Equal Rights from Brooklyn
A good question for the upcoming Republican YouTube/CNN Debate from Mary "Video Pancakes" Matthews:
The Best Gift is Helping Others
I think a lot of people are feeling the same thing this holiday season: I don't need more stuff.
I'd rather that money went toward some good in the world.
Inspired by Steve Garfield, I'm asking my friends and family to donate to Doctors Without Borders. They're an independent international medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural or man-made disasters, or exclusion from health care in more than 70 countries.
(ps - but you know, I still totally want a Wii and Guitar Hero!)
Thanksgiving in Fridley: Hip to be Square!
Check out this EXPLOSIVE VIDEO.
A propane tank fell off a truck in front of Lyndale Animal Hospital. Don't try this at home.
Almost a Winner
Here's my promo for The Winnies in L.A. - wish I could be there!
NewTeeVee on Public Interest Video
Thanks to Jackson West, the forthright gentleman filmmaker-journalist, for writing about non-overtly-commercial video:
Without financial support from viewers and distributors, some of the most valuable work connecting communities and informing the public won’t be able to continue.
Alive in Baghdad, which brings the unvarnished truth from civilians in Iraq, is struggling to cover its costs. And after years of serving his local community, Chuck Olsen, unable to scare up a buyer among local media organizations, is shuttering Minnesota Stories — a model of online video aggregating, publishing and community in service of the public interest.
Please note, I think MN Stories will "rise, zombie-like" in a more community-powered fashion. I'm hoping we can get something happening by the time deep chill sets in.
MN Stories reminiscing
A little blast from the Minnesota Stories past, when it was one week old. Just a baby!
This is one of my all-time favorite MN Stories videos.
RONDO DAYS REUNION (July 18, 2005)
My life is happily consumed by Minnesota Stories. Right now it's all pro-bono, but I hope the site attracts sponsors so I can support the production of mini-documentaries every day. Really, think of it as an all-Minnesota online TV channel. How often does that happen? The potential is huge. Original compelling content, every day. Email me if you're interested in a banner ad or video ad. Help this project grow and thrive.
I'm the first to admit I'm a poor businessman/salesman. I did try contacting a couple of local businesses about sponsorships that didn't lead anywhere. I think a dedicated person, maybe even an intern, could drum up some ad support. I never found that person, though I could've tried harder. At a certain point I think I became resigned to MN Stories being a non-profit project, perhaps because I subconsciously didn't want to pollute the site with ads.
I'm still disappointed no local arts or media organizations wanted to become the new parents of MN Stories. Granted, I haven't talked to all of them, but I've talked to a lot of them. (MPR, TPT, IFP, The Rake/MNspeak, Metro Magazine, City Pages, Vita.mn, mnartists.org, etc.) I believe MN Stories has value and is vital to this community in many ways. I've invested 2.5 years of my time and energy, posting 540 daily videos including many of my own. It has a decent audience - really it deserves a bigger audience, which is something an organization with a marketing budget could make happen. But that particular path isn't in the cards right now.
I don't know if I should announce anything yet, but one prominent local vlogger has volunteered to take over the site. YES! And another local podcast luminary might be able to automate it to some degree. Another good idea: I'd like to see guest curators take over the site for a week, posting their own videos or local stuff they like. Taylor, Courtney, mnartists.org, local filmmakers, and so on. That could be very cool.
Here's the post announcing the birth of Minnesota Stories and ye old NY Times mention.
(Sorry for my reminiscing and wallowing. There's light at the end of the tunnel, I think?)
Support Alive in Baghdad
Brian Conley, creator and co-producer of the most important citizen journalism video project in the world Alive in Baghdad, was recently on Jonny Goldstein's live par-tay show. It was a good chat, with some insight into what it takes to essentially produce original stories from an Iraq news bureau on a shoestring budget. This is a project that needs your support. Lately I've been complaining (too much) about all the money being thrown at online video, yet the real revolutionary and vital projects like AiB survive on our support. Let's keep them going with a small (or big!) donation.
Alive in Baghdad was started with money primarily gathered through grants and donations. Today we are struggling to get by, and have made it this far on a combination of donations and footage licensing. We have begun taking voluntary monthly subscriptions, in the hope that our viewership will step forward and provide financial support for the Baghdad reports you have come to love. Please make a subscription pledge today of 5, 10, or 25 dollars. If you don’t feel you can make a regular commitment, consider donating even a few dollars in a one-time donation today.
Please consider becoming a paying subscriber, right now we are offering these easy subscription options:
I Got Interviewed by Veracifier
The UpTake is partnering with one of the top political video sites on the planet, Veracifier. They're looking for political videos by citizen journalists, we're training and distributing stories by citizen journalists -- it's a match made in heaven. (Actually, it's a match made in Minnesota and NYC.)
We're just getting started but I think this will be a great partnership, with more potential in the weeks and months ahead.
Minnesota Stories: A lovely two years
Here's a buttload of MN Stories history. Oh man, what a ride. Like many an indie media project, it may return someday.Yes I am sad, and just plain exhausted.