At South by Southwest Interactive a couple of weeks ago I heard about MindBites, a year-old instructional video marketplace based in Austin, Texas. I had the chance to sit down for a few minutes with Jason W. Reneau, founder & CEO, and Huntley Tarrant, vice president of business development, who walks us through the online learning and training site.
Unlike sites like Lynda.com, which require a fairly steep subscription fee, MindBites lets trainers set a price — generally as low as 99 cents to $2.99 — for watching an instructional video. Reneau says he came up with the idea after discovering that his only choices were hit-or-miss experiences on trainers’ websites or the old-fashioned Berlitz instructional CDs.
Just left the final session of Remix/Mashup 2009: The Future of Creative Production and Ownership at Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law, which explored the implications of mashup and remix in the world of Web 2.0. They reached out to me last fall and I couldn’t resist flying out — this was the first conference I’ve come across devoted to the video mashup, a media form that straddles art, politics and entertainment.
I’ll leave it to the attorneys and law students in the audience to dissect the proceedings, but here are a few high points:
• I was deeply impressed by the keynote presentation by Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, a multimedia artist, filmmaker and writer (“Sound Unbound”). Above is a photo I shot of him. (Feel free to remix; it’s under a Creative Commons license.) Some snippets from his keynote: “Artists no longer work in the bubble of a recording studio. The studio is the network.” … “The 20th century was the era of mass production. The 21st century is the era of mass customization,” with collective memories now dispersed and giving way to singular experiences culled from cultural motifs while plugged into an always-on ubiquitous network that lets us transform any media in digital form to our liking.
Earlier this week, in the teeth of a wicked storm, I trekked to a studio loft in San Francisco for the first taping of 5 Across, a new video program undertaken by Mark Glaser of PBS’s MediaShift blog.
The gathering was interesting on several levels. First, because it was instructive to see how Mark would structure a new Internet video “show.” (It turned out, with a professional camera and sound crew, Lowell Rifa ex light to illuminate the subjects, quality editing and hosting on blip.tv.) Second, because the discussion did raise some points of disagreement. The five guests were myself, Veronica Belmont of Revision3, YouTube comedy content manager Mark Day, Eric Elia of Brightcove and Irina Slutsky of Geek Entertainment TV.
Some of the themes I returned to were:
• Be authentic. Let people hear, see and sample the genuine stories you want to tell. Draw from your own life and your community.
• Just do it. If you’re thinking of diving into online video, just do it and don’t get hung up on the technology. Too many people are paralyzed by worry about how their production will look instead of focusing on just telling a story. Continue reading →
You’ve probably seen the Where the Hell Is Matt? videos — the main one has been viewed over 11 million times and the 2008 version (above) more than 9 million times.
In today’s San Jose Mercury News, Mike Cassidy interviews dancing Matt Harding and writes about he has stumbled on the true meaning of the Web. (And Stride gum, the sponsor, isn’t doing too badly, either.)
By the way, hey, Cassidy, let’s see your moves; I think Harding’s dancing is appropriately goofy and engaging.
The teams at Ourmedia and Outhink Media are happy to announce the launch today of a new sister site: Bid4Vid.com.
For any skilled producer who has wanted to earn money by shooting and editing video, we think you’ll like the idea: Already about 30 buyers (businesses or individuals in the market for a video) have posted contract jobs looking for experienced producers who can deliver a polished production.
You can see a list of jobs here and producers here. More than 800 producers — many from Ourmedia — have already registered. The map at the top of this page shows you where the US-based producers are based.
We hope you’ll check it out and send me any suggestions, ideas or criticism. Please blog it or spread the word to anyone you think would be interested in participating. Don’t be shy about joining — registration is free, there’s no obligation to bid on a job, and accepting a job costs only $30 total.