Posted by: sarahaustin | December 27, 2008

Lifecasting Poem

Video monster what do you see?
Is there a future nectar rapture?
The current landscape picture capture

memories

VCR recordings of family holiday

The past reflections
reverberated present distilles sweet dew drops
Still, they wait, on a red wheelbarrow
The round water specks glisten under the sun
like the lights of Times Square on New Years Eve
As the morning sun burns the mist away I find it hard to forget the video star in the night
Swollen video out of sight
Like a bedtime monster causing fright

How do I escape?

Learn from the camera eye lense
We have come far together, old friends
These times we need each other
To lend a helping hand
The value of a friend
Mother’s hands to guide my way
Through the sinuous roads, rocky mountains and ocean horizon
Hide sharks and snakes
The nest of the mist
Echos fog horns
Mother, stay close and guide my transient escape

Posted by: sarahaustin | November 14, 2008

I Joined The Real Time Matrix

Since Pop17‘s launch, the show has grown to gain more attention on social networks and hardware devices. Quickly, the Pop17 brand equity drew in sponsors and fans whom support the show and make it possible.


Rocketboom and Mogulus helped Pop17 get off the ground and I couldn’t be more thankful for their support in the past. For a while now, Rocketboom and Pop17 have been going separate ways and officially cut ties in recent times. I was a fan of Rocketboom in 2005 and will always remain a big supporter.

It’s a lot of work to run your own show and even with the support of Mogulus today I’ve been looking for the right company to help on the business side.
Michael Arrington showed me WebbAlert, in 2007, and said, “you should do that.” With my spare time I created Pop17 and TechCrunch became my first sponsor. PerkettPR and VirginAmerica followed. About three months ago Heather Harde, TechCrunch’s CEO, advised me to partner up with a company like Federated Media to do ad sales. At that time, I was focused on school and production so I had little time for sales. I took Heather’s advice and began talking to different companies interested in helping support the show. I found a symbiotic relationship.
I’m happy to announce that I am now the Social Media Advisor for the Real Time Matrix company. Real Time Matrix is a content network that has sponsored Pop17 from time to time in the past. They will be helping me with web development, ad sales, distribution and video production support. I’m excited to be part of a new media service company that works with major brands like The Examiner, Social Media Today, Hayden Black, Perez Hilton, Star Pulse and Major League Soccer. What’s great about RTM is they provide me with measurable and usable tools I can use to sell more sponsorships and maximize my reach. You can expect more shows launching early next year.

Posted by: sarahaustin | September 12, 2008

Me At Parsons

It’s been a long time since I have had so much help learning. With all the production, business and travel I do with Pop17 it’s been a long ride of output and creativity. Writing scripts, location shoots, equipment maintenance, public relations and marketing, sales, presentation and blogging require a great deal work. I have been constantly delivering and pumping out videos that it starts to feel unbalanced. This is my first week at Parsons and there has already been a major change in pace.

My classes this semester will help make Pop17 better because the quality of my internet output will be more refined and focused toward technology and design. The classes I’m currently enrolled in teach me about blogging, design, history of art and technology, graphic design and story-boarding for the moving image. My teachers are great and the students appear to be really talented. I’ll be blogging about what I learn along the way and I’m sure you will see an improvement with my videos as I continue to learn and be turned on to new things. I could not be more appreciative of this new opportunity at Parsons.

I’m having the time of my life.

Posted by: sarahaustin | September 8, 2008

Craigslist, Burning Man And Art School

When was the last time you did something crazy that changed your life? There are three random turning points in my life that shaped my decision to go into tech. Before tech I used new media to make documentaries, but didn’t see tech on the horizon. Things have changed as a result of getting involved with local communities in the Bay Area and online. I live a breath tech every day! 

Last year, I briefly me Craig Newmark at Washington Square Park. If only Craig knew how much his site has helped my career. I love Craigslist. Woooo!

I answered an ad to host an internet news show when I was looking for a second job, auditioned and got casted. I was working in radio news at the time and felt like video was the next transition. Plus, I liked that I could send the links to my family and friends. On the radio at KALX, I had to manually record each show on my computer screen as I streamed it from UC Berkeley’s website which, as you can imagine, was a pain so I didn’t get around to archiving the shows beyond occasionally recording to a cassette tape.  

