Sean Gilligan's Blog


Just in Time for Halloween: Political Monsters

via Instapundit:Comic book monster look-a-likes!

(Didn't immediately notice that the selection reveals a political bias; still funny, though...)


Videoblogging, Podcasting, and "Meta" Data

I'm trying to make this vblog non-technical, but I wanted to note here that exciting things will soon be coming to the videoblogging world. Podcasting is becoming a popular method of distributing audio files (in MP3 format) in blogs, and, at vBlog Central, we plan on adding a similar function for video. In short, podcasting allows users to subscribe to audio "shows" that they like and then listen to them offline, on their iPod or other player, at their convenience. Kind of like Tivo for audio. I subscribe to the videoblogging Yahoo group, which is a great group of people who are pushing the creative and technical boundaries of video in blogs. Lucas Gonze just created a new Audio and video syndication group, that is focusing on syndication and metadata for audio and video. This will be a very tech-heavy list, but if we come up with a solution and get it implemented, it will be very exciting for consumers and producers of audio and video content. Stay Tuned...


Creativity Always Builds on the Past

This movie, by Justin Cone, won the Moving Images Contest put on by Creative Commons. I think it is an excellent introduction to the concept and application of Creative Commons licenses. I'm uploading it to my blog as a test. I'll probably use it as a video FAQ on Creative Commons licenses on vBlog Central...


On the air at Manhattan Neigborhood Network

Thursday night, I called my videoblogging colleague, Jay Dedman on his cellphone and didn't know he was on the air with YOU, his call-in TV show on MNN. As he was expecting a call, he answered the phone. He posted the clip to his videoblog. Warning: Some of the callers use offensive language.


Tour of Community Television of Santa Cruz

Lisa Mastramico was kind enough to give me a personal tour of Community Television of Santa Cruz last night. It was my first time inside an actual TV studio. I'd like to go back with my camera and videoblog it. After the tour we went to Cafe Pergolesi and I tried to explain blogging and videoblogging to her. It seems like Lisa pretty much dedicates her life to community television, alternative media, and political activism. I had a great time talking with her.

She asked how (video)blogging is different than Indymedia and I'm embarrased by how poor of a job I did at answering the question. Another person that I met at the station expressed concern that the Internet and videoblogging could be used as an excuse to cut funding for Community TV, as that rationale had been used in (I think he said) Los Angeles. I've got to ask Jay Dedman to come and talk to them during his California visit for BloggerCon. (Lisa said she'd like to meet Jay.)

I need to point Lisa at Dan Gillmor's We The Mediabook and blog, at Creative Commons, and at the DigitalBicycle project. Another thing I need to do to evangelize blogs is learn how to use Bloglines or similar tools to send people starter subscription lists. I thought Community TV people would get videoblogging right away, but they've got a sophisticated infrastructure that works for them, and, I tend to forget, that just 10 months ago, I thought blogs were a bunch of hype.

7 out of 10 Dutch ISPs censor content on bogus copyright claim

Joi Ito's Web: Copyright Takedown Experiment Reveals Horrible ISP Policies: "Dutch civil rights organization Bits of Freedom has run an interesting experiment: They put up a text by a famous Dutch author, written in 1871 to accounts with 10 different ISPs. Then they made up an imaginary society that is supposed to be the copyright holder of the author in question, and sent copyright infringement takedown notices to those 10 ISP via email (using a Hotmail account). 7 out of 10 ISPs took down the material, sometimes within hours and without even informing the account holder."

How should an ISP decide to handle a situation like this? If you refuse the request you are open to liability lawsuits, if you blindly obey it you're someone's tool -- or do you spend time investigating every complaint and then hope you bet on the right horse? Doom9 implies that it is somehow bad to act on the notice of some imaginary society that owns the rights. What if it had been someone they'd heard of, a big publisher or TV station? Now, it's OK for the ISP to take down the material? What if a big media company, powered by Akamai was using an independent's creative content material for commercial purposes? Now what do you think the mechanism should be?

As I was fascinated by the implications of Gimme the Mermaid video on the Illegal Art site, I thought about what would happen if we were hosting that video and were asked by Disney to take it down? It seems, to me, to be fair use, albeit provocative fair use. Do I have to fight Disney's lawyers to protect my customer?

I think the first thing I'd do is call EFF. In an ideal (Coasean) world, what would the process be? What's the best EFF could suggest, these days?


Better Video of Free Radio Santa Cruz Bust by Lisa Mastramico

Lisa Mastramico produces a series called S.C. Indynewsreal for Community Television of Santa Cruz. I met her at the FCC raid/protest, where I was shooting short video clips and photos with my camera phone. If my DV camera battery were charged and I had the proper training and I had real talent, I might have been able to make a video like this one that Lisa made: Lisa originally posted the video to the Santa Cruz Indymedia site, but gave me permission to upload it to my blog using vBlog Central. The Indymedia link is QuickTime only. The vBlog Central version can be played with QuickTime, Real Player, or Windows Media Player.


