The New Potential of Documentary Film Making

Documentary film makers seem like the new bloggers, zine makers, and freestyle writers and publishers in general. I thought podcasts were the media with the most growth, freedom and potential. I am changing my mind as I look at the range of documentaries, in particular. Film making and documentaries are not new but there has been a lot of change since film went digital. For one thing, it’s pretty easy to use a camera you can keep in your pocket versus the video cameras you lugged around on your shoulder.

Jenny Holzer Writes Projections as Art

Jenny Holzer is an artist presenting ideas in words for public spaces. 
The public dimension is integral to Holzer’s work. Her large-scale installations have included advertising billboards, projections on buildings and other architectural structures, and illuminated electronic displays. LED signs have become her most visible medium, although her diverse practice incorporates a wide array of media including street posters, painted signs, stone benches, paintings, photographs, sound, video, projections, the Internet, and a race car for BMW. Text-based light projections have been central to Holzer’s practice since 1996. As of 2010, her LED signs have become more sculptural. Holzer is no longer the author of her texts, and in the ensuing years, she returned to her roots by painting.
Quoted from Wikipedia.
I found her through Twitter, someone else said she was one of his favourite people to quote. My experience has been different. To me she sounds fatalistic, meaning she has lost hope and doesn’t feel anything will change for the better. 
ENJOY YOURSELF BECAUSE YOU CAN’T CHANGE ANYTHING ANYWAY
IN SOME INSTANCES IT’S BETTER TO DIE THAN TO CONTINUE
CALM IS MORE CONDUCTIVE TO CREATIVITY THAN IS ANXIETY
These are among her recent posts. The first one is current, posted today. I don’t find those inspirational and I don’t agree with them either. 
I do like some of her quotes, but these three make me worry for her. I hope she has people around to notice should she need help. 
Anyway, I posted her link and her art out of interest for the genre. I like combining art genres and styles in new and interesting ways. What would you post up on a building in lights? Something you wanted to share and inspire the world (or at least the city) with.

Build a Better Mousetrap for the End of the World

Would you even guess this is a mousetrap? It’s vintage, from the 1930’s approximately. I first saw it on a video from Shawn Woods and then I went looking on eBay out of curiousity. Shawn Woods makes videos of how mousetraps actually work at catching mice. If you are especially squeamish or strongly against killing rodents, don’t watch. 
I think people have been trying to catch rodents, mice in particular, from the earliest days of deliberately planting anything with the idea of farming. You might think we should let all the urban wildlife live and, I’m not out to kill them all, but I do think we need to find some balance. Some animals are very good at surviving, adapting and scavenging. I’d rather see other animals keep their foothold instead of the planet being overrun by predatory scavengers. (I do include ourselves among those). 
I enjoyed watching the mousetrap videos for the engineering aspects really. My Father was an electrical engineer and I also like seeing the mechanics of things and how all the little parts work together and rely on each other. Vintage things especially because they were still made to last then. I like the heavy, solid feel of them and 100 years later they made need a little cleaning up but will still work. Often any repairs are simple enough you can manage yourself. 
I like to imagine the mousetraps people would come up with if there were an end of the world, a zombie apocalypse, a worldwide disaster, or some other possibility like the end of all fossil fuels. Could you make a mousetrap if you had to design and build it yourself? Don’t go with the “let all creatures live” thing. If it came down to the mouse or yourself for the last of the food you have on hand, I don’t think you would feel quite so charitable about sharing with a pack of rodents.

Blog Content When You Don’t Feel Like Writing

Not every post needs to be text based content.

If you have a camera, take photos and illustrate rather than explain.

Let the image speak for you. You may not be ready to jump into video posts but these days it isn’t difficult to edit an image online to create something unique. Add text to the image and create a quote post. Turn an image into a background your readers could use on their own sites and devices. A calendar doesn’t have to be the year, take it one month at a time and that gives you something to post each month.

List posts are popular.

Consider a list of the best sites/ resources in your topic/ niche. Or, take it to Amazon and find products people would be interested in. Write up a review (an idea not on the list below).  Use a list post to highlight your own best posts of the month or year or all time. A playlist may not interest you. I don’t have one myself. Music choices can be personal, more than you want to post on a business site. An alternative is a reading list, the books you have found useful in your business, or for building/ keeping your web presence.

So, there are quite a few options for the days you feel less than brilliantly creative and can’t make yourself write a post.

VIDEO
1 | YOUTUBE VIDEOS
2 | PERISCOPE VIDEOS
GRAPHICS
3 | PRINTABLE INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE
4 | BACKGROUND IMAGE
5 | PRINTABLE CALENDAR OR ORGANIZER
PHOTOS
6 | INSTAGRAM POSTS
7 | BEHIND THE SCENES
LISTS
8 | ROUND UPS
9 | PLAYLIST

List source: 9 Ideas for Blog Content (When You Don’t Feel Like Writing)

Bloated Self Importance on Video

Each time I see someone with a video post I think of all the people who can’t or won’t be watching it.

Video posts are for people with money to burn. In the US the Internet is cheaper. In places like Canada, Europe and the rest of the world, the story is different. I pay almost $100 per month for the Internet, that’s before adding in the cost of my landline phone. I used to have cable TV but paying $180 a month for all three services was too much. Plus, the prices were going up another $5 for Internet and TV the next month.

A very big part of the cost for the Internet is bandwidth. How much you use, not in time but in load. How bloated are the files you are loading onto your computer from the Internet? Have you thought about it?

Uploading is about the files you put from your computer onto the Internet.

Downloading are the files you bring from the Internet onto your computer. Downloading used to be about software you get from the Internet, mostly. Now it is about looking at websites, software, advertising and everything else you view while you are online.

Did you know you pay to watch ads online?

Each ad you see is costing you bandwidth.

A plain text ad costs you almost nothing, not enough that you could even notice it. An ad with an image costs a bit more, especially if the image moves or lights up or does anything other than just be an ordinary image. A larger image costs more, of course. But, ads at this point cost so little bandwidth you would not notice them unless you visit a lot of sites with a lot of ads all the time.

When you get up the food chain to ads which use scripts and then video… you’re paying enough to notice the bandwidth each month.

I use add-ons to turn some of the bandwidth sucking advertising off. It is not 100% but it helps. It helps keep my Internet bill from being even higher each month.

I have to pay for bandwidth each month. I used to have the light Internet account, paying about $50 each month. That was enough to pay. Over 12 months I’d be paying $600, plus tax (which is also higher in most of Canada than the US). What could you do with an extra $600 in your pocket each year?

Anyway, to help make the Internet affordable again I had the cable TV turned off and I began doing what I can to shut down all video posts and ads. Using the web browser add-on will only go so far. The other thing I have done is to not watch video posts.

Seems a simple thing to just choose to not watch video. But, it’s not.

Video posts come up all the time.

When I want to find a tutorial for using a WordPress theme or plugin… it’s in a video post. Annoying when this happens, especially when I have paid for the theme or plugin and now have to pay to use it (or at least to understand how to use it).

Network sites I write for want video added to the posts I write. This means going to YouTube to find second hand content which I have to watch in order to make sure it is relevant and will add some information or resources to my own original post for the site. This annoys me because I have just written original content and now I have to link to someone else, giving them my bandwidth, my time and space in the post I worked on. Aggravating all the way around and this is where most of my extra expense comes from each month on my Internet bill.

Even with protection from browser add-ons I still get caught with video advertisements. There are still more of them out there which have found a way to get around the blocks I have set up.

I think people who post videos (without giving a text alternative) are arrogant or just thoughtless.

It is thoughtless and careless to assume everyone else around the world is just like you. It is arrogant to post videos just to make yourself seem important.

The one time I think a video post is a good and sensible thing is for a tutorial – where it will help people to see what is being done and how it is done. Any other video posts are just people showing the world how important they are. It should be more important to make sure you are communicating with your audience, in a way which suits them best, rather than catering to your own self importance.

What Does Your Site Look Like to Someone Who has Blocked Video and Scripts?

Do you know what your site looks like to someone who has blocked video and scripts from starting? I came to a blog today and this is what my first impression looked like. Not very appealing, is it?
too much video

I run an addon to my Chrome web browser. It blocks video and scripts (usually ads, but not always) from starting without me choosing to click them and then let them start. I do this, first because I find a lot of ads suck up my bandwidth and run up my Internet bill. Secondly, I do it because I don’t want to see a bunch of ads. Thirdly, a site with a lot of video and scripts will be slow to load – I don’t want to wait for a site to load then read the post and discover is was not worth waiting for.

If you would like to block bloated video and ads from loading on your web browser try AdBlock Plus and take a look at Stop HTML5 Autoplay.

Writing for Content Marketing Sites is Too Expensive

How much does it cost to write for other sites, like HubPages and Squidoo? There is a push for writers at these sites to add video along with the content they write and the images they post too.  No one quite dares to make video mandatory (as far as I have seen). However, for me personally, the addition of video to my posts has cost me $20 a month more on my ISP (Internet service provider) bill.

Viewing several videos for each post takes up bandwidth. My account is not one of the huge packages, I live on a budget (as most writers who don’t have money to burn, do). There is also the image added to a post. Some writers at these sites pay for the images they use. I don’t. I use my own photos, create images myself or go to sites where the images and clipart are free to use.

