Just about to unplug (yes, really), but noticed free wifi in the coffee shop and wanted to post the last three vlog posts from the Water Festival in Lowell, MA shot over the weekend. Check it out and see you in September.
We're taking a brief vacation in the Northern Woods of Maine by way of the Water Festival in Lowell, MA. From what I could tell, there isn't much in terms of Internet access in Maine, but you may see a few posts from the Water Festival. So, don't expect a lot of posts in the next week or so.
Eath Chhnon (otherwise known as "Village Girl") is a Cambodian “video blogger” or vlogger. She grew up in a small village in Cambodia near Angkor Wat, one of country’s cultural treasures. Two years ago, at age 20, she came to New York City. Eath is video blogging her life story.
1. Why did you start vlogging?
I think vlogging is an interesting way to express yourself and the right medium for my . It has changed my life in many ways. I can communicate with new people who share an interest in my country. Also, I’ve met people who I would not otherwise meet.
2. How did you learn vlogging?
I had never seen or touched a computer when I lived in Cambodia – my family lives in a small village – they’re farmers and don’t have electricity. When I came to the US, I taught myself how to use a computer. I was lucky enough to meet Ryanne Hodson who showed me how to do it. It took me about a day. Ryanne has her tutorials online, so anyone can learn as easily as I did.
3. What type of responses do you get from Cambodians (viewing your vlog?
My vlog has been linked to from a lot of the Cambodian portals so I have a lot of Cambodian people viewing my vlog and commenting. They get so excited. I get lots of emails telling me “I love your movies!” They ask me a lot of questions about where I grew up in Cambodia. They are inspired that I grew up in a small village in Cambodia and live in Manhattan.
I had a very good friend from my village who was a driver for tourists and immigrated to Europe. By chance, he found my blog and left a comment. I was so surprised to reconnect with an old friend.
4. Why do you think people should vlog?
There are many Cambodians who leave Cambodia and they can’t connect with their family in a visual way. Phone calls are expensive and if they're lucky they can exchange email. But the vlog is almost like being face-to-face and great way to connect back to your culture. Of course, not everyone in Cambodia has Internet access. For example, my family can’t view my vlog – they don’t speak English and they don’t have computers or Internet access or even electricity.
5. What can vlogging do for Cambodians?
I think that Cambodians whether still in Cambodia or in other places in the world should express themselves – and tell the world about their ideas, culture, and experience. Not many Cambodians are doing vlogs yet and there are some good reasons for that (equipment, lack of Internet access, language barriers, skills, etc.) That aside, I want to encourage Cambodians to vlog. That’s why I started a listserv to help people from Cambodia to learn how to do it.
(Note: And judging by the discussion on the list, expect to see some vlog posts from Cambodians in the near future.)
I made my second podcast tonight with my son. One of the Cambodian bloggers created his first podcast -- illustrating how to say the word "thank you" in khmer correctly. Apparently, in our khmer video blog post, we mispronounced it. So, we created a podcast of our practice session.
I was able to do the production on this one if five minutes -- I've mastered the work flow!
The new world of the non profit blogosphere is a discussion started by Patrick O'Heffernan at Socialedge. He summarizes from "The Emergence of the Progressive Blogosphere: A New Force in American
Politics," a report recently released last week by the progressive New
Politics Institute think tank and provides some resources. I don't see some obvious nonprofit blogging resources or blogs on his post -- so stop by and let folks know about you in the comments!
I also ran into Deborah Finn who mentioned her lastest idea, the Nonprofit Blog Exchange. It is a group blog for nonprofit bloggers. If you're interested in participating, Nonprofit Blog Exchange, you should send an email to Emily who is coordinating the project.
* Before he hit record, we settled on a topic. * He doesn't use the add-on mike (he told me people react differently when there is a mike) * He started his podcast with the date, where he was, and brief overview the person being interviewed * He asked me a few conversation sparkers, paused, restated and built into the next question. * It was short - less than five minutes.
