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August 31, 2003

Serious video publishing

I've been looking at Serious Magic's "Visual Communicator" product for a possible review on streamingmedia.com, where I write a regular column on streaming media technology.  I've only just started playing with the product, but two things strike me right away as notable.  First, the quality of the printed (yes...on actual paper that you can read in the bathroom!) manual is superb.  It covers not only the software product, but also the most basic basics of video production in general, and does so in an effective, lighthearted tone. 

The second striking thing is this paragraph in the last section, A brief history of broadcast communication:

Television has forever altered our society, but here at Serious Magic, we don't believe TV has yet reached its full potiential to inform, educate, entertain,.and enrich our lives.  To reach its full potential we believe that the power to make television (or television-like communications) must be in the hands of millions of people (not just a few thousand broadcasters and TV producers).  ...  Perhaps someday Visual Comunicator will be rememberd as a major step forward in democratizing the tools of television. 

Lofty, yes.  A bit overblown?  Perhaps.  But I like the premise - that the tools of personal publishing will make a difference in video media as it has in text.  I'd love to hear from anyone who's used it.  What did you use it for?  Was it effective?  I'm as interested in the ways its "broadcast" presentation styles are used in the real world as in the technical details of the software. 

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