Google Plus Circles – How To Use Them

Google Plus Circles are basically what I’ve been waiting for for quite a long time, now.

Here’s the video from Google that basically explains what they are:
 

Youtube Link => [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocPeAdpe_A8]
 
That’s all well & good, and it gives you a basic understanding of what you can do with circles, but if you’re “Internet Famous” or even just a power-user of social media sites, you’re going to need a better plan than “I CAN SHARE MY PARTY PHOTOS WITH MY COLLEGE FRIENDS!!! πŸ˜€ LULZ LOL FTW F2F IRL!!! :D”

You’re actually going to need to employ a 3-pronged attack if you’re going to build successful circles. Continue reading “Google Plus Circles – How To Use Them”

Asynchronous Video Threading

I spent the day on Seesmic yesterday and had a 90-post conversation involving several of the members. I’ll say first of all that Seesmic has made TONS of improvements since Andrew Lipson gave me an invite 3 months ago. They’re always making improvements to their site, so this post may very well be outdated relatively soon. πŸ™‚

If you don’t know what Seesmic is, it’s basically like having a conversation with people on a bunch of stickies. In a way, it’s like Twitter, except it’s video and audio instead of text. You get to record a video which goes into the “public” timeline, and other people can watch it just about as soon as you post it. People who see your video can record their own video and make it a reply to your video if they so choose.

They relatively recently implemented threading as a one-dimensional, reverse chronological timeline. This was way better than no threading AT ALL πŸ˜€ but having held a several-hour-long conversation on it that was about actual intellectual concepts, not “what to name a dog” or “who’s going on a date tonight”, I got to experience the downsides of asynchronous video threading in Seesmic’s current format.

The reason I make a point of it being asynchronous is that it’s not a real-time conversation. It’s more like twitter or an email group than it is like Yahoo Live where several people speak to each other simultaneously, or even chat rooms, where everyone’s there at the same time and can jump in with their opinions if they feel like it.

Liz Burr made some excellent points that I hadn’t paid attention to as I was absorbing so many other things during a full day’s use of the app. Someone had made the point that because you record your own video and decide when to stop it, you get to say what you want in its entirety without being interrupted. Liz mentioned that since it’s asynchronous, you can be turned OFF at ANY point, or not listened to at all, as your screen name and icon are attached to your video in the thread. This means you have more of a chance of not.being.heard.at.all. if someone decides that what you have to say isn’t worth listening to based on your behaviors and what you had to say in previous videos. I “knew” this, but I hadn’t processed it until she mentioned it to me. I was already employing that behavior, for example, after listening to a post from someone that I determined was garbage, I would skip anything with their face on it after that.

At this point, I should mention how Seesmic is set up for people to become aware of people’s posts. It’s important to understand this to understand why one-dimensional threading is NOT optimal for an application like this. There’s a “public” timeline that catches everyone’s videos. This is world-wide, but you can set it to only pick up posts in your language. That’s still A LOT of people, and it’s not even open to the public yet. Your next option is a “friends” timeline. You get to choose to “follow” people, and only their videos will show up in this timeline. This is another way you can elect to bypass people whom you’ve determined have nothing valid or intelligent to say… don’t “follow” them. They’ll still show up if you’re looking at a thread that they’ve contributed videos to, but then you resort to visual parsing and skip them as usual.

These abilities to select people to follow and people to “allow to speak” by clicking on their videos and watching them all the way to the end absolutely alters each person’s perception of a thread they arrive to. Seesmic member Otir read a perfect analogy of the situation, telling the story of a bunch of blind people whom were all offered different sections of an elephant to feel and then to give their opinion of what an elephant is like. Each of them had their own perception of “an elephant”, and that perception colored what they had to say about elephants.

First of all, if you’re following certain people, their posts come up in your “friends” timeline. If you click on the member’s icon, you go straight to their opinion. That’s a good thing. However, you’re jumping in in the middle of the thread. You can click “conversation” and see the entire list of posts in that thread. This is where your personal bias comes into play. If you don’t have any respect for the people earlier in the timeline, you might skip their videos entirely, bypassing much of the context of the situation. If there are a whole lot of videos before the person you’re following, you might not be inclined to watch an hour’s worth of posts before you enjoy what you really came here to see… thus, bypassing much of the context of the situation. If you’ve determined that the person you’re following is more credible than others in the thread, you may be inclined to reply along the lines of that personal bias. This is where we get the blind people approaching the elephant from different sides and angles.

Another “problem” with this layout is that what you’re looking at is NOT actually linear other than chronologically. The posts are laid out by the TIME that they were posted to the site, but they are not differentiated by the TANGENT of the thread that that particular post followed. This leads to a circular, “telephone game” situation, because people show up to a thread hours after it started, read something a “friend” of theirs posted, which was dealt with hours ago, and respond to that person’s post without watching all of the surrounding material.

My thread was 90 posts long. Even if each person took only one minute to say what they had to say (and I’ve seen videos that were 5 minutes long, so if there’s a time limit on individual videos, it’s NOT shorter than that), that means that to absorb the entire thread, you’d have to sit there as long as a feature film. People aren’t going to wait that long to reply. As a matter of fact, people started showing up and making NEW threads asking for someone to summarize my thread because they didn’t want to go back and read it all. This is another way that posts get “lost in the sauce”. People show up and want to be involved, but don’t want to put in the work to go back and experience each post.

Another reason it becomes circular is let’s say you have three tangents in a thread. As the original thread participants scramble “left and right” (since it’s all appearing as a one-dimensional timeline) to deal with tangents, 20 posts down the line, someone reads something from a tangent that was already resolved, hits “reply” and now, your 21st post is actually a response to your 5th post. :/ Then, THEIR “friends” see what THEY posted and continue the previously resolved tangent, causing the original thread participants to scramble over there and put out THAT fire… AGAIN. :/ Meanwhile, the thread splinters more and more and is misinterpreted more and more but LOOKS like a single, chronologically-ordered discussion. The snowball rolls further downhill when someone shows up to post #60, which is really only three posts removed from post #5 and doesn’t want to read the rest of the material, so they assume that all 60 posts have been along the same tangent.

Like I said, this only comes into play if you’re trying to have an intelligent conversation. If you’re just socializing via video, you don’t need to worry about tangents and following thoughts and concepts. You just throw up a “me too” post and you’re good… you feel like you’re a part of the conversation, whether people are “following” you or not.

Jan McLaughlin mentioned an addition that I think would work very well in these situations… the ability for the originator to moderate their thread. I suppose the ability to assign mods would be useful as well. A couple of days ago, I left a 32-post thread of mine for a few hours and when I returned, it was around 60. Thinking that there was much interesting material to sift through, I clicked on it, only to realize that two people had started online dating in my thread. :/ Instead of taking their chances in the “public” timeline, the best way to try to get each other’s attention was to click “reply” so that it would show up in their “replies” folder (an alternative timeline to “public” or “friends”. The unfortunate side-effect of this was that as they kept “reply”ing to each other, their posts were being added to my thread.

It would be lovely to have a way to separate irrelevant posts from your thread. It would be lovely to be able to remove videos posted to your thread by people that just showed up to act dumb. Not *delete* them, just remove them from YOUR thread so that new people arriving after the fact wouldn’t bail on your 70-post thread because there are 30 posts worth of online dating inside it that’s completely indistinguishable from on-point conversation in a one-dimensional reverse chronological timeline.

Seesmic’s making tons of improvements, so I’m sure features are coming down the line that will facilitate intelligent conversation, such as GROUPS. The ability to have a discussion only amongst the people that *you* choose would be a major development. There’s no need to block others from reading it. Just stop them from diluting the content and making the originators waste time running around putting out fires. Like I said, they’ve progressed in leaps and bounds in the three months that I’ve been on the service.

Personally, I’m a fan of synchronous interaction, whether we’re talking live video or text chat. Even IRL, I enjoy holding arguments against 5 people at a time. πŸ˜€ The upside of asynchronous conversation is that you only have to make your point ONCE, and everyone hears it and we can all move forward and explore greater depths of the conversation. The downside is that you have to actually BE THERE at the time it’s happening to be a part of it. If you show up hours later, all you can do is watch the archive, if there is one.

The upside of asynchronous conversation is that you can join in on work breaks, when you get out of class, whenever it’s convenient for you, you can add something to an ongoing discussion. The downside is that depending on how much time has elapsed between the beginning of the conversation and your arrival, you might not be willing to put in the work to absorb the entirety of the conversation anyway.

Bill Cammack Ò€’ Cammack Media Group, LLC

Only Date People Better Than YOU! :D

As you know if you’ve been following this column over the last 6 months, DatingGenius doesn’t “date”.

The term “dating” implies progression. It’s like something Richie Cunningham or Potsie Weber might do. You see a chick and you want her, but you’re not willing to let her know what time it is, so you beat around the bush taking her places in hopes that she’ll see you as the kind of guy she wants to give it up to. *yawn*

In fact, there *IS* no progression. A chick knows if she wants to mess with you off the bat. Depending on what you tell her after that, she either thinks more about giving you some or LESS about giving you some, hahaha πŸ˜€ … That’s all there is. You want to hook up with her, or else you wouldn’t be on a so-called “date” with her. Everybody knows it, so stop acting like you’re all sneaky and undercover and then try to surprise the chick with a “good-night kiss” when you drop her home, hoping that it works like in the movies, and all of a sudden, she’ll invite you in for…. a nightcap. :/

So, no. DatingGenius doesn’t “date”. He hangs out with chicks. Period. If they’re into DatingGenius like that, then CHA-CHINGGGG!!! πŸ˜€ If not, we have a good time anyway, then we go about our respective businesses.

Having said that, if you still insist on “dating”, like actually courting one person in a serial fashion with the intent of them eventually handing you a title that’s supposed to mean something, like “significant other”, then make sure you date someone BETTER. THAN. YOU! πŸ˜€

Now, that might not seem to make sense, coming from the diabolical, empty-life-having (bookstore chick’s friend informed me of this a couple of weeks ago), sinister, evil, manipulating DatingGenius! πŸ˜€ You would think that he would advocate kicking it to the dumbest, low-brow character you can find in order to maximize your control over the situation. Dummies and lowlives are great if you’re just trying to get on ASAP and don’t intend to see them ever again in life. If you’re actually going to REPRESENT with this person, like as in let ANYONE ELSE know that you’re messing with them… That person needs to be a FANTASTIC individual. This is actually MORE IMPORTANT for the ladies than it is for the fellaz, so pay attention. πŸ˜€

[Part 1: Dummies]

Let’s say the person you’re dating is a dummy. Like they’re just not intelligent. Maybe you’re on iChat with them and it takes them mad, crazy, stupid long to type a response to you, and then after all that waiting, it’s like a line and a half because they were only using their two pointer fingers to peck at the keyboard. Or maybe they can’t spell for JACK, and you’re wondering if they dropped out of school in the 5th grade to pack bags for change at the supermarket, then got hooked on drugs before making it back into the school system.

If you actually date this idiot, regardless of how good he or she looks or how good the sex is, don’t give yourself credit like you’ve pulled off some fantastic feat. In fact, anyone smarter than them will be able to manipulate them if they choose to, and you’ve “built your house on sand”… if not quicksand.

On top of that, you can’t TAKE this person ANYWHERE! πŸ˜€ Unless they happen to LOOK intelligent and you can convince them to not say ANYTHING around your peers, this person is an accident waiting to happen… Actually, an accident TRYING to happen, because it’s been my experience that the dumber someone is, the more they try to impress other people. Did you notice that? πŸ˜€ It’s like the smartest people, most of the time in a conversation, they’re listening and PROCESSING what people are saying. When they finally say something, it’s worth hearing and it’s the product of what they’ve absorbed from what’s been going on. Meanwhile, you see the dummies sitting there staring at the mouth of the person who’s talking… They seem to be trying to synchronize, like double dutch, getting ready to jump into the conversation when they perceive that the current speaker is about to finish his or her point.

The problem with this is that if you’re synchronizing, you’re not LISTENING, which becomes apparent when the dummy jumps in with something relevant to 10 minutes ago when they finally had ONE good idea, and they’ve been waiting until now to get a word in edgewise. That’s when the entire conversation stops and everyone tries to be polite. There’s this silent exchange that goes on between everyone. They’re not so much being polite to the dummy as they’re being polite TO *YOU* because it’s YOUR FAULT that this person’s in here $&%*ing up the program! πŸ˜€ Basically, people are embarrassed *for* you, and everyone’s trying not to mention that the emperor has no clothes on.

This is easily avoided, if you insist on dating dummies and bringing them out in public, by not giving them a title when you introduce them. We all have those friends… Every so often, they come around with a new…. person… and they introduce this person by name, but no title. Like, it’s clear that they’re out on a date, but by not declaring this person, you get to play it off down the line. Oh… That was a business partner from the Kentucky branch, my job asked me to show him around. Oh… That was my CEO’s daughter, visiting from San Diego. Who? When?… OH!… I was interviewing her for that intern position (at 11:30 pm). This only works, however, if you know you’re going to get rid of them eventually. If you end up eventually declaring them, you look like a chump for trying to play it off.

You also can’t leave people like this alone with your friends. Do NOT go to the bathroom. Do NOT go to the bar to order drinks. Do NOT pass “go” and Do NOT collect $200. Stick to this person LIKE GLUE. If you leave, and your friends ask your date “What do you think about Obama” and they reply “I think he’s still hiding in those mountains”, you’re *dead*. Laughing stock. You will NEVER live it down.

DatingGenius

Tip for the ladies: He doesn’t care! :D

I had this same conversation at least three times last week, so I may as well write it down so next time it comes up, I can save my breath and point the chick to this post. πŸ™‚

Here is something very important that women need to know that could save you HOURS of wondering about why some guys do the things they do. This is a major stumbling block, and if you can get over it, you’ll be more effective in dealing with men…. especially men you aren’t interested in hooking up with. Ready? πŸ˜€ Pay attention, now………..

When it comes to ‘getting on’, Guys.Do.Not.Care.What.Chicks.Think.

That’s it. Period. That’s the tip that will save you HOURS of confusion and commiseration with your girlfriends over Haagen Dazs. Guys do *NOT* care AT.ALL what you think.

Now, let’s go over some typical and oft-repeated statements that women make:

“Didn’t he see my wedding ring?”
“I told him I only saw him as a friend”
“I wasn’t dressed sexy, but he still tried to get my number”
“Every time I talk to him, I only give short answers”
“I told him I wasn’t interested in him, romantically”
“I told him I was a lesbian and introduced him to my girlfriend”
“What makes him think I’ll date him after he dated my sister?”
“We can’t XYZ… We work together!”
“How dare he ask me out when I know he has a girlfriend?”

Yadda Yadda Yadda Blah Blah Blah EVERY.SINGLE.EFFIN’.DAY, some chick is confused about why a guy keeps trying to kick it to her. It’s very simple. He’s kicking it to you because HE.WANTS.TO.GET.WITH.YOU, *PERIOD*! He’s not interested in what you think about it. He’s not interested in what you have to say about it. Let’s look at what floats a lot of guy’s boats… pornography.

Pornography is ‘what?’ for the most part?….. Pictures & Videos. There may be audio content as well, but the audio pertains to the sex. These things are flying off the shelves. Pornography is BIG BUSINESS. Now, let’s think about how many of these publications (… I almost spelled pubications just now :/) and videos include chicks talking, or expressing their thoughts about something intelligent like the stock market or taxes or computer programming……. NONE. Why? Because when it comes to getting on, NOBODY CARES what you think. They care about what you look like and what you’re going to do. Period.

Now, let’s revisit some of our typical chick quandaries above, in relation to pornography:

“The porno chick had on a wedding ring?”
– So what?

“The porno chick wasn’t dressed sexy, but he still tried to get her number”
– The plan is to get her OUT of her clothes in the first place, so what difference would it make to a guy whether a chick has on pumps or sneakers? What difference does it make if she has on a leather mini or baggy sweats? None.

“The porno chick only gives him short answers to his questions”
– Short answers are better than NO answers. You’re still in the game if you’re getting ANY answers at all. That’s the whole point, to stay in the game until you can get on by hook or crook….. mostly, CROOK! πŸ˜€

“The porno chick told him she wasn’t interested in him, romantically”
– He’s not interested in HER romantically, either. He just wants to hit it. Women tend to confuse a guy being physically interested in her for sex with liking her as a person. More on that in another post. Let’s just say that one has nothing to do with the other.

“The porno chick is a lesbian”
– Good. That way she’ll mind her own business when I meet other chicks, OR she’ll bring extra chicks, and I won’t have to do any work to hook up with them. Regardless of what she claims she’s into, a hot chick is a hot chick. Lesbianism is merely an accessory… a fringe benefit. πŸ˜€

“What makes him think the porno chick will date him after he dated her sister?”
– See the lesbian section, above. The more, the merrier. Extra points if they’re related.

“How dare he ask the porno chick out when she knows he has a girlfriend?”
– There are enough chicks out there that will mess with “taken” guys or married guys or whatever. I mean, that’s NOTHING… If you take a look around the internet, you’d be SURPRISED at some of the stuff they can get chicks to do, like not even with PEOPLE! :O So, having it be known that you have a significant other doesn’t lessen your odds of getting on one iota. In some cases, it makes you MORE attractive to chicks for several reasons, including that it seems like a challenge to try to get “some other chick’s guy” to hook up with her.

So there you have it. Of course, some of y’all tuned out to the analogies because you don’t consider yourselves porno chicks. This is like the phenomenon where women will go out to a club and dance happily and sing along with “Bitches Ain’t ish But Hoes & Tricks”… because… say it with me, ladies!!! πŸ˜€

“Oh… He’s Not Talking About *ME*!!! :D”

hahahahahaha

So that’s the trick that leads to your enlightenment about those guys that try to pick you up at the club or the gym or the supermarket or waiting for the bus or in the street in the middle of the night near Port Authority, when it’s time for the runaways to beat the clock for the last bus heading back to their part of Jersey….. um… what was I talking about?….

DatingGenius

Navigating “The Kid Thing”

If you go out with the same chick for more than one week, the odds begin to increase exponentially that she’ll want to have a kid with you.

Biologically, that’s how women are built. If you consistently hang around them, they start to see you as a viable protector/provider for your pending family.

Meanwhile, the guy’s just happy to have a cute chick to look at and to ‘get on’ whenever he feels like it.

Sooner or later, she’s going to start testing you with questions about the future. SOONER is the time to act, rather than later, once you realize what’s going on. If that whole “family thing” wasn’t in your playbook, and you don’t want to break up with her ASAP and start over with a different chick that doesn’t like you as much (meaning you have more time until “the kid thing” rolls around again), there’s only ONE thing to do…..

Buy her a dog. πŸ˜€ Continue reading “Navigating “The Kid Thing””

Cruxy Presents Suzanne Vega (Virtually)

Tomorrow night, (Friday, July 13th, 7pm EST) Cruxy will host a one-of-a-kind event as Suzanne Vega returns to her avatar form for a special virtual listening party in Second Life. Vega will be celebrating the upcoming release of her new album BEAUTY & CRIME, out July 17 on Blue Note. I caught up with Jon Oakes to get the inside story. πŸ™‚

What is Cruxy?

Cruxy is a media platform that allows any digital content creator (mostly emerging filmmakers and musicians) to promote and sell their works. Here’s a simple example: You’ve shot a short film. You put it in Mp4 format and upload it to Cruxy. We create all of the thumbnails, previews and promotional widgets for you. You set a price of $1 for others to buy a download of the film. We handle taking the money from the buyers and delivering cash to you (less a small fee that we charge).

Here’s a real world example of Cruxy in action. Some folks in the Midwest have a company called ShortTrackWorld. They go (in their cool van) to lots of small car races all over the Midwest where regular folks race their super modified race cars aroundÒ€¦ you guessed it, short tracks. ShortTrackWorld films the car races and then uses a satellite link to upload the videos from the event to their Cruxy page. They sell the videos of the race event to the drivers and fans and the videos are available just hours after the race. It’s pretty cool in action. You can check out the ShortTrackWorld page on Cruxy here: www.cruxy.com/stw

Recently we’ve been more focused on helping creators get their work into virtual world environments like Second Life. We see that as the next phase and our main focus moving forward.

What is the status of Cruxy as a startup, and who is team?

We are two full timers with a coterie of supporters, contractors, advisors and well-wishers. We are financed by our personal savings accounts, some paying engagements, anxiety and sweat.

Nathan Freitas and myself, Jon Oakes, have been working together for over eight years through three different (successful!) startups. We have built a ton of different technology, products, and solutions for people ranging from the government, to major corporations, and other technology businesses, but are most excited now to be applying our skills and inspiration towards creating new economic and marketing models for creative people, as well as the entertainment industry. Through Cruxy.com, we get to work with true indie talent and give them access to our entire platform. Working with a major artist and label such as Blue Note allows us to customize aspects of our platform, and create unique solutions, which also happen to help pay the bills. Its a good setup, and allows us to see the radical changes that are happening in this business from multiple standpoints.

What’s some of the interesting technology behind Cruxy.com?

As a startup, we need to be smart about how we spend our money so we use Amazon’s S3 and EC2 services for all of our server and data delivery needs. We pay on a variable basis (we did not have to go plunk down $25k for a bunch of servers and commit to a high monthly data service fee). This is really “on demand” computing and it allows us to scale in a pay that is precisely correlated ith our traffic and demandÒ€¦ rather than investing everything in infrastructure and hoping to fill up the pipe.

We’ve built a pretty robust system for syndicating media content. We built our syndication system to use the XSPF format which gives us unlimited dynamic playlisting capabilities.

We’ve also built a “virtual world widget” which allows people to distribute their music to their avatar in Second Life. They can then stream their music into their land or venue in Second Life so others can experience their music in a totally new and social way. Rather than just have a bunch of people anonymously visit a web page and listen to your stuff, with the virtual world widgets, you can hang out in your virtual environment in Second Life while a group of people check out and discuss your work.

Besides Second Life, are there other places where creators can syndicate their media?

Cruxy supports a variety of technologies that allow any media upload to our system to be republished and indexed by almost any standards-based service on the web. We’ve got flash widgets, RSS feeds, XSPF feeds, and even some microformats support. We also recently announced our deep integration with FaceBook so creators can get their work out to their FaceBook network more easily. We expect to launch this feature in August.

Looking towards the future, we see the growth of gaming and virtual worlds as online social environments to be a huge opportunity for creative artists to gain exposure and income. We fully intend to extend the Cruxy platform into these types of spaces and economic models.

What’s the story behind tomorrow’s Second Life event with Suzanne Vega?

We have built a virtual lower east side “Ludlow Street” circa 1990 environment to promote Suzanne Vega’s new album “Beauty and Crime”, which is full of songs about various aspects of New York. Suzanne will join us (in avatar form) for a live interview and take questions from her fans. Avatars who attend will also be able to watch video of some of her recent live performances and sample her new album.

Each attendee to the event will receive a Virtual World Widget that allows them to host their own listening parties and share the music with friends in their own land or club within Second Life.

What makes this event with Suzanne Vega different from her first appearance in Second Life?

We used the new Second Life voice beta software for this event. We also built the lower east side environment where avatars can come to hang out, drive taxi cabs, talk on pay phones and spray paint on walls long after the event. This event is about more than just the event… it’s about the environment where people can come whenever they want and sample the album while experiencing the New York that so inspires the album. We’ve got graffiti by Zephyr, the prolific graffiti artist of that era and guitars by Robbie Dingo, the renowwnded Second Life designer, at a LES guitar shop.

One other thing to note is that the MTV virtual lower east side is designed for the 18 to 25 crowd that might not remember New York pre-Guiliani. We wanted to recreate more of the grunge aesthetic that we so enjoyed in our 20’s in NYC.

How big is the market for what you are doing? Breakdancers and indie musicians don’t really make much money, right?

What everyone is realizing is that there is a growing appetite for independently created media content.

Cruxy is also one of those UGC filter sites. The higher end of the UGC market puts their stuff in Cruxy. We don’t get much of the teenage car surfing or flatulence type stuff (nothing against it as aÒ€¦ socialÒ€¦ expression, but it’s not what Cruxy is about)

Thanks Jon. Good luck with Cruxy and Suzanne Vega’s event tomorrow! πŸ˜€


“Graf art building on Virtual Ludlow Street New York”
Photo Credit: Nathan Freitas

Jonathan Oakes founded and managed his first start-up, a systems integration consultancy, at 24 years old. In 1998 Oakes co-founded ThinAirApps, where he served as CEO and Chairman leading the company to a successful acquisition by Palm Inc. in 2001. Oakes spent over two years at Palm, as Senior Director managing corporate and product strategy. Oakes earned a BA in American Studies from Skidmore College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Over the last ten years, Nathan Freitas’ career has spanned the academic, corporate, and non-profit worlds, solving difficult problems through the thoughtful application of technology. His work has been built into Palm handhelds, on display at JavaONE and SIGGRAPH, included in Wikipedia, and covered in media ranging from Boing Boing and Slashdot, to the New York Times and Howard Rheingold’s book “Smart Mobs”. He also plays a mean double bass.

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

BeachWalks in NYC!

Roxanne Darling of beachwalks.tv was in town today. I had a great time this afternoon. πŸ˜€

Here’s the “BeachWalk” we did together: Beach Walk #258 OTR

initially, we were going to meet up with Jan… another videoblogger, but it turned out that she had to work alllllllllllll day, so Rox and I decided to meet up @ 3pm. I had had a bunch of ideas where we could have gone to shoot near water, but it was raining AND foggy, so we decided on South Street Seaport, since it’s by the water, but the upper levels provide cover from the rain. Rox ended up taking a cab instead of the subway, so I headed west to meet her @ the West Side Highway. It would have taken her A LONG TIME to get to the east side with mid-day traffic, so I passed the WTC and checked out Battery Park City for potential locations.

When the cab showed up, I noticed that Rox was filming the driver. It turns out that he’s a musician and makes CDs that are right up beachwalks.tv’s alley. From there, we headed west to the Hudson river, but it was really too foggy to see Jersey on the other side, and I thought I could BARELY make out the Statue of Liberty. We found a spot and did our BeachWalks episode.

Since we were running out of daylight, I suggested that we walk the two blocks over to the WTC. We were coming from the west, where there isn’t any public transportation, except cabs, and maybe one bus line if it runs down the W.S.H. Everyone else approaches from the east (unless they live in Battery Park City). Because of that, the tourist-y information booth and photo gallery is set up to accommodate people coming from the east, and it was completely on the other side of the site from where we were. We stopped at a section where you can see in without fanfare, lights, colors, tourists or pictures. I was in NYC on the day-of, but Rox had mentioned that she probably hadn’t been here in eight years, so I figured she hadn’t seen the location with her own eyes… Actually, probably more important than SEEING is BEING so close to where the towers used to stand and seeing how far down it is to the construction from ground level, and seeing how wide the missing area is, compared to the buildings that surround that area…. as well as understanding that so many people died right.over.there. I could tell Rox was having a moment… she decided not to tape…….

From there, we checked out the tourist setup, complete with bright colors, poignant pictures and captions that said something like “time to move on”, which was REALLY funny/interesting, because after experiencing the site, when we started walking, Rox was talking about people’s reactions to things and how people try to say how someone should or should not react. It was as if someone rushed up and painted that AFTER listening to what we were talking about on the way there. πŸ˜€

After that, we found a cafe and had a really interesting conversation, mostly about videoblogging, with a minor in psychology. Eventually, it was time for Rox to head out, so we hopped on the train and got out of dodge.

I had a great afternoon. Rox is a really fun and intelligent person, and as a ‘hardcore’ New Yorker, I got to enjoy a non-New-Yorker’s reactions to things like the WTC and crowded sidewalks. πŸ˜€

The Saga Continues……..