Tag Archives: Media

Et Tu, Cloud? Caveat Clickor!

For the longest time, we knew where our data existed – it existed on our computers, typically on a hard drive or potentially a floppy disk. So now when we create files, let’s say on a Web service like Google Docs, for example, we may never actually know where that file sits. We know we can get to it from anywhere, of course, but it’s out there. In The Cloud. We don’t know the physical location of that file, but do we need to know, anymore? No, we don’t. That’s for someone else to worry about and track.

Our whole life is eventually going to be stored in The Cloud, no longer tied to a physical machine or hard drive. I’m not even really tracking any of my media, anymore. I have a Rhapsody account for my music; I subscribe to Netflix and Hulu. I’m not really buying any physical media, anymore. I’m not storing them on my local network. This data exists in The Cloud on these Web services that I pay to access. I know that, somewhere, the file is sitting on a hard drive waiting for me to point and click my way to it, but the responsibility of holding on to it is no longer mine.

Think of a public library – you can check out books, read them, and then put them back on its shelves without cluttering up your own at home. The archives are there for your benefit without requiring you to be their ever-vigilant custodian. The Cloud doesn’t charge you overdue fees, either, so don’t go saying the 21st century’s never done you any favors!

Storing your life remotely has its benefits, but as with any service that offers to simplify your day-to-day doings, be sure to research these places in The Cloud and make sure they’re reliable. Let your vision look toward The Cloud, but keep your head on Earth when you’re making the decision about what chunks of your life to stow away there.

The Other Mike from TechCrunch

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If you’re not following Mike Butcher on Twitter, you’re missing out! He writes for TechCrunch – but only for a specific part! Mike and I ran into each other at the [re]Think Hawaii conference recently, and had to talk about social media, and his take on things.

As I mentioned, Mike writes for TechCrunch. He started out writing only for TechCrunch UK, and has turned that into a gig writing for all of Europe and the surrounding areas. In Europe, Asia, and the like, everyone is spread out. Mike and his team work hard to bridge that gap, and bring you the latest news and information from everyone “across the pond”. They now have a total of 16 writers on board!

I asked Mike how he got his start in social media, or what drew him to it. He’s been writing about the Internet for many years, including for a magazine awhile back in London. He also worked for the American magazine Industry Standard quite awhile ago. After this, he began doing some freelance writing, and met Mike Arrington in London. He started talking with him, forged a relationsihp, and bam! Mike was off and running, writing for TechCrunch London.

For Mike, the Internet IS the office. That’s where he works, and where he lives. He feels that this is the new way of “doing journalism”. I have to agree with that, obviously!

He was drawn to the [re]Think Hawaii conference for several reasons. This conference had people from the US, China, and even Europe. It brought together a number of different personalities from all walks of life, and from every corner of social media and technology you can think of.

If you happen to run into Mike at a conference, take the time to talk with him. He’s a great guy, with excellent insights on the state of social media in Europe! Be sure you follow him on Twitter, as well.

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Mark Glaser and Jim Ray – Hacker Journalists at Gnomedex

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Why did media companies miss the boat on the web? They haven’t always valued the input from their own technology folks on staff. That’s changing as the web is becoming an important source for news and information. So now local newspapers, radio stations and TV stations are hoping that a new breed of “hacker journalists” can help them out by having experience in coding and also understanding journalism issues.

Mark Glaser is a longtime freelance journalist whose career includes columns on hip-hop, reviews of video games, travel stories, and humor columns that poked fun at the titans of technology. From 2001 to 2005, he wrote a weekly column for USC Annenberg School of Communication’s Online Journalism Review, and he still writes the OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. Glaser has written essays for Harvard’s Nieman Reports and the website for the Yale Center for Globalization.

Glaser has written columns on the Internet and technology for the Los Angeles Times, CNET and HotWired, and has written features for the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Entertainment Weekly, the San Jose Mercury News, and many other publications. He was the lead writer for the Industry Standard’s award-winning “Media Grok” daily email newsletter during the dot-com heyday, and was named a finalist for a 2004 Online Journalism Award in the Online Commentary category for his OJR column.

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I recently attended the WTIA Fast Pitch Forum & Technology Showcase. The conference featured two dozen of the of the hottest technology companies in Washington presenting their business in a competition for “Best In Show”. Konnect was one of the presenters. They are the only social media platform designed for local newspapers.

Konnects is a social media platform designed for online publications, magazines and newspapers to bring interactivity to your organization’s website. Their platform is easy to deploy and their solutions team can assist you in getting your online community up and running quickly.

Choose the colors, fonts, and banners to give your online newspaper community a unique look and feel that matches the branding of your organization. Each Konnects powered online community comes with its own email importers to allow your members to grow your audience base for you. As your community grows by word of mouth, so will your brand recognition, marketing opportunities, and ability to generate additional revenue.

If you are a part of an online news source, consider checking out Konnect. Don’t get left behind in the ever-changing world of the Internet… and the way we consume our news.

