Udell on ‘Video Knowledge’ and my riff on the death of the specialist

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/12/20

Father of screencasting, Jon Udell has great post on the move toward video as a knowledge/rapid-documentation repository. After a few technical points, he hits this gem that completely jives with my experience on getting into the flow of screencasting —

…you have to overcome the same natural reticence that makes dictation such an awkward process for those of us who haven’t formerly incorporated it into our work style. You also have to overcome the notion, which we unconsciously absorb from our entertainment-oriented culture, that video is a form of entertainment. It can be. Depending on the producer, a screencast documenting a disaster recovery scenario could be side-splittingly funny. And if the humor didn’t compromise the message, a funny version would be much more effective than a dry recitation. But even a dry recitation is way, way better than what’s typically available: nothing.

Just another step toward the seamlessness of media where real headway means that this will be less and less of a specialist skill — who is a ‘word processing’ specialist these days?

No one — every one.

There is a point in the future (near? mid? far?) Jon alludes to here where things like screencasting will be a natural repository for business/education/whatever knowledge — a time when this stuff will not be a specialized skillset.


Last night with the wife and kids, I brought YouTube up on the family TV and searched for my wife’s username and my daughter’s name. We all sat mesmerized for 30 minutes while we played the various clips Jen has uploaded over the past 6-8 months.

It’s content that I, as a professional multimedia producer, had little to do with — All video my wife produced on her own through mostly self developed knowledge and a digital camera (not a miniDV camcorder).

What does TV look like to my daughter and my wife? Something much less specialized than I could ever imagine — and I’ve got a good imagination.

On with the flattening of the universe…



Ignite Seattle videos now ablaze

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/12/14

Had another great opportunity to shoot some rapid turn around video last week. This time it was for Ignite Seattle. All I have to say is what a night.

Thanks to Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis for putting on a fantastic event — as Scott Beale said, it really gave you a sense of what’s going on in Seattle.

I’d call it a snapshot of this grand moment we are experiencing in the Seattle geek entrepreneurial community. Lots of fun from my end to help the momentum along.

Where to start? So many highlights — you can see all 25 of the five minute sessions over on the Ignite Seattle Blip.tv page. One’s that stood out were —

  • Scott Ruthfield (embedded above) from Amazon talked about doing re-design in a “Megacorp”. Scott was at our Mind Camp 3.0 Discovery Slam and is a great presence on stage — very funny and engaging. Blip.tv video is here.
  • Brian Aker was great as he told the story of ripping up his new house to install his own computer based phone system — it’s as much a tutorial as it is an essays on geek relationships with your wife. Very funny. Blip.tv video is here.
  • Scott Berkun did a session on ideas and innovation and, as always, did a great job. Very cool visuals. Blip.tv video is here.

So many others were great — go take a look at the other sessions when you get a chance.



Mind Camp 3.0 Video

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/11/14

I’m in the process of uploading video I shot at Mind Camp 3.0 here in Seattle last weekend. So far I’ve uploaded two video files from the ‘Discovery Slam‘ that Scott Berkun and I hosted.

From that session, Ben Livingston’s amazing ‘Blade of Grass Beatbox’ is at —

http://www.blip.tv/file/101016

The full discovery slam is here —

http://www.blip.tv/file/101030

Stay tuned for other sessions I’ll be uploading my raw video for — they are —

<li><a href="http://blog.stewtopia.com/2006/11/13/mindcamp-30/">Randy Stewart's</a> Fun Web Session</li>

<li>The PhraseTrain session (forgot to get the session leaders name on that one -- if anyone has it, please shoot it to me).</li>
<li>

Intros — these will be up sometime next week — had to shoot those to tape and they will require a bit more turnaround time.

Will let you all know when these are ready.

Some caveats — full sessions are raw footage, so you may have to forward a minute or so at the beginning — also was playing around with shooting straight to disk in a web ready format for super quick turnaround on these sessions, so the video is a little bit too compressed for my taste — will be switching codecs/formats a little next time around.

Also — catching discussion audio is hard because nobody likes to use a mic — but things seem audible for the most part in the discussion sessions I shot — please let me know what you think once they are posted.



