The latest and greatest on CNN iReport, brought to you by Team iReport.
Please join us for our monthly roundtable. We have a new format this week, and plan to focus on video commentaries on iReport. We even have a few special guests that many of you will know.
We look forward to seeing you at 2:30!
I will be watching and hopefully this could benefit the families of Aurora! ireporter Moderate1981.
I look forward to this roundtable too
I'll be watching...
See you there!
and ... 25 minutes and counting ;D
ill be watching this will be my first round table
Should be interesting.
Ready and primed! Good afternoon to all.
Welcome all - starting momentarily!
Hello iReports and Producers from Sunny San Diego!
So who had the best commentary on gun control?
I do not have a camera on this desk top so I'll just type in.
As of 12:00 pm Mountain time my apartment complex has not proved me a call on my request to change my password to my gated community. I have contacted your office and your office has contacted Jesse the manager. I will give an email to CNN as it is a security concern for my Apartment Complex. I have made possible comments that could put the whole community at risk. I have a link to provide the information of the corporate entity per facebook. I will be patient for 10 minutes. Then create an ireport to show what I have done to protect my self. I am not unstable and no one should be alarmed. I am at home with my daughter without a car. Please shut the gate if you can not contact me.
How is everyone? Good to see you here!
Hi guys! i hope all is well.
Hello from Murdock, Minnesota!
No other way to participate in this blog post.
Hey everyone! Nice to see so many folks who have submitted to the iReport Debate assignments.
And this is a text-only chat roundtable, sorry for any confusion for the new folks.
@hhanks and @katie and everyone else...good afternoon.
Moderate1981 coming from the front range of Colorado. Here
Hello, welcome to our roundtable. We’re here with a new format this week. I would like to welcome our special guests, some commentary iReporters you are very familiar with: @JannetWalsh, @Egberto1961, @k3vsDad and @omekongo. We’re going to discuss what makes a good commentary iReport, and ask each of them about their process in iReporting. We will hold questions to the end. Thank you all!
More importantly than the front range... FROM AURORA! WE WILL REMEMBER!
We will have time set aside for your questions later in the roundtable.
Let's do it!
First we want to introduce @JannetWalsh. She has taken us on a journey as she seeks new employment opportunities. She has welcomed us into her life. Whenever she posts a commentary, you know the topic is hitting home with her. Welcome!
Chris, well, hello to you too.
Well hello hhanks I am assuming your name is Henry and salutations!
@jannetWalsh @Egberto1961 @k3vsDad @omekongo
Great commentary! I always enjoy watching!!
@chrismorrow thanks! EVERYTHING you do is awesome and you KNOW it! Rock on!
Ok. Thank you CNN
It is thanks, @Moderate1981 - pleased to make your acquaintance.
@Egberto1961 has been with us for many years, and will instantly react on video to developments during the day which catch his attention. If you know him, you know he cares deeply about politics and welcomes a healthy, respectful debate with all in the iReport community.
I thought it was going to be a link up per video roundtable like the big shots do. Oh well.
Hey, ome and Ewillies!
And by the way, we have had a few video debates, as you can see in the screengrab up top. Hope you have had a chance to check them out.
hugs Feeling the love! :)
“@k3vsDad is relatively new to the scene of posting video commentaries, but it did not take long for his iReports to make an impact. His videos are always sure to start a discussion, and he also opens up often with those in the community as to how the issues personally affect him.
@omekongo is another veteran of the iReport commentary. He is not afraid to take on a wide range of issues – and of course being a public speaker – he’s become an expert in getting his point across succinctly and clearly. And he certainly has a positive attitude with the community, regardless of the topic.”
@Logan248 We do want to try different roundtable formats! We can chat about that at the end of the roundtable. We'd love to try out video, too (like the "big shots," haha).
hello every one
Welcome @k3vsDad and @omekongo!
So let's start the conversation here - Most of you have been posting videos on CNN iReport for a while now. What topics capture your interest? @Egberto1961 do you want to answer first?
Greetings from Atlantic Beach, NC
Gotta go, it's time to pick the wife up from work. Bye all. Just glad my last report was spotlighted by CNN.
And the rest of our special commentary guests: please feel free to chime in on the question.
