Sunday, September 05, 2010
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
I just watched one of the traveling vlogger's recollections. If you're interested in the human side of social networking, it's worth taking at look at this vlog by Andymooseman. Then, check out their group page, and learn more about the trip.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Friday, April 02, 2010
In the nine years since 9/11, we’ve become used to increased security and increased surveillance where ever people tend to gather – it seems to have become another price we pay for the freedom we enjoy.
Yes, we still do have quite a great deal of freedom, including freedom of expression – probably to a great extent than anywhere else in the world – despite how some might portray our situation.
I tend to try not to see issues in the extreme – there’s a middle ground – an area of compromise – with any disagreement. I also believe that most are frustrated with the political extremes that define US politics. When major policy votes are reduced to strict party-line votes, I have to wonder sometimes if any of our representatives have the courage to vote their conscience.
The night the health-care bill was passed in Congress, a Republican yelled out “Baby Killer!” at a Democratic pro-lifer who didn’t agree precisely with his position. Really? “Baby Killer?” This individual is an elected representative to the US House of Representatives? Earlier in the week, some protesters were incensed enough to yell racial and sexual slurs at black and gay politicians. While I doubt they represent the great majority of protesters, the atmosphere that makes such behavior acceptable (or seem acceptable) is frightening. I have to wonder how far “us vs. them” will go.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I wrote about the advantages of such a platform to bring together like-minded people of a particular ability level – sort of a unique social networking opportunity.
Well, I was called on it by a friend who brought up a critical question. These chat-like environments are by nature limitied in their opportunities for interaction to those who have specific skills and abilities. They leave out entirely a huge range of individuals, including those with dyslexia and similar challenges, like my friend. Online interaction, for all of its attraction and opportunity, can be exclusionary. Brilliant, talented indivudals may be entirely “out of the loop” in this Brave New World. It’s worth considering that we can’t look entirely at the online environment as the be-all and end-all for cultural, business or even retail interaction. The world is a lot bigger than the online world – even now.
I also believe that some of these concerns will be addressed as technology continues to develop. For instance, I’ve been astounded by the accuracy of my Dragon Dictation – and Iphone speech to text program that works surprisingly well. If you have an Iphone. The connected world in which we live offers so many exciting opportunities – but threatens an elitist information class – if we’re not careful, attentive, appreciative and proactive to create accessible technology.
Monday, March 29, 2010
I do have concerns. If I accept digital-only editions of daily newspapers – am I out of luck if my Ipad goes down? I suppose I could then use my laptop or desktop computer to access the publication – but I’d forgo the convenience the convenience of the Ipad. That’s an issue that print media would never encounter, of course.
Still, I like the idea. I would give up paper delivery for an electronic edition once I have an Ipad. I know many people bemoan the death of newspapers as we know them – but I really don’t think that print editions will dominate “newspaper” distribution in the future. The writing is really on the wall. I don’t think paper editions will disappear entirely – but most of us who wish to stay informed will do so electronically. And we’ll save a few million trees, too.
Friday, March 26, 2010
In the USA, a land of immigrants, I believe the film offers a story of interest to anyone seeking to understand the meaning of diversity in our country. The film explores the efforts of Indian parents to preserve their heritage in their American-born (and very American) kids – that’s a challenge that many cultures face in America – and approach in many different ways. The parents I interviewed in this film emphasized that they didn’t want their children to be isolated from either culture- but they did want them to be aware of their cultural and moral traditions. I’m hoping to hear generate some interesting discussions through screenings and reviews over the coming year.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
While many of these concerns may be valid, we are still the leader in one critical area – opportunity. I’ve spoken with quite a number of expriates from a number of countries around the world. The United States may be imperfect in many ways, but people still come here for something that can’t find anywhere else: the chance set the path for their own future – to achive what they want to achieve, to have the opportunity to attempt to be entrepreneurs. Not everyone will achieve their dreams – we’re all imperfect human beings, after all – but we still offer unrivaled opportunity.
Monday, March 22, 2010
I recently took on the challenge of vlogging and blogging the International Family Film Festival. I’ve been experimenting with Vlogging of late, and I’m eager to explore it in all sort of variations. Within a few weeks of beginning my vlogging channel on YouTube (youtube.com/worldaccording to rich – please subscribe!), I bought a little camera called a Flip Ultra HD – a pretty nifty little point-and-shoot video camera that will make it possible to freely vlog wherever and however I want (as opposed to pulling out my professional equipment)
Armed with the cam, a monopod (tripod with one leg) to allow for steadier shots, a Twitter account for the film festival, and voice-to-text software on my Iphone to allow for easy blog updating, I ventured forth to the IFFF to social network it to the extreme.
