On Feb. 9 our class undertook an intensive brainstorming session ["absolutely no more than one hour from 0 to 60!"...and we did it] to conceptualize a group, "open source" We Media Movie. The goal is to create a "portrait of our digital generation" through a series of one-minute movies shot and edited by each student. Depending on the outcome, these may be combined to make a single movie, and/or they may be placed on a website as a series of short films that together comprise a larger project.
Individual films due as one-minute Quicktime movies for screening in class on February 23. Topics:
Cell phone technology (cam phones, SMS) -
Attitudes towards cell phones – Sam CG
Cell phone etiquette – Scott
History of cell phone use
IPod use, Podcasting, File sharing
Attitudes towards iPods - Khanh
Buying vs. sharing - Sarah
Radio, podcasting - August
Facebook, digital cameras on campus
Social rules on facebook, facebook etiquette - Evan
Facebook uses - Karina
Digital cameras and the campus and photosharing - Erika
LAN games, videogames
Halo, Sports games - Greg
Social aspects of LAN/videogames, reality vs. virtual reality - Seth
Return to vintage video games - Dan
Blogs and News
Carleton blogs – Tommy
Who reads news online? – Leah
Movement from desktop to laptop. Wireless - Daniel
Needs topics: Aleisha, Sam Lowry, Blum, Gracie, Niko
Overall goal of project: Snapshots, sketches, etc. of media at Carleton
Personal take on these topics
Observation, reflection, conversation
Arbitrary item – the squirrel(the Where’s Waldo effect)
Chuck Olsen's Blogumentary is the first feature documentary to cover the rise of the blogging phenomenon. It has opened theatrically and been screened at a wide range of media festivals and conferences. It's fun and smart—just like Chuck himself. You'll have a chance to see and hear from the leading thinkers on blogging, all framed by Chuck's amusing sensibility.
On February 14 Chuck will visit our class to talk about videoblogging.
Forward the final draft of your We Media Podcast text. It should be a polished draft that is well researched and carefully written for the ear. You should pass the text to a friend, or to a reader at the Write Place, to check for clarify of content and writing.
Post the text of this essay--no more than 500 words--to your blog by no later than 5 PM today.
Remember, too, that you should join Del.icio.us and create a personal tag that will show all of the key online resources that you have used for the project. Post a link to this tag at the bottom of your essay.
Our class will not meet at the regular time today. Instead all students are required to attend tonight's screening and discussion by Chuck Olsen of his film Blogumentary. During our regular class period, Professors Schott and Hager will be available for individual consultation with students on their creative projects.
Lifecaching is trendy term for the impulse to save and publish our personal histories with digital media. Whether it's writing and picturing yourself on a blog or caching thousands of images on your computer, we're using digital media to reinvent the 19th century scrapbook.
By today the Podcast of your final project proposal should be posted to your blog. We will review them in class from the browser.
Remember: all of the research for your We Media Podcast that is online should appear in your own Del.icio.us tag. For this class let's begin sharing any interesting videos that we discover by creating and linking to a Del.icio.us tag "camsfilm."
Sign up for Del.icio.us, a social bookmarking service, and begin to tag the research for your Podcast topic to your own tag. When your Podcast text is completed, all of the resources that you used should appear under this tag, which will serve as a kind of bibliography of web-based resources. If you would like to try another, similar resource like Furl or Spurl, that's fine. You will find several alternatives in our Notebook. Of course, you should explore Del.icio.us for all of the things that you can do with it.
In today's workshop you'll learn how to record, narrate and publish an audio Podcast. Although we'll discuss many technical options, we'll primarily focus on using the latest v3 of Apple's GarageBand, which features new Podcasting and publishing tools. We'll also discuss ways to effectively "perform" you narration and provide additional musical formatting, scoring and advanced features like implementing links within the podcast, visual images, and chapter marks.
By today you should have installed your stand-alone RSS newsreader and have subscribed to the feeds for the "Blogs To Start Your Newsreader," along, of course, with the feed for our own class blog and all of the blogs from others in our class.
Due: One week from today, Jan. 31, have completed and posted to your blog a short Podcast whose subject is a brief "pitch" or description of your major class project. Not only should this reflect your technical proficiency and demonstrated a proficient "read" of your material. The pitch should include both the topic of the project and something about why it's important and/or how it will be executed. Students working in groups should each make an individual pitch.
Ten suggestions for making a great podcast:
1. Assume that your audience is an "intelligent layman" who has a good general understanding of the world, but no particular knowledge about your topic. You're not speaking to classmates or your professor.
