What Would You Recommend for an NPR Newbie?

Over the weekend, I attended Public Media Camp and really learned about all the things that public media groups like NPR and PBS offer.¬† For whatever reason, despite the fact that I have a lot of friends that are die-hard NPR fan,¬† it’s really never anything that I got into.

I’ve dabbled with “This American Life” but that’s it.

So… what shows would you recommend to a NPR newbie?

Love The Amazon Kindle But It’s Not Good at Sharing

So… about a month ago I bought the Amazon Kindle 2.¬† Its their e-book reader, which they’ve been touting on their home page for what seems like the last year or so.

Well, I love it.¬† I have about an hour commute to work everyday and I will use my Kindle to read the day’s Washington Post (just canceled my subscription to the dead tree edition today) or a book.¬† The best part is, when you’re on the subway, you can read the newspaper with one hand, while using the other hand to clutch a pole or rail if need be.

The only thing I don’t like about the Kindle is that it’s not good at sharing.¬† (Remember when your mother would tell you that you needed to share that toy with your sibling?)¬† Well the Kindle just can’t.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m currently about half way through Tara Hunt’s book The Whuffie Factor and it’s great.¬† I’m really enjoying the book.¬† I’m enjoying the book so much that I have recommended it to a few friends.

Naturally, my friend asked me “Can I borrow your copy?”¬† I’m like… oh crap.¬† The book is on my Kindle.¬† There is nothing that i can give my friend.¬† I can’t get the e-book off my Kindle. I’m not giving her my Kindle so that I she could read the book.

Do I love the book enough that I’ll buy a physical copy that I can use to loan to friends?¬† Maybe.¬† I don’t feel like I should have to though.

I have had a similar experience when I’ve found a cool article in the Kindle edition of the Washington Post that I’ve wanted to share.¬† What do I do?¬† I can’t send them the article through the Kindle, even though the device does have an Internet connection.¬†¬†¬† I’d have to go to the Web, find the article, and send that URL.¬† That’s a pain.¬† I usually just end up forgetting about it.

The lesson is that a good chunk of media consumption is no longer done in private.¬† It’s done within a community or a network of people who want to share that content amongst themselves.¬†¬† New devices that are created should take this into consideration.¬† Creating these great experiences that have these monsterous walls that prevent the content from getting out doesn’t work any more.

The Future of Funding & Marketing Documentary Films

So… tonight I went to go see Slumdog Millionaire with a friend of mine who’s a documentary film student and a bunch of her friends, some of whom are also film students. (I’ll write more about the movie in another post.) Afterwards, we all went to a restaurant and chatted.

We got into a discussion of their thesis film projects and how they weren’t sure how they were going to raise the money they needed to fund the projects.

This got me thinking. The notion that a documentary filmmaker would go to some rich dude and beg him to write a big check seems so antiquated.

We need a Kiva-like organization for indy/documentary filmmakers.

Where are the filmmakers who are coalescing a community of people around their ideas? Seems like those are the people that could have their community members each pitch in $5… $20… even $100. I wonder how many individual donations you’d need to match that of one big donor.

If at the fundraising part of the process, you’re already starting to build up a grassroots organization around the film, when it comes time to screen the film are you more likely to sell dvds or tickets to the screening and thus move yourself closer to profitability.

Lots of documentary films seem to be advocating a certain message or stance on an issue. They’d lend themselves naturally to a community coming together.

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Getting the Movie Out There

So today I went with a bunch of friends to a screening of the movie Crossing (trailer above).  It told the story of a family that lived in North Korea, the hardships, and how people try however they can to flea.  It was an excellent movie.

As I was walking out, I thought to myself that I should buy it. ¬†When I get out to the table where they were, it was already sold out. ¬†This was definitely a bummer. ¬†It’s something I’d definitely want to show to friends and family.

The movie was small enough that it’s not the kind of movie that you can buy on Amazon or reserve on Netflix but it was good and you really need to see it.

When you set the bar at having to pay or having to have a physical copy of something before they can enjoy the content, I think you risk not getting your content out there at all. ¬†There are so many great movies out there that didn’t have the massive distribution deals and ended up fading into obscurity.

You could do things like sell the physical DVD but allow people to watch it online for free. ¬†The people that watch it online and like it are the folks that are going to buy the DVD and tell then show it to their friends.¬† Make sure you ¬†allow people to make donations to your cause, if they like what you’re doing.

Library of Congress Launches National Book Festival Author Interview Podcasts on iTunes

Screenshot of the Library of Congress National Book Festival Podcast in iTunes

I’m really really pumped about this announcement.¬† It’s been in the works for a LONG time.¬†¬† I remember when I was there and we were just starting to talk about this…

The Library of Congress National Book Festival author interview podcasts are now available for subscription and download on iTunes.  You can get both the 2008 and the 2007 interviews.

The Library frequently holds events and interacts with some of the smartest literary and academic minds in the world.  They will typically make recordings of these interactions and make them available via their Web site.

It’s SO exciting that the Library is now getting this media in a form that will be even more accessible and useful to Congress and the American people.

Please download these podcasts.¬† They’re REALLY cool.

As I think the Library of Congress and the government as a whole is learning, anyone that wants to be able to publish content on the Web needs to start thinking more about how they’re going to distribute their content all over the Web and not just how it’s going to be found on their Web site.

Just Added “Wine Library Reserve” to My Apple iTunes Podcast List

When my boy Gary V. and Wine Library TV joined the Revision 3 show line up, we all got a bit of a surprise gift.  It is the delivery of Wine Library Reserve.

Wine Library Reserve is a 5 minute summary of two of the shows that Gary does every week.

Gary currently does a show every day and they tend to last 20 to 30 minutes.¬† I’ve been quite busy lately so these have become hard to stay up with and consume.

I’ve really enjoyed Wine Library Reserve and have added it to my Apple iTunes podcast list.

If you’ve hesitated to get into Wine Library TV before because it’s felt like a fire house, check this out.¬† If you do subscribe, what do you think?

Screening of the Documentary “As We Forgive” Next Thursday in Washington DC

Over the last few years my friend Laura Waters Hinson has been working on a what I’m sure she’d know consider a labor of love.¬† It’s her documentary As We Forgive.

The documentary is about reconciliation that happens in Rwanda after the 1990 genocide.  You really need to see this film.

This next Thursday at 6:45pm at there will be a screening of As We Forgive at Ebenezers Coffee House on Capitol Hill.

You need to go see this.  Check out the trailer. Go see it next week.

Will I get rid of my cable television in 2008?

eMarketer recently released an interesting report on online video consumption:

eMarketer projects that nearly 80% of US Internet users will watch online video at least once a month in 2008. A great indicator that online video has hit a mainstream audience is that 52.5% of all Americans or 154 million people will watch online video in 2008.

With online video hitting more of a mainstream audience, will 2008 be the year that I can give up cable television for good?  I did a brief stint without it in 2007.

Miss the Oscars? Watch the Oscars in 60 Seconds from Mahalo Daily.

Last night, I was flying from Michigan back to Washington DC and didn’t get home till around 11:30pm.¬† I completely missed the Oscars.¬† I was kind of bummed¬† It’s a show that I usually like to watch every year.

Well no worries.¬† The cool kids over at Mahalo Daily did a video synopsis… “The Oscars in 60 seconds.” It’s pretty good.¬† Check it out.

I don’t feel as bad about missing the show now.