Is Facebook on its way out?

20140125-092834.jpgMany people are realizing their posts are not getting the reach they expected. Could Facebook’s model for monetizing user content be the problem? And is Facebook reaching its saturation point with its current 1.1 billion user base? Here’s why it could.



Failcon and the School of Hard Knocks

ImageAs we know, the best kept secret for success is attending the school of hard knocks. This year Failcon is hosting over a half dozen conferences with the theme, “Embrace Your Mistakes.  Build Your Success” The events are geared for startups- specifically small tech businesses whose batting average is a paltry .100.  Industry by industry that number may vary but according to statistics provided by the seed accelerator Y Combinator, 93% of the companies accepted by this esteemed startup incubator fail. Failcon is trying to break the taboo of not discussing failure in business- often to protect the loyalty of stockholders, investors and customers. On their webpage they say, “you should start exchanging stories of what didn’t work and how you pivoted, why you couldn’t raise money, what the wrong hires were like, and when you decided it was time to let go”.

Are we teaching our kids this valuable lesson? Maybe.The trick is how to capture success and failure as part of the entire learning process- not just reward success and punish failure. School culture has a lot to do with that-as does high-stakes testing. Maybe we can take a lesson from baseball where a successful batter hits safely 1 out of 3 times and the scoreboard records “errors”. Risk-taking is human and learning to fail is as important as learning success.


Principles for Fair Use in Journalism


The Center for Social &  Media Impact has excellent information regarding fair use in the context of the ever-expanding landscape of online media. American University Law Professor, Peter Jaszi says, “Limited but significant use of preexisting copyrighted material in our own information activities and Is protected in copyright doctrine of fair use.” Student projects, media critiques, news reporting, social-oriented journalism, etc. can and must find ways to use copyrighted materials.  Video courtesy of Center for Social and Media Impact


Copyright Flowchart for Students

Screen Shot 2013-07-18 at 4.43.11 PMStudents (and teachers) may enjoy this decision tree on when and where to post media on the web.  I’m not particularly fond of the ‘use at your own risk’ statement as it seems to dilute the message about NOT using copyrighted material.  It also doesn’t address fair use but it does ask the user to think more deeply about attribution and models courtesy for using others’ work. The article is linked here:


Mobile Phone Video Editing

20130209-130111.jpgFor those with an on-the-go spirit and small fingers, you too can edit video on your phone. Here at Channel 10, we like our big-lensed camcorders to catch all the action-and not to mention the weighted feel of a study camera on our shoulder to provide stability and minimal shakiness.

So, what if you or your students want to make movies with their mobile phones?
3 Important Dos/Don’ts
• Always compose and record your scene in landscape or horizontal mode. TV is a horizontal playback device.
• If you want to get clean audio, use a video camera with an external microphone.  But, if you don’t have that option, just get as close to the sound source as possible.
• When you are recording, press the record button 3 seconds BEFORE you say ‘action’. Same for stopping. Let the action finish…count to 3 then hit stop. Your editor (or you) will love you for it.

Here are some recommendations you can check out.

Then there’s Apple’s I-movie for the iphone. Not bad for $4.99




Although the guidelines for using copyrighted music in the classroom (and literally, I mean “in the classroom”)  make it relatively easy and permissable to use most kinds of music, there is often a need to ‘publish’ your video or other media work with royalty-free music.  Examples may be: music to integrate with your school news programs, DVD’s to distribute or sell, or publishing videos or podcasts to websites that don’t police copyrighted material, etc. (like YouTube does)

There are a number of “free” music libraries students and educators can use, but its worth reading the fine print (at least some of it).  The terms of use or TOU are ridiculously boring or, at the very least, pesky to read (you know, the fine print that comes with each new version of software you load such as the latest iTunes version)…but it is vitally important you know its essence before you proceed.

Purple Planet Royalty Free Music;  Free to use, even for commercial use but they require a link- easy enough.

Freeplay Music  Vastly better library but has a lot more “TOU” info to wade through. Does not require a contract in strictly educational settings and/or for personal use.