Qik: Live Streaming Video From My Phone (alpha)
In the past days I've been playing with an alpha application for my Nokia N95 phone that really impresses me.
It's called Qik and it live streams video from your phone to the web. After you're done streaming, it keeps the video stored. You can leave your videos up on Qik, and also have them automatically put into your Seesmic account, and share a link to the footage in Twitter, via the options part of your profile.
Registering: your phone put in the centre
Registering for Qik was easy: leave your phone number on the site. I soon got an SMS inviting me to download and install Qik on my phone. Downloading didn't start however. Some real time e-mail exchanges with the dev support people (Qik is California based) helped sort that out, by them adapting the download procedure right there and then. Once downloaded installing was easy, and ended with asking me to create a short video there and then. After making the video I received another SMS with the login info to the site.
I thought that was clever, as it makes sure only people who have installed the application as well as used it at least once, in the end have an active account. Certainly in an alpha testing phase that makes sense.
First user experiences
Streaming video works ok, primarily if you use a wifi connection on your phone. GPRS won't cut it in terms of bandwith, but faster internet connections on your phone do work. Although it delays the streaming a lot at this point. (Taking several minutes to stream a 50 second item). Streaming via wifi is indeed live streaming (with only seconds delay) and works the best by far.
Videos can be embedded of course (as a channel too), linked to directly and also downloaded:
Like I said, the videos get piped into Seesmic as well, if you wish
Other products in the same field
Qik of course is not the only one looking into live streaming video from your phone. There are more.
For instance there is Livecastr (described here on TechCrunch) which is Amsterdam based (and hence generated my interest). Their site however feels all wrong to me (no community, no interaction, just promotion, it looks fake), and the number of questions I needed to answer to register for a beta were a fatal put-off. Especially unanswerable (in some meaningful way at least) questions like "Which community site are you member?" (even ignoring the english) and "How do you plan to use LiveCastr" (emphasis mine) which to me shows a complete lack of understanding in how people acquire and explore the use of a new tool they never saw before. Especially if asked before even seeing anything of the tool. Ask me after having tested something for a while, not at a point where it only serves as a barrier to entry.
And there is Sweden based Bambuser.com, which looks a whole lot better on their site than LiveCastr. Haven't got an invitation to test yet, though. Looking forward to have a closer look at them soon.0 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
BarCamp Amsterdam III: March 1st and March 2nd
On March 1st and March 2nd, the third BarCamp Amsterdam will take place. Initiated by Ralph, again Mediamatic in the Post CS building will be hosts to it. Boris Mann suggested (or more like told me) I attend. So guess what? I think I will. See Upcoming and the BarCamp wiki for more.
Kitchen session at the first Amsterdam BarCamp (and the 2nd BarCamp ever) (more pics)
What is on the menu at this third Amsterdam BarCamp?
First of all there will be a follow-up session of the Federating Social Networks session held last December. That will spill over in a full-blown BarCamp where the agenda of course is set by those attending.
I think I will do something on how web2.0 tools may be more useful in making sense of the world around you. Part of that is the way I'd like federating social network sites to work (taking me, not the networking site as the crucial element). Another part is how I actually build a socially filtered learning environment (aka connectivism) from my Web2.0 tools and what that means for the design and development of those tools. A continuation of my contributions at Barcamps in Brussels and Vienna really.
Interested in learning at and contributing to (which are essentially sides of the same coin) BarCamp Amsterdam? Make yourself known (here or here) and see you there! (Or find out about an upcoming BarCamp near you)3 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
KLM Checking Schiphol Brand Fall-Out
Last week a reporter of a Dutch tv station reported how easy it was to get onto Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, and even place a fake bomb in the cargo hold of a passenger plane. The conclusion was, that even though checks on passengers were relatively strict, checks on ground personnel were a joke.
Apparantly some people at Schiphol Airport, airline KLM's home base, are worried/curious about the fall-out of this report.
In my serverlogs this morning:
d) talking about how they overlooked a screw driver in my carry-on bag in 2006
Funny.0 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
Connectivism Workshop At Rotterdam University
The group of 15 participants are alle involved in realigning the teaching at their institute to the digital reality their students are living in.
We created the workshop, starting from the notion that in order to be able to change their teaching, the teachers need to feel what networked learning can be for themselves. If you can feel it for yourself, you will be better able to transfer that knowledge to colleagues and engage students.
Changing Behaviour of Youth
We started with a short theoretical introduction, repeating the to the participant familiar notions of Wim Veen's Homo Zappiens, and 'Generation Einstein'. Both describe how the lives of young people have changed, under the influence of digital networked technology.
What young people are doing is intuitively responding to their given surroundings. So what is their behaviour an answer to?
