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Archive for February, 2009

piggy up spare change

Posted by Ms. Herr on 02.25.2009

I’ll have a special guest with me at Ignite Phoenix tonight. I haven’t named him yet, so we’ll just call him Byno, as in albino, cause he’s white. Byno* is my piggy bank. He was a gift a couple of years ago. He has one job: to pig up and hoard my loose change, spare bills, and random dreams of trips I want to take. I’ve snuck a few parking quarters from him a couple of times, and $120 once a year ago to pay some bills the first time things got tough. But I never used his funds for their designated purpose: travel.

It’s time to change that. The sum of Byno’s stash is going toward #getmetosxsw (South by Southwest). I don’t know how much is there yet. Maybe I’ll get a count before Ignite Phoenix. Meanwhile, if you want to help fill his big empty belly, feel free to drop a few dimes in him when you see him, and me, at tonight’s Ignite.

getmetosxsw_piggy-bank1

*As of 4:27pm, my piggy bank now has a name: Pigport (via @RunItsTheFuz). But you can still call him Byno if you want to.

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#snapshoot Twitter-Interactive wrap up

Posted by Ms. Herr on 02.24.2009

It’s been only five days, but it still feels like yesterday that I was on set with Mark Wallace for the Twitter-Interactive photo shoot at Loft 19 Studios. It was a crazy amazing day!

On set with Mark Wallace. (photo credit: Danno)

Mark Wallace of SnapFactory was given the opportunity to test out the new equipment by Profoto, makers of high-end photography lighting equipment. Mark is an avid Twitterer, and conceived a live-tweeted photo shoot that allowing readers to not only follow the behind-the-scenes action, but ask questions about any aspect of the shoot, from concept to technical details. The interactive approach is such a natural fit as Mark already produces the Digital Photography 1 on 1 video series where he answers viewer-submitted questions.

Call time was 8:00am, and with only 9 hours scheduled for the shoot, all time was prime time. We had our share of challenges, from the hair, makeup, and wardrobe team getting stuck in morning traffic, to memory card failure, to the constant evaporation of time. Consider that we had four models, each with several wardrobe changes, and three sets. Add in the live uploads of behind-the-scenes photos to Flickr and the steady conversation with those following on Twitter, and you’ve got a whirlwind day.

Loft 19 was a truly amazing space to work in. The first thing that strikes you is scale. It’s a large studio offering incredible freedom for designing sets. The cyclorama is beautiful. The amenities are icing on the cake, with two lounges, ample wardrobe/hair/makeup space, and even an espresso machine which definitely got a workout while we where there.

There were so many cool parts to this project, but star of the equipment show was the Profoto Pro-8a Air which enables super fast flash cycling. The Pro-8s can generate up to 20 flashes per second. Mark shot at 10 frames per second, still incredible given typical recycle times on a flash can be up to 1 second. This clip (opens new window) only hints at the Pro-8s capability, and be sure to listen for shutter sounds as the video couldn’t capture each flash cycle.

Profoto Pro-8 Air Sneak Peek

Profoto Pro-8 Air Sneak Peek from Mark Wallace on Vimeo.

Be sure to check out the Flickr photostream, and watch the SnapFactory blog as Mark will be posting a series of recaps about various aspects of the shoot. If you have any questions, ask. Mark is great about sharing his knowledge with others.

Many thanks to the team of people who contributed time and resources that made this event possible: Mark Wallace, Diane Wallace, and SnapFactory, Loft 19 Studios and Floyd Bannister, the models of The Agency Arizona, Erin Markis, Heather Blaine, Danno, and Jeff Caroli.

Posted in art stuff, blogging, events, social networks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Bit Gravity releases a free, customizable flash player

Posted by Ms. Herr on 02.20.2009

BitGravity just launched a subdomain for their sandbox projects, and the first release is a free flash video player. Lead developer, Dean Casalena provides a great video demonstration and writeup of player features. I don’t do a lot of video. Correction, I don’t do any video (unless you count 12seconds). But the BG player is sexy enough that I almost wish I did.

I’ve seen BitGravity players in action with MultiView, revealed during a special episode of Diggnation, and various live streams set up by Brian Shaler. Each time, I’ve been impressed by the production and player quality, so I assume this new player is up to par. But what really sets my branding and marketing heart a beating is the theming options. The interface allows you to insert your logo into the viewer and change the colors of the player’s status bar. This ability to customize is great from a branding perspective.

It’s not uncommon for individuals, startups, and small businesses to search out low cost ways to meet their needs. In the process, they must settle for the default appearance of a tool, usually designed to reinforce someone else’s brand. With the BG player, there’s no need to settle. You still have the BG logo on the left of the status bar, which is great because it denotes quality. But the rest of the player is all you!

