blip.tv Fifth Anniversary Party

Co-Founders Dina Kaplan, Mike Hudack, Jared Klett, Justin Day & Charles Hope at the blip.tv fifth anniversary party on June 08, 2010
Co-Founders Dina Kaplan, Mike Hudack, Jared Klett, Justin Day & Charles Hope at the blip.tv fifth anniversary party on June 08, 2010

How Social is “Social” Media?

Jonny Goldstein interviewed me back in August 2007 on his show Jonny’s Par-Tay [link]. Looking at the countdown timer to the end of the show, around -18:00 he asks me “So… Did you feel a little lonely before you got into all the social media stuff?” to which my response was that I’m actually LESS social NOW than I was before…

Jonny’s response was that it CAN lead to socializing, and he mentioned an instance of an IRL event, Vloggercue, hosted by Wreck and Salvage’s Adam Quirk that he was going to attend BECAUSE of the people that he met and knew because of social media.

While I agree that it CAN… How often *DOES* social media lead to actual social inteaction, for YOU? My point was that I became less social instead of more social because of the fact that my friends are always at my fingertips. For the sake of this post, I’m defining “social” as actually going somewhere to hang out with friends of mine, IRL.

Frisbee Group, April 14 2007 by Bill Cammack

Everyone sitting at that table (Grace, Rachel, Charles, Obreahny, Sandra & Mike), I’m only *seconds* away from interacting with, via social media, wherever I am. Instant messaging, status updates, texting, email, sites, forums, groups. I did a shoot in Central Park with Obreahny and uploaded it to my server sitting out in Central Park, using the park’s wireless access. I get footage from clients overseas via FTP, talk to them on skype or iChat and send them quicktime files for approval/changes. I watched a live stream of PodCamp Philly from NYC and appeared on-screen @ PodCamp Boston while I was sitting in a living room in Maryland.

There’s no reason for me to physically go ANYWHERE unless physically interacting with that person is the reason I’m going. You can’t go snowboarding together unless you actually go snowboarding. Other than that, the current state of communications enables you to be AS in-touch with someone as you want to be. I talk to my friend @CaliNative all day, every day. We’re both MIT Graduates, but we live 3,000 miles apart from each other and never met each other IRL. Meanwhile, there are people that have given me business cards, right here in NYC, that I never spoke to again after that particular day that we met.

Social media allows you to define your enviroment. You can create and maintain relationships that transcend physical and territorial boundaries. You can hold 5 completely separate instant message conversations at a time, which is absolutely impossible on the phone. Does that make you MORE social?… or LESS social? Is “social” being re-defined by technology enabling us to envision new directions?

I also say I’m less social because my tolerance for idiocy has plummeted. πŸ™‚ I didn’t have a lot of that to BEGIN with, but when you get to pick and choose the people you interact with on the basis of their intelligence, common sense and relevance relative to what YOU find interesting or important, it becomes really tough to tolerate people talking about ‘nothing’, or their own agenda which has nothing to do with what you find to be valuable in life.


Anil, Mike, Justin, Debbie, Grace, Bill, Kenyatta, Eric

Photo Credit: Jared Klett

So, yes. Social media DEFINITELY leads to situations where we all get together and have a good time, IRL. I think that more often, social media allows us to FEIGN getting together, which is actually *less* social than more so.

Bill Cammack Ò€’ Cammack Media Group, LLC

282-Charles_Hope_Birthday_Party

Charles Hope’s birthday party
December 11, 2007

Charles Hope, Grace Piper, Bill Cammack, Obreahny O’Brien, Rachel Clarke, Adam Quirk, Annie Arthur, Eric Rochow, Jackson West, Jared Klett, Nathan Freitas, Sonia Chaghatzbanian, Paul Idol, Brian Conley, CharlesHopeBirthday2007

Dude… Where’s My Twitter Link?

As I reported back on June 28, 2007, Twitter ‘ruined my life’ [link].

I realize _now_ that there’s something that I left out.

Today, Charles Hope twittered… Yes, “twittered”… There’s no such thing as a “tweet” or else the app would be named “tweeter”…. Anyway… Charles twittered that the “older” link was no longer at the bottom of our Twitter pages. I checked it out, and sure enough, there was no link allowing me to check back past my first page of the most recent posts. I figured that since they’re always doing tests and trying to improve how twitter works, it was a programming error and that it would be quickly replaced. Then, someone mentioned an issue with spam, and that the link was deliberately removed in response to it.

I still wasn’t concerned, because I know that I can type http://twitter.com/home?page=2 directly into my browser to get to the next-most-recent page of posts. No dice. Pages 2, 3, 4 and 5 all returned the exact same Page 1 entries….. MINUS the entries that had fallen off the edge of the flat Earth, because new people had twittered since I had last refreshed. :/

The link removal wouldn’t be a big deal to people following a handful of people, but when you’re following > 230 people, like I am, it’s a major ‘problem’ and jacks a critical amount of functionality that I get out of Twitter. Fortunately, out of the > 240 people following me on these social status-update sites like Twitter and Pownce (and Jaiku? … Haven’t heard from that app in AGES!), Veronica Belmont replied to my status update on Pownce [link], informing me not only that it was a temporary issue, but pointing me to the Twitter blog where Biz Stone had already addressed the issue earlier this morning. Fortunately, she replied on Pownce, because on Twitter, her post would have scrolled off the bottom of my “page 1” and been (temporarily) lost forever, unless she had added an @BillCammack to it and it would have alighted in my “replies” section. So, thanks to Veronica, this is a different post than it would have been. πŸ™‚


Photo Credit: Jared Klett

For me, one of the values of Twitter is that you don’t have to pay attention to it and it will save the status updates for you. I’ve gone back as far as 11 pages, which span several hours. That’s normally where you lose the “older” link. This means that when it’s crunch time, and I’m being my most effective and efficient, I can release Twitter from my mind entirely and only get back to it when I have processing cycles for it. Removing the “older” link from the first page means that I have to constantly remember Twitter to check it on the web site or I’d actually have to install a widget which would keep sending me the messages, non-stop, all day, consistently distracting me from what I’m trying to do. Neither option’s optimal.

It’s one of those things that you don’t miss until it’s gone. πŸ™‚ Taking the “older” link from the front page of Twitter turns it into the home page of Facebook. As far as I can tell, there’s no way to increase the number of pages of updates that you can see on Facebook’s home page. They’re not even in chronological order. If they were, you wouldn’t see that an entire stack of your friends just joined a new group… You’d see individual instances with other types of updates in between them. When I get to the bottom of Facebook’s ome page, I invariably wonder what happened BEFORE the edge of the flat Earth that the rest of the updates fell off of. Of course it’s a good ploy to make it so people go to Facebook more often specifically so they DON’T miss the revolving-door updates, but that doesn’t work for me personally, so removal of the “older” link on Twitter is nothing short of a disaster. πŸ™‚

I just checked my page right now, and there are only 20 twitters on the front (read: ONLY) page. Amongst the > 230 people I’m following, the oldest post is a whopping 22 minutes old. :/ I’ve been writing this post for more than 20 minutes, so there’s an entire ‘generation’ of comments that I’ve entirely missed and will never ever see unless they fix their spam bot issues within the next 8 hours or so.

This isn’t the stock market, so it’s not mission-critical for me to know in real-time what my Twitter friends are doing, thinking or saying. However, I was glad to read in the Twitter blog that the “older” link is going to be reinstated ASAP. Part of my daily productivity is using down-time during rendering, uploading, etc to catch up with what’s been going on in the last couple of hours since I even THOUGHT about Twitter at all. 22 minutes worth of status updates from > 230 people isn’t even a drop in the bucket.

Good thing I checked twitter within 20 minutes of Charles’ post, or I would have been completely in the dark as far as WhereTF my “older” link went! πŸ˜€

Bill Cammack Ò€’ New York City Ò€’ Freelance Video Editor Ò€’ alum.mit.edu/www/billcammack

Twitter Has “Ruined” My Life

For those of you that don’t know what twitter is… Basically, it’s a DIY (do it yourself) chat room. You choose people that you want to “follow”, and you can see when they type something to the twitter site. People can choose to follow YOU, and they’ll see what you type to twitter. There’s no forced mutual following, so sometimes, it’s a one-sided deal. You can see what someone’s saying, but they can’t see what you’re saying… which is unfortunate for them when they ask a question that you “tweet” (somehow the verb form of twitter…… meaning each entry should be called a TWIT or the site should be called TWEETER, but anyway…) the answer to and then an hour later, you see them ask again if anyone has a solution for them. πŸ˜€

I think twitter’s more effective in areas where people are in relatively close proximity to each other or at least can get to where other twitterers (tweeters?) indicate that they are or that something’s going on. It’s extremely useful during conferences, like SXSW or PodCampNYC. Twitter works on cell phones as well as computers, so people on-the-go can still find out the latest information, ASAP. The benefit here is that instead of texting… or, could you imagine, actually CALLING several people to tell them where you’re about to have lunch, or what floor you’re hanging out on and with whom


Photo Credit: Jared Klett

… You can make one “tweet,” and everyone that’s following you receives the same information at the same time. (PS – If you don’t know what twitter looks like, you can see it on my macbook pro screen on the right side of the picture.)

So, by now, you’re saying “All I’ve heard is positives!” πŸ˜€ Yes. That’s true. πŸ™‚ I think twitter is a very positive thing, or at least it CAN be. It all depends on how you use it. If you clutter your “friends list” with people that don’t do anything, but seem to always have something to say about the NOTHING they do all day, then it’s a waste of your time and energy to read the feed. That’s not my ‘problem’… it’s exactly the opposite! :O

The first day I became aware of twitter, I ‘crawled’ through my friends’ friends lists and added people that I thought might be interesting to follow. I was doing something that day, and I don’t remember what, but I remember doing just ONE thing… πŸ™‚ So I happened to have added someone that appears to be an actress. A “tweet” comes up that she’s heading wherever to meet with whomever. I’m like “ok”….. Then, while I’m still doing the same thing, and time doesn’t really seem to have moved at all, another tweet comes up from her saying that NOW she was heading to a different location to do something else. I’m like “ok”….. So while I was sitting there, still doing the same thing… over the course of the day, she did at least SIX THINGS in six different locations! :O I noticed how interesting it is to ‘eavesdrop’ on the goings-on of someone that’s in a profession you don’t know anything about, but I ALSO noticed that I could have done a lot more with my day than what I did while she was scurrying all over the place being effective.

I chalked it up as a fluke, but the same thing happened the next day and then the next day. To make matters worse, the rest of the people I added are workaholics also! πŸ˜€ So now, all day, every day, I get to hear about where they’re going and what they’re doing and who they’re meeting with and what’s happening in Second Life and what country they’re in and which conference is starting and who’s the keynote speaker and who’s broadcasting live on the Internet right now…..

On top of what they’re ACTUALLY DOING, I have to hear about what they think is interesting on the net, who made a new video, who didn’t get paid for the unauthorized use of their photo coughlanbuicough, what’s the latest social site somebody created, how to get invites to be a beta tester, what just crashed their browser, which phone shoots the better video, who updated their blog, what’s the latest HD camera that records MP4…..

And then, while you’re trying to be more productive with your day, AND you’re checking out all these links that people sent out so the tabs on the top of your browser are increasing and getting smaller and smaller… You get to find out who’s going to lunch at such and such a place, who’s going out for drinks later, who’s flying into town for the weekend, where the Wii Sports tournament’s going to be, which bar is giving out free beer RIGHT NOW!, the sun just came out over Central Park, the party’s moving from location X to location Y….. So now, instead of having the excuse that you don’t know if anything’s happening tonight or this weekend and actually getting to USE the time that you had allotted to being more productive, which was ALSO spurred on by twitter… You’re hanging out all the time, to the wee hours of the morning, then spending the better part of the next day updating your flickr set! πŸ˜€

Oh, yeah… It also doesn’t help that people live in different time zones. :/ When you’re in the middle of your day, people are talking about “GOOD MORNING FROM HAWAII,” then when you’re done, they’re talking about going out to lunch…

As you can see, the overall effect of this twitter phenomenon is that there are NEVER enough hours in a day anymore. :/ Every second you’re not running with the pack, you’re falling behind. Unfortunately, I don’t subscribe to slackers, so it’s always build, create, innovate, move, report, link, blog, videoblog, discuss, contemplate, debate….. You just have to do as much as you can and eventually call it a day. πŸ˜€

There is one downside-downside to twitter, and that’s when it CRASHES, and suddenly, you’re “flying blind”. Twitter has two types of crashes. Type-2 is complete denial of service. πŸ˜€ Either the site doesn’t come up at all or it comes up but doesn’t let you type anything and doesn’t give you any updates from anyone else either. You just sit there looking at this screen that says “so-and-so said whatever about 3 hours ago.” Suddenly you start trying to activate the telepathy that you just KNOW you have that will allow you to discernn where people are and what they’re doing, even though none of the “tweets” are coming through at all, hahaha. I suppose it’s the same way people feel when they open the fridge and find out that someone drank the last of the Kool-Aid and didn’t fill it back up! :O You just stare at the container, IMAGINING how good that Kool-Aid would have tasted… IF it were actually IN the container. :/

The Type-1 twitter-crash is way more frequent and way more frustrating! πŸ˜€ Twitter lets you type things, but then there are random occurrences right afterwards. What you typed mght disappear into thin air, and twitter acts like you never typed anything at all. It might appear in the list of “tweets”, but then, when you refresh, it’s gone. You can type something and what appears in the list is a duplicate of something you typed hours ago, competely replacing what you actually typed. “Tweets” show up out of order and randomly appear and then disappear upon refreshes. Etc, etc, etc… Anyway… Type-1 twitter-crashes inspire denial as well as disbelief as you realize your carefully crafted post, complete with hyperlinks, has been eaten by twitter and if you didn’t select it and copy it before pressing “Update,” you have to start all over again.

You can imagine the effect these crashes have on the twitter-dependent… suddenly scurrying to use email, instant messaging and telephones to try to find out what’s going on… one.person.at.a.tiiiiiime… πŸ˜€ It’s not for the faint of heart. So beware, and be aware! πŸ˜€ Watch out for the effects of TMI (too much information). If you recognize it starting to be too much, take a bunch of people off of your “friends list” to slow down the traffic to only relevant information that’s useful to YOU… or Just.Say.No! πŸ˜€

Bill Cammack Ò€’ New York City Ò€’ Freelance Video Editor Ò€’ alum.mit.edu/www/billcammack

Camping it up



Camping it up, originally uploaded by Jared Klett.

Anil, Mike, Kenyatta, Justin, Grace, Bill lampin’ in the camp chairs.

photo credit: Jared Klett