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Post #1861

in time

By Andrew Baron | "Andrew Baron" <videoblogyahoo@...> | hamletphase
November 19, 2004 | Post #1861 | Topic #1861

I wasn't planning on responding to Shannon's comment, but after all, I wanted to say thanks because actually, it is the best comment we have gotten. It certainly was delivered in the worst possible manner but there are a few things he (or is it she) mentioned that I was going to bring up anyway. By complete contrast, M. Sean Gilligan's moving and certainly exciting-for-me video comment was, in my mind delivered in the best possible manner, though the content of the comment was not nearly as valuable to me because what you were saying Sean, as it compared to yourself - false by non-sequitur (as others also saw and mentioned in their comments to you). I feel the same way. There is no way I could do this myself. Right now there are three of us dedicated to nurturing this project to grow. There is also another person involved who seems to be silently giving us an unbelievable amount of back-end support. There are also several other relatively informed people in various different fields who are watching over us with a close eye, lending their friendly advice. It was my one e-mail to all of you that truly launched us apparently, taking the word outside of the videoblogging list to what is now a seemingly quickly growing endeavor. Its certainly going better at this point than any other project I have ever done with any medium. But lets not get to excited here. Because even with all of this, as Shannon mentioned - and I agree - rocketboom sucks. It sucks foremost because of the medium, in my opinion. I think most people would agree that when it comes to weblogs, for instance, one of the more important inherent qualities that defines a blog (like having comments) is a temporal quality that is as fresh and close to the moment as possible. Of course weblogs are used for all kinds of purposes and many of those have nothing to do with time but at least for rocketboom, time is of the essence. This is exactly my greatest fear and the cause of why rocketboom sucks. To again try and explain my point please allow me to contrast rocketboom with another project that I have done in the past called Ten Concertos for the Wind. This project is to-date my all-time best, as far as I'm concerned. It is an album that I wrote and recorded with string, winds, horns and percussion. Hardly anyone in the world likes it and the dust is accumulating (I cant even get people to download it for free). For five solid months I spent countless hours tweaking the slightest variables of the wave files and really working and sculpting everything about the work from the writing, transcribing, directing the musicians to play the parts, recording everything, stacking all the tracks on the computer and pretty much, in a vacuum from the rest of the world, blissfully just going at it with no rhyme or reason. I didnt have a deadline, time was not of the essence. I would be done and finished when ever I decided I was done and finished and though the whole process I never even knew were I was going. The fact that it does not register for other people is of no consequence to me. For me, I did it with this one. With rocketboom, I'm finding that so far, if we are going to meet that deadline, and I want it to be good there is no way I can sleep because there is not enough time. I'll go as far as to say, for me, it would be impossible. I cant tell you how completely awful and miserable I have been feeling this week having to upload these videos looking like they do, when, if there was time, I would probably still be working on the first one. I'm embarrassed because I'm coming from a visual arts perspective where I value creativity and quality and especially whatever is timeless, and now I'm doing the opposite, in my opinion. The ideal for me with this project would be to combine the two. Being able to create and make available timeless, well produced content, everyday, would be the best case scenario. So thats not happening now and it's no surprise. Our original plan was to do what we could with the resources that we have before anymore time elapses and do it for one month, and then reassess to decide if its working and worth devoting more resources to. The good news of this e-mail for me at least is that we are already doing better now than the standards I personally would have insisted upon by the end of the month. So it will go on. The next step is to get more people involved. I know that it feels wrong to bloggers to imagine a whole team of people working this though I would like to elaborate here on where I would like to see this go, because it goes beyond the goal of the best case scenario I mentioned above with a daily, well done show on the internet. I know there is nothing new going on with what we are up to but there are certain events (mostly technological) that have happened very recently which are extremely imporatant because of how they are coinciding. Not to say you don't know, I'm just illuminating. Obviously the whole RSS thing is major news right now and I fell like we started off, again with regard to time, at exactly the right moment, literally within several weeks of a timeframe. Also happening right now is the ongoing exponential growth in broadband and I realize now we need to do better serving higher quality files. The political season brought the 9 to 5ers online to see saterical opensource media and John Stewart's appearance on Crossfire created the need for the TV masses to set up their computer players, plug in those crappy speakers and watch it online because they didnt see or tivo it. Blogs are peaking with major influence for reaching such a large audience. Its this part about the large audience that I'm concerned with mostly as the means to an end - the real opportunity here that we all see, which, in its pure state, would show in the form of a ruthless takeover of murdockesqu media conglomerates - ruthless for freely using the technology that is available now to <i>distribute</i> (key word here) a single production, be it tv style, not-tv style, or whatever - the moving image, the still image, you name it- across the world for a fraction of the cost, contributing to the ability for anyone who can create good or bad content to have a voice, everyone else to have more content available to choose from, and, ahem, quickly uniting the people of the world with the kinds of connections people enjoy now in their physical neighborhoods, allowing them to see, be seen and interact with the rest of the world, with less fear. Thus, supporting a world-wide open-source-like copyrights scenario where people reliaze the benifits that can occur from freely distributing your media, as Lawrence Lessig has shown so well with daunting sales of a book he released online for free. In otherwords, when Bluetooth sent a cease and disist letter to Josh telling him they owned the word "bluetooth" and he could not use it in the way that they controlled, they didnt understand that josh's cause inconsequently was greatly promoting their product and that also, they would then alienate their most important fans. In my mind, do mostly to the extremely dispropotionate difference in the cost of doing a tv show compared to an internet show, especially with regards to a near-zero cost means of promotion, I think now that WE ARE distributing around the world, the next frontier for the