I generally focus on political issues. I like mostly middle class centric issues. But I generally will take on any topic and sometimes civily engage other iReporters. WE HAVE FUN as well.
@hhanks thanks for that nice intro!
To me, it has to have a personal effect and usually is in the area of politics in some way or other. I reserve my "video" reporting to my opinions which I can see relation and impact in small town America.
Thanks - and to the rest, @omekongo, @JannetWalsh, @k3vsDad - which topics do you like to discuss on iReport and why?
How about you @omekongo -- you have a knack for making your commentaries incredibly timely -- in your experience, what makes the best topic for a webcam video?
Pretty much everything captures my interest but my main issues are politics, entertainment, education, and comic books/cartoons.
What captures my interest?
Topic - I like to select a topic I'm passionate about, have a personal interest and is meaningful or related to current news events, locally or globally.
I have focused on topics related to the economy and jobs, as I know others in the US are also struggling to find their way in a difficult job market.
Another part of selection is if it is current/breaking news or impact.
So all of you have in common a knack for starting a conversation, and for sharing your views in an inviting, personal and succinct way. Is that important to you? And, we have to ask, what do you do in preparation to post a video? What is your process?
@dsashin the best topic for a webcam video is something that touches to the core of what I believe. I don't iReport just to see myself on video. There are days where I won't post a report because I have nothing SERIOUS to say. Those days I usually just recommend other people's posts. For me, if I am passionate about an issue than I know I will trigger the passion of those who see the posts and that makes for the most lively (most times civil) debate. I joined iReport to increase global dialogue and build community so I have to be mindful about my posts.
A topic that is news worthy, such as jobs, election or healthcare, is very universal. It's then not you making a video, but adding your voice to the world.
Yes -- I'm curious, do you write out your thoughts ahead of time?
I have no intent on speaking as to current events in Aurora and will not. This will not stop the rest of you and I don't expect it to. I will ask open ended questions to show respect for Aurora, Co. Journalism... right?
@hhanks if it's not personal, I don't post. Period. If you think about what you feel and how your audience may respond instead of just wanting to see yourself on CNN, most of your posts are going to be discussed because people will respect your opinion even if they disagree.
Good question dsashin!
I read as many related news stories as I can to get all angles of a given issue before forming and writing my report. I try to make sure I am as objective as possible, but at the same time voicing my view and why based on the various aspects of that issue.
My video reports are much fewer and less often than just news type stories with information and text only format.
Wow great answers all! How do you guys prepare? Or is it more spur-of-the-moment at times?
@hhanks as it relates to preparation for a video, I usually don't think beforehand that I'm going to do a post (unless it's an actual assignment). Usually I'm driving or exercising and then I'll see something or think of something and then I'll post usually within minutes after that. Most videos take one try. Sometimes I have to do multiple takes. I'm big on respecting the audience so if it doesn't sound right to me I know it won't sound right to them.
I love interacting with people. I view iReports as an extension of my persona and a place where anyone gets a chance to put their point of view or observations out.
Most of my reports are done on the cuff. It use to take me 3 and 4 takes because talking to a camera is not easy. Now I can generally do it one take. I use to write what I wanted to say and paste it on the camera. I though it made too much of a robotic iReport (for me). I now simply talk as if I am talking to a group of friends.
In the forums I also talk to those that have taken the time to listen as friends as well.
If a story hits me in the gym or on a CNN report, you can bet there is an iReport coming.
For me I have to write things out. Otherwise I might lose my way. Unfortunately my health issues do get in the way, if I don't write it out.
@Moderate1981 You make a great point. I want to point out that getting on camera doesn't need to be political -- we do lots of assignments where video simply makes the stories more powerful and personal.
@dsashin I never write my comments ahead of time unless it's a poem I wrote. I go from the top of my head when I do stuff. Sometimes I've ever freestyled a rap like the one I did on Hermain Cain. My career as a performer allows me to think fast and create things instantly so I never write my commentaries.
I plan, network, and have 'dumb luck'. Sometimes it is said it is better to be lucky than good. I am no exception. My luck my be very unfortunate though.
dsashin - omekongo! AWESOME!