I see three quantitative shifts, that trigger a change in behaviour.
Those three, mutually connected, quantitative shifts are
1) increase in connections between people (due to network infrastructure like internet and mobile telephony)
2) increase in speed and speed of change (where there are more roads, there will be more traffic. Where there are more connections, there will be more exchanges. We built highways and cities for exactly the same purpose)
3) increase in volume of information (extra connections, create extra exchanges, along multiple paths and channels)
Quantative Shifts Lead to Qualitative Answers
The point is that above a certain point, quantitative changes cannot be answered with the same existing strategies. At some point conventional strategies stop scaling. The quantitative shifts reach a qualitative tipping point.
Three qualitative answers to these quantitative are:
1) A more pro-active personal role (as sense maker, as producer and consumer, as pattern-hunter, active sharing)
2) A different set of information skills (pattern recognition, social filtering, validation/authentication and evaluation skills)
3) A different set of tools (web2.0, social software) and work forms (open space, communities of practice, networked organisations)
Our youth have stumbled upon aspects of these qualitative answers, using the tools they find available. It is important to note here that this does not necessarily mean a technological or digital answer. The same effects are visible off-line, in other aspects of our lives.
Being pro-active, using network skills, and networked tools, also changes the way we learn and handle knowledge. This is where George Siemens's Connectivism comes in. He positions knowledge as being connected, and learning as building new networks of meaning, adding connections.
This has a systemic impact on education, turning it into optimizing the value of those networks of meaning.
After this more theoretical framework, it was time to take a look at how an average working day looks for me, and how being continuously networked is having an effect on how I make sense of the world, work and learn.
This makes the theoretical framework more tangible, and also introduces the use of social software / web2.0 tools.
Building Your Own Socially Filtered Learning Environment
The rest of the day (actually most of it) were spend first at familiarizing the participants with a number of tools and second at building a starting point for a personal networked, socially filtered, information environment. We listed 8 steps for this:
1 Connecting within tools (participants adding eachother to their buddy lists in different tools, this time primarily delicious.)
2 Creating a dashboard (in this case Netvibes or iGoogle)
3 Adding theme based feeds to your dashboard
4 Adding your buddies from the tools in Step 1 to your dashboard
5 Finding and adding people through themes
6 Finding and adding people through people
7 Actively sharing what you find
8 Actively sharing your own opinions, annotating your finds
Key point here is that sharing is a prerequisite to be visible to your network peers. If you don't share you don't exist.
It was a good and intensive day. We did not succeed in completing the entire programme we had planned, but I think we did get the main points across. We hope that the participants will be able to use the workshop as a starting point for building their personal learning network.
The sheets we used during the workshop (in Dutch but with lots of images):4 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
Independent. So what do I do?
Now that my contract with my employer has formally ended, people are asking me what it is I do.
Actually I am quite busy.
My life as a self-employed consultant started with a little trip to Paris. There I attended our yearly winter-session of the Medinge Group, a think-tank on humanistic and ethical branding I am part of. It was a very inspiring trip, because of meeting my fellow Medingites, but also because I have never been to Paris before. It is a beautiful but fast paced city. (for the photo's see the Medinge set and Paris set on Flickr)
Apart from working in the background on launching a 'business' website, and modernizing my blogs somewhat, building new networks and connections, and other tasks that come with starting your own business, I am involved in a number of client projects. These projects ensure that my schedule is virtually full at least untill the summer.
What am I working on?
For a higher-ed institution I am working on designing a community of practice in which teachers explore ways of adapting their teaching to the new digital realities their students are living in. The project is aimed at increasing professional development. This is a project that will run through the entire year.
Also, together with Elmine, we will be giving a day long workshop on networked learning (a la George Siemens), where together with a group of higher-ed teachers we help them start their own social network based information and learning filter. I am looking forward a lot to doing this one!
For a department of the Ministry of Housing I am part of a project team helping a community of practice getting of the ground. For the Ministry of Transport I will be supporting anchoring knowledge oriented attitudes and processes in a newly formed organisational unit of several hundred people. Both projects will run well into the summer of this year, both build on the core of my KM expertise.
Then there is a newly formed research consortium on deploying social software behind the firewall I will be joining. The consortium otherwise consists of a number of universities and research institutes, as well as a multinational and a big international bank. Potentially a three year thing.
And finally, a project dear to me, I am working with Delft University and ten primary schools from my home region, on adapting lessons to 11 and 12 year olds to their digitally enabled lives. This is part research, looking at what kids that age do with technology, and how it changes their way of working and learning, and part consulting, translating the research into practice. Scheduled untill June.
Knowledge work, learning and social software are key elements, just as I like it, in all these projects.
Does it feel good? Yes, it does. Very much so.3 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink