Lumix GX7 creating CMC converts

GX 7 - Looks solid and purposeful

GX 7 – Looks solid and purposeful

Until recently I wouldn’t have thought of buying a compact system camera (CSC). Being a Nikon stills devotee and a Sony video camera user, Panasonic wouldn’t have been my first choice. That’s because the other two brands are so reliable and because I’ve got so much invested in gear, especially lenses.

Some will argue that stepping into the CMC field is a blind jump into an unmarked pit of bridging quick sand in a digital format mine field. Or maybe it’s all about buying a video and stills hamburger, with the lot? Thats the  GX7 in a nutshell, well, almost.

Replacing the  Panasonic Lumix DMC – GX1, the brand new 16 megapixel GX7 might just be the current leader of the CMC pack. At 123x71x55mm, the GX7 is actually a little larger than the NEX 6, but slimmer than its bigger bother the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3  and more expensive than the camera it replaces the GX1. Its got the bells and whistles that make this new pontoon between the DSLR and digital video worlds, a viable alternative. Why? Lets check it out.

Overview

  • 16MP Live MOS sensor
  • In-body image stabilization
  • Flip-up, 1024 x 768 pixel (2.3M dot equivalent) electronic viewfinder
  • 3-inch tilting LCD
  • Front and rear control dials
  • Magnesium-alloy frame
  • Built-in pop-up flash
  • 3-level focus peaking
  • 1/8000 second max shutter speed, 1/320th flash sync speed
  • Highlight and shadow curve adjustments
  • 1080 video at 60p/60i/24p in MP4 or AVCHD format
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC

Despite Panasonic producing a range of image-stabilized lenses, the GX7s in-body stabilization enables the use of either Olympus’s M 4/3 lenses, or legacy lenses via adapters. Combined the GX7’s ‘focus peaking’ manual focus aid, it promises to make the GX7 one of the more capable options when it comes to shooting with adapted lenses.

The GX7 has a lot to offer keen photographers, including a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 sec and a flash sync speed of 1/320 sec. The camera is also in unexpectedly exclusive company when it comes to offering a DSLR-like twin-dial control system. There are several mirrorless cameras with two control dials, but remarkably few that make it easy to simply set one to control aperture or shutter speed, and the other to control exposure compensation, which makes the semi-auto aperture and shutter priority modes enjoyable to shoot in.

Spot the Difference

The most obvious difference between this camera and the GX1 is its electronic viewfinder (EVF). The GX7 includes optical stabilisation in the body, so it works with any lens. The usual Panasonic LCD touchscreen is 75 mm and sharper (2.3 million dots) and tilts up and down enabling the user to run it in hand held video mode with ease. There are dual command dials for direct access to exposure settings, which are easier to use in a hurry than the set up on the GX1.

The magnesium alloy body looks and feels rugged and the camera looks beautiful, like a sculptured magnesium weapon. The chunky hand grip feels like it won’t slip from the hand, hanging securely from three fingers like a trapeze artist. In contrast to the GH3, which is dust and splash-pro, Panasonic are not indicating this camera is weatherproof.  The lack of weather-sealing means that the GX7 gets chunky, clicky controls and buttons. There’s also four Function buttons on the rear and a further five soft keys on the touch-screen. All nine are completely customisable, even down to having different functions for recording and playback.

Autofocus is fast with a 0.2 and 0.4 seconds lag from pressing the shutter to capturing a photo. In continuous mode shooting  JPEG results in 5fps ( Sony NEX-7 10 fps; Nikon VI 10 [60with focus fix}and Olympus OM-D E-M5 approximately 9fps).  Selecting continuous and RAW saw performance fall to 1fps after ten frames.

HANDLING AND EVF

View finder and touch screen

View finder and touch screen

The first thing you notice is the controls are stylish and effectively laid out.  The second is that the screen smudges easily. The touchscreen makes it easy to adjust the autofocus point like on some smartphones. The only issue we found was the sensitivity of the LCD screen control which sometimes would switch to EVF when a hand blocked the EVF.

The EVFs almost 2.8-million-dot resolution is high. It’s like another world in there and many DSLRs aren’t as good. The tilting design is a real bonus especially when bending slightly to shoot video around waist level.

