Archive for the ‘Video’ category


August 22, 2007

Dave Winer is uncomfortable with cameras in his face. Robert Scoble responds thoughtfully (in a Kyte video). James Corbett is fascinated by the video experiments at Irish Open Coffees, and interested in discussing the privacy implications.

I’ve pledged to support camera-free zones:

We are going to continue to bring cameras to OpenCoffee and other events, primarily for the purpose of recording interviews with consenting parties for later publication on a soon-to-be-launched new tech-news videoblog. We want to use the events as a backdrop, as an opportunity to meet interesting people to interview, and we want to report on the events themselves. Note I say “report on” – not “interfere with”.

We will provide equipment and support for live streaming if people have something they want to broadcast. Or anyone who wants to can do it – as Eoghan did in Dublin. But no matter who does it, I think there ought to be a time and space where people can breathe freely, knowing that they are not part of a broadcast.

And at risk of stating the obvious, now that we’ve all tried it out, let’s not feel that we have to stream for streaming’s sake. There’s a perfectly adequate Twitter/Jaiku channel reaching out to interested parties outside the event. I’d suggest we don’t turn the cameras on unless we get a Tweet saying: “Give us a look!” 😉

And finally, I was thinking about how we can change things by observing them and, while I know Schrodinger’s Cat isn’t really about the Observer Effect, I thought it was an amusing coincidence today when I heard this LOLCat mentioned on TWiT.



I See Smart People

August 14, 2007

Camera 1 at Limerick OpenCoffee. Pic by Bernie Goldbach

I’ve been so busy I hadn’t time to blog about my experience of Limerick Open Coffee Club last Thursday. Much has been made of the excitement caused by our live broadcast. James describes the twitterstorm, and there is more about it by Bernie, Conor, Niall and many others.

Conor gets the credit for giving me the idea with a twitter-query about live updates from the Limerick meeting. Hat-tips also to Robert Scoble, Chris Pirillo and Leo Laporte – all of whom I’ve been watching play with this stuff over recent months.

But the real inspirations, in more ways than one, are Patrick and John Collison. If has taught me anything, it’s that not everything is worth broadcasting! Robert Scoble figured this out early on, and soon began to keep his live broadcasts for special events. And last Thursday’s OpenCoffee Limerick was undoubtedly special – and certainly worth sharing with others.

At it’s peak, we had 14 viewers on the stream – and at least 3 of those were in the room!!! But I’m very pleased that people who wanted to share the experience were able to do so – and even contribute, as Niall did with a question.

Now that it’s over I notice all the faults in the recording! If there had been more time to plan it I’d have got a tripod and a better microphone setup. I’ll get those things right the next time – and I’ve a feeling there will be a lot of next times, and not just by me either!

Video streaming is easy. All you need is a camera, a computer and a broadband connection. (The Flash on sites like Ustream.TV takes care of everything.) The difficult bit is having something worth broadcasting, but I think that the OpenCoffee clubs, BarCamps and PodCamps sweeping the country are actually providing that.

Serious talks at Opencoffee. Pic by TouristRepublicExplanatory Note: Open Coffee Clubs are informal gatherings of entrepreneurs, investors and people interested in startups which have spread worldwide since they began in London last spring. Limerick Open Coffee club meets every second Thursday (not this week, next week) from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. It recently moved to a new venue at the AbsoluteHotel.Com. Currently the best way to keep track of Irish Open Coffee meetings (including Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Belfast) is on the #irishopencoffee channel on Jaiku.

Video Imeall

July 26, 2007

Nothing to see here – just a webcam-view of an audio podcast being recorded (and it’s in Irish as well) – but it’s an indication of the direction in which I’m moving.

I’ve posted this already on An tImeall and in Facebook as well.

Podleaders in Pictures

May 21, 2007

News just in: Podleader’s Tom Raftery has just published his first video podcast.  Fellow Corkman Conor O’Neill is the honoured guest as he and Tom discuss Conor’s startup LouderVoice.Com.

I’ve blogged about LouderVoice.Com before (though not in English!)  Now it’s open to the public, though, so head on over.  Do you like to review things on your blog?  Conor will help you get heard!  [Note to self: must review something!]

