Archive for the ‘youtube’ Category

Harry Potter in the Hood…

August 9, 2007

What can I say? Enjoy!

Thanks to just giblets for posting about this gem.

~Susan Mellott

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Harry Potter 2.0: Sims Snape Teaches Dance

August 8, 2007

I was looking for episodes on the internet of some TV shows for my sister and was having a hard time finding “So You Think You Can Dance” (which apparently Fox does not put on their website). But I looked for anything on YouTube and found Snape teaches Slytherins to dance. It is excellent and was created using the game Sims 2.

And fourth-rose has also written a story that goes with the video, in which Professor Snape, in order to make sure Slytherin doesn’t make fools of themselves at the upcoming Yule Ball, teaches them to dance. It is absolutely hilarious and well worth the read.

Looking around, I found that people were writing additional Harry Potter stories using Sims to illustrate them. Here is a page of Sims outtakes from a chapter of one of those stories by CloudlessNights. You can find her work by checking out her tags and links, like Harry Potter starring The Sims: Book 1 – The Philosophers Stone and Book 2 – Chamber of Secrets.

She also has a great series called the Timeturner Incident written by the Sims. As she says in episode 1: “Please bear in mind that visiting sims can’t be controlled, so whatever they did, they did it all on their own accord. I was only watching in shock, awe and amusement, and taking a lot of pictures ;-)”

And check out the Harry Potter Sim Videos on YouTube. The assortment of creative ideas is outstanding. And there is an outstanding series of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with voice actors and everything. Here is chapter 1 (he has disabled embedding the video). These were created starting in October of 2005. It is interesting to compare to the movie.

And of course, if you just search on Sims, you end up with a ton of fun videos. Who would have thought people could be so creative with this new medium?

Enjoy.

~Susan Mellott

Politics 2.0 – Are Republicans Afraid of Us?

August 7, 2007

The CNN/YouTube Democratic Presidential Debates took place on Monday, July 23, 2007. It was a first for that type of debate format and was quite popular, especially among the younger viewers who are perhaps more drawn to this more unconventional approach. CNN says it got a boost in the 18-34 demographic – the most ever for a cable news debate. And those are real-time numbers, not including younger viewers (or any viewers) who may have watched a stream or a Tivo’ed show or even the post-event sound-biteable nuggets on YouTube itself.

Here is a great recap of the debates provided by YouTube. I love the format, it briefly states the question they were asked and then shows their response. You can also watch the videos of each question. There are also the questions that were submitted but not used and video responses to the debates.It is really ‘by the people’, people like you and me and it is real questions from real people. There were difficult questions asked and real feedback given. You can also view the questions that were submitted but not used.

I watched several of the unused questions (there were almost 3000 entries) and was impressed at the thoughtfulness and interest expressed by so many people. Sure, there were some that were just people goofing around, but that doesn’t negate the large amount of people who had real concerns and real questions and who clearly are interested in trying to make the correct decision with their vote.

Mitt Romney (Republican candidate who has refused to participate in the CNN/YouTube debate format) said “[The debates] ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman.” (referring to a question about global warming that was presented on the video as a snowman sock puppet). Well all I can say is lighten up! What, your dignity and stature doesn’t allow you to interact with people who don’t care about all that? It reminds me of people who read a very thought provoking post and all they can do is nitpick about the spelling or grammar. I guess that is safer (and easier) than actually stating an opinion. And it makes a point that you feel you are better in some way than they are (without actually having to do anything that might disprove it).

I think that the Republicans (I’m sure there are exceptions, but I don’t know who they are) are a bunch of control-freaks that can’t handle anything that they have not orchestrated to the nth degree. I think they feel they know better than we do and that we are all a bunch of ignoramuses (ignorami) that need their fatherly protection so we don’t run with a stick and poke someone’s eye out. Shame on the Republican candidates for thinking they are too good to have a voter ask a question directly. Format be dammed, a voter’s question is a voter’s question and deserves an answer.

And there are plenty of Republican party youtube videos put out by the candidates or their people. But of course this is the format they like best, they talk about what they want to say and you listen. No input allowed.

I also think they don’t want anyone telling them what to do and will go out of their way to not do something just to prove it. And they feel no need to explain why they do what they do. At the NAACP GOP Presidential Candidate forum on July 12, one lone republican candidate showed up, Tan Tancredo. The NAACP invited all the Republican candidates to the forum, put out 9 podiums, but only one Republican showed up. All the Democratic Presidential hopefuls showed up for their forum. The excuses given by the Republican campaigns mostly had to do with scheduling conflicts–just too busy to make it.