I found the GX7 less cluttered around the lens and much easier to use in the video mode than the much acclaimed GH3. I like the LCD screen being in the middle not to the side  when extended like the GH3s. It means I am looking more at my subject area. In close quarter journalism that’s important.

Sensor based image stabilisation a first for Panasonic.

Sensor based image stabilisation a first for Panasonic.

My feeling is that stills cameras with video are just that, stills cameras with video. A video camera requires a bit of length to it so it can be shouldered or cradled at waist height with one or two two hands. A video camera also requires a power zoom. Not so you can zoom in and out, like a yo yo, but so you can whip in for that quick grab and quickly  whip out again. Then there is the occasional gentle zoom through an orchid, in a gardening story. It’s just the way video works.

I have experienced some issues with  a lack of depth of field. Said to be one of the pluses of working with stills type of cameras that shoot video, it can also be a  bother. This is a common problem news photographers experience when they are asked to use their DSLRs to record news type video. If the video subject is still, or moving slowly on the same  plane of reference, hybrid cameras do well, but as soon as vertical (depth from camera) frame deepens or shallows, operators  can and do experience depth of field issues and focus problems. Having said this I am going to use this camera for a documentary and learn about its foibles, because its pictures are so good. The smaller size makes the GX7 very user friendly in remote  environments.

LENSES

This popular micro four-thirds (MFT) format means that we have a choice of a wide variety of compact lenses.The in camera stabilisation means that lenses like Olympus, which don’t have lens stabilisation, can be used. If lens designed stabilisation is available the camera will give this priority. Very cool.

gx7 4The 14 – 42 zoom supplied as part of the kit is a little bulkier than the motorised zoom on the  GX1. I got mine for $50 and it feels like it. It is rough on the zoom and feels like it came out of a cornflakes pack. We like the pancake power zoom which can still be  purchased in white, but I also found them in black at Amazon.

However if you want a real lens d what I did and purchase the 12-35mm 2.8.  Effectively 24-70mm zoom this lens is a must for any serious journalism work. It also has excellent control over depth of field to enable those timeless background to foreground focus shifts. The lens feels sturdy like its a real piece of glass. Add to this the 35-100mm 2.8 and you have a professional journalism kit, for 2/3 the price of a Nikon or Canon equivalent.

WiFi

The Wi-Fi talks with iOS and Android app. These have remote capabilities with live preview terrific for monitoring video records, in some circumstances, with and ability to control focus and exposure settings while recording. No more camera shake. The WiFi lets you send photos and MP4 video to a nominated target site.

STILLS

The GX7 snaps some of the sharpest images in the class when paired with a prime lens. Colours on default settings are life like without being over saturated. Automatic exposures settings are useful, with only marginal tendencies to under expose. The GX7 produces RAW and JPEG files. Noise was not a problem at lower ISO settings, with ISO 1600  being the first setting where we experienced the slightest level of noise. So how often are you shooting beyond that?

VIDEO

Video quality in either AVCHD and MP4 is good, but the lower MBPS recorded by this camera, compared to the GH3, is noticeable. The auto focus is good but… We were very pleased with the GX7’s video quality. As you’d expect from a camera that records 60p video, motion is smooth. The camera captures the amount of detail that one would expect at Full HD resolution, though moiré will appear at times.

AVCHD resolution, frame and bit rates • 1920×1080 (60p/50p): 28Mbps
• 1920×1080 (60i/50i): 17Mbps
• 1920×1080 (24p): 24Mbps
• 1280×720 (60p): 17 Mbps
MP4 (H.264) resolution, frame and bit rates • 1920×1080 (60p): 28Mbps
• 1920×1080 (30p/25p): 20Mbps
• 1280×720 (30p/25p): 10Mbps
• 640×480 (30p/25p): 4Mbps
Audio AVCHD: Dolby Digital 2-channel; MP4: AAC 2-channel
File Formats AVCHD, MP4

AUDIO

The GX7 has an inbuilt stereo microphone but no inputs for an external microphone or head phone jack. Sound quality is good, and the adjustable audio levels allow you to fine-tune things (though it’s a shame there’s no support for an external mic).  So how serious is the GX7 when it comes to video? The GH3 comes equipped with both.

