Sky, Too

This is a second version of the sky work. More elegant than the first, a little bit of sound, but instead of just that really

Video Vertigo

Video vertigo is an informal coalition of like minded video web people providing ideas and standards for video syndication. The fine people from are involved, amongst others. This is a good example of the sorts of grass roots administration that goes on online. These people are writing standards for syndication, subject to community and peer endorsement, and the entire process is transparent.

Their first project was the rel=payment initiative, where you could include a voluntary donation link (a tip jar) within RSS. They have also indicated a set of aggregation best practices, which outlines the key things any RSS aggregator needs to do in relation to video. This is largely in response to the third party vampire sites that have appeared that happily pull and display your content via your RSS with, usually, no acknowledgement. (Yes, it’s a breach of copyright, but there are not many videobloggers that can afford the lawyer.)

Draft Tech Exam

While RMIT’s network suffers some sort of major breakdown (there have been minimal network services since Monday, we’re still online but anything that is about getting access to Novell directory services is buggered) I’ll make available the draft technical exam here. The zip file below contains the draft material, but the video is already compressed otherwise the download would have been 80MB!

To use the lab remember to use the dscstudent password login combo, but at this stage you won’t be able to post it to your blog.

| Draft Tech Exam (pdf) |

The Mag

So, here’s the first issue of Blogger and Podcaster. Some old media that, like the million or so computer mags before it, is working out how to make a buck out of the blogosphere. I like the emphasis on money – “7 money making habits””, “becoming a podcasting consultant” and of course fame “The A-list blogger conquers video Podcasting”. And I love the online version of the mag, if I click in the upper corners the page turns, I mean, I just love that curl page effect and how easy it is to link from my blog to that article (“which one, well load the player and then type in a page number, that one”). Oh, and the ads talk at you, my god TV in a mag (unfortunately the compression is crap so everyone sounds like they have a lisp, if you’re going to do this, at least do it well.)

A Daughter

I seem to be having an emotional day. S., my oldest daughter, is now 12. Today she left with her maternal grandmother for a th


A small work. Three different views of the sky, all from the one day (some day in January, 2007). They aren’t supposed t

Vonnegut’s dangerous advice.

Well, aside from the vulgar language we have a good question in here:

Vonnegut’s dangerous advice.:

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

What the fuck’s up with that? What’s the point of writing something if the reader can finish the story themselves? There’s no need writing it in the first place. And what’s the point of reading something when you know what’s going to happen, it makes no sense. It’s like going to a restaurant and ordering the most basic meal. That’s fair enough if you’re hungry, but one of the best parts of going out to eat is the chance to taste something that you can’t make yourself. To be chanllenged, to try new things.

Perhaps what Vonnegut is describing is not that the reader would know how it would end but that they could end it themselves if the pages disappeared. The difference is in having enough information to be able to continue the story, which is not the same thing as knowing how the story would end (as the writer may have imagined or made it end).

Another way to think about this is to wonder about what sort of writer it is that insists that the only way a reader can know (or enjoy) their story is to have to not know enough so that they must get to the end. Perhaps the pleasure of the story is not in the lack of knowledge of the reader but in something else?

Reflective Practice

Today in the lecture it was about doing a reflective exercise. Some graph paper was provided and then a list of 30 parts of doing research or making a project were listed. The idea was to rank each item on how much you enjoyed doing it.

Why? Well, once you do this you get a map of what you are good and not good it. This can be used to identify things you should work on – for example while you might improve what you’re good at this will have much less effect on your work than on improving what you’re not good at – there is little room for improvement in the former and heaps in the latter!

It also lets you see how you are different to other students. This is one of the reasons why generalist assessment practices tend to privilege or ’self select’ for certain sorts of skills, and are biased against others. Traditional assessment, inspite of our best intentions, tends to privilege certain sorts of knowledges over others, and certain ways of expressing this knowledg over others.