Don Cochrane tells me about Digital Media Factory

My friend, Don Cochrane, from Coffeetopia pointed me to this article about a new operation in Santa Cruz called Digital Media Factory. I helped Don setup a blog on In this camcorder-phone clip he explains his idea for the blog:

He also created an interesting web site called California Earth Lodge.

Update:Cinemar, the Central Coast Cinema Artists Resource, is having their next monthly schmoozfest Friday, October 22nd at 7:30 at the Digital Media Factory. I plan on attending...


Videoblogging at BloggerCon

Jay Dedman responds to my suggestion of a videoblogging session via e-mail:
i couldn't think of anything better than doing a videoblogging session. but how's it work? we just do it in some corner?
I think you are supposed to propose sessions on the discussion forum on the BloggerCon site. I'm about to do it... UPDATE: I did it. BloggerCon for Newbies, summarizes the role of the discussion leader, and other procedural issues:
Think of the conference as if it were a weblog. At the beginning of each session, the leader talks between five and fifteen minutes to introduce the idea and some of the people in the room. Then she'll point to someone else. She may ask a couple of questions to get them going, then she'll point to someone else, then someone else, then make a comment, ask a question, etc. Each person talks for two to three minutes. Long enough to make a point. About the time someone would take if they called into a radio talk show.
Jay has displayed great patience as a talk show host, so he is surely qualified to be a discussion leader!

Video Link: David Weinberger on blogs as conversation

On Blogumentary, I found a QuickTime movie clip of David Weinberger talking about blogs that I thought captured the conversational nature of blogs quite eloquently.

Made it into BloggerCon

Last week, everyone on the wait list got admitted to the BloggerCon conference. Originally, they were only going to admit 250 people, but now it's at 413. Given the small size of the conference, the interesting registrants and the unique format, I'm very excited about attending. Jay Dedman will be attending and I'm going to ask him if he wants to moderate or participate in a session on videoblogging.


Afghan Elections

This photo (via via Yahoo via AP), of Afghan women voting in their burqas is worth at least 1,000 words...

Technorati Hackathon, part 1

Dave Sifry kicks off the Technorati Hackathon.


Blogger Can't Spell "blogs"

I was using the spell checker on and found this...

(Click Image to Enlarge)


Dan Gillmor's Talk at San Jose State University

I attended Dan Gillmor's talk, put on by the Commonwealth Club. He covered mostly material from his book, We the Media, which I highly recommend. Because I've already been reading the book, I didn't learn much, but got a better understanding of Dan's experience and thought processes. I got to meet Dan and get my new copy of the book signed, though. (I had been reading a gallery proof that I got from the O'Reilly booth at Apple's WWDC...)

(Click on the image for an enlarged photo)

It was interesting to hear Dennis Wilcox, Director of the SJSU School of Journalism ask questions, and it seems that journalism schools and students still don't fully understand the nature of the changes that are happening -- although they may understand the significance. I'm assuming that SJSU is ahead of the curve, since they are here in Silicon Valley and invited Dan to talk. Dan recommended that all journalism students start blogs, but warned them that what they write now may last a long time (think Google cache) and could come back to haunt them. Remember the old saying about being under 30 and not a liberal. You can give liberal either its European or American meaning, but in this context I suppose I mean passionate and idealogical. I know I'd be embarrased to read blog posts that I wrote when I was at Berkeley and had just finished reading Atlas Shrugged, and if I was trying to get a newspaper job today, I'd sure hope my prospective employer wouldn't see them. I decided to try one camcorder-phone video while I was there.

The audio is weak -- he's saying: "More voices have got to be better than fewer, and with that, thank you for coming."

In the last month before the election, there's a lot of pressure to be reduced to just two voices (anti-Bush and anti-Kerry, as it were) and we truly are best served by many voices. Thanks, Dan, for reminding us of that.

Legalizing Pirate Radio

On the videoblogging list, Alan from demandmedia provided a pointer to Senate Bill 2505, which was introduced by Senator McCain to implement the original FCC recommendation to legalize low-power FM. Alan also referenced a "more wonky media reform site" called freepress with a section devoted to Low-Power FM.


A Swarm of Videobloggers Will Get the Scoops

Via Technorati, I found this post on The Media Drop that references the Free Radio Santa Cruz bust slideshow and says: "If he can pull up scoops like this on a regular basis, then it'll be such a huge impetus on the medium [of videoblogging]!" There's no way I'm going to be able to do this regularly -- I literally just happened to be passing by. Sure was fun, though, being a "citizen journalist" for a few hours. I do believe, however, that the growing community of videobloggers will be able to "pull up scoops like this on a regular basis".