BitGravity flasy player

Note: This message is inspired in part by BitGravity co-founder, Barrett Lyon. I’m guessing I popped on his radar with this tweet, and he reached out to say thanks. Just thanks. That’s it. Simple and easy. Yet that acknowledgement led to me to talk twice more, on Twitter and here, focusing on exactly what I liked about the BG player … twice more than I probably would have otherwise. That’s community/fan/advocate relationship building. Bravo!

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yours truly, on the job as reporter for a Twitter-Interactive photo shoot

Posted by Ms. Herr on 02.18.2009

I’ve been buzzin’ with excitement since Tuesday when I landed an awesome gig assisting Mark Wallace for an all-day Twitter-Interactive photo shoot Thursday … that’s tomorrow … where he tests out the Profoto Pro-8 Air packs.

Let me rewind and start from the beginning. I’m gonna go fast, so hold on…

I met Mark and Diane Wallace at Twestival Phoenix one week ago. I’d had a little conversation with Diane previously on Twitter, but Twestival was the first in-person meeting and the first conversation not limited to 140 characters. Over the weekend, we rectified any follows and follow-backs that were not already in effect over our many multiple accounts. Mark inquired about the #getmetosxsw project I’d just launched, and I checked out Mark’s portfolio, Diane’s portfolio, and the SnapFactory site. Mark generously offered to reach out through his connections to help me get to SXSW, and I stumbled across a blog post about a photo shoot where Mark would be live-tweeting the behind-the-scenes story of trying out some new equipment. I got a little click happy with the links, discovering Mark tried live-tweeting another photo shoot and mused it might work better if he had a reporter to tweet on his behalf. I asked to be that reporter. Mark talked it over with the team. And if haven’t figured it out by now, they brought me on board!

<insert emphatic YESSSSS!!! here>

Tomorrow morning, we’ll meet at Loft 19 Studios at 7:00am (Arizona time) for setup, model call-time, etc. The shoot will run from 9:00am-5:00pm. Mark will shoot fashion, Diane will do makeup, Erin will style wardrobe, and Danno and Jeff will shoot behind-the-scenes footage. And me? I’ll be tweeting the whole thing: the setup, the technical details, the styling, the models, the drama. I’ll be taking your questions for Mark and the team, then posting their answers.

Check out the SnapFactory blog to meet the team and meet the models. Mark tells a great story and has a wealth of prep coverage, including the model fittings.

To catch tomorrow’s live action, follow @jmarkwallace on Twitter (I’ll be tweeting as him), watch for the #snapshoot updates on Twitter Search, and most definitely tweet in with your questions and thoughts.

Posted in art stuff, blogging, events, social networks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

untitled 03

Posted by Ms. Herr on 02.13.2009

doors thought closed,
cracked.
composed facades belied.

what unexpected draft
from ever changing source
gives body to void?

what choice
but to indulge pain
as if pleasure?

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#getmetosxsw

Posted by Ms. Herr on 02.12.2009

If you follow me on Twitter, you’re going to see the #getmetosxsw hashtag pop up a lot in the coming days and weeks. It means Get me to South by Southwest.

Where it started…

On January 29, a handful of the #phx social media / web tech / interactive marketing crowd broke into conversation about the upcoming South by Southwest Interactive March 13-17 in Austin, Texas. Lots of people are going. Some people desperately want to go but don’t know if the can. I fall into this last group with my don’t knows fueled primarily by fundage issues. But let’s focus on the positives, otherwise known as my desperate want to go and my ideas for how to get there.

What is SXSW…

What started as a music conference and festival has since expanded to include nine days of immersion in music, film and interactive media. SXSW has it all. Keynotes, panels, trade shows, film screenings, listening parties, product launches, book readings, socializing, networking, reputable knowledge leaders, unreputable celebrities, up-and-comers.

Why I want to go…

Rather than bore you to tears with the long list, here are my top five:

  1. Absorb, learn and participate in dynamic conversations that dissect the current and foreshadow the future of interactive and social media.
  2. Extend and deepen my socially-networked connections.
  3. Promote projects I’m working on, and to discover others that promise exciting opportunities for sum is greater than parts collaboration.
  4. Rock the nine to five AM that underpins the learn hard play hard lifestyle.
  5. Beat Gary Vaynerchuk in poker for the third time.

Ideas for how to get there…

This is the part where I need some help…

  1. Get on a panel.
  2. Be a spokesperson for a company or product looking to launch.
  3. Be a SWAG girl.
  4. Sell my left forearm.
  5. Trade strategy, marketing, and social media services in exchange for conference and travel expenses.
  6. Flirt my way in.

I don’t believe anyone is going to send me to SXSW without expecting a little ROI. And that’s fine. I dig mutually beneficial arrangements, so if you’ve got a lead or proposal for me, hit me up on Twitter or email ( heather lynne herr at gmail dot com ).

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