figuring about 45 minutes on a 8GB memory card.

At 720 30fps you get an hour on a 8GB. Should you need to throw back to 640x480 you'll get a whopping 3 hours on an 8GB card. And that is with the audio cranked at the highest audio level. Dial the audio back to tolerable and the battery will kick before the memory card will. Intriguing.

The image sensor is really small otherwise they would not refer to in in fractions. 1/4 inch CMOS, 5.32 Mega Pixel. Outside should be fine and indoors you will need extra lighting.



Not much more to tell. There are few demo videos but until it is released and somebody ponies up $299 we won't know if it has the juice or not. I did find a product demonstration video from Olympus on YouTube so if you are interested pop your peepers at the video. It is 12 minutes.

So yeah, I'm kinda keeping track of the newbies coming to market. For those that need really good audio and HD video this might be what you are seeking. Or not. Time will tell.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Corrected Look at iFrame and the Connection to Videos

This is a correction to my original post. I have made a mistake. I understand how I made it the error but I have no excuse. I don't want one.

I should have taken more time to verify my understanding of the Apple iFrame codec and not just look at the reference sources for the HTML code used to place an object inside of a web page.

HTML code and a video codec are not the same thing.

I honestly did not consider that Apple would appropriate the name of a HTML code for a codec name. Yet I should have questioned why a video codec was in a list for HTML codes examples.

Then again with all the talk about HTML 5 video ....

Naw. That won't cut it. I need to make this right.

Apple iFrame Video Codec:

From the Apple Web site about the Apple iFrame Codec:
iFrame is a computer-friendly video format designed by Apple to simhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifplify the process of working with video recorded with your
Features of the Apple iFrame Codec:
  • H.264 mp4 video
  • Video dimensions are 960x540
  • Audio records in AAC
  • Smaller video file size
  • More compatible with iMovie and Apple friendly applications.
But wait, there is more. According to Camcorderinfo.com information page:
Videos recorded in the iFrame format have square pixels and a 16:9 image that is half the resolution of 1080p. The video is not HD, but iFrame does provide 1.5 times as many pixels as standard definition.
The Apple iFrame codec is compatible with the Apple iPad tablets. This is why your are seeing video web hosts providers making sure that the videos that are being shared can be viewed on as many devices as possible, including those that are owned by people that paid a grip of money for their tablets.

Reference Sources I Used to Verify Information About the Apple iFrame Video Codec:
HTML Code Called iFrame

iFrame is a HTML code used to tell a web page or a HTML compatible device where to display an item on a web page.

example of iFrame codeFor some of you that use embed codes to display videos on your blogs this is going to look familiar. The iFrame code is telling the browser the size of the video, where to find it, if there is a border around the object and the ability to show the object full screen.

Reference Sources I Used to Verify Information About the HTML iFrame Code:
So What Did I Learn Today?

Taking time to triple check information is never a waste of time. If I don't have time to verify the information is ok to skip a few hours or a day or two to make sure I have it right.

Friday, May 20, 2011

CBC Interview with Jason Scott on Online Video and Digital Heritage

You would think that on-line video was a new thing. Historically, yes web view is the new kid on the bloc but people have been posting video for years; even in the days of 56k modems. It was a lot of work and effort but it did happen.

CBC Spark Interview with Jason ScottThere is a lot of video content that has been lost do to mergers, shut down of web sites like GeoCities or a corporate decision to close down a site like Google Video. Before Google bought YouTube they had Google Video.

You could find stuff but it wasn't easy. Original content was there but so was a bunch of unauthorized copyrighted work, video spam and goodness knows what. There was no caretaker. In the early days there was no easy way to filter the content to find the good stuff. You had to plow through the muck. There was a lot of muck.

I drift. This is an audio interview with Jason Scott about archiving our video content. Beyond corporate television there are narratives that have gone poof.

There was gold in those 320x240 videos. They are work seeing and saving. How do we do that?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quick Look At Creative Vado Camcorder's Help Page

I keep my eye on the Creative's Vado line of camcorders. One of my problems is that there is no local retailer that consistently has the product. I like to touch before I buy and if I can't do that then I tend to let it slide.

