It’s been a media saturated weekend, first was at the Making Media Now Conference at Boston University on Friday and now its Sunday morning and I’m attending the monthly Boston Media Makers meeting held the first Sunday of every month at Sweet Finnish in Jamaica Plain. The image to the left provides a link to my meeting photos in Flickr.
Steve Garfield was webcasting the meeting using Ustream.tv which is a great way to not only share your meeting with people via the net, it’s also great to have comments and questions come in from the online audience. Including requests for pastries. Now if only we could really share the delicious Pullas available at Sweet Finnish with the web audience.
I spoke briefly about MIT TechTV, I’ve been working on this video sharing site for the MIT community, which was recently launched. To kick it off and raise awareness, the School of Engineering ran a a video contest for MIT students. One of the winning films (Best Technical Achievement) was Media Lab at Night by Leonardo Bonanni.
Steve Albanese has been creating online tutorials, his site is TutorialDEPOT. He’s also been creating “Friday videos” as a way to keep in touch with old friends.
Grace Colby is a designer who has worked in the software industry and has become interested in Filmmaking lately, she has taken courses in Rockport, and she’s looking for a community to do her work with. She discovered Boston Media Makers through my blog, cool people are finding these notes useful.
Phillipe Lejeune has been creating some amazing video creations using Flash, providing interesting mosaics of events. He does not like to use a blog, so he learned Flash and does everything in Flash, video is linear, you don’t have too much freedom, but with his video collages, he has found the creative freedom to use video in an intersting way.
Tim White, formerly a journalist with the Boston Herald, has launched two community sites, one of the sites is dahubub.com and it has 10 volunteer contributors, he’s excited with personal publishing, the site shares what’s going on community by community.
David B. has been running the Boston Video Discussin Group, they’ve been meeting a couple times a month in Harvard Square discuss video production on various levels, for the summer they will be meeting once a month on the 2nd Wednesday of every month.
Nathaniel works with David on several projects, they are doing a WNBR live shoots on their weekly show and putting it on blip.tv, they are now starting the legal process to put it out as a formal project, you can see the videos at echoplanar.blip.tv.
Matt Searles does a podcast, Asymmetric Biz Cult, on “the new asymmetric business of culture creation,” which is basically about the business of creativity with an emphasis on trying to rethink the extistential relationships between creater, content, and the market place, in light of distruptive technologies. Very interesting stuff.
Reiko & Tom of TRB Designs are media makers who are looking for new creative services that will enable them and their clients better prepare for the future. They have have been marketing on the web and producing video for the last seven years with GymSmarts.com, a successful gymnastics instructional and training site with DVDs, articles, booklets, and books for sale.
Mike Walsh is on the uncommittee of Barcamp and he talked about the upcoming dev house in Boston on June 24th to be held in a home somewhere in Central Square. This is an events for programmers to get together and collaborate on an open source project.
David La Morte continues to work on his Teaching for the Future podcast, you’ll find lots of cool stuff on his blog. He’s been working on his masters degree and sharing some great stuff along the way.
Jamie O’Brien has a a web site that looks at humor as art. He is riding his bike across the country with some friends and videoblogging the trip. He does not have nearly as much press coverage of other people doing this. Check out the Crazy Guy on a Bike and Team Northern Tier 2007 web sites. He’s looking for people to watch the blog, this will make the trip more meaningful, alot of us are escaping, that’s the motivation, getting away for a while. Good summer viewing I suspect.
Fred White does Nashua Video Tours, web design and video tours for realtors, and he’s done over 200 video tours so far. Video, web, and real-estate strikes me as a natural mix, and I’m waiting to see how the internet can help reduce the transaction costs of real-estate sales. Delivering video tours can help attract a wider audience of potential buyers. What effect will the internet have on real estate commissions is something that comes to my mind. Everything that goes to the internet gets more efficient.
