Life as I know it… plus commentary

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

The one with all the edits

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I’m technically a numbers guy…  which puts my life in the hard and fast world of data entry, analysis and reporting.  So you can imagine why I like doing music and photography and other non-numerical pursuits in my free time.  Last night I spent some time working on a neglected skill set… video editing.  Boy that’s fun stuff.  It’s tedious and monotonous and if you’re like me, there’s tons of nitpicking involved.  Just for fun, I made a promo video for a friend who’d been on the second season of The Sing Off and sent it to him.  He liked it and asked to post it which I, of course, declined 🙂  Needed more work…. which I was willing to put in.  The added tweaks did a lot to make the video seem more interesting I thought.  If you’re interested, you can view it…

If you’re interested (and I only know of one arnoldcam reader who might be), here’s what I did.

On the first text slide, added two sound files, a bit of the chorus from  the Sing Off group number “Use Somebody” and crowd noise.  The song ends with the slide and the applause fades into the first clip.

Grabbed three clips from the show and cross faded them.  A little tricky since I had to use the small screen on the software on the capturing computer since the I was outputting the video from the first computer and was sending all video externally.  (I couldn’t look at that first computers screen at all).

Grabbed judge comments from same way.  These clips are older than the song clips… you can see the color is less saturated and there’s a little screen lag.  I did all these the same way so I’m not sure why there was a difference.  What I need is a real video editing station 😀

The next text slide was initially silent.  I dropped in a stock sound from iMovie.  The result was a more dynamic 2.8 seconds than before.  Really cool what just a little sound can do to bring energy to a still slide.

The next bits are the finished song videos.  Wish I could take credit for all the multiple screens and quick cuts but they were just part of the finished products.  The editing part here is trying to find interesting parts of the songs that can stand alone and yet only be snippets.

So I’m learning a few things.  The next step is get Final Cut Pro… then the real challenges begin.


Written by arnold

March 25, 2011 at 10:53 am

Posted in Technology

Ode to Facebook Friend #174

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Dear Facebook friend #174

I enjoyed my times with you… though I can’t remember what they were.

I’m not sure how well I knew you but I’m sure we must have had good memories.

You touched my life in ways you (or I, for that matter) will never know.

Thanks for being there for a while, though you’ve now defriended me

and I “wish you well in your future endeavors”.

No matter how many more friends I get in life, You’ll always be #174 to me.

Signed, Arnold

Written by arnold

February 15, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Posted in Technology

The one with all the self promotion

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It used to be that self promotion was to be avoided at any cost. It was almost always better to be thought of as humble, unworthy and politely self deprecating. These are the old rules.

It’s ironic that I’m writing about this, being the owner of a blog that’s been around 2002 or so… meaning I’ve been thinking my thoughts have been important enough to publish for nine years. Clearly those of you who have gotten me to over 83,000 views (since I put up the counter) know how deluded I am 🙂

Anyway, back to the rise of self promotion. I started thinking about this when I watched two actors on Glee (don’t leave! this is not about Glee).. Dijon Talton and Harry Shum. They were both background characters that had maybe 3 lines all of season 1. Now the Glee people are really marketing savvy. They set up each of the kids with a Twitter account and a phone to be able to post with. Lo and behold, we ended up seeing some separation between the two bit players.

Dijon fairly ignored his account… the random tweet about going to this place or that venue and a word or two about random things he was doing. Very much Internet 1.0.  His last line on the show was ironically “… I was just another football player” and by week one of Season 2, we heard that “Matt” had transferred schools.  Not even a goodbye to poor Dijon.

But Harry, ahhhh Harry. He knew a thing or two about self promotion. He used Twitter actively and talked about his role on the show. He talked about his love of dancing and where people could see him perform. He engaged his followers by talking to them directly and grew his followers from a few hundred to tens of thousands. Eventually, the Glee fanbase was well aware of the exploits of “Other Asian” that he was promoted to a series regular in Season 2 with lines in almost every show. Pretty good rise to success from essentially nothing but words on a website.

The other guy who has been really successful with the new self promotion is Peter Hollens. To back up a little, the record business of 2011 is a barely recognizable entity to those in the business even 10 years ago. Gone are the days when Radio was the only path to success… social media and iTunes are the new ways to musical success (a way paved by the illegal file sharing site Napster). It used to be the only way to become a successful musician was to get the attention of a record label, get signed, record an album and then tour, tour, tour. And while this way was well guarded and taken only by the hand chosen golden few… it screened out a lot of good talented musicians who had passion and talent. Today, you still need passion and talent… make no mistake (unless you’re Taylor Swift, then you just need a good song and autotune)(yes I’m still bitter about her Grammy). But today’s successful musician also needs marketing and promotion skills as well as a working knowledge of social media.

That’s where Peter Hollens is doing well. Peter was a featured singer of On The Rocks, an a capella group that competed on NBC’s The Sing Off. They didn’t win but they won many fans with their energetic and high spirited performances. And while many of his fellow choirmates and competitors have faded back into their local communities, Peter has been recording and using places like Facebook and Youtube to get his songs out there. His video of a medley of Rhianna’s What’s My Name and Only Girl is closing on 60,000 views in just over three weeks, probably passing that mark as I write this. How good is this? Well Slate’s research says that only 3% of all videos pass 1,000 views in their first month.  So he’s doing alright.  Add to this a personal website, video teasers, and personal interaction with fans on his Facebook page and you have an an increasingly large launch pad for new song releases.

So obviously I’ve taken a particular take on the phrase “self promotion” and applied it to the entertainment business.  But if it gets the next Coldplay or Matt Damon to get out of the practice room and out on the net sharing their talent… we all win.

Written by arnold

February 10, 2011 at 12:06 am

The end of personal blogs?

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Has Facebook ended the usefulness of personal blogs?

There was a time when I blogged on this site almost daily.  This last lull has been the longest on record for the eight (at least) years this blog has been going.  And you can blame Facebook.

FB’s given everyone the ability to microblog with the inclusion of the status update feature.  It used to be a simple “Arnold is at home” or “Arnold is not happy right now”.  With the removal of the word “is”, FB invited the world to write more… and write they did.  Even today, the top of my feed says “We are the heirs of President Kennedy, who showed us what is possible. Because of his vision, more people prospered, more people served, and our union was made more perfect. Because of that vision, I can stand here as President of the United States.”  This is also joined by “teeth cleaned and polished.”

I’ve also noticed there is a marked attention span difference between visitors of a personal blog and the rapid checking of a FB account.  Imported (also… longer, more thoughtful) blog posts to FB don’t stand a chance next to cat videos, FB check ins (glad to know you’re at the dry cleaners) and weather bragging.

So here I am again.  Let’s do this.

Written by arnold

January 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Posted in Culture, Technology

The one with all the highs and lows

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I just came across this really cool graphic that shows the highest and lowest points on Earth in relation to one another.  Check it out and get ready to scroll down!

Written by arnold

August 26, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Posted in Technology

Porn leads the way

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CNN is running a story on how porn often leads the way in technology.  I don’t know what the story said because I was so distracted by their accompanying graphic.

All I could think about is 1) Is this guy naked in a Starbucks looking at porn? and 2) Why is he using his middle finger to mouse?  To be totally honest, I may have thought about the second point first.

Written by arnold

April 23, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Posted in News items, Technology


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Not only am I winning this game, but I learned how to do iPhone screenshots!  It’s easy.  Hold down the home button and click the sleep button.  The iPhone will blink white and then store your screenshot in the cameral roll. Cool, eh?

Written by arnold

January 11, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Posted in Technology