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So I'm upoading Mooki's videos to some new services that let content creators earn a little money when people watch the videos. One is Revver. Here's the classic, "Mooki's Kleenex Box".

The other is Lulu.tv - here's Mooki on Lulu.

I'm going to try embedding certain Minnesota Stories videos through these sites, too. Only the videos I produce, until I work out some kind of revennue-share with contributors (when that becomes viable). I'm still pursuing local business advertisers, which is my preference, but these new video revenue sites are definitely worth a try.

July 31, 2006 at 05:34 PM in Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Clown in a Parking Lot

Business Week's Heather Green has a new article about YouTube, copyright, and making money: Whose Video Is It, Anyway?

She contacted me for the article, and here's what I said:

When I upload videos to YouTube, I feel like an old-timey clown trying to sell my balloon tricks in the Six Flags parking lot. People back home think my wares are entertaining, but the kids are running around from one cheap thrill to the next. Also, I'm pretty sure they kick me when they run by. I can only hope that my tags will lure in some unsuspecting YouTube surfers and make them happy.

Minnesota Stories may not be the best material for YouTube, but my next experimental comedy vlog might fare better. It's called "Eskimo Witch" and you bet I'll be uploading it to YouTube. It's an unlikely crapshoot, but what's another 10 minute upload if it spawns thousands of new fans? That could turn into a business model, or a call from MTV. Or at least a mortgage check.

I might reconsider now, and only upload to Revver since you can actually make money there. At the same time, I'm not sure I'd want to give up the YouTube exposure. Oh, what to do with my nonexistent high-demand videos? So far, one of my hit videos is Negativland's Mark Hosler on Copyright. It's hosted on Blip.tv and has over 51,000 views.

See also: Ze Frank, YouTube, and Making Money

July 29, 2006 at 05:33 PM in Minnesota Stories, Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

DOPA Danger

Andy Carvin writes: Yesterday, the US House of Representatives unexpectedly moved forward in voting on the Deleting Online Predators Act, or DOPA. [It] passed the House a whopping 410 votes for it, 15 votes against it.

Although aimed at MySpace, this legislation restricts library and educational use of nearly every social networking site or interactive tool out there. Typical overreaction by an uneducated legislature looking to score easy points with frightened soccer moms. More background here and the latest news at DOPA Watch.

July 27, 2006 at 09:45 PM in Current Affairs, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I'm on Almanac Friday


The topic: Local political blogs. The other guests are Michael Brodkorb from the infamous Minnesota Democrats Exposed blog, and U of MN Political Science Professor Larry Jacobs.

If you haven't followed the hubub, this Pioneer Press article is a good place to start.
WARNING FOR DEMOCRATS: BEWARE OF BLOG GOP Web pundit broke story that knocked Entenza from race

Almanac airs locally on TPT-2, Friday night at 7PM. This panel will be at the end of the show, and will be online later. (That used to me my job!)

July 27, 2006 at 02:05 PM in Local, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Donkey Baseball on Rocketboom

Picture_4Duane Kuss shot a video of Donkey Baseball in the small town of Richmond, Minnesota. He emailed me and said, "Chuck, I think you're gonna like this one." How could I not? I posted it on Minnesota Stories and passed it up the line to Rocketboom (as Duane suggested). Here it is in front of 300,000 people. This all transpired in a matter of hours. Dare I say? It's the magic of the long tail. Of course I haven't read the book yet, so maybe this behavior of interesting things bubbling up to the surface is it's own phenomenon.

Of course, in order for those interesting things to bubble up, it really helps if somebody is proactive. Lord knows I barely have time to see what's out there - I generally rely on people saying "Hey check this out." People may stumble upon interesting links or media completely randomly, but even then it requries the action of posting about it. This analysis of top Digg posters makes me wonder if the "bubbling up" phenomenon is overly influenced by a small group of tastemakers, rather than being truly democratic. That sure doesn't stop me from checking BlogsNow and TechMeme several times a day to see what people are linking to. Aggregators may be "influenced by the influencers" but they do a great job of bubbling up the hot conversations.

July 27, 2006 at 03:33 AM in Local, Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

I'm on the cover of Pulse?!

What a shock to see I'm on the cover of Pulse this week! Max Sparber writes about Filming the Digital Revolution, including local digital filmmakers online:

The bespectacled Chuck Olsen is probably the best-known of Minnesota’s v-loggers, or “video bloggers,” and his Minnesota Stories offers short films about our fair state at the astonishing rate of one per weekday. If there’s an interesting event in the Twin Cities, such as a Rollergirls tournament or the opening of the new Central Library, chances are good that you’ll see Olsen there with his digital camera, and, within a few days, see a deftly edited, dryly humorous short film on the event. Mnstories.com also features short films by other local digital filmmakers, and the web page includes links to a number of local v-logs. Olsen actually has another, more autobiographical collection of short movies on blogumentary.typepad.com, which range from intimate to hilarious to profoundly weird, and are sometimes all three simultaneously.

Thanks for the kind words Max; I look forward to reading this issue.

July 26, 2006 at 04:07 PM in Minnesota Stories | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Baghdad Vlog Correspondent Kidnapped

Bad news from Alive in Baghdad:

On Sunday morning, between 11am and 12pm, one of our newest correspondents disappeared from the al-Amal Neighborhood. He was there with his brother, gathering B-roll of the security in place around Baghdad's gas stations, as well as the long refueling lines that continue to insult the residents of one of the world's most oil-rich countries.

What's worse, he was apparently abducted in full sight of the Iraqi National Guard who'd approved his filming. Some democracy, eh? This sort of event only underscores the importance of a free press to democracy, contrary to the prevailing stench from right-wing American bloggers.

My best wishes go out to this individual and his family, along with a question for the Alive from Baghdad producers: What do you know about the history of your correspondent, and is it possible he wasn't kidnapped strictly for filming, but for his religion or any number of factors? The fact that he is a correspondent certainly is to his advantage, and international outcry will hopefully get him freed. Perhaps this incident will draw more attention to the waves of kidnapping amidst the civil war in Iraq.

[via loadedpun]

July 26, 2006 at 01:21 AM in Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Designers: Call for Entries

Hey you. You think you're hot shit? Huh? Yeah? Prove it.

Design a logo for my new vlog project, ESKIMO WITCH.

Chuck, that sounds great. What is your new vlog about?
Sandra, thanks for the question. ESKIMO WITCH is going to be an experimental comedy playground. Disturbing yet fun - like putting your head in a blender... with my head. You can unexpect moments of sincerity and audience participation! (Heh, yeah that's right, I totally said unexpect!!!!)
bat kids
My name is actually Jerold. Anyway, what the hell does "Eskimo Witch" mean?
Great question Rick! Next question. Ha, ha. Originally I thought it'd make a sweet band name. Being from Minnesota, I've always liked chilly-themed words. The name is also kindof a mashup, two words or ideas you don't expect to be together, hopefully evoking a bit of mystery, at once cute and sinister. These are all ideas that also describe the vlog. But feel to ignore all that crap and make something that YOU want to make.

So... is this a contest for the official logo?
There is no official logo. No Logo. Or – every logo is the official logo. It's all funky like that. Participation is part of the concept here, right down to the design of the site. (Note: I'm still a benevolent fascist dictator, and may not use every single thing you send me.)

What's my incentive?
I don't know, what inspires you? Right now it's just a name and an idea. Video bombs coming soon. Do you ever want to let loose with some "sick" or "ill" or "injured" design voodoo? Here's a chance to get seen. I'll have a credit page for every design contribution.

As a famous singer once said, "Express yourself." Another singer said, "Ya mo be there."

Specs. Gimme some specs!
Do whatever you want! Your logo will live on the screen - web and video. If you can sneak the URL (eskimowitch.com) in there someplace, that would be nice. Illustrator, Photoshop, scanned graffiti, bring it. If you're adventurous, you can design a home page with embedded video in addition to the logo. Here's the blank slate.

Sweet. I whipped something up, where ya want it?
I'm so excited to see your stuff. Zip it and email it to chuckolsen *at* gmail-dot-com. Also? If you have any kind of other visuals you want to send my way, raw material or work in progress, or animation -- bring it on. Let's stick it in the artsy farsty juicer that is ESKIMO WITCH.

July 25, 2006 at 06:38 PM in Art/Design | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Protests in South Korea

Hey look! It's my long lost post from a Korean DVD/bookstore + cafe. This post was lost during some TypePad weirdness, but apparently came back as a draft post. I'll have a video about all of this in the next week.

Here's what I did today:


Riot police block streets in S. Korea

Don't worry! I left before the rally actually started. This photo is from the Washington Post. But, I've never seen to many police in my life. Certainly not riot police. Hoooooly crap.

Your intrepid citizen journalist was on the scene and talked to some Korean students who attempted to explain why they were there, and an American student who filled in the blanks. Most of the protesters were farmers, angry that their livelihoods were about to be destroyed by the Free Trade Agreement engineered by the United States. Stay tuned...

ps - I'm soaked to the bone. It's monsoon season. At some point in my fliming I lost my umbrella, but when I took shelter in an apartment lobby, the security guard gave me a nice sturdy umbrella as a way of saying "Please leave now."

July 25, 2006 at 04:10 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Can you see MNSTORIES.COM?

Hello friends. Do me a favor - see if you have any problem getting to mnstories.com.

I will accept your silence as "everything is cool." But please let me know ASAP if you get any error. The reason: New referrer spam measures. My stats are basically ruined by referrer spam and there is a sad dearth of solutions. I'm trying out this .htaccess spam blocker file, but that can be dangerous business.

July 25, 2006 at 04:58 AM in Minnesota Stories | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack