Still writing, blogging and making video for YouTube

The Answer 20 questions website was the main website for a while, where I had all of my websites all in one place, this was the place for , Video20Q and also Writers20Q. I decided then that Mac 20 Questions was going to be better if I moved it out on its own again. The reason I moved it was because of search engine considerations and it does appear be doing better on its own. Also I haven’t been making as many podcasts, at least not the audio podcasts. Instead I have been working on making the screencasts to put out on YouTube. It does look like, video is the way to go forwards and YouTube is the second largest search engine on the Internet. So mainly what I have been doing, is to create a video and then create an article to go with that video on one of my websites. I have been concentrating on the Mac20Q side of things lately and the with occasional articles on the website for and . The videos I make tend to be about applications that I use on the Mac and this is because I can easily do a screen recordings of what is happening on my Mac screen. I would also like to do video showing how to use applications on the iPad, but I find they don’t work out so well if I have to record the video over the shoulder. The quality of the image is not as good, especially the part of the image that is the view of the iPad.

Mac20Q Logo1

I have seen that there is some software available now that will allow me to mirror what is on the iPad on my Mac computer screen and in that case I would be able to record it using ScreenFlow. The only problem with that is that I don’t have an iPad 2 and I won’t be able to afford to buy the iPad 3 which is due out in about a week. It is necessary to have at least an iPad 2 to be to use this other software for the mirroring. Maybe if I get some work during the summer time I will be out to afford to buy the latest iPad when it comes out.

As far as the writing is concerned, I am still very interesting in the process of writing and I did take part in the NaNoWriMo in November of last year. I wrote my 50,000 word novel which will probably never be finished as it was complete drivel. I am still proud that I managed to write that many words in just 30 days though. If I do NaNoWriMo again then I will surely do some preparations before getting started, so that I have the outline available for the story and I will know what I need to write each day. On my first NaNoWriMo though, I wanted to give myself the challenge of having to write the 2000 words per day by letting the text just flow from my consciousness.

If you would like to see what I have been doing with my videos please have a look at the . You can also have a look at those other websites to see all the articles that I’ve written about using the Mac and also about using the iPad. I do have to say that one important thing with regards video, is that it does take more time than writing. On the other hand, if a picture is worth a thousand words then a video must be worth around ten thousand words. By concentrating on making the YouTube videos during the first two months of 2012 I have seen a threefold increase in the number of views of my videos. Obviously that is very pleasing indeed.

iPad 32GB WiFi on last leg of European tour

The iPad must have started in China and was sitting in a warehouse in Piacenza in Italy. It is here we pick up the story. Next stop is an airport near Milan and onwards to Liege in Belgium. I suspect that it will be heading south in the morning to Barcelona.

Just saw that the iPad has got as far as Girona and slated as being out for delivery. I think I may be doing some playing this afternoon. I could maybe even do an unboxing video. Wicked or what??

Last-leg-iPad_Tour.png

tracking_iPad-2-1.png


Getting Closer!

Video20Q Podcast 20 – Travis Legge – Raymond Did It

TravisLegge.

Really pleased to have another film maker guest on the show. Travis is just about to start shooting a horror – slash movie. Just before the interview I saw him tweet that he was covered in blood. Transpired he was doing tests for the film special effects.

He is friends with Julie and Jessica of Kingisafink and Phil Holbrook, I think it is great to see such a vibrant group of film makers taking advantage of social media. helping out with each others projects as well as moral support.

Like Danny Lacey Travis has been using the crowd funding Indiegogo to raise money for this movie he is about to shoot
which btw is called Danny Did It and if you want to help out with the film you still can – by going to his film company website and he is taking Paypal donations.

Many films wouldn’t get off the ground without this type of support so if you are in to horror send Travis a dollar or two.

Raymond-Did-it.

Raymond Did It is a slasher film in the tradition of Halloween and Prom Night. When twelve-year-old Bryce Rourke is accidentally killed in a playground scuffle, his friends decide to blame Bryce’s developmentally delayed older brother for the accident. Raymond is taken to a state hospital while the true killer walks free.
Six years later, Raymond escapes from the hospital to seek bloody revenge for his brother’s death.

This is how it worked out with Indiegogo for the crowd funding.

$10 or more = Fan Contribution: A special thanks noted on the film’s website and Director’s blog.

$50 or more = Fan Plus Contribution: An 11 x 17 movie poster in either the theatrical or comic book design, signed by writer/director Travis Legge in addition to the aforementioned perks.

$100 or more = Friend Contribution: A DVD copy of the film upon the film’s release, signed by writer/director Travis Legge in addition to the aforementioned perks.

$1,000 or more = Family Contribution: A copy of the DVD signed by members of the cast and crew, a producer’s credit in the film, and a VIP invitation to the official wrap party in Rockford, Illinois at the end of June (travel costs not included)

Funds generated via donation will go to cover the costs of catering, location management, prop purchases, and transportation associated with the film.

WordPress can be a pain sometimes

But the pain isn’t from WordPress because it is pretty solid. It is more to do with the plugins that get added to it. I have been struggling all day to get a post up with the podcast in it and the bloody thing would n’t do the job.

I went to WordPress.org and looked in the forum and someone suggested that the Twitter Tools plug in was causing the problem. The problem bugging me for the last load of hours is gone. There is a chance too that the other problem I have had with WordPress will also vanish. I will know when I click Publish on this post.

The other problem is still there. Not too worried as I have been getting around that by using Blogo.

March was mad

I was looking at the list of podcasts I produced during March and there was less than half of my normal output, you would think that there was a certain amount of PodFade. However that was not really the case, as it was mostly down to external factors beyond my control. I lost over a week to having no power and no internet, I can’t record an interview when there is no electric in the house. I did go to my sister in law to get internet on a few ocasions but that is no help for recording as there are kids and noisy dogs in the house.

Following the week with no electric there was, certainly as far as I was concerned, too much time in the garden trying to sort out the devastation the storm left behind. Our garden is full of mostly cork trees and a few pines. Five of the pine trees fell down and all  of the cork trees lost branches, such was the weight of the snow. I still hate gardening, even if I get to use a chainsaw.

I did have interviews arranged during the month and the people were unable to keep the appointment. One of them seems to be very busy and the other had a bad cold. These have been re scheduled but has left us without the interview content. That is the problem with the fact that the shows rely on content coming in from external sources.

I did do something different last month also with the production of the Mac20Q ramble as a video. I enjoyed that experience because I did it with green screen in Final Cut Express. Of course it does take longer to arrange such a production, but I thought it came out well enough that I will do more of those. Good to have the video posted out in varoius places too all pointing back to the show notes for the audio podcast. I have bought a set of LED lights to illuminate the green screen and I will post a picture of the set in the studio shortly.

The lack of podcasts was overall for the Answer20Q network and I think I will have to do some catching up. Also though I will have to get a schedule. I plan to chose a day of the week for publishing a Mac20Q podcast and do that once a week. The Video 20Q can be a every other week and the others I will aim for one a month and I’ll see if I can ramp it up when the summer is over.

During the summer I work in a camp site, a bit of cash is nice,  I improve my Spanish and get to practice my German speaking too. It does mean though that the podcasting lessens during the summer also.  I have started work for this year already but until the end of May it will probably only be weekends. That works out quite nicely and I am not looking forward to the working 10 hours each day in a reception that has no air conditioning. The owners are too tight to look after the staff at this place. At least maybe I can write a script or two in the quiet moments. It is a shame though that it will have to be as today written using a Windows computer and a Spanish keyboard which has a few extra characters and a few in different places.

Funny thing about camp sites is that you get used to seeing people walking to the showers in the dressing gown and a toilet roll in the hand. Maybe I should think about a story involving a camp site as a location. I have seen one or two other funny things here.

I have started work on a story /  comedy sketch that I want to make as a short movie. Writing it first in Scrivener as a narrative as the first draft and for the second draft I will make it into a screenplay- script. I will perhaps keep doing that in Scrivener but I might try using Celtx which is dedicated script writing software. Planning to send the script to my son who is a professional cameraman because I can envisage him helping me both with the camera part of the filming and with the acting side of it. I need 3 actors for the job and I could see two of my sons and a friend filling the roles nicely.

I have not  written a screenplay before so I am also in the process of learning how to do that, luckily I found a web site that shows the correct way of doing it as per the industry standard and gives good practice type of tips too. After I have the short film made I will publish the script also on Video20Q.

My iPad came early & with a camera

I was amazed when it arrived a day early but totally delighted. This is going to be a really short post because I have some serious iPad playing to do.
APRIL FOOL !
In the spirit of under promise & over deliver Apple sends out the new iPad device with a camera. They can’t be accused of not listening to their customers any more. So all the people that thought we would have to wait until the second version of the iPad got it wrong. The camera is is a 3.3 mega pixel beast & is working really well with the Skype video chat.

APRIL FOOL !
Let you know more when I have had a chance to play with it a little more.

APRIL FOOL !

If you want to know what this was all about select the text above &  read between the lines, literally……..

Got to have some fun sometimes.


Mac20Q Podcast 88 @SwitcherMark

SwitcherMark tells why he is called that even though he is now more SwitchedMark, having been a Mac user for a few years now. We talk about his love of photography and how he uses his DSLR which he bagged at a closing down sale at Circuit City. He also has a Flip Mino, well he has the use of the Flip and has to hope the daughter doesn’t notice.

Mark was at the MacWorld 2010 and had a great time there. He met with a pile of his mates and enjoyed meeting many face to face to face for the first time. Mark bought a few toys there, not least a photography application which he got for $130 instead of the usual $180. Mark attended the Nosillacast castaways party, which must have been fun, especially meeting the venerable Allison Sheridan.

He is taking it step by step with the photos increasing his knowledge and skill while also using the camera to take sport shots of his girls playing football (soccer) and the camera being in a mode Canon have set for sports.

Back ups are all well taken care of with a system that includes, DVD’s, BackBlaze, Carbon Copy Cloner and Time machine. Something that a photographer really has to do to protect the portfolio or archive of photos. Using a To Do list is not a good idea for Mark as like me the items on the list are less likely to get done than noting things on a piece of paper.

Mark was a super bloke to talk to on the Mac20Q Podcast and I know that you will enjoy hearing what he had to say about how he uses his Mac, a 20 in iMac. he would like an iPhone but can’t switch away from Verizon which doesn’t have the iPhone available. Mark is sorely tempted by an iPad though and can see many uses for it in his daily business.


Wizardgold & Mac20Q News – Offline and hating it

Story of being offline for eight days and without power for 6 days in Spain at the Costa Brava which doesn’t normally get weather like that. Trees fallen down, wires down, telegraph poles and pylons down. Me feeling down because I couldn’t do the podcasting work I normally do.

I also comment on using Kinemac, After Effects, and about learning what Motion can do to make a video animation fly through that could be an intro to the videos I make.

This video is made using my new green screen set up in my studio, with the new LED lights I have bought. These lights are work lights that I bought for 25 euro each at Lidl. I got five of them and I might buy another two or three. I used 4 of what I have to light the green screen and the other one to light the subject. I do have one more small video light that is the type you can fit on top of the camera but works well on a light stand as a fill light.
I did put some white gauze material over the light to soften the light and I might at some time see about getting some filters to put on them to warm the light up. Not too necessary because it is easy enough to colour correct in Final Cut. Still have to do some more working out to get the set up right but pleased with the results so far.

I also mention another Mac in the family. My 70 year old mom sent me a text message to tell me she was buying things in the Apple Store in the Bull Ring Shopping Centre in Birmingham. She got a white MacBook and iWork & one on one training to go with it. Tomorrow she will go into the store for them to move her data off her old Windows laptop.

Tell me how you would cope without email and power



The Podcasts of February

I started off the month with a podcast thanking all the listeners to the podcasts for supporting the Mac20Q show for one year, also looking at what is to come in 2010. I also talked about the move to consolidate the podcasting into one site. I have done this partly to save time with the looking after all of the separate WordPress installations and I am finding that it makes a better web site when it is all together. Mac20Q, Photo20Q, Video20Q, Writers20Q, Car20Q, Artist20Q and other sites like the Spondicious which has been about the selling of my photos and illustrations online through the microstock sites like Fotolia.

I talked to Paul Boag who is a popular guy, there have been over 400 downloads of the Mac20Q Podcast 84. Paul is a web developer that goes out extensively to talk about making web sites and I found him to be very interesting.

