Steve’s Media Blog

Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

Bear with me – this post is largely just my train of thought on the subject of radio broadcasting and podcasting.

So the other day I co-hosted a live radio program with a friend on community radio.  It was fun – I used to host my own show in college in the radio broadcasting program (and although the music was pre-selected, it was pretty cool music and we could talk about virtually anything), as well as some university radio elsewhere.  I have a lot of fun doing it, and part of the fun is playing my own choice of music and just talking over the air to anyone who’ll listen.

I’ve been told before that I’m good at the whole talking over the air thing – and that’s great, but personally I feel that I’m at the hobby level.  I don’t think I could get paid serious money to do it, or at least paid enough to live comfortably.  And even though I enjoy commercial radio, doing a show for a proper radio station that’s in it to make money is not entirely the same as putting your own music together for an hour or two and just playing around.

For various reasons it’s difficult for me to find any time to volunteer for on air shifts at the university stations.  So my only outlet for this kind of thing is to put together a podcast.  The only problem is that I don’t think I have an audience – at least, I have an audience of maybe 2-3 people.  Which is not a big deal, I’m sure I had less listeners than that when I was actually on radio airwaves.

The biggest problem with doing a podcast is that I really only CAN distribute it to close friends, or else I face legal issues from the likes of SOCAN and RIAA or whatever the Americans are.  Unless I pick music that is 100% free, like Creative Commons stuff.

Who knows, I might end up doing just that – digging through 100%, legally free and distributable music to find some hidden gems and yak about it into my terrible, terrible microphone.

I’m really loving baseball this year.  I’m not really following any teams other than the Blue Jays, but I’m keeping a general eye open at the standings because of my fantasy team.  I didn’t end up hand-picking any players for the automatic draft in my league, and I wound up with some players I never heard of before.

I still haven’t heard of most of them before, but after a really slow start (I was second last after the first week), I made some tweaks to my line-up and I’ve put together a real good powerhouse.  I’ve moved up to third place now with only 4 games back – so I have to say it’s working well.  Here’s my roster:

C – Rod Barajas (Toronto), Jorge Posada (NYY, DL) – Will need to make a decision re: Barajas vs Posada, but I have some time while he’s on the DL

1B – Derrek Lee (ChC), Carlos Pena (TB) – I usually start Lee, but I like having the option of starting Pena.  Both are good players.

2B – Kelly Johnson (Atl), Ian Kinsler (Tex), Brian Roberts (BAL) – Kinsler is my go-to second baseman.  Awesome stats this year.  Roberts is in there as an extra IF, he’s good for stolen bases.

3B – Russell Martin (LAD) – No idea who this guy is, but he’s my third-baseman.  Doubles also as a catcher!

SS – Derek Jeter (NYY) – Need I say anything about Jeter?

LF – Carlos Quentin (CWS), Carlos Lee (Hou), Ryan Braun – Quentin is usually the one slotted in there, though Lee gets a few games.  Love my Carlos LF team.  Braun is in the OF slot.

CF – Nate McLouth (PIT) – I like the guy’s name.  Rolls off the tongue.  He’s also a terriffic player.

RF – Jayson Werth (Phi), Milton Bradley (Chc) – Werth is usually slotted in there, but the great thing about Werth is that Yahoo lets me put him at any OF position.

Starting Pitchers – Josh Beckett (Bos), Yovani Gallardo (Mil), Jarrod Washburn (Sea), Ubaldo Jimenez (Col), Roy Halladay (Tor), Ricky Romero (Tor, DL) – Not sure if I’m going to end up keeping Romero when he’s off the DL, because I don’t know how many games he’ll get with the way the Jays staff is pitching.  But the rest of my staff is pretty solid!

Relief Pitchers – Mike Gonzalez (Atl), Huston Street (Col), Joe Nathan (Min), Brian Fuentes (LAA) – My relief pitchers are okay, they give me the bulk of my pitching stats since not all of my starters pitch every week.

So yeah, with that team I’ve clawed my way back from the bottom of the standings to #3.  I have a good feeling about this year!

I haven’t explored this venue too much, but there seems to be at least 75 free songs available through eMusic.  25 via Car & Driver, and 50 via Pizza Hut.  I’m really not sure what hoops you have to jump through, if any, but it’s worth a try.  These songs are free of any DRM and work on any MP3 player.

25 free downloads @ emusic

Who says that big corporations don’t give back to their customers?  I don’t say it, at least not all the time.  Anyway, Amazon.com is giving away a total of 773 free MP3’s – and they’re also DRM-free – from their music store.  The selection varies but there seems to be some quality stuff there to download.

Lifehacker – Download 773 Free MP3s from Amazon

I’m still listening through podcast #200, but so far I’ve been quite pleased with it.  The podcast is always put together very well, but #200 is quite amazing (probably because they put a lot of time in it).  I haven’t gotten to this part yet but apparently they’re giving away an ipod – so go have a listen for your chance!

On a side note, I’ve been really getting into some of the online capabilities of the ipod touch.  Unfortunately, I can really only play with them while I’m at home, where I have a wifi network.  There are some things that I’d really like to be able to do on the go.  So I’m thinking of switching to the iphone – I’m in the process of finding a way to make it happen.

Alternatively if anyone has one they’d like to donate I’d return the favour and donate an ipod touch! ;) (I know, not a fair trade but I have to try)

A lot of people are bashing Facebook for “fixing what ain’t broke” (or even less verbose versions of the same thing).  In short, Facebook took what was working perfectly fine and fine-tuned it into a format that more closely resembles Twitter.  At first, I didn’t like the new Facebook changes either – but I didn’t really speak out against it, I sort of just quietly complained and just went about to continue using it.

Facebook definitely is a lot more like Twitter than it used to be – even though Twitter is just Facebook’s status updates without the convoluted mess (i.e. applications, quizzes, notes, etc. etc.).  Twitter is seen by many as very popular, but not something that will last.  I disagree, but my thoughts on Twitter are destined for another post.  There are big problems with Facebook becoming Twitter-like, however.

The biggest problem is that Facebook is way too complicated.  There are too many different features to Facebook to try and reduce it to a single news feed.  On the surface, this is what they’ve done – but if you dig a little deeper, you can filter out news feeds for different items and see only what you want to see.  For instance, if I just want to read people’s notes, I click on “notes” – but by default, my news feed doesn’t show them unless I’ve been tagged in it.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized this change makes sense – for Facebook, that is.  I’m no genius web marketer, but this change strikes me as being designed with the thought of getting people to spend more time on the website.  From what little I know about web marketing, time spent on a website is a pretty important number for selling ads.

Even the amount of people complaining about the new design has dropped off since the initial change.  I just see people posting things the way they used to, and not worrying too much about the change in design.  This is what happened with the last Facebook change – people complained about it, but ultimately forgot that there was anything wrong and got used to the new design.

I really don’t see Facebook reverting to its previous design at all.

I’ve been meaning to write about Photojojo ever since I heard of it.  I often call myself an amateur photographer; never made any money off my photos, nor have I tried yet.  I have an iStockPhoto account but I haven’t uploaded anything.  The point is, I like playing around with my camera and trying new things.

Photojojo is a website that provides alternate activities to do with your camera.  They release a newsletter once a week with a featured link, and have things that range from board game picture frames to this week’s feature, The Photographic Dictionary.  It’s free to read every week in your inbox (and online).

The Photographic Dictionary is as it sounds: a dictionary with pictures next to the definitions.  It’s neat, and they accept submissions (though not all pictures will be accepted).  I’m thinking of trying to get a photo listed up there – I just need to pick a word that hasn’t been used yet, and take a great photo.


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