Gratitude as the driving force behind Google

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/09/28

Here is a cool quote about what drives Google engineers —

The thing that drives the right behavior at Google, more than anything else, more than all the other things combined, is gratitude.
It is well buried in this long articulate rant by Steve Yegge on why most Agile development hype is akin to sci-fi religion yoohoo — he frames the nice stuff by so much self aware BS detection that, well, I kinda believe it.

Definitely want to digest the whole thing as I have more time.



Seattle Podcasting Meetup Links

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/09/05

I’m leading a discussion at the Seattle Podcasting Meetup tonight about podcasting inside the firewall. Will be remoting in via SightSpeed.

Here are some links I’ve jotted down for the session —

1) An introduction to informal learning by Marcia L. Conner

  • Informal learning accounts for over 75% of the learning taking place in organizations today.
  • In 1996, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that people learn 70% of what they know about their jobs informally.

2) Jay Cross’s Informal Learning Blog

From The business environment of informal learning

J.P. Rangaswami, former global CIO at investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort in London, (says, …) as I’ve been pointing out, “The graduates of tomorrow are more used to the tools I was looking at than the enterprise was. So training cost, which used to be a huge barrier to entry for the people who were weaned on the mother’s milk of Microsoft, just wasn’t there.”

Harvard B-School prof Andrew McAfee chimes in, “The opposite of an imposed structure is not chaos. With these tools, the opposite of an imposed structure is an emergent structure, one that forms over time based on the interactions of a lot of people.”

– – – – –

From LMS, we hardly knew ye

LMS create a walled garden in an era when walls are falling down. Why not use the real internet and real internet technology rather than some hokey oversimplification? Furthermore, how can you manage serendipitous learning that is inherently unmanageable?

3) Elliot Masie webinar on ‘Is Instructional Design Relevant to RSS, Mobile Learning, Blogs, PodCasts, Wikis and New Tech?

  • Masie says podcasts under 10 minutes offer a more optimized learning experience
  • IIRC this references and example of McDonald’s documentation in Turkey done via a wiki.

4) Reflections on the difference of creators vs consumers Mythical Man Month by Frederick P. Brooks. An excerpt from From the anniversary edition, pages 7-8 —

Why is programming fun? What delights may its practitioner expect as his reward?

First is the sheer joy of making things. As the child delights in his mud pie, so the adult enjoys building things, especially things of his own design. I think this delight must be an image of God’s delight in making things, a delight shown in the distinctiveness of each leaf and each snowflake.

Second is the pleasure of making things that are useful to other people. Deep within, we want others to use our work and to find it helpful. In this respect the programming system is not essentially different from the child’s first clay pencil holder “for Daddy’s office.”

Third is the fascination of fashioning complex puzzle-like objects of interlocking moving parts and watching them work in subtle cycles, playing out the consequences of principles built in from the beginning. The programmed computer has all the fascination of the pinball machine or the jukebox mechanism, carried to the ultimate.

Fourth is the joy of always learning, which springs from the nonrepeating nature of the task. In one way or another the problem is ever new, and its solver learns something: sometimes practical, sometimes theoretical, and sometimes both.

Finally, there is the delight of working in such a tractable medium. The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. Few media of creation are so flexible, so easy to polish and rework, so readily capable of realizing grand conceptual structures. (As we shall see later, this tractability has its own problems.)

Yet the program construct, unlike the poet’s words, is real in the sense that it moves and works, producing visible outputs separately from the construct itself. It prints results, draws pictures, produces sounds, moves arms. The magic of myth and legend has come true in our time. One types the correct incantation on a keyboard, and a display screen comes to life, showing things that never were nor could be.

Programming then is fun because it gratifies creative longings built deep within us and delights sensibilities we have in common with all men.

5) Screencasting Tools —



Seattle Mind Camp 3.0 tickets now available!

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/28

Tickets for Seattle Mind Camp 3.0 are available now — here’s the direct link to registration.

They are $30 early bird price. Happening Nov 11–12 at same location as last time —  the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center — very cool venue.

From the announcement page —

Tickets for Seattle Mind Camp 3.0 are on sale now, as we have released the first half of our tickets to be sold at a discounted price (the next round of tickets will cost just a bit more.)



BarCamp Vancouver Videos

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/27

Here are the initial .mov videos I managed to capture from yesterday’s BarCamp Vancouver. Very pleased with the captures for the most part. Will detail the setup Roland and I used later in the week.