2. Write using short, declarative sentences. Where possible, use everyday language. If you use technical or topic-specific terms, be sure to define them. Remember, people often listen to audio while doing other things, so keep it clear.
3. Be concrete: if possible, write about actual events or experiences that illustrate your topic. Speak to your listeners' ears, but bring their visual imagination alive. This is a key to effective audio.
4. Beginnings and endings: be sure to write or make a compelling "hook" for your listener in the first 20 seconds, and bring your essay to a thoughtful, definitive conclusion.
5. Think of your recording as a "vocal performance" rather than just an exercise in reading into a microphone. Modulate your voice. Imagine yourself having a conversation with your listeners. Don't read your copy; perform it.
6. Before you record, exercise your voice by reading your copy in an exaggerated manner, articulating every syllable. Then when it's showtime, make every syllable as clear as possible. The last thing you want to do is mumble in a monotone, or speed-read to the end.
7. Ninety percent of getting good audio comes from following one rule: stay close to the microphone. For most vocal mics this is about 6 to 9 inches. Try a test recording first and listen for recording problems. Listen for hum in your system. Listen for pops—where letters like "p" seem to overload the mic. Listen for sibilance—where your "s's" seem to blur. Listen for background noise—like the hum of the computer you are recording with, or the lighting or refrigerator. Then do whatever you can to fix them. [But please remember to plug the refer back in.]
If you record using headphones you'll naturally hear these problems and fix them. Learn to listen like an audio engineer: ignore the content and listen to the recording itself, trying to find as many problems as possible. Then fixing them, of course. When you're a highly discriminating listener, you'll have "ears."
8. A long podcast may require that you record sections progressively. Pros can read a long text without mistakes, but most of us can't. Thank goodness for audio editors. Keep recording individual "takes" until you read one that you like, then edit the good ones together for your final podcast. You have one goal: making this as good as you possibly can. "That's good enough" isn't good enough.
9. Many pros suggest that you read standing up. This gets air into your chest and encourages you to breath deeply and "open up." Give it a try, but remember the mic still has to be close to your mouth.
10. Ask a friend to listen to and critique your recording. Be sure an tell them that you want to hear about absolutely everything that could be improved. [Friends usually want to say nice things, which is no real help.] You particularly want two categories of comment: on your performance and its legibility; and on elements of content or structure that were unclear to your listener.
Dan Gillmor's We the Media is a leading statement on the transformation of journalism from "their media" to "we media." This isn't a course in journalism, but it is about communication and our new enfranchisement as producers and publishers.
Over the course of the class, each student will write, record and podcast an audio essay or documentary on the the topic of the Personal Media Revolution. Essentially. we'll track the critical categories or issues found in our We Media Notebook, and we'll combine each of these essays to produce a serial podcast. So how to proceed?
1. Choose or be assigned a topic. Approval of the instructor required here.
2. Starting with links in our We Media Notebook, the dig into the deb and/or appropriate print resources. Based on your research, write an essay of roughly 1200 words, or 5 to 6 minutes of spoken narration.
3. Following our in-class tech tutorials, record your piece as a spoken word audio essay using the audio booth and equipment in the CAMS lab. Edit your piece using software of your choice, but Apple's Soundtrack Pro, ProTools or GarageBand are recommended. If you choose to make a documentary with interviews, etc., you may wish to record interviews—"phoners"—with national authorities using our telephone recording interface. Output your final essay or documentary as an MP3.
4. Upload your piece to the project blog, and to your own blog. Each project should have an associated RSS feed.
P2P video: 2006 the year p2p video explored on the web. Where, why and how.
Citizen Journalism [Sam Lowry]
Camphone citizen journalists
Lifecaching: the new impulse to digitize and share our lives [Karina Hill]
Economics of web 2.0 beyond the Long Tail [Dan Selz]
The Long Tail [Daniel Matanovic]
BitTorrent Nation: sharing, darkents & implications [Sarah Jones]
Web 2.0: is it, and what is it?
Copyright and We Media [Leah Sipher-Mann]
Open Source software and We Media
Remix [August Brown]
Tagging and Folksonomies
RSS and how it's changing info foraging
Videoblogs: what are they, and why?
Photoblogs: genre[s] and prospects
Video Blogging [Greg Marliav]
What is AJAX [and/or Grease Monkey] and why is it important?
The New News Portals
Newsreaders, and how they changed my life
Water Like Music [The Future of Music]
Blogging as personal expression [Khanh]