Anyway, the Creative Vado line is an option for those who want a Flip style camcorder. I'd shop around to price compare but it has attractions. The point of this quick post is to hip folks to the Vado How-To page.

Creative Vado Tutorial Page
If you don't want to read about the camcorder specs, and you should, then another way to learn about the features of a product is to check out the tutorial section.

Apparently there is built-in software that allows you to extract photo from videos, an editing function and it seems to be compatible with the MacOS.

For me I'm just going to copy video from the camcorder to my preferred video editor program. Others are going to like that it is in the camcorder and fairly easy to use.

This is a good way to get a sense if this product is compatible with your recording style.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Changes in Encoding Guidelines for Uploading to Blip.Tv

Back in the old days, I use to create multiple versions of videos for upload at Blip.tv for different users on dial-up, DSL and Broadband. There came a time when everything was being rendered as Flash video so I got lazy and just uploaded .wmv videos.

Things have changed. Again. No sweat, this can be worked out. These are the specs that I nabbed from the Blip.tv  How Should I Export Videos. Your video editing program may or may not do this for you so check that out before you invest cash money into buying a video editing or conversion program.

For those of you on Windows Movie Maker or Windows Live Movie Maker you can't export to the QuickTime format. This is like inviting the Hatfields and McCoys to a Sunday dinner. Ain't gonna happen. Jump down to conversion options for more info.

Frame Size

If you are recording video with a standard definition camcorder the suggested frame size is 720 x 480. This is also true if you are using the free/limited upload account.

In your video editing program you'll need to make sure that you are exporting the video out at that size.

If you have a paid Blip Pro account you can upload a 1280 x 720 sized video and also have a HD version of the the video as well.

Video Codec

H.264 in your video editor it might say mp4, mov or something in that neighborhood but it does need to be compatible with the QuickTime video format.

If you have the free QuickTime player try to open with that program. If it won't open the mp4 then it isn't QuickTime compatible.

Audio Codec

AAC if you select the QuickTime export this will be selected for you.

Video Bit Rate

3.5Mbps - 5.0Mbps

Audio Bit Rate

128 Kbps

Fast Start Enabled

Yes

Conversion Options

If you have a copy of QuickTime Pro this will go a lot easier on you. $29.99 and you will be able to export to .mov and the iPhone/iPad format. This will work with most version of .avi and .mov videos.

It will not, I repeat, will not work with .wmv content. You'll need to convert .wmv videos to .avi

Another option that you have is Miro Video Converter which can save in a Quicktime compatible .mp4 or iPad version. This is drag and drop conversion so you will have to figure out which one of the pre-sets gets you are close as possible to the above specs.

And I have to mention old faithful, MPEG Streamclip. It can't do .wmv but it can dang near do just about everything else.

If you do all of the above Blip.tv will be happy to upload your video. If not you will get six e-mails in your inbox telling you it isn't going to happen.

Related Posts

Changes At Blip.TV - The Focus Is On the Show

There are different types of video web hosts. Vimeo is a place for the creative community to share work and experiences. YouTube started out with user generated videos and is now expanding into original content, subscription and rental movies.

Blip.tv is a place for those web producers who have a regularly scheduled series. This can mean an entertainment production, how-to or an on-going series. Blip distributes programing to other services so this re-vamping of services is consistent with that focus.



This video explains what Blippers have to do to position their videos to gain attention and to have a polished presentation that invites folks to make that click.

There are questions to consider and it will be time to make friends with either your inner graphic designer or take a friend to lunch that can help you out. You'll need a poster for your show, banners and decisions about how your show will look.

You'll also need to come up with a brief description of your show. That one is gonna be a killer for me. I'm kinda eclectic. Anyway, check out the video. Even if you are not a Blip.tv person the questions and concepts are relevant to anyone that uploads video on a regular basis.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Creating Video - Record, Edit and Share

What do you want to do? What do you have to work with? The answers to those questions depends on where you are in the cycle.

