Posts

Enhancements to the Video Web: The Mini-Camcorder Du Jour & Intelligent Video Conversations

A couple of quick blog bites (vs sound bites) from the NYTimes website which indicate continually brighter days ahead for what I affectionately call The Video Web:

First of all, my fave tech writer David Pogue not only reviewed my Christmas present (see posts and demo video below), The Flip Ultra, but his latest “State of the Art” column, “Camcorder Brings Zen to the Shoot” pretty much nails it. It also informed me–and I had no idea about this–that the Flip is now garnering a rich 17% of all US camcorder sales and “has been the best-selling camcorder on Amazon.com since the day of its debut. For Pogue’s finely articulated perspective, click here.

The other item is what appears to be a new feature on the NYT website, which is Bloggingheads.tv “diavlogs.” Language-wise this is a double-derivative term. I’ll bet most people don’t even know that the term “blog” is derived from “web log” let alone that a “vlog” is a video blog. Just the same I welcome this combination that creates a new kind of conversation. (kind of rolls off the tongue) I’ve been thinking and occasionally saying that the use of webcams and the ease of the current state of video conferencing should be put to more use. Little did I know that this kind of video dialog, oh OK, diavlog was being so widely distributed. And then imagine my delight when I found at least these two commentators talking about the Barak Obama race speech being more articulate and interesting than most of those duds on cable TV news shows. Right on. It was also nice to see the NYTimes editing down and providing a solid 4-minute excerpt of what appears to be an almost hour-long original conversation on BloggingHeads.TV At least the whole thing is there for you if you want it.

Click here to watch the NYTimes-BloggingHeads edit: “Obama’s Grandmother” which asks the scintillating question: “Is everyone missing the whole point?”

I have to add that the intelligence of this BloggingHeads conversation is in stark contrast to my experience experimenting with the Seesmic.com video “conversation” website which is mentioned in the Davos post below. That turned out to be an interesting attempt from a technological point-of-view, but extremely boring overall. Even Seesmic’s specially produced (and apparently funded) posts were disappointing (to say the least). Sorry. I liked their bushy-eyed enthusiasm, but there’s good web video and a lot that is not so good. Like everything else…

Quality Video Programming is On Now

On my less optimistic days, I feel like we’ve gone from “nothing on” crappy TV programming, to “too much on” kitchen sink internet video programming. But fortunately those days are few because of how much uplifting and inspiring stuff is out there.

Recently, rather than bottom feeding, I’ve been top feeding with some of the best online video programming anywhere.

Tonight I was browsing some great Talks at Google on YouTube (from obvious Google execs, to fascinating authors, to presidential candidates). And earlier this weekend, I caught a link (on an Amazon author blog no less) to yet another amazing one of the extraordinarily inspiring TED talks. Truly great stuff. These are also available via iTunes and, for me, has made having a video iPod worthwhile.

Here’s the latest TED talk that blew my mind. If you’ve ever wondered the meaning of all the left-brain, right-brain talk this will clear it up and uplift you as well, at least it did me:

By the way, if you’re interested in getting a full taste of the TED conference, I highly recommend the DVD, The Future We Will Create: Inside the World of TED. It’s a kind of greatest hits, behind the scenes look at the 2006 TED conference. Also, inspiring and uplifting.

See there’s lots of good stuff to watch. 😉

My Virtual CES Report

No, I didn’t go to CES (the consumer electronics mega-convention) in Las Vegas, but here are a few tidbits from the web that I’ve found worthy:

Scoble‘s doing Qik videos direct from his cell phone including this interview with the guys from YouTube:

And CNET picked this astoundingly innovative and open source BugLabs platform as its CES Awards winner for “emerging technologies.” I even like their video. Cool.

Nintendo Wii Hack Creates 3-D Virtual Reality Head-tracking: Whoa!

I don’t usually cover do-it-yourself techno-hacks, but as far as I’m concerned this is one of the kinds of things that YouTube was invented for. Specifically, here’s an amazingly creative computer guy (a Ph.D. student actually) who has figured out a way to create a true 3-D virtual reality experience by doing a customization (a.k.a. a “hack”) of the Nintendo Wii.

What’s equally impressive, at least to me, is that in less than 5-minutes on the video clip below, he not only explains how to do this yourself, but he educates us mortals about the difference between a simulated or flat 3-D image and the much more real virtual reality style head-tracking that he has managed to implement. I love not only what he’s done but the fact that he can use internet video to share it (and to share it so clearly) with the world. (Thanks, Johnny.) Enjoy.

The Story of Stuff: Powerful, Interactive Online Education & Activism

I certainly don’t want to diminish the enthusiasm of those who are authentically spreading joy by giving gifts, but as someone who has not only been concerned about the environment and the people on our planet for many years, and someone who has been watching various forms of interactive online videos and Flash movies for those that are the most powerful and (in my humble opinion) the most likely to succeed in making a difference, I was really blown away by the twenty minute presentation:

The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard

Please click the link above to watch this fabulous program and check out this great website (or watch the Flash video intro below). Then if you are so inspired, please “pay it forward.”

Happy Holidays!!

Information R/evolution

I love the way these videos from an outpost in academia illuminate information’s revo-evolutionary process. IMHO, the insights are way worthy of reflection. Enjoy and appreciate the disruptive dynamics of our rapidly changing information society…

Google Mail Video Best Viral Video User-Generated Video Marketing I’ve Seen

Geez, I’m always posting about how hot the online viral video space is becoming, and wouldn’t you know it, here comes Google with not only my 2nd viral video post of the night, but one that leverages user-generated content to the max. Great stuff you all, and I really mean you all. And, oh yea, nice job Google for editing it all together in such a snappy fashion. More info here: http://mail.google.com/mvideo

Seniors Nintendo Wii Bowling Video Scores as Viral Video Marketing

Here’s a video that’s not only entertaining and about seniors using the innovative Nintendo Wii video game, but it is also a clever form of viral video marketing which subtly promotes a senior assisted living company. Expect to see more of this kind of thing in the future. This one is unusually well done, and they save the low-key pitch for last. Appropriately putting the fun first…

A Viral Video with Massive Heart, Energy & a Difference

Sometimes I see something that moves me and is sufficiently “right on” that I feel I need to post it. This is one of those times:

Recording a Skype Video Call, Good Fun


Yesterday, I had a pro bono client who wanted to demo a new voice mail system at a conference. I came up with the idea of using Skype to record the call and found Call Recorder (for Mac).

Today, because I had Call Recorder demo installed, while I was on a video conference call using Skype with a client, I had the idea of recording a message to my designer/producer having the client acknowledge his work in a video clip. Presto. Easily done with a click of a button.

Nice software. It works. Does what it’s supposed to as far as I can tell and only costs $15. Nice.

PS. Bonus, because Call Recorder records the calls as Quicktime movies, I can easily go into iMovie and add visuals to enhance the voice mail demo. Very nice. 🙂