Shared posts

10 Nov 16:00

Just Released: New Blogging U. Ebooks

by Ben Huberman

Our recent Writing 101 and Writing 201 Blogging U. courses were a huge success — so we thought you should be able to enjoy them even if your schedule didn’t allow you to take them in real time.

We’re happy to announce that both courses are now offered as free ebooks, available for download in .pdf, .mobi (Kindle), and .epub (iBooks) formats. While conceived with nonfiction writers in mind, fiction writers (we know you’re out there, NaNoWriMo participants!) could find both courses just as useful.

Which ebook should you choose?

Writing 101: Build a Blogging Habit was initially designed as a four-week course. It includes 20 writing prompts, each with its own (optional) twist to push your writing in new directions, from improving your descriptions to thinking about voice and pace. In ebook form, now you can follow the course at your own rhythm and in any order you wish.

Writing 201: Finding Your Story, an intensive four-part course, focuses on editing your unpolished or unfinished drafts into compelling narratives. Loaded with advice and practical tips, this ebook will help you hone some fundamental storytelling skills, like creating powerful openings and writing engaging scenes.

Of course, you don’t actually need to choose — why not give both a try? (Did we mention they were free?)

While you’re ebook-browsing, don’t forget our other available titles365 Writing PromptsPhotography 101, and Grow Your Traffic, Build Your Blog.

Filed under: Better Blogging, Resources, Writing
14 Apr 16:34

A total lunar eclipse is happening tonight, and here's how you can watch

by Jon Fingas
You may have a good excuse to stay up late tonight. A rare total lunar eclipse, where the Earth casts a shadow over the entire Moon, is due to start at 12:53AM Eastern. Our celestial neighbor should be completely enshrouded by 3:06AM, producing an...
07 Jan 19:09

AT&T's "Sponsored Data": A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

by kmckenney
January 7, 2014
This week AT&T announced another wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s just the latest example of how big companies are trying to reshape the open Internet.
01 Jan 22:35

January 1st, 2014

by Jem Schofield

January 1st, 2014 from theC47 on Vimeo.


Related Links...
RØDE smartLav
Tascam DR-60D
juicedLink Preamps
Izotope RX 3 (I'm using the Advanced version)
Kessler PocketJib Traveler
Manfrotto MVH500AH
Aviator Travel Jib
Redrock Micro One Man Crew
Zylight F8
Cineo Lighting Trucolor HS
Kino Flo Tegra
Koss PortaPro Headphones
Zeiss Otus 55/1.4
Voigtlander Pancakes
Atomos Samarai Blade (check Atomos site for current promos)
Atomos Connect
Westcott Ice Light
Airbox Lights Inflatable Softboxes
DSC Labs OneShot Chart

Notes: 2013 was my busiest ever both for producing/productions and for teaching. A very strange second half of the year but all around really good stuff. Big plans for 2014. No resolutions. Just decisions that will require hard word. I am also switching to Vimeo Pro for the new year and this is the first episode of gearbox and theC47 content being hosted there. 

Thanks for all the support and for believing in theC47. Lots more to come in 2014.


09 Dec 12:51

The War on Wieners

by Jeremiah Moss
Yesterday, Cathryn Swan of the Washington Square Park Blog organized a rally in the park to save its hot dog vendors against the wrath of socialites. Thanks to reader Lois, a former vendor in the city's public parks, for sending in these photos from the event.

all color photos by Lois

As Swan first revealed on her blog (complete with secret documents!), a private group of "wealthy women" have incorporated themselves into a conservancy, a.k.a. "a little friends group," and are pushing to boot the “unsightly” hot dog vendors from the park, replacing them with more upscale food carts, along with a cart from celebrity restaurateur Mario Batali that will be allowed to remain. (Batali is on the board of the little friends group.)

The upper-crust cabal is run by John Leguizamo’s wife, Justine, and socialite Veronica Bulgari. John Leguizamo defended himself on Twitter, saying, “I wanna keep the hot-dog guy," and "We had nothing to do with it. The park did it on their own and we became the scapegoat.”

On the same day of the rally, the Post reported that the Parks Department was reconsidering its decision.

This isn't the first time that hot dog vendors have had to fight for their right to exist. Bloomberg got strict with them, his inspectors overcharging fines for various infractions. Also in the 2000s, the city tried to boot Vietnam veteran hot-dog vendors from in front of the Met. The vets won.

Rudy Giuliani tried the hardest to get rid of them in his 1990s Quality of Life campaign. As the Times wrote in 1998: "There is a difference between making the streets safer and cleaner and making war on the New Yorkness of New York City. In his zeal for order and obedience, he must not destroy the lively street scene that is part of the city's historic flavor. No one misses the squeegee men, but do we really want to outlaw the corner hot-dog stand?"

Ed Koch also cracked down, sweeping vendors from the busier streets for creating too much clutter. As the Times reported him saying in 1988, "This is not supposed to look like a souk."

Somehow, the hot dog carts and their vendors have come to symbolize disorder, disobedience, and the untamed spirit of the city. Maybe that's why many of us love them so much. They are among the last vestiges of the real New York, not controlled by big national chains and not branded "artisanal" with jacked-up prices.