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Are Bloggers Journalists: Are Blogs New Journalism?

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Is blogging the new form of journalism? Should bloggers be held to the same standards as the media? Those questions were asked of me recently in an email, and raise a lot of food for thought.

I don’t know that I’d say blogging is a new form of journalism, no. Blogging is certainly a newer type of writing style. Blogging and journalism aren’t exactly the same, but they achieve the same results. A blogger writes out of passion, out of an extreme interest for a particular topic. Should a blogger then be held to the same standards as the media? I don’t think so, necessarily. I guess it depends on what your definition of a journalist is, as opposed to a blogger. The only difference I can see between the two is content. They’re both there to produce content. Bloggers write because they want to. Journalists write to get paid, because it is their job.

How many times have you had this happen? I’ll get a phone call from someone who wants to interview me, or include me in a story. They’ll take up a few hours of my time, asking tons of questions. Then, of course, they use only one thing I said or the story/comments aren’t used correctly. How many times have you been watching television, and the reporter just totally gets it wrong. You’re yelling at the TV, telling the person on the program that they are wrong! It happens all the time.

This is the main difference I see between bloggers and journalists. Bloggers tend to write what they know, think and feel. Journalists are supposed to give facts, and unfortunately don’t always get them correct.

In many ways, the Blogosphere is like this huge editorial board. If a blogger comes out with something excellent, it will spread like wildfire. It will be validated. Many people feel that bloggers should be held to the same standards as the media. But… what makes “the media?” Heck, I am the media as much as anyone else is. So who draws the line? Who decides what is journalism, and what is merely blogging? Who is the boss when it comes to standards for sets of people?


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Here's how to Spring Clean – Geek Style!

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It’s that time of year again. It’s time for Nature to bloom, for allergies to go crazy, and for Spring cleaning to commence. How do you clean? Have you ever considered cleaning Geek style? I know the Windows need to be washed. The OS X needs to be flipped. And of course, Linux likely needs a batting down. Ok, ok… that’s not the case. But chances are, your family is bugging you to do some type of chore. Here are some tips to help you not only clean and do chores, but to remain Geeky, as well.

  • Kill the dust bunnies! I don’t mean the ones under the bed. I mean the ones under your computer. Open up that case, take some compressed air… and clean that puppy out! If the air has been tilted the wrong way, it can have some moisture coming out at first. Always point the can of air away from the pc and blow it a bit before using it inside your case.
  • Go through and rename your photos and videos. As soon as you copy them off your digital camera, you have names like “IMG_001”. How annoying! People upload the files with those names. It cracks me up. Rename those photos now, before you don’t remember who or what they are.
  • Label your cables! I bet you have a million cables that goes from one thing to another, to the plugin, and back to another device. It can be a pain if something comes undone and you don’t remember exactly where it goes.
  • Alphabetize or Colorize your media library I don’t mean the ones in your computer… I mean the ones on shelves or in drawers. How often have you gone to open a DVD, and it’s either not there, or it’s the wrong video? It’s quite frustrating. Re-arrange your media on the shelves, and then order it in any way that is convenient for you. Heck, you could even order them by Genre!
  • Recycle old software or the boxes How many of you have an MS Dos 5 box sitting on your shelf? It’s time to let it go. If you have Office95 sitting on your shelf… get rid of it! I mean, seriously. Free yourself!

So there you have it! There are just a few of the things you can do to clean Geek style!


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How to Buy an MP4 Player

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One community member wrote in to say: “Over the last few years I have come full circle when it comes to MP4 players. So here are the 5 steps to choosing the right player for you.”

  • What do you need it for? If you want your MP4 player for listening to music and taking your favorite video clips with you to watch when you have a minute, you’ll probably be looking for a small screen player with 2 – 8 GB storage. Or if you’re looking for a device to use on the train to watch that TV show you missed last night or on an airplane to watch a movie or two, you’ll be looking for a larger screen player so you don’t strain your eyes with between 10 and 120 GB of storage.
  • Choose Your Brand! I’m sure I’m not the first to notice this but whenever Apple comes out with a new iPod, Creative will come out with something a month or so later that does just the same thing, looks a lot uglier but costs a lot less too. So if you’re a big apple fan with no budget, go for the iPod. If you’re not bothered either way, save some money and take the creative. Alternatively, if you’re just going to use it for watching videos, get an Archos.
  • Chose Your Model! With each different model you get a different screen size. If you’d rather have a small player, you’ll be looking at the new iPod nano with its sleek design and versatile storage, the new Creative Zen MP4 player with between 4 and 16 GB of storage, or the new Archos 105. If you prefer the larger player, you’ll be looking at the Apple iPod Classic, iPod Touch or the iPhone, the Creative Zen Vision M or W or the Archos 406, 506 or 706.
  • Protection. As with all small consumer electronic products, you’d be a fool not to buy a case. The Archos is the only device that comes with a half decent case. The others just come with those pouches to keep away dust and scratches. These are no good if you knock or drop the product so invest in a hard wearing case. It might also be worth looking into extended warranties and accidental damage cover. These things are expensive don’t forget.
  • Get the most out of your product! Now that you know what you want, look into the extra features and see how they will benefit you. You’d be surprised what features are on these devices. Wifi and internet browsers, card readers, AV input/output ports, docking stations, TV recording features… There’s a lot more than meets the eye to these players and most people don’t realize it!


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To Buy a Zune

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You may be trying to decide exactly what type of .mp3 player is best for you. Here are some reasons sent in by a community member, listing why he prefers the Zune.

  • FM Radio Not many other media players have this feature, but it’s a good idea to have if you want to listen to your favorite station, news, or if you just don’t want to listen to anything on your Zune. It is also possible to use this to listen to other people using their Zune and a FM broadcaster connected to it.
  • Podcasts Now I wasn’t much into podcasts before this last major firmware update and new release of the Zune 2’s. But with the new feature, I’ve been working on finding good podcasts to listen to when I work. And with the Zune software, you can customize your podcast subscriptions and auto sync the most current ones, or if you want to listen to old ones if you’re new to that podcast, start at the beginning.
  • WiFi and syncing With the new firmware and hardware came wifi syncing. Now there’s a misnomer that you have to connect the Zune to your computer to WiFi sync, this is only to setup the sync. After that, if you have your Zune software running and a wireless router, then you can sync when anywhere near the router. The wifi includes the so called “squirting” (sharing of songs with other Zune users in person) that you can do, which the 3 day was removed and the 3 play kept. The temporary keep is a DRM that is in place by Microsoft for the Zune.
  • Video Even though the screen may be small, it works for watching videos and even DVD movies which you’ve ripped from ones you own. And it’s possible to do and keep the quality you want for a small screen. Or if you have a Zune 80, you can have a slightly higher resolution. Another feature that I would put under video is the slideshow feature with pictures that you can add a music playlist to. You can use something like this for a wedding reception or graduation party.
  • Firmware updates Firmware updates you ask? Well, the reason being is that other mp3 & media players only give you the firmware that it was released with. But with the Zune, there’s updated features and bug fixes. Just as the latest major update added podcasts and wifi syncing and the last minor update fixed some battery saving features. New features are probably a little down the road but they have been pretty good so far.

Here are some current deals on Zunes:


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How to Stream Video Online for Free

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Many services charge money to help or allow you to stream content live over the Internet. Why pay for them, when you can use what I do. Ustream.tv is absolutely free!

Broadcasting live yourself is easy. Here’s all you need to do:

  • Go to Ustream.tv and sign up for a free account.
  • Once you’re signed up, click on the My Shows tab.
  • Click Start a New Show.
  • Click on Broadcast.

As long as you have a webcam and a microphone… you’re now broadcasting live… on the Internet… for FREE! It really is that easy.

If you have something interesting to say, or even new and different… why are you not already streaming? You should be.

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Streaming Live from the Podcast Hotel

I just sent this out a few minutes ago to my email subscribers. Since I’m streaming “behind the scenes” at the Podcast Hotel tomorrow and Saturday, I figured you should know to tune in. As today’s exerpiences and conversations with Eric Rice, dotBen, and Justin.tv illustrate – you never know what you’re going to get.

I’ve literally had no time to do much of anything over this past week. I’ve been throwing myself into helping people (yes, tech support – as in the TechTV days) in live video and audio chat, going on ’round the clock. When I’m asleep, someone’s usually awake.

Granted, it’s not always exciting – but there’s always someone there, and you never know where I’m going to be or who is going to be with me. We had quite engaging conversations over the past couple of days (as well as some downtime). I don’t think many of you have stopped by yet?

And if it doesn’t sound interesting at all to you, consider that there’s virtually no other way to have a dynamic conversation with someone who can’t see you (though you can see him). It’s been great fun to do.

I mention it again tonight specifically because I’ll be on location once more (you probably missed me shooting live in front of an audience of hundreds at Web 2.0 a couple of days ago). Today, I’m streaming conversations from San Francisco’s Podcast Hotel – and your commentary is very much a part of the ongoing “show.” I’m begging you: participate.

It’s kind of like Picks, only the community (you!) decide what gets picked throughout the day. You don’t have to turn on your webcam for this – it’s just me and whoever happens to be with me at the time (sometimes, that’s Ponzi – who really can’t wait to teach geeks how to cook, apparently).

So, with that – I should be back online within a few hours (gotta sleep now). All of my picks tomorrow will be going out live in chat. With video and audio, hopefully, streaming all the while. If you’d like to connect with your own IRC client for chat, you can log onto irc.wyldryde.org and join channel #Chris (The wonderful gang from #lockergnome are keeping everybody in line here, too). Don’t worry – all you have to do is watch and listen.

I’d much rather have you participate, though.

Podcasting? Time-shifted media? Live blows them away because you have a chance to shape what happens. Barring any unforseen technical difficulties, we should be good to go.