Creating Community Online and IRL

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Creating Community

It was 2005 when I signed up for Facebook and explored this world of pictures from last night after they’d been uploaded from an actual camera, and statuses that changed more frequently than AIM away messages. I adapted to this new way of communicating and interacting, a way that at the time seemed to focus more on what happened when we got together, and less about the online world we were creating. More

Every Day Heroes – How Community and Technology Create New Internet TV Shows

click to shareFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail[digg]My friend Jeff Pulver have strong views on a lot of things. One of them is the belief that everyone is a hero:

My belief is that everyone has a story.

Some of them are amazing people with amazing stories. Some people have overcome some great odds before the point where they got to be standing there to speak with you. Some of these people have taken on major challenges and overcame them. Some of these people inspire others. Some are people who challenge the status quo, who make a difference.

Every one has a story to tell. But you need to be there to listen to it. One cool aspect is that once you hear these stories, you will never look at that person the same way ever again.

But Jeff doesn’t stop there. He wants to document these heroes, to make his point, to show the world the importance of interaction with the guy next door.

In the past, Jeff would have needed to hire a production company, with equipment and production know how, to do the job. The company would have charged him XYZ thousands of dollars, and the project would have materialized couple of years from now.

But today, the combination of community and cheap production equipment makes this vision a reality in a simpler way. instead hiring a production company – Jeff simply asked his readers:

So go outside and take your video cameras and your microphones with you. Join our “Everyday Heroes Project” and help provide a voice to the people who are part of your everyday lives, but until now have been silent. Post these stories to the web, to or YouTube or Brightcove or wherever you post your videos. Tag them “everydayheroes” and share them.

That’s it. I am certain that many will answer his call, and this project will be a success. I am also certain that the production value of the clips will vary, but in this specific media campaign it doesn’t really matter.

This is a cutting edge example how community, cheap production and prominent industry figure can create new media projects, on the cheap.

Stay tuned for new video clips as they are uploaded to your nearest video sharing platform…

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Mogulus – Professional Live Broadcasting

click to shareFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail[digg] I was lucky to be included in Mogulus closed beta this week. Mogulus is another Personal Broadband Broadcasting platform, similar in some aspects to BlogTV and Ustream.

Mogulus is loaded with top notch features. You can add logos, tickers, backgrounds, show schedule and other information to live broadcasts. A major feature of the platform is the ability to use several cameras in one show, with contributors from all across the world. Furthermore, you can rate your show as it fits all audience, R rated, etc.

It doesn’t stop there. You can search for video clips, online and on your computer, and add them to your show seamlessly. You can also create a storyboard for your show. These features, combined with the use of multiple cameras, make this platform by far the most professional application out there.

Moguls has a full blown control room, where a person can control all these abilities. Therefore, It enables a professional work flow, separating the presenter and the producer.

The Show can be embedded in other sites as well.

The most interesting point is a missing feature – you can’t chat with the presenter.

So, what’s the difference between Mogulus and BlogTV or Ustream?

Mogulus offer different experience and aimed at different media creators.

BlogTV and Ustream have two strong attributes – they are easy to use, and enable interaction with the presenters. You just plug in your camera, and you are live. The interactivity feature makes these applications more community oriented then Mogulus.

Mogulus setup time is relatively long, as you need to go through a long list of features and decide whether to use them or not. It also has a structured work flow, including creation of storyboards.

In case Mugulus are aiming at high end users, who want to create a high quality live broadcasting experience, they have a very compelling offering. However, the product is too complicated for people who just want to broadcast quickly, and build a community around their content.

In a way, BlogTV/Ustream is the live broadcasting equivalent of basic UGC clip with a guy crashing into a wall, while Mogulus is similar to high end shows, that requires planning, script and time to create.

It is not that Mugols can’t approach BlogTV/Ustream market. If they just add a shortcut button on the first screen of the studio site, allowing users to immediately go online, they can have a decent offering for the UGC crowd.

I’d love to hear Mogulus team’s views on this market and their future plans.

More to come…

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Social Networks are Dates, Blogs are Long Term Relationship

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Blonde 2.0 wrote an interesting post about blogs vs social networks. It derived from couple of posts by Kent and Jay re the difference between these mediums. Blonde 2.0 take on that:

“…when I write on my blog, I don’t feel like I am writing for an “audience”. I feel like I am writing for my readers. It’s a personal thing for me and I enjoy talking to and interacting my readers.”

