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Wednesday, May 05, 2004

gone underground 

I'm not a public journaller I've realised. BUT, I have been keeping a private blog. Is that still a blog.
PLUS a Word document which automatically puts my html links in without the hassle of typing it out.
Back some time...

Thursday, April 15, 2004

the philosophers 

Socrates vs Aristotle – that woman who gave the lecture (Boyer lecture? BBC?) about one philosopher who spoke & never wrote, the other who wrote. The tension between recording and NOT recording; who is wiser – the one who records or the one who does not?

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Nastiness – must touch on these darker sides in my film too. There’s so much out there that’s horrible, but like the rest of the world, it’s full of everything – good, bad AND ugly.

community or not? 

Had a chat to Leu over lunch. Wow – what a veteran blogger!

So people branch off, eh? When you’re “more mature” and have gotten off your chest what you need to, you end up writing less – so says Leu. Leu now stays in touch with her music friends (esp. in Sydney etc) through the mono.net site and it’s more about just STUFF that’s going on in their lives – music or non-music-related. Excellent. I like this idea of ‘growing up’ beyond the ‘need to blog’ as if it’s an age or maturity (or self-publicity) thing. Also, the idea that she’s found this blog space that’s a cross-between a chat-room, individual emails and webpages. This is great – sort of a diary-as-open-scratchpad type blogging. Whereas mine is still very much a philosophical-rambling-don’t-care-who’s-out-there kind of blog, I’m very attracted to this idea of blogging as community-building. Yet that sounds like more work, more absorbing, time-consuming, relationships to commit to, etc etc. Ooo. Quite telling of me perhaps. I like my little space and what I’m creating. It’s getting comfy here.

Blogging is a many-faceted diamond!

As for the fire metaphor again – my blog is like me having gone over to a quiet corner of a field to start a little fire in my very organised, yet wandering way. I want to explore further the wild fields beyond – there’s some crazy stuff going on out there & I feel I’m just tinkering away at my own little embers. Be brave Theo!
(only wankers refer to themselves in the third person!)

Leu's magical blog tour 

Spoke to Leu today. Here's her take on blogging (along with her introductory tips on these sites):
www.mono.net
Look at the discussion board. Half of Melbourne is on it talking about music and what’s generally going on in Melbourne. It’s good because friends that are overseas can keep up to date with the latest for when they return.
Me…
I got lost following all the threads. Read about some poor guy who got mugged – it included pics of his cut leg & everyone was logging on with sympathy & sugestions. What I love about this host is it feels so urgent – the discussion lists are annotated with how many minutes old the postings are – wow! Some were only minutes, many were SECONDS old. It’s the closest thing to chat site I’ve come across without actually being chat.

www.friendster.com
A dating site that is really just a place where people connect their friends and show off how many they have. You can post pics and send messages, but you can only do this if you are "connected" to them, that is if your friend is their friend, etc. Famous people are on here too!
Me…
Suggested an older audience with comments about “how it’s great that married people are on here too.”

www.livejournal.com
My hoast for my blog, although its not easy to find posts if you dont know an exact address to begin with.
Me…
All looks very exclusive. This is the one that another friend of mine talked to me about. I got the impression that you had to physically know someone to get on it. Leu tells me that it used to be MORE exclusive than it is now, but since friendster started up, they lost a lot of people & decided to open it up a bit. There are now still many of layers of privacy (or “hiddeness”) about the postings on it – which aint such a bad thing I think.

www.diaryland.com
My (Leu’s) first encounter with blogging years ago. It’s full of young kids, but gives you an idea about communities and how people use it to forward ideas, distribute art, etc. This site is also easier to read peoples blogs, just by browsing recently updated blogs in the "browse the members' box.
Me…
It does sound like a younger audience – for whatever that’s worth. Everyone’s into Metallica & it was funny to see such a brightly coloured, happy site have links to people with such dark & heavy blogs and issues on their minds. From this I wondered: what’s a diary ring? (Leu says it’s just a way of linking from one blog to another). This idea of showing off you ‘fans’ (or ‘friends’) came home to me on this one. I was more & more intrigued with the competitive nature of blogging with this more communal style of blogging I found here. Some had 1 or 2 ‘fans’ – others had 100s – it must get to be a real social status thing (no doubt leading to ‘how can I attract more fans’ kinds of personal questions & doubts). ALSO, everyone was using false names. More pronounced here than anywhere else. It seems there’s the full spectrum – from people who openly & honestly identify themselves & their honest thoughts, right through to people who remain completely aloof.
Again – media reflecting life I guess.

Hey thanks Leu – great tips.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

music, history & fire (again) 

Music is so emotive – must move to this next. That’s what “blogumentary” was missing – a good soundtrack, just a very ordinary drum track. I think I’ll steer away from drums, strangely enough. Journalling is so much more an expression of fluid thoughts – it’s a piano thing. Listening to Chopin as I write – romantic music (Op23 & 38) – great stuff. Naji put me onto this for my birthday present last year – a musical history study & I’m slowly, ever so slowly working my way through it.

There must be some history in my doco. So much of what we see visually these days has no links to the past. Surely that’s a necessary part of any artistic work that resonates with our humanity – that it carries with it the seeds of some former time and place. This is that part of any creative language (as film is) that goes on and changes little over time. I like that – linking to the past through music as a way of saying ‘blogs aren’t new’ without sounding completely boring and ‘wet-blanket’ about it all.

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About the fire metaphor thing. I’ve been stressing about how I can shoot that on no budget – I want all sorts of different fires. Now I have a possible solution: Maybe this can be my dogma – I’ll use whatever I can of a small fire (containable in a BBQ or like) to give the impression of larger and different types of other fires with still images, glow effects or whatever stylistic things fits with the rest of the work.

wiff of competition 

Did a search on google and came across these:
http://www.blogumentary.org
A PBS guy doing it (in his spare time?) – good solid doco in the traditional sense.

http://www.choiresicha.com/umentarymov.html
A more interesting take in terms of style, less comprehensive than the other though.

It was bound to happen – only a matter of time before it did. Mild depression, now I’m over it. If everyone in the world made a doco about blogging it’d be different. Well, I don’t entirely believe that but the principle’s right. Anyway, from the 2 trailers I’ve seen,
mine will be very different.
Do I dare search in case I find one more like mine? I feel so insulated. Leu gave me some tips on blogging & good sites she’s onto. I’ll check them out next.

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Funny – I was feeling so open & generous about my thoughts for the development of this film; SUDDENLY I’m feeling really tight-fisted. I don’t want anyone to get word of what I’m doing, keep it all to myself so no one copies it.

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It’s alright I’ve calmed down about it all now. Open it up. I’m all for ‘open-source’. It’s easy to be all noble about this when there’s nothing at stake for me. I have a money-paying job. I’m such a snoot.

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http://www.girlwonder.com
How did I get onto this? Just flicking through my history tool (on Internet Explorer) and found this again for Wednesday. Dunno what’s going on there. See – blogging is actually an advanced tool to keeping track of everywhere I’ve been on the internet – like a kind of an electronic snail trail.

http://metatalk.metafilter.com/mefi/3285
Same issue – I think I was reading links to the blogumentary site and came across all these. No time to read them all, just a gist of who was linking into this thing & some of the issues around it all. Oh, this one was interesting though, ‘cos “Matt” is getting hit with lawsuits or something & someone suggested they chip in to help out.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

sounds like a blogger down the corridor 

Must play with sounds next – music. That’s the thing I’m having most trouble imagining at the moment. Soundtrack great for playing on, use that one.

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Hey, I found out just now that one of my colleagues (Leu) here at work is a regular blogger. Cool! Must chat to her about it. I wonder what Leu writes…
I wonder if she’ll let me know what here site is? Oooo – crossing into strange territory here. My guess is she won’t talk about it. But I’ll see.

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Sent Leu an email, see what she says.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

more looks 

Why not have moving images scrolling (might give the feel of a surveillance camera though – is that the feel I’m after? Not really, but try it anyway). How would I get video footage of resolution high enough to expand it in this way? 2 options I guess – enlarge footage just a bit (or maybe even a lot – the pixelation might not be so out of keeping anyway); the other option would be to shrink the window of the moving image and have the image enlarged – might give the feel of just being a cropped image (which of course it simply is – UNLESS it shows full frame in the window, then cuts to enlarged portion of same shot in same window).