PERFORMANCE

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 9.59.38 AM

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 10.03.38 AM

BATTERY LIFE

The GX7 uses the DMW-BLG10 lithium-ion battery – used by a number of other Lumix mirrorless cameras – and it contains 7.4 Wh of energy. With the 14-42mm kit lens, battery life is estimated at 350 shots per charge. The included battery charger takes just over three hours to fully charge the BLG10.

(techno + techne) = torque

The use value of any tool is dependent on two factors: application and skill level. This camera will provide the quality of video and stills to enable a professional production. You will need to ask yourself what will I use its content for? If its just for snaps, then you probably don’t need to spend this much, get the TZ40 or the not yet shipped amazing TZ60. If you are a semi pro enthusiast photographer, then the GX7 could be for you. If you are interested in video then you need to consider this camera; but you also need to ask yourself why aren’t I purchasing a video camera? This camera shoots good video, but it will need to be converted from mp4 or AVHD. If you are interested in DSLR video then do you need an Audio input for 3rd party microphones? The GX7 doesnt gave one (mistake), but the GH3 does (perfect).

CONCLUSION

I love the feel of this camera and the pop out screen makes shooting video from the waist a breeze. The articulated view finder does the same for the head bend shot. At 28Mbps it doesn’t record as much video information as the GH3 (72Mbps file sizes). Its maximum shutter speed of 1/8000th and flash at 1/320th means this camera is pitched at the semi pro to pro market. Of the two colour choices: I prefer black to the two-tone retro looking black and silver. In Australia the  camera body will sell for $1249 AUD. A silver bundle with the 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 MkII lens sells for $1349AUD; and $1499AUD with the 20mm F1.7 MkII lens; and the black body with Leica 25mm F1.4 lens will set you back $1949AUD.

It’s competitors are the Olympus E-P5, which costs $170AUD more, or $600AUD more with the optional VF-4 viewfinder. The Fujifilm X-E1 costs the same as the GX7. The Sony Nex 7 at $1299AUD provides excellent value also (review coming).

All in all, the GX7 is a great package that has many strengths, including a silent motor that’s whisper quiet. It’s video mode, even though Mbps herbs are down, delivers sharp focused images, which help this camera stand out against much of the competition. The interesting thing about this camera is that when you pick it up with a weighty 12-35mm piece of glass on the front, you feel you are holding some much more expensive. Frankly, I just didn’t want to put it down.

iMovie 2.0 for iOS

iMovie 2.0 iOS

Whether Apple is feeling guilty about binning FCP 7, it’s new lean mean iPhone edit machine, is a marvel. Knowing Apple (and none of us really do, that’s kind of the fun, not knowing what amazing stuff they will come up with next), iMovie 2.0 is probably only a first step in giving us the full bottle video editing package for the iPhone. And why not, with companies like Intel spending more now than ever on mobile chip development, mobile just could be the anytime anywhere platform that helps us segue between life moments. If that’s true, then iMovie is probably a portable smart glue we use to structure and give gravitas to moments we want to remember.

I have spent the past 4 years teaching communities, students, teachers and professional journalists how to make digital stories on the iPhone. I have predominantly used the Voddio edit App, primarily because it has two video tracks enabling B roll editing that’s crucial to fast dynamic news type story construction, and because of its audio edit facilities. But with the release of iMovie 2.0, smartphone and tablet video editing entered a new era. It even stores video content in the right spot, on the back of that incredibly utilitarian workhorse, the Camera Roll.

Those who use Voddio use it because of two track video editing and it’s audio mix and duck facilities. Some organisations also use it because it integrates into its own suite of content management tools. There are a couple of other features like WiFi sharing between devices and computers (which is cool) and the push every track left or right button, which is a professional feature that’s important, but one that Apple covers in their own style.

This post is primarily about location smartphone edit Apps. Hence, I am going to review iMovie on that basis. Those of you who use(d) Voddio, like me, can make your own comparison, like I’ve done. Smartphone editing is, after all, a very personal thing.

I posted a few days ago that I would use iMovie for my next mojo training session. I have just done this and it was a real winner, here’s why.

The first thing you notice with the new iMovie 2.0 is the slick user interface (UI) that enables projects to be constructed very quickly. A number of icons on the home screen hide an array of functions that make this a powerful and intuitive App.