She adds:

“I have made as many good friends from blogging … as I

have from being on the different social networks. I don’t think my

friends on the social networks know me better than those I met through

my blog”

I believe that social networks are as good as the way you use them. There are so many of them out there, and every one has its own angle. But I am just one guy, and don’t have a lot of time to spare on maintaining all those profiles (I need to work sometime…). So sometimes I am adding people to my network even if they are far from being friends.

In a sense, social networks are more like a series of dates – you don’t know a lot about the other person, but she looks interesting enough to talk with or buy her a drink. And just like dates, sometime it is a successful event and you keep in touch in other means, and sometimes it is a failure, but you still keep the number.

Blogs on the other hand provide insights to way of thought, opinions, depth, intellect and cultural world of the writer. It is like a long term relationship in the 19th century, when people wrote letters to each other for years before meeting.

In both cases I can’t say I “know” people or feel close to them only from reading their blogs or linking to them in social networks. I have these feelings towards people that I’ve met in real life, or had long discussions with them in other means such as Skype, phone or email.

Some of the problem lies in the jargon we are using (community, friends), that has stronger meaning in real life than in the online only world. If we can find new words to describe these relationships, maybe we will be able to better cope with this duality.



Are they blogging or social networking?


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Social Media Walls III – Privacy and Exposure, or Striptease 2.0

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I wanted to write this post for a long time, but it seems that I just needed the right trigger to do that. My friend Blonde 2.0 did an amazing job in getting me all warmed up for the task.

There is a long and heated debate re the nature of blogging. On the one hand it is a personal, conversational medium. On the other hand, it is a public, mass media tool, that cannot be controlled. The minute you write something, it is a part of the cosmic archive (Google) forever.

The same goes for Flickr and all those 2.0 applications, that let you share, mashup, or whatever over hyped term we can think of.

But at the end of day, people are using these tools to know more about us. And whatever we write or show is accessible to everyone: friends, family, co-workers, employees, and potential employers. And it also puts our writing in a specific light.

I had a lot of talks with people who simply do not treat bloggers as serious sources of information. I’ve written a post about one of the things they’ve found disturbing in this medium – lack of clear way to measure credibility.

But the second argument I heard a lot is that people have hard time with what they call overexposure of bloggers re their personal lives. Yes, a lot of people just don’t want to know certain facts about their sources of information. And we can be as 2.0-correct as we want, at the end of the day, these are people who read our posts, and see our Flickr. People. Not tags. Not feeds. People. And as they are, well, human, they get an impression of who the person is from all this striptease 2.0 that is so praised in some parts of our community.

When a future employer looks for information about a candidate, and sees him drunk in pictures from his bachelor party, he doesn’t care that it is in Flickr. There is a good chance it affects his judgment, for good or for worse.

That’s why we have the ability to set privacy settings to our information. And the word is perfect – privacy. I have a private part in my life, that I want to share with my friends and family. My blog is not private. It might be personal. But it is certainly not private. And I keep it always in mind when I write my posts.

I have a simple thumb rule : not to write a post that I won’t agree to publish in the front page of New York Times, or share a photo in public that I am not willing to print on a shirt and wear in the street.

Yes, we should tell more about our lives. We just need to remember who read what we write (everyone) and when this information cannot be found (never).



Striptease 1.0 – Thanks God for the Second Bubble!


Don't forget to come to Stockholm

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Podcamp Europe is just around the corner, so don’t forget to register. The event takes place in Stockholm, on the 12-13 of June. Nice weather and great company guaranteed. Hope to see you there!

VON07 – Chris Brogan – Connecting People

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VON ended yesterday , and after tons of parties, discussions, and panels, I am certainly more educated about the new media field.

One thing makes this event different from others. Chris Brogan, community developer was quite amazing in my opinion. In a way, he is the networking equivalent of the Energizer Bunny. The guy was always nice and smiling, and gave me the feeling that he is constantly thinking who should I meet. He has introduced me to a bunch of guys that without his pro-activity, no chance I would have met. Considering the fact that this multi-day event also included a lot of parties, it seems like sleep was no more than a concept for him. The same goes for Carl Ford on the Voice on the Net side, that introduced me to many valuable contacts in informal gatherings.

So, when you think about whether to come or not to go to VON:

1. Don’t just look at the exhibitors and decide based on that -VON is a great place to meet and interact, much better than most of the shows I know.

2. Don’t forget to say hello to Chris and Carl.


Chris Brogan at Spring Video On The Net 2007