Videoblogging Session at Blogher

Update: Cheryl posted the pdf today so I’m linking to it below.

Today I was one of the three presenters at a session at BlogHer on Videoblogging. Gena Hasket presented the storyboard part, Cheryl Colan presented a lighting on the cheap segment and I did the hands-on editing portion.

Since BlogHer members seemed to want an advanced session, that’s what we prepared, but oddly enough, the session was much more heavily attended by people with no editing experience. However, it turned out great because teaching editing to people who have not ever played with video is very rewarding. It’s like watching a kid get a new bike. The world is your oyster and all that…

Next year I’d love to see an advanced session and a beginner session. I wish there had been something out there when I started that could have walked me through the confusing settings that plague most of the professional video editing software. Of course, now there’s freevlog but that didn’t exist when I started in 2005.

Anyway, a long post just to point you to my videoblogging editing tips and Gena and Cheryl’s editing tips will be posted later today so I’ll update this post with their link then. As always, if you ever need a hand email me robyn at

Social Bookmarking – What Have You Done For Me Lately?

Now, I’ll apologize first for putting that song in your head, but when I read this comment over on a guest post by Trent Hamm at Darren’s blog, I couldn’t think of any better title.

4. Immerse yourself in a social bookmarking site

Many people have a hard time getting their foot in the door with social bookmarking because they just try to use it without giving back. Most social bookmarking sites are a community of people who enjoy interaction and discussion – if you just pop in long enough to toss up some links and then wonder why you’re not successful, you’re simply fooling yourself.

Why do we look at Digg and and all the other bookmarking sites out there and just blindly demand they shovel traffic our way? Why do we look at our precious readers and subscribers as something that can be just forced toward our sites?

We shouldn’t be asking what Digg or can do for us, how about what we can do for them? OK, maybe that is going a little loopy, but when’s the last time you went to a community site and just wanted to throw your link out there and hope someone was stupid enough to click it? Is that fair to the community? Who are you helping with this sort of behaviour? Really, you’re not even helping yourself, because traffic that comes from spam is rarely helpful to a site owner. In fact, it usually results in traffic slams and no advertising payoff or subscription increase. Why do we bother?

Well, in all walks of life, people think there is a free and easy way to success. Perhaps I can just write a few posts, slather on some Adsense and then throw my link at whoever will listen, and then I can sit back and count my money. If anyone reading this is really waiting on that to happen, I wish you luck with that scheme.

That’s why I loved the way the author mentioned that social bookmarking sites were helpful to him because he was a helpful member.

If you want to be successful on a social bookmarking site, get involved. I’m involved in several – I post links to both my own articles and to other things and I’m also involved in many discussions on what others submit. Over time, people start checking in on what you submit on those sites and tend to be predisposed to voting them up, which can in the end merit you a lot of legitimate attention.

Years ago, when I started a small cloth diaper company and sewed and sold cloth diapers for young mothers, the ONLY way I marketed the product was through forums and chat rooms. And, it wasn’t by spamming all of the people! I just took part in the discussions going on, like How to Wash Diapers, How to Waterproof Diaper Seams, etc. and was a helpful part of this niche community. People sent me emails to ask my advice and I wrote articles online for the sole purpose of helping people. The only way that people knew I had a business was because it was in my signature of my forum posts and in my email signature.

Was I successful with this limited advertising? Well, within the first month we had $25K worth of orders and I had to contact a manufacturer to take over, and these darn diapers cost $8.95 each! After a year, the work was so intensive that I stopped taking orders and shut the company down once the last orders were filled. My small, home business, was so busy that it was removing me from my family, and that was the whole point of my working from home at the time, so I canned the business. Don’t believe me? Look at the Way Back Machine for Also, I still have links in for this domain that focus on cloth diapers.
That diaper business taught me that people don’t want to be marketed TO, but they want to learn from people, make friends, and be treated as if they matter. My business, my site, was successful not because I knew how to spin things or because my diapers were better than anyone else’s diapers (although, they were heh heh), but because I cared about people and I was known as a helpful and knowledgable member of the cloth diaper community.

Who do you think about when you write your blog? Who do you think about when you submit your link to every site under then sun? I’m not saying social bookmarking is wrong, I do it occassionally, but I do think you should do your level best to focus on what your readers want (or potential readers), rather than just selfishly spamming all the community sites you can find.


Crafting a new site isn’t hard though it does require a lot of time. With a wireless broadband connection working does become easier. There are many sites which offer people good packages to buy domain names and hosting services. As the site grows and years pass load balancing is required amongst different servers and online backup for all the data is essential. A site that is about a year old should give off decent money through affiliate programs. Though during this entire process the marketing of the site is important to increase the traffic, hence comes in social book marking.

Cartoon Network Podcast (Videoblog)

When did start offering a video podcast? And, why is their podcast page so much smarter than any other one I’ve ever seen? It’s clean, it’s ad-supported, it offers only a few subscribe options and it plays the latest episode directly on the page.

Cartoon Network Podcast

I suppose we should all try to design any RSS product as if to children in order to make it easily understood by mainstream computer users. I mean, it’s perfect!

Custom Amazon Video Ad

Steve Garfield, a terrific video blogger, has implemented a custom Amazon ad at the end of a video for a client, Nina Simonds of Spices of Life (excellent video by the way).

I think it is a great way to work a different method of monetization into video. The book certainly matches her subject matter, and as much as Amazon sells, any of us could pull a product in easily that would work well with our own topic. Anyway, I’m mui impressed…

Ze Frank Will Keynote Affiliate Summit East 2007

Miami’s event is already shaping up to be a winner. Here’s the info on Ze Frank from the AS newsletter:

Ze Frank (pronounced “Zay”), the keynote speaker for Affiliate Summit 2007 East, provides a truly entertaining and yet insightful look at how technology and creativity intersect, especially in web design, marketing and new forms of media.
Ze has unique experience doing new media design and marketing for important customers, helping them understand viral marketing and the contagious media in which it takes place, and to think about creative development in general.
He spent two months in 2004 as Artist in Residence at MSN, helping them develop strategies for creating online community spaces-his specialty.

Ze Frank is one of the earliest and most well known videobloggers. I highly recommend you check out his site.

Gawker Account Removed From YouTube

I read that the Gawker account, UnderTheRadar, was removed by YouTube because they were posting, among other things, clips of shows including the Colbert Report, Good Morning America, etc. Lockhart Steele, whose name makes me think of some black and white detective show, says they aren’t going to change their policies. What really stunned me was his assertion that the ads Gawker had placed in the copyrighted-by-others clips were not really ads.

Steele doesn’t agree with the assertion that the three-second promotions for some of Gawker’s blogs that appeared before and sometimes after a clip, known as “bumpers,” can be considered an advertisement.

That cracked me up. Since when was a pre-roll ad NOT an ad? I think he was trying to claim they were not profiting from someone else’s work, but let’s be honest, even if there were no ads placed in the clips, they were embedding the copyrighted work in their blogs and profiting therein.

Now, I am one of those people who thinks less than 30 seconds should be allowed, but since the legal system doesn’t agree with me, I don’t upload copyrighted material to YouTube without permission. I know that eventually the networks will realize that these short clips are helpful to their shows, but until they do we have to work within the constraints of the system. Or, at the very least, not add our own advertising when we take and exploit the works of others without their permission.

Josh Wolf Now Longest Jailed Journalist For Contempt Of Court In The USA

Josh Wolf, 24-year old blogger/video blogger sits in jail tonight. Yesterday Wolf started his 169th day in jail, which gave him the dubious distinction of being the longest journalist, in the USA, to be incarcerated for Contempt of Court charges (ie not handing over sources or source materiel when it is demanded by the government).

Other than a few stories in Time and others when this initially took place 8/1/2006, where is the traditional media? The San Francisco Gate has covered this a bit, like yesterday’s coverage of Josh’s plight (via Jay Dedman on Videobloggers list), but who else is talking about this? It’s a shame to see this young man sit in jail, perhaps until his Grand Jury adjourns in July, for nothing more than protecting the people in his video. Remember, Josh has offered to allow the Judge, US District Court Judge, William Alsup, the opportunity to view the tape (to ascertain as to whether any illegal acts were recorded on the tape as the Federal Government maintains), and the Hon judge refused. Shame on Alsup…

Please pass on the news of Josh’s story and link to his wiki and his blog. He’s done nothing to deserve sitting in jail right now.

It could happen to any of us.

More on Josh’s plight:

1. Federal Shield Law

2. Video Journalist Remains Jailed

3. Josh Interviewed As Part of Frontline News War Series

4. Steve Rhodes Flickr Set of Free Josh Pics&

*Opening and closing music by Oceans Alexander. Music throughout is by Brobdingnagian Bards. Both artists are found at

BarcampUSA Tickets On Sale Today

This morning, Feb 1, Barcamp USA tix went on sale. Here’s the deets:

Early registration special if you register before May 1

$20 for 1 day pass

$10 for each additional day

Total cost is $50 for all 4 days

There will be an option to sleep inside some of the session tents at no cost. These tents will generally be 30 x 30 feet and have room for two or three dozen people each. (you will not be able to leave any personal items in the tents during the day)

Private tent camping fee is $15 per night with up to 8 people per tent.

(significant advantages to registering early)

This BarCamp is going to be different that the others we’ve seen. Most Barcamps run 200-500 people. This one will be 3K-5K strong, and is being touted as ‘the woodstock of our generation’. I can’t wait. I might even consider camping out on the grounds, though that is SO unlike me.

We’re organizing a killer videoblogging track, so if you want to add a session, jump in and do so. There should be a great deal of elementary level sessions, as so many people just want to get started. However, please jump in with some intermediate and advanced sessions as well. Remember, it’s an un-conference. At Barcamp you don’t have to be an expert, you just need to be passionate. Chances are there will be plenty of people who will jump in and lend you a hand. Let me know via email or the comments if you want to get more involved. As well, sponsorships are available, and the videoblogging track doesn’t yet have a track sponsor.

Hope to see you there! (cross posted to

Touring Intel and PodTech

I’m still in California meeting with the Intel Software Network and even though we’ve been pretty busy thus far, I convinced Jeremiah Owyang to give me a tour of his new digs at PodTech. I’ve known Jeremiah for a long time, first as a fellow member of the Podcast Roundtable and now as a good friend and colleague, so it was absolutely great to finally meet in person.

Jeremiah was in a meeting when I got there, so Linda Furrier and Darold Massaro were kind enough to take time out of their busy schedule to entertain me for a bit while he finished up. I got to meet John Furrier for a brief minute, which was great, and I raided their snack area in the meantime.

podtech's yummy snack roompodtech's yummy snack area

Within a few minutes I got to talk with both Jeremiah and Scoble, and all-in-all, the tour was quick but fun.

Scoble even alerted me to the bruhaha he kicked off over the weekend re: Intel’s New 45 Nanometer Processors. I enjoyed the video and was impressed by the delivery by Kelin Kuhn, the head of the department that is responsible for the breakthough, in that she talked in such a way that an admittedly clueless person like myself could follow along as to why a 10x reduction in gate leakage was beneficial. I guess I missed all of the coverage (ValleyWag, New York Times, etc.) due to my trips to Las Vegas and San Francisco in the last 10 days.

Jeremiah, Scoble and I chatted briefly about ‘bad press’ and ‘good press’, and the overall effect. I think that this much buzz, whether it is over a link-love battle or not, is great for both Podtech and Intel. What do you think?