~hyper~text~log~ appears to be a new blog that concentrates on hypertext theory. There hasn’t been an entry for a while, so I hope it hasn’t died a premature death. Terra Rose Sullivan appears to be the author, and she is studying Library and Information Science at the University of Washington (hence the goretex clad in the wilderness photo?), there’s a flickr account too.

I Stumbled Upon

Yeah, I know. A lame title. My referrer stats showed me StumbledUpon.com which appears to be an interesting social software si

Commentary Eight

These are nearly-not-quite transcripts of the commentaries I have made in the BlogTalk DownUnder quote prototype.

What is a manifesto? A manifesto is always a normative call to arms. The writing of manifestos has a long tradition in various art and design practices, of which my vogma manifesto explicitly participates. It contextualises a practice, it changes over time, it provides a place from which debate can begin. It is useful to remember that the manifesto was written when no one was video blogging. The manifesto, I mean the idea of the manifesto in general, gives purchase to ideas.

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Commentary Seven

These are nearly-not-quite transcripts of the commentaries I have made in the BlogTalk DownUnder quote prototype.

what is and isn’t video blog.

Valuable role of defintions. Definitions are proscriptive. It is hard to imagine a defintion that couldn’t be otherwise. This is not their danger. Their danger is when this becomes equated with a closed understanding. A definition of a genre is made by a language or user community. It is not up to me to define, for example, what constitutes a western. If i wanted to make a western there are, to some extent, a set of normative restrictions I must adhere to. If my work is good enough (and good enough means recognised by the relevant discourse communities) it might lead to an expansion or revision of what is a western, but I can’t just go and film my kids playing in the backyard and say it’s a western. Not my decision. Out of my hands.

In regards to defining video blogging the role of definitions is important. People are applying for funding, venture capital, writing research. Each of these require working definitions. These same definitions help us to imagine the future, to think past what is to what ought to be. So the definitions being bandied around are also an ethics. The particular definitions I pursue explicitly begin from the premise that most ‘new media’ is defined by looking backwards, by measuring ‘newness’ against old media. And the criteria that are usually used are of the lowest common denominator – TV uses high bandwidth and studios and a broadcast model. We use low bandwidth, our bedrooms and syndicate. (Oh, so does TV.) The only difference in this is some notion of quality, which is either good or bad depending on your views around media aesthetics, access and ideology. But unless you only define TV as expensive broadcast populist content, then videblogs offer little that is new. They’re a better variation of funniest home videos (and the fact that it is trivial to imagine as a thought experiment a program called America’s best videoblogs to be broadcast, shows how little distance there is between videoblogging and TV).

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QuickTime Tools

Naked Software has a range of freeware available that let you do cool things in QuickTime (for example having light sabres, well I’m not sure how cool that might be, but have a look). Has other code there too.

Thought Experiment

If Godard had started as a video blogger, what do you think a videoblog would be? (Written by someone already jaded by all the bandwidth goggling 10 minute wannabe film makers who think video blogging is, like podcasting, just a distribution environment.)

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Make Your Own Video

Make Your Own Video is a new blog, from the UK, that is a videoblog. At the moment the content appears to be .wmv, but they

Commentary Six

These are nearly-not-quite transcripts of the commentaries I have made in the BlogTalk DownUnder quote prototype.

Nobody knows what will happen.

Wrong. This is what is happening. People get cameras and macs. They shoot and edit video. Right now this is pretty the equivalent to desktop publishing in 1985. We use computers to make old media. The only difference is that anyone can do it. This is a big difference, but only in terms of access and distribution, not media forms. It took the Web to change that. So this is what is happening. (see also point 5), people are confusing the ability to become a web film maker with work that works like text in blogs. Like work that weaves amongst others. All videoblogs, right now, are scared of the outside. Our videos in our blogs are closed to the chatter of the network. You can watch, you might even be able to recut, but you can’t just link in to that part of my video from a link in your video. Why not? The technology allows it. We just can’t imagine it. Our videos are books. They have beginnings, middles and ends and they’re written to stay that way. Why else are so many videobloggers using opening and closing credits. When I can quote just the middle of your video, what has your credit sequence become? It’s a book model. Old media. Old world.

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Welcome to a New Blog

Checking my referrer logs I found a new one, Mia’s blog written by Maria Wâhlstöm Bäcke of Karlstad University. This is

BlogRolls and Obligation

During Mark’s presentation at BlogTalk DownUnder he mentioned the problem of blogrolls. They are good points. If you blogroll a major blog, you maintain the A-list problem and (possibly) weaken the long tail that you are a key participant within. That once you’ve put a link in your blogroll you can never remove it because those you link to in your blogroll will interpret this as a rudeness. That many of those blogs you have linked to you might no longer read, or are even dead, or perhaps were good once but are no longer. Or were relevant to you but you have changed. What to do? Perhaps make the blogroll as malleable as the rest of the blog? So let it change over time. Or just turn it into a list of more useful information (much like Mark does). Rich details, what am I reading, listening to, seeing? Who am I reading.

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Links for Lecture on Blogging

Today I gave an introductory lecture to first year students on what is a blog. Prepared a straightforward keynote lecture which outlined the big picture points, and then surfed some blogs to colour in the details. All the media students will be introduced to their own blogs next semester, so hopefully it is a useful primer.

These are some blogs that I selected, more or less out of the blogosphere, to help give a broad idea of what blogs might be.

Blogs in Teaching

Ok, this is an excellent reflective entry from Melanie about blogs and the socius. Questions about disclosure, understanding and so on. All I’m indicating here is these are the sorts of things that blogs in education raise. It is not about content but the processes of networked identities. Without this grounding, this experience, blogs don’t make sense. It isn’t a specific content space, we don’t use blogs as de facto other things. We use them as blogs.