Danah Boyd's look at Media Literacy

I’m still watching this whole video but… I’ve already seen some powerful observations. Extremely relevant to the current media making landscape and the State of the Internet. She’s eloquently expresses some of the concerns I have that motivated me to relaunch AA.

TL;DR – Part 1. Media Literacy doesn’t work. Or at least it doesn’t accomplish what people think it does.

TV Activists Expose Corporate TV

TVParty!, an old TV show website, has a entry called TV Terrorist. It contains real historic examples of TV broadcasts being hijacked. Lots of comments by users too about the events and their details. Side Note: It’s really sad when the colloquial term for political action is terrorist not activist. The events described on the TVParty! website didn’t involve suiside bombers or any death that I’m aware of. Just dramatic oposition to corporations who lease the public’s airwaves. I’m so sick of the term activist being used pejoratively. (i.e. Judicial Activist) Anyway…

My favorite example on this site is called, “Sometimes it’s the network that does the hijacking!”. It’s an example of “hijacking” media with a spoof cartoon called Conspiricy House Rock (MPEG video). It appeared on Saturday Night Live in 1998 and is quite funny. See a transcript I found bellow on the site snltranscripts.jt.org.

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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.

Three Good Movies

Ruby and I recently saw the movies 2046 by Wong Kar Wai, Serenity by Joss Whedon, and Mirror Mask by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean.

2046 is a beautiful film noir like movie with LOTS of close-ups that was shot in color and set in the 1960’s and the year 2046. Serenity is a funny Blade Runner like Sci-Fi movie with just enough cowboy genre characteristics to be fun and not annoying. Mirror Mask is the most surreal film I’ve ever seen and gives The Brother’s Quay a SERIOUS run for their money. Go see them all. (I highly recommend the Firefly DVD box set. Serenity the movie is based on the TV show Firefly. Same characters – same fun.)

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.

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!
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