These are quicktime .mov files I shot straight to disk. Were were able to get our opensource flash video thing going on Saturday morning (and when I say we, I mean Ianiv). As I previously mentioned, we transcoded and posted Friday night’s introductions. Everything worked through transcoding via FFMPEG to storing in Amazon’s S3 (thanks to Jeff Barr for the help!).

As the morning rolled on Roland and I captured video and Ianiv continued tweaking the setup. Headache and sleep deprivation caused Ianiv to have to pack it in early, so we weren’t able to transcode more via that setup yesterday — am sure we’ll get it done later this week.

On the sessions I caught — all were great and some were fantastic — noted standouts —

Here’s the full list of the sessions I got.

–––

10:00-10:30
Open Source Telephony (100 MB .mov)
George Pajari – netVOICE Communications

10:30-11:00
Prediction Markets (53 MB .mov)
Sacha Peter – doubleblind.ca
This vid is only half the session and also has bad audio. When the session I was set to record didn’t make, I repositioned to record Sacha’s session and wasn’t able to mic him.

11:00-11:30
Ad Hacks (8 MB .mov)
James Sherrett – adhack.com
Only have the last few minutes of this one. I had a power problem and it looks like the majority of the session vid got corrupted (and no, I wasn’t shooting tape –– too many undigitized miniDV’s to count are baring me from bringing more into that God-forsaken world) –– bummer too, cause James’ session was great. he’s a fantastic facilitator.

11:30-12:00
AJAX on Rails (32 MB .mov)
Nathaniel Brown – Inimit Innovations

1:00-1:30 
Constructing Creativity  (36.9 .mov)
Aaron Wheeler – fightinjoe.com

1:30-2:00
Creative Commons Image Search (41 MB .mov)
Mark Thompson – YotoPhoto

2:00-2:30
Ruby on Rails from the Rear (35 MB .mov)
Jeremy Hubert – Rain City Studios & Aaron Wheeler – fightinjoe.com
** Great Quote — You can be just like DHH, just not as sexy.

2:30-3:00
The Meme Epidemic (43 MB .mov)
Darren Barefoot – darrenbarefoot.com 

3:00-3:30
Social Music Networking (47 .mov)
David Graten – davidrdgratton.com

4:00–4:30
AJAX and JavaScript Demos (58 .mov)
Andre Charland and Dave Johnson – Nitobi.com
** Was trying a different sound setup here. It got distorted so I switched back. Sound is a bit distorted in the beginning. Again a bummer, cause it was a good session.



BarCamp Vancouver Intros via Opensource ‘YouTube’ esq solution

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/26

Here’s last night’s BarCamp Vancouver introductions — about 18 minutes total — all transcoded via an ffmpeg based utility that Ianiv rolled — everything is automatically transcoded and then uploaded to Amazon’s S3 — nice job!

Thanks all!



Blog or Project Log: Selling disruptive tools on the inside

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/24

Jay Cross has a great post this AM about the need to find compelling language that can drive experimentation and adoption of blog, podcast, and wiki types of tools inside of organizations ––

It’s time for us to come up with a vocabulary that’s not an obstacle to installing learning technology. Take the word blog. For some people, the word sets off alarm bells. They envision amateurs, threatening hackers, neo-nazis, the Drudge Report, people obsessed with kittens, semi-literates, unverifiable nonsense, spammers, porno freaks, political extremists, teen age confessionals, MySpace flirts, people who are out of control and lawsuits waiting to happen.

It’s enough to give disruptive technology a bad name.

So let’s not speak of blogs or slimeheads. Let’s talk about Project Logs. Or Collaborative Project Documentation. Or Knowledge Logs. Or professional journals.

<bagoftricks>Project log –– hmm, that could work.</bagoftricks>

 



Harold Jarche » Elgg and the LMS Patent

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/23

Harold Jarche posted a good analysis yesterday on why he thinks the Blackboard patent does not apply to the increasingly popular online learning tool Elgg.

After a rousing start (which I wholeheartedly agree with) ––

I think that the Blackboard patent filing is a load of crap, based on significant prior art, but here is my understanding of this patent in relation to Elgg’s design.

He says ––

A reasonable person could not interpret the following 44 points as applying to the Elgg Learning Landscape. Elgg uses a completely different model than most online learning systems. It does not use content (e.g. course) as the basic building block, but rather the individual person.



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