Well done lads – both of you!  Ye’re gorgeous! 😉

Santas Videos in Your Language

December 7, 2006

Not only does Santy defy the laws of physics every Christmas, but language differences pose no difficulty for him either as he corresponds with children all over the world.

This Christmas he’s joined forces with an Irish company to send video emails to Irish kids in three languages: English, Irish and Irish Sign Language.

I think it’s an enterprising use of video on the net – and of course the basic idea extends to other occasions besides just Christmas.

Check out

Disclosure: This company contacted me through a mutual friend. It’s a garage startup like myself and it doesn’t have a marketing budget. I’ve told them they should get a blog, and in the meantime I’m happy to help them spread the word. The site featured last week on An Líonra Sóisialta.

As a parent of Irish-speaking children I particularly like their multilingual approach, and I think a video of Santa signing is a lovely idea for hearing-impaired children.

Guido Fawkes Doesn’t Know What He’s Talking About

October 15, 2006

Don’t get me wrong – he knows his political blogging alright!  I thoroughly enjoyed his speech to the “Blogging the Election” Irish Bloggers Conference in Dublin last weekend.  Guido‘s at the top of his game, with the British political establishment, the media – and now advertisers – eating out of his hand.

Opening the conference, Sunday Tribune Business Editor, Richard Delevan suggested that one possible metric for a blogger’s “impact” might be whether they attract the notice of the mainstream press.  Guido has done more than attract their notice: he frequently sets the agenda, as in the case of the cash for peerages investigation where his reporting of the story has earned him the trust of sources closest to the case.

Like Richard and others, Guido brings old-media craft to bear on the new medium of blogging.  By doing do he leaves both bloggers and “dead-tree” journalists in the starting blocks.

I’m trying to do something similar with podcasting.  (Have you noticed? 😉 )  So Guido certainly had my attention when he declared: “Podcasting is dead!”

It’s a great soundbite of course!  (Remember, Guido’s a media pro.)  And it was delivered so well that I might even have given it serious consideration – if it wasn’t for where I was sitting when I heard it.

As I listened to Guido, I was in my car, skimming down the Dock Road in Limerick on my way to work.  (It was very early in the morning!)   Due to work constraints I was unable to physically attend the conference in Dublin, but I’ve been glad of the opportunity to hear the presentations on and see the photographs tagged irishblogcon.

Guido made these comments in the context of telling us that he would shortly start a video blog.  By “podcasting”, he means “audio podcasting”, and he declared emphatically that “nobody listens to them on iPods … they all click on the screen and listen to it in front of their computer, so you might as well listen and see the video.”

Ironically, earlier in his speech, Guido had rather patronisingly given his Irish audience the benefit of his abortive experiences as an audio podcaster.  This can be summed up as: “Don’t bother trying it … I have, and it’s disastrous … It’s a lot harder than you think and that’s the reason that radio people get paid so much …”.

Oh … OK.  Thanks for the advice Guido.  Obviously video production is a lot easier then?  (And by the way, how much do radio people get paid?  Must look into that …)

To be fair, I think what Guido is trying to say is that video provides more value to the consumer – and that that in turn leads to a better Return On Investment for the producer.  But if that is true, where does it leave radio?

I don’t know how elections campaigns are debated in Britain, but talk radio shows are a crucial arena in Ireland.

As an audio producer, I would be inclined to dispute Guido’s assumption of video’s superior Return On Investment.  I suspect that that it is wrong, both on the Cost side and the Benefit side.  However, I wouldn’t get up on a podium and declare this to be a Fact.

We’re all blinkered by our own experience, and it appears that Guido simply doesn’t “get” the key advantages of “anytime, anywhere, audio-on-demand”.  I must confess that, until recently, I didn’t “get” video blogging either.  At least not until I started researching YouTube for a forthcoming feature on An Líonra Sóisialta.  ( donlionra+week05)

So is cheap, user-friendly technology putting video production into the hands of the laity?  Of course – just like blogging and audio podcasting are doing for those kinds of media.  Is video blogging a better ROI than audio podcasting?  Ask me after Christmas, when I give it a go!  Do people only listen to podcasts on their computer?  Hardly – but what do I know?  You tell me!