There are times when you need to do more than hit record and upload. It doesn't matter if it is a birthday party, recital, interview, animation or a public event. There comes a time when you have to do a little snip, snip in order to make the video watchable.


Record, edit and share

Camcorder Research

You can save a lot of time by researching the camcorder you want to buy. Match it up with what you are willing to pay, the amount of time you want to invest in learning how to work the camcorder and the final format of the video.

Editing

I've written about editing before and will continue to do so. In general, on many basic point and share camcorders there may be software inside of the camcorder that will help you edit. Or not. If you are a Mac user a lot of times you will be skunked because the software that came with the camcorder is useless to you. It won't work on a Mac.

The good news is that you don't want to. The software isn't very good.

Sharing/Distribution

It use to be an easy question. There are now choice:
  • For those relatives that refuse to touch the Internet - DVD
  • For those relatives that think the Internet = Facebook
  • For friends that have their mobile phones welded to their hands
  • For distant friends that know about YouTube.
  • The auteur or creatives that only recognize and will watch only on Vimeo
  • For the spouse wishing to see the video displayed on that freaking big television that has an HDMI hook up that only the pre-teen in the house can connect.
Each one of those sharing options have different processing requirements. If you don't like to fiddle with stuff you probably you purchase (yes, this means buy) software that will automate the task for you.

If you do like to figure things out then I think you are going to have a better learning experience and will gain skills.

This isn't win or lose. If you goal is to make a DVD as quickly as possible then you should look at software from Corel, Ashampoo, Roxio and Muvee

If you want to really fine tune and create you can start with either Windows Live Movie Maker or iMovie. It might be that the YouTube Video Editing software is just your speed.

If you've grown past those options then certainly check out products from Adobe, Corel, Serif and Sony.

I guess the point of this post is to help folks realize that making a video is easy. Creating a watchable video take a little more work or effort. If you get the right software for you it can be easy and save time.

Or if you have the time you can make a nifty film buy getting the right software that can work seamlessly with your camcorder.

Using the right software can also make you sharing and distribution a lot easier. If you can use just one package to make a DVD, a YouTube copy and a version that can be exported out to that huge television set on the wall you've got a keeper.

Other Posts of Interest

Monday, May 16, 2011

Creating Video - Record and Upload

I’m thinking in cycles these days. Food cycles, life cycles and anything other concept that refuses to be welded to a rectangular shape.

There are cycles for creating videos. There isn't one way to do this any more. In the past yes, there was a set way to do record video because the equipment, technology and the production system was inflexible.

That was then, this is now.



So much has changed since 2009. Mobile devices can record in high definition. There is the ability to direct uploading to YouTube, Vimeo and other video web hosts via you mobile device. This now includes iPhone, iPads, Tablet PCs and who know what else is in the pipeline at the moment.

So no, you don't need to know more than point, record and upload. Well, it would help if some of you would get to know about the rule of thirds but not a deal breaker.

Can you make good video with a simple camcorder, still camera or mobile device?

Heck yeah. Well, let me clarify - if the point of your video is to tell a story or share your thoughts and opinions then yes, you can. In fact, it might just save a life.

One example is the It's Get's Better Project - Yes there are celebrities and media professional created videos.

But there are also videos from real people who sat in a chair in front of their computers or mobile devices and tell extraordinary tales of survival and encouragement.

Other than trying to keep the device as steady as possible and avoiding direct sunlight as you record another person outside you have just about what you need.

There are things that you can do to make your videos better. That will come in time.

Oh, for those of you on mobile devices, you do have to monitor the cost of uploading unless you truly have an unlimited data plain.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Good Reminder to Back-Up Your Posts

Ah, I feel better. The Blogger downtime maintenance took longer than any of us thought it would. This is an excellent reason to back-up your blog posts no matter which service you use. For some folks they have a main blog and a repeater one on another service just in-case.

If you generate money from your blog you definitely need a plan 2, 3 and 4 in-case of downtime.

Hey, stuff happens.

