the weblog of Lucas Gonze: “I remember Dave’s first tentative audioblogs, because they were so little and so late — by then Harold had been audioblogging on a daily basis for over a year, IT Conversations had been on the air for over a year, and Webjay had already served up somewhere between five and ten thousand RSS feeds with audio enclosures.”
Month: October 2004
Happy Cog Studios: Work: Amnesty International USA
Happy Cog Studios: Work: Amnesty International USA: a nice one-page overview of the changes made during a redesign.
Interconnected: “One eskimo speaking to another eskimo. The first eskimo says, “You’ll never guess what. Those social software people have three hundred words for ‘friend’.”
Espresso has less caffeine than brewed coffee
Espresso has less caffeine than brewed coffee says Victor an he’s right. Maria confirmed this to me last week. It’s because expresso is brewn from seeds that are more burned, and the more you burn them the stronger they taste, but also the less cafeine they contain. Bring it on!
I know this is a dumb question, but if you give a talk or class at a conference, do you generally get to go for free?
When you search for “books about x” at Google, you now get some guesses from Google’s search in a book.
Genuine Microsoft Software
You can now get Photostory 3 for free at Microsoft if you let them check your Windows copy. I like Photostory, it’s based on solid research, although 2 was a bit crippled. Go get it!
Protect your right to vote
Print out this card, take your videocamera, especially if you’re in a swing state. Protect your right to vote. (via Russ)
Lucas Gonze is starting a new techie mailing list about syndication of audio and video. If you’re into video/audio/podcasting, check it out.
I edited this little movie (14 Megs, Quicktime) to get ready for election day. Have a look. I had a bunch of self shot footage to work into it from my travels, but my editing program wouldn’t accept those (drivers), so darn! So I just kept what I had. The source videos come from http://www.internetvetsfortruth.org, so go there to see all the original videos that I cut up…
Never Forget: Internets Vets for Truth
Never Forget: Internets Vets for Truth has a collection of classic video related to these elections. Check it out, and tell your friends who *can* vote to make sure to do so next week.
New Zealand News – World – War has cost 100,000 Iraqi lives: Lancet study
New Zealand News – World – War has cost 100,000 Iraqi lives: Lancet study: “The first scientific study of the human cost of the Iraq war suggests that at least 100,000 civilians have lost their lives since their country was invaded in March 2003.
More than half of those who died were women and children killed in air strikes, researchers say.”
I’ll probably be doing a bit more politcal tinted blogging than usual the next few days. Go vote if you can!
On the latest scripting news podcast, Adam Curry and Dave Winer are talking about podcasting and video. Apple’s Steve Jobs recently said there was no use for a video iPod, because there’s no video content. Of course, we videobloggers know better.
The biggest problem with videoblogging is, I think, a good viewing environment. Everything else is in place. So bring it on, the video iPod.
Gizmodo : Anoso Elio 20GB Photo Player
Gizmodo : Anoso Elio 20GB Photo Player: “The 20GB player doesn’t have TV-out abilities like Apple’s new iPod Photo, but it does better it in at least two ways. First, it has a built-in SD card slot for copying photos and data over from other devices”
Brilliant. This stuff might be useful for storing pictures while traveling. Reads your cards, stores your pictures AND you can see them. Nice.
Colombians Rock the Vote! | Colombia Guide
Colombians Rock the Vote!: I am creating a last minute voting guide specifically for Colombians. But I know nothing. If you haven’t registered already, is it too late?
What is some good software to create an audio radio show for podcasting? Windows. I’m looking for something that lets me EASILY talk, mix in other channels and music an such and export as mp3. Recommendations?
I’m listening to one of Adam Curry’s podcasts. He’s a weathered radio presenter and you can tell. Entertaining and brilliant.
How to write a tagline
The first tagline for my first project was really bad. I’m developing a wiki hosting service, so my tagline (naturally!) was (ready for it?): “Powerful, easy wiki hosting”. Clear. Succinct. Describes the services. Sucks.
I let it rest a bit. Later, when I was writing and rewriting copy for the website, it dawned on me that the one big advantage users were going to get out of this service was that they could get their groop, team, class or whatever writing. My service would make it easy and unresistable for people to write and share stuff.
Good taglines don’t describe the service, they describe the benefit. So I went back to the tagline. Something like “Get them writing!”? Nah. The “them” is too distant. Too aggressive too, you can’t force people to write.
I still haven’t figured it out. I’ll report back later.
Internet Phone Calls with Lingo
I’m looking for a good calling plan. I spend 70% of my time in the US, 30% in Europe. My calls have the same distribution. In both places I have broadband internet. Lingo
looks interesting: “You get unlimited minutes each month to speak with anyone in the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe” says their website, for 20$ a month. I could carry the box with me when I travel between Belgium and NYC.
Feedback and or experiences welcome!