Then there was Video20Q podcast 17 featuring the filmmaker Jon Reiss, who made the movie ‘Bomb It.’ I watched it and was impressed. Great that it tied in with what I have been doing already with the , you can watch the first two episodes of the Graffiti Podcast on YouTube also.

Peter Boodts from Belgium was the next to be featured on Mac20Q. I find it amazing that I get to talk to so many interesting people doing some super stuff with the Mac, and Peter was no exception.

Andrew Jones, who is a British guy living in New Jersey in the U.S. doing photography, art, web design, video and all sorts of artistic endeavour was featured on the Mac20Q Podcast 86. He has set up a web site that he would like to see as a community of Mac users helping each other, which follows on from the work he does helping Mac users near where he lives. For a change I came upon Andrew via YouTube instead of Twitter, where I seem to meet with most people.

Screencasts
During February I also posted two screencasts showing how to use Blogo. This came about due a bug in WordPress that was annoying me and Blogo filled the bill in terms of avoiding the bug and since then I have gone on to love using it. I am using Blogo to make this post. I expect to be talking to the developer of Blogo soon and he will be donating a copy of Blogo for listeners to win. So keep an eye out for that.

YouTube
I have also been putting out video from the local Carnaval, in Platja d’Aro. One video of that has been seen over 800 times and another of . The drummers were astounding, I loved getting into the thick of them to film the shots for that.

Twitter
I am still working on growing the numbers of my Twitter followers and I am as of this moment up to 13,619 followers for @Wizardgold and there are over 3000 followers on @Video20Q plus another 2000 approx on @Mac20Q. Trying to keep Mac20Q for Mac related things and Video20Q for film making items. Wizardgold will be for general tweets and Rt’s of the other things to ensure max coverage. Well pleased with the growth of the Wizardgold account seeing as I only had 2000 followers in December.

All in all it was a busy month and great to be creating content for the listeners and viewers. Let me know if you would like to be featured on any of the podcasts, would love to hear from you. I will ask you 20Q about whatever subject you would like to talk about.

[contact-form 1 “Contact form 1”]


Mac20Q Tip 17 – Using Blogo to post to the blog

I have started using Blogo for posting to my blog because of a bug in WordPress at the moment that is annoying the hell out of me. When I hit the publish button in WordPress it doesn’t save and only if I am lucky I get a draft version of the post. When I go back into the draft version then it works. I was using Blogo to post to Ping.fm anyway so it was well worth looking again at using to make blog postings.

You know what? I like it and finding to be a great way to work with my blogs. I can do keywording and enter the categories, although I did get a little confused at first it is pretty easy. Have a look at the video to see how it works.

In this video I show also how to use Blogo to deal with un-moderated comments as well as using the bookmarklet that will allow you to place YouTube video in your post. In the next video I will show how to place a Slide Show from Flickr. Wicked eh?

Another thing to come in these quick tips will be publishing a podcast in the blog and making sure that the category is correct so that it goes in the right feed, you can see some of that in this video too.

Look out also for a video that will make a comparison with some other blogging software that I have also tested.


Mac20Q Podcast 85 Peter Boodts

Peter has been called the 3rd Belgian but is really a first class chap, and for a hobby he is into drumming. He enjoyed the movie I made about of the Drummers from Girona, because it was right down his street, musically.
Peter uses a 24in iMac and also has a MacBook Pro in the house. Both of those using the latest Snow Leopard, although he has to use Tiger on his computers at work. He creates 3D rendered drawings with specialist software and have been using Macs for a very long time.


Illustrator Scripts

s to keep you going to use in Illustrator. The one for finding and closing open paths I have already talked about but there are a few others on this site.

More on Using Illustrator

Mars Edit

Mac20QLogo144.jpgI have been using Blogo for posting to Ping.fm and this morning I tried to post from it to the blog. Blogo handles the Categories well but doesn’t allow the tags. I still have to try it for putting in a podcast too. But it does look like it will handle that.

The other possibility is MarsEdit from Red Sweater Software, and this one does look like I might be able to add the tags too.

The reason for looking at software to do this rather than go into the WordPress installation is because at the moment when I want to publish, WordPress always fails the first time. It usually gets saved as a draft and I can go back in to edit it up to the auto save on the draft. But it is really annoying.