My big mistake was that I neglected to make sure the recorder was turned off while transferring the files to the computer. The files were corrupted! Lost the fantastic interview!
So, I told my tale of woe into the recorder. It records in WMA format (Windows Media Audio). I used a free trial convertor to convert into mp3. Then opened in Audacity and exported at the compression/sampling that Brian suggested in his tutorial (or at least I think I did.)
I fiddled around with Audacity to attempt to edit and splice several audio files. While I appreciate that it is free, it was so geeky and hard to use, that I couldn't really figure it out just poking around (my usual learning method.) So, next step is to find a free program with friendly UI as well as take the tutorial for Audacity that Brian mentioned. One piece of software I will explore is whether or not I can edit the audio using MovieMaker which comes free with windows.
The hard drive of my deskstop computer, an ancient Dell, appears to be dying. Thank god I have backups. So, now going through the time consuming process of moving everything I need to my laptop. That's keeping me from the time consuming process of finishing my first podcast.
Ethan Zuckerman has been analyzing Global s stats since the site's redesign last month. The tool used to count total links is Blogpulse (He also shares his worksheet) In the analysis, he mentions that the average blogger links to Global s 1.86 times. (I earned the distinction of linking the most times to Global s this past month - 7 times, although later I found out that I was tied with Ethan.). In another post, Ethan writes about the Blogpulse tools he used to do the analysis here. It would be interesting to compare the results of this analysis with using an open community algorithm, if such a tool were available.
I just popped over to the Walker Arts Center blogs to see if more departments had entered the blogosphere. When I interviewed the Walker Bloggers two months ago, there were only two departments. Now there are four, including the Film/Video department. They posted some notes about their future plans for podcasting. I wonder if they considered vlogging? They do have some video clips and flash movies, but these aren't exactly vlogging. Maybe I missed it, but why aren't they vlogging it? (I think I might know the answer to that one .... given the amount of time it has taken me to just master the basics of vlogging, let alone integrate into my work flow) I think that of all the nonprofit organizations, arts organizations could probably do a spectacular job of vlogging - especially the Walker.
I experimented with over narration. It is a cheap microphone, so it sounds flat. It was hard to synch the video clips with the over to make it funny. (Stand up comedy skills would come in handy). My next task is to find out more about podsafe music sources and better understand music file formats that will work with Microsoft Movie Maker. This film took me about an hour to do. The hardest part was the over narration. Not how to make the software do it, but how to make my and speech sound articulate and match the clips exactly with good timing.
Chris raises some great questions about internal nonprofit blogs:
How do we decide who blogs? For those of you that have started nonprofit
blogs, how did you decide this?
Do we assign people to certain topics?
I think you need to start with the people who are the most interested and passionate about it and spread it slowly through the organization. This could be done with discussion, showing some examples, and getting their input. Through sessions like this, you would identify staff members' whose jobs depend on having a system to organize information and share it. A natural way to roll this out may be by department - the way the Walker Arts Center started with its New Media Department and Community and Education Department. Reggie and Eric could give you some great advice.
The internal blogging projects that I've been involved have been with small, under-resourced community organizations - so there wasn't a huge number of people to choose from. It came down to starting with the person who was most wanted to do it and could tell others within the organization about the benefits.
I think this might be another one of Nancy White's community indicators (if she is still going to collect them and I hope she does) - that a community around nonprofit blogging is forming.
Christopher Dover from the American Cancer Society who blogs about Relay For Life (RFL) just posted some thoughts about how to use blogging and other techniques to support and promote Relay for Life, the ACS's signature event. This long, but very thoughtful post lays out some ideas, along with some questions. Chris frames these as brainstorming, but also includes questions. Chris has sent this note along to a number of us who blog about nonprofits and technology and asked for feedback and there is also a discussion board at Tech Soup.
Currently, blogs are measured in systems like Technorati or ranked
in PubSub by links or by number of subscribers to a feed in Feedster.
