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Recently posted by jmc

May 18, 2007 - 2:06pm Cambridge Community Television's Project Documentary class brings an exciting sneak peak at a documentary that will be premiering this June about ants. Join us as we learn about ant warfare and agriculture, meet some of the leading myrmecologists in the world, and watch the largest ant species in the Ecuadorian forest. To learn more about our process, read up at read more
May 7, 2007 - 4:00pm Colin Rhinesmith, board member of Cambridge Community Television, runs a blog called "Community Media in Transition" at where he is documenting the ever-evolving nature of community access centers. Colin inadvertently responded to a previous blog post of mine called, YouChoose, Google's Government Access Television. Colin's recent post "Felicia M. Sullivan on “YouTube = Public Access TV?” contains an interview of Organizer's Collaborative Executive Director, Felicia Sullivan, about the legitimacy of YouTube as a replacement for access television. "Well, we have Barnes & Nobles, why do we need the library? There's got to be someone in the community that is advocating for the public." says Felicia. She goes on to discuss the role of public access in the rest of the video, suggesting that there is definitely still a role for access centers in communities. Check out the video on Colin's blog. read more
May 4, 2007 - 5:08pm CCTV has decided to open up the computer lab specifically for youth on Fridays from 3-5pm. The lab will be available for open access to email, the Internet, MySpace and other self-directed stuff. If this time is well attended, we will offer short activities, like updating your MySpace profile image, advanced theme techniques, adding videos, creating audio/video pieces and more. If you are under 18 and looking for a place to hang out on Fridays, look no further than our computer lab time for youth. We look forward to seeing you! For more information, feel free to email jason[at] or MySpace message us at Note: As of 1/11/2011, we no longer offer these hours for youth. Instead this time is dedicated to Web Media Help. read more
April 25, 2007 - 3:28pm As a volunteer for the "New Media Team" for BarackTV, the campaign's official video production team, I was able to shoot some video at Senator Obama's recent appearance at Boston University. Melissa Ward ran audio and helped with camera.  Ari Wartanian was the impromptu host. About halfway through the video, you can catch a hard-won, 20-second interview with the Senator himself. Check out the previous post to find out more about the shoot.  read more
April 22, 2007 - 5:10pm On Friday April 20, I was invited to videotape Senator Barack Obama's speech at Boston University as a volunteer on the "new media" team for BarackTV. This was a chance to catch a glimpse of the Senator close up as he rallies to win the hearts and minds of Americans. Soon I will be posting my video which includes a short (20sec.) interview with Senator Obama as well as some interviews of others. But, first, check out what the nice people, Jessica Slider and Chris Northcross, at BarackTV put together. I was interested in BarackTV because they are doing on a national level what CCTV is trying to do on a local level. If you go to, users are basically given an entire webspace to interact with other supporters through groups, blogs, messages and even a fundraising section. Sound familiar? CCTV's got those things for our members as well. I was particularly interested in how they are able to leverage on-line participation into real world community. Their technique is simple. People sign up. They enter their skills and interests. A user signs up for location-based groups. If the user's location and skills match the need of the campaign, they email you. In my... read more
April 19, 2007 - 1:36pm When I opened up YouTube this morning, I was met by a big smiling John Edwards in a banner promoting the "You Choose" section of the website. YouTube has decided, after success of YouTube's non-partisan "You Choose '08" voter education initiative, to ramp up its involvement in national politics with slick full page "spotlights" on candidates. These spotlights will highlight one candidate per week starting with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney last week. For those involved in community television, these spotlights sound like the on-line version of the candidate forums that dozens, if not hundreds of stations around the United States hold every year. These forums, often highlighting such local races as city councillor or school board, are usually one of the few chances a candidate gets to speak unfiltered on television. The usual media coverage of politics is usually very limited to the soundbites of the six o'clock news. Soundbites are not conducive to creating an informed civic dialogue. Each week in the "spotlight," candidates will produce a video for YouTube and encourage the public to respond. The YouTube community has one week to respond to the candidate with... read more
April 17, 2007 - 4:33pm Intro to: Make Internet TV You've found the ultimate "how to..." of the "How to..." Tutorials blog here with Participatory Culture Foundation's Make Internet TV website. This website covers the basics of how to produce video with the Internet as you main distribution platform in mind. Not only does the interactive site discuss the planning, shooting, editing and distribution phases of the video production process, but there are tips on where to host your video, what to use to encode it, RSS tutorials and more. Learn more about the video production process in our video classes. You can learn more about the Internet stuff in our "Create Your Own Dynamic Website Class" 2 Mondays, April 30 & May 7 6-9pm. Check out MITV: read more
April 13, 2007 - 6:02pm I used to spend hours perfecting the settings in Compressor for Final Cut Pro so the the video looked good, sounded good and was the file wasn't very large. Then I used encode a short version of my video just to see what the settings did to my beautiful, full-quality material. After previewing the result, inevitably I would not be happy and tweak the settings just a little bit. Then, I would need to encode a short section again. Check the quality, tweak, encode and so on. I don't have to do that anymore. Not since I found ViddyUp (formerly known as Podner). For $9.95, I get a no headaches, great looking video ready for iPod Video player, iTunes, and YouTube. No fuss. And if you are a Cambridge Community Television member, you can use our copies in the edit suites. Here is how: Out of iMovie or Final Cut Pro, export a full frame Quicktime Movie. In Final Cut Pro, for a quick export, uncheck the "self-contained" check box. This allows a fast export, but you can't move the file to any other computer because it references the existing media files. Drop the exported Quicktime file into Viddyup's Here are the settings that I like: iPod 320 width x 240 heigth MPEG-4 Quality:... read more
April 12, 2007 - 10:26am Apple just sent out a notice today for those already hooked into the iTunes store about formatting your video so that it looks good on TV. Yes, I wrote on your TV. Apple released a new gizmo a while back that wirelessly connects your computer to your TV. No more balancing your laptop on the top of your TV with RCA and mini plugs dangling out everywhere. Apple TV is small set top box that grabs all your media from you computer and allows you to play it on your TV. That is, for about 300 bucks. Here is the breakdown from Apple: Recommendations for Formatting Video Podcasts If you're encoding your video podcast at 320x240, please increase the resolution to either 640x480 or 640x360 (depending on the aspect ratio of your source files). Why? Because video podcasts at this resolution look great on Apple TV and still port to video iPods. Lower resolution podcasts might also work on both platforms, but they don't look nearly as good on a widescreen TV. As always, make sure to test any encoding changes you make to ensure device compatibility. QuickTime 7.1's "Export to iPod" function will ensure that a video file is encoded at a width of 640 and is iPod-compatible. It's best not to create... read more
April 10, 2007 - 11:51am We kicked off the second installment of our Project Documentary class last night with wonderful presentation on ants and myrmecology, the study of ants by CCTV intern and ant scientist Amy Mertl. Little did we know that ants were so important to ecosystem. Nor did we know that ants have extremely complex societies that in many cases are more specialized than human societies. Also, did you know most ants a person encounters are female? Our second Project Documentary topic is, as you must have inferred by now, ants. Cambridge and Boston are great places to make a film about ants due to the number of great local scientists and ant collections at the area universities and musuems. The video is will be an interesting look at some of the best myrmecology in the world. We'll be posting video rough cuts, sample b-roll, thoughts and more on our collaborative group blog at If you are interested in following along, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or just watch CCTV's homepage for the highlights. If you have any questions or would like to know more about the video, please contact jason[at] Also, if you would like to take a look at the... read more