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I’m Rocketboomed and Other Media Madness

Me boomedWow, crazy media week it has been. I woke Monday morning to find myself in a Rocketboom segment (that’s me on the far left rocking the Ask a Ninja shirt). Rocketboom field correspondent and friend Bre Pettis was interviewing a guy at RoboGames who made a steambot and I just happened to be hanging out in the background. Violet and I were there doing our own videos for GETV which you can see here and here. Bre also interviews CTP on his Arca Musarithmica. Along with presenting crazy interactive musical robotic contraptions at RoboGames, CTP also officiated my best friend Jay’s wedding that weekend. It was a busy weekend for sure. Oh yeah, my best friend Jay got married. Big ups to him and Shiho on a happy future.

Then there’s all the craziness around digg. Digg 3.0 was released this week and to create some media buzz, Kevin Rose and the digg team had a launch party last week at a dark and hot (as in heat not as in the shit, though it was kinda nice) bar to show off the new and upcoming features. Irina and I were there doing our GETV thing, getting interviews with Kevin & the Stamen kids who are responsible for the brilliant visualizations you’ll see next month. So of course, our GETV episode gets dugg as does the bonus footage and we put blip.tv, our awesome hosting provider, through the digg test. Twice. They rocked it of course and the result is tons of new people know about GETV. Of course the digg crowd is damn fickle and despite their harsh words for Irina, I know they’ll be back.

Ze Frank is Vloggy Goodness

The vlogosphere keeps getting better, or I’m just discovering undiscoverd gems like Ze Frank’s the show. Ze’s show has been on my radar for a couple of weeks and now it’s down to daily must see viewing. Seriously, give up 2 minutes of your life and take in the fabulously fucked up essence that is Ze Frank. Describing him just won’t do it justice, so peek it yourself. He does everything you wish you could so you don’t have to, especially thinking.

the show with zefrank

Fun times at RoboGames

I spent a good chunk of time at RoboGames this weekend, 3 days of robot competitions ranging from big, heavy nasty combat bots to mini bi-pedal sumo bots. Did some GETV interviews with Violet, including this one I just posted of a maker of a robotic exo-skeletal assist suit. Also, here’s a quick vid I shot of two of the more deadly heavyweight bots, though it becomes apparent fast who has the advantage. Violet has some writeups and more videos.

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Vloggercon aftermath

Saturday morning crowd

The last couple of weeks have been crazy busy and fun, with Vloggercon last weekend and RoboGames this weekend. Vloggercon was awesome on so many levels, but mainly for me it’s the people. The videoblogging community is passionate, amazingly creative, and very supportive of each other. Even in the face of stark disagreement, videoblogging humans do come together to interact with 3d flesh and blood likeness of friends we’ve only seen in 2d.

My main role for Vloggercon was making sure we had bandwidth and WiFi to feed to he hungry video uploading and downloading masses. Amazingly, we pulled in 4, yes FOUR, T-1 circuits thanks to Layer 42. That’s a 6 megabit symmetric pipe we had to play with, much more than the inhouse DSL we had for Webzine 2005. Thanks to Cliff, I dropped in a Smoothwall caching web/DHCP server to help with download performance. The caching server meant that if 20 people decided to watch Galacticast at the same time, only one copy is downloaded off the net and the other 19 are served up locally. Even though we had a phat pipe to play with, we were dealing with 400+ video freaks, so it’s never bad to optimize. Feeding the 4 T-1s, we had 3 Linksys 802.11b wireless access points which worked like a charm.

We also had two live web video streams going throughout the event thanks to Alex and Monkeybrains. We had cams in each of the main presentation rooms beaming out the live vlogger love, combined with IRC allowing 150+ people to participate remotely.

Vloggercon was also meaningful because in several ways it was like the next iteration of Webzine. Schlomo booked the Swedish American Hall for the event after seeing how well it worked for Webzine. The 3 presentation rooms roughly followed the format we used for Webzine as well. This was very much a grassroots event created by passionate individuals who believe in independent publishing, being the media, which is what Webzine is all about.

Aside from handling the Internet and WiFi infrastructure for Vloggercon, and meeting tons of amazing people whom I’d only known online, I also pinched off a couple GETV episodes with Irina. There is the Robert Scoble leaving for PodTech episode and the fun Who is Your Secret Vlogger Crush? one. Good times all around.

What is the Square Root of Your Last Wikipedia Search?

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I did a GETV episode with Vancouver’s favorite geek yoga instructor at the Netsquared conference last week. I’m experimenting with blip.tv’s Flash embed. Like YouTube but without the watermark and better licensing terms.

