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#VloMo11 (Video Bloggers Month 2011)

18 Nov

I’m not sure whether I qualify as a video blogger – how many videos should you be uploading a week or month for that to be the case? Anyway, I love the concept and decided, when I heard about VloMo11 last week, that I would join in.

Nothing too fancy of my own as yet but loving catching up with other VloMo-ers videos via Twitter and on YouTube. I’m using this post as a collection of my own and also a selection of others which have caught my eye – in particular a new online facility which I had never heard of until this week called ‘PummelVision’ which pulls images from RSS, Flickr, etc and puts them to music and posts them on YouTube or Vimeo. I first saw this put to use in a VloMo11 from @Documentally yesterday and was instantly impressed… only to find that it would have taken him 5 mins 🙂
It is, however a very creative use of the application, using it to present a years worth of Instagram images…

Cool though, and I couldn’t wait to make one of my own! (in 2 mins ;)) Just using a set from my Flickr feed…

Other highlights this week, which feature heavily in my videos was my Graduation Ceremony. On Tuesday I was in Dundee getting last minute bits ‘n’ bobs for the event on Wednesday so I did a 360 degree shot of the City Square, outside of the Caird Hall (where the ceremony takes place)…

and then the next day did a comparrison shot, post ceremony. (Here you have the opportunity to run them simultaneously!!!)

The thing with posting a video every day is coming up with fresh material but it’s a great exercise so, even though I arrived at the party very, very late, here’s to the rest of the month. Thanks also to the other VloMo-ers who have provided so much inspiration in what they’ve done…

Here’s a small selection…

Mixed Media

7 Sep

Another inspirational AudioBoo from Christian Payne, aka @Documentally

Much of what I was trying to achieve through my QR hunts was to demonstrate what a number of people are already doing…

In our analogue world we share common behaviours:
we: • experience • explore • interact,
with:  •people • objects • environments…
we: • document • archive • share…

I have been constructing spaces in the real-world where real journeys take place. Navigation however is achieved by means of technology (Mobile devices, Google Maps, QR Codes); capturing, documenting and sharing as we go (Twitter, Instagram, AudioBoo, FaceBook, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo), with the Dungeon Master curating this content for online audiences across the World (WordPress, Storify).

My games (the image above is from my St Andrews PHD Summer School game) reflect the digital equivalent of those common analogue behaviours which will become even more prevalent in the future. Some are already doing it – see Documentally amongst others. However, I believe my games can help us understand what we want from these tools, what uses we can find for them and what forms they should take in the future.

Documentally’s Boo is specifically about the various ways in which we ‘consume’ media. He observed within a few, cramped, square feet multiple methods of creating and consuming media, each of them a succession in terms of technology but each equally valid and acceptable in itself.

There may be value in artificially constructing such a scene – however contrived it may seem – as an illustration of where we stand with regards to media in 2011. But to have witnessed it in the wild..!? There are definitely overtones of a frustrated Attenborough as Documentally, our guide in the urban jungle, laments missing the money-shot!

So have a listen to Documentally’s AudioBoo, but before you do please sign up on the right for updates – In the coming weeks I plan to deliver complete outlines and outcomes from the three real-world games plus the smaller prototype games, projects and methods in development as a result of my Masters project.

I passed BTW 🙂

Instagram: Apps-olute Must Have

30 Jun

A couple of months ago I was fortunate enough to get an iPad for my 40th birthday! I even got to visit London’s flagship Apple Store to pick one up.

I was very keen to get my hands on some ‘must-have’ apps so that I could easily demonstrate, to all who would listen, the ‘must-have-ness’ of this ‘must-have’ item!

Unexcitingly, the real purpose for the purchase was University and not lugging the laptop around all the time. But a funky notepad wasn’t going to cut it… I needed slick graphics, cool interaction and, probably, very big and very loud guns!

I really love the iPad2. I never had an original iPad because, to justify it’s purpose, for me it needed a camera… so I waited. Consequently I can’t compare with the original, but it must be said that while iPad2 does have a camera, it’s not the best… it’s not even that good.
For video it does do a great job. For stills however it really isn’t up to scratch, which is a shame. However, for quick ‘sketch-book’ functionality when compiling ideas and capturing spur of the moment events it’s adequate.

Having said that, my most used app over the last two months has been a photo one!

Instagram is the only specific app that I knew I ‘needed’ before I had got the iPad. I’d seen others sharing images through Twitter using this app and it really appealed to me.

It’s is a simple idea. Take a photo (from within the app or lift an image from your library, and therefore use other photo-capturing apps…), choose from a minimal number of filters to give your image a slightly retro ‘polaroid’ feel and then share it. You can auto share through several outlets…I use Twitter and Flickr but there’s also Facebook, Email, Tumbler, Foursquare and Posterous. Essentially, it’s visual Twitter.

Through the Instagram community you can follow other users and ‘like’ and ‘comment’ on their images as well as view the ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ of those you follow.

Interestingly there is no Instagram repository for all of these images online, so they can only be viewed through the app, which creates a level of exclusivity which is in keeping with the concept.

You might be wondering, as I would, why anyone would need ‘another’ community to belong to..!? But it doesn’t feel like that. It doesn’t feel forced or cumbersome, just a cool way to create and share images with like minded people and your wider networks.

What’s cool for me in light on what I’m trying to do through my project is that there are examples like this of people sharing snippets of stories. With Instagram, maybe it’s the ‘whole brevity thing’ that makes it so popular… like Twitter there’s minimal investment by the audience… but it’s interesting enough that you find yourself checking back to see what everyone’s been up to.

So, thank you Instagram, a fascinating take on storytelling and a great influence on me on how I take my projects further.

For designers and entrepreneurs, here’s an interesting insight  from Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom into how the ‘original’ idea for the Instagram app changed quite drastically from a ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of features to simply focussing on just one.


9 Apr

Stories take many forms. One of my favourite forms is the documentary… i’m sure there’s a little documentary maker inside me somewhere…

Anyway, that’s why, these days, the blog is such a fantastic opportunity for us to document in a similar way… words, pictures, even video, can be brought together along with relevant links from across the web. It’s just a matter of getting into the routine… the Blog-u-mentality!

For further evidence of this please see ‘Documentally‘…

Anyway, the end of last week was a challenge. At home we’d had an eye on a damp patch in the garden for a week or so while the weather was dry. Eventually I took to the ground with a garden fork to see if the water would run away. Instead, more appeared. We had a leak!

It was the water main between the stop-tap and the house. Once we came to terms with the leak we organised a quote. Then we had to come to terms with the quote. The hotel w/e break in Edinburgh was knocked on the head in favour of saving more money and digging up and locating the leak ourselves before calling in the plumber for the final analysis.

By that point i’d grown more confident and, faced with the opportunity of saving even more ‘student strapped’ cash, I decided to fix the leak myself. And very rewarding it was too. Final quote, £460+VAT. Actual money spent, £9.75 inc VAT. #WIN!

However, to put all of this into perspective I would like to share with you this video found on Open Culture. It documents the day to day of Venice out with the hustle and bustle of the tourist season. Puts my little leak into some context I think…