The chart gives you another way to approach your major project. For example you may use it to identify your strengths and choose to play to your strengths in your project. Alternatively you may attempt to work on your weaknesses in your project and apply more time and effort to what you don’t enjoy. The first example will probably be easier and more enjoyable, the second you will probably learn more from. It’s up to you. In either case you would contextualise (discuss) this in the exegesis (a contextualising statement) that will need to accompany your project.

We also tried to map how long we spend on each task too on the same chart. It is often the case that we spend more time on the things we enjoy, and less on those we don’t enjoy. For example if you enjoy planning then you will always be a good planner. Simply spend less time on it, it will still be good enough, and use that newly available time on things you don’t enjoy doing – remember, this is where you can make the biggest changes to your practice, or to put it another way, changes that will have the biggest impact on the quality of the work that you produce.

While the items I listed are to do with academic work exactly the same exercises works well for production work too. Make a list of all the elements/parts of what is required in a production (you’re much better off having too many elements in your list rather than not enough) and then see which ones you enjoy. Again, you realise there are things you like and are good at, and things you don’t like and aren’t good at. Again, everyone is different and so using this you can produce collaborative teams that complement each other – someone who is good at planning and organising (producing?), someone who is good at coming up with ideas, someone who likes making, and someone who likes finetuning (script editing, editing, postproduction?). If you do this then you have no reason to have a group where someone doesn’t contribute – you know what you can do and can say so.
Graph for Reflective Practice | Reflective Scale Criteria |


I am a minor partner in a Carrick Institute project examining and developing resources/practices around Digital Learning Commu


To mention when I tried to answer “why” the other day. It is just sometimes good to do things differently, and to try something where you don’t know what the outcome or even next step might be. This might freak you, and if it does then great, you will learn that any job that requires this sort of creative activity isn’t for you. That’s a very valuable thing to learn (I think something like 40% of university graduates leave their first real job within a year because they realise it isn’t actually for them). It might not freak you out, but neither might it be particularly exciting. That’s OK too. And a small number of you will discover that this just really suits you – so you know never to become a producer!

Oh, and this is sort of facetious, but also a serious way to illustrate this idea more. There are plenty of things we do that are planned. There are also lots of things we do where we don’t know what will happen next. If you only ever did something when you first knew what would happen next then how are you ever going to fall in love?

Collaboration Exhibition

This is verbatim from Jason Daniels off the videoblogging email list:

The name of the project is the 100 Second Film Festival

Quite simply, it is an evolving collection of videos that are all one hundred seconds or less in duration. The collection is creatively commoned and projected at theaters, museums, bars, libraries, etc. Launched in 2005, the goal has been to use the web to share the videos giving people the power to build their own community based screenings. In 2007, that dream is being realized in new ways.

There are two primary ways to collaborate:

1) Submit a video to the festival. This video should be of fairly high quality (ie – close to full frame and not Flash). Email the permalink to Tag a video on Blip with ‘100seconds’. There are no limits on theme or subject matter, anything that is one minute and forty seconds or less is acceptable. Oh yeah, the initial deadline for submissions is July 1st. More details here<

2) Create your own screening. This is a more time intensive but more powerful collaboration. Around September 1st – we will be posting all the videos from 2005, 2006 and the new submissions from 2007 in a group on the collaborative software platform SpinXpress –

As an example, I am involved with at least two separate screenings in Massachusetts which will be composed of lots of local videos that will be posted to the Spin group. For the balance of the screening (an 80 minute show) I will be pulling videos from the Spin group. Another screening is being planned in the UK and that screening will feature local works plus a different slice of videos from the Spin group. Those interested can join our group and use the software to sort of sculpt their own festival out of the videos available. As a community event, it is usually a pretty successful draw. If you still have public access TV in your area you can work with them, too.

Some of the best from 2005 – 2006 are complied into this video on the Internet Archive.

If you would like any more information on the festival you can send an email to me at


Sarah, who is doing honours in labsome this year has gone through our new media undergraduate program. This means she’s