As you can see from the previous post ‘Struggling with RSS‘ that went in from Blogo I can put in picture OK That was done with a drag and drop. With this one I have to click on a media button. After clicking the Media button another window comes up and there is drag and drop. Blogo does a better job of the placing of the image. I like to have some padding around the picture, as it makes the text read better.

I do like the way that you type into one window and there is a preview window that shows what the post will look like too. Adding links is pretty good too with MarsEdit.

It is hard to choose between the two of them. Blogo does connect up to Ping.fm nicely though, and I do use that a lot.

I think I will have to give both of these more testing.

Struggling with RSS

I am of the opinion at the moment that there is a blog post in the feed that is messing things up.
It all started with moving everything over to this web site from Mac20Q and Video20Q and the rest. What seems like a good idea to save me work and also be a good idea for consolidating the Web experience on all my web sites, has turned into a marathon of sorting problems with the RSS.

What makes me think that it is contained within one of the posts from Mac20Q is that fact that the feed was working when I moved some posts over to a temporary category and the problem was not present. Also all of the other category feeds seem to be working, so it has to be to do with a post just in that category.

I will get to the bottom of this at some point in time.

By the way, What do you think of the new logo in the header? I had no internet for some time yesterday so I set my self the task of creating a new logo.

At my Spanish class yesterday we we trying on costumes for Carnaval which is taking place this weekend. A bit of clowning around

Mac20Q Podcast 84 Paul Boag

Paul Boag

Paul started building websites back in 1994 when the web was simple and grey backgrounds were the order of the day.

Now he is the primary web strategist at Headscape and one of its three founders. Most of his day is spent helping clients get the most out of their website.

When he is not doing client work he talks and writes about web design. He speaks regularly on web design both in the UK and abroad. Engagements have included , , and the . He also hosts the longest running and most popular web design podcast over at .

Between speaking enagements Paul is as well as writing articles for , and other publications.

Paul confessed to be a country yokel or Redneck because of where he lives, so we chatted about what it is like living or working in rural England. Paul though surely must be too tech savvy to qualify as a yokel anyway. he is a fairly recent switcher and said much of the change was down to the fact all his contacts at conferences were using sexy MacBookPro machines and he was embarrassed to get out the Windows laptop computer. Now that is part of the mac community we will forgive him his winding up of Mac Users in the past.

Paul runs a web design business and is well known enough that he is asked to talk at events like SXSW. He gave me a few recommendations for Mac software and iPhone applications. MagicPress is an application he says is good to use with the Magic Mouse but warns not to set up too many fancy touch commands for the mouse or it will get confused.

083_Happy Birthday Mac20Q

David Allen - Wizardgold

Today’s podcast is about the first year of Mac 20 Questions and a bit about what I plan for the show in the second year.
Well it has been one year and a couple of days with the Mac20Q blog and podcast
It has morphed into a whole series of podcasts called 20 Questions

Last year when I started the podcast I was bashing out a podcast nearly every other day in order to build up a catalogue of podcasts for listeners to find when the arrived at the site and I kept up a fairly frantic pace through most of the year, only slowing down when I was working during the summer in the camp site reception.

I have had good feed back and great following from quite a few people during the year and each podcast at the moment has about 200 downloads in the first 30 days but keeps on getting downloaded after that. The most popular people like the photographer Steve Carty from Canada has been listened to 984 times at this moment and there are quite a few like the Rob Hanson, Adam Christianson and Don MacAllister episodes which have been downloaded more than 700 times.

The podcast still has not reached the critical mass and gone viral but I believe it will given time. I keep the Apple rumour mongering to nil if I can. I only ramble for about 5 mins at the start of the podcast and I like to make the podcast about the person that is the Mac user or the film maker or the photographer.

Creativity is what interests me and even the lowliest Mac user gets doing some creative things with his or her Mac because that is what Macs are so good at. It is no surprise that some of the Mac interviews have been able to be re packaged and sent out in Photo20Q or Video 20Q or Writers 20 Q

Give a donation to the Haiti Fund

So the other monetary comment for me to make now is about donations, as in donation ware like you have with software. Other podcasters work with this model so I put up a donation button. Someone will use it one day I expect, although if cash is short and you are thinking that you would rather give to a charity than pay for what I am giving away for free anyway – then the desperate people of Haiti have a better claim to the money right now.

