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					DELIVERY MODES
OF THE FUTURE:
ADVENTURES IN
WEB AUDIO/VIDEO

Stewart Wills
Online Editor, Science
20 May 2007
    CSE 2007/ “DELIVERY MODES OF THE FUTURE . . . ER, PRESENT”




          OUR REMIT

          “We editors are by nature a bookish lot. We like the
          feel and smell and texture of the book or journal we
          hold in our hands. How will we survive a future filled
          with wikis, blogs, podcasts, and webcasts? More
          importantly, how will we work in such an environment?
          What do these delivery modes of the future, and others
          we can't even imagine, mean to us as editors? Come
          hear from the experts about how we will all survive this
          technological evolution and, perhaps, somehow come
          to love curling up by the fire with a good computer in
          our lap.”



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    CSE 2007/ “DELIVERY MODES OF THE FUTURE . . . ER, PRESENT”




          TWO SOURCE DOCUMENTS

           http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPnGPIMUnus
           http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2727263652780
            93713




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    CSE 2007/ “DELIVERY MODES OF THE FUTURE . . . ER, PRESENT”




          LESSONS FOR EDITORS

        Bad/embarrassing video is forever
        College curricula have become much too lax
        “Democratization” of audio/video techniques and
         content
        Opportunities for new (to us) channels of information
         and storytelling




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    CSE 2007/ “DELIVERY MODES OF THE FUTURE . . . ER, PRESENT”




          THE REST OF THIS TALK

            Some history/features of Science’s efforts in
             podcasting and online video
            Software tools and workflows for doing these things
            Pros and cons
            The bottom line:
                 Yes, there’s a techie side, but
                 Fundamentally, these are editorial projects, and it’s
                  worth learning how to do them




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          PODCASTING AT SCIENCE: TIMELINE
                                         Discussions begun spring
                                          2005
                                         Project funded fall 2005
                                         First show: December 2005
                                         Biweekly (mostly) shows
                                          since that time
                                         Format: interviews
                                         New: podcast transcripts

         http://www.sciencemag.org/multimedia/podcast/

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    CSE 2007/ “DELIVERY MODES OF THE FUTURE . . . ER, PRESENT”




          PODCASTING AT SCIENCE: HOW WE STARTED

            Initially worked with audio pro (until the money started
             out and the studio was demolished)
            Then, we figured out how to do it ourselves, and have
             been doing it that way ever since
                 Key point: we “professionalized” at the outset before
                  moving to “amateur” production, but didn’t necessarily
                  have to do so
                 Inevitable decline in audio quality in moving from
                  “professional” to “amateur” operation, but
                 Quality still quite OK by online standards



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    CSE 2007/ “DELIVERY MODES OF THE FUTURE . . . ER, PRESENT”




          PODCASTING EQUIPMENT/SOFTWARE

          Some tools you may already have around the house:
            Computer (laptop preferred)
            Cheap (<$100) mic and mic stand
            Audio editing software (one free option: Audacity)
            Time/creativity


          Optional fun stuff for later:
            Inexpensive external mixer (~$40)
            External (portable) solid-state recorder (~$600)

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    CSE 2007/ “DELIVERY MODES OF THE FUTURE . . . ER, PRESENT”




          PODCASTING DEMO




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     CSE 2007/ “DELIVERY MODES OF THE FUTURE . . . ER, PRESENT”




           PODCASTING CAVEATS AND OBSERVATIONS

             Basic technology simple, but execution requires time
             Have glossed over issues related to posting, file formats,
              bit rates, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah
             Issue of accessibility

           But: worthwhile effort with a relatively low geek factor




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     CSE 2007/ “DELIVERY MODES OF THE FUTURE . . . ER, PRESENT”




           VIDEO EFFORTS AT SCIENCE

             Much more nascent effort
             Have had both professional (high quality) and
              editorially created (sort of kind of like pretty good
              quality) efforts
             Latter have tended to target specific special
              papers/issues
             Format: Built around scientist interviews, with
              interesting additional images and video material
              relevant to story
             Hoping to make this a more regular feature

         http://www.sciencemag.org/multimedia/video/
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     CSE 2007/ “DELIVERY MODES OF THE FUTURE . . . ER, PRESENT”




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     CSE 2007/ “DELIVERY MODES OF THE FUTURE . . . ER, PRESENT”




           VIDEO EQUIPMENT/SOFTWARE

           A bit more complicated than for podcasting:
             Camera (of course)
             Wireless mic for sound capture
             Mac laptop
             Multitrack video editing software (our current choice:
              Final Cut Express, ~$300)
             External hard drive
             Time/creativity, and then a bit more time



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     CSE 2007/ “DELIVERY MODES OF THE FUTURE . . . ER, PRESENT”




           VIDEO “WORKFLOW”

             Call up some scientists
             Arrange for interview
             Draft interview questions
             Tape interview
             Import from camera into computer
             Select and sequence video clips, images, and other
              material
             Create transitions between clips
             Create titles
             Export movie for Web
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     CSE 2007/ “DELIVERY MODES OF THE FUTURE . . . ER, PRESENT”




           VIDEO CAVEATS AND OBSERVATIONS

             Technical details, especially with respect to file output
              formats and posting, can be a bit more complicated
             Clip selection, editing can be very time consuming
             Lots of other stuff

           Somewhat higher geek factor than podcasting




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     CSE 2007/ “DELIVERY MODES OF THE FUTURE . . . ER, PRESENT”




           SO . . . WHY AM I TELLING YOU ALL OF THIS?

             No, we’re not talking about words on paper, but . . .
             Fundamentally, these products rely on core editorial
              skills
                  Learning and asking questions about scientific ideas
                  Organizing information into a logical sequence
                  Getting rid of the bad stuff
                  Crafting transitions and useful supplementary
                   information
             It’s all about building an interesting story
             Can be extremely satisfying direction for the right
              person
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     CSE 2007/ “DELIVERY MODES OF THE FUTURE . . . ER, PRESENT”




           THE NEXT FRONTIER . . . 3D

             Not clear where these kinds of displays might fit in,
              but . . .
             . . . they do have tools for adding content and mashing
              up content in interesting ways
             Not unheard-of that authors may commonly start
              using these to communicate scientific ideas
             Keep an eye on these things




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           HYVÄSTI!




            swills@aaas.org

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