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Becoming an Internet Phenomenon

That's the name of my panel discussion taking place May 1 at the Walker Art Center. Should be fun.

You can become an Internet phenomenon! Using MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, mnartists.org, blogs, social networking, viral marketing and more. Hear from artists and organizations that have had success getting their work seen and heard on the Internet. This panel discussion, moderated by Chris Roberts and Carolyn Petrie, will be useful to individual artists of all disciplines and arts organizations who want to utilize the web as part of their career or marketing strategy.

Moderators: Carolyn Petrie, freelance theatre critic and writer and Chris Roberts, host of “The Local Show” on Minnesota Public Radio

Panelists: Kathleen Kvern (mnartists.org), Hans Eisenbeis (The Current), David DeYoung (Howwastheshow.com), Emma Berg (mplsart.com), Nate Schroeder (Walker Art Center), Mike Fotis (Ferrari McSpeedy) and Chuck Olsen (filmmaker, mnstories and Blogumentary).

(Note, I've corrected my last name spelling and the broken link to MN Stories above.)

April 29, 2007 at 03:40 AM in Blogumentary | Permalink | Comments (2)

Deeply mad

It's actually been awhile since I've been mad at a certain someone. You get beyond mad, and you accept. Incredulous at times, definitely. But being angry doesn't sit well with my body chemistry, so it's not something I feel very often or for very long.

Then I read this Rolling Stone story: Whatever happened to Bush's pledge to combat AIDS in Africa?

One man's belief in his own moral authority is literally causing thousands of people to die of AIDS. It's more clearly evil than Iraq, and Bush is more clearly responsible for this unforgivable, reprehensible atrocity.

The entire situation is beyond absurd with the recent revelations about Bush’s global AIDS czar, Randall Tobias. Tobias enforced Bush's immoral policy of "abstinence not condoms" but also forced recipients of U.S. funds to take a  "loyalty oath" to condemn prostitution. So what happens? Tobias is found out to be a regular recipient of "massages" from escorts. Fucking hypocrisy yet again.

They should be required to care for children dying of AIDS for the rest of their lives. I suspect they'd end up with AIDS themselves after having unprotected sex with prostitutes - maybe that's what it'd take for these idiots to understand the problem.

April 29, 2007 at 03:16 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2)

Ira Glass on storytelling

Part one of four. Really good stuff. I disagree with something he says in part two: Kill off stories that fall short of expectations. I understand that, but I think the long tail changes everything. Some stories, while not great, are very valuable to a small number of people. Just because someone wasn't a terrific interview doesn't mean what they're saying shouldn't be out there on the intarwebs.

That's right, I said listen to ME not Ira Glass! Embrace mediocrity! Err...

I'm not sure Eskimo Witch can follow his storytelling advice given the weird format, but I'm sure thinking about it. Lars von Trier's entertaining Boss of it All had me thinking about "meta stuff" too - pulling out another level can make a story more interesting and complex.

April 24, 2007 at 03:36 AM in Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (1)

Prez is suspicious of Mario

Amanda and Mario were at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
Mario had a sneakycam.

April 24, 2007 at 02:47 AM in Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (1)

Addicted to High-Def


Help me. I'm turning into one of those "once you go high-def, you can't go back" kind of people.

The object of our adoration is the Panasonic TH-42PX75U, a 42" plasma screen with glare-resistant coating. I decided 1080p wasn't that big of a deal, considering the extra cost and how close our couch is to the TV. I got it at Circuit City, and they ended up throwing in a free Panasonic DVD recorder/player that upconverts to 720p or 1080i. Is that enough techno gobble-gunk for ya?

Suddenly, we can stare at flowers on PBS HD for infinity. And we're totally not even high. Slo-mo bullets and blood in Iraq? Yeah, awesome. We'll watch that. The hard part, of course, is all the stuff we wish was in HD. We're getting our Comcast DVR switched to the HD model this weekend, but that meant having to suffer through Lost in suckass standard definition. There was one theoretically breathtaking scene of rainclouds rolling over the island beach where Lori and I simultaneously gasped, "I bet that would look awesome in high def."

DVDs have been problematic, too. There seems to be a wide range of encoding quality, or maybe sheer compatibility. Strangers with Candy looks terrible, with lots of interlacing or some sort of jaggy artifacts. Season six of Sex in the City looked pretty darn good, but an earlier season didn't hold up. Anybody have advice in this arena? We'll eventually get a PS3 for the Blu-Ray player (uhh, yeah, just for that) but obviously we still want our library of olde fashioned DVDs to look good.