Don’t forget to count your writing itself. No matter how you feel at the time, writers should be getting paid for the content they create. I find many of these content marketing sites don’t pay writers a single cent. Over time a writer may make a pittance or two. However, how much time writing, promoting and researching has the writer spent to earn $10 over the months… years… they gave.

I used to think writing community sites were a good thing for web writers. I don’t any feel that way now. Mainly the cost of viewing video and the push for writers to add video – that is what has me a little angry actually. No big deal for these sites to ask for video added to posts. The sites make money on the farm of writers they keep. Don’t think they are struggling too much. Their success comes from the people they pay nothing to almost nothing. It doesn’t matter to them if the writers are happy, not really. People who write for them are a dime a dozen, cheaper actually.

So why write for them and spend more than you get paid? Pick yourself up, copy your content from the site and put up your own site. It’s not hard and you shouldn’t be intimidated. You don’t have to be a huge success right away. If you can improve your earnings from cents to dollars you’re ahead of where you were before. Plus you can have pride in what you have done, you are your own editor (along with spellcheck) and every penny you make stays in your pocket.

Seeking Ghost Hunter

Here’s another ad for a ghost hunter in Ontario.

Haunt ad

What Halton Paranormal Group is looking for in a ghost hunter:

• Technically inclined: The team works with lots of equipment including video cameras, still cameras, voice recorders and K2 meters. The ideal candidate would need to be comfortable working with this equipment and the footage they collect.

• Fearless: Halton Paranormal’s investigations are conducted at night, often in abandoned buildings with no electricity or light sources. If you’re afraid of the dark, creepy buildings or unexplained noises, you need not apply.

• Quiet: A lot of the investigation requires sitting for long periods listening and observing. A quiet, still individual would be well suited for ghost hunting.

• Trustworthy: Ghost hunting requires trust between all the team members so they can accurately gauge their observations and experiences while investigating a potentially haunted area.

• Belief in ghosts: Not necessary. The group always tries to debunk its findings.

via Toronto-area paranormal investigators seek ghost hunter – thestar.com.

Try a New Writing Format

No matter who you are, there will come a time when you need to write someting and just don’t have the inspiration to make a start at it. One thing you can do is try a new format. An interview, when possible, is a good way to go. But, there are other options. I found this list when I was looking at writing jobs today. I’m posting it as a reminder to myself as much as a tip for anyone else. 🙂

 

Articles will be written in a few key formats. (These formats will expand as we grow).

– A History of…. (e.g. A History of Mars Exploration)

– Nerdy Lists … (e.g. 10 scariest video games of all time)

– Stuff For Nerds (e.g. Twenty awesome iPhone cases for nerds)

– Versus (e.g. Klingons vs. Tribbles).

via Bloggers / Freelance Writers needed for Geeky/Nerdy topics.

Dating for Joy

Each year there is a Valentine’s Day boost for online dating. Then it slacks off awhile. People might have met someone, then been disappointed and take a break from the dating thing until the official end of Winter hibernation. Or, they met someone and it actually worked out. Most likely, in my experience, they met men who were married, or too young and then they lost interest in the male species for awhile. That’s where I am with the dating phenomena.

People tend to have all kind of rules for who they will date. Most of  the rules seem a bit too tightly wound. Like only dating someone who dresses the “right ” way. I’d be happy with a guy who can dress himself (grooming and clothes that don’t fall off/ reveal his boxer shorts) and not be a Momma’s boy. Just Single Parents, just people who want kids, just gay, just straight, just local (dating singles in London, Toronto, Singapore, where ever you are), just dog lovers, these kind of things are important and make a difference to the chances of success right from the start.

It would be fun to create a character who would not work out at all as a date for yourself. Someone no decent dating agency would suggest to you. Not someone too opposite but someone you know would not work out.

Deadward Buffledon

Single Father of 8 teenagers. Deadward likes to unwind with a good book and a lot of country music. He works a farm and keeps a dog kennel on the side. Deadward would love to find a woman to tame his pack of dogs and teenagers so he could travel more.

Bradley Krackford

Looking for a woman he can take home to Mother. Bradley spends more of his time running errands for his Mother. But he does have a part time job working in a video store. Bradley is an old fashioned romantic who reads and writes poetry. He loves to hug and cuddle.

Derk Mackoy

World traveler with a career that keeps him on the go all year round. Would like to find a travel buddy. Derk has a love for the exotic, high fashion and weird science. His future plans include getting two extra arms either biological arms or mechanical, attached to his body.

Blackie Blackthorn

A reformed ladies man, looking to be a one woman type of guy. Owns a successful business, likes fine dining and spending weekends with someone special. Hobbies include adding to his full body tattoo and finding new body parts to pierce.