At the very least you should know how to:
  • Copy your blog template. This will be different depending on the blog service provider.
  • Have a back-up or duplicate copy of your posts. I use either Windows Live Write for some of my blog posts and others I start out as a Word document then convert to plain text before posting. But I am guilty of just typing in the post editor. Like I'm doing now.
  • Copies of your images.
  • If you have a web host for you videos you should have a not only your copy but a CD/DVD of your project work.
It is not hard but if you have been blogging/vlogging for more than two years you have got stuff. The kind of stuff that if it vanishes or is yanked for unfair reasons you would be hurt.

Deeply.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Musing about Android Tablets and Video Editing

I finally made a decision about getting an Amazon Kindle e-Reader because I couldn't see purchasing a cheap Android tablet that had limited or dodgy functions. One of the reasons I was considering a tablet PC was to do just in time video editing.

I could see myself on the bus editing video and then uploading before I got home. This appeals to me. What does not appeal to me is paying almost $700 to $900 for an Apple iPad2.

Ain't gonna happen for me at that price point. You still have purchase the Apps, the cover and other assorted doo-dads. I love the Apps more than I love the iPad2. That isn't a good enough reason to purchase one.

When you start to look at the under $250 Android tables you find out that many of them are running versions designed for mobile phones or it is really hard to get stuff from the actual Android market place.

Not to mention bad battery life, uses a resistive and not capacitive interface and just the fact that most of them are sucky. Sucky is a technical term and those that have paid $139 for a so-called table can tell you how sucky they are.

Jaycut Online Video Editing
I think when Amazon releases their PC tablet (Yeah, I know it is a rumor, it doesn't exists, wink, wink.) there might be an option to really take advantage of cloud application sites like Jaycut.

For those that don't know, Jaycut is an cloud based video editing application. So here is my musing. Let's say you have an Android tablet, you have video on it and you have a good, legal Wi-Fi signal.

What could stop you from using Jaycut to edit videos on the fly on you tablet?

One of the things that I think is going to be a problem is the non-mouse interface. If touch is equal to mouse clicks this could work. If not, and you don't have a spare mouse with you then no, this could be a bust.

Storage. Unless you have memory card storage this also isn't going to happen on an Tablet. A good size video file can run a gigabyte or more. Unless you park the video into something like Dropbox you are going to max out what storage you have kinda quick.

For a bit of music you cold swing over to Aviary Myna Audio Editor. It is the same issue about input via finger versus mouse but if that isn't an issue then you could compose music and incorporate it into the video.

Update 10/11/2012: The company Aviary.com has decided to change business focus to mobile applications. They have closed their photo, music and illustration web sites. You might find an equivalent application by Aviary.com in the iOS or Android stores.

The el-cheapo ones? Unless you do major rehab on the operating system, no I don't think it is possible. Yet.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Future of Web Video - BlogWorld 2010

This is a short clip from a panel at BlogWorld 2010 talking about the future of web video. My vision and a lot of other folks vision is not watching bad television via a mobile device. Yet that is what some of the traditional networks are doing.



I like what Jim Louderback from Revision3 was talking about - how are you going to port to other devices and connect to an application/Apps strategy to sustain contact with viewers and your community.

For alternative content providers this is the time when you need to see beyond what was to what can be. The gatekeepers don't know what to do but some will figure it out.

In the meantime, get busy.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Reviewing My Interview Video

Yes, it is time once again for sharing my mistakes so you don't have to do the same. This is a video that I recorded at the L.A. Times Festival of Books. I saw an opportunity to do something different than just point and aim.



One thing that I noticed in editing was that I should have moved to my left so that the sun wasn't washing out her face.

I wish that I could have gone beyond the usual cracks and questions about teen age vampire books. I honestly don't read that genre and I don't like blood suckers as a rule. I have the same feelings about mosquitoes.

I had my Zoom H1 but I have to figure out a mounting system. I can hold the camcorder and the Zoom H1 in one hand but it is uncomfortable. Which is no excuse because I forgot to turn it on for this video.

