Friday, October 31, 2008

"I Voted" Sticker Photo Contest

Voted yet? If so, don't throw away that "I Voted" sticker. Mercury Mambo, a local hispanic marketing firm, has launched a photo contest, which asks voters to submit a creative picture of them and their “I Voted” sticker.

Web2.0 Video Assignment: Creating Video Without Commercial Software

When I first designed this class I felt that it should contain a web video component so students would learn to communicate a message in a number of formats, including digital video. I therefore covered basic iMovie video editing skills in class, stressing the video editing techniques rather than how to execute them on a particular software package. I didn't want students to think they needed to have access to the same software package we used in class to create another digital video. I'm afraid some of them may have walked away with just that idea.
To (hopefully) correct this misconception, I have decided to rely entirely on Web 2.0 video creation tools this semester. Students will each pick a tool from the list below and use it to complete their video project. We'll still cover basic video editing techniques in class, but students will have to figure out on their own how to apply that knowledge to the particular tool they picked. Here's what we will use:
  • Flowgram - Mashup of web-based tools and voiceover narrative enables people to create a brand new type of webcasting multimedia experience.
  • StoryMaker - A simple tool for creating digital stories. Using audio, pictures and text you can create storyboards, slideshows and much much more.
  • Sprout - A quick and easy way for anyone to build, publish, and manage widgets, mini-sites, mashups, banners and more. Any size, any number of pages. Include video, audio, images and newsfeeds and choose from dozens of pre-built components and web services.
  • TVNima - One of my favorites! An online machinima application that lets you create TV shows with your own images, videos, music, voice, sound effects etc.
  • RemixAmerica - Allows users to create remixes by uploading their own video footage and sound clips to the site, searching YouTube for footage, or using video clips already uploaded to Remix America. Wired story on the RemixAmerica.
  • VIDDIX - A new video platform that allows users to add all kinds of webcontent to their video timeline.
  • muveeMix - Allows users to create their own short personal videos from raw footage, music and pictures. The result, called a muvee, can then be embedded in your blog or shared with your friends via email. The service comes free of charge (for limited accounts), though registration is required.
  • Animoto - web application for making videos. Matches the video to your pics & music.
  • JayCut - Create your own movies and slideshows, so called mixes.
  • Brightcove Storymaker - Produce and publish professional slideshows, podcasts, and custom rich media
For even more Web 2.0 video editing sites, go to "go2web20" and select the video tag, or check out the tools listed on the 50 Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story wiki.

Additional Resources:
  • CurrentTV assignments - List of all the news & commercial assignments on CurrentTV
  • FixMyMovie - If the quality of your video footage is low, run it through this first. Automatically cleans your movies with MotionDSP's advanced video technology.
  • Public Domain Pictures - Repository for public domain pictures
  • Wikimedia Commons - A media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to all
  • Resources previously listed on the course blog

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Dark Side of Twitter: Terrorist Tweets

Seems like I forgot to mention that twitter also makes a good terrorism tool according to a military newsletter supplement discussed in a recent Wired post.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Twitter and its uses in PR, journalism, crisis communication...

Now that your blogs are all up and running, it's time to give microblogging a try! Since Twitter is the most popular microblogging tool, that's what we will focus on in class. I've created the slideshow below to introduce you to both the technology and its many uses. The slideshow contains a lot of embedded links to examples. Please note that sometimes you have to position your cursor just right to be able to click on the link.
Twitter for Public Relations
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: twitter pr)
Links to the videos contained in the slideshow:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 08: Of bloggers, muckrakers and a worldwide financial crisis

Today is Blog Action Day and I wanted to take a moment to contribute to this great project by blogging about the subject of poverty. 
I’ve been fortunate enough to never have experienced poverty on a personal level but the global financial crisis has certainly brought the topic to mind more than once over the course of the last couple of weeks. A segment of my Intro to Public Relations class focuses on the history of PR and as luck would have it, I happened to cover that topic at the height of the global financial crisis. Having just covered the industrial revolution, the robber barons, and the social injustices of that time period in class, I can’t help but to examine the current financial crisis in light of those events.

There’s been a lot of talk of another great depression lately. We’ve been bombarded with news of increasing unemployment and inflation rates, a global economic slowdown, major bank collapses and even national bankruptcies.

The gap between the rich and the poor seems to be growing dramatically again, just like it was during the industrial revolution. The middle class feels trapped in the middle of this global mess and is angry at overpaid CEOs and corrupt politicians who’ve been compromising their financial future through irresponsible actions and policies. Replace the CEOs and politicians with the robber barons (i.e. the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts) and again, it is easy to draw parallels to the industrial revolution. Back then, it was the muckrakers who drew attention to these social injustices by writing books, newspaper and magazine articles designed to expose the oftentimes unbearable conditions people lived in. Nowadays it is bloggers who are uniting in a concerted effort to raise awareness of social problems such as global poverty. After all, isn’t this the point of initiatives such as Blog Action Day?

There's plenty of people living in poverty right now who need our voice, but there's also plenty of people who for the first time in their lives find themselves at the brink of poverty due to the events of the last couple of weeks/months. I want to include them in this post. Unfortunately, I think the threat of poverty has become a lot more real to a lot more people lately. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tips for your upcoming podcast assignment

Check out these podcasting tips from Len Edgerly. His post contains good advice for all you budding podcasters!