The hot dog cart is utterly democratic. For over a century, it has been a low-threshold entryway to business for immigrants and others. There is nothing exclusive about the hot dog cart. It is not pretty and it resists control. That's exactly why it is problematic to the new urban elite, especially in today's luxury New York.

After too many years of Amanda Burden, we've had enough of socialites dictating what the city is all about. Will Mayor de Blasio continue the war on wieners? Or will he give the humble and historic hot-dog cart (and its vendors) a break?

Hot dog vendor, 1910, via New York Times
23 Dec 22:00

The Audio Fix-It Bag

by Adam Dachis

The Audio Fix-It Bag

Go bags come in all shapes and forms—well, quite a few, at least—and vary based on use and profession. Reader Fred Wobbler uses his to fix audio problems.



16 Dec 17:30

Dilbert Creator Scott Adams' Two Rules for Happiness

by Thorin Klosowski

Dilbert Creator Scott Adams' Two Rules for Happiness

We're all just trying to lead a happy life and while the characters in cartoonist Scott Adams' comic strip, Dilbert, don't seem to have a clue on how to achieve that for themselves, Adams himself does, and it doesn't require that much work.



17 Nov 21:23

NBC journalist says live on air: ‘Someone should sh*t in Sarah Palin’s mouth’

As the editor of a blog that used to generate a lot of traffic with virtually any item, however small, that mocked Sarah Palin, believe me when I tell you that five years after her debut on the world stage, no one really cares that much about the snowbilly grifter anymore.

Not like they used to. Not even close.

Nope, an item on Sarah Palin will bring in a negligible amount of traffic, so little, in fact that it’s not even worth the effort anymore. “Sarah Palin does something stupid AGAIN” has stopped being effective as “click bait,” in the same way that “Glenn Beck says something outrageous AGAIN” has. Or “The 25 greatest moments from Murphy Brown” (as actually seen on Yahoo! earlier this week, I didn’t make that one up). Or whatever idiocy Ted Nugent is into. Who gives a shit about these assholes? No one does. At least our readers don’t. You let us know loud and clear how disinterested you are in these people and we see the evidence of this on Google Analytics, ChartBeat, and in Twitter, Facebook and Google+ shares.

Which brings up the question: Does a Sarah Palin appearance on The Today Show, or even Fox News, really bring in ANY extra eyeballs? Based on my own (admittedly left-leaning, but very large as these things go) control group, I’d have to wager that the answer is a definite “NO.” Going on what I’ve seen, she’s a total bust these days. Doesn’t move the needle on the traffic dial. Flatline. Nothing. Why do we still see her all the time saying “words” in the “lamestream media”? I honestly couldn’t tell you, but given that every newsgathering or content aggregating entity has access to the very same traffic measurement tools that I have, I don’t expect that she’s got much left cultural currency after this current round of “war against Christmas” media appearances to promote her new book that someone else wrote, for people who don’t read…

Having said all that, I certainly would have thought there would have been a terrific amount of interest in an NBC correspondent suggesting that Sarah Palin should have someone shit in her mouth and piss in her eyes, and this is exactly what Martin Bashir did in an MSNBC commentary segment on Friday that is, for the most part, only being discussed on the right.

How did this escape wider notice?

If you will hit play, you will see one of the most incendiary things I have ever seen someone say on a cable news channel about another person… ever.

Incendiary, sure, but I’d have to say… he’s right. Without further ado, here’s Martin Bashir saying what a lot of people think about Sarah Palin:

07 Nov 18:42

Why the FCC Matters

by kmckenney
November 7, 2013
This week Tom Wheeler became the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He comes to power at a unique moment: Net Neutrality is under attack in the courts, TV companies are finding sneaky new ways to consolidate, and phone and cable companies are pursuing a deregulatory agenda that could cut off essential communications services for millions.
29 Sep 20:49

"I try not to watch movies and television with too much sex and...



"I try not to watch movies and television with too much sex and violence. They really harm your perspective."
“How’s that?”
“Those movies and shows give you false expectations. If you watch them too much, you expect that every beautiful woman is a few hours away from jumping in bed with you. And you expect that every time you bump into someone on the sidewalk, or have any sort of confrontation, you should be ready to fight. In reality, you should probably just apologize and try to enjoy the person’s company.”

02 Oct 16:44

Coverage of the Government Shutdown: Mainly an Epic Fail

by akroin
October 2, 2013
As the government shuts down fundamental services — everything from day-care centers to health-care clinics — we need journalists to help us understand and adapt to this crisis.
16 Sep 18:43

Hilarious anti-drugging and driving commercial from New Zealand

I normally can’t stand child actors, but the trio of kiwi kiddies assembled for this anti-drugs and driving PSA are comedic geniuses. They’re like Trailer Park Boys level funny… Perfect timing.

I guarantee these kids are going to get their own TV show.

h/t reddit

04 Sep 10:02

Don’t Poop In the Pool

by Brad Phillips @MrMediaTraining
I recently had the pleasure of staying at a Ritz-Carlton, a luxury hotel chain that operates 81 hotels in 25 countries. Upon visiting the indoor rooftop swimming pool at one of their New York hotels, I came across this sign: URINATING OR DISCHARGE OF FECAL MATTER, EXPECTORTING OR BLOWING THE NOSE ON THE SWIMMING POOL [...]