Beyond the Video iPod Hype and a New Voice

Yep… I was crazy excited about the new Apple Video iPod yesterday. Still am. But today I bring you the sobering facts. Video is harder to produce than audio. Especially if your aiming for an entertaining style that most people want to watch. This difficulty comes about because of aesthetic constrains. Many of us – myself included – are well trained in popular cultural definitions of what is “good” in video. I’m not even going to try and define that here. Maybe in a dissertation some day. 🙂

To the point of the complexity of video production Rabbel on his AnarcoGeek blog said this:

Since the dawn of podcasting people have been looking beyond audio to video. I’ve mostly dismissed this as dreaming, and then pointed out the exceedingly high production costs to video. I’ve worked on producing videos and it’s a lot of work to get something which looks at all good. For that matter audio is a lot harder to produce than text. We are all trained in school how to write, and a little how to talk, but fewer people learn how to act. Creating quality productions is hard.

Please go read the rest of Rabble’s post. He really is a smart man.

Now I can totally relate to these concerns and have had similar experiences but… when I see Chuck Olsen’s Minnesota Stories videos I BELIVE lots of good vlogging we all want to watch will happen. It’s all a matter of changing production techniques to match a new medium and a new aesthetic quality. We all just need to find oursleves a new voice.

Does the new iPod record audio in stero?

Several blogs – Music Thing and Makezine – are pointing to a tech spec on the new Apple video ipod webpage that says this:

Voice recording settings:
* Low (22.05 KHz, mono)
* High (44.1 KHz, stereo)

Is this a new audio recording feature? Via the 1/4″ jack input/output “stereo minijack, composite video and audio through minijack”? Can you connect your own external mic? Or are these recording settings for an external device you connect? When someone gets one of these new ipods , try recording some audio and let us know. 😀

Handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents

Reporters Without Boarders has released a new book titled Handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents.

Blogs get people excited. Or else they disturb and worry them. Some people distrust them. Others see them as the vanguard of a new information revolution. Because they allow and encourage ordinary people to speak up, they’re tremendous tools of freedom of expression.
Bloggers are often the only real journalists in countries where the mainstream media is censored or under pressure. Only they provide independent news, at the risk of displeasing the government and sometimes courting arrest.

Reporters Without Borders has produced this handbook to help them, with handy tips and technical advice on how to to remain anonymous and to get round censorship, by choosing the most suitable method for each situation. It also explains how to set up and make the most of a blog, to publicise it (getting it picked up efficiently by search-engines) and to establish its credibility through observing basic ethical and journalistic principles.

You can download two PDF versions of it. A regular version and printer friendly version.

Apple releases Video iPod

The Apple video iPod is on the way! The single most requested feature from Apple – umong podcasters and video bloggers atleast – is the ability to play video on the ipod. Not only can you watch it on the small screen you can also plug the video ipod into a tv! The tipping point for Video Blogging for Activism is almost here!
Continue reading “Apple releases Video iPod”

Google giving $265 Million for Charity and Social Causes

The New York Times is reporting that Google is donating a share of it’s public stock offering to charity and social causes.

“It said it had donated $90 million to a new charitable foundation it started and would give another $175 million to nonprofit groups and what it considers socially useful businesses over the next two to three years.” By SAUL HANSELL

This could be a REALLY big deal to a lot of non-profits, foundations, and other charities. If you write grants for a non-profit or you’re an Executive Director of one KEEP AN EYE ON GOOGLE.

[via: Jon Stahl’s Journal] NYT

Update: Google Starts Up Philanthropy Campaign | Washington Post

UC Santa Barbara DisOrientation Guide

The Monterey County Herald reports about a new publication for students at the University of California – Santa Barbara called the DisOrientation Guide.

From the guides website: “The DisOrientation Guide is a radical alternative resource that aims to inform UCSB students about social and political issues in the local and global community, and to facilitate involvement by introducing students to the numerous campus and community organizations working for social change. It is an introduction, a critique, a catalyst, an invitation, a directory, and more!”

I’ll read this and get back to ya with my impressions. Meanwhile go check it out.

UK pulling out of Iraq next may?

The UK paper The Observer reported on Sep. 25 that “British troops will start a major withdrawal from Iraq next May under detailed plans on military disengagement to be published next month”. There doesn’t appear to be any public document or timetable – remeber how that shrub doesn’t talk timetables? Could this signify actual movement towards ending the war in Iraq? via: Richard Stallman

ConvergeSouth-Ethics: What are the rules?

ConvergeSouth – Fri. Oct. 7
Ethics: What are the rules?
Meshing new tech with journalistic values
Lex Alexander and Jay Rosen

This is stuff I heard and captured my attention enough to write down. Not a complete transcript. 😀

MI = My Impression

Trust is estabilish differently umong blogers than it is umong the Main Stream Media.

You can’t take the “ten commandments” of ethics at the MSM and then try to use it to judge blogs on how they are doing.

Dave Winer says, “You sound so maternalistic like it’s your job to help us. Who are you to tell us how to edit our writting.”

(MI: I can’t get Dave’s exact question. This is a paraphrase…)

It’s a waste of my time to do interviews for 45 minutes where only tweleve words are going to be quoted. I don’t trust their editing. -Jay Rosen

Context: Dave Winer wants to know why we should trust a newspaper to edit our comments on their blog.

My Question:
The entire blogosphere is not journalistic in style or nature.
In the context of journalism, what do you think is the importance of these blogs?

(My question wasn’t formed well. Jay and Lex didn’t really understand it. It seems so by their answers.)

The first person to figure out how to use a blog to write true journalism news will be famous. – Jay Rosen

Where do you see blogs in the next 5-10 years? Will it hit the mainstream? -JOMC student

WKRN – broadcast journalist that get blogging.

Jay Rosen says, journalist exec. response to bloggers: “You don’t mean I have to put my name on what these blogers say!?!?!”