Converge South, Day 2, morning

I’ve decided to break this up into several chunks because the post was getting so long that I fear people would skip over it and miss good stuff.

First up was the “Policing the Media” session with Duncan Black, ie Atrios. While there was nothing wrong with the session, which was quite good and on a subject I’m usually all over, I had a hard time getting into this one. Chalk it up to being sleepy and still having an unfavorable blood/water/Rolling Rock mix.

Next came the “Videoblogging” presentation with Rocketboom’s own Amanda Congdon and Mario Librandi . This was my favorite of the weekend. The inside stuff on Rocketboom was fascinating, especially how nothing is universally loved and the pieces that prompt strong reaction from some often provoke bafflement from others. As Ed notes, many people seemed to be put off at the notion of the relatively high threshold to get into videoblogging, in equipment costs and software costs and time to do it. Around then I got to throw out my piece about the CVS camera cable hack, which prompted more reaction the rest of the weekend than my nickle and dime podcast. As a convenience link to all y’all that I handed my card and told to come here, the video is here and the documentation on making the cable is here. The point I wish I had emphasized better is that you hack the cable, not the camera. If you do it once, any of these cameras will work with it (unless/until they change the firmware to make it stop working.)

For once, I may have helped rather than hurt a session by speaking up, because by pointing out that one can do this cheap the conversation then became about what you could do rather than if you could do it. Lots of people I talked to cited this as a standout session. Amanda was completely unfamiliar with this format and walked in expecting to do a more standard show-and-tell lecture type presentation but immediately adapted to the unconference thing and did a stellar job at it. My only criticism – make Mario talk more! One day he will no longer be able to avoid the spotlight so he might as well get used to it under friendly circumstances, no? One odd quirk – some people seem disappointed at the realization that the whole Rocketboom thing has a staff of several people and that it isn’t just batted out by Amanda filming herself with a tripod. That shouldn’t dissuade anyone. Do what you can with your resources and push the medium. Kids, do try this at home!

Last link on this subject, I swear: here is the infamous lizard video I mentioned and at least one person derided sight unseen as uninteresting. Is it really uninteresting? I report lizards, you decide!

More on next rock.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father.

8 thoughts on “Converge South, Day 2, morning”

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  2. Like I pointed out during the session… currently vlogging includes edit time (I’m not including your lizards video *laugh*). That means a lot more work for a little bit of product time.

    Not a bad thing, and if you’re dynamic enough, then you can pull off a straight 1-shoot everything goes type vlog. But I think it’d be a lot easier if editing didn’t take so long. Maybe this is a good chance for the open-source community to jump in. 🙂

  3. Ben, you’d be surprised. 3/4 of that editing time was trying to get closing titles I could live with. The crappy ones I have were the best attempt I had, and I finally got sick of them and just went with it.

    It does take time, but iMovie is fairly simple and I imagine other platforms have equivalent tools at equivalent levels. I’d say for the first thing – do a 30 second or less one so the editing is simple and you get to take first steps on a limited scale. It reduces the probability of bogging down and just deciding to forget the whole deal.

  4. “…unless/until they change the firmware to make it stop working…”

    Already done. If you get a 3.62 it will not be recognized as a USB Mass Storage device like the older 3.4 firmware models are… Currently the 3.62 cameras require actual hardware hacking which may fry the camera.

  5. > Last link on this subject, I swear: here is the infamous lizard
    > video I mentioned and at least one person derided sight unseen as
    > uninteresting. Is it really uninteresting? I report lizards, you
    > decide!

    Dude! I was only teasing, pulling your leg about the lizard video! I did not meant to imply the whole world would find the lizard video uninteresting. But to **me**, lizards on the patio is not a big deal. I mean, you do know I have lizards roaming my property too, right?

    Now, show me something I don’t see every day, and show it in a fresh, unique way, not that formulaic-network-crap style, and I’m riveted.

  6. And don’t sweat the small stuff. I don’t care about how the credits look. That’s non-content. And I don’t care about rough edit cuts, or camera whoops moments. This is citizen media. That makes it more memorable. (the surgical-precision-professional-TV-network content is so terribly unexciting precisely for this reason)

    Now go shoot stuff and stop whining! 🙂

  7. PJ, that wasn’t about you. There was a guy in the videoblog session who said something to the effect of “I have lizards in my backyard too, why do I need to watch them on the internet.” I used that for my example of the thing I did to break my creative freeze. After the Hacking video, it took me a month to find something else to do.

    As for stopping whining and getting to work, there should be a socks knocker offer up by this weekend.

  8. Pete, Even though they have the firmware upgrades there is a lot of supply chain between the consumer and them. I bought a camera long after that announcement and it had the old firmware. And, eventually they will crack this anyway. The arms race never ends.

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