Category Archives: About this site

Carrboro Creative Coworking

Incase you’re wondering what I’m up to check out Carrboro Creative Coworking.

Carrboro Creative Coworking is a professional shared workspace with a community atmosphere. It is designed to be a welcoming environment for microbusiness, freelance professionals, home-office workers, entrepreneurs, start-up business owners, tech workers, graduate students, writers, architects, civil engineers, designers and others. Coworkers receive access to a reliable office space inside a unique modern community.

Change is Good

I’m moving the majority of my blogging activities to Yesh.com. Please change my RSS feed in your feed reader to www.yesh.com/blog/feed. The podcasting feed URL is the same for now www.audioactivism.org/wp-rss2.php. Here is a post I wrote over at Yesh.com explaining the change. Please join me over there!

Welcome to Yesh.com. You might have come here in the past to look at the design “Portfolio of Brian C. Russell”. Well that’s still around. Its just over here now.

This is still the home of Brian C. Russell. Fact is I’ve had many online homes. Too many at this point to even list. Seriously. But here is a bit of info about this particular transition in my life.

From October 2004 to July 2006 I blogged over at AudioActivism.org. It has been more popular than I ever could have imagined. Not as big as some but still amazing to me. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to communicate with people from all over the world. But mostly my reach as been because of audio podcasting.

I set out to interview activists and tell people about online activism tools. My tag line was (is) “Meta data about media activism”. I made a ton of audio files and share them via my RSS feed. You can still listen to them here.

Another part of AudioActivism.org that is popular and useful is the tutorials section. I wrote Podcasting Tutorial & Intro, How to Pocast with WordPress 1.5, HowTo Create a interview Podcast on the Cheap, DIY Radio: Or how I learned to stop worrying about the media and start podcasting, and more. I’m very proud of these writings. They aren’t going any where right now and I hope they continue to be useful to people.

Thanks to many factors I found that AudioActivism.org has amazing google juice. This is the ability to blog about something and see it as one of the top five hits in a Google search. Because I wrote about social justice issues and other progressive topics I was able to demonstrate the power of blogging and podcasting for communicating ideas to millions with few resources. I hope this has inspired people to blog and podcast so they can create positive change in the world. I can only hope I’ve been able to accomplish this. Sometimes its hard to measure or define success.

As you can probably tell I’m changing my home for blogging, and maybe podcasting. The main reason is I want to keep it personal. It other words all over the place. That’s how I think.

AudioActivism.org is a site with a mission. As it turns out its mission became rather focused. But because it was also my personal blog I wrote about stuff that was pretty diverse in subject matter. I became concerned it was too diverse. I hope AudioActivism.org can become better at its original mission of politically leftist media. I have some ideas for its future. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t want to abandon it completely.

So here I am. The ‘I’ part is important. Yesh.com is about me, Brian C. Russell. I have A LOT of interest. They ebb and flow. My life is changing a ton right now. Moving to another blog is only one. So if you want to keep up with what I think this is THE place to do it. My goal is make this a blog by an expert who really likes helping people.

Akismet Spam 2241

I just setup Akismet and deleted 2241 peices of comment spam from my database. Prob from the past several years. Dang!

Lets hope this plugin doesn’t implode my blog like Spam Karma 2 did. (Disclaimer: I didn’t try very hard to fix Spam Karma. It was just easier to start over. Only because I made BACKUPS.)

Blog back from the Dead

Last weekend I upgraded this site from WordPress 1.5.1 to 2.0.2. All went well at first. Even my old hacked 1.5 theme worked. Then I installed a few new plugins. Podpress and Spam Karma 2. Podpress worked ok. A bit buggy but it did the job. (its a podcasting/itunes/flash player plugin.) Spam Karma 2 was keeping hundreds of comment spam at bay. Then the shit hit the fan. Strangely it degraded over a 12 hour period.

First I got a weird error relating to a Podpress file. I disabled that plugin via the command line. I wasn’t able to log in as an admin to WP.

Then for some reason Spam Karma 2 flipped out. I then realized to what extent this plugin adds tables to your mysql database. It turns out it corrupted my database. Fortunately I had made a backup of my database. The flip side is it seems its missing all of the comments from the month of May. Lots of good posts about Network Neutrality and stuff. 🙁

I have an earlier backup made a day ago. But I’m concerned its corrupted. I restored the dot sql file to a new db. In the end I deleted my entire site and re-uploaded all the necessary audio/image content plus new WordPress 2.0.2. files.

I’m not going to be using Spam Karma 2. I’ve decided to just require people to login to comment. I think we’re all getting used to loging in to participate online.

Lots of tweaking todo. Change is painful but good. Enjoy the new header graphic. What might it mean? 🙂

Props from the 5013c Cast

Over at 5013c Cast, Audio Activism was discussed and linked to during their February 20, 2006 show. Cool!