Live from the Netsquared Conference

Net2 ConferenceI’m at the Netsquared conference today and tomorrow, which has the goal of bringing nonprofit orgs and technology providers in the same room to figure out how to work together. The lineup is pretty damn good (listening to Ethan Zuckerman right now rant about Bob Geldolf’s Live 8 concernt that raised “awareness” but not money for Africa). I’ll be doing a session tomorrow with Jay Dedman and Schlomo titled How to Videoblog and Change the World. That might be a lot to cover in 2 hours, but we’ll definitely get you videoblogging. The change the world part is up to you.

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SLOMO Video Premiere

Slomovideo

My good pal Ryan‘s SLOMO Video project is finally done and ready for the big public hairy eye. He’s put together 100 one-minute slow-motion videos by 85 artists. 64 of the 100 videos are Creative Commons licensed including my submission. This Saturday night in Oaktown. Check it!

Saturday, May 20, 2006 // $5 // FREE BEER // B.Y.O.Robutissin
Lobot Gallery, 1800 Campbell Street, Oakland, California
Doors at 8pm // Screening at 9pm // Slowdance Party til Late!!!
Sizzurupy slowjAmz by OonceOonce (tigerbeat) and DJ Ray Liotta (sneakmove)

SLOMO Video is a unique compilation of 100 one minute slow motion videos by 85 video artists and filmmakers from the bay area and beyond. This festival will stretch you through a molasses-tinged warp of catastrophic visual and audio beauty. See what your mind usually misses!

featuring notable slowness from artists such as:
LoVid // Matmos // Bec Stupak // Mudboy // Pea Hicks
Scott Arford // Lew Baldwin // Wiley Wiggins // Yoshi Sodeoka
Keith Fullerton Whitman // and many dozens more!

Halliburton SurvivaBall

Halliburton Survivaball

With SurvivaBall, Halliburton innovates a solution to global warming for the important mid-level to senior manager. Be sure to check out the pictures and video.

HALLIBURTON SOLVES GLOBAL WARMING
SurvivaBalls save managers from abrupt climate change

An advanced new technology will keep corporate managers safe even
when climate change makes life as we know it impossible.

“The SurvivaBall is designed to protect the corporate manager no
matter what Mother Nature throws his or her way,” said Fred Wolf, a
Halliburton representative who spoke today at the Catastrophic Loss
conference held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Amelia Island, Florida.
“This technology is the only rational response to abrupt climate
change,” he said to an attentive and appreciative audience.

“The SurvivaBall builds on Halliburton’s reputation as a disaster and
conflict industry innovator,” said Wolf. “Just as the Black Plague
led to the Renaissance and the Great Deluge gave Noah a monopoly of
the animals, so tomorrow’s catastrophes could well lead to good – and
industry must be ready to seize that good.”

SFiFF Update Three: The Bridge

The Bridge

It turned out that the SFiFF is mostly about docs for me. The Bridge is one that I had really been looking forward to ever since the it became public what the camera crews stationed on either end of the Golden Gate Bridge were up to over the course of 2004. Director Eric Steele takes on the story of those whose final destination is the world’s most favorite suicide location.

The result is an incredibly moving set of very personal accounts of suicidal bridge jumpers as told by family, friends and in one case a survivor. Yes, there is some very shaky and very real footage of a few jumps. They serve to punctuate the personal narratives and quite honestly, the film would be just as moving without them. The real story is what we hear from family, friends and survivors. The footage of jumps are shown once each, there is no slow motion or any cinematic effects that over-dramatize the reality we witness. We do see the Coast Guard boat with two white hazmat suited rescuers circling around for a jumper.

The documentary to be quite honest, is a bit of a downer. It’s a retelling of the sad states of emotion that led the jumpers to take the plunge. We learn about the lives of the jumpers, in some cases their incessant casing of the bridge prior to their final moment, the back story of what brings them to the brink. We do see one rescue as a passing tourist pulls a would-be jumper by her collar which elicits applause from the audience.

There is more, but I don’t want to spoil so go see it for yourself. The Bridge is a rare look into the lives of people who find no reason to go on. Prepare yourself as you’ll probably experience a wide range of emotions that will leave you drained. It is a necessary film, one that can only help to understand mental illness and the dark realities behind suicide.

GETV in the Chron

Great article on videoblogging in the SF Chronicle today, despite the headline. GETV gets a mention. They’ve got an accompanying podcast that we’re featured on as well.

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