Between PodCampNYC, recent announcements and my constant explorations into publishing content online has caused me to stop and rethink some of my current publishing strategy. I am writing this as much for my own benefit to clarify my thoughts as I am for others interested in exploring different forms of content publishing.
Currently, I have three devices that I use for shooting video. The first is a Panasonic PV-GS39 MiniDV Camcorder. It records up to 90 minutes on a MiniDV tape, which I then transfer using a FireWire cable to my laptop. The limiting factor, however, is often how long my batteries will last. If there is a lot of recording, I can use multiple tapes and run off of power from an outlet. When I have my footage, I do my post-editing with Microsoft Movie Maker. If I want to record anything long, that is what I use. However, the amount of work necessary between shooting the video and posting it online is considerable, and I don’t use the MiniDV that much any more.
My second digital video device is a Canon PowerShot S410. I have a 2 Gigabyte CompactFlash card in it and can shoot quite a bit of video that way. Unfortunately, the PowerShot only allows video segments up to three minutes long. However, you can shoot many segments and then splice them together in postproduction.
I used to use a mini-USB wire to copy images from the PowerShot onto a PC. But, the PC I had set up to do that on crashed, so I’ve taken to popping out he CompactFlash card and sticking it in a slot in an HP Printer that I have. The card then becomes a removable hard disk accessible from the computer connected to that printer. Like with the MiniDV camera, if I want to do post-production, I use Microsoft Movie Maker.
The third digital video device that I use is my Motorola RAZR V3xx cellphone. Videos on this are limited to about 16 seconds. They are even lower quality than I get on the PowerShot. Yet what is great about it is that as soon as I finish recording my clip, I hit send, and it is on its way to various video sites.
Sometimes, I also take still pictures and machinima that I mix into my videos. Machinima is making movies using computer games. I’ve shot a little footage from Second Life using Fraps to capture the images. As my kids explore other virtual worlds, I may try some footage from some other virtual worlds.
I’ve also played a little bit with Blender, which looks promising for creating animations.
Typically, I send videos from my cellphone directly to YouTube, Blip.TV, Facebook and send a copy to Kim. Flickr now supports short videos, but I haven’t sent a video to Flickr yet. They only support short videos, and I don’t really see any great advantage to adding them as yet another video storage location.
Utterz also supports video, and I sent a short video from my cellphone to Utterz as well. Yet, I don’t feel any need to send videos to Utterz. Anyone following me there will probably find my other videos.
There are other sites kicking around that add things like categorization of videos, subtitling, the ability to edit online, etc., but I don’t shoot enough video to find these services all that compelling.
What I don’t currently have in my mix is any good video streaming. If I had one of the good Nokia phones that streams on Qik, you would see me on Qik and Seesmic.
Going forward, I will keep posting to YouTube and Facebook to get people to see the videos, but my primary source will be Blip.TV. Special videos will get cross posted to Orient Lodge, with some description. I need to make sure Twitter to picks up Blip.TV postings
I can use the MiniDV camcorder to take pictures as well. It stores the pictures on an SD card. However, the pictures aren’t very high quality, so I haven’t bothered to get an SD card to store in my MiniDV camcorder. Instead, I tend to take most still pictures using either my PowerShot or my RAZR. The PowerShot has many more features and produces a much higher quality picture, yet I don’t always have the PowerShot with me, but I almost always have my RAZR, so I take a lot of pictures with the RAZR.
I cannot think of any time that I’ve done post production processing of any of my still photographs, with the possible exception of rotating them 90 degrees. If I were to do any post processing, I imagine I would do it in Gimp.
When I upload pictures from the PowerShot, I use the same procedure as I do for the videos. These pictures typically only get stored on Flickr. From my cellphone, I send my pictures to Flickr, Facebook, Ringo, and Kim. I recently sent some photos from the cellphone to Utterz, but my concern about Utterz applies the same for still photographs as it does for video.
When it comes to pictures from Second Life, I send them through BlogHud to Flickr. It keeps a copy on BlogHud and adds details about where the picture was taken. I’ve used other services for Second Life images, but I’ve pretty much settled on BlogHud.
For some videos, I post the thumbnails from Blip.TV to Flickr. One thing that I’m missing is the ability to post pictures with geographical information. I found one site that might do this for the RAZR, but it presented several difficulties, including sending the pictures and the geographic information together in the same data stream. For those of us with unlimited MMS but very limited data packets, this just isn’t a good idea.
Another thing that is missing from the still photography mix is a good way to read mobile bar codes. I haven’t found one that works properly with my model of Razr.
So, all of the key pictures ultimately end up on Flickr. Like with Blip.TV, I need to make sure these get cross posted automatically to Twitter. This may produce some duplication for videos that I’ve cross posted from Blip.TV In addition, special photos from Flickr will get cross posted to Orient Lodge. In particular, I like to do this for Wordless Wednesday.
I don’t do a lot with Audio, but I’m looking to do more in this area. In the past, I’ve used a microphone to record onto my PC and edited it with Audacity. For my purposes, that works quite nicely. These files I share as attachments in Drupal. When I can’t find a decent quality-working microphone, I record voice notes on my cellphone which I send as an email to myself.
