Another journal entry from my journey through the vlogosphere!

January 21, 2007

Captain’s Log 18.01.2007

Today I went to Viktoria’s in order to discuss with her how we are going to proceed. Of course we had both already brainstormed for ideas ,however since this is a partner trip we are entitled to first have our own powwow before engaging the task of creating our next vlog. Viktoria had contacted me via e-mail and told me I should come to her home at 18:30. She also mentioned that she had an idea that involved Bukowski’s poem “The Worst and The Best”, I must admit that I have never read anything from Bukowski in my life and therefore had no clue what she wanted to do with it, but that’s something we would be discussing, I figured.

I was lucky, when I arrived at her home Viktoria had just opened her door. Her course had taken a little longer than usual and she had to talk to her lecturer about another written assignment, so it was sheer luck for me or else I would have to spend the time in front of her house. This would have been quite annoying because of the harsh weather that appears to have taken over our sweet little city this week.

But back to the topic. My first official act was to check the poem to measure its potential use to our cause. Unfortunately Vik and I had different views on the interpretation of said poem and thus we deemed it inappropriate for usage in our video. Nevertheless I think we both had some ideas due to the different views on that poem. In my mind I saw a clear picture, well almost clear, it was a little blurred around the edges. However since I have a partner I did not worry too much about the details, since the best way to achieve a crisp ,picture of an idea is to share it with somebody else. Next up we decided on what we wanted to include apart from what I mentioned in my last entry, something I had dubbed “Black vs. White” in my mind. Among these new additions was the enactment of emotions that are opposing to one another. Also we decided on props and a date for shooting. Vik noted everything we decided on a sheet of paper. I commented that she should write me an e-mail to ensure that I won’t forget half of the things I had been ordered to bring along.

Then I geared up, reminded her to ” make a little creative brainstorming”, and then headed out into the cold and windy night.

ย Captain’s Log 21.01.2007ย ย ย 

I arrived at Viktoria’s place twenty minutes late due to harsh weather conditions. Even though we had originally planned to start immediately we took our time with starting. Unfortunately we both had caught the flu during the last three days, which decreased our capability to perform by a significant amount. We used the time we spend resting with deciding on final changes as well as a structure and a set of words that would be used. then we started filming. We began with Viktoria’s part. We had to make some adjustments because the lighting was not perfect, however we figured the correct composition out in a acceptable amount of time. I had to fight with some muscle cramping whilst filming, but luckily enough it had no effect on the picture. Sometimes the scenes we recorded got lost, which is strange because we did the same thing every time without any changes in the procedure. After two ours we had everything we needed in the can, and all that is left for us to do is the editing, but that probably won’t happen until Tuesday. If I do get to edit it beforehand I will be so inclined as to let you know.

One way or another, see y’all later ๐Ÿ˜€ย 

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I’ve come a long way to tell you a story!!

January 18, 2007

Aah, welcome back and happy new year every one ๐Ÿ˜€

Well I hope you all enjoyed your break because I sure did. However I also created my first vlog and put it online, just like I said in my last post.

If you are interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0eraQUza0Y

Anyways, this week I am supposed to talk about my progress with my vlog project.

Our first action in which the whole class was involved, was deciding on a general topic that we would pursue in our team projects. After a short discussion during which we also decided that a common topic is a nice thing to have, we voted unanimously for a take on the theme of “Opposites/Equals”.

The next step was to decide on the teams, a procedure we finished rather quickly as well. But I think that was to be expected since we are only a group of six and all friends none the less.

As it is sometimes the case with me, the muse kissed me right at that moment when the topic of differences was first mentioned, so I was eager to convince the rest of the group to vote for it, with positive results as you already know. After the course disbanded I immediately met up with my partner, Viktoria, in order to discuss my idea and also to get some ideas, feedback and scheduling plans from her. Luckily, (yeah I know that it was quite a lucky day for me) she was fond of my idea so I did not have to force her :D.

Now that I have talked so much about my idea I guess it is finally time to introduce you to it. You see the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about opposites are the two opposing colors black and white. The next logical step for me was to think of how to use them effectively, so I thought to myself since we are a team of two why not let the one dress in white and the other in black. Then I thought why not take it a step further by having black and white backgrounds in order to contrast our appearance. But what to do or say? Well, I figured it would be a nice idea for us to say one word and the other saying the opposite. The material we would produce could then easily be cut into a coherent line of opposites. Viktoria told me that it would make a nice addition to also present various objects that would underline the contrasting even more.

