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Recently posted by jmc

July 20, 2007 - 4:11pm The Benton Foundation in collaboration with UMass Boston's Community Media and Technology (CMT) program wrote a scan (scan in this sense, I am guessing, means "examine closely") of the state of Community Media in the United States. The compendium traces the history of community media, including radio, television and the internet, starting at its innovative beginnings in the 1940's at Pacifica Radio in San Francisco. From there we follow the authors, Fred Johnson of the CMT program and Karen Menichelli of the Benton Foundation, as they walk us through the dawn of cable television and public, educational and government television right on into the current hype surrounding on-line participatory community media. The report is a timely summary of the state of community media considering the current raging legislative and regulatory battles surrounding community television and radio going at the state and federal level - not too mention the huge paradigm shifts in media production and consumption. CCTV is highlighted in the "Community Spotlight" chapter where the authors speak kindly of the station. "CCTV takes digital media convergence seriously, understanding that media production... read more
July 14, 2007 - 12:53pm This installment of ZIP DOCS profiles David Fichter, the painter responsible for the incredibly large and wonderful mural on the side of the current Harvest grocery store on Mass Ave in Central Square. read more
July 3, 2007 - 1:01pm Click To Play Shot in a hospital in Kangding China. read more
June 28, 2007 - 2:49pm "Ant People" is an 18-minute documentary about the quirky experts who study ants and the parallels between our society and theirs. Ants, the world most prevalent insect, the weight of all of which outnumbers that of all non-human mammals, attract the intense interest of people from all walks of life. The cast of characters includes hip myrmecologist artist Corrie Moreau, a Harvard University doctoral student who has been covering herself in biolgical and self-designed ant imagery since age 18; Stephan Cover, an enthusiastic pacifist who has been curator of the worlds largest ant collection for twenty years; Kari Ryder-Wilkie, a giddy Asian t-shirt designer who has spent the last 7 years studying the hundreds of ants she collected in the Tiputini Myrmecology Station in Ecquador; Mario Muscedre, ant brain specialist and BU doctoral candidate and others - you'll have to watch it to find out more! read more
June 28, 2007 - 11:45am Click To Play Shot in an orphanage in Jiuzhaigou China. This is the second installment of the Children's Healing Initiative project. read more
June 27, 2007 - 11:50am ANTS Documentary Screening Thursday, June 28 Reception starts at 7pm Run Time: 15 minutes In a dark edit suite, Project Documentary class participants are now putting final touches on the documentary with the working title “Ants.” See ant warfare. Watch as soldier ants fight in mandible-to-mandible combat until the death to maintain the hegemony of their respective colonies. Learn from prominent myrmecologists. See how ants started farming years before humans. All this and more at Project Documentary’s “Ants” screening this Thursday at 7pm in CCTV's studio space. Refreshments will be provided. read more
June 8, 2007 - 4:15pm On June 9th, 2007, I will be flying to Chengdu on behalf of Handreach's special project, The Children's Healing Initiative, to begin a short video that will hopefully spur the development of a telemedicine program in China. I will be attempting to upload short videos about the trip as I go. Stay tuned for posts regarding this exciting technology and health care project. The majority of the work will take place in Chengdu, China. After about a week in this city of 11 million people, I'll head to Kangding and the Jiuzhaigou Valley. CHENGDU 10 June 2007 - fly to Chengdu:Chengdu in WikipediaChengdu Flickr stream Here I'll be looking at the HuaXi Hospital located in the capital of the Sichuan province in the heart of western China. I'll be in Chengdu for a little less than a week. KANGDING Approx. June 15 we take a bus to KangdingKangding in WikipediaKangding Flickr stream I will then head to Kangding to take a look at the Tibetan clinic there and examine its viability as a triage center. "Kangding, the 'end' of the so-called Chinese world and the beginning of the Kham-province," which is mainly populated by Tibetan people. This area has only been recently opened (since 1999) for... read more
May 24, 2007 - 2:37pm Videos are starting to trickle in for and we've got the latest installment. You'll find this video in chapter 2.4, Composition & Motion. Here's Eric Beck discusses the importance of shot variation in a video, especially during a long monologue. Thanks MakeInternetTV! Watch the video and go read the chapter yourself: click here. Make Internet TV: Shot Variation read more
May 23, 2007 - 5:02pm YouTube has been a blessing and a curse for community television stations. Repeatedly, community TV workers like me hear the founders of YouTube claim they are bringing media distribution to the masses and creating a dialogue between citizens - whether the dialogue is civic, civil or sane is up to the viewer to decide. This is community TV's mandate and YouTube is a for profit entity. How could they have such ideal notions in their work such as democratizing media? The world was cozier when there was just analog channels moving in waves across coax. Let the debate rage on. In the meantime, watch the videos. Congressman Markey shows his support for media distribution on the Internet and reminds us that technological change is swift. From YouTube: "First ever YouTube video of a congressional hearing from the Chairman's point of view. Filmed by Congressman Ed Markey, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecom and the Internet, during a hearing on the Future of Video. YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley testified at this hearing." Congressman Ed Markey posts a Youtube post from the chairman's podium at the Telecom Subcommittee meeting. Congressman Ed Markey then... read more
May 23, 2007 - 4:22pm We've been slacking in the "How to..." tutorials department. What have we been doing? We've been cruising the Internet, of course. What else is there to do? This is the kicker. I have been working on creating tutorials for everyone to use. Then I found the "freevlog" blog and there are 12 glistening tutorials made by the fantastic Ryanne Hodson and Michael Verdi at Free Vlog ( If anyone remembers, Ryanne came to Boston last summer to be the official videoblogger of the ACM conference. Make a Screenshot for PC and Mac Make a screenshot on a Mac: Make a screenshot on a PC: Thanks to Ryanne and Michael at! read more
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 - 1:03pm Co-presented with the Alliance for Justice in the Middle East (AJME), Harvard University Where: Harvard University -- Center for Government and International Studies, Knafel Building, 1737 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA What: Four teenage photographers from the Balata refugee camp are touring the US, showing their work and speaking about their lives. Includes a photography exhibit from the Picture Balata workshop. Presentation at Bowie-Vernon Room (N262) Photo exhibit, musical performance, and reception at Fisher Family Commons, First Floor Entry: FREE- Donations encouraged Picture Balata : : read more