The good news is that I am thinking about doing better. Here are some other resources that I'm reading up on to get better at it:

Can't go wrong checking out the Knight Digital Media Centers tutorials. There is a specific series on Planning the Shoot. They also have a section about interviews.

Tim Merritt's Basic Camcorder web page might be old school but it packs a lot of information that is still true.

Media College has a good overview of what you need to hit the bricks when it comes to equipment.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Real Blogging Experts and BlogWorld Expo 2011 NYC

Can I provide proof that you don't have to harm people to make a buck? Well, I can point you to people who actually make a sustainable living blogging.

There is a difference between having a credibility and making a profit versus telling people you have credibility and snatching pennies on the dollar. BlogWorld 2011 is going to kick off in New York City.

There will be legitimate experts, professionals, and passionate content producers.



This is a short clip from the 2010 BlogWorld Expo with folks that have built up a sustainable blogging business or network. Darren Rowse of Problogger and Digital Photography School, and Brian Clark and Sonia Simone of Copyblogger.

You should visit their web sites where they do go into much more information about the skills, techniques and qualities it takes to provide content on the Internet. Match their content against the slime-o-la who will try to imitate the style of being an expert but there is nothing there but vaporware or worse, bad advice.

Cuz seriously think about it. The people who pay cash money to learn how to put up a slide with poor audio can't be expected to do anything much more than to sucker somebody else.

When was the last time you had somebody rave about viewing a green slide with yellow text as a person drones on about the belief in power riches if you just think it and keyword your blog up the wahzoo?

It is the new age variation of the newspaper stuffing envelopes ad that is probably still running someplace in the pulp world.

Don't be a chump. Learn your craft. It takes time. There is no short cut.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Brian Taylor and The Intermediate Rail Trick

I'm starting to explore Facebook for folks and web video resources and came across Brian Taylor. I don't know anything about the gentleman. So I'm looking at his wall and I see a video about The Intermediate Rail Trick.

I am curious always so I go take a look:



Somehow I'm introduced to a dance form I didn't know about. That you can take lessons in that style. That Brian probably serves that specific community.

Still checking stuff out and I find this intro to his show:



Whoa.

So what do I know?

That there are ever evolving dance and performance styles I don't know about but there is a community that is being communicated to by video.

That independent video makers continue to rock and transform what we know about production outside of the establish media.

And I'm never going to be able to do that trick but I like that somebody can and does.

It also speaks to breaking out of our walled communities and check out what folks are doing. I didn't know Brian existed until I took a chance and checked out his videos.

Until there is an effective method for searching for videos, and there isn't, then we all have to find out our own ways of going over the wall.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

TwitterSpam and the Term Videoblogging

The reason I wrote that post yesterday was in response to the amount of spammers that are using Twitter and the term Videoblogging. There are continuous efforts to attract people to visit crappy search engine keyword heavy content to get folks to come to their web site.

Here are some examples:

Examples of crudThis links to a really badly written SEO/SEM series of words allegedly on how to get started. Should you visit said link (and really don't do it) you get to see ads, expose yourself to potential nastiness and waste you time and life energy.

Or worse yet, some goof will try to convince you to pay cash money to be instructed in the secret ways of the Videoblogging cash producing ninja. This is the kind of stuff Google is trying to chase out of their search results.

How bad can it be? This bad:
The camera. Your best option for videoblogging is a MiniDV camcorder with a FireWire cable, because you’ll have the easiest time getting the video off of it and onto your computer. Camcorders that use FireWire have been made since around the year 2000, so your camcorder doesn’t need to be brand new to work. If your video camera is analog, you’ll need an external converter that converts analog data into digital and then feeds it into your computer; such converters cost 0 to 0 and up.
Ok, around 2005-2006 people did use MiniDV tape camcorders. In 2011 consumers don't use tape camcorders anymore, a few Luddites excepted.

Firewire? Nope, that transition for consumers happened years ago to USB.

It is true camcorders do not need to be brand new but if you are using a DV camcorder from 2000 I've got questions for you.

Do I even have point out that this was presented as a new post? Jeepers.

