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Mailbag harvest

— I've been sampling from the mailbag since my return to regular posting, but I haven't done a big pull from the mail in a while, so here are some highlights.

The folks at Coudal Partners sent a note that they're conducting a "degrees of separation" contest.  Today's is Sid Vicious to Bob Dylan.  Connect the two in as few steps as possible.

Will -
I enjoy Clicked a great deal; it's one of my must-reads.  If you can stand it, I have a little more information on that Star Trek video you linked on Friday.  Not only did you get the slash bit wrong (thank you for posting the clarification), but you, like so many others, are under the impression that fan vidding (that is what that art form is called, not "mashup") is something new.  It's been going on since the advent of the VCR.  And in fact, that particular vid has been around for quite some time.

You see, you're talking about *my* subculture here.

Rather than rehash it all, let me point you to a blog post by Henry Jenkins, an expert in media studies.  He's a sort of anthropologist for media fandom subculture.  He noticed the viral nature of Closer and wrote a piece yesterday explaining the evolution of the fan vid.
-Becky

Will replies:  Becky, I appreciate you sharing your expertise and making us all better informed.

Excerpt:
I know you'll recognize Perverted Justice as the group that works with Dateline NBC on their To Catch A Predator episodes.  This is a little more of what they do.

Will replies:  I imagine pretty much any Web outfit that allows free expression is going to end up with a twisted mind or two posting bad content.  I'm not sure this campaign from PeeJ is going to get very far.

Your post on the hype machine reminded me of a site I stumbled across awhile ago.

Pandora.com

Music related. Check it out.

Will replies:  I like Pandora, but I find that if I listen too long it starts to slow down my machine.  Anyone else have that problem?

Will,
In case you've ever dreamed of turning Clicked into a live radio show, I'm writing to introduce you to BlogTalkRadio.

BlogTalkRadio allows bloggers/podcasters to broadcast live streaming radio shows, while accepting telephone calls from listeners and hosting show guests. (And it's free!)

In addition to broadcasting live, shows are archived forever at BlogTalkRadio.com as podcasts. In just over a month of operation, they're already broadcasting more than 750 shows in more than 25 different countries. Their growth has been enormous, especially since most of it is attributed to word-of-mouth.

If you'd like to learn more, or speak with CEO Alan Levy, just let me know. Or, to become a radio host, just head to Blogtalkradio.com to sign up!

All the best,
-- Alan

Check this out, Will. Scroll down to the bottom for the two demo videos.
-Bill

Will replies:  I wonder if they realize they're about to invent the Dalek?  (For folks who need to know what it is before they click it, it's a page about a real robot with, amazingly, a ball as a base.)

Dear Will,
Don't forget to remind folks that September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day.  Given the recent success of Pirates of the Caribbean, it might pick up steam this year.
-Ajin

Really interesting:
-Jojo

Will replies:  Why do they even bother making up the lie about looking for pornography?  The whole point of the Internet is that you don't have to physically carry the content around to trade it; it goes over "the tubes."

Don't know if you have seen this, but "Touch Tapping" is a new twist on "Tapping" for guitar players.  This guy plays the Super Mario Brothers theme on two guitars at the same time like playing a piano.
-Thomas

Will replies:  I don't mean this in a mean way, but this kid needs a friend to play with.

Here is a link to a website that looks like it might be some up and coming technology to video games and movies.  The show reel has a lot of details of what you can do with the program and there is a little free trial on the downloads page.
Christopher

Will replies:  Even the sales pitch clips are an interesting look at how CGI is done.

Christopher also sends:

I thought that this might be something interesting to you that you haven't seen, well at least, I haven't seen it on your blogs.  It's an engine that fits in a 14" cubic space and weighs 150 pounds but produces up to 850 HP.  Talk about good gas mileage.

Will replies:  Thanks.  I had a hard time understanding it until I watched the animation.

My friend sent me this link about an iPod creating a terrorist scare.  Then here's the story of the guy who accidentally caused it.
-Mausie

Will replies:  That's great to get the first hand perspective on the story.  I wish that happened more often.

In June, a young, attractive, classically trained, wannabe rockstar with no representation, no label, and definitely no record deal, trying to make it big makes the move to Hollywood, but decides to forgo any sort of summer tour and instead decides on a "virtual tour" on youtube.  Almost 800,000 hits later, her song "say its possible" is a youtube phenomenon, leading to top 10 ranking in multiple youtube all-time categories, the limited release of a CD that she produced herself (due to the demand of her youtube fans), and a trip to London to play her first show overseas.  I can't help but think this fame will last a little more than 15 minutes, and a small part of me can't help but wonder if this isn't a viral campaign....she's really that good.
 
The video: "Say it's possible"

And just in case the direct link to the video doesn't work (the song should be right in the video list).
-Owen

Will replies:  How exactly does one do a YouTube tour?  Other than uploading the video, I'd love to know what else she did to get traffic to it.  (Maybe mails like this one from Owen since I'm now linking to it and sending even more views her way?)  I love the idea of teaching others how you play your songs.  It may be that thread of replying cover versions that are responsible for her success.  I reckon there could be a whole site based around that idea.

I have read your blog for sometime now.  I always have enjoyed what you put on it.  I found an interesting game that might interest you.  It is your typical move cursor though maze without touching the walls.  This was has a little twist though.  The movements of your mouse are reversed, so the up is down left is right.  Here is the link for it.

I hope that you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed your blog.
-Zeke

Will replies:  Thanks Zeke.  It reminds me of a game at the local fair that has a bicycle with handlebars that steer in the opposite direction.

Will,
I have a couple of thirty-something friends who have decided that their sense of adventure could use a boost.  As such, they have embarked on a hike of the entire length of the Great Wall of China.  Jamie and Ig are keeping us all updated with their blog, The Great Wall Nut.  It's an interesting adventure not so much in tracking two people that you would never expect to undertake a physical challenge as it is to watch what happens when two cultures can meet without all of the usual politics being involved.  You might find it interesting!  I've enjoy your column and always look forward to learning things I never thought to think about!
-Craig