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Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Taking a breath after Video Camp Atlanta

by Amani Channel


So, after weeks of twittering, Facebook messages, articles, planning, and organizing, Video Camp Atlanta came and went.

There have been plenty of social media camps – pod camps, public media camps, product camps, but, from what I could tell, this may have been the first video camp (please let me know if I’m wrong).

Overall, I’d gave the event a strong B grade. About fifty people came out to listen and learn about web video. It was a mix of journalists, media pros, students, and business owners.

Before I go into the details of the event, I’ll talk about how we promoted and marketed it. We primarily used Twitter, Facebook, and used article marketing on Atlanta Daybook. We partnered with a few organizations who helped us spread the word. I created a video, that I shared frequently throughout my networks. We also had some promotional partners who helped spread the word.

I have to give an extra special thanks to Element K Creative (program), Sonny Hancock (flyer), Sixth Realm Digital (logo), and Kimberly Murray (photographer).

Everyone came together to help make this a great event. There were demonstrations and break out sessions that ranged from pocket and DSLR cameras to using video to monetize your content.

We decided to have the break out sessions repeat so that everyone could take in the information and not miss any of the content. People seemed to like this format, but the biggest complaint was that there wasn’t enough time. Since this was a half day event, each break out was 30 minutes which didn’t leave much time for Q&A.

We packed a lot of content into the half-day event, and it was non-stop.

So what’s next? We definitely will organize another Video Camp in the future, and we are talking about taking the show on the road.

I’m just glad it all came together and people seemed to generally enjoy everything.

This event wouldn’t have been possible with my friends, colleagues, and associates who led the breakout discussions, volunteered, and sponsored the event.

I’ve wanted to do this for about two years, and you helped my dream come true.

I have to give a special thanks to my lovely wife Daphne, Siddiq Bello, and my partner Selah. You all ROCK!!

And Menyuan Smith, (Grow Kids Inc.), we’ll be making that donation as promised.

For photos of the event, please visit KimberlyMurray’s page, and please like it.

Monday, February 7th, 2011

2011 State of Mobile Video #SoCon11

by Amani Channel

SoCon11 is a wrap. I had a good time at the conference. As always, I met some new folks, and caught up with a few others.

My presentation in producing video with your cell phone went well. Everything was great except the wireless connection.

Imagine that: a social media conference with no Internet.

People seemed to manage, and turned to their smartphones, and still managed to keep Twitter buzzing. That’s what I did at least.

I’d like to share a few more thoughts, but here’s my Power Point Presentation from my session.

Stay tuned because I’m working on a few video education opportunities that will help me share my video and production knowledge with you all.

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Are you ready for #SoCon11? (history in the making)

by Amani Channel
@CSJournalism @LeonardWitt

What were you doing in 2007 when Kennesaw State officially introduced the Southeast to social media? I was working on developing a citizen journalism show for the Black Family Channel, a now defunct cable network that was trying to do big things with limited resources.

I was a newbie to Atlanta, having moved from Tampa Fl where I spent 8 years of my life reporting the news for a local Fox station. My mission with BFC was to find and procure citizen journalism video segments for the show, and in my research, I ran across a paper about public journalism written by some guy named Leonard Witt.

Low and behold, Witt was nearby at Kennesaw State, so I reached out to him and arranged an interview. From my days at Fox, I had been trained in the basics of shooting and editing, so I brought my personal video gear with me during the meeting. He talked about blogging, and video on the Web, and we exchanged ideas about citizen journalism, and new media. I posted the interview to YouTube, and used a soundbite in the pilot of my show.

Witt also invited me to attend this conference he had organized with a few other folks in the Atlanta area. It was called SoCon… a social media unconference.

I can’t say that it changed my life, but my life did change through my experiences in social media. I was meeting people across the country, connecting with people, and companies started sending me press releases all because I was blogging, and posting videos to YouTube.

Some people started calling me a citizen journalist, despite my professional media background. It wasn’t a surprise, because people in Atlanta never saw me on air reporting on the news of the day.

My one-man-band style of online video production was less polished than the professional pieces that I produced for the TV and for clients. For a news man like me, it was empowering to be able to share content and information outside of the structure of a newsroom.

I’ve attended every SoCon conference since that first conference back in 2007, and have met plenty of inspiring and brilliant people.

Some have hired me to help them with video projects. I’ve been asked to speak at numerous conferences around the country, and I’ve had the chance to teach a digital media production class, and video workshops.

Would this have been possible without social media? Maybe. Maybe not. What I do know is that social media, has leveled the playing field in many ways. Without the traditional gatekeepers, anyone can share their area of expertise, thoughts, or experiences, and people who are interested in what you have to say will find you.

Technology has changed rapidly since my news days. The cameras are getting smaller, the quality is getting better. Even cell phones are being used to watch and create videos now.

This weekend, I’ll experience my fifth SoCon conference. I don’t consider myself and expert, just a guy who lives and breathes media.

I like to share what I know, and I’m looking forward to making new friends, and reconnecting with the old.

If you’re interested in learning about mobile phone video production, please come out to my session. I’m looking forward to connecting.

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

The Pulse Network – social TV in the making

by Amani Channel
#bwe10 @maggierulli

So, you’ve probably heard of the term Web TV or Internet TV, but social TV? That’s what a relatively new online network based in Boston, MA calls itself.

The Pulse Network launched on June 14, 2010 and is one of the newest players in the online video space. It has the endorsement of people like social media guru Chris Brogan, and video blog champion Steve Garfield who host shows on the network.