Or so I thought!
First, my Flip died on the second day of the festival. I’m not sure why – buttons other than the basic power stopped responding – so I was forced to pull out my DV cam to continue documenting the experience. Pulling out that camera, I found, triggered by documentary instincts, so I really ended up recording the experience, rather than vlogging it as a personal experience. (incidentally, both Flip and Amazon came through for me once I had a chance to call customer service, and a replacement cam was in the mail even before I’d sent the other camera back).
Second, I realize now that social networking to this extent can be intense – particularly since I had intended on crossing over several platforms – there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to attend to the festival, vlog, blog and sleep!
On the positive side, the limited vlogging I did do proved to be useful – it provided recognition for me at the festival that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Since I began vlogging a little over a month ago, I have found that it’s developed personal relationships with colleagues – people I really haven’t had a chance to work or socialize with are getting to know me on a personal level. I’m fascinated with the prospect of exploring the possibilities of this new tool in my arsenal…..
Friday, March 12, 2010
After my last entry considering the value of random “fan pages” on Facebook, I realized that I have quite an interesting time using another form of “random” social networking. I often play a game called “Words With Friends,” a Scrabble-like game played across the cell phone network on the Iphone and other similar smartphones. Games can be played with particular individuals, or with random individuals, and extend over days, depending upon each player’s availability.
The game includes a chat function to allow for direct communication beyond simply playing the same. For months, I’ve been playing a succession of games with a rapper in Texas – we’ve exchanged websites – who knows, maybe we’ll work together someday! I’ve played other random games with many others, most recently discussing weather with a snowbound player somewhere in Pittburgh.
In the case of this game, perhaps the nature of “Words With Friends” community infers a more educated set of players – a more compatible community.
I continue to wonder: are we becoming a community-addicted culture?
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
It’s interesting how many Facebook users feel compelled to join “fan pages” for the most mundane aspects of their lives, from the food they eat, to any number of household products, moods, myths and random opinions. I have to wonder, however, the real value of joining a community of others who share your interest in a brand of potato chips. I would imagine the conversations in that virtual room would be somewhat limited!
Monday, March 08, 2010
During the upcoming International Family Film Festival, which was founded by the same team that created Freshi Films, I’ll be vlogging and blogging the entire experience. It’s really somewhat of a laboratory for me, as I’m beginning to use the social networking tools at my disposal.
As I research and apply these tools, I’m coming to the conclusion that “social networking” is radically different from person to person, depending upon individual needs and talents. It’s more a question of understanding the tools and developing a strategy, as opposed to searching for “how-to” guidelines. Even my plans for the festival are evolving before it’s even begun, as I contemplate how each of the tools I’m using – vlogging, blogging, Twitter, and Flickr – work together to create an overall experience. I look forward to the journey.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
“Social Networking,” the term that purports to explain the growing ways we interact (and which I suspect will soon be archaic), almost seems quaint in its wording. Almost everything we do seems to incorporate opportunities to connect with strangers in ever more expanding ways – from the avatars of World of Warcraft and Second Life, to iphone Apps like Words With Friends, which allows users to play a Scrabble-like game against friends or strangers – and allows for text chat that often extends beyond trash-talking and where-are-you-from. I have an ongoing series of games with a Houston-based rap artist – we’ve traded websites and created a basic connection that – who knows – could prove useful in our work someday.
Words With Friends allows only choosing games with friends or random opponents – you can’t choose individuals on the basis of shared interests – I’ve had young opponents terminate games simply on the basis of learning my age – but on balance, it’s interesting to learn basic facts about where and who you’re playing with.
The online community isn’t truly a community in the traditional sense – but I believe that we’ll rapidly moving toward a technological age when our virtual town square might be 3000 miles wide.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
As I attempt to create an onoing vlog (I hope to get into the habit of creating a new vlog as often as possible), I’ve had some challenges in developing a delivery that feels both natural and entertaining. I enjoy storytelling, but my experience in my vlog varies depending upon the complexity of the story and my overall stress level going into the vlog (which generally run from 2-5 minutes). Recently I spent perhaps an hour trying to record a vlog that recalled a childhood story. After seeing the results of my efforts, I felt it seemed awkward and unnatural – so I elected not to post on the site.
The key, I think, to making a go of this effort is to find an approach that seems “natural” and might also be entertaining to my viewers. The story I chose to tell was a fun story of mistaken identity (which I’m sure I’ll relate here eventually), but also required that I relate a tale of confrontation and anger. Fun in the telling – but it didn’t seem fun in the acting. I’ll try it again – that’s what this all about – but perhaps I’ll start with a simpler story and revisit this story as I gain my footing in my verbal storytelling skills.
Vloggers on YouTube employ a diverse collection of styles – from comedy skits, collaborations with other YouTubers, serious, emotional outpouring – the list is as vast as the number of blog subjects. The key for me is to learn as much as possible from other vloggers without trying to emulate them, subconsciously or otherwise. It's a intriguing challenge.
Monday, February 08, 2010
There are several reasons I decided to launch a vlog. First, I’m curious about the YouTube social network, which consists of individuals across a wide range of ages and locations. There’s a trend toward collaboration across this former barriers with fascinate me (and with which I’m hoping to be involved, eventually), and I simply think it could be good for business, if I do it right. I love the idea of playing in this new sandbox and seeing what I can do – and what I can contribute to that world. I’m also looking for ways to combine my vlogging efforts with my other activities – including finding ways of tying those activities together with this vlog, and perhaps other interactive, creative efforts. It’s a challenge, of course, to keep all of these networking activities going and still remain productive (which seems ironic) – but I suspect, with persistence, the very nature of what I do for a living will change and evolve into something entirely new and – if I can use the word – unique.
We’re in entirely new territory – and I sincerely believe that the opportunies for individual entrepreneurs are broader and more exciting than ever before.
Friday, February 05, 2010
I’ll be discussing in some detail how I’m applying this philosophy. Like everyone else, I’m learning as I go along. Technology and communication is changing so fast that I realize that I need to interact much more effectively.
One of my major new ventures in social networking is to begin vlogging – a video blog– and thus become part of the YouTube social environment. I’m still developing a style – I’ve only been doing this for a week – but this effort appeals to me as an opportunity to develop my interests as a documentary filmmaker. In fact, calling oneself a “filmmaker” is already archaic – film is rarely employed, and the very definition of “documentary” is developing beyond the linear structure of a set video presentation. The future documentary may very well be more an experience extending across platforms and interactive opportunities.
If you haven’t seen my vlog yet, take a look and tell me what you think! There’s so much to this process, and this world is so large, this seems like an exciting expedition that may never end!
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Monday, February 01, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
If you don't have a strategy, then you'll just be part of someone else's strategy.
Ujjual Nath, a friend and supporter of Freshi Films, added:
"My version: All decisions seem reasonable when you lack a strategy."
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I work for Freshi Films as Director of Production. On occasion, I also teach filmmaking. In 2006, I had the opportunity to travel to India with Freshi to lead a week-long filmmaking workshop with Indian teens. Including a bit of site-seeing (yes, we visited the Taj Mahal), we spent ten days in India.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Saturday, January 09, 2010
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Sunday, January 03, 2010
Friday, January 01, 2010
- Natal Milo - Those of you who have read my blog, or follow gaming technology, won't be surprised at this selection. Natal is a new add-on for XBox that will allow the system to respond to the user with such sophistication that controllers won't be needed in most cases, and natural verbal interaction with on-screen characters will create an unprecedented illusion. If this comes through as demonstrated, the result my very well be an entirely new form of entertainment beyond traditional gaming.
- As a filmmaker, smartphone tools like the Artemis Digital Directors Viewfinder and, from the same company, the Helios Sun Calculator (which determines the position of the sun at any given time of day) are very cool Iphone apps that have a real practical use for the film/video professional. The whole "apps" thing, whether it's Iphone related or not, is really a whole new world (and a whole new business). The computer / high-tech industry continues to develop in directions we couldn't have anticipated just a few years ago. The tablet computer - which is midway between a digital book reader (like the Kindle) and a laptop computer, is said to be the Next Big Thing on the horizon - I'll be curious how that product will fit into the rapidly expanding landscape of -dare I say it- gadgets. I don't mean that in a negative way, either - we live and die in the gadget universe. We've come to live in a James Bond movie, with technology beyond anything "Q" could have imagined.