@EWillies1961 Some of my best ideas come when walking/exercising! Sounds like the same is true for you :)
@Jannet and others -- tell us about your techniques for getting good quality videos (I'm talking about audio, lighting, camera angles, etc) -- what are some tips new iReporters could learn from? Anyone feel free to jump in here.
Certain times, it is much more at that moment, but I still take time to do some research and type it out before turning on my cam.
Hi this is Paul The Pizza Man reporting in from Belvidere, Vermont. Hope everyone is having a nice day. It's cloudy and raining here in Vermont, but at least it's cool.
You are so right. I think it has to do with more blood flowing to the head.
Who are some of the special guests.... (scratching my chin precuriously :D)
Preparation for video commentary:
(Maybe too long, but here is what I think about.)
Select the topic, location, your image, lighting, sound, video, recording length and wardrobe.
1. Topic - focus on issue you want to talk about. I sometimes practice before I record. I will also edit video. I sometimes have an outline, never scripted so I am talking, not reading.
2. Location - A location that is not distracting.
3. Image - Make yourself large enough in video screen, at least head and shoulders.
4. Lighting - Use window light, house hold lights or video led with soft box, or a combination.
5. Sound - shoot in a quiet room
6. Video - use computer, iPhone or a video camera.
7. Wardrobe - simple looking clothing or go for the professional look with a blazer or suit coat.
8. Recording length - keep it short, 1 to 2 minutes, too long, people won't listen.
Fantastic, Jannet -- I hope everyone takes your tips to heart.
I like it @ the pizzaman!
camera lighting tips - Use natural lighting. Avoid shadows in the face unless you want that effect.:)
Janet!!!!!! yeah! As a recording engineer that is wise. I usually have a large sense of my environment when recording.
So many great points here, which I think is why your videos do well. Good audio and short recording length are definitely keys to success on CNN.
@Jannet Amen, especially to sound! For us as producers, that's the number one mistake we see. Make sure you shoot in a quiet place, especially if you don't have a microphone. We want to be able to hear your voice!
I started on the Flipcam and now I use my macbook pro camera. #1 for macbook pro users, make sure you save your post as an hd480p file because it makes the file smaller for uploading. #2 I usually have good lighting when I'm at home but on the road it can be tough. #3 Try your best to keep the camera pointing straight at you and not looking up towards the ceiling. It makes your head look bigger. #4 Make sure doors are closed to avoid distractions and make sure your laptop dim settings are right. I hate when my computer dims mid report because I have to start over. #5 make sure nothing that rings is on because it'll distract you.
@ ChrisMorrow : Absolutely and that promotes the sincerity of our reporting in the ireport community. We are real so... why not be real ;D
@ChrisMorrow Thanks for that tip. How do you ensure good quality audio if you're outside?
For me, I am limited in my production ability to the sparse equipment I have and always natural lighting or lamp. What you see is what you get.
Audio, lighting, camera angles, etc -
- Locate yourself in a room that is quiet without out distractions. Turn off your cell phone, TV, radio and other devices. (I even take my dog’s collar off so I don’t hear the dog’s tags rattle.)
- Use the microphone on your computer or video camera. External microphones, like a mic you hold in your hand, desktop or attached to yourself are great, but not always necessary or practical. The better the audio recording, the more people will want to listen and watch your video. If you use an external microphone, then test and practice with it before shooting your video commentary.
- Natural light source - the sun: Locate yourself with window light coming directly at you or to the side, possibly using a sheer window drape or cloth if there is too much light. Place the video camera between you and the window. If you are outside, don’t place yourself with the sun behind your back as you will be silhouetted. Try shooting your video in the shade to prevent squinting and harsh light. You could also fill with a video light or other light source.
- Indoor lights Use your indoor house hold lights, placing one in front and one to the side. There are LED house house lights that are great to use as they don’t heat up. You can bounce the lights on white cleanings and walls to soften the light.
- Video lights and soft boxes - I use a two small LCD video lights with soft boxes for Skype video interviews, not always for iReports. There are portable video lights, LED, that you can use, come with white soft boxes to diffuse the light.
Camera angle -
Your image - Try to place yourself in the center of the video frame, as large as possible to see your head and shoulders. Half, three-quarter or full-length views are also options, but keeping the shot simple and easy to deliver your commentary. (I had some trouble when I was using the iPad as the video is located on the side when it in a horizontal position. I like the iPhone better than iPad for recording video of myself.)
Ome! I have a Mac book pro and do use it. Thank you for the tip it just got copy and pasted.
And I'll add a tip -- Don't have music or the TV playing when you record a video! You'd be amazed how many of those we see.
Thanks for the pointer on the door. Was that a hint on my video:) I will try to close my networking closet:)
Oh wow. Good. Enough said.
@k3vsDad - It's been very impressive how you jumped into doing video with both feet.
Don´t you want more iReporters who go out?
Ha. That may have gotten the better of me this morning and TRUE.
I can post my tips on an iReport. I wrote down.
@markpel Great point. We're focusing on webcam videos for the moment, but we certainly do want iReporters going outside to shoot video. A lot of these points are good takeaways for any video.
Hey, I'm an old print journalist in my former life so this is a whole new experience with video.
Sounds depends on the moment.
If I have a flip handy and nothing else then I cuff my palm towards the interview next to the flip mic. Gives a more directional sound.
Using my Canon 7D, I use a plug-in microphone.
Last thing, before I shoot I always listen to what is going on around me because that is what will be in the interviews.
Good Tips Omekongo! As a fellow Macbook Pro, thanks for the tips on saving files.
@k3vsDad - what made you take the leap to get on camera in the first place? I know you used to do text iReports only.
@ewillies lol! Not a shot at you at all! I have small kids and I don't want them running back and forth on camera!
Ok. Audio programs. I am a recording engineer. What do you ireporters use?
You may be new but you do better than you might think.
Well, @dsahsin, it seemed to be that the more "valued" reports were video...and I figured hey, this old dog can try a new trick. But I do limit the videos to opinion only reports. Of course even some of my text only reports somehow managed to get a nod from the Team.
For those of you who only record webcam/personal video occasionally, what kind of assignments or stories inspire you to get on camera?
I also would like to add is to be mindful of what you have displayed in your back ground.
didn't someone give you a camera? :)
Very glad you are doing videos, btw.
I am currently using Garageband by Apple. I did this for two reasons. I have protools but no mic. On the Mac book pro there is a certain level of integrity compared to the standard computer. Might have to pay a Mac tax but I like it even though it is cheap. It can be amazing what you can do with limited tools.
@k3vsDad - smart! You've come a long way. Do you -- or anyone else -- have any questions about how to improve your videos?
Events of June 20th, 2012. Enough said.
@ChrisMarrow, Iohn decided I needed a vid cam...so he surprised me one day...LOL.
@Juneous06 - Another good point. Be mindful of distracting backgrounds -- plain white or plain black looks really well.
@dsashin honestly, everything inspires me to get on camera though I don't get on camera for everything. I feel like I have a perspective that is much different from what the media talks about. CNN iReport gives me an opportunity to add what I feel is a different perspective on an issue that I want people to consider.
I wonder if the ireport community has ever networked? I have... but how?
I thought it was an important topic. When I did that report as I recall it was right after the 4th of July.
When Chris Rock made the statement iReport, Twitter, and everything in between went crazy. I thought it was a perfect moment that in effect told everybody to step back first and interpret what he said not in the absolute words but in the message that one could get from it.
I wanted to do that iReport to be more conciliatory on the holiday and as Americans than anything else. I just kinda felt that folks were looking for anything to foment division and if we just step back we could make lemonade out of lemons.
"I feel like I have a perspective that is much different from what the media talks about." in 100% agreement!
I should note that my ability to do a video report are sometimes limited by my health issues. So, while I may be passionate about an issue, due to my conditions, it is sometimes necessary that I do text only on some days.
@k3vsDad: You keep up with the various goings-on in the current campaign. Did you feel personally affected by something that made you want to respond in this video about Debbie Wasserman-Schultz?
@dsashin any feedback on improving video would be great!
@omekongo: You comment on a wide variety of stories in the news. Just as one of many examples, what made you passionate about the Romney speech to the NAACP?
