Are You A Tech Elitist?

Are *you* a Tech Elitist? If so, how’s that workin’ for ya?

As it’s now Christmas, and we think of The Grinch sitting high on the hill, looking down on all the little people of the village with contempt… Let’s consider our own positions in our respective fields and how we’ve chosen social media sites & groups as well as whom we’ve chosen to affiliate ourselves with.

There was much change during 2007. More ways to communicate. More social sites to join. More video hosts with their own little gimmicks that made them slightly different from the rest. New video editing software. New storage solutions. New live streaming options….

As new opportunities arose, there was a lot of bandwagon-jumping. Sometimes it stuck, sometimes it didn’t. When Twitter was initially unreliable, OFTEN, eventually, Jaiku came along, and there was a mass exodus. The backup plan for when Twitter would go down was for people to immediately start posting on Jaiku until the problem was resolved. Eventually, Twitter became stable, and I didn’t hear a peep about Jaiku for months until they got bought by Google. All of a sudden, here come the Jaiku friend requests.

Even within Twitter, there was bandwagon-jumping. Apps were created so you didn’t have to use the twitter web page with your browser. Some people stuck with them. Some people bailed back to the web site when they realized how many twitter posts the apps weren’t picking up. Eventually, people found found satisfaction in how they received twitter posts. At some point during ’07, Pownce became a player as well.

There was much debate about which status update application was better between the three of them. I ended up sticking with Twitter, and once every so often, I copy/paste redundant posts to Pownce & Jaiku for people that primarily (if not exclusively) use those sites. I’m also biased towards Twitter because I have 341 contacts there vs. 117 on Pownce and 50 on Jaiku, many of which are redundant for the reason I stated earlier. So, for the sake of this post, I’ll say I made the ‘elitist’ decision that Twitter was better for my purposes and essentially neglect the other two services.

On the social site front, I used to have a regular MySpace presence. I had somewhere around 500 “friends” that were rather randomly acquired. What I mean by that is that I had probably 100 contacts that I knew from some other site or forum or that I actually knew IRL and then another 400 or so people/companies that sent me a friends request and then essentially never talked to me “again”. πŸ˜€ … “Again” has to be in quotes, because they never TALKED to me the first time. All they did was click a button that sent me a friends request, and I accepted it. I enjoyed interacting with my actual friends on MySpace, but the vast majority of it I found to be utterly worthless. MySpace is fantastic if you’re a musician or an artist, but I didn’t make many new relationships on MySpace that were worth anything.

Eventually, Facebook stepped its game up, and I migrated to “the better site”. Similar to my Twitter bias for status updates, my MySpace dealings dwindled to ZERO. In fact, if someone didn’t have a facebook account, I wouldn’t even bother to look them up on MySpace. πŸ™‚ “Everybody who was anybody” was on Facebook, so there wasn’t any need to ‘waste’ time on other mass social sites. Recently, someone mentioned MySpace to me, and I inadvertently laughed and said something like “You *still* use your MySpace account?” She replied that she interacts with the people that she knows because of business on Facebook, but her IRL friends are all still on MySpace. I hadn’t thought about it before, but as I sit here on my Facebook hill with contempt… I’m now wondering how many of my ACTUAL friends are still down in the MySpace village, having never made the jump to “the better site”.

The reason Facebook is better for me is that I deal with social media every day of the week. Now that I’m thinking about it, for the average joe, MySpace is more than enough, and there’s no reason for them to look for better connectivity to more REAL people. So now I have to consider whether it’s more beneficial to me to move some of my Facebook-time back to MySpace instead of concentrating solely on the site that’s clearly superior for my purposes.

Next, you have video hosts. I use because the options and functionalities serve my purposes as I maintain my own video blogs using WordPress, Show-In-A-Box and vPiP. Meanwhile, other people talk into their webcams and post videos to YouTube. I’ve posted a few videos to YouTube for test purposes, but I wasn’t impressed with the video compression quality at the time, I wasn’t impressed with the Terms of Service and I *CERTAINLY* wasn’t impressed with the dimwitted remarks people love to leave in the comments sections.

For those reasons and others, I’ve left YouTube just about completely alone… However, you can’t argue with the numbers of views that people get, assuming they get “featured”. YouTube has become the go-to for people looking for any kind of video under the sun, so just by having your video there, you have more of a chance of it going viral than if you oh-so-elitely plan, film, edit, compress, upload, post, tag and advertise your own videos like I do. πŸ™‚

The question, again, is “How’s that workin’ for ya?”. Fortunately, another 2007 development is TubeMogul which enables you to upload a video once and have it distributed to multiple video sharing sites. TubeMogul also tracks statistics for you across several sites. So now, there’s less incentive to keep “all your eggs in one basket”.

I’m sure we can look forward to lots more fantastic developments in 2008. πŸ™‚ Personally, I’ll be paying more attention than I was this year as far as whether I’d like to consolidate or expand in the areas of status updates, social sites and video hosting sites. I didn’t even get to talk about live streaming options, like how I think Operator11 is infinitely better than BlogTV….. except Operator11 went completely offline for more than a week, so people like Jonny Goldstein had to retreat to other live streaming sites to keep their shows going. Of course, there’s no way to add a BlogTV archive to your Operator11 show archive, so c’est la vie. :/

Anyway… I think it’s in all of our best interests to pay attention not only to which new app or site has cool features or the elite people flocking to it, but also to whether we’re trading away communications with our core viewers, friends, contacts and followers. Just like The Grinch found out… it’s lonely at the top.

Bill Cammack Ò€’ Cammack Media Group, LLC

Celebrity Crush, Part 2

In response to Got a Crush on a CelebrityÒ€¦, Derek writes:

So it’s an uphill climb. Understood. But, there are guys out there that KNOW (think) that they are MORE than enough to take the challenge (think Pros vs Joes).

What kinda advice would the DG give to those guys? Would could a guy do once he’s left his life, moved to the city of his desire?

I’ll met enough people to understand your initial answer all too well (think “astronaunts”). A type-A personality guy (definitely NOT me) wouldn’t let something like reality stand in the way. They are the same guys that blow horns and give cat calls to pick up women (see my last video posting – I don’t know how to link it here).

Actually, this is something else I’ve never thought about because up until recently, all the stars were in LA/Hollywood. Unless you lived out there, AND were running in their circles, there was ZERO percent chance that you’d meet a star anyway, unless she came to your local mall to sign autographs or was doing a show in your town.

In the case of doing a show, you’re done. She’s there for business, and you’re not getting near her. If she’s there for a book signing or whatever celebrities do to meet their fans, you’re not going to have but about a minute near her so your best bet is to come in the door looking jiggy-fresh, slide her your number and tell her to call you… outside of the earshot of cockblocking assistants and managers, of course.

Anyway, at this point, now that there are internet celebrities, they’re way more accessible to average joes, because none of this is being done in studios under locked-down conditions. Consider YouTube, for instance, you have some of the most REGULAR chicks that are STARS on YouTube. They probably work as cashiers in the local Wal-Mart, even.

As far as actually getting on, there’s no specific formula to that, because as predictable as chicks are, they all get off on different things. Some chicks like bad boys, some chicks like nice guys… Play the wrong style and you lose. πŸ™‚ The only advantage you have in these situations is if the chick puts a lot of information online about things that she likes. That way, you can play it off like you’re interested in the same things and gain rapport.

So it’s not really different from the basic formula…

Gather information, then Fake It, Till You Make It! πŸ˜€


My excellent friend ActionGirl hung out with me today. We did a dual-channel livecast using

Livecasting, if you’re not familiar, is one of the newest internet fads, but it’s also NOT new. Technology has advanced to the point that the average joe has the ability to broadcast his or her life effortlessly and without cost (except for the obvious costs of computer, webcam, broadband connection, etc).

Similar to quasi-scripted MSM shows like MTV’s “The Real World”, people now have the ability to leave a camera running and pointed at them as they go about their daily business. Some people livecast from work. Some people livecast from home. Some people livecast on the move with EV-DO modem cards and laptops, like Sarah and Lisa do on

I became intersted in livecasting after watching Drew Olanoff‘s feed from PodCamp Philly. It was fun watching Drew roam the hallways and run into conference attendees and presenters. There was something cool about interacting with this live show that was going on, NOW. πŸ™‚ It was different because you could actually affect the course of the show, assuming the host was monitoring the text chat room. It was different because you could call your friends that you saw in the background and have them come over and talk to you on camera. It was cool because you were receiving information RIGHT NOW, just like everyone that was actually in Philadelphia for the conference.

So I wanted to check it out, and ActionGirl was down to experiment with me….. um…. was down to join me in my livecasting experiment. πŸ™‚

We started out outdoors, utilizing free WiFi in the area. We were streaming about one frame per five seconds. Our video was choppy and our audio wasn’t much better. Some glitch occurred where ActionGirl had bars of wireless signal, yet was unable to connect to the internet at all. Strange. Next, I tried receiving signal via my EV-DO modem card and sharing my internet connection with ActionGirl via airport. That was really slow, but I’ve never tried that before, and I think it was due to my card not connecting properly. I didn’t have this diagnostics entry in my taskbar that I should have had, so I don’t figure the card was functioning optimally at that point.

We retired indoors and used WiFi connections to stream from each of our macbooks. Connection was quick, and I was able to embed both of our streams plus a text chat on one page and run that from my site. I later added our friend Chris’ stream, so we had three simultaneous live streams on the page.

Livecasting is tough to do properly, IMO, without monitoring your chat room(s). I suppose there IS no ‘proper’ way to livecast, since it’s really “anything goes”, but in order to interact with your audience, you have to read what they’re typing to you. If you’re not planning to interact with them, clearly, you don’t have to bother with that. I found myself responding late to comments because while we were saying something, the text chat was scrolling up and I’d have to read up to notice what people said minutes before.

I think the audience is as important as the host… Meaning that if you have the right audience, even if that’s ‘only’ one or two people who actually know you or are genuinely interested in what you do, livecasting can be a fun and rewarding experience. The best times today were when our friends were on, even just for a few minutes, and we got to interact with them and answer their questions. OTOH, when the audience isn’t prime, it’s tough, if not impossible to get revved up to deliver your best ‘performance’.

For me, *teamwork* is key. I’m not interested in doing my own solo livecast. If I know I’m going to be around interesting people or at an event that would be of interest to people I know, then I’m glad to broadcast it. It also helps if you actually like and enjoy the person you’re livecasting with so you know that even if NOBODY shows up, you’re going to have a good time that day. πŸ™‚

Eventually, we called it a night. I felt pretty exhausted by then, actually. When we shut our feeds down, it actually felt strange to me to NOT be on camera. Once we came inside, we were on from around 6pm to 9pm, and even that felt like an eternity. I’m not sure how (or why) people do that during their every waking hour. I guess you have to be the type of person that enjoys random people interacting with you. I suppose some people do it for the fame or notoriety.

I don’t know that there’s going to be a way to monetize lifecasting. I experimented with product placement, including beverages and t-shirts. It’s tough to do well, live, trying to get products in front of a tiny webcam lens in the optimal size, focus and location. Still… A lot of people like to broadcast their lives, and a lot of people like to watch those broadcasts, so we’ll see where this fad takes us next. πŸ™‚

Bill Cammack Ò€’ New York City Ò€’ Freelance Video Editor Ò€’

ReelSolidTV Episode 39: WHEN Hillary is President! :D

Joey and I headed out to Hostos Community College this morning to hear Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. speak, and Senator Hillary Clinton happened to show up and address the crowd! πŸ˜€

YouTube Link =>

Best Laid Plans

One of the perils of doing a “daily” blog is that…. you have to do it. πŸ˜€

Already, on day 2, technically day 3, since I started on the last day of last year, I missed a day of my “daily” blog. That’s because A) I didn’t have anything I wanted to post in the morning, and B) I walked out of the house, supposedly for a couple of hours and never came back! πŸ˜€ The next time I was around a computer was about 2am, and I wasn’t in any condition to write anything decent (or stay awake :)) AND 2am is already the next day anyway.

So… YESTERDAY, my friend Dave was off work and wanted to hang out around lunchtime. Since we were going to be downtown, I decided that this day would be a good day to get a different camera. I’ve been shooting ReelSolid.TV and E.M.S. with a Canon miniDV camera, and it’s a real drag to set up and make sure everything’s proper… That’s fine for something like ReelSolid, because those are mostly “finished” pieces, so being able to set up and do all my zooming and manual focus etc comes way in handy so I can express myself properly. However, once I switched to the format of E.M.S. (Eight Million Stories), which is really “slice of life” snippets, what’s really important is to catch that moment that’s happening right now. That’s where a miniDV camera becomes reeeeeeally inconvenient…

a) get it from wherever I’m carrying it, like a backpack for instance
b) press and click the button to turn the camera on in camera mode
c) while I wait, take the lens cap off and try to attach it to the handle, so it doesn’t clunk around and make noise
d) keep waiting for the opening graphics, blah blah blah
e) camera is online… except I found out that it doesn’t adjust itself to the light of the situation for another 10 seconds or so. I found this out on the Harlem Race shoot where I would suddenly want to tape something, then when I looked at it on the computer, it would become lighter a few seconds after I started shooting, making the original shooting worthless to me.
f) hopefully, I already checked to make sure the focus was where I need it to be to start shooting what’s going on right now. Also, the auto-exposure needs to be proper for me to get the shot. I might possibly need to be in low-light mode if it’s dark. If the focus doesn’t work for me “out of the box”, I have to auto focus at the subject, then hit manual focus unless the subject’s constantly moving (or I am), in which case I leave it auto, but I might have been shooting an interview just before, so the focus might be manual and I have to take the time to click it to auto before starting that process.
g) somewhere in that process, I might have needed to click the release and swivel out the viewer. If I were planning to be in my own shot (without a tripod), I might need to flip the viewer also, so I can see where I am in the shot.

By the time all this happens, and probably some stuff I didn’t think of as I’m writing this “off the top”, it’s not likely that the moment is still THE SAME MOMENT that it was when I got the idea to shoot it in the first place. πŸ˜• Again, this is fine for something where you planned a pretty high ratio between how much you shoot and how long the final piece is going to be. If you don’t have the shot, you just use something else and make it work. In “slice of life” snippets, it is what it is, so you need to be recording WHILE it “is what it is”.

This is what happened to me on the very first E.M.S. video, “Beef in Chinatown”. Joey and I were on the way to the club where DJ Blazer One was spinning, and while we were rolling in slow traffic, there was a commotion going on in the street. A bunch of people were literally rolling on the ground, on the sidewalk, and every once in a while, someone would scream “He’s Got A Knife!” πŸ˜€ The funny thing was that I was still talking to Joey about what the plan was for shooting in the club, and I totally hadn’t planned for E.M.S. to start “right now”. I started going through my process I described, and by the time everything came online, people were getting back up off the floor, so it doesn’t look even 1/3rd as funny on tape as it did in person. Had I had a camera that was faster on the draw, I would have had a better representation of the situation.

So… I started researching digital still cameras that take 640×480 video @ 30fps. I googled a little bit, then I decided to search the Yahoo Videoblogging Group to see what they had to say. I saw an article by kitykity (from talking about a Sony S600. She also made a video with it and posted it and I was very satisfied with her results. I knew I wanted a camera that would shoot 640×480 and 30fps. I looked for another article I had seen where Randolfe Wicker mentioned the make & model of the camera he showed us and talked about @ a recent videoblogging get-together @ Art Bar. He was very impressed with his new camera, so I thought I’d check that one out as well, the Samsung NV3.

After much googling and checking on Cnet, B&H Photo and the local electronics chain stores we have around here, I couldn’t decide between the Sony Cybershot W70 and the Samsung NV3. I could even have gone with the Sony W50, since it’s a newer model than kitykity’s S600, so that was a third consideration. I decided I’d have to take it to the street and check out the display models.

I started getting ready to go and called Dave, who was already downtown, but his phone rang through to voicemail. I finished getting ready and called Dave and his phone did the same thing. A little later, I got a call from Dave. He was in his house now, and his cell phone had run out of batteries. So much for THAT plan. πŸ˜•

So… I hit the streets solo……..


So Joey and I headed out to the streets of Manhattan last night to see what we could come up with for our new videoblog/show. No “working title” and no plans whatsoever, except to head out to a club and videotape a DJ doing his thing. πŸ˜€

While Joey was doing his wraps, he ad-libbed about “Eight Million Stories in the Naked City”… I realized this morning that he had spontaneously come up with the title for the show. Regardless of the topic, everything we present is a story… SOMEBODY’S story, or a story about something or somewhere. The first episodes are about night-life, but that’s because it happened to be night when we went out. πŸ˜€

Anyway….. Welcome to “E.M.S.”, which might stand for…

Eight Million Stories
Emergency Medical Services! πŸ˜€

hahahaha you’ll just have to watch to find out! πŸ˜‰

B.C & J.R.



A few days ago, I became aware of a… series of comments (because it wasn’t actually a conversation or a debate) that revolved around the reasons someone would choose or hire someone else to be a spokesperson for them. I missed that conversation, entirely, so I’ll just mention my thoughts about it here, and be done with it. Specifically, it pertained to whether a woman should be chosen for the job? and if so, should it be an attractive woman? and if so, should that be the deciding factor in hiring her? To be even more specific, they were looking to hire someone to be on-air talent… not on television, but on the internet. A host of a show. “The Face” of their broadcast.

Anyone could have been chosen to be the host of this show, yet they specifically requested an attractive female. This was called “sexism”. Definition #2 of sexism, according to, is “behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex”. Could choosing an attractive female to host a show foster stereotypes of a woman’s social role? Could choosing a more attractive woman who knows nothing about the topic (but is going to be fed her lines anyway, via a script) over a less attractive woman who knows a lot about the topic imply things to the viewers or people that become aware of this situation about the role of a woman in this society or what’s valued about her? I think it says more about the people looking to hire this attractive woman and their target demographic than it says about the woman herself or women in general. What could be the reason that an attractive woman was desired for the position? How about RATINGS? πŸ˜€

How about if one of the reasons… if not the ONLY reason to put on the show was to get viewers? How about if they knew that they would get MORE viewers to tune in with an attractive female spokesperson than an unattractive female or a male? What’s their incentive to go with decidedly less effective ‘bait’ when they’re fishing for viewers? Where’s the ROI?

On top of all that, it’s not like they were trying to hire her for some kind of intellectual show
like “On The Record w/ Greta Van Susteren”. πŸ˜€

All this new spokesperson has to do is study some simple introductory lines or read them from a teleprompter. She’s there to wave and smile and look good and ATTRACT viewers to watch the show, which benefits the guys that were looking to hire her in the first place. Mission accomplished. If you’re trying to do a show about lawyers, and you hire a woman that looks good and is NOT and never WAS a lawyer, you’re a fool. If you want someone to turn letters on a game show, there’s no need to hire a lawyer. πŸ™‚

What does that say for the _content_ of a show that needs eye-candy to get viewers? hehehehe… well…… πŸ™‚

However, like I said… I think it says more about the show and the show’s demographics than it says about women. If the show’s topic is appealing to men, then putting an attractive woman in the spotlight is only going to benefit you. Look at Harlequin….

They’re selling fantasies to women. Does Harlequin hire busted-looking, out-of-shape, unsuccessful-looking ‘Joe Average’s to model for the covers of their novels for women? NOPE! πŸ˜€ You know why? Because fewer women would BUY.THE.BOOK. They’re better off using covers that don’t imply anything about the guy’s looks at all than they are using a cover that defines the protagonist as visually unattractive.

That’s not to say that I don’t see the other side of the ‘argument’. Television’s filled with uncommonly attractive people, percentage-wise. Most places you go, people don’t actually look like that. πŸ˜€ I understand that a lot of girls and women feel pressure to attempt to make themselves look like models because they think models are the definition of good-looking, when, in fact, models are models because they fit the ONE.SIZE.OF.THE.DRESS that the designer made for the show. They hire models to fit clothes… they DON’T make the clothes to fit the models. I understand the reasons that women want to ‘fight the power’ and get more unattractive women into on-air-talent positions. However… what they’re missing is that the woman wasn’t being sought because she was a woman. They were looking for someone that would have been attractive to their target demographic… MEN. If you take away the desire to hire someone attractive, that doesn’t mean that the unattractive woman has a chance at all. She’s on the same level (if not lower) than a man now, because neither the man nor the unattractive woman is going to add to the show’s ratings. Unfortunately, even fighting the power doesn’t mean a win for the unattractive woman… it’s merely a loss for the attractive woman. And, yes… I’m aware that I’m using terms that relate to _visual_ attractiveness, because that’s the line that was drawn in this particular case.

Do I think this situation was sexist? No. It would have been sexist if what the new employee looked like wouldn’t have mattered at all to their ratings. If they were hiring a video editor, who was never going to be seen on the broadcast, choosing a more attractive and less qualified woman would have been a sexist decision, benefitting the men in the company that would rather walk in the editing suite and see an attractive woman, and hurting the bottom line, since she would be less effective at getting the job done than the less attractive woman. In the case of hiring on-air talent for a mindless hostess position, go for the gusto. Get all the ratings you can, because that’s where you’re going to get viewers, fame, advertisers, more work… whatever. If you need the new hire to actually DO SOMETHING, go with the most qualified person in the best interests of your business.

Like I said, I missed the boat on this conversation, but it ended with ZERO resolution, whatsoever. Each camp rallied around their respective positions, and no solutions came up that might have gotten a less attractive, yet more qualified female the job. In this case, its absolutely right what the women were saying, that her personality wasn’t being showcased and that she was chosen for her looks instead of her ideas and thoughts. “Someone” also said something that I found interesting and true. One of the arguments from the “good looks” side was that “sex sells”. Her response was that it wasn’t actually sex that was “selling”… it was how attractive the woman looked. I think she’s absolutely right. I don’t think a more sexual or sensual, yet visually unattractive woman would have stood a chance of being hired for this position, because she still wouldn’t have helped the ratings.

What never came up in the conversation is Human nature. Regardless of the technology, it’s still people on the other end of the line. Attractive people get more ‘stuff’ in this world. That’s how it is. Every time there’s a scientific study done, those are the results. All other things being equal, attractiveness wins the position. Even when things AREN’T equal, attractiveness wins the position. It’s valiant and respectable to fight the good fight, but until the society changes to the point where the viewers don’t care what the host / hostess / romance novel cover model looks like, their visual or physical attractiveness is going to be a tool to use to bait viewers into watching something they otherwise wouldn’t even consider taking a FIRST look at.

ReelSolidTV Episode 15

Keep Rising To The Top (KR3TS) performs Violeta Galagarza’s choreography for various artists and shows… including:

Joe “I Wanna Know”
El General “Muevelo”
D-Stroy “Roll Out”
Los Hurikanes Del Caribe “El Pinguino”
Criollo Con La Motivacion “Chevere”
555-Soul Commercial
Dance in the Square
KR3TS Annual Dance Showcase
“Studio Y” on New York’s Metro Channel