Tap Project and the “+” key and then “Movie” and choose a style and the tap Create Movie and the following UI will appear. The buttons do the following.

Figure 1
Figure 1: Timeline Interface

On the right side:
Help unlocks a number of help options
Change themes allows the user to choose an edit theme
UNDO button is a must.

On the left side:
Insert media: takes you to your Library where choosing Video, Stills or Audio toggles between three storage areas. Now this is where it becomes interesting and where the power of iMovie becomes evident.

You choose media (in this case Video) by tapping a clip, then you simply drag the Yellow bar at each end of the clip in to the desired in and out point. You can then play the chosen portion of clip before deciding to import it. A dialogue box appears when you tap your clip offering number of powerful options that makes this App a very news friendly tool.

Figure 2

Figure 2: Adding media

1. Drops the selected portion of the clip into the time line
2. Plays the selected clip
3. Detaches audio and places this on an audio track. This effectively gives you another vision track because this audio, that’s detached from a vision clip, can have another two vision clips layered above it
4. Creates a second B roll vision track and locates your overlay with its audio muted (this is the key new feature that enable fast and professional editing)
5. Picture in picture – place the selected vision (video or still) in another piece of vision
6. Split screen – creates a split screen of the vision.

It all works very well!

Back to Figure 1
Record Video or Photo – enables video or photos to be recorded directly into the timeline, almost live over existing VO (so you know exactly how long these need to be) and this is placed exactly where your cursor is parked. These will be stored in Camera Roll.

Record Audio – is an excellent feature that provides a countdown and a view of your new voice over running against your picture in the timeline as you record it. This gives you an idea of required length and whether you need extra pictures or a shorter VO. When recorded you can review the VO, discard it or keep it.

The audio area is where we run into slow mode when mixing or ducking is required. The two problems I noticed immediately are as follows. VOs are part of the project and can not be stored separately. If you need more control over your VOs and to reference their raw form, you can use this workaround.

Tip: Record VO as a Video then select the whole or portion of it and use the detach tool to insert the audio into your timeline and you always have the original on file.

Key frame audio ducking is not possible on the iMovie 2.0 except for iMovies own work around which requires you to, for example, split your music track at the point(s) where levels need to be changed (in and out), before lowering the section that needs to be ducked, and raising the levels on the incoming section. You can also fade each of the in and out points. This is done by double tapping the audio track before accessing the dotted ‘more’ feature on the bottom right of the timeline. Tapping here will reveal a number of options. Choose Split and go from there. Together with mix options for each track this worked just fine enabling me to duck sections of music. If that’s not enough, here is another workaround.

Tip: on iMovie cut and mix your story but leave music out before doing either of the following (a) on iMovie 11 for the Mac you can split audio tracks and duck by fading each segment in and out before independently setting its levels, so export the project to iMovie 11 for Mac and audio duck there, or (b) render the project to a video without music before exporting to Voddio, for key frame ducking. Import and insert the music and duck there.

In the Timeline
Figure 3 below shows a very dynamic representation of the elements that come together to make the video. You see elements clearly – all video and audio and a music track.

Figure 3

Figure 3: Dynamic Timeline

Video Tracks – there are two possible video tracks. I believe this feature alone has taken iMovie into the pro-sumer level and arguably beyond. Having two video tracks enables very fast story editing where the user can concentrate on getting the story right on Video track one, before going back along the timeline to insert the B roll to cover edits and highlight story points, on Video track 2. This is exactly how the experts do it. Why? Because it’s the fastest way of constructing story and allows you to play with and change your story structure without having to undo your color or B roll, which is inserted on Video track 2, once you are happy with your story.

Audio Tracks and embedded audio in video tracks – there are effectively six audio tracks. We often make TV with just two. Tapping the vision or audio tracks revels a bottom of screen slider for altering audio levels.

Moving along the timeline – either sliding the timeline left of right with a light figure pressure, or by pressing a clip and dragging it to another position on the timeline.

Tip: iMovie for iPad and Laptop have many more advanced audio features which include the ability to view dynamically updating audio waveforms as volume adjustments are made, perform split edits, or fine-tune transition points. iMovie 2.0 allows iPhone users to quickly rough up an edit, then wirelessly transfer the project to an iPad via AirDrop, where it can be completed with slightly more advanced tools. If you need any more tools.

