Happy Holidays from Northland New Media!

December 20, 2010

$100,000+ a year … From YouTube?

September 28, 2010

In our Electronic Media Management class, we’ve been reading Chris Anderson’s “The Long Tail.”

Anderson says that in the pre-Internet, pre-New Media age, talented people had to earn access to the production tools that enabled them to do creative work. Big companies held the keys to the expensive audio consoles, editing software, video cameras, and printing presses used to make and distribute media. Big companies also had a lock on access to a mass audience.

Today, media production tools are inexpensive (or sometimes free) to access. And more people are making content (web videos, albums of their own original music, self-published books, independent films).

And the Long Tail of available media content gets infinitely longer.

The ubiquitous availability of those production tools, coupled with the worldwide distribution channel of the internet, and sophisticated search technology, allows us all to be media producers.

Anderson says there’s been a shift from “Earn the right to produce,” to “What’s stopping you?”

More and more, we don’t make much of a distinction between media that’s produced independently by a dude in his apartment, and something that was created by a team of professionals working for a production company.

We know we we like, and we can find it … somewhere out there in the Long Tail.

And when the trollers of the Long Tail beat a path to a new media producer’s digital door, there are increasing opportunities to turn something that originally was done for fun into a way to make a few dollars.

Or a lot of dollars.

Check out this article from Yahoo Finance on some new content producers have made over $100,000 a year on YouTube … then try it yourself.

Northland grad shares his experiences at WDAY-TV.

September 17, 2010

You may have satellite radio in your car, but 2008 Northland Mass Communications graduate Mark Askelson has you beat in the technology department.

Mark Askelson of WDAY-TV speaks to New Media classes

His truck has a satellite dish on top.

Just a couple months after graduating from Northland’s Mass Communications program in 2008, Mark landed his first media job at WDAY-TV in Fargo.

As a master control operator and engineer at WDAY, Mark records network feeds, airs local commercials when the ABC network takes breaks, and rushes to the scene of breaking news driving the WDAY satellite truck.

Mark stopped by the Electronic Media Management class on his day off Thursday to talk about his job.

Forum Communications, parent company of WDAY-TV, is a great example of a local “converged” media company. Forum is an all-around player in media, with a portfolio of newspapers (Grand Forks Herald, Fargo Forum), TV stations (WDAY and WDAZ), radio stations (WDAY-AM), and several websites (CarsHQ). It’s the perfect example of how the lines between all forms of media are blurring.

Within a converged media company, a person who is hired on as a photographer for a newspaper may end up with a video camera in his or her hand, shooting video for the paper’s website.

Northland Grad Mark Askelson is interviewed for PioneerCast

Likewise, a radio personality may blog or tweet while on the air, and a newspaper reporter may do a TV-like news package for his/her paper’s online audience.

All of these media professionals are already creating content on a daily basis.

New media allows their work to be seen on multiple platforms, and by a larger audience.

Announcing Pioneer GamePod.

September 14, 2010

Premieres this Thursday

Northland Center for New Media students are busy working on the premiere episode of Pioneer GamePod, a weekly podcast featuring interviews with Northland coaches and athletes. Hosts for the first show are Danny Jackson and Evan Godtland. The show will also air Fridays at 7AM and 5:10PM on Pioneer 90.1 FM.

Move-in day draws near!

September 1, 2010

From our vantage point from the ITV classroom across the hall (temporarily home to our Mac lab), we can see that construction on the Northland Community & Technical College Center for New Media and Pioneer 90.1 studios is almost complete.

Looking into audio and video studio space from the classroom

A view from the hallway into the New Media Mac Lab

Pioneer 90.1 HD-2 and Pioneer 90.1 FM Studios

Pioneer 90.1 FM Studio

New Media program completes first week.

August 25, 2010

After three years of planning, New Media classes are underway at Northland Community & Technical College in Thief River Falls. With a full class of 15 students behind them, the department’s new iMacs are finally getting put to use!

In the first five days of classes, students are editing audio with Audacity, learning how to record using the Tascam DR-07, and finding out how area businesses like Mattracks are using New Media.

College radio station Pioneer 90.1 is also playing its part in the first week of classes at Northland. New Media students joined in as we broadcast live from Gunderson Commons for “Welcome Wednesday.”

Cory Chisel plays NY, then TRF.

June 22, 2010

11 days before coming to Thief River Falls, Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons played a tribute concert to Simon and Garfunkel in New York’s Central Park. Cory told me that Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were in the front row as they played. How’s that for nerve-wracking?

Cory Chisel at the Pennington County Fairgrounds

Though Mailman Kjell Melvie was the only celebrity in the crowd at the Pennington County Fairgrounds on Saturday, it looked like Cory and the band were enjoying themselves. See pictures on our Flickr Photo Stream.

Pioneer 90.1's Mailman Kjell Melvie

Pioneer 90.1 Operations Manager Ben Kosharek did a tremendous job of recording and mixing the show. We’ll have it on the radio and online in about a week. Check back here and at www.radionorthland.org for some video, coming soon!

Cory Chisel & Adriel Harris

And remember, if you want to be a part producing of Pioneer 90.1’s concert series this fall, there’s still time to register for the New Media or Radio Business programs at Northland Community and Technical College, Thief River Falls. Classes start August 23!

Out with the Old … In with the New (Media).

June 11, 2010

Here we go! Put on your hard hats. Construction is about to begin on Northland’s New Media department.

This week, though, has been about deconstruction.

The space where the New Media and Radio Business programs will be housed this fall has been home to radio and television broadcasting facilities and classrooms since 1968.

Our space is currently home to an FM radio studio, four production studios, three staff offices, a video master control room and a large classroom-slash-video production area. Beginning next week, the space gets a complete tear-down and rebuild, just in time for classes to begin the end of August.

