57 posts categorized "Video"

Fun Video: The Joy of Books

I can't even begin to imagine the amount of time it must have taken to create this video... but I admire the folks you did it! Fun to watch...


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The Remarkable Success of Sean Quigley's Little Drummer Boy Video

The tools we have today to unleash creativity are utterly amazing. Recording a version of the classic song "The Little Drummer Boy" is not terribly remarkable... but... creating your own arrangement, playing all the instruments and singing, recording and editing a really fun video, and then getting 1.4 million hits on YouTube... and all at the age of 16... THAT is remarkable!

If you haven't seen it yet, just watch 16-year-old Sean Quigley's video:

As a result of the amazing interest in the video, the high school student in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, (note the red "Canada" gloves in the video) has now been on the major Canadian TV and radio networks and has been receiving attention from around the world. As articles in USA Today and on CTV News can attest, he now has an agent and is in fact selling copies of his song online.

This interview on CTV News back on December 2nd gives a bit of the background:

Of course, at that time, the number of views was still only in the thousands. Now, as I'm writing this post, the number of views is closing in on 1.4 million... and I'd expect it to probably go even higher.

What I find so cool about this all is that Sean Quigley did all of this himself with the help of a few friends.

He shot it all using a basic DSLR camera. He recorded all the instruments and vocals into a computer. He did the editing/post-production - I don't know using what software but there are many inexpensive choices.

No fancy commercial production houses. No extra producers.

Just a talented individual able to make use of tools he had available.

He didn't need to ask permission of anyone to upload the video.

He just did.

It's awesome to see... and he and his family and friends certainly have a good bit to be proud of... I'm looking forward to seeing what he'll do next!

And I'm looking forward to the continued creativity to come out of all the people in this world with the easy access to tools... and an open Internet on which to publish their work...

P.S. Those interested in following what is next for Sean Quigley can follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.


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How The NFL Loses With Its Copyright Takedown Notices On Video Clips

I'm not a regular football fan. Sure, I enjoy watching a game if it's on somewhere and I might watch the playoffs or Super Bowl... but watching football is not part of my daily/weekly routine.

Still, when I saw an tweet about the video of an amazing touchdown run, I went to go look because such feats are often great to watch.

But... after pressing the "play" icon, here's what greeted me:

Nflcopyrightclaim

Yep, the NFL apparently issued a copyright claim to YouTube to have this clip taken down.

IT WAS A 43 SECOND VIDEO CLIP!

43 seconds.

My initial thoughts, of course, were extremely negative to the NFL ("What a bunch of losers!").

My second thought was... oh, well, there are a ton of other interesting sports and other video clips to see.

NFL Loss #1: Any Potential Interest I Might Have Had

Right then, the NFL had a moment to engage with me and remind me again of how exciting the game can be!

Maybe I might have said to myself that I should watch games some more and perhaps take up my brother-in-law on his invite to come over and watch the Patriots play. Maybe I might have read up more about what was going on within football. Maybe I might have looked for some other football video clips.

Regardless, I would have been more positive about football and the NFL.

Instead it just leaves me with a negative attitude toward the NFL and no further interest in looking for more football info.

I'm even less a fan now.

NFL Loss #2: Viral Sharing

Note the "Share This Story" part of the screenshot above:

Nflcopyrightclaim sharing

Consider those stats:

  • 831 people liked this page, with the result being that the link to this page went out in the new Facebook Ticker to be potentially seen by their friends. How many people might have seen that? hundreds? thousands?

  • 293 people specifically shared this post out into their Facebook NewsFeed, meaning that their friends would see it in their feeds. Once in Facebook it can be shared out again by others. Again, how many people? hundreds? thousands?

  • 8 people clicked the "tweet" button on this page. Countless others could have tweeted it out through other tools, or retweeted those tweets.

  • 25 people emailed it using this interface.

  • 4 people "+1"'d it.

And this only shows the numbers of people who shared the story using this widget. The story may have been shared many other times via other routes. The link to the video on YouTube may have been shared out through many other ways, too. (And YouTube no longer shows the stats for the video, so we have no idea how many people actually watched it.)

So how many people saw the link to this story? hundreds? thousands? more? fewer? Hard to say... but some number saw it and did what I did - clicked over to see what sounded like an interesting video to watch.

And all of them got the same message... that the NFL had a copyright claim on this particular video.

And odds are that they won't blame the news story or the Huffington Post for linking to the video... instead they'll mentally blame the NFL for asserting a copyright claim.

And there will be no further re-sharing...

43 Seconds

Now I completely "get" that the NFL needs to defend the copyright it has on it's content. I create my own content and have done so for many years both for myself and my various employers. I fully understand the need for protecting intellectual property.

But a 43 second video clip?

Granted, it might have been the most exciting 43 seconds of that entire game... I don't know, since I didn't watch it.

But would it have killed the NFL to make that short clip available?

It would really be "marketing" for the sport of football. It might have gotten more people talking about the sport ("Wow, did you see that amazing touchdown run?"). It would have spread virally as people shared it even more with others.

I know, I know... it's a "slippery slope" and if the NFL doesn't assert it's copyright where it can then it opens the doors for many others to post videos. And I don't know the rest of the story. Maybe this particular YouTube user has repeatedly posted copyrighted video clips. Maybe there's an "official" video clip that the NFL wants people to use... maybe... maybe... maybe...

But still, 43 seconds?

P.S. And a quick google search shows that the clip is still available on other sites...


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Do You Flip? Cisco Says "No" And Shuts Down Flip Video

FlipvideoI've always thought the Flip video cameras were among the coolest of the latest wave of consumer video gadgets out there. Pull one out, point it at someone or something, press the big red button and start recording. Flip out the USB connector to plug it into your PC or Mac and... ta da... your video was up onto YouTube or in email or whatever.