My aim still is to be a professional podcaster and seeing as other people have got there then I should be able to also. Persistence and loving what I do should win the day eventually. Compared to a bricks and mortar business where you could see 3 to five years before your business starts to see a profit – being a podcaster is not at all bad in the scheme of things.

Mac 20 Questions

It has been a good year for Mac 20 Questions and looking towards the second year I expect things to get even better. Video20Q is really taking off and thats exciting, Writers 20 Q has also been great with having best selling authors like David Hewson on the show and successful audio book podcasters like JC Hutchins. There are more interviews to come with novelists and writers.

Updating the web presence

It was getting a bit tedious with looking after each of the podcasts on its own website with all the WordPress installations. WP is pretty easy but becomes a chore when you have a few sites that you have to be updating WP from time to time, and also the plugins too. So I have just found out that I can do it all from one site with category podcasting . Enter stage right Answer20Q.com

I can re direct the visitors of the current web sites by forwarding them at hosting level with Godaddy so the change should be fairly seamless. And I can publish each of the podcasts separately as categories.
There is some messing about with the RSS feeds a little – although that is made a little easier by using feed burner. I only have to change the feed going into feedburner and that is a lot less painful than trying to change the feed at iTunes.

For Mac20Q there have been some a few screencasts, with a Mac tip or two and I plan this year to do more with video. I have my green screen and the Shure SM58 mic that I can connect to the camera so I am all set to go.

Thanks to all the guests that have been on the shows, couldn’t have done it without you. Huge thanks to all the listeners likewise.

Mac20Q Podcast 64 David Branin and Karen Worden

David Branin

In Mac 20 Questions podcast 64 I am talking to the vibrant hosts of Film Courage, which you will find at . We had a great conversation about film and movie making and I surely get the impression that these are people to watch out for. Most definitely going places in the movie industry.

Obviously they are FinalCutPro users and big fans of the Mac. Their story of the sound guy having to listen to the strippers in the movie making certain noises was very funny. One of them is an actual porn star.

Writer/Director David Branin grew up near Hartford, Connecticut.   It wasn’t until his college career was almost over that the dream of making a major motion-picture burst into his head. David and three of his closest friends wrote an original screenplay together and moved to Los Angeles in 2000 to pursue their own Hollywood ending.

He is the Director/Writer/Producer of  and Co-Host of Film Courage.
His work has been seen by millions online.  His short films, Shoot-Out and Honey, I’m Home have garnered the most acclaim, having combined to screen in over 40 international film festivals while winning their share of awards.
Actress/Spokesperson Karen Worden co-hosts L.A. Talk Radio’s “Film Courage”.  At age 18, Karen drove herself and her belongings to Los Angeles from the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue her acting career.  As many an L.A. transplant will do, Karen worked several odd jobs to pay the rent.  Karen’s had many interesting work experiences which have further flavored her character.
Karen WordenKaren’s style is earthy with a slight touch of fire , easygoing, intuitive and direct. In hosting the new Internet radio talk show, “Film Courage,” .  Karen’s in-depth questioning discovers how individuals overcome the naysayers, along with quieting the harshest of critics – oneself!  She questions industry professionals on their fear of success versus fear of failure, overcoming self-sabotage, and developing one’s greatest strengths.

Karen’s credits include Honey I’m Home, Road Therapy, Weekend Get Away, Religious Freaks Gone Wild, Mind Over Matter Man, Smoking – The Movie and the latest Night Before the Wedding.  Karen also wrote and starred in a one-woman play showcased at the Space Theatre entitled The Other Woman, as well as being featured in several commercials and print ads.  One of her favorite shoots was working with Richard Simmons on his Sweatin’ to the Oldies series.

So what is Answer 20 Questions all about

My name is David Allen and I go by the name of Wizardgold online usually, sometimes perhaps Spondicious. I am a blogger and podcaster. I interview people about just about anything. I have a very successful Podcast based Blog called Mac 20 Questions. That is what started all of this. I may have to franchise this out.

This site will be the catch all 20 Questions site. All of the podcasts along with the show notes will be inserted on here.

I also expect that I will use this site to add one offs 20 Question interviews. Such as Hamster Lovers 20 Q or 20 Questions about the town where you live or just about anythng really.