In particular, these are the not very interesting, subtle or telling
measures used to make indexes like the Technorati Top 100 or the PubSub
100 or the Feedster 100. In Particular, the Technorati Top 100 is based
purely on inbound links. All of these lists tend to favor those who
blog in more general, popular topic areas, and not those who are
specialists in an area.
For many bloggers the relevant sphere of influence is not overall
popularity, as those indexes express. It's influence and connection
within a community. And the relevant measure of connection isn't the
number of connections -- it's the depth and impact of those
connections. This is about celebrating the niche, and measuring
engagement over time.
She has a table that lists the items that could be in a new metric and their relative weight. Interesting food for thought. This is not only important to bloghers, but also niche communities such as nonprofits and nonprofit technology bloggers as well.
Also, Danah Boyd does an analysis of linking behavior on blogs and differences by gender. (Via Nancy White
(I've been wanting to do audio and video for a long time, but it wasn't until my blogher experience that I actually got moving and picked up the knowledge to try my first one.
Lisa Williams showed her vlog from Blogher at the Berkman Thursday night blogging group and during the walk to
dinner, I got to ask her how she did it. Before blogher, I had been reading and watching Andy Carvin's dispatches from Africa and feeling that I wanted to do that too ... but didn't know where to start.. Then I came home and made the
mistake of checking the RSS reader and found this post from Ponzi and called into the show and talked to Chris and Ponzi about my geek toy collection. Anina, who vlogged me at blogher, left a comment and so did Village Girl, a khmer vlogger, who told me on the phone last week that vlogging was easy. And Viola -- a vlog post.
1.) Identified a very short and simple flim: Show my geek toy collection
2.) Jotted down a story board (introduce each toy in collection) 3.) Use the video setting on my new Cannon PowerShot SD300
to do the flim clip 4.) Use a video editing program (Windows Movie Maker because it was free and on my computer)
5.) Identified simple editing process: Titles Video Credits
6.) Saved and uploaded it
(choose a lower setting so it wouldn't take long to download) 7.) Made a cover graphic in photoshop
I'm not happy with the aesthetics yet ... need to learn how to:
Cut and splice the movie clip to edit stuff I don't want
or stitch together seperate clips
Use contrast/levels to make the visual clearer or think about lighting before I shoot (no back lights)
Learn how to insert titles and stills
into the video clip
Learn how to lay a new audio track over the one that I did originally, perhaps with some music and a cleaner narrative.
Think about what you are going to say before you hit the record button
Next project will be montage of stills with titles ... are there any good how-to sites that are easy to read and understand?
Looks like I'm not the only blogher inspired to vlog. Lisa Canter posted her first vlog too! What I liked about Lisa's video is that she put herself in front of the camera and just spoke so eloquently. I also like the titles that appear while the video was playing to insert thoughts she didn't vocalize. I'll have to put that on my to-do list.
Okay, enough about technique. Another question I have to ask is: How might nonprofits use vlogging, if at all?
That's Jill Fallon of Estate Legacy Vaults, Inc. (Jill is from Boston and she live-blogged the Political Blogging session. Jory had to catch a train, so she couldn't stay for the meeting. Along with Lisa Williams, Jill and I gave a report back to the group about Blogher. There was a lot of interest in the distributed nature of the live blogging (not a site that is roach motel of links) and there was discussion about what made it such a great experience. The notes are here.
People were interested in the speaker guidelines. Ashley Richards, who wrote them, posted them.
Ponzi will be posting her audio interviews she did during blogher hopefully soon ... She did about 30-40 of them! Wow, I'm impressed. She rocks as an interviewer!
Read about her experiences doing audio during a conference session here. Seems like a debate or possible feud is brewing. I wasn't in the room, and don't want to get in the middle of this but I do want to say this:
I want to applaud Ponzi for being brave and stepping out of the
box in terms of her practice. Even better, reflecting on it her blog. She raises some really good
questions. The combination of personal experimentation and public reflection and community dialogue leads to
good practice. Brava. Brava. Brava. Technorati Tags: blogher