Monday, March 29, 2010

Video Editing

As the semester progresses and one project turns into another, it has become helpful to find websites that are user-friendly for these projects. Our latest project, a web video highlighting the 125th Anniversary of St. Edward's, requires shooting video and then editing it down to a three minute video. Previous to this project I had become familiar with Final Cut Pro and iMovie, however since my Macbook was stolen in October, editing footage would be difficult on my PC. Sure the computer labs on campus have both programs, but as a senior down the home stretch of my last semester trying to juggle school, an internship, and work, the last thing I want to do is spend several hours in a computer lab. Fortunately for me my professor provided a list of cloud applications that would allow us to edit footage regardless of the type of computer we were working on. The site that seems to be the most helpful for this project is JayCut. JayCut's layout is somewhere between iMovie and Final Cut Pro. The site allows users to upload, edit, and share video footage anywhere in the world. Check back next week for the final product.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Get Snookied

After reading about memes that have generated negative publicity for corporations, I decided to check out what kind of memes are currently circulating the internet. Thanks to the greatness of Google, I was able to locate a website that documents memes and other interesting phenomena that has popped up on the internet relatively quickly. While browsing through the site, I stumbled across SnookieShop. According to Know Your Meme

"Snookieshop is a single topic blog featuring a series of photoshopped exploitables based on a cutout image of Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, a cast member from MTV's reality series Jersey Shore. In the span of two weeks in February 2010, the Snookieshop phenomenon has spawned nearly 1000 user-contributed images, all of which have been self-archieved by the blog."

Jersey Shore has become a guilty pleasure of mine, so of course I had to check out Snookieshop. After spending close to 30 minutes on the blog, I was able to come across numerous images that literally made me laugh out loud. If you need to kill some time I highly recommend you check out the blog or create your own Snookieshop photo.

The dirty secret about the iPod that's no longer a secret

In Citizen Marketers the authors discuss the success of memes and how they have helped get people's frustrations out into cyber space. McConnell and Huba define a meme as. "a cultural transmitter that distinguishes an idea from the billions of others that float in the primordial soup of daily human existence." A better definition is given by Richard Dawkins, the creater of the term, "Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperms or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process, which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation." The book discusses Apple's "iPod's Dirty Secret" which grew after Apple told Casey Neistat that it would cost him $255 plus a mail-in fee to replace the battery on his 18-month old ipod.

I remember this story from when it first broke in 2002. I was begging my mother for an ipod for Christmas, however she refused to spend that kind of money on a gadget that may not last longer than a year-and-a-half. Surprisingly it's a fond memory of my middle-school years. We were walking my dog around the neighborhood and I remember telling her I wanted an ipod so that I could listen to music while walking the dog or riding the bus to school without having to transport a cd player around with. She firmly told me no because she had read a story in the Washington Post about how ipod's were just expensive gadgets that became garbage after the battery died. After pouting to my father about how my mother refused to buy me the latest must have, he finally bought me an mp3 player. Unfortunately for me it was a Nike mp3 player that only held 30 songs at a time.

Since then, I have gone through three ipods (and will be purchasing my fourth in the next two weeks) because of battery related problems/ screen cracking. All three of my ipods have obtained cracked screens that slowly spread to where I am unable to view what songs I am listening to. Has anyone else had problems with their ipod's breaking on them and then getting suckered in to buying a new one?

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Roy Mac and James Show

In this episode of the Roy Mac and James show we interview Mike Sullivan, a key figure to the success of the St. Edward’s Theatre Program. Sullivan explains how he ended up on the Hilltop, the opening of Mary Moody Northen Theatre, and gives advice to aspiring performers.

With the Theater Arts program being as popular as it is at St. Edward's University, we decided to take a closer look as to how it all began.


While most students were busy working on their tans and taking inebriated pictures to post on Facebook during Spring Break, I was too busy dealing with a reality shock. What seemed like it would never come, is now around the corner... yes I'm talking about graduation.

Though I was able to enjoy a weekend get away that resulted in me getting engaged and a possible post graduation job with the Dallas Mavericks, I spent my spring break job hunting and updating my website. My first step actually occurred right before spring break. I made an appointment with Career Services on campus to update my resume. Prior to my appointment I was under the impression that my resume was fairly decent, however that was not the exact case. After my hour long meeting my resume was well laid out so that it would be appealing to the reader and would stand out over my peers' resumes.

I was also able to update my website, in hopes of helping land a job. Unfortunately my website is still in the works. I am still without a heads shot and without an online portfolio. I was able to add a contact box, which I found online for free. The addition of the contact box makes my website look more professional. It is also more user friendly than having to cut and past my email address in to an email.

Another step in the right direction was cleaning up my Facebook account. The encouragement came from Gayle Howard, a master resume writer and personal branding strategist. After spending 30 minutes cleaning up my Facebook I untagged over 75 pictures that I would not want future employers to see.

For those who are graduating in May and are job hunting, I suggest you follow these experts on twitter.

 They offer free advice and are very tweet happy.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Roy Mac and James Show

In this episode of the Roy Mac and James show we interview Mike Sullivan, a key figure to the success of the St. Edward’s Theatre Arts Program. Sullivan explains how he ended up on the Hilltop, the opening of Mary Moody Northen Theatre, and gives advice to aspiring performers.

This year St. Edward's University is celebrating their 125 anniversary, and in honor of the celebration, the show decided to dedicate an episode to the Theatre Program.

A run down of the show:
:20 Background Information
1:00 Beginning of Mike Sullivans interview
1:40 How Sullivan ended up on the Hilltop
3:00 Who helped start the theatre program
3:45 Arena theatre experience
4:35 First show at St. Edward's featuring William Shatner
6:00 Favorite shows on campus
7:15 Challenges with the shows
9:00 Closing of the show

Saturday, March 6, 2010

April 3, 2010... A Day to Avoid Shopping Centers Containing an Apple Store

For those who are counting down the days until it's release (28 if you cared) the news from Apple on Friday helped kick off their weekend on a high note. Antsy buyers will be able to pre-order the 9.7-inch gadget next Friday (March 12). Prices start at $499 for a 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad and go up to $820 for a 64 GB Wi-Fi +3G iPad. Lets not forget to add the $29.99 (plus taxes) monthly plan for 3G coverage from AT&T.

Though the commercials make the iPad look like a necessity, in all honesty a lot of people could get away without purchasing one. The commercial claims that the iPad provides "the best web surfing experience, the best email experience, the best photo and movie watching experience. It's going to change the way we do things every day." I highly doubt any of this is true. Sure with its sleek design it looks as hot as Gerard Butler surrendering in Law Abiding Citizen, but what are the chances that it provides the best experiences? People who are unfamiliar with touch screens will have to get used to it in order to email others. How time consuming and frustrating for those who are not used to a touch screen.

As a Mac owner I understand the amazingness of the company, but do you really need to carry around an iPhone to make calls, a macbook to get work done, an iPod for your tunes, and now an iPad for the best experience possible? Anyone remember what a pain the first generation iPods were, or how many problems the first generation iPhones had? Over the years Apple has made tremendous changes to the iPod, making them cheaper, more user friendly, and easier to carry around.

So next Friday I will be doing more important things (like starting my last college spring break) while all the techies are pre-ordering their iPads from the Apple website. I will make a note about the iPad release on April 3, but only so that I remember to avoid the Domain on that day so that I can avoid the crowds. For those who are interested in purchasing an iPad I ask that you please be patient and at least wait a few months before making the big purchase. As with all of their products, the iPad price tag will likely go down shortly after its big release. Wouldn't you feel better about your safe saving a little extra cash?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Popular Videos on YouTube Often One hit wonders

In Fang Wu and Bernardo Huberman's A Persistence Paradox YouTube is analyzed to see if individual who upload videos on a regular basis gain more views than people who upload videos sparingly. Users who produced videos more frequently produced a better quality over time, but they did not always gain more views for their hard work. It's not a shock to me because it seems as if all the popular videos are one hit wonders on the video sharing website. Top videos on the site include Charlie bit my finger-again!, Evolution of Dance, and Achmed the Dead Terrorist.

With the exception of artists who have uploaded multiple music videos, I don't see anyone gaining popularity as their series of videos continues. Lady Gaga for example became popular almost over night and is constantly releasing hit singles, often only a few weeks after the hit before. As a result of her popularity, her fans tune in to check out her latest video as well as previous videos that they enjoy. Beyonce is also an example of an artist gaining additional views as more videos are posted. One of her most popular videos Single Ladies came several videos after her first solo hit Work It.

With over 100 million views a day users are constantly trying to out do each other in hopes of gaining the most views. Unfortunately for the young Beyonce fan that has just learned the Single Ladies dance, few strangers will watch her video because hers is just another in a stack of hundreds. That stack lists the most popular (often the first ones made) first and then descends down to the least popular. Keep trying little girl... maybe one day your dream of having one of the most viewed videos on YouTube will happen after you learn some other cool dance.