When I started Audio Activism I was in the AmeriCorp VISTA program. My mind was constantly on non-profit technology. I still think about it but don’t podcast or blog about it as much. Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the people and missions of non-profits. They are the grassroots action making this world a better place. We should send all non-profits our love and respect. (maybe some money too) 🙂

Thanks for the kind words Corey!

On Dating a Geek

Yep I’m dating a geek. I’m about to get married to her in July actually. (See brianandruby.org) So when I saw this post by Sally Green titled The way to a geek’s heart is through his keyboard I was intrigued. She has linked to an article called The Do’s and Don’ts of Dating Geeks by Maryam Ghaemmaghami Scoble, who I assume is dating Robert Scoble. (Famous in the bloggosphere)

The first thing I noticed is that both these posts were by women who are dating a geek who is man. This seems to be the most common situation. Mine is a bit different in two ways. I’m a geek, who is a man, and I’m dating a woman who is a geek. We self identify as geeks. I’m not putting words in my geeks mouth at all. We like to describe this relationship we have as Geek Socialist Love. Super dorky I know.

So after reading Maryam’s post about dating geeks I wanted to say hell yes much of what she says is true. But also the feminist in me wants to say, DAMN what’s with all these “don’t tell him” and “Do make him” and “Do indulge him“? So many of these good suggestion can go both ways for geek women and geek men. I mean I could just email my partner the URL of this post and say, DO this for ME. Nope. Just too damn selfish. For just about every instant in the Do’s and Don’ts I could replace the female gender in the sentence and have very good advice for my geek partner. It’s interesting when dating advice is two way. No disrespect to Maryam. I’m VERY lucky to be with a geek who understands me as a geek.

What we need is more gender neutrality here. (I can hear people groaning already…) Yes your words and thoughts alter our existence and control the equality or lack of it. If we don’t stop thinking of MEN as the sole owners of brains and geekiness then our society is screwed. Not to mention the future of young girls who want to be programmers, scientists, engineers, physicists, etc. Show some respect. Stop looking at men as the only geeks!

(If you insist on maligning this little rant by calling it Political Correctness think about the propaganda of concervative think tanks and how they’ve planeted the desire to be perjorative in your brain. :D)

BCR 46.1

Your greatest source for Brian radio!

I found this odd image while surfing tha internets… Don’t ask me. I didn’t make it. So you might wonder, “Why in the HELL post this image here?!” For starters my initials are B-C-R. Plus I sorta like radio stuff, but I don’t have a mustache.

Two Thousand Six: Photo and Video blogging

Lots ahead for me in this new year. PodcasterCon 2006 in a few days, getting married in July 2006, etc. etc. As for AudioActivism.org who knows exactly. I have some ideas though.

Right now I’m thinking about images and how to make them move. I got a Canon Digital Rebel XT recently and am enjoying the hell out of it. See my Photo Slide Show page for examples I’ve put on flicker.

One of my small goals for 2006 is to videoblog from AA.org. I’ve been working on a simple way to take still digital images, add audio, animate, and then export them to a mpeg4 file format. Why don’t I just use a digital video camera? Well… lack of time for one. It takes a lot of time to shoot, edit, and export GOOD video content. Lack of fast enough computer hardware for another. Also I’d like to complete a tutorial on how to create good video peices with minimal hardware and software.

Anarchogeek blogged about some neat examples of telling stories with photos in his post Photo Audio Story Telling….. Very inspirational stuff. It’s amazing what you can communicate with a few still images and an audio naration.

Text to Speech to Feed

For months I’ve been thinking about how to turn the text in my blog posts into audio. The next step would be to put this audio into my RSS feed. Bang, an automatic podcast!

First I ran across a set of unix shell scripts over at Jerremy English’s blog Sky Clothes called How to make a podcast from a website. I need to find time to set it up for AudioActivism. Basically I could create my own audio from text then put it into a rss feed on my linux laptop. Then upload the rss to my site manually. Bit time consuming for me now.

Next I tried out the service Feed 2 Podcast. It’s free for now and works quite well. Here is the AudioActivism RSS feed created by Feed 2 Podcast. The computer voice reading my blog posts sounds pretty good. Listen to the AudioActivism blog posts with this flash player from Feed 2 Podcast.

How do I get the audio Feed 2 Podcast creates put into the RSS feed automatically? Tons of people are already subscribed to my podcast feed. I could just cut and paste the mp3 links into a post like this.

AA.org Text to Speech MP3s: (Thank you Feed2Podcast)
Links from Digg
Del.icio.us creates podcast feeds
What is real news?
Thank You John
Chapel Hill Free Public WiFi Petition.

It would also be cool if I could embed the flash player on my site. I’m sure that isn’t hard. Might raise the bandwidth usage on Feed2Podcasts web server though. Also dear Feed2Podcast creators PLEASE make the flash audio player on mute by default. I find it really annoying to go to a website and hear some audio right away. Much better to let users CHOOSE when to listen. This also prepares people to pay attention to what they are listening too. I’m looking forward to how this service evolves.