Transitions – the default transition between shots is a dissolve but this can be changed by highlighting it that reveals another set of dissolve options where you can choose “none” or some more fancy offerings like wipes.

Titling Tool – this offers a number of titling options but with out a duration timer, at least not one I could find on this first look. Choosing a theme will unlock various titling options. Once you choose the titles style then simply Tap the titling box and write.

Tip: The work around for duration is to split the shot at the duration point. This is also how I would do subtitles.

Splitting shots – this is done by holding the white Play Head at the point you wish to break the shot, press and pull down like a swipe and the shot splits. Now you can insert another shot between this and all tracks will move right in sync. Or you can highlight a clip on the right, the excess amount and bin it.

Figure 4

Figure 4: Splitting Clips

Saving and sending options

Once you are happy with the video and the audio has been mixed, you can play the completed story in full screen to check edits, and when happy you can save it to Camera Roll, or send it to a number of locations via a myriad of methods, including AIR DROP, which is a cool way of transferring your project to iPad to access the additional audio and other tool sets.

Tip: Camera Roll is the iPhone’s intersect hub. Use it to send your videos to FTP sites and other systems like Xstream, which are used by news organisations.

Access these functions by tapping the upload button on the home screen to reveal the following screen, Figure 5.

Figure 5: Send and Save options

There are a number of other features to play with including slow-mo. The best way to learn Apple stuff is to play. Learn to use the above and you’ll be making dynamic videos in literally minutes.

I think Apple has created a terrific App for the mobile journalist, which might lack one or two audio enhancement features. It enables the citizen, student or journalist to create a dynamic and professional edit with an audio mix and titles, that can be uploaded quickly from location. In many respects this App is powerful enough to be a contender for the bad boy of smartphone editing.

The proof is in the pudding, so what are you waiting for, Go Mojo.

Full review to follow.

Mojo storytelling Wakka Wakka way

The mojos get the first taste of being in front of camerras

The mojos get the first taste of being in front of cameras

“I’m more willing to listen and engage in conversation now, than before mojo. I don’t feel like I need to hold back and feel it’s ok to be me”. Robert French is a 19 year of Wakka Wakka man from Cherbourg who is learning to become a multimedia journalist. Using nothing but a mobile phone and a small microphone he has produced his first mojo story about the Bunya Mountains Corroboree.

“I’ve been interested in photography but this is like a different form of photography. Since I started this I would now like to get a trainee-ship and work in this field”.

Robert is one of 11 young people from Cherbourg, aged between 15 and 24, chosen to train as mojos. “Mojo is a more formed digital storytelling that wraps journalism skills around the smart phone to transform citizen witness moments to citizen journalism,” says journalist and mojo trainer Ivo Burum, ” but whats special about this mojo project is that it has a high focus on literacy and numeracy and that’s why the Queensland TAFE has funded it”.

Kristy Smith the TAFE program lead says, “we were looking at a new way to engage young Indigenous people in something that’s really exciting and contemporary, using a contemporary technology, that would help them get interested and come along, and in the background be improving their literacy and numeracy without even knowing it”.

One of the mojos who was so impressed with the skills being taught, she made her first video about the training course, is Shantelle Arnold. “It’s a Deadly thing this mojo!”.

The mojo program is based on techniques learned from many years of making self shot series for television. Run internationally in a number of countries it has proven successful at community and education level and with MSM in Australia and internationally. At the Danish Tabloid Ekstra Bladet, journalists are being trained to mojo. The managing editor Poul Madsen believes mojo is the key to their future, “great stories like we used to in traditional television, told on the website with shorter more dynamic editing”.

Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian in the UK, believes that accessing the ‘on the ground’ mobile communicators is becoming more critical in the news business. Rusbridger believes the days of a journalist pressing the send button and going home are over. He believes the story is just beginning when we press send and the resulting public’s response counts.

But as Madsen points out, button pushing alone, isn’t the answer and we need real skills. Mojo provides people in remote locations with the skills to use mobile technologies to do more than just press buttons, to create online kludge, or respond to news stories. Mojos, like those in Cherbourg, create and publish their own stories that count, providing a less marginalised view of their world, right from their own back yard.

One of those stories is mojo Shayah Watson’s insight into local legend Pickle and his Mobile Hearing program. Working with the Deadly Ears team, Pickle drives to schools in the local area, where he sets up his van and tests kids for hearing loss and other ailments.

Shayah says the mojo experience has helped her “understand how television and news works” and to think about stories that she sees, “more carefully”.

TELLS is hopeful the scripting and media skills learned can be used within the TAFE curriculum in Cherbourg on an ongoing basis (Kristy quote).

Local support for Rob and PaCE

“It lets us have a voice in our community. Because a lot of negative things have been shared by media and journalists. Now its our turn to get our voices heard. We can actually go out and do these stories according to mojo and post them on the Internet for the world to see. I think it gives us a voice”. Robert.

Mojo graduates from School a workflow primer

photo

One of the many benefits of students learning to mojo is that it provides skills that enhance existing literacy levels. The teamwork required to mojo (to plan and negotiate story recording, undertake interviews) empowers mojos to be more self-confident. The technical skills required to mojo (record, edit and publish) provide students with capabilities that unlock the potential of smart devices. These are positive skills that can work to increase the self-esteem of students, to make them more receptive at school and more engaged with their communities. For these and numerous associated cross-curricular reasons schools are embracing the mojo concept of digital story telling.

But what are the options for mojos to share work between schools, are their impediments and how is it possible for mojo’s work to be published by local media?

A mojo is a mobile journalist who is able to record, edit and publish complete user generated stories (UGS) from a smart device. Given this and the editorial involved in deciding on the story, the interviewees, the locations, the recording of video and audio and the edit process, student mojos can be described as citizen journalists. On the other hand, people creating user generated content (UGC), often because they are in the right place at the right time, are defined as citizen witnesses. Hence, I contend that because of the level of editorial involved in creating mojo UGSs, these more complete works, should be valued differently to raw UGC.

Companies like CNN and other media are capitalizing on the exponentially rising levels of UGC (39 million hours in 2011 is enough content to fill the slate of more than 4000 channels 24/7 for a year). CNNs iReport invites content creators “to be a part of CNN’s coverage of the stories you care about and an opportunity to be part of a global community of men and women who are as passionate about the news as you are.” iReport also offers tools to assist citizen content creators. While this sounds altruistic, the reality is different. iReport requires the iReporter to provide CNN with a “perpetual, worldwide license to edit, telecast, rerun, reproduce, use, create derivative works from, syndicate, license, print, sublicense, distribute and otherwise exhibit the materials you submit, or any portion thereof in any manner and in any medium or forum, whether now known or hereafter devised, without payment to you or any third party.” Of course CNN agrees that if it on sells material to external agencies, it will pay content creators “a percentage of the license fees it actually receives.” If you don’t agree to these terms iReport will not allow you to publish.

It’s not difficult to understand why CNN might want to use this citizen-generated footage internally beyond the iReport platform: it’s often unique, it’s ubiquitous and it’s free. The creator might also see positives in providing iReport with content, such as: getting the message out, being recognised as an iReporter and learning new skills. These benefits may, for most, be all the payment they want. However, given that the cost of creating content in soe of the remote areas iReporters file from, you have to ask: Should CNN be paying these content creators, especially if the content is used internally on CNN beyond its iReport platform.

Given the common digital language resulting from common tools and storytelling skill sets used by mojos and journalists working in MSM, community and the education sphere, there is a potential for an empowering relationship between these fields of communications. In particular between MSM and the education sphere, which has begun to embrace the potential of mojo across the curriculum as a literacy tool that also builds independent civic-minded students.

Based on projects I am currently working on within the education sector, there are two possible scenarios that are relevant to this discussion. Mojo training in Western Australia was delivered to a group of primary and secondary schools, who are proposing to establish a hyper local network, in order to share students’ and teachers’ stories and information online. The training was provided on two levels:
• train the trainer – a level designed to make me redundant, leaving teachers within each school to continue the training program, and
• train the student – provides a core group of interested students who are trained to mojo and to support teachers and motivate the student body.
My role is diminished over time to one of consultation only if and when required.