Craigslist helped me find out about cool tech events. I made funny videos at the TechCrunch7 party and Ubisoft game launch events. I even found out about the Halo 3 launch event in NYC on Craigslist and I broadcasted it to Justin.tv

The site helps me connect and work with with local videographers and photographers across the US. I have found camera operators for pop17 on craigslist and collaborated with photographers too. I met one of my best friends as a result of a craigslist post when Noreen Sullivan responded. She came on board for a while, but left after 5 months. We stayed friends and worked together in other ways outside of production. She would lifecast with me to Justin.tv including the time we went to McDonnalds with a Transformers helmet. She is a good friend. 

In 2006 I had the opportunity to attend Burning Man. It’s a festival that comes from the wika tradition. I don’t know exactly how to feel about the seminal roots and belifs of Burning Man, but I can say that it’s an eye opener. I learned so much and made great connections. I camped with Mutaytor, a performance group from LA. They let me work for them with their VJ equipment that consisted of several MacBook Pro computers, mixers, laser projectors, HD cameras, handycams and editing software. 

The Mutaytor crew let me take out the camera hat that streamed live to the camp ground from the playa. Basically everything I saw was what they saw live at the campground. My friends recorded me wearing a camera attached to my hat. It was the first time I got creative with live video. 

 

The next big step in tech is getting a degree in technology. 

This morning I arrived at Parsons admissions at 10 AM ET with my grades, classes, portfolio and application ready to go. The first person I spoke to in admissions said there was no way I would be admitted since classes had already started. She said I should just sign up for a tour or leave. I told her I wouldn’t take no for an answer and wanted to schedule to meet with someone that day. So I waited in their office. At 11 AM a nice counselor said she would see me. I gave her my materials and she said she would let me know if I’d be admitted in 4 hours. So I got some pinkberry. 

One hour later she let’s me know in the email. 

“Dear Sarah, 

I am happy to tell you that you have been admitted to the DT program. Your acceptance will be posted today.

Very Best,
Debra

Admissions Counselor

Parsons The New School For Design”

I love tech more than anything else. I’m so passionate and ambitious about what is to come. The best part is this is just beginning. 

I’d love to hear from you. What got you into social media and tech?

Posted by: sarahmeyers | July 23, 2008

Film Review With Mom

I took the subway to the JFK airport where I checked in with Virgin America. I was twittering my travels on twitpic and lifecasted from the plane before we took off.

I’m in California this week visiting my family. They live in Mill Valley, a small town north of San Francisco, California. My mom and I are spending a lot of time together going shopping, lifecasting and watching movies. We did a live video chat on Justin.tv for about one hour where my internet friends were asking questions about my childhood. Of course they wanted to know about the most personal, intimate and embarrassing moments of my life. She told them about how I cried when my brother called me a “spoon bowl” at the age of 5. I admitted to being sensitive then and now.

We are having a great time together doing what I like to do and what she likes to do. She thinks lifecasting is fun, but says she won’t be starting her own channel any time soon. Both my parents have screen names on Justin.tv and come check in on me when I am in New York through the chat. They like to keep up with my life online. And they like to make sure I’m not getting into trouble.

When I lived in the small town of Mill Valley I used to spend time watching movies with my family. Watching films is one of their favorite hobbies. My parents have a large entertainment system which made that easy. However, ever since my moved to Manhattan a year ago I have not watched a single film from home. There is too much going on in New York to spend time watching films, I guess. I’m always running around and working so I have little time to enjoy the simple pleasure of watching movies. My mom and I went to the movie rental store and picked up “Where the Heart Is” and “Because I Said So.” We watched them together. Both films are about being a mom, parenting, marriage, growing up and dating so we could relate.

“Where the Heart Is” and “Because I Said So” are similar films because they both involve a relationship between single mothers and their daughters. In my personal opinion, “Because I Said So” is a more realistic portrayal of family life, however, “Where the Heart Is” comes in as a better film with higher ratings all around. Both films have interesting backgrounds that many women can relate to. Single mothers in poverty relate to Natali Portman’s character, Noblelee, in “Where The Heart Is,” because the film addresses the contributing factors to single mother poverty women go through. On the other hand, upper-class single mothers relate better with Diane Keaton’s character in “Because I Said So.”