Laura Fitton teaches public speaking and business presentations, she’s got a blog, a blog, Great Presentations Mean Business, where she discusses her craft. She’s interested in exploring how she can use video in her practice, for example, clients can record themselves and play back and practice, using tools like Ustream she can work with her clients remotely and see how they look, how they sound, she wants to learn about new tools.
Josh Snider showed us his web site, Democracy Elevation Force, where he mixes entertainment and politics, he does short videos, and he’s working on a documentary on the internet and open source communities. In response to this, I suggested checking out opensourcecinema.org and Beth Kanter suggested checking out penguinday.org, which is about open source and non-profits and how to use open source for social change, it’s being done in association with the grassroots media conference in Lowel, Massachusetts on Friday June 22nd.
Josh (I did not catch his last name) has been producing short films, recently competed in the 48 Hour Film Project, his goals for this year include producing 10 short films, he’s done 4 so far, three in the fire, check out his site at screwdriver.tv. Josh is looking for the collaborator to make his creative life complete. He’s also working on a short sketch comedy program, with the goal of broadcasting on CCTV and beyond.
John Herman will be doing a stage show based on podcast content in Portsmouth, NH, between Christmas and New Years, an intersting time to stage the show, but if he’s involved with it, it’s time to plan a trip to Portsmouth over the holiday week week. Portsmouth is a charming place to have some dinner, walk around, and catch John’s show. His work on Primary Place is now on YouTune (search for the tag, “PrimaryPlace” to find it) and he will soon be shooting a music video for band Turnpike Blow, he’s looking for a collaborator with After Effects knowledge for this project. Also, John is hosting Energy Smack Down (you can find it on MySpace), a reality TV pilot being shot in Medford sponsored by National Grid in which families compete to see who can save the most energy.
Ravi Jain continues to produce Drive Time, a video podcast he records in his car on his commute to work. He will enter a summer phase, slow down, to make time for playing some video games with his new wii. Ravi’s day job is working on the interactive portion of the PBS show, American Experience.
Randy MacLowry and Tracy Strain of Yellow Jersey Films are currently working on a documentary they expect to be a multiplatform media project about the writer, activist and public intellectual Lorraine Hansberry. They are currently in the fun and exciting fundraising phase, the project will include as the centerpiece a feature-length documentary and a public engagement & education campaign.
Lindsay Shah mentioned a gathering at the Massachusetts State House on Tuesday morning at 10am (June 5, 2007) to protest a bill that Verizon is supporting that will have an detrimental effect on community television. Save Access has posted a document titled “MA: Top 10 Reasons To Oppose the Verizon Bill” on their web site that explains their reasons why the bill is bad news. If you can’t come to the state house on Tuesday to protest, you can still contact your state legislators and those who are on the Joint Telecommunications Committee, and urge them to kill the bill.
Beth Kanter, a long time trainer who’s been involved with the internet for a long time, lead a discussion how we can use social networking tools to make our videos easiler to find and to reach our target audience. Some topics that came up include:
(1) work with existing associations and/or advocacy groups, this provides access to their audience (consider the synergy between moveon.org and the OutFoxed film, for example);
(2) Google Alerts, to see what’s up;
(3) Set up an RSS feed with watchwords on Technorati to see what’s going on, who’s linking to you;
(4) post comments on other people’s sites that are writing about realted stuff, these creates more links out there pointing back to your site;
(5) Capture email address from visitors to build a mailing list (be careful and be sure to make this opt-in;
(6) use FLickr inspector lets you see who has reblogged your photos;
(7) use Google Analytics to see where people are coming from and how your site is used, especially to see how long people are spending on your site and the path to your transcation page if you have one;
(8) Optimize your search engine search results by using all the right words in the right way;
(9) use tagging extensively;
(10) take advatage of blip.tv cross-posting to Flickr and del.icio.us.
I’m sure there was more discussed, but that’s what I caught.
It was another great meeting, a delightful mix of coffee, pastries, conversation, sharing, learning, community, all in one. Until next month, this is David writing from Sweet Finnish Cafe in Jamaica Plain.