Creating a super-mobile conference blog

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You know the old saying, ‘It never rains, but it pours’? Well, I’ve had one of those weeks … nice and slow for ages and suddenly, a bloggy downpour. At times during the week I found myself flipping backwards and forwards from one blog to another whilst fielding emails, telephone, and Skype calls from clients and collaborators. Oh the idiocy of multitasking! Continue reading “Creating a super-mobile conference blog”

Social media as the news

The last couple of posts on this blog have been stimulated by the scope and very public use of social media as tools during the US Presidential election campaign. This morning I shared some discussion on Seesmic with two contacts, one in the US, one in the UK. We chatted about the way the BBC and VoxAfrica had used Seesmic as well as Phreadz and 12 Seconds to grab vox-pops for their own website presentation Have Your Say. Some of these grabs were also screened on television. You can trawl through my discussion by clicking on the My Seesmic Conversations box.

Twitter made it through the madness of election day without any fails by the whale. Indeed, in the past couple of days I’ve been aware of a growing awareness and use of Twitter here in Australia. Numbers of users are increasing … there’s a Twitter survey doing the rounds to find out which city has the greatest number of users … and those users are Twittering the heck out of the service.

Calling sports events … well you’d expect that down here … was all the rage during the Olympics, the AFL Grand Final, and the Melbourne Cup earlier this week. I noticed the same thing happening during the baseball World Series a week or so ago. Sports fans can call the games a little too enthusiastically. If you don’t like the stream of scores and comment, you can mute it all and turn your contacts back on after the game with a smart-looking little Twitter client called Twalala.

Of course Twitter has its sober side. After SMS texting, Twitter is perhaps the most accessible of the array of social networking tools that include blogs, video reporting on mobile phones and online in other sites like YouTube. Weather reports, ideas and information transmission, calls for help and disaster reports have all been Tweeted. Yesterday, as the US election results were emerging, Twitter did service in providing the latest calls and commentary to a world bursting for news. The immediacy of Twitter provides the sort of instant gratification and social activity that we crave, with a sweet subversion of centralised media networks.

Here’s a video from TED by James Suroweiki who speaks about the day social media became an equal player in news gathering. On Boxing Day 2005, parts of South East and Southern Asia were devastated by a Tsunami. Social media reported and chronicled that event. News gathering has not been the same since.

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Online art show: Timeframe

So I went for a virtual walk through the online Timeframe video-art exhibition currently showing on Seesmic, and what did I find?

Well for a start, fascinating pieces that are clearly the beginnings of something other than the ‘funniest video’ type format usually found on YouTube, and which … you can bet your bottom dollar … are then virally transmitted around the web. Timeframe’s videos (at their best when confined to a minute or two) are clearly ‘arty’ with a perspective that frames them within the ‘take me seriously’ category. Some are derivative, playing with the medium itself, grabbing images from computer games and resassembling them into a game-free context. They’re little dynamic, colourful beauties which do indeed hark back to the punchy rhythms of online gaming.

Then there are the personal statements, tiny stories that play with time and perception … blurry, out of focus images moving in slow motion force the viewer to delve deeper into the representation. Cuts and pastes of an evening with an artist and a bottle of booze and pills have their own realist tension. More abstracted and dislocated images are coupled with soundtracks that blend the human voice, breath, sound effects and music … these can be eerily and compellingly disturbing or hilarious in turn.

The artists appear from time to time to interact with the viewers … the viewers interact with one another, a glass or two of wine is shared (screens are clinked for the ‘cheers’) and all in all it’s quite a jolly, non confronting experience … and an exciting one. We’re in at the start of what I have no doubt will be a new way of creating and showing work locally and globally.

Organiser and artist Christi Neilsen deserves kudos for getting this show together, as do the 10 artists who have gone public in a big way with this seminal exhibition. It all ends today but of course, will remain in the Seesmic timeline for a revisit.

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Moving Postcards


Creative Commons License photo credit: Leo Reynolds

I’m on holiday, so I’ve been playing with Animoto again today. I produced a short animated postcard on life around my place, here on a ridge in southern Queensland. It’s called Yarrawonga, which in the language of the indigenous people means ‘place of trees.’ I took the shots from the Project 366 set I’ve created on Flickr.


Creative Commons License photo credit: Leo Reynolds

At the time of writing this update, Moving Postcards is the most popular post on the blog. I wonder if it’s due to the title, or to the tags I’ve used here. Whatever the reason I’m delighted so many are interested in what is a description of my photographic habits at the time. I’ve now got a Nikon Coolpix L16 7.1 MP. It travelled right round Europe with me in July 2008 and performed like a trouper. Highly recommended.

I’m on holiday, so I’ve been playing with Animoto again today. I produced a short animated postcard on life around my place, here on a ridge in southern Queensland. It’s called Yarrawonga, which in the language of the indigenous people means ‘place of trees.’ I took the shots from the Project 366 set I’ve created on Flickr.

Continue reading “Moving Postcards”