Tag Archives: digital-media

The Pancake Media Manifesto

At events, I find myself constantly surrounded by people who consider themselves “experts” just because they’ve wielded a pocket camera and a badge with a custom URL on it. Expertise comes from time served, lessons learned, and community activity.

Mind you, I’m just an enthusiast.

Remember when your computer was “multimedia” capable? That meant it had a sound card and a CD-ROM drive (potentially capable of 2x reading speed). That’s where it all began. Suddenly, “media” wasn’t just for journalists. I must thank Jim Louderback for reminding me of this functionally-proper (yet incredibly outdated) term.

Didn’t take long before the world was abuzz with the sights and sounds of “digital media.” This seemingly encompassed a set of tools which could instantly facilitate the creation of content. Analog became yesterday’s news. We traded in our cassettes and VHS tapes for CDs and DVDs, printed material for Web sites.

A business card seemed impressive when you had “Digital Media” somewhere in your title. Right?

Then came something called “new media.” Few could define its scope, though some might argue that this was nothing more than a “more lemony fresh” form of digital media. Perhaps the term only served to separate the “new blood” from the “old army” in terms of content publishing. One no longer needed to be a media powerhouse to get their message from point A to point B. The Internet was seemingly a more level playing field for publishers of all sizes.

A business card seemed impressive when you had “New Media” somewhere in your title. Right? Hardly see it anymore – when it was all the rage just a few short years ago.

And now, we currently stare down the barrel of something called “social media.” This is new, digital media worth sharing, no? Certainly. Fueled by a series of tools (connected by a series of tubes known as the Internet), when one pushes something out to their connected communities – it’s suddenly social. Makes sense. It’s largely seen as self-serving media, or serving-someone-else’s-self media. Sharing doesn’t imply caring.

Oh, and… a business card seems impressive when you put “Social Media” somewhere in the title. If only I could come up with a word to describe the deep and heavy sigh I exhaled as I wrote that sentence.


Producers love “digital media” because it saves them time and space; publishers love “new media” because it cuts costs and increases distribution; marketers and PR agents love “social media” because they finally have a chance to pitch to the masses without fear of reprisal.

So, what’s next? “New” is old news, “digital” is mandatory, and “social” is implied (unless your activity remains completely private). Once the wired grows tired of the catchphrase du jour, a new one will be borne and business cards can once again be refreshed safely.

What about “Pancake Media?”

Seems appropriate, given the…

  1. ever-increasing stack of tools at our disposal;
  2. insatiable appetite for creation;
  3. syrupy sweetness that inevitably comes wrapped around the connection of disparate pieces;
  4. byte-sized chunks being easy to chew on;
  5. limited amount one might digest before feeling full;
  6. need to feed and fuel one another;
  7. appropriateness to eat at any time;
  8. propensity to share what we’re eating, anyway;
  9. endless list of tasty toppings; and
  10. inherent need to end world hunger, one way or another.

More to the point, the next step in this cacophony of content is actually doing something with it (something Chris Brogan and I were briefly discussing the other day – and I’m not just name-dropping). We see certain aspects of this already, with some people content in providing knowledge, information, and general help.

“Social Media” ain’t shit if it’s not making the world a better place.

Is this turning into a manifesto?

I never expect that phrase to catch on – if only because it sounds equally as stupid as the term “social media.” Of course, those with “social media” somewhere on their current business cards would likely defend the phrase to the death. Remember, “Social Media Experts” are quite frequently nothing more than marketers in tweep’s clothing. The next time you meet one of ’em, tell them that “Pancake Media” is REALLY where it’s at.

Saving the world, one pancake at a time. Whatever the hell that means.

How to Experience Digital Media on HDTV

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You have digital images, digital video and even digital audio. What if you want to experience digital quality on your television? It’s not so easy to do, unless you have a specific device such as Hi-Den.

The Hi-Den HDMI Digital Photo Viewer is a small easy-to-use device that allows you to view your photos, watch videos, or listen to music right on your HDTV. Forget crowding around the computer. Sit back and relax on your couch while sharing your fave pics and vides with everyone. Show pictures on HDTV by inserting a memory card or USB drive. Play your favorite MP3 files through your tv, or watch slide shows from the last family reunion.

Assuming you have an HDMI television or a cable, you’ll be able to easily set this up. It has an AC adapter, and a remote control! It allows you to browse, or choose what type of device to watch from. You can even adjust the resolution right from the remote… supporting up to a whopping 1080p!! That’s about as good as it gets these days.

If you know of other cool devices I need to check out and review, drop me a line. I’m always looking for the latest and greatest gadgets!

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Bye Bye, VHS – The Last Distributor Gives Up the Ghost

Good luck finding a replacement VHS tape for your favorite movie. The Los Angeles Times interviewed the last distributor of VHS tapes, and they have shipped out their last truckload. Whatever is left will be given away or thrown away. It’s sad to imagine all those tapes rotting in a landfill poisoning the earth, and very unfortunate.

As you may have noticed, a lot of your favorite movies might not have made it to DVD, and last you knew they could only be had on VHS. Some cult movies, documentaries and independent flicks couldn’t afford the jump to digital media.

Now, this news doesn’t mean that blank VHS tapes won’t still be on the shelf at Staples or Wal-Mart. But it does mark an important place in history, as commercial recordings will be unavailable very quickly.

Will VHS take its place in the graveyard next to BETAMAX? Or do you think we have a while still, where we can do our own thing with our dated equipment? If you haven’t converted your favorite tapes to DVD yet, you may want to consider it quickly. Certainly you haven’t sent all your greatest moments captured on VHS to America’s Funniest Home Videos!

Do you have a plethora of VHS tapes? Are they movies you’ve purchased, home movies, or TV shows you’ve recorded over the years? Do you have tapes that you have no idea what is on them? Have you converted them to DVD, your computer, or to YouTube?