Here is a telling photograph of the nine podiums and the one candidate. And here is the post that led me to this picture and from which I found out about the NAACP debacle.

There are a group of republicans who are asking their candidates to debate in this format and their website is called Save the Debate. I applaud their progressive attitude and their acumen in recognizing that they stand to lose a lot more by not attending than by having to answer a tough question or two. You can also sign a petition on that website, requesting that the candidates attend. Personally, I doubt that their opinions and requests matter that much to the republican candidates. But if enough people stand behind it, maybe they will get the clue.

~Susan Mellott

Coverpop – Mashups you won’t believe!

August 6, 2007

I ran across these and they blew my mind! It is called coverpop and it is a website created by Jim Bumgardner, of KrazyDad.com, to house his experimental coverpop project. Per his FAQ page: “
A coverpop can be a unique work of art, a software toy, or a fun way to shop for stuff.

Each coverpop is an interactive mosaic, made of tiny images, such as magazine covers. These are called “micro thumbnails”. As you drag the mouse over each micro thumbnail, it pops up to a full-sized thumbnail image, and provides some information about the item. For some coverpops, you can click again to produce either a full-sized image, or to go to another website to learn more information about the item.

Some coverpops arrange the images by time, by price, or color. Other coverpops arrange the images into a photomosaic.”

If you go to main coverpop site , you will see a random choice of oneof his coverpop mosaics. You can choose from the list on the right side to see specific ones. He creates mashups using flickr, youtube, amazon and other web 2.0 apps to create really amazing mosaics that you can spend endless time browsing and playing with.

He has a set of youtube video mosaics too. And just plain mosaics that are really interesting. Here is a description of how it works and here is a brief description from that page:

“Data for each coverpop is prepared using Perl and the ImageMagick library. Space-filling is implemented (with visual feedback) using Processing (p5). The interface itself is presented in Flash/Actionscript within a PHP webpage.

I download information about all the covers using various means. I use Amazon Web Services for the Amazon-powered coverpops, and I screen-scrape websites, such as the Visco archive for the Science Fiction coverpop. This is done using a Perl program. Then I download all the thumbnails (again with Perl), and analyse them for color, using ImageMagick to reduce each image to 1×1 and recording the color of the remaining pixel.”

You can also generate banners to put on your website with various mosaics like Harry Potter on Amazon or Time’s Top 100 Novels. These are linked to amazon and you receive credit when someone buys through your site except he receives the credit every 6 times or so. I created one just to try it out (you can generate the code from his site) and put it on the bottom of my Goggle Blogger blog Along the Path to 2.0. It is at the botton of the blog. Unfortunately I can’t put it on my WordPress blog yet since it is hosted by WordPress.com. I hope to correct that soon!

To learn about new coverpop or just to find out more, you can go to his blog. He has a lot more interesting things on there.

He has also co-authored a book called Flickr Hacks – Tips and Tools for Sharing Photos Online that talks about the flickr .APIs and how to do some of these things and sounds VERY interesting.

Check it out! But don’t do it until you have some time to spend because you definitely will.

~Susan Mellott

How to Embed a Video in WordPress and Google Blogger

July 25, 2007

If you have been using WordPress or Blogger to host your blog, you might be wondering how to embed a video in your post. I know I have been! Well, thanks to what else, a YouTube video, I found the answer. It isn’t hard, but I just didn’t know.

Essentially, you just copy and paste the code next to the “embed” tag that is part of the information listed for each YouTube video while viewing your post using the “Code” tab (not the “Visual” tab). This worked for me and I didn’t need to do anything.

It is the same in Google Blogger except you go to the Edit HTML tab to add the code instead of the Code tab.

Actually, the video didn’t really help me except to point me to the ’embed’ code and then it was obvious that it needed added to the Code section (or Edit HTML section in Blogger). And it was even more obvious when I tried it again and forgot to go to the Code first and it just displayed the code as text (as you would expect).

~Susie

Politics 2.0 – YouTube videos Address Energy Bill

July 25, 2007

There is a new channel on YouTube called CleanMyRide. This is what it has to say about itself: “This channel is aimed at making people aware that Congress is about to begin an important debate about the energy bill. The bill is a good start, but it still needs provisions to take on the really big stuff – increasing gas mileage requirements and mandating the availability of flexible-fuels. These tough solutions will slash oil use and slow global warming.”