In the past, I used to use Odeo as well, and I think I might still have it up and working, but I ran into various problems with it and don’t use it very often.
At PodCampNYC, I spoke with the folks at BlogTalkRadio. I liked the description of how it works. I came home, ran a test session, which worked quite nicely, so I scheduled my first broadcast. Unfortunately, I ran into a long list of technical problems and spent my whole time slot attempting to get it working. I’ll probably give it another shot next Sunday. If that works, I’ll keep going. If not, I’ll walk away until they can convince me that they’ve worked out their bugs.
As I tried to get things going, I received several emails from tech support about how they were working on fixing things, but things never got fixed, and although I asked for follow up what happened, I never received any follow up, so at this point I am skeptical.
I was pleased with my first tests of Utterz, so I expect this will become my standard repository for short audio. It posts to Twitter, and I can cross post audios that I like to Orient Lodge.
Right now, I tag most pages with del.icio.us or StumbleUpon. On my main machine, I have GreaseMonkey set up so I can tag pages in both systems quickly and easily at the same time. I was using ma.gnolia, but didn’t find a find a nice way of integrating it with del.icio.us and StumbleUpon, so for the time being I’m not doing much with ma.gnolia, although it does have a nice automatic feed into Drupal. I pull in some del.icio.us feeds into my Drupal site, and I may get around to reviewing that again soon.
I’ve updated my status on Facebook, Pownce, Jaiku, Utterz, Twitter, and other sites. I’ve set up feeds so that when I post content on one site, there is short text that shows up on some of these different sites. I’ve added sites like FriendFeed into that mix. I’ve added complicated paths where a Facebook Status gets added to Twitter, and directly to Jaiku as well as to Jaiku via Twitter. It is probably time to restructure all of this.
I make a general rule to put any longer text that I write on Orient Lodge. If I’ve posted it elsewhere, I post links to the other places I’ve posted to. As noted above, some videos from Blip.TV, pictures from Flickr and audio from Utterz will get cross posted to Orient Lodge, as will some bookmarks.
Perhaps the next thing to add into all of this will be location. Sites like BrightKite, Fire Eagle, and older attempts like MeetMoi have tried to bring in a location component, but none of them have really gotten my attention yet.
Attention data aggregators
Right now, I plan on pulling most of this together via Twitter. Sites like FriendFeed might do a better job of it, and I’m busy populating sites like that, but I do like Twitter best.
Another thing that is interesting to note is that many of these sites have social networking components, but what matters is their role in distributing different types of user generated content, and not the social networking in and of itself.
Slowly, I will get my feeds into these systems running more smoothly, then a new system will come along, or I’ll get a new device and I’ll need to rejigger the whole system.
The show on BlogTalkRadio failed due to technical difficulties. I’m still waiting to find out from them what went wrong. I’ll probably write up more details later. On the other hand, Utterz has worked nicely. I hope to add both of them into my mix. Depending on timing and talk about them when I visit Fiona’s class on Friday. Also, at some point I want to put up a blog post about how all these and other new sites are changing my approach to posting different forms of content online.
Today, per Chris Brogan, is supposed to be blog commenting day. Leave a comment on at least three or five blogs, depending on whom you listen to. I haven’t started adding my comments, but will try to get to that later. It does give me more reason to put off writing a serious blog post today.
On top of that I’m tired. Lack of sleep from PodcampNYC, rainy day, allergies or a cold. Just not a lot of energy to write up the really great blog posts that I have pending.
This evening, I will produce my first public show on BlogTalkRadio. I had a great discussion with one of their representatives at PodcampNYC, and I figured I should give it a test and see how well it really works.
I did a simple test this morning. I dialed into the host number, brought up the chat and the switchboard, dialed in from my cellphone as a guest. All of it worked quite nicely. You can have up to five people dialed in at the same time. Afterwards, the show gets archived and saved so people can listen to it later on the BlogTalkRadio website, or on iTunes. I have not explored the licensing issues closely, but people have told me that BlogTalkRadio retains some rights to the material and if you use the archive elsewhere, there may be some revenue sharing issues. At least right now, I’m not particularly concerned with that. I just want to get a better feel for their system and how it fits into the larger media mix.
Earlier today, I had Fiona record a quick ‘Utter’ on Utterz.com. I used their tools to post it on my blog and on Twitter. She wants me to go visit her class this week and talk about social media. It is interesting to think about this in terms of the discussions at PodcampNYC about education and social media.
So, what would it be like if students were using Utterz? If they were using BlogTalkRadio to talk about what is going on at school? How can these tools be used covering political events, campaigns, and so on?
Well, this evening, at 6:30 ET, we will do our first BlogTalkRadio broadcast. I’ll probably talk a little bit about podcasting, and then turn most of the show over to Fiona, to talk with her Papa and Nanna, her cousins, her sisters, or any other friends that may call in. I’ll start to learn the ropes, and then figure out where to take it from here.