If you could see the actual page the script was jacked up and the places where the prices should have been displayed have been replaced with zeroes. The "article" was written by a person who didn't know what the heck they were writing about.

Another clue is that if you see multiple people using the exact same phrase and the exact same link (but different URL shortcuts) all leading to an SEO gunked up page then you are in the realm of Twitspam.

In Twitter move your mouse pointer on top of a short cut URL - you can see the destination link. It is a good way to avoid content farm articles and cheezy sites.

TwitSpam floats though languages and selling groups. Yesterday there was a lot of affiliated-content crap and today there are a bunch of Russian links to dubious posts. It will change from day to day.

There are recognizable patterns. Once you know the pattern you can dodge it. But that doesn't help folks that want to know real information or contact someone who does. That where this hurts.

I checked back today. There seems to be some cleaning out of the affiliated crap. Today I could see actual folks that participate in vlogging. Maybe Twitter knows that is a problem and is trying to deal. I hope so.

But the cretins will be back. They will find new ways to hook the unsuspected or get rich quick seeker.

More is the pity.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I Hate Videoblogging Spam and Hucksters

I got an e-mail. I was told that I could maximize my earnings via video. This would be miracle for me in that I don't derive any earnings from my videos. None. Zip.

In fact, the suckers cost me money. I give up that money freely because I record people, events and situations that are non-commercial. I believe it is important to have a diversity of videos about things you can't sell with soap.

I am not opposed to soap. I'm not opposed to making money with videos. If that is you thing I support you. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Bad search engine and search engine marketing techniques are not the way to do it.

Getting a bunch of people to seed Twitter, Google and other sites with "Hey I know the secret to..." ain't gonna make you money. It will get you a bad name and not near the riches you desire. Unless we are talking about ripping people off with bad info.

Yeah, I know - there are a lot of people who don't have a problem with that.

Back to the e-mail, this is what I read:

A great way to make quick video blog posts - where you literally only have to type a few sentences or speak into a microphone - and voila, you have a video blog!

Nooo! This will let you have a piece of steaming shit that you can post on your web site or blog.

Let me ask you something. You are sitting in a meeting. Someone puts up a PowerPoint presentation with a slide and a voice. I don't know about you but I tend to disassociate internally as the eyes glaze over. I do that because I cannot leave.

Do you think for one moment I'm am going to entertain the thought of listening to bad audio and a screen of text in order to buy a guide to produce bad video?

Why should anyone read a six year old crappy post on how to buy a camcorder or make money online wrapped in tacky ads. Why would people read a hunk of cow poopie on a post that has the same word 25 times over and has no content?

Ooh, don't let me forget the ickyness of telling people all they gotta do is record a bit of audio with a photo and they can sell to the teeming mokes who will watch said video and pony up money for your product.

The product? How to make money with video on the Internet. Are you freaking kidding me here?

For the record, do not e-mail me any get rich quick ideas ever!

There are sites that will give you responsible business video search marketing information.

ReelSEO has consistently written about the use of video, social media and marketing since 2008. They don't say boo about slapping up an audio slide and calling it video!

David Meerman Scott has written about marketing and the right way to do it. He is on the corporate side of the fence but I'm linking to his post on Eight Quick Tips to Create Thoughtful Web Content because none of his methods involves a short cut.

Finally, Jeff Bullas has a no-cost, no spam method that anybody can follow to upload video for selling on YouTube.

There are viable and responsible ways of posting business video to reach people. Spamming isn't one of them.

Other Posts of Interest:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Videoblogging Week 2011 - We Trickle In

It is Videoblogging Week 2011 and folks are trickling in but there is progress. The goal is to get a video up every day for seven days. It can be quick and dirty, and that is advisable, or as involved as you want.

Via the Twitterverse has tag #VBW2011:

David Lee King's Planting a Flowerhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

I've got one up about whatever came out of my mouth yesterday

GoGenTV with 90 Seconds of Daily Fragments

Josh Leo Day 2 grilling

Marcus and his video on Herding Chicken. Really.

Rupert and family Somethinhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifg Has Happened to the Children