According the Website:

The Pulse Network is a new alternative to traditional media,” says Nick Saber Co-Founder and President of The Pulse Network. “TV and Radio audiences are fragmenting while online streaming and consumption of video and audio content is increasing. The Pulse Network engages its audience in a rich multi-media environment. Our hosts provide smart and insightful analysis on the biggest stories of the day and use the timeliness of social media to advance the dialogue while providing a three hundred and sixty degree perspective to keep you informed.

The question is: how will The Pulse Network sustain and grow such an ambitious and robust TV platform? I’m sure there are plenty of people who would like to have a live presence online, but there are plenty of “social” video destinations already, from UStream, to Justin.TV, and Livestream just to mention a few. And most if not all of the sites have some form of social functions like Twitter and Facebook integration. Then there are sites like Blip.tv, and the big daddy, YouTube which offer free video channels.

What I think this network could add is not only higher visibility, but some credibility for social TV. Since The Pulse Network is partnering with TV and social media pros, it could become a destination for quality live content.

Anyway, I caught up with Maggie Rulli at BlogWorld10. Rulli hosts a daily financial show on the network.

She is certainly excited about The Pulse, but didn’t say how or if the talent is being paid, and couldn’t offer any insights into the overall monetization strategy.

Monday, October 18th, 2010

A quick @BlogWorld wrap

by Amani Channel
#bwe10 @dave_blogworld

My first BlogWorldExpo experience is a wrap. I managed to survive Las Vegas without breaking my bank (I left up $30), and had a great time making new friends and catching up with people who continue to inspire me as I blaze my own trail in this new media world.

I first of all want to thank Dave Cynkin and Rick Calvert for having the vision to start this event four years ago. I met Dave at SXSW earlier this year, and ran into Rick right after I picked up my pass on Thursday.

Atlanta’s social media community was in the house. Regator had a booth, and I ran into several friends from the A, and met a few more in Vegas as well.

Here are some of my takeaways:

Podcasting, video blogging, and live streaming is hot, but the challenge for many is making money (check out the AffiliateTip blog for more on that).

The real value in attending these conferences is in the relationships that are established and built.

The social media community is diverse and vibrant. When I say diverse, I don’t mean in color (as Wayne Sutton pointed out). I certainly wish there was more minority representation at BlogWorld, but what I did find was people from diverse backgrounds, interests, and professions.

I need to build my monetization strategy around my expertise (video) and passion (video).

I truly enjoy presenting and teaching, and hope everyone who attended my session on mobile vlogging walked away with something.

I gotta send shout outs to Adria Richards (you always help me think about my business), Scott Hanselman (for all of your great ideas), Syed Balkhi (a fellow Gator and online entrepreneur), Wayne Sutton (for repping the community well), Kodak & KodakCB (for the Play Sport video camera), and anyone who I shook hands with, or exchanged information with at the conference.

I’ll be sharing more in the days to come, but for now… PEACE!!

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

3 sites for sharing mobile video

by Amani Channel
@blogworld #bwe10

If you see me at BlogWorld, best believe I’ll have some kind of camera with me.

My video camera of choice these days is the Kodak Zi8. It’s pocket camera similar to the Flip, but has better features in my humble opinion.

If I want to share a video with my online network immediately, I’ll use my iPhone.

There are three sites that work great for sharing video from a mobile or smartphone:

1. Kyte.tv


With a Kyte consumer account, you can set up multiple channels for your content. For example you can set up a channel for family videos, and another channel for a talking head vlog. What I like best is the embedable widget that has a chat feature, and allows you to either post a specific videos, or it will automatically update the player with the most recent video that you post. Kyte can also be configured to send a tweet when a new video is uploaded.

2. Qik.com


Qik is probably the most well known site for producing live mobile videos, and sharing recorded mobile content.

What I like about Qik is that it will also automatically upload the video to YouTube and share it with Facebook, and Twitter.



If you’re familiar with TwitPic, or yfrog, that’s exactly what TwitPic is except for video. Once your video is uploaded, it will send out a Tweet to your network.

This article explains TwitVid in great detail.

I’ll be sharing more information about mobile vlogging at the 2010 Blog World Expo. My presentation is on Friday at 2:45p.m. I hope to see you there.

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Amani Channel presenting at #AEJMC10 Denver

by Amani Channel

I completed my most recent academic journey in May when I graduated from the University of South Florida. It took six years to wrap it up, but I have one job left related to my graduate research.

On August 5, I’m presenting a version of my thesis at the 2010 AEJMC conference in Denver, Colorado.

The title of my paper is: “Gatekeeping and Citizen Journalism: A Qualitative Analysis of Participatory Newsgathering.”

To summarize: I focused on CNN’s iReport unit to examine how the network vets, selects, and integrates user-generated content into its news programming.

I had to chop my thesis down to 25 pages for AEJMC. It turns out that my paper is among a handful of student papers that were accepted to the conference.

I don’t know what I’ve gotten myself into, but it should be a good time rubbing elbows with the scholars and academics.

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

How to be a Black Blogging Rockstar

Video produced by Adria Richards

I missed this panel discussion that Atlanta’s very own Maurice Cherry organized at SxSW, but thankfully it was captured on video. So the question was how do you become a Black blogging rockstar?

I shared my thoughts about it before I traveled to Austin.

JBrotherLove moderated the conversation, and was joined by Cherry, Clutch Magazine’s Deanna Sutton, and WhatAboutOurDaughers’ Gina McAuley.

I spend a good part of an afternoon in Austin trying to help Richards’ edit the video. There was some kind of technical problem with the video format, but she ended up figuring it out. Apparently she converted the video file on her PC, and edited it using ScreenFlow.

Watch panel

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