Wordless Wednesday

Fiona and her new hat, originally uploaded by Aldon.

Mobile, Micro, Photo, Video and Audio blogging Festivals

Barring any unexpected events, Thursday will complete another month of getting at least one blog post up every day of the month. The idea for this grew out of National Novel Writing Month. Various bloggers that wanted to make some sort of writing commitment but didn’t want to write a novel, so they created National Blog Posting Month. It grew and every month, bloggers commit to writing at least one blog post each day. Some hardcore people are even shooting for writing a blog post every day for a year.

Initially, I didn’t feel inclined to commit to this. My life is too uncertain, and I have so many other things going on. Yet, I have managed to make the goal, so far, every month this year. I had doubts about whether I would pull it off for July, since I was on vacation for a week, and then at a folk music festival for five days. However, using my cellphone, I’ve managed to get in a post every day.

How did I do it? Different people have been asking me about different ways of posting from cellphones, so I thought I would go into a little detail here. For blog posts to my blog, I send a picture to Flickr, with title and text attached. Yet I also send content a bunch of other ways, so I thought I would give you the full picture.

I like to send a mix of data. Not only do I send text messages, but I also take pictures and videos which I send as MMS messages and I leave voice messages on various audio sites.

My cellphone is a Motorola Razr V3xx, which allows me to have mailing lists for messages that I send out. It allows me to take 640x480 pictures and videos. The videos are limited to 17 seconds. I've added 2 gig memory card to it so I have more space for pictures, videos, as well as music that I've downloaded to it.

For text, I send my text messages to Facebook, Twitter, Utterz, and my wife Kim. When you set up an account with Twitter, you have an option of linking in your cellphone. When you do that, it sends a confirm message to your cellphone. Once you've confirmed, you can just send a text message from your cellphone to their special code, and it shows up on Twitter. Facebook and Utterz works pretty much in the same manner.

For pictures, I send them to Facebook, Flickr, Kim, Ringo and Utterz. Kim's message goes as a message straight to her cellphone. The others go via email. When you set up mobile accounts at Facebook, Flickr, Ringo or Utterz, they give you an email address you can send pictures to. The pictures are typically posted immediately, or almost immediately. If you add text after the picture, that goes into the description. You can set the title by entering the subject in the sending options.

Typically, I don’t bother with a description or title because I want to get pictures uploaded and pay more attention to the event. However in some cases, I would take a picture and then save it to send to a special Flickr account that is set up to automatically cross post to this blog.

It is basically the same process for videos. I send my videos to Blip.tv, Facebook, Kim, Utterz, and Youtube. They often take a bit longer to process.

Then, I tie a lot of this together with various other linking. For example, there is an application to tie together messages on Twitter to messages on Facebook, so, I could omit Facebook, and my messages would eventually show up there. However, I send it to both places to cut out some of the lag between different sites.

Likewise, I subscribe to both Twitter and Facebook from FriendFeed, although I rarely post anything directly to FriendFeed, with the exception of commenting on other people's feeds.

Now that I’ve been home for a while, I’ve had a chance to go in and add descriptions, titles, tags, and format the posts better.

For sending audio, I’ve mostly been using Utterz. It is good for messages that I speak into the cellphone, but doesn’t do well at picking up music in the background. Utterz has the ability to cross post as well, though I rarely use it.

Now that I’m home, I’ve uploaded pictures and videos from my camera to my computer. I have a Canon SD 1000 with an 8 gig memory card in it. I can store about an hour of high quality video or thousands of high resolution pictures. I typically take a lot of pictures and then select the ones I like best to upload to Flickr. The videos I run through Movie Maker to compress down to a more manageable size. You can see several of these videos on blip.tv, or on various places, like this blog and MySpace which blip.tv cross posts to.

I also have a Panasonic GV-39 camcorder, if I want to record more longer videos. However, now that I have the 8 gig card in my regular camera, I use the camcorder less and less.

To get a sense of what I did at Falcon Ridge, check out the music section of this blog, my Twitter account, my Flickr photos, my Blip TV and YouTube videos and my Utterz. Also, check out my FriendFeed which aggregates many of these sources.

One problem with posting content like this from the cellphone is that you don’t see many of the comments that people make until you get back online. However, you can build a wonderful view of a festival by using these tools.

Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers

I managed to get this short video of Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers.  They were one of the groups in the Emerging Artist Showcase at the 2008 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.

I really liked their music, their energy and the Nyckelharpa that one of the band members played.

This video is posted with their permission.

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Brad Colerick : Juarez

One part of Falcon Ridge that I really like is the Emerging Artist Showcase. It takes place Friday afternoon from 12 until around 4. Over twenty different artists perform, selected out of a group of nearly 500. I always come away with having listened to new performers and new songs that I really like.

This year, I listened to all of them on MySpace before heading up. One musician I really liked was Brad Colerick . From his MySpace Page I listened to his song Juarez. I really liked it, so when he started performing it, I quickly turned on my camera and captured most of it in a video.

I contacted him and he has given me his permission to post this video.

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Sean Tevis for State Rep

Running for State Representative is hard work. You need to find some way to get your message out in a race that many people pay no attention to. How do you do it? Perhaps you can get a major politician to come and help, the way Gov. Dean did for Kim in 2004. Perhaps you can raise a lot of money from wealthy individuals and be able to blanket the district with information about you. If you are lucky, you live in a state that has public financing of state legislative elections, and you can raise a fair amount of money and then spend time talking to the voters. Or, you can do what Sean Tevis did.

Sean Tevis is running for State Representative in District 15 in Kansas. He created a web comic, Running for Office: It's Like A Flamewar with a Forum Troll, but with an Eventual Winner.

In the comic strip, he is told that needs to raise $26,000 by August 5th. That’s only 52 people donating $500 each. However, he doesn’t know that many people that can donate that much money, so he sets his goals on 3,000 people donating $8.34 each. He notes that no candidate for State Representative in Kansas has ever had more than 644 donors. His advisor suggests that raising money from 3,000 donors would be impossible and would become the subject of newspaper stories.

His advisor is half right. As a result of the comic strip, he rapidly breaks 3,000 donors, and it does become the subject of newspaper stories. Even the Wall Street Journal has picked up on the story.

You need to find some good way to get your message out, and Sean has gotten the message out about his campaign, and even managed to weave in some wry comments about the issues. It is a campaign to watch.

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