Starring Diane Keaton and Mandy More, the film is a comedy that exhibits an overbearing relationship between the mother, Daphne Wilder, played by Diane Keaton, and her daughter Milly Wilder, played by Mandy Moore. In the film, Daphne wants the best for Milly. Daphne is a normal, over-protective and over-bearing mother. Milly is the youngest of three daughters brought up by Daphne and she has had a hard time finding the right boyfriend. Daphne wants her daughters to all be happily married and Milly is the only one left single. Thus Daphne goes online to post a personal ad seeking a mate for Milly with out telling Milly, she is trying to help her find a date online. Daphne may not know what is right for her daughter and seeks a man that fits her criteria for what she wants in a son-in-law. With an idea in mind about what the perfect life partner is, she meets up with men looking for a date at a bar and finds a successful architect who is also looking for a life partner. She sets them up without telling Milly what she is up to. You can tell Daphne loves her daughter and is just trying to help. But she ends up messing with her daughter’s love life more than helping. What really matters is that Daphne loves her daughter and wants to help and that message is clear in the film.

A large percentage of women in the US can relate to Daphne’s motherly position in “Because I Said So” due to a growing percent of single female-headed families in the US. However, the majority of those women do not relate to the social class of the family in “Because I Said So.” This is because their family is well established, economically sustained and does not show any struggles with income, support or welfare in the film. Women who raise children by themselves without the presence of a husband make up 30 percent of people in poverty in 2003 according to the US Bureau of the Census.

In “Because I Said So” the mother, Daphne had divorced her husband a while back. She owned a catering company that Milly works for so the family is able to sustain off of that. In “Where The Heart Is” Natalie Portman plays Noblelee Nation, a pregnant teen that ends up homeless due to a strike of bad luck. She starts living in a WalMart because she had no place left to go. It really is the luck factor that makes this film unbelievable. She plays the daughter of actress Sally Field, who plays the single mother that abandoned Noblelee when she was 5 years old. Now Noblelee is faced with being a young single mother with out any help from her family. Her mother does not care to help her daughter, after Noblelee gives birth to her baby in a WalMart, her mother comes to see her. She found out about the birth from reading about the babies birth in the newspapers and supposedly came to offer her help and support, but what she really did was rob Noblelee of the 500 dollars people donated to her and split. This portrayal of their mother daughter relationship is a saddening yet a powerful portrayal of family life.

Unlike Daphne in “Because I Said So,” Noblee Nation is a character that most single mothers can relate to. Like I said, the 2003 census report states that 30 percent of single mothers are living in poverty. This façade of the film is believable, relatable and a good representation of what it is like to be a single mother in poverty living in the United States. There are different levels of poverty single mothers live through and many factors contribute to their situations.

In the film “Where The Heart Is” Noblelee has an ambivalence to sexual activities that is seen in the second half of the film. From looking at statistics that make up single mother poverty it’s clear that Natali Portman’s character went through life circumstances such as teen pregnancy, boyfriend abuse and unintended conception that are contributing factors to her situation. In “Where The Heart Is” Noblelee, Natali Portman’s character goes through being a single mother in poverty and in “Because I Said So” the mother, Daphne, Diane Keaton’s character, goes through being a well off single mother with three daughters.

Both films have characters whom are white. There isn’t much diversity to the characters and supporting characters in the films. These are films about white families led by single mothers. The structural elements of the films revolve around kinship. Both films show the friends and family as an important influence in the raising of children. Both take place in the United States and touch on social issues around decision making and selecting a partner.

They are different when looking at the social class variations. “Where The Heart Is” focuses on a lower social class in the US. If we look at social stratification we see that “Because I Said So” portrays the opposite level of ranking. “Because I Said So” is about a white upper class family and “Where the Heart Is” is about a poor white family. Some may argue that showing the trials and tribulations of poverty makes “Where The Heart Is” a more powerful portrayal of family life. However, there are too many outrageous and unbelievable instances throughout the film that make you think there is no way it could be real.

I find “Because I Said So” to be a more powerful portrayal of family life because I base power on reality. In “Where The Heart Is” there is too much emphasis on superstition. In my experience superstitions are false. Noblelee claims that the number 5 has cursed her. She said that her mother left her at age 5 and that she was cut and received 55 stitches. Then, later on in the film, her child is kidnapped at 5:55pm. I find these superstitions quite unrealistic and unbelievable. Unfortunately, this motif carries on throughout the entire film making scenes hard to believe. It’s sad to see Natalie Portman’s character so resistant to love. When men try to date her she constantly turns them away and declares that she is making a life change by denouncing men from her life.

