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Multimedia Blogging

Jon Udell has kicked off a series of articles at O’Reilly Network on what he calls “hypermedia

“The two-way Web unleashed by the blogging revolution is, and will
remain, largely a textual medium. And yet we’re clearly at an inflection point. It’s
increasingly feasible to create and share media content. If you needed special AV skills
and instincts in order to do that, it would be a non-starter. But I’ve never been an AV
guy. What motivates me to explore the subject now is a profound sense that it’s ready to
become part of mainstream communication on the Web. I’m not sure where this series of
columns will lead, but let’s take it one step at a time.”

2004 for me has been the year that multimedia has finally started to live up to its
promise – as a medium of expression for everyday people. I’ve dipped a toe into the
waters with my recent audio
blogging experiments
. However I’m ashamed to say I still don’t have a decent mobile
phone, so photo blogging is something I haven’t got into yet. It’s a matter of time
though. Like Jon Udell, I’m not naturally an “AV guy”. But I am artsy-fartsy by
nature and in 2004 I’m able to express that using any number of inexpensive and
accessible mainstream AV tools – such as digital cameras, PDA’s, pxt mobile phones,
software such as Garageband – and services such as Flickr and Audioblog. And blogging of course is the

One of my multimedia heroes is the late great Glenn Gould, who in
the 60’s and 70’s recorded some amazing contrapuntal audio tapestries. The best known is
a trilogy of recordings called The Solitude Trilogy. Here’s
an excerpt
of the first of them, called “The Idea of North”. The interweaving of
voices mirrors the counterpoint that Gould so loved to play in his music (Bach’s Goldberg
Variations being the most famous example – coincidentally I listened to Gould’s rendition
of Bach’s The Well-Tempered Klavier just last night, for the first time in ages). Gould
himself referred to
his audio work for CBC Radio as “contrapuntal documentaries”.

I guess what I’m saying in this post is that I’ll be closely following Jon Udell’s
series of columns on the mechanics of multimedia blogging. At the same time, I hope to
explore the creative side of multimedia – building on the foundation of Glenn Gould and
many other multimedia visionaries. I see lots of bloggers posting photos, mixing audio, and even
original music
. The time is ripe for multimedia.

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