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Archives: March 2008

How to edit your video online for free or cheap

Video editing doesn’t have to mean shelling out tons of cash for Final Cut Pro or limiting oneself to iMovie or Windows Media Maker.

After the news of Jumpcut’s demise, Motionbox remains the next best online video editing tool. Motionbox users can upload up to 300 MB video to the site (100 MB at a time) and edit it as they wish. Users can stream the completed video for free, but must upgrade to the premium version ($29.99 a year) for downloading capabilities and unlimited upload space. Motionbox is not a substitute for professional video editing, but it is a cheap and easy alternative.

JayCut lets users upload video from their camera, webcam or mobile phone and edit it on an iMovie-esque interface that is incredibly user-friendly. The finished video can be hosted by the service, downloaded to a PC or embedded on video social networks such as YouTube or MySpace.

Kaltura is where YouTube meets wiki. It offers a web-based platform where many users can collaborate on the editing of one or more videos using a Flash-based editor. Kaltura is geared toward businesses and the created video can be embedded on your site.

If your video is nice and edited, but was captured on a less than stellar device such as a cell phone, commercial digital camera or webcam, FixMyMovie can quickly improve its quality. The site will increase the video’s resolution, remove noise, and brighten any darkness. Users can either use the site’s upload tool or send the offending video via email. The process can take up to an hour depending on its size. After the video is scrubbed clean, FixMyMovie will email you a link to the enhanced version where it can be downloaded or embedded on the web.

Also on 10,000 Words:

9 Telltale signs of amateur video
Tips for shooting better video for the web
Newspapers on YouTube: Dos and Don’ts

Busy day today

I’ll be off the grid today attending the GLAAD Media Awards in New York. My multimedia story Landmark moments in Gay Hollywood, produced and written for Entertainment Weekly, is nominated in the Digital Journalism: Multimedia category. Other nominees include CNN, The Advocate and I honestly feel like Saoirse Ronan at the Oscars, but I will post the results later tonight.

Update: Congratulations to CNN and to all the winners from last night’s awards. It sounds cliché but I was simply happy to be there. I felt honored to be in a room full of journalists that were so invested in the news they reported. The GLAAD Awards will air soon on Bravo.

Watching the evening news is rare, but remarkable

I rarely watch the local evening news anymore, mainly because I find it hard to ascribe to the “if it bleeds it leads” theory. However, on a trip to my family home I sat down with my mother, who watches the evening news like clockwork every night, to watch KCAL 9 News at 10.

I was impressed by the integration of the popular stories on the web into the broadcast and the numerous refers to the website. They even had a great tech story on YouTube’s pending integration with TiVo. It made me proud to be a multimedia journalist. Most of all I was impressed by the use of the term “blog post” instead of “blog” in reference to a new blog entry. Several announcers, especially the crew at Good Day L.A., will instead say “I have a new blog today” which drives me batty.

Toward the end of the newscast my mother drifted off to the garage where she spent a considerable amount of time looking for a short story she had read some time ago. Flustered and tired, she eventually gave up the search, but on a whim decided to Google the story title. Not only did she find the complete text, but she also found a version of the story told with a PowerPoint presentation. Ah the magic of the internets.

Sports fans are the new citizen journalists

Sports journalism has an intrinsic fan base, so it only makes sense to parlay that readership into online sports communities.

Takkle, an offshoot of Sports Illustrated, is hooking them while they’re young. The site has an active network of high school athletes and fans who can submit photos and video of their favorite teams or participate in throwdowns on just about any topic.

Impressively, the site ranks the top 25 basketball players and top 100 football players from high schools across the country. Takkle users can rate each player as over or underrated, view stats and debate the player’s cred in the comments section.

Elsewhere on the site,’s College Football’s Greatest Rivalries video series is well-packaged and is sure to get football fans talking. All the greats are there including University of Florida v Florida State, USC v UCLA and Army v Navy. The opportunity to debate the prowess of one’s home team exists elsewhere on the site at FanNation, but it would have been nice to have a comment section or direct link to each rivalry’s discussion board to make the debate more immediate.

Bleacher Report is perhaps the best citizen journalism sports site not tied to a mainstream media outlet. In the vein of Associated Content, users can register and write their own sports-related articles, which, when posted, can be reviewed and rated by other users. Writers are free to speak their minds and throw unbiasedness out the window (especially today’s front page story “ESPN: The Ultimate Hypocrite”. Totally valid argument, but wow what a headline.) Bleacher Report covers most of the major sports, including football, basketball and soccer and its thriving community is making it one of the best on the web.

And because no post is complete without a good map, takes soccer league tables and plots them on a user-friendly map. The site is Europe-centric, but is very comprehensive and is RSS-enabled for news on any specific league. The site’s stats can even be embedded as a widget on any webpage.

Read more about tackling the online sports section in this previous post.

J-Schools in pictures