We have a lot of work ahead of us in the coming days, but when the architects’ drawings come to life, we’ll have a new 18-seat Mac lab, three HD digital radio studios, an audio production studio, a video performance space, and a video master control room.

As the new facilities take shape, I’ll post pictures of the progress on the Flickr account, which you can get to through this blog’s homepage. Some of the old gear we had stashed in the closets is a lot of fun to look at, so check out the pictures!

Kodak Zi8: A great little video camera for bloggers. (And something about breakdancing).

June 8, 2010

Video is exploding on the web. And we’re not just talking Mentos and Diet Coke. Mobile users are streaming so much video, that AT & T announced last week that they’re no longer offering unlimited data plans for their 3G customers (iPhone and iPad users, mostly), presumably so as not to slow down the network.

According to ComScore, over 83% of U.S web users watched video online in the past month. That’s 178 million people. 40% of those videos were served up by YouTube, which only last month celebrated its 5th birthday. 26 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

I first started making “videos” before video was really video. In the summer of 1984, when I was between 3rd and 4th grade, some friends and I made our first movie. We had to save up $10 to buy a 50 ft roll of Super 8mm film from the Ben Franklin store. I borrowed my grandma’s Kodak camera, and loaded up the film cartridge.

Kodak XL55 Super 8mm Movie Camera

50 ft of film runs about 3 1/2 minutes on screen … just about enough time to make a music video, which we were all seeing a lot of for the first time on MTV that summer.

Michael Jackson was BIG, and my friend across the street could breakdance, kind of. So we sanded a piece of plywood to make a stage, and added special effects by having someone blow soap bubbles off camera (Lawrence Welk meets Michael Jackson).

As the camera rolled, we pressed play on my RCA cassette player, the kind with a handle and one built-in speaker. The Super 8mm movie film was silent, so after we paid another $5 to have the film developed and waited a couple weeks for it to come back from processing, we had to start the projector and the cassette of “Beat It” just at the same moment for the action to synch up with the music.

We charged 25 cents for friends and neighbors to attend the screening of “Breakin’ USA” in the upstairs of the fort my dad built for us the summer before.

The place was packed.

I’ll bet we had seven people in there.

For a 3 1/2 minute movie.

Flash forward 26 years, and we would have been a hit on YouTube, if we were lucky enough not to have been sued by the record company first.

Home video cameras were a rarity in 1984. Today, they just about give them away in cereal boxes. And the audience for creative, instructional, or sales videos is literally worldwide … all for the cost of nothing. I’m pretty sure that J&P Pictures was the only 3rd-grader-owned film studio in my hometown that summer, but today it seems like everyone is making video.

At the Blogworld conference last October, one of the panelists recommended a great little video camera for bloggers called the Kodak Zi8.

Kodak Zi8

It’s a pocket camera that takes 1080p HD video (and 720p and standard definition) recorded to SD cards.

What made it unique last fall, though competitors’ cameras have also added the feature since then, is that it allows the user to plug in an external mic using an 1/8 inch mini plug. So you get a nice crisp picture and clean interview sound in a camera that’s a little narrower and lighter than a deck of cards.

The Zi8 has 2.5 inch screen used to shoot and play back video and still photos. It records files that can be directly uploaded to YouTube, though as we’ll learn this fall, an edited video is almost always better than a non-edited one.

If you’re thinking about getting into new media and are new to shooting video, the Kodak Zi8, a 5 foot 1/8 inch to XLR mic cable and microphone will get you started very nicely. The Zi8 sells for about $180.

From New York’s Central Park to Thief River Falls.

June 2, 2010


Pioneer 90.1 brings Sony Records band “Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons” to Thief River Falls, MN

Pioneer 90.1 Presents Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons

 On June 8, Appleton, Wisconsin-based alt-rock band Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons will play New York’s Central Park. 11 days later, they’ll play a slightly more intimate venue: the Pennington County Fairgrounds in Thief River Falls.

 The band’s northwest Minnesota appearance is part of Pioneer 90.1’s free concert series, which up til now has featured local bands. “It’s the start of the summer season, and we wanted to do something bigger this time,” Pioneer 90.1 Operations Manager Ben Kosharek said. “We’ve been playing Cory’s music for over a year, and when we talked about bringing in a national act, we thought of Cory because of his Midwestern roots.”

 The radio station, based at Northland Community & Technical College, calls itself “Roots Radio.” “Our weekday format features music that has an earthy feel,” Northland Director of New Media Mark Johnson said. “We like to play artists who have a roots rock edge, and Cory fits the bill perfectly.”

 Chisel’s bio says he was “sheltered” from pop music from an early age, playing music with his grandfather’s nine guitar-playing brothers. His uncle Roger, a blues musician, shared his record collection – a collection filled with music from Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Robert Johnson, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, and Bob Dylan. 

 Chisel also has family from Dylan territory — in Babbitt and Ely, Minnesota.

 Cory Chisel and the Wondering Son’s album, “Death Won’t Send a Letter,” came out last September on Black Seal/Sony BMG Music. Chisel was joined on the Nashville sessions by members of The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, the Greenhornes, and by fellow roots-rocker Brendon Benson.

 The band has performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and will appear at this year’s Newport Folk and Glastonbury Festivals.

 Pioneer 90.1 will record the concert for later broadcast. It will also be made available statewide to stations in the Association of Minnesota Public and Educational Radio Stations network.

 Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons perform the free concert Saturday, June 19 at 7PM at the Pennington County Fairgrounds in Thief River Falls. Concertgoers should bring lawnchairs or blankets. Concertgoers are urged to arrive early to get a seat.

 For more Information about Cory Chisel and the Wondering Sons: www.corychisel.com

For more information about Pioneer 90.1: www.radionorthland.org