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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Nokia N93 Review

N93 Review
I've had the Nokia N93 for a few months now and used it in a number of situations. One thing that's universal, when I take it out to shoot video it generates a lot of

The N93 has the potential to be a complete portable video production studio, but it has some flaws which keep it from being a failsafe video capture device.

Hopefully by working with Nokia and getting updated firmware, these reliability issues will go away. Also, with the impending release of the N95 next year, you'll have a choice to consider for a very similar device.

The N93 shoots amazing video outdoors. The N93 is now my main vlogging camera. Shooting 640 x 480 at 30 fps with a beautiful lens, I love the quality.

Having the camera in my pocket or bag for capturing moments is ideal.

The handling is very nice and I like the flip out screen.

Low Light
The N93 has a torch light built in that can be used as a flash or a constant light. When used as a flash for still photos, the photos are sometimes grainy. The more light, the better the photos on the N93.

Here's a pretty good one where I was very close to the subject and the light worked well indoors:
Mmm Beer

The Canon S400 takes better low light photos with a flash. I was at a recent party and didn't take my Canon Digital Rebel or Canon S400 with me. It tried using the N93 as my party camera. It didn't work so well. All the photos weren't bright enough. Other people with digital still camera with onboard flash got better lighted results. That's too bad. I hope the N95 will be better. Some people have added a bicycle light with velcro to the top of the N93 and that seems to have good results.

White Balance
The camera has automatic white balance. There is no manual white balance to adjust to a white card or surface manually.

There's a stereo mic with left and right mics on the phone. It produces great quality when you are close to your sound source. For example in a one on one interview. An audio in jack would make it even better. Being able to attach a handheld or wireless mic would make the sound better for interviews. And while I'm at it, I'd like to get two channels of sound input. If I had a mic in, I'd be able to use my XL breakout box.

Steady Cam
The N93 has an inbuilt stabilizer. This works really well.

I filmed Massachusetts Gubernatorial candidate Deval Patrick for over 30 minutes and the shot was really, really stable.

One time I had some shakiness, like vibration, I'm not sure what that was caused by. I'm still watching that. Hasn't occurred again.

Lost Video Twice
I had video that I had just shot using the in camera pause and continue feature, get lost. This is unacceptable.

As you shoot video you can press a 'pause' button, then press 'continue' and have your video be one continuous clip.

Twice I've had the camera lock up.

Once, after shooting about 10 clips in a row, the camera rebooted on me and I lost he videos.

Another time after shooting three or four clips the camera froze up and I couldn't press 'stop' or 'continue'.

I think this has been fixed in a firmware upgrade. I'll need to do more testing.

Speaking of firmware upgrades, these are now available online, but you have to have a windows machine to get the updates. You also have to have a SIM card installed in the camera to update the firmware. I haven't signed up with a mobile provider yet, so I'll need to borrow someone's SIM card to perform the update.

Still Camera.
Ice Horse
The camera takes really nice still photos at 3 Megapixels. Sometimes there is a problem for the camera to quickly find focus.

Cell Service
I'm a Veriazon customer and get great service from them. Unfortunately they don't support SIM cards.

Now I need to look into getting either Cingular or T- Mobile.

Cingular told me in an email that they do not support the N93, although I know that others with the N93 use Cingular. Not sure what their policy is about giving you service and a SIM chip for an unsupported phone.

What would be best is if Verizon just sold SIM chips via another service. I'll have to look into that with them. Makes lots of business sense. Verizon should resell access to a network that supports SIM chips.

The phone saves video as MP4. You can edit MP4 natively in Appple's iMovie if you initially choose MP4 when you edit a movie file. iPhoto now also recognizes the N93
and imports both photos and movies directly into iPhoto. Makes it a lot easier then having to go through directories using the bluetooth or Finder interface.

For Final Cut Pro, when you bring in an MP4 file it has to be rendered. You can edit the original clips in the browser, but once they are placed on the timeline they have to be rendered and then if you move them around they need to be re rendered.

I'd be much better if the files were save natively on the N93 as QuickTime H.264.

I'd like to see H.264 native capture support and a solution of my two freeze up and reboot issues. Like I said, the new firmware is supposed to resolve those issues.

I'd also like to see a standard tripod connector on the bottom of the camera.

When you flip the view screen around to point towards you subject, the N93 switches to the secondary camera. I'd like it to be able to stay in full movie mode.

I'd also like to be able to stay in full movie mode and shoot with out having the camera fliped out. I'd like to see a manual white balance too.

There is Lots More
The N93 has a lot more features that I'm not going to review in this article. You can hook the phone display up to your TV to play games and watch video.
The phone has WiFi that allows hooking up to the internet and your home network.

The N93 has a radio application in it and another application called Lifeblog which allows you to directly post to a configured blog. I've gotten this to work with photos, but never got it to work with TypePad blgging software to post even the shortest video. It's supposed to work but after contacting TypePad technical support and trying both MP4 and 3G files, it hasn't worked for me. I did use the web interface with video hosting service Hipcast, which I consult for, and that worked. I've also seen a blog post where video was directly uploaded to from the phone. So it will work.

You can also edit videos on the phone too. That will have to go in another review.

Nokia sent me an N93 to evaluate and ended up letting me keep the phone. They also paid my expenses to go to NYC for the N95 product rollout. Nokia has not required me to write or say anything about the phone. Anything I write about it are my own thoughts.

I love how Nokia is an open company. Open to developers to add on features via software. There's also a user community that's very helpful, as are Nokia
representatives themselves.

Once I get my open issues resolved, I'll be able to give the N93 a vote for the best video bloggers cameraphone combination on the market.

Massachusetts has a Gift Certificate Law

Jenn Abelson writes in today's Boston Globe, So much plastic, so little time:
"Gift cards can present a dizzying array of potential pitfalls -- from activation fees to dormancy fees (money deducted for each month the card is not redeemed) to expiration dates to replacement fees. Visa gift cards issued by mall operator Simon Property Group impose a $2.50-a-month fee after 12 months, a $15 fee to replace an expired gift card, and a 20-month use-or-lose provision on many of its cards."
It's sad that the writer of this article did not include the fact that the State of Massachusetts has a Gift Certificate Law and that Attorney General Reilly sued Simon Malls over it in 2004.

Mass PIRG has some details:
In his lawsuit against Simon Malls, AG Reilly alleged that the Simon Gift Card expires after one year, and is riddled with additional charges and illegal fees that significantly reduce the value of the card before it expires. While the state Gift Certificate Law requires gift cards to be redeemable at full face value for seven years, a Simon Gift Card with a $25 face value is worth only $12.50 after the eleventh month, and would expire - be worth nothing at all - after one year.
Gift Certificates Consumer Tips.

Why can't I just sit down and enjoy a nice breakfast without having to fact check the Boston Globe all the time?

Boston Globe Making Slow Connection to Bloggers

Scott Helman writes in today's Globe, Romney making a fast connection with bloggers:
"Over cold cuts, cookies, and soft drinks, Governor Mitt Romney made his presidential pitch two Sundays ago to prominent Tennessee Republicans at the home of a newly elected state senator outside Nashville.

Romney's public schedule that day didn't list the event. Members of the mainstream press weren't invited.

But influential Nashville-area bloggers Bill Hobbs and Nathan Moore were, and both penned accounts Romney must have liked. Hobbs likened the governor to Ronald Reagan. Moore called Romney impressive and declared him 'a formidable candidate for the 2008 nomination.'

That Hobbs and Moore were asked to the private gathering illustrates a growing effort by Romney and his political team to cultivate a relationship with the conservative blogosphere as he prepares to enter the Republican primary, which is already being shaped as never before by countless bloggers, pundits, and other online opinion-makers."
Guess what?

No links to the bloggers, or links to the posts they wrote about meeting Romney.

Here are the links that the Boston Globe should have put in their article:

Bill Hobbs - Blog
Romney in Tennessee

Nathan Moore - Blog
Massachusetts Governor in Tennessee

Interesting comment over on Nathan Moore's blog:
"I live in Massachusetts, and will not be supporting this candidate for president for the following reasons..."

Rod Smith made this comment at 6:26 this morning. He knows how to use Google too.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Best of 2006

Chris told me that Jeff posted this new 'The Best of 2006' meme. I'm in!

1. Most Useful application - ImageWell, for OS X, is the best image editor for grabbing and posting images to the web for inclusion into my blog. You just grab an image, resize it, add a shadow if you like and then send it to your host. Imagewell then automatically pasted HTML code onto your clipboard that you can use to paste into your blog post. It's sweet! I took the image of me as Superman that Chris just edited and posted it with ImageWell.

2. Best Web site - Bloglines is my favorite website for keeping track of blog posts. It's an application that lives on the web. I like that since I can switch computers and still stay up to date on recently updated blog. I really like the improvements that let me see real time updates.

3. Worst Web site - The Boston Globe - This is an easy one. The Boston Globe website is the worst website. I've been complaining about this site for years and even went sown there to meet with them in person to explain how to make it better. They haven't implemented any of my suggestions.

Here are a few things the the Boston Globe must do to improve their website:
Add links to websites - When an article's main subject is a website, you must link to that website. This is a simple request. As I understand it, all the reporter needs to do is include the URL in the story, and the content management system will turn the URL into a live link.

Allow comments - Your own reporters want comments enabled. Business Filter writer Maura Welch writes about wanting comments. Just add comments. Please.

Use Creative Commons
- When you ask people to send in photos, don't require that they hand over ownership to you. That's so lame. vs.
- Can't we just get along. There's no reason that I can see to have the online version of the paper different from the website. Merge them.
4. Hottest Trend - The hottest trend for 2006 was Main Stream Media jumping on the online video bandwagon. The challenge for 2007 will be for individual video bloggers to be seen amongst all the noise. We're already seeing many video aggregation sites neglect to offer a people category. Well some bloggers don't always blog about sports, politics, or humor, they blog about it all. I still subscribe to people and I hope there's going to be room for them in the 2007 video landscape.

5. Favorite Gadget - My favorite gadget is the Nokia N93 cellphone that Nokia sent me for a trial earlier this year. It's become my main video camera because of it's portability and amazing picture quality. I've still got to get cell service on it, but I'm reluctant to leave Verizon because I hear that T-Mobile and Cingular aren't as good. I've also got to test out more of the N93's WiFi capabilities.

John Edwards Power Move

John Edwards Power Move by stevegarfield, uploaded from flickr.

This photo is Scoopt Picture of the Day.

I'm excited.

Scoopt "sells your photos to newspapers, magazines, news organisations and other publishers. Each time we make a sale, we split the money with you 50/50. You don't have to do another thing – except, of course, keep taking more publishable photos."

I Am Superman

I Am Superman
Your results:
You are Superman

You are mild-mannered, good, strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

Steve Garfield Goes Viral

Video: Viral: Episode Eight.
I'm introducing the current episode of Viral.
"Hi, this is Steve Garfield from You might know from internet shows such as the Carol and Steve Show, Vlog Soup or Rocketboom, but... that's not important right now because you're watching Viral on Veoh."

Video: Chuck Olsen on the John Edwards YouTube Video

Steve Garfield's Video Blog: Behind the Scenes: John Edwards, YouTube and the Campaign Website:
"Chuck Olsen talks about the behind the scenes work of uploading John Edwards announcement video from New Orleans onto YouTube, and gives us some details on flipping the switch on the campaign website early."
It's a fleeting moment, captured in video and shared. It's great.

I wanted to hear the background behind the YouTube video and Chuck told the story.

John Edwards Meets the Bloggers

John Edwards Meets the Bloggers by stevegarfield, uploaded from flickr.

Going into this meet the bloggers event I was wondering how I'd get a chance to talk to John Edwards about video blogging when he was only scheduled for 15 minutes with us and there were 20 bloggers in the curtained off area.

I'd wanted to have him try my Nokia N93 and talk to him about how holding the camera yourself and shooting video can make videos more personal.

After the first blogger asked one question with two follow ups, I knew that I was in trouble. No one was in charge of the meeting beyond bringing John in and telling him when to leave.

I understand how these things need to be tightly scheduled, but came away disappointed.

Maybe the John Edwards campaign can work with local blogger representatives to make this a better experience at future events.

5 Reasons Why the John Edwards Blogger Meeting Was a Disappointment and How It Can be Better

1. 15 minutes.
I guess it's ironic that bloggers only get 15 minutes of fame. Ha ha. I'd ask for more time, but only if these sessions get more organized. Who is in charge of these 15 minutes? John Edwards? Campaign handlers? Local bloggers? If I was running this session I'd make it clear that we had limited time, cut off long winded questions, and move things along so as many people could talk to the candidate that wanted to.

2. One question per person.
You might think that what you have to ask is the most important thing in the world, but it's common courtesy to think about the bigger picture and realize that you can's really ask a long and involved question, get an answer, and then ask a follow up. This selfishness limited the questioners to maybe 4 or 5.

3. Let's talk about blogging
If you are in a bloggers meeting, lets talk about blogging. One blogger did ask about the importance of new media. He gets it. Other bloggers who asked about health care and the war in Iraq do not get it. Edwards will be answering those questions all day long. Let's use our time to talk about something different. it doesn't have to be about blogging, but at least ask something that doesn't get you a standard stump speech reply.

4. Lights. Camera. Action.
It'd be nice if the meeting could take place in a well lit area with available power.

The lighting was too dark for me to shoot anything other than poorly lit grainy footage, and there was no place for me to plug on my light kit. So even if I had time to shoot some video with Senator Edwards, it would have been poor, unless we moved over to a better lit area. I would have done that if there was time.

5. I Didn't Get to turn John Edwards into a fleeting moment Vlogger
I know that John Edwards has embraced video blogging and podcasting. By putting up the first video of this official campaign on YouTube shows that he gets it. By having Blogs and vlogs with RSS 2.0 with enclosures on his site proves that he and his staff understand the power of new media.

What I wanted him to experience, was the power of holding the camera and sharing his personal feelings. The connection that's made when recording a video while holding the camera yourself is different than standing up and talking to a camera that's sitting on a tripod. It also opens up the idea that you can always have a camera with you in your pocket, and record a fleeting moment and share that.

I posted links to all the videos over on John Edwards blog.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Video: John Edwards Meets the Press in New Hampshire

Steve Garfield's Video Blog: John Edwards Meets the Press in New Hampshire.

John Edwards

John Edwards by stevegarfield, uploaded from flickr.

Just got back from a full day in New Hampshire at the John Edwards event.

I took lots of pictures and some video to give you a feel of what it was like up there.

Check out all my John Edwards photos on flickr, I'll have some video up soon.

Scoble and Chuck

Scoble and me on Edwards jet by Chuckumentary, uploaded from flickr.

Heading up to New Hampshire to meet these guys and Senator Edwards at a bloggers meet and greet, and then A Special Event and Town Hall Meeting.

I've packed my media making equipment.

First John Edwards announces on YouTube. What Happens Next?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Video Blogging Podcast

TalkShoe - Talkcast - Maiden Voyage of New Mediacracy:
"Zadi Diaz, Steve Garfield, and Steve Woolf take the TalkShoe system for a spin..."
Steve Woolf, Zadi Diaz and I talk about new media including:

- The beginnings of videoblogging

- the first vloggercon

- jay and ryanne's deal with podtech

- amanda's abc show and her deal with Dove and Blip, starringamandacongdon

- john edwards announcement

- rocketboom's interview of john edwards

- the microsoft vista laptop giveaway

- joel on software - Bribing bloggers

- My Mom's Blog

Visit the New Mediacracy Official Blog.

The Boston Globe Corrections

For the record - The Boston Globe:
"December 28, 2006
Correction: Because of reporting errors, the Names column in yesterday's Living/Arts section contained inaccurate information about two companies. Cambridge-based Rounder Records plans to move to Burlington, Mass. -- not Burlington, Vt. -- sometime next year. Also, Scout Productions has not left its Boston office; the postcard cited in the column referred to Scout's move from one Los Angeles office to another."
As I read the Globe yesterday, I thought that both of these stories did not seem right, but what am I supposed to do, fact check every story that the Boston Globe publishes?

John Edwards Announces on YouTube

Tomorrow Begins Today

John Edwards announces that he is running for president, on YouTube.

Andrew, Chuck and Joanne filmed the announcement and Andrew uploaded it to YouTube.

Here we go!

Andrew has more on his blog where he says:
Chuck will follow Edwards around the US till Friday to shoot footage which we'll edit for the official John Edwards website.
Yay Chuck.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Mom on TV - Closeup

Mom on TV - Closeup by stevegarfield, uploaded from flickr.

I want to share this clip taken from a TV show my mom was on yesterday.

"Millie Garfield, 81, of My Mom's Blog on Retirement Living
Television, Originally broadcast on December 26, 2006.
Millie talks about how she got started, the relationships she's made,
and how blogging has enriched her life."
They gave me permission to post the parts of the show that had my mom in them. I recorded this off of my TV with my Nokia N93, then edited it in FCP, Compressed it and posted to blip.

Wicked Awesome Boston List

Blue Mass. Group :: 101 Ways You Know You're from Boston: If...:
"98. Playing street hockey was a daily after school ritual.
99. Hearing an old lady shout 'Numbah 96 for Sioux City!' means it's time for steak.
100. You remember Jordan Marsh, Grants, Bradlees, Caldor, Zayres, or Ann & Hope."
I love this list.

Charitable Donations

We are making a few charitable donations prior to year end. Some websites make it easy. Others do not.

These sites worked fine.

EFF is a nonprofit group of passionate people — lawyers, technologists, volunteers, and visionaries — working to protect your digital rights.

Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry.

Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

These sites had system errors and donations were not processed

Doctors Without Borders is an independent international medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural or man-made disasters, or exclusion from health care in more than 70 countries.

Works on a Mac on Safari, not on Firefox on a Mac.

Jimmy Fund for Cancer Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

I've notified them. It's a bad time of year to have your donation processing platform go down.

Jimmy Fund page works on a Mac on Safari, not on Firefox on a Mac.

Learn How To Make Viral Videos

The Viral Learning Center [ Video ]

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The News Should Be Paying You

The News Should Be Paying You by stevegarfield, uploaded from flickr.

Andy Warhol quote from Barney's NYC window as seen on Rocketboom 12/26/06.

Making connections between strands of knowledge

Jay Mathews - New Teacher Jolts KIPP -
"(Lisa) Suben said: 'My primary goal as a teacher is to help my students understand the reasoning behind math rules and procedures. I have several core beliefs about this: (1) Understanding is constructed by the learner, not passively received from the teacher. (2) Understanding is built by making connections between as many strands of knowledge as possible. (3) Understanding is galvanized through communication. (4) Understanding is only valuable when you reflect on it and question it.'"

Monday, December 25, 2006


Manni by stevegarfield, uploaded from flickr.

More on Abbey Corps - The Studio

Flickr photo by freekorps

Andrew Baron has more on what Abbey Corps is about.

Dembot: Abbey - The Studio:
"Abbey Corps is about enabling content creators by building community...

Thus Abbey is not intended to be a brand network for shows, it's a creative studio for people."
Not much more information, but a little more and the description is now moving towards revealing what he'll be developing with Jeff Pulver.

Merry Christmas, 2006

Merry Christmas, 2006 by Burnt Pixel, uploaded from flickr.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas Eve

Steve and Carol by stevegarfield, uploaded from flickr.

Me, You and Journalism

links for 2006-12-24

The Making of Dick in A Box

NBC - Saturday Night Live - Special Treat in a Box - Report - New York Times:
"The idea for “Special Treat” was hatched, Mr. Samberg said, when Mr. Michaels called him into his office last Tuesday and asked that he try to write something funny that would showcase the singing skills of Mr. Timberlake, who was both the host and musical guest.

Mr. Samberg and his colleagues — including Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone — presented a rough draft of the song to Mr. Timberlake on Thursday afternoon, and after they reworked it to his specifications, they recorded the voice track on special equipment in Mr. Samberg’s office around midnight. They spent Friday and much of Saturday filming the video in and around New York, and not until 4 p.m. Saturday — less than eight hours before the show was to go live — was the video in sufficient shape to be shown to the NBC executive responsible for late-night programming, Rick Ludwin."
I love the behind the scenes stories about the making of these Saturday Night Lives videos by Andy Samberg.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Holidays from Rocketboom

Rocketboom - 12/22/2006.

Ze Frank had a Video Ad

Just catching up on Ze Frank and I just saw a video ad at the end of his show.

That's new!

Best Music Video of 2006

Lip Dubbing: Endless Dream on Vimeo
Jakob Lodwick Lip Dubbing to an Apes and Androids song while walking in NYC.

He mouthed the words and then dubbed in the music when he got home.

Jakob also made another Lip Dubbing video, which might be even better, Afternoons and Coffeespoons [ video ] from Crash Test Dummies off of God Shuffled His Feet.
via [ Michael Meiser ]

#1 on Google for Christmas

Google Blog Search: christmas.

This is why blogs are so cool.

Google finds the content.

And it's a good example of using a descriptive title, vs. a cute one that is non descriptive.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Soldier by stevegarfield, uploaded from flickr.

In this episode of the Carol and Steve Show, Spectacular Christmas Lights , Carol and Steve visit a home on Boston that has 250,000 Christmas lights and pays an electric bill of $1,900 a month.

Thanks John!

Ruth's Chris Steak House : A Serious Steak Restaurant.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Vlog Santa - Cover Story

Pulse of the Twin Cities - Locally Grown Alternative Newspaper.
Unlike Billy Bob Thonton’s Bad Santa, who is certainly a spiritual kin, Vlog Santa has a gentler nature—he may be gruff and boozy, but he’s essentially an amiable, often bewildered fellow.
This is funny.

Converting Flash to Other Formats

links for 2006-12-20 on

This week Amanda Congdon on ABC video blogs, Find Out What Amanda Wants For Christmas.

I submitted the first video submission!

This is how it went:

Amanda: Next, I'm happy have to have one of the founding fathers of videoblogging on the program today.

I'll let him introduce himself.

Steve, what have you got for me today?

Steve: Hi Amanda, It's Steve Garfield from

Will Amanda Congdon at support RSS 2.0 with Media Enclosures?

Amanda: Thanks for asking. Yes, we have RSS 2.0 with enclosures nad a dedicated iTunes feed.

This is now an official video blog.
Thanks Amanda.

I'm glad I could help you and out with some suggestions.

I hope your technical team is now on the right track and can get the RSS 2.0 feed with media enclosures working.

UMass police seize video camera

April Simpson reports on the rioting at UMass, UMass police check data to identify student rioters - The Boston Globe:
"Police also will review one video camera seized during the arrests, tapes from security cameras, and online networking sites, where students may have posted photos and videos of the riot. Police have found at least a dozen videos on YouTube, a popular website where people share videos."
I'd like to hear more about the seized video camera.

I emailed April.

April emails back to say " that university police intended to obtain a warrant before reviewing the tape."

I wrote back suggesting there might be a story finding out how they obtained the camera in the first place.

UMass Riot videos on YouTube

Email is almost useless: Six Ways to Talk to Me

I've recenty gotten some phone calls asking if I'd gotten an email.

I hadn't.

Or maybe I did get it, but the real email was buried in a mountain of spam and junk mail.

It's never been this bad.

Lot's of people are complaining.

Ronni writes:
If anyone reading this has written to Crabby Old Lady lately expecting an answer, you’re probably disappointed or, more likely, pissed off. Crabby is at the end of her rope, pulling at her hair, pounding the desk, throwing wadded-up paper at the cat - a deranged, screaming harridan teetering on the edge of her mental precipice.

The reason for her lunatic behavior? For every legitimate email she receives – a message from a friend, blog reader, colleague, subscription newsletter, Google Alert, etc. – there are a minimum now of 50 to 75 pieces of spam. Maybe more. Close to a thousand of them pour one after another - 10, 15, 20, 25 at a time - into her inbox day and night and that’s in addition to the hundreds of spam messages a day Crabby’s email filter catches before they hit her inbox.
Eric Rice writes:
If I’m lucky, I get e-mail one of three ways: immediately; four days; or never.

The spam battle is the worst part, since so much spam resembles support e-mails, avatar names, or introductory correspondence. The filters are either too aggressive or too lax, resulting in me trying to read it all.
What reliable means of comunication are left?

Six Ways to Talk to Me
Blogs - If you've got a blog and I subscribe to it via RSS, I'll see everything you post. This works really great with friends like Zadi, Chris, Bre, Chuck, Dave, Robert, Jeff, Mike, David, Kevin, Ravi, Amanda, Ze, Tim, Andrew, Micki, and many others. If you are reading this blog, you're probably on my Bloglines list. Comment on my blogs posts and I usually see those. Unless it's an old post and the notification email gets lost in spam. ;-)

IM - Instant messaging works great. I use text 90% of the time, and Audio/Video chat around 10%.

Flickr - If I have you marked as a contact on flickr, I see your new photos and keep up with what you are doing and where you are. My friends who use flickr like a blog are Chuck, Steve and Casey.

Phone - My phone # is on, so anyone can call me.

Text Messages - I'm on the 10 cents a message plan, so I don't use text messages that much, but they work.

White-list email - I haven't set any of these up yet, but that's what Eric Rice is doing. He's creating new email addresses for individual groups. Other friends use a technique of putting KNOCK KNOCK in the message subject line to make hte message stand out from spam. I guess we could try that for now...

How are you dealing with Spam? Comment on this post.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Happy Hanukkah from Jetset

Zadi makes a Holiday card on Jetset Show!

Watch My Mom on TV

My mom and Ronni Bennett will be on Retirement Living TV Tuesday December 26th.

It is broadcast on Comcast in Northeast and middle Atlantic states on Channel CN8. It is broadcast on DirecTV on Channel 238.

It is also streamed live on at 3PM (same time as the TV channels) and on Comcast online at
links for 2006-12-19

What are video directories doing with my videos?

There's a discussion going on in the blogosphere about the video directory. I spoke with Chris Brogan, on the phone, about it yesterday and Network2 is making changes to address the issues. Some are already live such as bringing back the permalink of the blog post. Permalinks were there earlier, I told them that it was a requirement, but permalinks fell off in the last upgrade. They are back now in addition to more prominent links back to the video owner's website.

We need video directory sites. I like them because sometimes they provide a better way to look at my past videos than my blog software does.

While the site was being developed, I sent in suggestions to help make it better, and they've always listened, and implemented the changes I've asked for.

I'm thinking about these questions:
Grace Murray Hoper would love this. By making a site opt-out it puts the burden on the content maker to find the site that has your content in it and then figure out if you want it on there and if you don't figure out how to get it off. Getting a personal email asking if you want to be included is a better way of handling things. But what if it's Google? How could we expect them to ask everyone before listing their content?

If you have an RSS 2.0 feed with media enclosures, and people are watching your videos via RSS feedreaders like Bloglines, FireAnt and Democracy, what's the difference of them watching on a video directory site as long as you get a link back? What's easiest for the viewer?

Should video be played at the directory site or link you back to the source page where the video came from? If you've got a business on your site with a lot of ads supporting your work and that's how you derive revenue, then I'd think that you would be happy to be listed in a directory, but want the videos to be viewed back on your site. If you've got embedded ads then you might not mind having your videos spread to many sites. The whole issue of having a home on the web vs. having your videos have a life of their own has come up many times in the Yahoo! Videoblogging group. Some people say that once you post a video, it'll have a life of it's own. With sites like YouTube, and Revver, there are embed codes built in which encourage putting the videos on other sites. The difference though is between an individual reposting your video to let people know about it vs. a directory site that takes ALL your content and puts up up on their site.

How much advertising on a directory site is ok? Google ads supporting hosting costs?

If the directory site gets millions of dollars in VC funding, should the video creators be compensated in some way?

If you as the directory site are getting millions, and all the content is made by others, is that fair? At that point who's content is the programming? Would HBO or ABC just go out and take the best vlogger's videos and post them online? I've got a Creative Commons license embedded in my RSS feed which specifies that you can reuse my content but not for commercial purposes. Is a directory a commercial purpose? Google is, but we all want to be in Google, so it's a trade off.
Now Digg has a podcast directory. The videos play embedded in the page and they provide links back. You can submit your feed to be included in the digg directory of online videos. Lots of traffic over there. What do you do?

I took a quick tour of a few sites that list my videos. I found them on a Google search. Some I knew about, some I didn't.

Here are a few things I looked for on each site:

Link to Permalink of Blog Post
: If the site displays my video they MUST link back to the source page of the video, usually a blog post with a permalink.

Plays on page in an embedded player: Does the site link back to my video on my blog or does it play the video on place?

Displays my CC License: My CC license is embedded in my RSS feed. Does the directory display it as required by my license?

Ads displayed on page: Is the site displaying ads?
Podcast Directory
Link to Permalink of Blog Post: Yes
Plays on page in an embedded player: It would if it was sized correctly
Displays my CC License: No
Ads displayed on page: Yes

Link to Permalink of Blog Post: Yes
Plays on page in an embedded player: Yes
Displays my CC License: No
Ads displayed on page: No

Site never loads
Link to Permalink of Blog Post: Yes
Plays on page in an embedded player: Yes
Displays my CC License: No
Ads displayed on page: Yes

Link to Permalink of Blog Post: Yes
Plays on page in an embedded player: No
Displays my CC License: Dabble pulls in licensing from lots of sites (, Internet Archive, etc) and displays them. But if licensing isn't properly displayed, it's hard for search sites like Dabble to show that info properly. [ Info from Mary Hodder ]
Ads displayed on page: No
Link to Permalink of Blog Post: Yes
Plays on page in an embedded player: Yes (New Posts) / No (Older Posts)
Displays my CC License: No
Ads displayed on page: No

digg Podcasts (BETA)
Link to Permalink of Blog Post: Yes
Plays on page in an embedded player: Yes
Displays my CC License: No
Ads displayed on page: Yes


The IPTV EVANGELIST: Top 50 list of key players who are
changing the face of IPTV and online video just came out.

There was a nomination process. Lots of people in this list I don't know about. I'll have to click around to learn about them.

Nice to see Mike Hudack in there at #6 for I'm listed at #43.

Thanks to those that nominated me.

Daisuke Matsuzaka: No Longer Lost in Translation

Thanks to Off On A Tangent Reader Gino42 for sending in a link to this more accurate traslation of Daisuke Matsuzaka's Red Sox Press Conference: Lost in translation? - Extra Bases -
"QUESTION: I'd like to get your impression of Fenway Park, after pitching off the mound, your initial impression off the park that you're going to be pitching in.

MATSUZAKA: I had seen [the park] on TV many times. Despite the construction, I was moved by the long history and the beauty of the ballpark. Imagining how it'll look in perfect condition by Opening Day... I'm looking forward to it."
I'm glad to see this new translation and hope that we get better translations in the future.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dick in a Box with Timberlake and Samberg

SNL - Digital Short - A Special Christmas Box *Uncensored*

Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg in an *Uncensored Version* of A Special Christmas Box, SNL Digital Short. Posted by NBC to YouTube.
Via [ Zadi ]

Add META Data to Videos

bubblePLY just went public with their online tool that allows you to add data to web video.

From what I can tell, the original video is not modified, a layer of information is just added.

I'm going to try this.

If you try it, please post your comments.

via [ WebProNews ]

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Garfield on TIME: Person of the Year Now It's Your Turn:
"Journalists once had the exclusive province of taking people to places they'd never been. But now a mother in Baghdad with a videophone can let you see a roadside bombing, or a patron in a nightclub can show you a racist rant by a famous comedian. These blogs and videos bring events to the rest of us in ways that are often more immediate and authentic than traditional media. These new techniques, I believe, will only enhance what we do as journalists and challenge us to do it in even more innovative ways."
Thanks Kevin for pasting me in there.

We are all the media now.

It's exciting to see big media get it. I was telling TIME about this back in 2004.

See Me, Blog Me.
Boston-based music-video producer Steve Garfield, 46, is no ordinary blogger. Instead of simply posting his thoughts online in a chatty weblog like millions of others around the world, he links a Canon GL2 digital video camera to his laptop and uploads short clips of protest rallies, traffic short-cuts and even news events onto his personal Internet site.

Garfield belongs to a small but growing legion of video bloggers, or vloggers, who are turning the Web into a medium in which someday anyone could conceivably mount original programming, bypassing the usual broadcast networks and cable outlets. "My last entry was a news story about a local ice rescue, and this July I'm going to cover the Democratic Convention," says Garfield, who posts one or two new clips every month. "With cheaper digital cameras and cell phones that can also shoot video, more and more regular people like me will start becoming citizen-journalists."
From the Apr. 19, 2004 issue of TIME magazine.

Free WordPress Install on your Host

Installing WordPress for Free:
"Welcome to the install4free website. It is here you can request that a WordPress expert install WordPress at your domain."
This sounds like a great service for people who don't want to get involved doing installing WordPress on their own host.

If you don't have a hosting account you can run WordPress on their host for free at

They also allow you to use Domain Mapping to replace the website address with your own domain.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Daisuke Matsuzaka: Lost in Translation

Jackie MacMullan writes about Daisuke Matsuzaka in Translation will take some time:
Matsuzaka was accompanied by an interpreter, but clearly most of his comments were lost in translation.

Consider this sampling:

Q: I'd like to get your impression of Fenway Park, after pitching off the mound, your initial impression of the park.

A: When the season starts, I'm looking forward to the game.

Now, I don't speak Japanese, but I know Matsuzaka said something more than that. His smile, his hand gestures, and his voice inflection suggested as much. The young pitcher appears to be animated, congenial, even playful."
I've got a question.

There's a link to a video of the press conference right under the story.

Can we get a translation of what was actually said, so we can see how accurate the translation actually was?

If you watch the video, you'll see that the translator actually said a lot more than Jackie reports. She calls her reporting of the questions and answers a 'sampling', and they are not in quotes, and MacMullan is a 'columnist', so you have to take anything in her column with a grain of salt.

I'd find an additional translation interesting.


My friend Takeshi from Japan translates:

Hi, Steve-

Thank you for your e-mail.

He basically answered that he saw the park on TV and the fenway park was now fixing when he was visited. But, he was very impressed and moved and he thought how the fenway park was beautiful and clean. he heard that the constraction would be completed before starting the season. So, He is looking forwad to seeing the park.

Translater is a bit strange, anyway.... He got terrible translator and I'm sorry about it ; )


Most significant YouTube videos of the year

Lonelygirl tops AP's top 10 YouTube videos of 2006.

This is a very interesting list with a good explanation of each video and it's importance to online video.

I joined YouTube 8 months ago and have watched 906 videos. I've posted 10 videos and have a channel called YouTube Soup, where I post my favorite YouTube videos.

The YouTube Soup Channel has had 476 views and has 16 subscribers.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I Can't Open It IX

I Can't Open It IX by stevegarfield, uploaded from flickr.

Watch the "I Can't Open It IX" video

Now down in Florida, Millie from My Mom's Blog has some trouble getting a Lemon Creme Cake out of it's package. She says, "It almost turned out to be a lemon."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Now PLaying on Al Jazeera International

Jon Golman's Wilma's Warning [ QuickTime Video ] highlights the work of a MacArthur award-winning Louisiana environmental chemist Wilma Subra, who has, since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, gathered extensive sampling which shows area of high level of heavy metals from the storms storm surge. The piece examines her struggle with the government and industry to address the highly toxic levels left behind.

Get That Camera

Video: The War on Journalism.

Police steal vloggers camera.

Amanda Congdon Debuts on ABC

Here's a link to Amanda Congdon on ABC Her first show is up today and it's already been reviewed by the New York Times, Amanda Congdon - TV - Column - New York Times.

I learned a new word, abstemious. From the NYTimes:
Slim, swan-necked, with the upright bearing of a dancer or cadet, she doesn’t exactly lean in for intimacy with the viewer. She’s not relatable. She seems a touch abstemious. The news, it seems, kind of grosses her out.
Nice job Amanda, on dissing the whole Javascript interface of your vlog on the first show. That was pretty funny.

I was interested to hear that Tori Spelling's yard sale was part of her reality show. I saw a report on that on another network where they didn't say that, so it gave the impression that she was just having a yard sale.

Your report on it was better.

Where are the links to the snowflakes you talked about? Or the protest video? I looked around and couldn't find them.

I did find a direct link to the video though, Amanda Returns.

Looks bloglike and allows comments. Over there was also a link to subscribe to a feed for Amanda at ABC News, although without RSS 2.0 and media enclosures.

Send Amanda Congdon a video. SayItToAmanda!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

YouLens: Like Blog with a V

YouLens: Like Blog with a V

Law And Order CI: Weeping Willow Clip.


Ha ha.

Can someone explain to me the real reason that they replaced the name YouTube with YouLens?


Law & Order: Criminal Intent - Weeping Willow
Episode Number: 121 Season Num: 6 First Aired: Tuesday November 28, 2006
Jerry Lewis - Typewriter

Here's an early black and white version of Jerry Lewis playing the typewriter.
Jerry Lewis & Typewriter

It's Typewriter Day!

Boston Typewriter Orchestra

Boston Typewriter Orchestra by stevegarfield, uploaded from flickr.

See the "Boston Typewriter Orchestra" video

I interviewed the Boston Typewriter Orchestra at The Paradise Rock Club in Boston. These guys make music using old manual typewriters. I spoke with Derrik Albertelli who told me how the band got started and Alex Holman who talked about making music with a typewriter.

This report originally aired on Rocketboom on December 12, 2006.

Monday, December 11, 2006

links for 2006-12-11

Chinese Music

Theme Of The Great Wall

Download "Cheerful Splashing-Water Festival Of Dai People" (mp3)
from "Theme Of The Great Wall" by Kaohsiung City Chinese Orchestra

I'm using this music in a video I'm editing that deals with acupuncture.