How many zillion videos have been shot with Flip cameras over the past few years? How many "person-on-the-street" video interviews have been shot at events, conferences or just anywhere? How many video podcasts have had episodes quickly created via Flip cameras?

I long desired a Flip camera but held off for the promise of some of the WiFi-enabled versions that Cisco talked about some time back. Meanwhile, many folks continued to buy them.

Not any more.

Cisco Systems announced this morning that it is shutting down the Flip video division and will "support current FlipShare customers and partners with a transition plan".

On one level, it's not a huge surprise... the acquisition by Cisco always seemed a bit strange. While Cisco has had a consumer presence, most notably with the Linksys product line, that consumer focus was still around Cisco's core networking. You could stretch the Flip acquisition to fit in with all of Cisco's other breathless talk about video, video, video... but still, it was a consumer camera and did seem odd. Obviously Cisco management held this view.

One also has to wonder if there really is a place now for a dedicated "pocket" video camera. I do record videos these days... but using my iPhone 4 that is always with me and able to just start recording. With the rise of the iPhone, Android devices and even Blackberries with cameras, the writing may have been on the proverbial wall for Flip for quite some time.

Still, it's worth pausing for a moment and celebrating how effective Flip was at introducing so many people to creating new video content and sharing it online. Thanks, Flip, for all you did... and for your "big red button" that made it so easy for people to get started!


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TED Video: Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 2.0 is Truly Amazing!

This morning, by way of a tweet, I learned of this incredible video of Eric Whitacre's recent talk at the TED conference. Given that I spent many years myself singing in choirs, I was truly moved by seeing what he and the folks involved are doing. I'm definitely looking forward to the "Virtual Choir 2.0" premiere on YouTube later this week....


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TED Video: The Birth Of A Word by Deb Roy (and visualizing social interactions)

If you haven't seen this video that has been circulating around some parts of the Twittersphere, it's well worth a watch. As the abstract says:

MIT researcher Deb Roy wanted to understand how his infant son learned language -- so he wired up his house with videocameras to catch every moment (with exceptions) of his son's life, then parsed 90,000 hours of home video to watch "gaaaa" slowly turn into "water." Astonishing, data-rich research with deep implications for how we learn.

What is also interesting is the part after his son's word where Deb Roy looks at how they applied their techniques to analyzing social interactions online...


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YouTube's "1911" April Fool's Effect Is Admittedly Amusing

I thought it was silly when I first heard about it through TechCrunch, but then I watched one of my own videos through the "1911" lens (a recent Emerging Tech Talk video) and I do have to admit that it is amusing and clever... just click on the "1911" button in the lower right corner of any video that has it (you can click on this image to see one)...

Youtube1911

... and immediately you are transported back into a time of grainy, sepia-toned silent films where someone played ragtime piano music while you viewed the film.

Now in the case of my video, the effect is also completely useless, because you can't hear a word of what the person is saying.

Still, it's a fun hack to see for a moment, anyway. Kudos to the YouTube team for coming up with something fun.

P.S. YouTube has a blog post up about 1911...


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iPad 2: Watching Streaming UStream Videos

Last night here in hotel room in Orlando, Florida, I watched a colleague of mine, Adam Kalsey, give a presentation about Tropo.com out in San Francisco at the East Bay Ruby group... on my iPad. Now, big deal, you say... well on one level, it IS a big deal because Ustream.com uses Flash, which is of course evil to the iPad. So I couldn't just go to the Ustream.com website. Instead I had to install the Ustream app from Apple's AppStore. With that installed I could search on the video and... Ta da ...

Now the reality is that the "app" may in fact be a packaged flash player... but it worked! Pretty cool to see...

iPad 2: Watching Streaming UStream Videos

Al Jazeera Providing Excellent Live Coverage of Japan Earthquake

UPDATE: No sooner had I posted this piece than Al Jazeera switched to cover the other major story of the unrest and military strikes in Libya. They continue to be switching back and forth between the stories.

Like many of us here in North America, I had never watched Al Jazeera prior to the chaos in the Middle East over the last month or two... but when I did I was impressed with the coverage they offered. And so with the massive Japanese quake in the last hours, it is perhaps no surprise that Al Jazeera is once again providing great non-stop coverage:

http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

Incredibly surreal footage... my thoughts are definitely with all the people affected by this massive event.

Aljazeeralive


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The Back Story Behind The Darth Vader Boy in the VW SuperBowl Commercial

Unless you were offline the past few days, it's been hard to miss mentions of the (admittedly cute) VW SuperBowl ad that features a young boy playing Darth Vader, complete with the ever-impressive Star Wars soundtrack. Certainly in my circles, it has been tweeted, facebooked, blogged, and shared in pretty much any other way...

MaxpageIt turns out that there is another great part to the story... by way of Luke Armour (on Facebook), I learned that the child actor, Max Page, was a patient at the Los Angeles Children's Hospital where he received a pacemaker at 4 months of age.

It's cool to see this story behind the story... and the L.A. Children's Hospital certainly gets kudos on a several points:

  • Just getting this story out there as a blog post for people to find and share;

  • Nicely mixing in pictures and video into their post;

  • Posting the photos up to Flickr as well as the blog post;

  • Imprinting/watermarking the images with their logo for all the people, like me, who will use those images in posts like this one.

Sure, it's a textbook case of riding on a wave of viral publicity to promote your organization (L.A. Children's Hospital) and cause (children who suffer from heart conditions)... but... DUH!... that's what the communications team for an organization should be doing!

Well done, L.A. Children's Hospital! Thanks for giving us a bit more of the story behind the story. (And kudos to Max Page, too, for his well done role in the ad.)


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