I spent yesterday and today upgrading my Colombia site to Drupal 4.5.0, after my host had moved my site to a new server. Drupal wasn’t hard to upgrade, it has a pretty decent upgrade script, even though I had to move first to 4.4.0 and then to 4.5.0. I ran into an error in 4.4.0, but after upgrading to 4.5.0 it dissapeared :)
Meanwhile, I am also setting up as an independent information architecture consultant. Tips on consulting books and accounting software are very welcome!
Blogflix is Photostory for the net. I’ve been waiting for this one. Haven’t used it, but they should add audio as Photostory does (which was based on some solid social science research). Good: it does video as well. Also good: it’s got the blog feel (I’m sure they’ll do trackback for example, if they haven’t already). Lacking: no audio for telling of stories. Stories are the key ingredient. Maybe text will do for that though, and audio isn’t needed.
I will try it out with some unpublished India stuff. Promising stuff, because many of us take mixed video and stils now, so we should be able to publish mixed audio and stills easily.
I’m in Paris with Maria, so expect light blogging over the next week. Yes, my life rocks :) The hotel is in Monmartre and excellent. 50 Euro a day for a double is cheap for Paris. We’ll be self catering a lot to keep costs down – bottles of wine, cheese, charcuterie and bread. What else can you ask for? Have fun.
Some of you might know I have an interest in Colombia, having lived there for a while. I also have an interest in the US elections. And there are many, many Colombians in the US.
So I figured I want to make a page that explains clearly why Colombians in the US should vote, and why they should vote for Kerry. Then I want to contact every Colombian I know and I want them to contact every Colombian they know and send the page around. Maybe a few more Colombians will vote?
I need some help for this idea. I’m no expert on US or Colombian politics. Post your name and ideas in the comments, and we’ll work something out. We can have this up within 2 weeks, in time for the elections.
Videoblogging on the road
My trip to India is a good opportunity to experiment with videoblogging on the road. I’m just jotting down some thoughts here, I might expand on this post in the future. You can see all my India trip posts, including videoposts, here.
I took a small digital photocamera that fits in my pocket and also takes short videos, and an Apacer stand-alone CD writer that lets me write my memory card to CD. This way I can take a lot of movies (a day of movietaking – 20 or 30 short movies – fills up my 256M memory card). I just save them to CD and then empty the memory card.
At first I posted individual short movies. However, they were too short, my fan (there’s only 1) complained he wanted to see larger movies. And in fact, I tend to take a few movies if something interesting is going on.
I’ve settled on a process of finding a computer with Win XP, using Moviemaker to join those few related movies together. I don’t really “edit”, I just throw them together and save the movie, which also optimizes it. I don’t even review the movie – it takes too much time and I’d rather not spend my entire trip locked up in an internet cafe.
I tend to rent 2 computers at the time in the internet cafe, so I can use 1 computer to work with Moviemaker, and the other to do my emailing meanwhile. Moviemaker takes some time (can be 15 minutes) when importing movies from CD, and when optimizing movies. So I just spend that time on the other computer.
Then I send the movie to my friend’s Gmail address who ftp’s it to my website. I should be able to ftp it myself to my site, but I haven’t figured out how that works yet.
When my friend lets me know the videos (I usually sent 10 at the same time) are online, I create posts for them in my blogging software. I spread out the dates of the posts so one movie a day gets posted, instead of 10 movies and then 2 weeks of silence.
A disadvantage of this technique is that my movies end up in a proprietary Windows format that doesn’t play nice with anybody else’s formats. But it’s the only easy way I found to edit and optimize on the road. Win XP computers aren’t in every internet cafe, but I could usually find one. And after optimizing, most internet cafes have enough bandwidth to upload a few movies.
Windows Moviemaker works well. It’s very easy to use, and I only need to put a few movies together, so no problems there. It comes installed by default together with Windows XP. And it optimizes movies quite well if you choose Save Movie. I choose the highest quality, which still produces files that are usually below 1 Meg for my short movies.
My tiny camera is a Canon Powershot SD100 – I bought it last year for about US$300. It’s stainless steel body sets it apart from other digital cameras. The memory card cost US$70 then, now they’re much cheaper. It works great for taking videos – its size means I almost always carry it with me (except on the beach and when partying), so I can take a quick video whenever something interesting happens.
Questions and comments welcome. I’m sure there are other practical techniques for videoblogging while on the road.
Steph emailed me, turns out she also has some India videos on her blog.
This guy is trying to explain the difference between Indian and British English (Windows Media movie, about half a Meg). Afterwards I took the bus.
International phonecalls are easy (Windows Media movie, about half a Meg), little telephone boots are literally everywhere (even in the smallest village). It’s affordable too, a 30 minute call to the USA costs about 7 US$. Internet cafes are also in a lot of places (though you can spend days without finding one), this one is in Mysore.
I love to take pictures of cows, they have great shapes that catch the light in always interesting ways. Big eyes, too. I’m not sure if this activity was any weirder to the locals than many of the other stuff tourists do in India (Windows Media Video, about half a Meg).
Monkeying around in Mysore (Windows Media movie, about half a Meg).
When you spend a lot of time on buses, you get bored and take a lot of movies of busrides (Windows Media Movie, about half a Meg).