Of course this means I want to start offering my online video productions in HD. I've got my eye on the lil' Canon HV20. Cameralust is not a treatable condition.

April 20, 2007 at 03:52 AM in Television | Permalink | Comments (9)

Cho was not a vlogger

Picture_176 Dave Winer: Vlogging comes to mass murder
NewTeeVee: Virginia Tech Killer Vlogged Manifesto

No, no, NO! Let's clear up a couple of misconceptions.

The videos were Quicktimes.
Nearly ALL video that's distributed in any fashion is Quicktime. It's almost like saying, "The videos were videos." Just because the video is in a digital format does not make it vlogging.

The videos were confessional, first-person style.
In a way it's flattering to conflate the confessional video style with videoblogging. But consider this: We don't refer to his text manifesto as "blogging." There were no blogs involved with the package of stuff Cho sent to NBC.

Still, the larger point stands: This technology can be used for good or evil. The next Justin.tv might get wacked out on meth and go on some sort of rampage. (Apologies to Justin for that offensive suggestion.) Maybe Cho was too stupid to upload these videos to YouTube. Clearly he was a braindead, disturbed motherfucker. But he did get as far as making video of himself, and burning the files onto a DVD. He was one step away from something like videoblogging.

But... so what? Yesterday we were up in arms over a killer's MySpace page, tomorrow it might be a killer's YouTube videos. This technology is open to everyone, and the good far outweighs the bad. I remember in the mid-90's, lots of people thought we should shut down this Internet thing because somebody posted bomb-making plans that you could already find in a library book.

What are the limits of a free society? Technology almost always pushes those limits and forces us to ask these questions.

April 19, 2007 at 11:52 AM in Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (8)

Zadi in vlog memory lane


I don't know what kinds of business/tech/production/growing pressures JetSet is under, but I'm sure their world is moving even faster and blurrier than mine. Especially since they joined NextNewNetworks. When do we take time to look back, or think about the connections we've made, or what the hell we're doing?

Zadi has made a lovely video doing just that - in the car. Strangely enough, I almost always call my mom in the car (usually not driving). Funny what happens when we pull away from an internet connection.

Jay Dedman recently asked what I thought of the state of videoblogging. Am I happy with where it's gone? It's a show show show world!

Yes, I think I'm very happy about what people are doing with online video. I'm not thrilled that the TV mode of thinking is so prevalent. "Internet TV", shows on a schedule, ad models - it's all very TV. But those models, specifically the show model, work. People understand that format, and the content can still be anything people want it to be. That's a good thing. Jetset, Ze Frank, Galacticast, Steve & Carol - they're all so refreshing aren't they? Alive in Baghdad. Nata Village. Ryan in Hungry.

I don't think of Minnesota Stories as a show at all. It's a slightly curated citizen media channel. We're a long, far cry from the Hollywood vlogosphere, full of agents and studios and money (and opportunity). The first video, posted July 6 2005, featured Lori and I trying to fry an egg on the sidewalk. Today's video is a random guy dancing at a bus stop taken from YouTube. These are tiny and hopefully-entertaining slices of reality. Unexpected slices of Minnesota life. A good starting point for something more evolved - something that simply can't be contained by the word "show."

April 18, 2007 at 05:37 PM in Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (9)

Not much to say


April 17, 2007 at 04:19 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The only way to fly


OMG, Hello Kitty airplane chicken shower! Twittered by Buns & ChouChou.

April 16, 2007 at 03:24 PM in Dandy Foppery | Permalink | Comments (2)

A good story

Today on Minnesota Stories and Rocketboom, a story about Duluth native Hans Johnson.
He went to Kenya to record the music of the Maasai people, and ended up building a school for them.

This is a story I've been wanting to tell for a long time. I think Starfire first told me about it, and then I met Hans at a couple of Low concerts, and finally interviewed him. There's so much more to this story, and it ended up a bit rushed because apparently Rocketboom's Joanne is stuck in France so they needed a video ASAP. I'm happy with how it turned out though, and Hans says the response (and cd sales) have been really good.

Warm fuzzy.

April 16, 2007 at 01:44 PM in Local, Videoblogging | Permalink | Comments (0)