July 10, 2010

A quick guide to multimedia software

 

An overview of software for multimedia editing, video hosting & podcasting

Target audience: Nonprofits, social change organizations, educators, NGOs, citizen journalists, media makers. This is part of Creating Media, our ongoing series designed to help nonprofits and other organizations learn how to use and make media.

By Kaitlin LaCasse and Laura S. Quinn
Idealware

Want to get started using audio or videos to engage your current supporters and pull in new ones? There are a number of tools that put multimedia within the reach of most nonprofits. In this excerpt from the Idealware Field Guide to Software for Nonprofits: Fundraising, Communications and Outreach, we explore three related multimedia topics. First, we take a look at multimedia editing software, which can help you whip your audio or video files into shape for public distribution. Then we explore how video sharing websites can help you put your video into the world. Finally, we talk about podcasts, a way to let people easily subscribe to audio or video shows.

Multimedia editing

Multimedia editing software gives you the capability to create videos or audio recordings with a level of a polish that used to require a lot of expensive hardware. Good editing takes time and some skill, but a number of low-cost, straightforward packages put the tools within reach of any nonprofit.

With audio packages, you can edit interviews for length, cut “um”s and pauses, and add music or voiceover introductions. Both GarageBand (for the Mac) and Audacity (for the PC or Mac) are free, solid tools that provide all the functionality you’re likely to need. If you’re eligible for the Adobe donation program through TechSoup, you may be able to get professional-grade Adobe Audition for a $35 admin fee.

Adobe Premier ElementsVideo tools let you cut out pieces you don’t want, splice different sections together, and overlay graphics and text onto your piece. You might join an interview with a constituent together with scenes of your program participants, and put a title screen at the beginning — and even upload it to YouTube with a single click.

For Mac users, iMovie (free with the Mac OS X operating system) is a great editing tool for simple movies. The free editing software available for PCs, on the other hand — like Windows Movie Maker and Pinnacle Systems’ VideoSpin — can be difficult to work with, and often imposes insistent front-and-center ads or confusing limitations on supported formats. For PC users, a good alternative is Adobe Premiere Elements (pictured at right, $15 for nonprofits on TechSoup, or the movie editor is about $79 retail), which provides friendly features very similar to iMovie.

[Editors note: There are also a few online video editing options, including Jaycut.com (free), Motionbox.com (free), Moviemasher.com (free & open source) and Kaltura (fee-based and open source, though these solutions have serious limitations.] Continue reading

September 30, 2009

8 ways to use social media in the newsroom

8 ways screenshot

JD LasicaFor the annual conference of the Online News Association this weekend, I’ve pulled together two new printable handouts: 8 ways to use social media in the newsroom, available at http://bit.ly/social-flyer, and 6 Twitter tools for journalists (PDF — and see the accompanying post). I’m speaking on the aptly named Social Media Mania panel on Saturday.

I think these are two of the nicer handouts I’ve produced, using Apple Pages, part of the iWork suite. These downloadable documents are part of the ongoing series of social media guides and tutorials that Socialbrite has been producing for social change organizations, nonprofits, journalists and anyone interested in effective use of social media.

While the PDFs are spiffy-looking, they’re less than optimal for search engines and for the disabled, so I’ll mirror the handouts here in html.

8 ways to use social media in the newsroom

FriendFeed

1An uber-aggregator of your feeds, FriendFeed is like Twitter but easier to organize. You can post more than 140 characters, organize private or public rooms and get a feed of your friends as an e-mail. But FriendFeed is more than an aggregation tool: It’s a virtual watering hole where you can see what’s on the mind of your friends and colleagues.

Search the real-time Web

2Find out what people are talking about online right now — chances are you can turn a meme into a story. Tools include Twitter Search, Tweetmeme, OneRiot, Scoopler.

Flip out!

flip3We’re all multimedia journalists now, right? Never let another eye-catching moment or newsworthy subject slip by: A Flip cam ($199 for hi-def version) lets you easily add a visual element to a story. Users are more likely to jump into a conversation around a video on your site than a text-only article. Kodak’s Zi8 is also a good choice. Continue reading

July 30, 2009

Open source’s growing influence

Guest post by Renee Blodgett
CEO, Magic Sauce Media

At this week’s AlwaysOn Stanford Summit, the open source video company Kaltura organized and participated in a SaaS Goes Open Source panel (SaaS as in Software as a Service).

In this video interview, Kaltura CEO Ron Yekutiel says open source is disruptive but on the rise, and it tears down those garden walls, giving corporations better control, flexibility and better integration. SpikeSource, Zimbra, Acquia, Fenwick & West and Alfresco were the other companies joining Ron on the panel.

Renee Blodgett is the CEO of Magic Sauce Media, a strategic communications, social media and branding consultancy. This post originally appeared at Renee’s Down the Avenue and is republished with permission.
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June 3, 2009

The promise of open source video

JD LasicaOn June 19-20, 2009, I’ll be at New York University’s School of Law attending the Open Video Conference. To my surprise and delight, this is turning out to be quite a big event.

Socialbrite readers get 15 percent the registration fee (regularly $75 for individuals and nonprofits and $200 for companies). The event will be held June 19-20 at NYU.

Shay David of Kaltura

Shay David of Kaltura

The open source landscape has come quite a long way in the past few years, and its importance to the media landscape can hardly be overestimated, said Shay David — co-founder and CTO of Kaltura and a fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project — by phone as he sped to the airport for yet another trip abroad.

“If you want an open structure of media to guarantee that the future of media is not proprietary and locked down, then open is the only way to go,” he said. “If we care about democratized media, where citizens in their living rooms can access programming from more than just three or four media conglomerates, then we should care about open video.”

But David’s warning is not a call to arms against entrenched corporate interests. “Millions of lines of code have been written in the open video world without a lot of success,” he acknowledged.

Rather, it’s a call for reasoned partnerships: public and private, new and old, for-profit and nonprofit. We need to think beyond licenses and consider how to build real businesses that are built on open and democratic principles — and translate that into real economic value. In short, he argues that open video is not just about serving the interests of users. Open video is good for business, too.

Continue reading

August 9, 2008

Kaltura: open source video


Kaltura: open-source video from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaI‘ve been following Kaltura for about a year now. It offers a terrific open-source platform, toolset and nearly free video hosting solution for small and large companies and nonprofits. (I think I have that right — it’s hard to explain what they do in a single sentence.)

From the site: “Kaltura’s goal is to bring interactive video to every site and to create the world’s largest distributed video network.”

Here’s a 9-minute video interview with CEO Ron Yekutiel. They’re about to give users the capability to add video and widgets to Wikipedia, and they’re working with MediaWiki.org as well. They also offer an extension that provides WordPress blogs with video abilities.

Watch the video on Vimeo
Watch the video in H.264 (QuickTime) on Ourmedia Continue reading