If I were to rate these films then I’d give “Where The Heart Is” 5 starts out of 5 because it is compelling, touches on important social issues like teen pregnancy and makes you want to laugh and cry throughout the film. “Because I Said So” gets 4 stars out of 5 because it’s funny, heart warming, charming, talks about important social issues and it’s romantic. I’d hold off from giving it 5 stars out of 5 because Mandy Moore’s performance isn’t entirely convincing. On the other hand, Natalie Portman’s performance is superb.

I recommend watching both films with your mother. They certainly are “chick flicks” that women, particularly single women, can relate to. If you are interested in factors that contribute to single mother poverty, want to know what it is like to have a daughter as a wealthy single mother or just want to watch a powerful portrayal of women lead families both films are perfect for you. “Because I Said So” is a more believable and powerful film than “Where The Heart Is.” However, “Where The Heart Is” has a well-written script with better acting and a more interesting story line. The films are similar yet different. Watching them together is the best way to see the variations in social class, their similarities and differences. As a female I can speak to other females and say anyone will appreciate the messaging in both films.

If you watch one of these films, or both, watch them with your mom. I bonded with my mom over these two films and you probably will too. Thanks mom!

Posted by: sarahmeyers | July 5, 2008

Hooking Up

Why does it take women longer to find the right guy? Today society is gravitating toward living in cities. Technology let’s us connect no matter where we are. Social networking gets you more dates and invited to more social gatherings. For women having a career in an urban environment where we are constantly around technology it’s hard to settle down and get married. I believe living in urban environments, active social networking, engaging in increased dating partners and women’s careers are contributing factors to the delayed age at first marriage.

Decline in age at first marriage means people are waiting longer before they get married. According to the US census report cohorts of people born in 1935-1939 and 1975-1979 are waiting until they are older to get married. Age at first marriage has changed so that men and women wait longer to get married, however, more people are getting married. It would be interesting to predict what the age at first marriage will be in 10 years. Careers are thriving for woman now more than ever before. It makes sense that these days women wait to get married as apposed to 50 years ago when women would marry young. There are a lot of responsibilities that come with marriage. Career focused and driven women are more likely to wait.

Today there’s a tendency for people to live in cities and get married later on in their 30’s. Most people say that raising kids in an urban city is a bad idea. Thus, people who live in Manhattan take longer to start a family. The city life is so fun that it’s hard to leave it. It’s also more expensive to live in cities with kids. The cost of space goes up and kids need more space to grow up in. Our nation’s natural resource crisis has caused more people to move into cities to share resources like public transportation. It makes more people get married and not have kids or raise their kids in a cramped urban environment.

The longer you date the less chance you have to get married. Dating websites help people hook up. Technology makes real life interactions easier to coordinate and makes you more social. Social networks like Facebook help people stay in touch and find out about local events their friends are going to. Social networking probably contributes to the delay of marriage. It’s easy to speed date online, find people with similar interests and meet up with random people from social networks in real life.

A successful career driven woman can make it on her own without a man to support her. Thus, successful women have a greater tendency to stay single longer if not their whole life. Many men and women are more focused on their careers than their love life and often they prefer to have short term commitments, date around and be hyper social. They hold on to the fun single life for longer and often decide to never marry. There are fewer rewards career driven women will get from marriage.

I don’t think there is a problem with delay of age at first marriage in recent times. If there are any problems in this area it’s women getting pregnant, having children and raising them as a single mom in their teen and early twenty years. If you are planning on having kids it’s probably best to wait until you have the resources to start a family. It’s possible to have a career, embrace technology, be social and get married. Do you think that is what we want? What do you think women want in a man? Are there fewer options or do you think it’s our urban lifestyle that makes finding the right man so difficult?

Posted by: sarahmeyers | June 28, 2008

Bunny Suites

Bunny people work at Intel! Ha! No not really. We just call them that because they have to wear these suites so that everything is really clean. They can’t risk having any dust or dirt getting on the chips. The silicon chips are the CPU’s in computers. They “perform mathematical operations and move data from one memory location to another. Microprocessors contain an address bus that sends addresses to memory, read and write lines, and a data bus that can send data to memory or receive data from memory.” According to the Information at GlobalSpec.

