Notes to Self

In LiveStage Pro if you are targetting specific points in a child movie then:

  • To go to a specific time you need to use standard LSP timecode to indicate the point: nn:nn.nnn
  • If you want to check if the movie is up to a certain point in a child movie (using MovieTime for example) then you need to specific this time using LSP’s time code in 600ths. This is because when you request a value using MovieTime it will be returned as 600ths, where 1 second = 600.
  • If you get the movie time (via QuickTime) and multiply that out by 600s (unless I’m worse at maths than I realised) it doesn’t work. Just add a sprite that returns movie time of the child movie each time it is clicked via a DeBugString
  • If you want to use sprites to move to different parts in a child movie track, then it looks like you have to make sure it has stopped playing before you use the GoToTime command in QScript. If the track is already playing then the GoToTime command appears to only go to the current movie time, and not the specified time.

As far as I could find none of the above is documented, so I’ve been through a lot of trial and error. Some is obvious in retrospect, much wasn’t.

QuickTime 7

QuickTime 7 is now availale via the Update Software control panel. H.264, here we come.

Who Writes My Blog?

My early entry about who writes your blog has raised a couple of very useful responses from Mark and Lilia. Lilia observes that:

Links as relations have at least two parties (more if it’s true hypertext as far as I know :), but links are only indications, not relations themselves. Yes, I don’t have control on links to my weblog. Yes, those links can influence who I am – by creating opportunities for a contact or creating an impression that there is a relation. Yes, my identity is constructed in interactions. But all these doesn’t mean that there is less me in it…

Links are not only indications. They are, to be abstract for a while, vectors of force that effect incorporeal transformations. There, got the Deleuze beast out of me. What does that mean? A link can change, qualitatively, what a node means. It can do this quite independently of the content of the node, to the extent (and only to the extent) that it can make this change without having to change the content of the node itself. In simpler terms, a link (just like a film edit) can make something mean something else. This is work I’ve done in the past in hypertext theory, as has Susana Pajares Tosca. I can link to someone else’s content on the web, insert that into a new syntagmatic chain, and as a consequence change its role. This is, very fundamentally, the way major hypertext fictions (Afternoon, Victory Garden) work – you return to where you’ve been but it is never a return – good hypertext is always Heraclitean (sp?).

Therefore links effect qualitative change. The more links in to this blog, for example, from other blogs, my technorati rank changes. Now rank may appear here as a quantitative measure, but that’s a category confusion. Rank indicates authority, and what rank is attempting to indicate is the authority of a blog. Authority is a quality, not a quantity (when we say you have more authority than I we don’t mean that I’ve got a kilo of it and you have two!). So in this plain good old everyday sense, links that I cannot control, affect this blog qualitatively. This happens at all levels: links to a post, links to the blog, and so on.

Ok, all of that was written in a blur of passion and is way too dense for a blog entry. So let me restart and go to what is, for me, the heart of the matter. The suggestions that links are not relations in themselves. On this point, if I’m interpreting it as intended, I am in complete disagreement. (This was the surprising elegance of Small Pieces Loosely Joined.) Blogs are determined by their links. If I write online and don’t link out, and no one links in, I have what? A journal? A diary? A web page? Sure, but not a blog.

The blogosphere, all the tools we have to map this, recognise that it is only about the connections between parts. The connecting parts are of more significance than the parts themselves. This is of course the basis of things like Google bombs -the connection effects change over the meaning of the content, and it can do this quite separately of the content. This is what Deleuze calls an incorporeal transformation, it changes what it means but the object itself remains unchanged. In writing we call it quotation (see for example Derrida’s Limited Inc). By ‘only about connections’ I mean that the nodes are useful, even important, but it is the connecting of parts that is the blogosphere, period. Just like an ecosystem. Yes, that grasshopper is interesting and worthy of study, but as an ecology small part of a loosely joined system. And even if I study just the grasshopper I’m doing a serious act of reductive science if I think I can ‘understand’ the grasshopper by ignoring where it lives, the systems it participates in and which define it.

Links are these relations. They are relations that are external to the things that they relate. This is why links can have attributes that are separate from what they point to: my link that I call ‘agreement’ is your link that you call ‘example’ or ‘disagreement’. Yes these might come from different comments, posts, pages, etc, but it is easy (as a thought experiment) to recognise that when links have such metadata then links clearly express a semantic force that changes that which they link to. Just because (at the moment) most of our links don’t do this doesn’t mean they don’t have this force.

As a final but not final thing to think about. One of the ideas I was getting to, or at, is that while blogs are written by ‘individuals’ this is probably a naive view of a blog (and the blogging individual). My blog as a blog gains its authority from the links made into it. It is a simple (and problematic) heuristic, but surprisingly accurate – witness Google and technorati rank. It is, as my students sore ears can vouch, networked writing and not writing on the network. Where my blog begins, and ends, is a nontrivial question for networked practice and identity.