Must try these things.

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OK, OK. Could really mess around with the metaphor & ‘real content’ elements. Start with the fire being in the background and pictures being described scrolling up… then (perhaps much later) have a still of fire scrolling up and later again have moving footage of fire scrolling up. Yes, I like it. Play around with these elements – reflects the self-referencing nature of the web. Blogs talk about ideas, objects AND blog themselves. Nice.

Friday, April 09, 2004

the web-look 

OK, woke up early this morning consciously thinking about how I could display images in the blog film – show them like you see images on a web-browser… copy that vertical jerky motion you get when you scroll down a blog that has images in it. I tried it today & it really seems to work (filmed the computer screen while I scrolled down a webpage, and matched the moves using keyframes in Final Cut Pro). It worked in the sense that you’d think it was actually someone scrolling down a picture on the web. Will it work in a doco? Dunno. Be nice to have the fire elements happening as the background image. Could occasionally have BIG images that scroll sideways as well (obscuring the fire footage) & play with these two visual elements. Also, not EVERY still image would need to come on by scrolling up from the bottom – some could just do a quick wipe down from the top or simply cut in. I like the feel of these as visual design elements. Would make the film more stylistically representative of the web.
I like that.

AND, we could shoot stills just with the 1megapixel still part of Sony TRV to get stills of high enough quality to get sideways (& enlarged?) scrolls for some interesting detail studies of important images – I’m picturing a shot of people sitting stony-faced in a train, then seeing different bits (or scrolls across) of the same shot revealing actual faces & expressions. Cool. (May need more than 1152 x 864 pixels to make this work on a 720 x 576 screen). Shoot 35mm stills instead? Nah, that introduces a budget to the film that I’m trying to avoid. Borrow Mum & Dad’s 3.2 megapixel cam for a few select shots? Maybe.

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Getting more blog-wise. Having decided to change my blog template, also feel it’s much easier to read with a title given for each entry – newspaper style. Getting into this. I like blogging! Now back-editing each entry so it has a title – makes it easier for me to navigate too.

new template 

changed my template - sick of the big murky green one.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

story idea, 1st big blogsurf 

Story. Story. It’s all about story. I think I like the story of a blog –
• from the excitement of its birth,
• its hopes & ambitions of changing the world,
• its rise and development into something interesting (but perhaps falling short of the original dream),
• its tiredness and staleness,
• to its ultimate death.
Not a day-in-the-life, but a complete lifecycle. That’s got a natural feel to it – something I was hoping for.

NOW – to find blogs and grabs from each of the ‘stages’ in order to tell the story. Weave them together like they could be one – with a soundtrack (loved a bit of skaa that I heard this morning on JJJ – I think you’d call it skaa) and the metaphor of fire. The trick I think at this stage will be how much to incorporate the metaphor with other images. Should I even include other images?

I’ve seen some good blogs out there with beautiful imagery – glimpses of life. While I’m not going to rip them off, they got me thinking about some of the beautiful imagery I could shoot myself of similar substance. I still like the idea of images like I had on 4/4 (train faces, city faces, detachment). Dunno where to go with this metaphor vs. other image question. Ideas?

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Now I have a half hour or so to search while I’m at work & don’t need to work (a rare opportunity – fast connection, spare time – woo-hoo!)

http://www.jeffdoolittle.com/archives/000203.php
carnival of the consumers – here’s another one of those ideas (like photographic interview ‘Snap Happy’ 2/4/04) where someone wants me to submit stuff for their collection. Great idea – if only I had time!

http://www.blogs4god.com/linker/index.php
Apparently it was ‘formerly Martin Roth's "Semi-Definitive List of Christian Blogs"’ – interesting idea – a network of Christian bloggers.

http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=PoeticallyExplicit
Statistics of a nightmare – yep, she’s pretty freaked out (if it’s really a ‘she’) and having a few problems. No doubt blogging is a good vent for a few problems. Sounds pretty honest. I like that.