Technicians who work at Intel wear the bunny suites. Even a single particle of dust has a large effect when compared to the microscopic details of an Intel chip. Dirt would affect the proper functioning of the microprocessor so they take extra caution to be clean.

Posted by: sarahmeyers | June 23, 2008

African Culture Websites

The Kenya Crisis has caused attention to the people in Kenya and African culture in recent times. Kwani is an amazing organization that empowers African history in Kenya to be documented. Kwani devotes funds to the intellectual and creative people who will preserve the culture and freedom of Kenya. Books and writers are working on bringing the history and culture of Kenya to the forefront of people’s minds for generations to come. The Kenya Crisis has brought attention to the the election instability, culture and history of Kenya. Rocketboom’s wikia page provides a chronicle of the crisis and links to Kenyan blogs including Kwani, a journal about African culture in Kenya. The website gives you the information you need right on the home page and is easy to navigate.

The Cambridge Journal
is a website that covers the history and culture of Africa. It’s information comes from a list of editors and includes published information from journals and focuses on a wide variety of regions and geographic cultures. The topics of this website are not all based on old African civilizations, but most is. It’s for people willing to subscribe and pay. There is a link to a small amount of free journals on the website which link to information open with no charge. This information is free for anyone to consume, but limited in the breadth of topics. The free information includes health information, language, history and reviews among other topics.

The Cambridge Journal’s approach let’s the reader navigate through the information by powering it’s own search box. You can type a keyword into the search box and check a circle that tells the website if you are looking for journals or related content. The search results appear similar to how they appear if you search on google. They are listed out with a title and a little bit of meta data attached so you can read what the search result is about before having to click on the link. On the right hand side of all search results you can check a box that will add the journal to your cart. It appears the search results only result in different journal results instead of all information related to the key term such as blog posts or articles. After browsing the free journals I came across an interesting journal that I think is worth checking out. It’s called “Urban History” and covers everything from social to economic features in Africa. The journal talks about cultural aspects and politics of cities and towns through out their history.

Kwani is different from the Cambridge Journal because it’s not about reading journals from people who have formulaically written history on Africa. Instead Kwani is a journal itself. It is not a place to search for journals. Kwani empowers writers to go out an document Kenyan history through creative ways like poetry and fiction where as the Cambridge Journal is a resource that shows you thousands of journals on different subjects. The two websites are similar because they help to get written information out there about African culture. They both preserve and document African culture, heritage and history. Both are resourceful and helpful journals. I’m not going to lie, Kwani has a far more engaging website with a community that is flourishing, for example, on Facebook they have 500 involved members and are growing.

Posted by: sarahmeyers | June 21, 2008

Twitter Video

What are you doing?

Posted by: sarahmeyers | June 20, 2008

Hello WordPress

Since the launch of pop17 I’ve been MIA from WordPress. At pop17 I blog about internet fame and geek culture. This is a place where I can blog about random topics. Expect this blog to be about the thoughts, ideas and life experiences of an urban woman living in a technology forward world.

Welcome to my new name, new wordpress template and life. I’m not sure how many subscribers I have on this blog, but imagine it’s a sizable number of friends, internet friend and bloggers from the community. Some of you guys may not know what I have been up to since August so I thought I’d put together a list of places I have been spending a lot of time online if you want to catch up on my activity:

Pop17.com- A website I launched February 28th, 2008. It’s about internet fame.

Justin.tv- I lifecast here at random times through out the day with surprise broadcasts.
Flixwagon.com- I’m lifecasting here from my mobile phone daily.

Mogulus.com- My weekly live show with special effects and live interaction around popular news.

Tumblr.com- My daily blog about internet society that is between WordPress and Twitter.
Twitter.com- I update what I’m doing about 4-6 times randomly through out the day.

YouTube.com- This is where I spend most of my time when I am not working on pop17 (please subscribe)
FriendFeed.com- You can track your friends activity on other sites in one place at one time.
Facebook.com- I try to write back to all messages and read every wall comment- I swear!
Digg.com- I love Digg so send me your shouts!
Flickr.com- Most of my photos are taken from my iphone.

Grab an RSS feed here because I plan to update more frequently from here on out.

The connections, people, stories, sounds, thoughts, observations and interactions that shape my journey are shared with all who want to listen and chat. This is real life at it’s worst and greatest moments. Your opinions and comments make a difference here.

This is a work in progress and I want to think of it as our blog because it changes every day and together we make it happen.

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