In time an opportunity may arise for this hyper local network to further develop students’ mojo skills by forming a relationship with local media. At this stage and given students are producing complete UGS, there will need to be an arrangement between the school and local media about the appropriation and publication of these examples of student UGS. Any relationship will depend on a number of factors. Given mojos are at school and their stories are produced as part of a school sanctioned project, any prospective use beyond school use would need to be sanctioned by the school. The school is obliged to inform family about projects that sit within its loco-parentis mandate and seek parental permissions for involvement. Whether the use of student content becomes a commercial venture (students or school is paid for certain stories), or continues in the non-commercial realm (the school and student see an ongoing training benefit in the relationship with local media), is another key consideration. These are interesting deliberations especially given that mojo’s are trained to think for themselves, make their own decisions and to produce content anytime and from anywhere. What control will or should the school have over student mojos content creation and distribution (commercial or non commercial) outside of school project time? After all, mojo is not asking students to restrict their already prolific content stream, but to make that content more committed and professional.

The second example is a current project I am involved with in Queensland, Australia, with the Department of Education and Employment (DETE), which introduces mojo to a regional community and includes training a number of lecturers to become mojo trainers. This project, which already has interest from local media, poses a couple of issues that need to be resolved. Initially, the project managers will need to determine the cost value of providing local media with stories free of charge during and immediately after the project. This exchange is designed to (a) ensure that local media continue to support the project by helping make community aware of the positive benefits of having locally trained mojos and trainers; (b) spur mojos to work harder; who on seeing their work represented in local media, will more readily see the benefits of mojo.

Once the project is completed and the DETE possibly move to train lecturers and mojos in communities surrounding one of their many campuses, the trained mojos will continue to create more UGS. The question then is two fold, who manages their growing professional possibilities and what are the parameters that define their emerging relationship with local media?

One of the real benefits of mojo is that to be successful participants need to engage. This basic tenant of journalism is also a first step to being more civic minded. Engaging with community requires confident and curious citizens who move beyond the hedonic to a more eduaimonic view about mojo possibilities. One of the key mojo skills is to engender confidence to be able to curate your way through life’s kludge moments in order to understand the evolving story. One element of that story is to decide how, when, where, with whom and in some cases for how much, we are willing to share our story.

In our initial mojo project we licensed a number of the mojo’s stories to Indigenous MSM and mojos received payment for these stories. My current view is influenced by these early days of research, when I was learning about what may be possible. My belief is that a common digital language created between the three spheres of communication, and based on shared story telling skill sets and tools, suggests there should be a common measure for valuing output. This posits that mojo content should be valued on an agreed and where possible, common scale, when MSM and others acquire it. Schools will always weigh up the benefits vs costs of being involved with local media and if they decide to be involved, principles and teachers will know best, what type of arrangement to make.

Click a Taxi (App for iPhone)

Here’s my Number 1 App for any mojo wanting to get around a new city fast as lightning – ‘Click A Taxi’. This thing locates you on a map. You book without any phone calls choosing the day (Now, Today, Tomorrow) and the time. Choose the size of Taxi and leave comments for the driver “please don’t forget the flowers and chocolates or my life isn’t worth living”. That easy. The press kit says the beta version is launched in 50 countries, 5,000 cities and 300,000 taxis. Only top-rated licensed companies, no extra charges to the meter price, which includes live notifications of your taxi booking status. And you can even let them know on Twitter @clickataxi that you want to add your city. http://clickataxi.com

Book your next taxi without ringing or having to work out where you are

Book your next taxi without ringing or having to work out where you are

EB DK Mojo

Hi it’s been while. I’ve been bunkered down finishing my Phd on mobile journalism, writing a book on mojo and running mojo workshops. Am back in Denmark working with Ekstra Bladet training journalists to mojo and talking about web TV.

They’re an innovative mob here and it’s incredibly refreshing to see such a positive top down attitude to digital media, especially in the face of huge sackings, in at least one Australian print house.

I’ll be providing short updates while here and also a couple of mojo stories that I’ll finally get to make as I wonder about this bitterly cold (for an Australian), but warm at heart, country.

On my way home from work in Copenhagen

On my way home from work in Copenhagen