So far so good, now we will get the camera probably some time this week and start filming. Maybe there will be changes made during production but at least we already have an outline, that has got to be worth something ๐Ÿ˜€

See y’all next week.

Hello! My name is Cammy!

December 27, 2006

Hello folks and welcome back to my blog. This week I was handed a little camera by my teacher. She trusts me that I do not break it while it is in my possession, oh boy the responsibility. Anyways, so now I have time till the 27 December to try it out and I will make a little diary out of it( so original I know).

Day 1, 20 December 2006,

First took the camera out of its case. So far haven’t done much with it since I have to figure out how to get the display running. Manual isn’t helping much because it is written in all kinds of eastern or northern European languages except for English and German. Did a little exploring of the menu, but did not change anything since it would not help solving my initial problem.

Day 2, 21 December 2006,

Did nothing because I was busy ๐Ÿ˜€

Day 3, 22 December,

Finally got around to figure out how to project the picture on the exterior display. This discovery lead to hours of me filming myself. I Found out that it is actually possible (for me at least) to simulate zooming by slowly moving the camera closer or further away. Furthermore I have still refrained from actually recording anything because it did not appear to me as worthy of being taped.

Day 7, 26 December,

As you may have guessed nothing much happened over the past few days. On the other hand I came up with a neat little idea of what to do as my first vlog entry. How that will work out in the end remains to be seen. Nevertheless I plan to post it on YouTube and hopefully get many reactions, including the infamous “G*y” one :D. On a side note I am currently experimenting with various other movie editing programs but so far haven’t decided on one, oh well.

Day 8, 27 December 2006

Hoo boy, today I learned a lot more about the camera and vlogging in general. There are so many things to consider prior to creating a video; things like what do I wear? What do I use as a background? What kind of lighting? The whole surrounding needs to be prepared. Also you will want to make sure that there are no background noises et cetera. Another thing I realised during my first tryouts, is that it is recommendable to have a partner with you for the camera work. I found out that it is very hard to focus on two things at the same time, at least for me.

Anyways now that I have made my first little steps it is merely a matter of time before I post it. Should said event arise I will be glad to be of service with time and directions.

See y’all in the new year ๐Ÿ˜€

Box ‘o’ Vlogs!

December 13, 2006

As you may have guessed from the title it’s another round of surprise entries. Only this time it is all about the vlogosphere.

The first article I want to discuss a little was written by Charles Isherwood for the International Herald Tribune and deals with how he discovered that the “you” in YouTube included him as well. I think it reflects pretty good the sheer vastness of what is possible and already offers through the vlogosphere. In his example he mainly refers to how he thought that it was only media-obsessed kids and adults who are only searching for a quick fix of daily humour. However, he discovered that there is far more to the whole vlog business than he had thought. For him it is the discovery of high culture in something he deemed conscious or subconscious as low culture. He seems to forget that the vlog in itself happens to create its own sphere of high culture, and rightfully so. After all the first vlog was no poop-joke but a mere hello to the rest of the world. It goes for show that Mister Isherwood is surprised by the high culture content of websites like YouTube that a lot of people seem to not have heard/seen this first greeting of a new media platform. The second half of his article feels like it is directed at others that are hesitant to enter this, as he calls it, “rabbit hole” since he promotes the horizon broadening experiences you can have due to the interconnectiveness of the various vlogs that are floating around the interweb. He ends his elaboration by explaining how you get carried away on your journey from one vlog to another due to (usually) curiosity and that this is not a bad thing at all. For me this whole article reeks a little too much of overgeneralization in order to enjoy reading it, but I guess that is in large parts due to the fact that I have spent far too much time on the internet for my own good and am therefore quite used to the medium in general. On the other hand I definitely see a need to introduce those that have been left out of the internet community so far and are curious to join. However this should be done properly and step by step from someone who is already a part of the community or else I fear more mishaps like those of Germany’s chancellor Merkel who’s attempt to address the ‘blogosphere’ backfired horribly in part because she tried too hard and also because her advisors seem to have no clue themselves. The same can be observed with Sony’s recent publicity stunt in which they tried to advertise their PSP through a fake user-created vlog entry on YouTube, ultimately earning them a face off with the FTC.

I guess what I am trying to say is this DO NOT force your way into a community especially not following the advice of people that are not part of it either. If you want to be accepted you have to bring along a little patience or you will be forever cast out ( sounds a little harsh, but hey that’s life :D).

Anyways I hope this entry was a little bit helpful or at least gave you some own ideas and see you next week with a special on how to use a digital camera (or something like that)

How to vlog a Vampire…

December 6, 2006

Heya, yes it’s been two weeks already, and here I am meditating on the vlog that is planned for our class.

I will use my task as a general structure for this entry; so I will start with what I want to focus on. Since we plan to make a vlog of 2-3 minutes I would like to talk something, maybe about what happened in the world or simply our neighbourhood. I would like to do a commentary on something, anything, as long as we can come up with something to say. I would not want to make something artistic, simply because I feel that we should at least make one introductory episode showing us, the participants of this class, doing what we do best… talking. So as I sit here and write this that I want to focus on the content more than on the layout. All I care about in the structure is, that we have an introduction, a middle part, and an ending.

I have to admit that my imagination is currently heavily influenced by shows like Ze Frank or thisisaknife, but I do realize (saddly) that this might be just a little too ambitious especially for us newbies. On the other hand I feel we should at least try to set off into the general direction. Also I would rather use thisisaknife as reference since it seems to be a good example of using almost every known technique in one blog. The other thing I might want to keep in mind is the guideline on blogs that can be found on: http://www.freevlog.org/tutorial/#

What I am kind of unsure about is the actual use of the camera and the editing tools since, like I mentioned earlier, I have no idea how to use them or what it takes to get the results I am looking for. I guess that there will be a lot of “trial and error” before our first vlog goes online.

I just had a brilliant idea for our first try out. We are a class of six people plus a teacher; if we all did our very own powermove ( an idea put forward by Ze Frank himself) using up to 15 seconds each, plus introduction and outro we would already have a, at least, two minute clip. This is just ingenious and at the same time we can all make total fools of ourselves; joy.

I could imagine that this might be a start up chance for a student vlog, maybe together with the other class we could produce some kind of infotainmentvlog that is directed at the students of our beautiful university or just in general. Nevertheless then I would prefer to separate the show from our initial fool’s play :D.

If you have an even better idea either post it in the comments or do it yourself :D. Anyhow that was it for me again. See y’all next week with (hopefully) even more exciting insights into the ‘Vlogosphere’.

…like a box of chocolates!

November 24, 2006

This week I am kind of free to choose which topic I want to tackle so feel surprised.

First I would like to start with a little rant on an article in Time magazine that dealt with the new brainchild of Blake Ross. Ross is the spokesperson and one of the main programmers behind the Explorer rival Firefox. The article gives a short overview of what Ross has planned with his new project, so far dubbed Parakey. In short it is supposed to be a desktop that can be accessed from every computer with online connection. The user is ,in Ross’ mind, able to manage accessibility for other users, like friends and family as easy as drag and drop. Also he explains it as the ultimate fusion of website and home computer. The ability to alter content, access etc. offline appears to be another main goal in his argumentation. The article continues to explain, for Ross, how his ambition to help his helpless parents break the wall that geeks seem to have put up in order to keep every non-geek out of their domain, namely the internet. And at this point I started to think to myself: ” This programe will tank bad!”. I know his goal is very honorable, and that is the problem. On the one hand there are the people who grew/grow up using all kinds of applications online and are perfectly apt in separating the two worlds of on- and offline. And then there are those folks to proud to use a simplified version or not able to understand what this new programe does because it still requires basic knowledge of certain aspects of computers that can not be learned through simply reading the manual. Also I am a little weary considering online security but that has turned into a constant nagging at the back of my head; so nothing new to me.

Among the articles I read was also one that dealt with the liability of internet dictionary Wikipedia. It mainly deals with how the German “newspaper” BILD (yellow press) tries to defame Wikipedia and at the same time promote their own online dictionary. The do so by having readers send them mistakes they found on Wikipedia and then print them in their paper. Of course BILD has no right to do so since their own incorrectness in facts isย  more than infamous. On the other hand I have to agree that the reliability of facts on the internet in general should always be something to question before you deem it true. Nevertheless I also believe that Wikipedia is 1. well monitored by a group of experts, reducing the actual quota of mistakes to a minimum. 2. not even printed media is always correct on facts (e.g. BILD, but also some of the fact books) and 3. Wikipedia is only a readers digest of things you will have to research for yourself if you really want to know the truth, so no laziness allowed(even on the internet).

I certainly do hope that my little elaboration helped you a bit and see you in two weeks.

Pod-Cast-Out!

November 16, 2006

Hello and welcome back to my little space in the interweb. This time it’s all about the podcast-phenomena but for now only the audible part of it. Up until this week I have never listened to a podcast before and there are certain types of casts I may never use again, but I will elaborate this later on.

First of all a little general information. A Podcast can be regarded as a radio-programme that has the “possibility” to be broadcasted and saved at the same time. I put possibility in quotation marks because it is not necessary to broadcast it live or save it during the performance, but it is possible. Anyways the podcast, so far, is not under the jurisdiction of any regulatory institute and is therefore closest to what can be referred to as freedom of speech in the multimedia industry. Like a radio show the podcasts are not restricted to simple news, music or even advertisement programmes but can also be used as an audible To-Do list, a diary or an addition to make your blog more understandable in any way. Even though the initial idea was restricted to being able to host your own radio show over the interweb other uses have spawned following something which is almost an established natural law in the www and especially since the advent of web 2.0 .

What I noticed during my research on podcasts is that it is rather hard to get an audiocast , somehow the browsing is very confusing and hardly ends in success, but that may just be my inability. Most of the pages that I found are simply links to other podcast-listing pages. However I can highly recommend this little page http://www.digitalpodcast.com it is very easy to browse and has all the information you need.

Anyways, another thing I noticed is the huge quality divergence caused by the unsupervised nature of the podcasts out there. Some of them are really professional, even more so then some of the professional radio-shows. Yet on the other hand there are also those casts that have no apparent goal nor structure, making the whole experience of listening to them rather confusing. This however only happens to speech-only audiocasts since music-programmes seem rather hard to mess up. There is a lot of informative material floating around the web in audioformat, however I prefer my information readable and that’s where I have the biggest problem yet. It is not much but like I said earlier there is just way too many podcasts out there to say I like audiocasts in general.

At last the part that makes audioblogging something that makes it my preferred (passive) blogging style is that I can listen to it while doing something else, that is a big plus in my opinion especially when you have homework to do ๐Ÿ˜€ (You know what I mean).

You look del.icio.us!

November 11, 2006

This week I will deal with an interesting little webfeature called social bookmarking, more specifically the bookmarking tool/site called del.icio.us. Just like flickr this webservice is owned by Yahoo!, nevertheless this is a pure coincidence.

Social bookmarking is a pretty neat webfeature at least in my eyes. At its basis it works on the principal of “2 can achieve more than 1”. You are posting sites you found interesting and/or worth of sharing with the other community members. Of course you also have access to the bookmarks that have been posted by the other users. There is a ranking, similar to that of most of the other web 2.0 websites, that lists bookmarks in most viewed and best evaluation. Also there is a daily digest feature that lists the most recent additions, but of course this one changes very frequently.

To actively participate on this site you are required to install two buttons in your browser through which you can 1. create a bookmark of a site which in return is directly posted on your account and 2. directly access your account without having to type in your address which is quite a nice feature in my humble opinion.

So if you find an interesting site whilst surfing the world wide web and consider it to be worthy of sharing it with the rest of the del.icio.us-community members you just press the button in your browser window. Next a window pops up that asks you to write a short description of what the site is all about or why you deemed it worthy of sharing. Next you add some tags, which you separate through blanks, at the bottom of that page and hit the post button.

Your account let’s you also create backup-files for all the bookmarks you post on the site, or in the opposite direction post every single bookmark you have on your harddrive. So all those “efforts” you have invested into creating your personal bookmarks prior to joining this service will not be wasted at all.
Like I said at the beginning of this entry, this service is definitely something I will continue to use in the future, since it has already proven to be quite useful to me. Also since my computer has a habit of breaking down rather frequently I can save keep my bookmarks online and therefore access them from other PC’s as well.