http://sh1.antville.org
The “shithappens” site. Fascinating read – part German, part English – nice to get a linguistically varying blog (certainly cuts ME out of a lot of the comment, but there’s plenty of content). Led me to the google labs – stimulating techie stuff I don’t have time for:
http://labs.google.com/papers.html
(about how the Google search works – heck, I knew it was tricky, but obviously that’s an understatement!) Interestingly, the list of papers written on this site shows (for each article) how many citations it makes – eg. “121 citations”. Now there’s a thought – a scale of worth (or perceived worth) based on how much I quote from other people. What’s that say about information on the web. The more you’ve read, the higher the value of your writings. Does this follow? There’s a line of logic or argument I hadn’t thought of before. How does this relate to blogs? Is a blog better because its blogger has read more blogs?
http://www.obsolete.com/120_years
Wow, what a site – a fabulous list of electronic musical instruments from 1870 to 1990. Amazing! Find sample audio for the soundtrack to my blog film?
No such luck – can’t find a single mp3 or wav file on any pages. Anyway, I think I want as much ‘natural’ sounds as my soundscape – don’t want to alienate any non-internet people.

Lists, lists, everyone’s got a list!
Maybe it’s a geek thing.
I love lists.
Maybe I’m a geek too!

http://www.cromwell-intl.com/toilet
There it is again – the monumental list… of a completely universal subject – loos. WHY would you do this? WHY NOT, I guess. And what a monstrous one. It kind of makes that student doco I saw 7 years ago about people’s letterboxes completely banal and tedious (actually I pretty much thought that about it back then when I saw it anyway).
http://www.directimported.com.au/down/570000.htm
LOVELY visual sequence – thanks for this beautiful link yet again Mr.Shithappensblogger!
http://amleft.blogspot.com/archives/2004_04_01_amleft_archive.html#108112087436221697
Wow. Who’s got the software that generates these images – I love these creations. I want one. Oops – sorry, deep political statements and shadows over this one in particular. A whole thread of discussion & comment about THIS one in particular.

http://velcrometer.blogspot.com
This one got a “Best comedic entry” award from the diarists awards or something. It’s probably funny. Who knows – no time to read. Time’s up – I’m off home.

OOOOO – I do like this http://www.blogwise.com site – helps give me a focus – a blog “centre”. It lists by country & all sorts of things. I think I’ll call this home for further research (for no other reason than it’s been the first blog directory I’ve used).
Research. Research. It’s all just research. Keep that in mind, Theo. I am personally detached. Or am I?
Don’t take yourself so seriously Mr.Theo – they have names for people like that.

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How are these blogs (listed in the top 10 favourites on blogwise) getting 3000+ hits? Amazing! And is that per day? Week? Year? Must look up the FAQs.

aint born yesterday 

What’s so special about blogging anyway? Just sent an email to a friend I hadn’t seen for a while this morning. It’s strange how, even though she is always accessible via email, I don’t make contact. The unspoken rules of social networking hold themselves deeply entrenched in our minds – in my mind at least. I guess it’s just like old telephone thing – I COULD ring up anyone I know at ANY time I wish. But I DON’T, unless I have a reason to – if I’m still IN CONTACT with them. Strange. No normal, just seems strange when it comes to emails. But it shouldn't.

Perhaps a blog film could look at that. There was an article at a doco conference some years back by a Melbourne guy who likened online documentary to this obscure story of people trying to market telephone dramas when the telephone was first invented. Media mismatch I think he called it. Too much hype about what the new medium COULD do, and not enough reality-checking about what the new medium actually MIGHT do.

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Technology – a bit new, but then, just a variation on the same old thing. Blogging technology – it’s a variation on dairy-writing. But then it’s an open diary, a hybrid of communication forms. Where am I going with all this?

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Spooky thing – blogging makes you MORE self-absorbed (yesterday’s comments). Maybe filter-blogging doesn’t, but it seems free-form blogging does. That must be a bit of a dark side to it all.

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Came across some nice LOOKING blogs in my search for something else today:

http://davin.ws/archives/2003_06.html
Great look, Davin – simple, yet stylish

http://jellyfish.angel-watashi.net
Very Chinese – tiny, shock-comic, cute, hard to read in places – I like it

http://www.rearviewwindow.com/blog/archives/2003_09.html
Love the image at the top & general layout – good one

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