world of media online must be promoting that that content (It was easy to get my albums on physical shelves but noone knew they were there). It seems like there is a wormhole here where we can take 'em by surprise. Take advantage of their traditionally slow and conservative pace and leave a lot of their shitty practices behind. Who "they" is, is all togeteher unclear for me, but I'm talking more about systems. Its so interesting to me that so much money is put into local network cable stations to broadcast their content to one small town (or even here in new cork, a large and influential city) when, i don't know, it seems like for a fraction of the cost, that same company, could be sending their content outside of nyc where people are probably more interested in it anyway. Again, not a new idea, just a point. So putting all of this together, its a no brainer that (a) media will eventually be served entirely over netwroks that cheaply allow for world wide distribution (this could of happened on a larger scale already perhaps if the entertainment industries, fcc and other like organizations were not so slow to react) and (b) that means if you want to put something out there, like a musical recording or a video of your dog or, why not - a hate filled syphillus inspired e-mail - you can. And you do. So this leads finally back to where we are rigt now. Last night I got a chance to attend a lecture by Tim Mott. He worked at PARC and created what most people consider to be the first video game. He was the first to user-test the mouse in the industry on a team building the first desk sized computer that sold on the market with a mouse (first to newspaper editors) and co-founded and leads Electronic Arts, the largest video game comapny. Apparently he also invented a bunch of other stuff like the trash can and double click, etc. Luckily he allowed me to video tape it and Ill be putting it up on Julia Set in the next day or two. I'll let you know when its up because it is a must hear/see. For me, this lecture was the equivalant of Buddah finding enlightenment. Just as I was feeling bottom of the barrel with the cheesy aspects of rocketboom, Mott said a few things in reflecting on his path through-it-all that poped me out of it. However trivial sounding to you this may be, he said, about his experience as an innovator, - 1. be the first 2. be a team 3. be the best. You don't have to be first, and you don't have to be the best (you certainly don't need any of the three) though those three things combined - thats something to inspire moving forward on. Talk about being saturated with the idea of timing - are there more than a thousand people in the US who have even said the words "video blogging" outloud? Come to think of it, surely there must be, I mean its so obvious. It can support so many different kinds of content so easily. So what we need more than anything right now on our particular team here at rocketboom, is someone who knows how to use a camera and can edit. I know you are thinking that what we need is someone who understands how the format should go. The format is uncertain at this time and all of the comments that you have been giving so far are ultimately pumping this project to thrive. . . I believe right now very strongly that Josh, Amanda and myself are. . . there is so much to say. . .I believe very strongly that we can successfully filter all of this contrasting information and differences of opinions into the right format. I have trust that we know enough respectively to make it work this way, possibly, and can also choose the right people to collaborate with now and in the future. Currently Josh has taken a full time job outside of the city which is an awesome job but of course I'm very sad because I am certain that some of the very best little moments that I have seen in our content comes from his truly expert understanding of blog culture and writing, which lukily can be contributed to from afar, especially with, eh, todays technology. Amanda currently works full time as an actress also sleeping only a few hours a night though has been dedicated and committed to doing whatever it will take to make sure she is there. I saw over 500 resumes and headshots and underwent many screening and while I too wished Amanda was already an expert on blogging, one of the main reason why I choose her, even over other blogger-actors was because I knew that once the format was determined she could play it and also because I know that blogging and internet culture is something that anyone can learn, and it can be learned just as quickly as everything else that is flying by - and if you look at her resume and ever get a chance to meet her you would see right away that she is extremely bright, creative, and especially very willing and interested to learn or do just about anything. Did Amanda know what PHP was before the story? Of course not. Neither did MOST of the people who saw our news flash (news flash was used loosely because it was old faux-news, but new news to us). But hey, in less than one minute she went from not knowing what PHP, MYSQL and ASP is to now knowing more about it than most people. [*note to Amanda who is on the list: word up]. So anyway I'm ready to close this longwinded overly revealing (in a psychotic, unrealistic kind-of-a-way), highly opinionated and especially unsubstantiated response. I have never had a successful business, my financial state of affairs is massively unaccounted for, I tend to spread out into into too many directions always just doing fairly well with a lot instead of super-well with a little and more than likely, with my luck, especially having said all of this, I will end up getting hit by a truck, or worse, start getting more and more hate-mail until I finally become stoned to death at a videoblogger convention. . . in L.A. The last thing that I would like to say though, for this one, is that I have been shooting and editing everything myself and I have no idea whats going on here. As I mentioned before, in my introduction to the group, I have not had a TV in 10 years and I have never paid much attention to lighting and framing and edits, etc. The fact that this entire project is being done right now with a consumer camera, a couple of lights and a mac laptop is impressive to me and part of what is extremely important too to our causes though I would like to find someone who is local and an expert who can commit to this to substantially raise the bar on that end, tonight. If they was a videoblogger - hint, hint, nudge, nudge - who also had a bunch of great ideas to contribute to other areas of the production as a bonus, we could begin to work our way out of the quagmire that we are currently in because instead of working on the content and the website I have spent about 97% of my waking hours this week editing tape and whoo. . .say no more except that I should do none. I'm writing up a slew of backlogged thoughts that I wanted to share too including the plan to engage comments, format issues and a new plan for compression player options methods right now in another e-mail. . .so please stand by. . .need to take a walk and cool off for a bit. Thanks to everyone again and again for taking such an interest in what we are doing and going out of your way to talk about it. I'm not sure why there was a demand put upon us to fulfill such high expectations, but it is the best pressure we've got right now. Andrew - These thoughts were better expressed via text and that is okay.