Posted by Sean on Oct 16, 2007.

click to enlarge

Central to Porter: Cyclist's Perspective

Take a look at this cyclist's perspective navigating the road trip between Central Square in Cambridge and Porter Square in Somerville. The route goes north Mass Ave and Fayette St, west on Line Street, North again on Beacon and ending just west again off Somerville avenue. Along the way, take a look at Cambridge's controversial bike lanes, the dangerous pot holes on the city limit, and the road construction that cyclists brave each day going to and from work. This video was produced with a cheap cell phone. Also, the point on the map represents the midway point in the commute.

Comments

wow, I am really, really hoping that Cambridge Kid's comment didn't really get deleted.....really really hoping that it reappears...

do love this thread - Margaret, great job. Wonder of the Cambridge Bicycle Committee (I think that's what they're called) knows about all of this great research that you've done

keep up the good work!!

Susan-

Thanks for your response. I'm rather surprised you saw my comment at all, since both of them got deleted very quickly. I confess my first comment was a bit acerbic in expressing my opinion that posting a (nearly) 4 minute video that is mostly just someone's face talking is a waste of bandwidth (and my time) and that I felt "bait and switched" in that I expected something visual and just got a face with a monologue.

It's not that I thought the bike video was evil, it just seemed like a poor use of the medium, using video to mostly show non-visual message (i.e., just someone's face talking). My comment was promptly deleted.

....which, I confess, was actually more irritating than the initial video. So, my second comment expressed surprise that the first one had been deleted and offered the opinion that the site is not looking for any views that don't match those of the people posting. That posting was also promptly deleted. However, I did get the following message from sean@cctvcambridge.org, which said:

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Yes, I deleted your comment about bait and switch and waste of bandwidth. I'm sorry you didn't like the video but we're hoping for comments about the issues presented in the videos and blogs rather than attacks on their entire effort. If you want to discuss bike safety and the quality of the streets then please do, we welcome that.
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I am sorry he felt that I was attacking the "entire effort". In fact, my very first comment was praising the blog on safety rules when riding bicycles in Cambridge and, I can't help but observe, that my positive comment has not been deleted.

Overall, I think the Neighborhood Media thing is an interesting idea. I just specifically thought that a video mostly showing a person talking was a poor use of video as a medium and it had not occurred to me that critical comments would be censured. It does make me wonder how many other postings have been deleted.

Thank you for writing. I hope this comment remains posted long enough for you to read it. It's true that probably should have taken more time to better word my first comment (my mistake), but I will probably not bother to post again.

ck

CK, I think we are just being very careful that neighbormedia not turn into some anonymous spamming site, where people can just trash others work and not have to show their faces (I'm thinking about the Cambridge Chronicle's Speak Out column here). But the other thing is that the stuff that will come out of neighbormedia, or really, anything from CCTV, could be called garbage by some and a gem by others. I guess we are trying to elevate the conversation, and make sure that comments don't get personal and off subject. But you are proving to be a thoughful participant, and I welcome you aboard!

Susan-

Thanks for your response. Am I to understand from your "we" statement that you are part of the neighbormedia team? It is certainly true that the same piece could be garbage or gem, depending on your point of view.

However, I was not trying to "get personal". At no point did I accuse the poster of being an idiot, question their parental lineage, or anything of the sort.

However, in the spirit of "elevating the conversation" I am a bit surprised that it is considered "off subject" to comment on the way media is used. This kind of meta-conversation is typical on places like the Wikipedia (e.g., "this info needs a reference") and seemed relevant here.

However, as neither you nor Sean have responded to my actual point that it was, in my opinion, not the best time to use video, I see that this is not the type of conversation that happens here, so my point is moot.

I had thought it would be helpful to get user feedback identifying pieces we liked (which I did) what pieces we didn't like (which I also did). I was new here and I clearly did not understand the policy of the site. However, I understand now that these comments are considered "off subject" and so I apologize for that and I will not waste your (and other reader's) time further. Thanks for again taking the time to respond.

ck

nah, you're right, it is appropriate to be talking about form and content here, absolutely. I would have to say that I think it was a good piece for the article, but we are allowed to disagree. We (when I say we, I am a part of CCTV, not specifically neighbormedia) were trying out a little experiment with cell phone video, because we are planning a cell phone video festival. So, this was a demo project that seemed to fit in with Margaret's post quite well. and since neighbormedia is about hyperlocal content, not intended to be slick or in any way vapid like most broadcast media, I think this is an excellent demo piece. again, you can disagree and this is the right place to have the discussion.

do you produce any media? we'd love to get it on the site, too.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Hello all..... tuning in from Canada !

I find your NEIGHBORMEDIA MAP very interesting and do love the idea of being able to simply Click on the options offered up on that MAP...

I personally am a Mapping enthusiast and being part of the Regional Arts Council in this area , I've pushed for a Project called CULTURE MAPPING and along with this am involved in COMMUNITY TELEVISION /COMMUNICATIONS GROUP called TRI-CITIES COMMUNITY TELEVISION SOCIETY ...

So you can imagine that your site and all of the experimental nature of engaging citizens is of interest to me...

What technological insight could you give in in how you were able to build this site overall..?

Sean's experimental reporting is also of interest , as our
" COMMUNICATIONS / PRODUCTION GROUP " has had many recurring discussions on the look and feel of content vs the fascinating
challenge to have the public or whoever contribute in the STORY TELLING ; that is critical to effectively involving the greater Public to participate within any given Medium , without feeling that they will be turned away; versus the viewing audiences
very own preferences and viewing habits that have made them
susceptible to Experimental Pieces , such as Sean's seems to have created...

All in all , an interesting 'happen chance'viewing on my part as I was googling the COMMUNITY TELEVISION landscape and mindscape..,.