@Omekongo I hear you. I'm thinking about assignments we do like "I am America" or "Because of the Internet" -- some video projects do better than others, so I'm wondering what gets iReporters to go on camera if they don't do it all the time.
What we wear can also improve our videos. - Wardrobe - Watch what you wear as your image is being broadcasted to the world on iReport. Simple and almost boring looking outfit, instead of large floral or diagonal patterns, could help direct the viewer to your message, not your experimental outfit. Of course depending on your message, might determine what you are wearing. (I don’t always look like I’m going to a job interview, but looking more professional, but not always necessary.)
On the Debbie Wasserman-Schultz comment, it just really, really rubbed me the wrong way. For her to use the words she did of being "pretty happy" with the economic recovery seemed like a slap in the face of all those who continue to struggle in a very sluggish, near stalled economy.
I want to add, this is what is wonderful about iReport, anyone gets a chance to put a relevant message out. The community then vets what you said with their reception (or not), their shares (or not). I think it is all about a growing community that interacts and can make a difference.
OK -- Thanks so much to Egberto, Omekongo, Mark and Jannet for sharing their experience!
Thank you @k3vsDad - good to hear these stories about individual videos too!
And now Christina's going to jump in for a minute to talk about the political convention contest.
@hhanks I am very big on respect. As a public speaker, I have to respect my audience if I ever want to be invited back. I felt that Romney was disrespectful to a community that I am a part of. Furthermore, I thought some of his tone was disrespectful to the president and lastly, being from Massachusetts, I felt he had some inaccuracies about what went in Massachusetts or just blatantly took some liberties. All of that combined made me realize it was time for an iReport!
Thanks! I'm always happy to share as it will help iReport an even better place for videos!
And thanks @JannetWalsh for the great tips!
Also on the Wasserman-Schultz comment, my partner, Iohn, and my 2 sons, Dave & Kev, work their butts off and struggle to make it with the way the economy is and they in no way are "pretty happy" with the recovery. They are incensed and feel that she was insulting them and not appreciative of their struggles to just survive.
Absolutely. And it is so easy to be respectful,
I've been enjoying this roundtable. Interesting to hear from y'all about what gets you iReporting (and how you do it).
Thanks to all of you who make up the Team!
I hope everyone's seen the information about the contest: ireport.com/conventions. This is a great opportunity to cover the sights and sounds outside the political conventions. You don't have to be a political junky to enter.
For me, what gets me to do a video is if it's not involving a long conversation, like, over 1 min. preferably even less. I get tounge tied and embarassed. Oh, hello everyone!
On the same subject as commentary, we want to hear from you on the iReport Debate. And those of you who are interested in politics -- and even those of you looking to braoden your horizons -- will probably want to enter our contest to fly to one of the political conventions.
Thank you for the platform. As @omekongo implied it is all about respecting the iReport community and its values.
Does anyone have any questions about the convention contest?
@dsashin I love the assignments like that! All the "I am America" and "Freedom Project" type stuff are issues dealing with diversity that I am very passionate about.
Hey, @KCREp, glad you made it.
I am not interested in going to either convention, but I would like to know the selection process for those picked to go as Ireporters
Let's do more debates!
WOW! Covering a political contention! I can tell you that it is something I'd love to do again! Great atmosphere! :)
No, questions, but a very exciting contest for the convention. Don't for get to enter!
If you enter, here's what we're looking for: Send us an original video or photo of yourself telling us why CNN should send you to one of the convention cities. (Videos should be no more than 45 seconds and written submissions should be 150 words or less.)
@zdan and @kcrep HI!
I am glad to join you all, it's been a long time. I will be like a fly on the wall so to speak. Thank you for allowing me to be apart of the this meeting.
Think the contest is a great idea. (Yes, I put in my submission...LOL)
I'd love to talk to the presidential candidates in person, if that was possible and ask questions about jobs and economy.
OK - we hope to see more of your submissions soon! Moving on -- we tried a different format for the round table, focusing on a specific topic. Next month we hope to experiment with a new platform for the round table. Does anyone have suggestions for topics, formats or platforms?
@butterfly1 Welcome back!
@EWillies -- here here to more debates! I just hosted one on gun control yesterday and we're producing it now. Look out for it soon!