So use it, it’s free and useful that has got to be worth something.

flickr – I want to buy a vowel…

November 6, 2006

Okay so here goes my second assignment, and it’s all about the flickr, courtesy of Yahoo!.

The main idea behind flickr is the ability to share your pictures with other people all over the world. Of course you are able to restrict access to your pictures to people you know but you can as well just leave your galleries public. At least that is how it is today, did you know that flickr was first created for the sole purpose of assisting an online RPG? That’s right it was mainly used as a chat-room with instant photo exchanging tools. But the demand of the users focused more and more on the photo-sharing aspects of the programme. Thus the game started to cease from existence and flickr became the main project for Ludicorp.
First and foremost flickr seems to me at its best as a promotional site or testing grounds for prospective photographers. Here they can upload their work and get direct feedback from other semi-professionals. Also it may be used as a reference page if you want to apply to a position in the photographing business, whatever that may be. Also a lot of the photographers posting on flickr are using its tag-tool in order to describe the techniques they used to achieve a certain effect in the picture, exchanging tips and ideas with others. The ability to comment is also one of the things that appear to me are mainly aimed at this target-group for the same reasons that I just mentioned above.

But of course this is not the only purpose that flickr can be applied for. For example it can be used in combination with a blog to better illustrate what you are talking about, or just for fun depending on you and your blog. Other applications I know of so far also include a picture diary, for example when you are living abroad, away from friends and family and you want to keep them up to date to your life and whatever you are doing.

To me, personally, this is not a site I would use, simply because I am not a good picture creator nor am I planning on becoming one. The only purpose that I could imagine myself to utilize ‘flickr’ for is to keep members of my family or my friends up to date when I am abroad, but that remains to be seen because I have not much experience in that particular field. But I guess if everyone was thinking the same about ‘flickr’ as I do it wouldn’t have been such a success.

Meditation on the “Blogosphere”

October 31, 2006

Okay, so my first assignment is to research the blog phenomena and the universe that has sort of established itself during the years that followed the advent of blogging.

When I think of blogs the first thing that comes to my mind is people that talk to themselves. This, when acted out on the street is not an accepted behaviour in “modern” society. However when done on the internet it seems to loose a lot of it`s creepyness, even though not all of it, at least I feel this way. The ‘blog’ or web log as it is correctly named sprung into existence to fill the void that was left behind from the increasingly complicated and expensive homepages which went the way of all ancestors during the Great Bubble Burst in 2001. The lack of additional or even cumulative costs and the relatively easy-to-use editing tools made it an appealing alternative, even though not as free in the design category it made up for it by it’s ‘fire and forget charme’. Like most cultural phenomena this development came quite unexpected and was in major parts created by the users and not a particular company. It is also the users constant striving for improvement that led to other forms of ‘blogging that appeared over time.

And it is not simply writing. The Blogosphere, as it is called, also includes webcomics, artblogs, and videoblogs even though the later seldomly has a page-per-user webpresence and webcomics as well as artblogs are more concerned with regular updates in the drawndepartment. Many of the more established bloggers also tend to be familiar with each other outside the web. Some of them arrange meetings at conventions to get to know each other, these bonds are usually represented online via links or even ‘guestentries’ sometimes enduring more than a week. A duo calling themselves Nobody’s Watching for example utilizes their blog to promote their idea for a tv show that wasn’t picked by the WB and are currentl gathering a rather solid fanbase in order to achieve the goal mentioned above. Large E-Corporations like Microsoft or Yahoo! are keeping a close eye on the developments in these communities to get new ideas for their own products and to keep in touch with their customers culture.

However due to it being a phenomenon of a time in which things to not tend to inhibit the trait of longevity there are already signs that point towards a decline in growth and maybe even a slow decay of the online community. Especially the banning of websites such as Myspace from school-accounts may be the first small steps into that direction. Nevertheless I do not believe that there won’t be any substitutes or that the blogosphere will completely disappear anytime soon(read: the next ten years). It will be a rather slight decrease in interest just like any subcultural phenomenon and then in ten years time it will have gone the way of all theme-decades. There will be a remembrance show with semi-dead celebrities ranting about how they spent their childhood on MySpace.