Working on Prototype 3

Ok, I confess. I haven’t finished my paper for BlogTalk DownUnder. A key part of my paper (the guts of it) are the proto

On the Radio

I was literally just on Radio National’s Life Matters program (the content will be available online tomorrow), as the ta

Melbourne Meet Up

From Jim Stewart (via videoblogging group):

Ok – Melbourne Vloggers, Vodcasters, VideoBloggers and whatever else we want to call ourselves, meetup on Tuesday 7th of June 6:30pm at the Transport Hotel @ Fed Sq. . Location: Square, corner Princes Bridge and Northbank.

If you know of any Melbourne based Vloggers or visiting vloggers feel free to invite them along. I’ll be inviting a few mates along who are keen to start vlogging. I’ll bring a handycam.

Quote Vog Prototype (Beta)

Big caution. This is an experiment and while it works fine on my 10.3.9 OS X three year old Tibook I’m making no promise


Wondering out aloud. What does it mean to have a credit sequence in a video blog?

Me: If video were quotable, and only part of the video was quoted, then the credit sequence becomes invisible.
You: Yes, but blog posts have a heading, and if you quoted only part of a blog post then the same applies. And if you linked to the video you were quoting, it would work, just like linking to a blog post, you get all the post.
Me: But it’s a credit sequence containing the url of the website, not the url of that blog entry.
You: So?
Me: So if I were to quote just part of your work, then where has your credit sequence gone? What is it going to do?
You: Not much, I guess, but I don’t get the big deal.
Me: Fair enough. I guess I wondering about the thing that credits suggest. The ownership, but also, they’re like book covers. But we aren’t making ‘books’.
You: Duh. Of course they’re not books.
Me: Yeah, ok, poor example. By books I mean films are like books. Opening and closing credits are like book covers.
You: Yeah, OK, I can see that. That’s pretty nifty actually.
Me: Yeah, I guess it is. So, books. They’re solid little things. Not really networked at all (just the illusion of networks, the networks we had when we didn’t really think, or couldn’t really think, about networks). Our networks are now porous.
You:Porous? Networks? What the…?
Me: Think about this blog. It is porous. The network pours through it. It pours through the network.
You: Nah, you’ve lost me there.
Me: Ok, this blog has links out. Links from the blogroll, links inside posts, links to technorati, blogstreet, and so on. But that’s only half of it. There are all the links in. That’s what makes a blog a blog. So it is porous.
You: Ok, I can sorta see that. Sorta.
Me: Well, the beauty (and authority) of a blog is, if you like, how porous it is. Blog posts, for example, are very porous. Each post can link out, and be linked in. And they’re of a size where they can be linked in to and someone coming from elsewhere can ‘get’ what the post is about.
You: It’s not like they have to read the whole book. Or a book.
Me: Exactly! So, as I was saying, if our videoblogs all have credits, then people seem to be thinking of their video as ‘whole’. As finished, complete. And I reckon this influences how they think about their video. And it doesn’t make sense. Video needs to be porous too.
You: What is porous video?
Me: I think we’ll leave that for another day. But once that happens, credits will be irrelevant.

BlogTalk Prototype 1

For BlogTalk Downunder I’m preparing three vog prototypes that just make visible some of the things you can do in video

Video Migration

When I first starting vogging I struggled with a lot of things that are now, in retrospect, non issues. One of these issues was content, what should I include and why? The idea of presenting myself, as a talking head, was anathema to me, though I’ll leave discussion of that for another entry. A more mundane problem was whether or not I should have a blog that was only video, or a blog that mixed video and text.

I eventually decided on the latter, and so had one blog that only contained video, and one blog that only contained discussion of these videos, as well as the more usual blog stuff. Not any more. From now on the video is going to be included here, and the original vog will be archived and laid to rest. Why?

Well, a lot of people find one, but not the other, and so my writing and documenting of material is not found via the vog site, or people think I only blog about video and don’t make video. More importantly though the effort to separate them (and a lot of my vogs contain a lot of textual material, I include the text inside the video in some way) is just a false problem. Andreas I think has made that very clear in numerous postings to videoblogging, and in his blog. Blogs are social spaces that combine media and video is another mix that we now put into that soup. The question or problem of should it be only video is silly. It’s like saying a blog is only text (there goes the flickr feed). Obvious now, wasn’t in 2000. The video still has to do or be more than just an embedded clip, for exactly the same reasons that a blog entry is more than an hermetic paragraph of text (like you’d find in print). It has numerous tools that hook out, that allow links in, and for these parts to form greater wholes. A whole language of phase transitions, strange attractors and small world networks. We need these tools for video.

But now my vogs will be here. In amongst the rest, as it always ought to have been.

An Agenda, Again

First off, via Eli Chapman we find Fred Viola’s beautiful little QuickTime piece which, though he made it in AfterEffects is a cinch to do in QuickTime Pro. Haunting, considered, understated yet says a lot. From here I jump cut to Will Luers who uses the definition of haibun to think about a vlogging aesthetic. Yes, this is what our work should do. Things that quicken the heart (as Chris Marker memorably mentioned once). Otherwise, why?


Tara makes a brief post about what makes a good blog. The idea that it should express you but not be about you, while I’m not sure is actually the case, is a strong idea worthy of consideration.