One thing new about this is the high production quality and celebrity involvement. Some of the celebrities in these videos are Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Biggs and Jennifer Garner, to name a few.

Here is the first video:

The videos are funny, informative (slight adult content) and really rather addictive. Ben Affleck is hilarious in part one as a big piece of “street” corn. Here is an article from People Magazine about the videos.

Check out their website to see some really cutting edge Web 2.0 used for a campaign to inform people about an important bill before Congress.

Visit CleanMyRide.org to learn more and sign the petition. Tell Congress: Clean My Ride!

Project Phin - Clean My Ride

~Susie

Politics 2.0 – YouTube Debate Aftermath

July 24, 2007

I hate to admit that I did not watch (or twitter) the presidential debates last night. However, thanks to the 2.0 aspect, it has been captured in ways that were never (or seldom) done before. Here is an excellent blog titled The YouTube Campaign 2008 that has a great deal of information and I believe they were liveblogging the debate. And here is the post from the YouTube blog entitled The CNN/YouTube Debate: How Did They Do? And don’t forget the next YouTube Debate video entry request which is for the YouTube Republican Debate September 17.

There is controversy over the real value of this though, and many people think it was more of a good marketing ploy for the candidates than a true discourse with “the people”. And questions were raised about the video questions that were selected since they were selected by CNN’s political team. I must admit, I have my doubts too. I love the idea of political candidates really answering to the people and having real people ask real questions. Do I think it is there yet? No. But I think this is the right path to be on and I think it can help the campaigns get more ‘real’. Here is a link to a Yahoo! news article on the Debate over Whether YouTube made a Difference. And one final link to The BuzzMachine about the debate. There are many interesting comments on this post.

~Susie

ACPL opens its doors for the Harry Potter Party – my first YouTube video

July 24, 2007

I have created my first YouTube video and it is of the community of Fort Wayne streaming into the Allen County Public Library for their fabulous Harry Potter Release party that was held 7/20/2007 from 9pm to post-midnight (at which time the lucky lottery winners could check out 1 of 200 copies of the final Harry Potter book).

It is a very sped up version of part of the people entering the ACPL when the doors opened at 9pm. The actual time it took just for the people who were waiting for the doors to open to get in was 10 minutes. I can’t imagine how many people that must have been.

Fortunately there were a lot of activities taking place on the Library Plaza (they started at 8pm) as well as inside. There was a band playing, games for the kids including the spiderweb maze, potions classes, costume shows and I believe there was even Potter Bingo.

ACPL, the community of Fort Wayne thanks you for all you do.

This is a pretty poor video, but it is my first one so I am sure I will get better. Anyway, enjoy!

People entering the ACPL at 9pm 7/20/2007 for the Harry Potter Release Party

~Susie

Elections 2.0 aka Politics 2.0

July 18, 2007

As I was taking our cat, Ubi, to the vet this afternoon, I turned on the radio to NPR and there was a fascinating discussion on Talk of the Nation about the web’s role in the presidential debate. It was called Digital Democracy: YouTube’s Presidential Debates and you can listen to a podcast of it on that site. It is very well worth listening to. It is about what role Web2.0 tools such as YouTube, MySpace, blogs, web searches, etc. will play in politics, both in the upcoming presidential debate and in politics in general. Here is the NPR Blog of the Nation post entitled Democrawikiyoutubia 2.8 that is about this NPR broadcast.

As you may or may not know, CNN is asking people to submit YouTube videos with a question for the presidential campaign debate that will be taking place next Monday, July 23. Here is where you can submit your video. And here is a Washington Post blog post entitled CNN/YouTube Debate: The Best of The Questions So Far that has videos of some of the best questions that have been submitted so far. There are also many interested comments for this article.

Another interesting fact is that much of this information is in blog format, such as the NPR Blog of the Nation, The Washington Post’s Blog and the Official Google Blog post where the YouTube Presidential Debate program was introduced. YouTube also has a You Choose ’08 channel for the 2008 presidential campaign.

And after listening to this broadcast and reading the associated articles and blogs, I realized just how much Web 2.0 is permeating our culture in every way. Yes Virginia, there is Politics 2.0.

~Susie