Bjørn Melhus: “Deadly Storms” video art nails sensational, content-free news

This weekend at the Denver Art Museum I had the opportunity to enjoy some whimsical video works by the German artist Bjørn Melhus. One installation, Deadly Storms, is a wry riff on the breathless, content-free style of breaking news so common on television.

Deadly Storms, video installation by Bjorn Melhus

Deadly Storms, video installation by Bjorn Melhus. CLICK ON IMAGE to view video clip via Rocky Mountain News


Given that Denver isn’t exactly known as a fine-art Mecca, it’s refreshing that the Denver Art Museum regularly provides an excellent selection of work — especially modern art. Plus, the new Frederic C. Hamilton building (designed by Daniel Libeskind) is trippy and fun.

What ABCnews.com got really wrong about social media and Mumbai attacks

On Nov. 28, ABCnews.com published a story by Ki Mae Huessner called Social Media a Lifeline, Also a Threat? about the role of Twitter and other social media in the coverage of, and public discourse about, last week’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Huessner interviewed me for this story because I’ve been blogging about it on Contentious.com and on E-Media Tidbits. She chose to include a few highly edited and interpreted quotes from me that I think grossly misrepresent my own views and the character of our conversation.

Yeah, being a journalist, I know that no one is ever completely happy with their quotes. I’ve been misquoted plenty in the past, and normally I just roll with it. But this particular case is an especially teachable moment for my journalist colleagues in mainstream media about understanding and covering the role of social media in today’s media landscape.

Today’s a pretty busy day for me, but I didn’t want to let this go unsaid any longer. So I made a little Seesmic video response to this story. Here I am speaking strictly for myself — not on behalf of any of my clients or colleagues. Yes, I am very emphatic here and somewhat critical. Please understand that my frustration is borne of seeing this particular problem over and over again.

Beat journalists: Best online tools?

Today, Milwaukee Sentinel art & architecture critic Mary Louise Schumacher put out this video call on Seesmic asking beat reporters to recommend their favorite online tools:

Beat Bloggers: Lend us your tips!

Please respond to her post!

Here’s my response, where just off the top of my head I recommend geotagging & geodata (especially for environmental reporters), Twitter, Delicious, Flickr, and social media in general:

Re: Beat Bloggers: Lend us your tips!I recommend geotagging, twitter, soc. media in gen., delicious, Flickr. And that’s just what I could think of quickly! Here’s my post on Twitter basics for journos: http://snurl.com/57ufw.

And here’s David Cohn’s

Re: Beat Bloggers: Lend us your tips!

Why CNN’s pseudo “hologram” was such a bad idea

The Dallas Morning News Tech Blog speculates on the next step in holographic election coverage...

The Dallas Morning News Tech Blog speculates on the next step in holographic election coverage...

Someone might want to tell CNN: TV is a two-dimensional medium. Holograms don’t work there — not even in high-definition. That’s even more true for holograms that aren’t really holograms.

On election night, CNN debuted a new type of eye candy into its coverage: three-dimensional video interviews with reporter Jessica Yellin and rapper Will.I.Am, both speaking from Chicago. As the TV camera moved around the studio, the angle of the projected image changed, creating the illusion of an in-studio 3D projection.

Here’s what it looked like (Note: CNN’s embedded video just went flaky, but that article on CNN contains a playable version.)

And here’s why this stunt was such a bad idea…

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Boulder Naked Pumpkin Run: Halloween 2008

IMPORTANT UPDATE NOV. 2: I researched applicable Colorado law. It does indeed appear that any Naked Pumpkin Runner whose indecent exposure citation gets upheld in court will have to register as a sex offender! Read the details

I just got back from hanging out in downtown Boulder, enjoying the Halloween freakery. The peak of the evening was the 10th annual running of the Naked Pumpkin Run, where a bunch of people put jack-o-lanterns on their heads and streak down the Pearl St. Mall.

Yeah, the cops aren’t happy about this. This year, they ticketed lots of runners, and it look like some may have been arrested. Which seems odd considering the context of today’s local news:

Boulder Daily Camera Halloween News

Boulder Daily Camera Halloween News

Given that, I would’ve thought Boulder’s cops would have had more important law enforcement activities on hand tonight than busting harmless streakers…

Anyway, with that strange introduction, I give you some video of tonight’s Naked Pumpkin Run!…

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Why I keep talking about Nokia’s US Service

Some people have asked why I keep talking — on this blog and elsewhere — about Nokia’s US service problems. This video explains my motives. In a nutshell, it’s because I want to keep options open for journalists. Tools like the Nokia N95 represent a way for journalists to make their own opportunities, regardless of the fate of news organizations. But if Nokia continues to mishandle its US market, it could easily lose out to the Apple iPhone — which, while slick, is not the best tool for mobile reporting/blogging.

Following Chinese Earthquake via Social Media

I just posted this item to Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits by our correspondent in Shanghai, Fons Tuinstra (who blogs at China Herald) about the surprisingly important role Twitter is playing in the unfolding coverage of today’s major quake in southern China. Check out Fons’ post

Also read what UK Tidbits correspondent Paul Bradshaw has to say about this phenomenon on his Online Journalism Blog. He offers a ton of links to places where social media-based coverage and analysis of the quake is happening

Meanwhile, from Seesmic’s Newspod video alerts I heard that there’s a lot of on-the-spot video happening on YouTube. Here are a couple of videos I found…

News is going to be more and more like this, I think…

I’m trying out Seesmic: Twitter meets YouTube

I’m trying out the new video-based social media service Seesmic, based on recommendations by Paul Bradshaw and other colleagues. It seems kind of rough so far, but I’m used to rough.

Here’s what I like and don’t like about it so far…

(UPDATE: Heh… OK, another thing I don’t like.. Apparently embedding a Seesmic video in a WordPress blog like this one isn’t as easy as it should be. Obviously, it’s not playing. Bummer. For now, here’s a link to my video post.)

Also, I haven’t yet investigated how mobile-friendly Seesmic is. Would be nice if you could combine some of the live/mobile functionality of Qik here.

Follow me on Seesmic: I’m agahran there. Send me a video! Tell me what you think of Seesmic so far. I’ve also enabled the Seesmic widget for this blog ,so you can see my latest video posts in the sidebar. I’ve also activated video comments for this blog.