Tuesday, January 09, 2007

So little time, so many links...

And still no hard and fast decision I can hold onto as to where we're going now. Work has been stressful, frustrating and damned annoying. Things do seem to be heading somewhere, so maybe things are due for an improvement.

Luckily, I've had opportunity to discover a few fun links worth reading over the last week, so I'm taking the chance to get these up now.


First up, Clay Shirky has his say on why HDTV is not the Internet killer Mark Cuban seems to think it is. Hang around at the end to read the comments, including a rebuttal from Cuban himself.

"Cuban doesn’t understand that television has been cut in half. The idea that there should be a formal link between the tele- part and the vision part has ended. Now, and from now on, the form of a video can be handled separately from it’s method of delivery. And since they can be handled separately, they will be, because users prefer it that way.

But Cuban goes further. He doesn’t just believe that, other things being equal, quality will win; he believes quality is so important to consumers that they will accept enormous inconvenience to get that higher-quality playback. When Cuban’s list of advantages of HDTV includes an inability to watch your own video on it (“the complexity of moving HDTV streams around the home and to the HDTV”), you have to wonder what he thinks a disadvantage would look like."


Steve Safran from Lost Remote takes a look at what news organisations should be looking at in 2007.

"Now then, repeat after me: “I resolve to…”

etc, etc... A good read for anyone in the news industry, not to mention some of my colleagues given the likelihood of us all being stuck together in the same room from now on.


Business Week Online has a nice slideshow run through of the movers and shakers in web video in 2006. On offer, Ze Frank, LonelyGirl15, Amanda Congdon, Ask A Ninja, OK Go, Alive in Baghdad and U.S. Presidential hopeful Senator John Edwards. I have to admit, I'm a little surprised ManiacTV got in over Diet Coke and Mentos, Galacticast or French Maid TV.


Up next, a trio of interesting articles by Steve Bryant from ReelPop.

"To say more: Saddam's execution is, in a way, the third act in a postmodern story of hyper-visualization. The story began with an exploding skyscraper on national television, an event which some philosophers called the most significant symbolic act since the crucification of Christ."

"For the last year or so, videoblogs have been refreshing departures from the over-produced pap of professional media. And those amateur production values have left an indelible mark on the way we make content.

But the more often I watch videoblogs these days, the more often I'm struck by how everybody acts the same. Switching from a three camera setup and a boom mike to a webcam and backlighting doesn't necessarily make something more real. Sometimes, it just shifts the manner of artifice."

"For example, take local news. Local news has suffered from declining viewers for years... The reason? Probably a combination of lifestyle changes (longer work hours, etc) combined with a growth in news options: It's easier for me to read local news on the Web, for example, and see national stories on other programs. In other words, the mandate for local news is shrinking because the stations provide little value that can't be found elsewhere. Hence the exhortation by folks like Steve Safran and Jeff Jarvis that local news needs to go hyperlocal."


Next, David Lynch's interview in Wired.

"Wired: How do you feel taking your work onto the internet years ago has changed you as a filmmaker?

Lynch: Well, it's huge, because I like to conduct experiments.... And because of the internet I've learned about AfterEffects, Flash animation and discovered and fallen in love with digital video. So I just think that going onto the web was so good for me. It's just sort of starting, but it's a beautiful world.... I always like random access, and I like the idea that one thing relates to another. And this is part of the internet: It's so huge, that it is really an unbounded world. And I think that if we keep our thinking caps strapped on, we could find something beautiful out there in the ether."


Warren Ellis is back on his LJ after shutting it down because some nitwit sent him unsolicited fiction. He's been posting a few ideas about our modern "science fiction world."

"Me, I'm a science fiction writer. I stick facts together to come up with fiction. Over the last five or six years, people have been experimenting with implanting arphids into their bodies. So, me, I'm sitting here thinking about Boogle. Biological Google, taking soundings off the arphids stuck to my internal organs at the desktop in the morning, checking out my liver function and assessing my lung capacity. So I can sit in the pub and smoke more cigarettes and think some more about all this."


Douglas Rushkoff introduces us to a new term.

"There's a relatively new phenomenon occurring online these days - an illusion of populist group hostilitiy I've come to call "Sock Mobs," after the "sock puppets" people use to feign multiple identities in online conversations. It works like this:"


Today's episode of The Show, "Melancholy", grabbed my attention even more than some of the others of late...

not to mention the accompanying article from the NY Times (req. Reg.)


For a little fun, here's the early frontrunner for T-Shirt of the year.


And to finish up, here's a timelapse vid from "Dale" from the Wrigley Forums who did this "year in three minutes" production. Definitely worth hanging around to the end for something I wasn't expecting.

Best of all for Dale, the video made it into a TV ad for Dunkin Donuts after being seen on YouTube. Payment ensued. Congrats.


Back to work. This facility isn't going to move by itself. If I can swing permission I'll try and grab hold of a little outtake we shot yesterday while I was dressed up "Sith Lord style" pulling down power cables from the lighting grid. Then again, probably not.

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