Olympics! Lets hear from the folks on the street whats going on.
We should talk about the process of getting pulled Ireports reinstated
@dsashin & @zdan when will winners be announced for the conventions?
It is the political season. I would love for us to discuss "Is the media covering issues or personalities". Something like that.
@ChrisMorrow do you mean invite CNN folks to talk about the Olympics for a roundtable topic?
I think topics to help videos are always great, improving the quality of audio, visuals and more.
I'd love to be part of a debate!
I really enjoyed your book and hope CNN features it!
Yes, there have been a lot of questions about changing the platform from the blog to some other sort of chat service. If you have ideas, or would like to participate in some manner as we explore other platforms, please give us a shout!
@omekongo - The winners of the contest will be announced about a week after the contest ends. The deadline for submissions is August 5 at midnight ET!
Can't wait to see the gun control debate.
Can't wait. That should be interesting.
With the last five minutes here as well: If you have thoughts on the types of assignment questions that would motivate you to do a video commentary, or general questions, the floor is open!
Yes, I'd like to hear from the 'man on the street' to CNN Anchor.
Would be RAD!
I agree with NuYWK about pulled reports
The "debates" are great to hear iReporter voices from around country, world.
@NuYwk Curious, do you ever shoot your own photos or video? We'd love to see some from you.
@ChrisMorrow - I'm not understanding. What would the round table conversation be, that you're envisioning?
It is nice to get all this info from this roundtable. THANKS
I would love to hear a response to my two remarks
@Ewillies @Jannet @k3vsdad - The debate was actually between two gun owners. It was fascinating!
@hhanks I'd like to see something on hip-hop culture.
The first was what is the selection process for those selected to be Ireporters at the convention.
The second was to ask what we can do to get pulled Ireports reinstated.
Same as Henry's style today. To ask them questions about the scene and their iReports/CNN videos.
Just a thought.
If you see an iReporter doing something great or you would like to learn from, I find they usually are delighted to share how they created their video or special tips. Just ask! Everyone I have asked has shared. Just an idea!
Cool. I have hunch on the two sides but I will wait:)
@NuYwk it's always important to let us know if our moderators have pulled something inaccurately. They make the best decisions they can with a high volume of iReports. The best way to avoid getting iReports pulled is to post original content.
Hello, just got in!
Thank you for all your feedback everyone. Great roundtable! We may be in a brand new location in August - stay tuned! Please drop a line if you have thoughts on a new roundtable platform!
Since you will not answer that question will you answer the question about the selection process for the Ireporters going to the conventions?
This was fun. Let's do it again.
@NuYwk to your other question about picking the convention contest winners: There will be a panel of 5 judges across CNN and HLN, looking for the most compelling reasons to send people to cover the buzz around the conventions.
@wjoreilly what's up?!
hello, hhanks; thanks for the heads up about the meeting today....
Bye all! @Ryn, I'll keep an eye out for your questions.
I hope that some day we have CNN iReport International. I´ll fight for it!
omekongo, my brother!
No problem @wjoreilly - hope to see you next time! See you in August @all!
It was great to interact with fellow iReporters, near and mainly far away from me!
Thanks @Markpel I believe you've talked with our new London producer, Sarah Brown! She's doing her best to expand our presence internationally. Take care everyone, see you next time.
Good bye from tiny Murdock, Minnesota!
Thanks guys! Tale care!
i notice that the less liberal, more conservative folks (i'm a liberal massachusetts democrat, mind you)seem upset, not gotten, short shrifted or whatever you want to call it....how can we build an interactive organization that shows no favoritism or biases????????
Thanks everyone and have a wonderful weekend
EWillies - thnk I saw you on a CNN TV promo. You will have to watch CNN TV!
Will look for it
Dsashin, it is not enough that only one work for international other for local things. I think in future we should have more people for it. We are living in internet time why should we have borders?! We are one million iReporter; this is discrmination what you are doing.
Well, it looks like this was an interesting discussion, sorry I missed it but I was teaching a room full of ICU nurses and Social Workers. Next time I guess.
On the phone for a while... so whats up?
Well for what it is worth it was an absolute pleasure to be engaged with everyone in the ireport community.
goodd and great team..