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BGI Using the Social Web for Social Change Post Mortem

The semester is over and we’ve been asked to reflect on what elements of the course worked and what could use a different approach. Here is my download:

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Social Web: Google Wave

Google WaveMy friend Bob just hooked me up with a Google Wave account. After watching a few intro videos it looks like it will be a really powerful, real-time collaboration tool that allows you to mix text, rss feeds, photos and video in a rich, web-based interface. The current drawback is that the user base is very restricted. Since Wave is meant to be a collaborative tool its usefulness is constrained until my classmates can get access.

Finally Getting into Video

I bought a video camera off of a guy whom I met via criagslist.org last year with intent to start sharing my adventures with a larger audience. I hope to utilize the user-generated, on-demand video services available to add energy to realizing a just and regenerative civilization. No minor undertaking! Like most of my new ambitions, there has been a lag time of about a year between the original idea and when I actually got down to it. This particular endeavor got a boost from my Using the Social Web for Social Change class at BGI. To get our feet wet, we each had to produce a short video introducing ourselves and blog to the world. Here is take 1 and rolling…

iMovie made it waaaay simple to actually pull this off. It was about a 5-hour endeavor with quite a bit of fumbling and trial and error to get the timing of the clips, transitions and text to flow well. iMovie’s feature set is a bit limited but this also makes it pretty painless to jump into. It integrates with iPhoto and iTunes so it is really easy to pull in media from those channels. Fortunately, I had shot some video this past summer so I had something to work with. Most of my finished product is actually not video because I didn’t have that much usable footage. This forced me to figure out how to use stills, transitions, text overlays and background audio – pretty much all the features iMovie had to offer. I pinched the audio clip from a live Ravi Shankar recording that I love. It’s copy written material but I think the way I have used it counts for “Fair Use“. This means I will probably not run into problems with YouTube and their Terms of Use police. The specific legal jargon relevant in this scenario is that my work could be considered: transformative. The relevant part being:

Repurposing a work to aid identification of the base work is also generally transformative.

I gave credit to Ravi Shankar at the end so I think I am essentially aiding the identification of his base work with the use of his audio. Hopefully YouTube is cool with this. We’ll see.

Feedback and comments are welcome!

Social Web: To Twitter or Not

Twitter LogoMy social web class is holding my feet to the technological fire. Part of this week’s discussion is about Twitter. I signed up months ago but have so far continued to lurk, having not uttered a single tweet (see sidebar on right). Perhaps my followers (49 of them!) enjoy the silence created by reluctance to tweet. My inner luddite is perplexed by the idea of intentionally bringing even more electronic noise into my life to consume ever more of my attention. So my questions are: can this platform be used in service to the growth of our consciousness? If so, how do you think? How are you using Twitter? How has it benefited and hindered your life?

Reflections on Intensive I: The Social Web and Privacy

Privacy Humour: Video RentingLast weekend was my first intensive of the year at BGI. I decided to join the Social Web for Social Change class with the intent to become more skillful at using the web to influence people to toward consciously living in harmony with others and the planet.

A considerable portion of our class discussion was dedicated to online privacy and the implications of sharing ourselves via social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. It became evident that we have yet to see the implications on careers and life paths with so many peoples’ lives publicly recorded for all to see. With the majority of social networking sites’ default behaviour set to show most of your information unless you intentionally disable or limit access, your life and connections are available to anyone with a web browser. Is this a good thing? Read More »