At the Crossroads of Media, Culture and Technology

A Streetcar That’s Desired

Special to Flip the Media by John Hellriegel, Cohort 2012

I reminisce about the days I lived on Capital Hill. Everything was a short walk away. The parks, the food, and the entertainment could be reached by a wonderful stroll through the neighborhood.  I felt more a part of the community. I felt healthier. I was thinner then too. Time moves on and I moved off the Hill. A car was purchased to facilitate getting to work.

I do not see my car as a status symbol or as a form of freedom.  I walk out to my car every morning and see a pit – and I keep shoveling money into that pit.  I get tired of the insurance, oil changes, and maintenance. I must feed the beast a fuel that carries with it economic and environmental disaster. It’s a vicious circle. I make smug and dark jokes about the over-all costs to distract myself from the fact that I am part of the problem.  Then head off to work.  I sit in traffic and listen to NPR stories about wars, famine and pestilence.  Sigh.

Spending time in Paris I became accustomed to the outstanding rail system connecting the cities neighborhoods. So when construction began on the First Hill Streetcar I was excited. I know a Streetcar system will be successful in Seattle – not only because of a generational shift in cultural values and lifestyle, but also how convenient and effective it is connecting neighborhoods.  I wanted to show how this updated transportation system can benefit the Seattle community in basic daily activities and needs.

John Hellriegel currently resides in Seattle. When not engrossed with his final year in the MCDM program, he pursues photography, videography, and all things aviation.

Viral Video: Does Being Cold Make You Sick

Flip the Media Viral Video

Let’s start the first month of the New Year with something REALLY relevant: how to avoid catching a cold in the winter time. Finally, there’s hard science to back up the warnings that have haunted you from childhood – those cries of “Put your coat on!” We find this interesting for other reasons too. After all, who knew a science video could have such reach? This one is well over the 1.5 million mark as of today, and climbing. Furthermore, the geeks behind this video are well-connected on social media, and spreading the joy of enlightenment and understanding. Maybe there is hope for our species after all.


Storytelling Class and Local Shop Make Beautiful Music

Special to Flip the Media by Tom Moskal

I’ll be honest, I had no idea what topic to pick for this assignment. I had just driven across the country and needless to say my rolodex of awesome documentary ideas was lacking. As I ventured around Seattle looking for ideas, I stumbled upon Dusty Strings over in Fremont, which, to a music enthusiast, was essentially heaven on earth. I was able to introduce myself to Gary Davidson, a manager at the retail store, and got a better feel for what Dusty Strings does and what they stand for. We both agreed that a short video piece would be great for the business—and thus I embarked on my journey to tell their story.

My favorite part of this project was getting to know the ins and outs of Dusty Strings through my interviews with Gary and Kate. They truly shed such a beautiful light on how important a creative output can be not only for an individual but a community as well. It was also wildly fun shooting b-roll of the instruments all over the store (there is so much detail in every single one), and am grateful for the staff that allowed my “fly on the wall” presence time after time.

More so, anyone can play ukulele—give it a try and see for yourself!

Tom Moskal is a member of Cohort 13 in the Communications Leadership program.


What We’re Wishing for 2014: Just Everything

Forseeing the Future? Image captured from Flickr Commons

Forseeing the Future?
Image captured from Flickr Commons

A shiny new year is starting, and the thoughts of Flip the Media contributors naturally lean toward things we want to see in the technology and social media worlds in 2014. Our ideas range from the global to the personal, and from the profoundly serious to frivolous. Maybe you’ve wished for some of these things as well. Maybe you have different, or even conflicting ideas. There’s just one way to find out – read on, and see what we’re wishing for in 2014.

From Hanns-Peter Nagel:

Deltaprintr – I’m not a tech tinkerer or engineer at heart but 3D printers seem just so full of possibility. I want one just to play around with it. The Deltaprintr seems like a reasonable choice, it’s affordable (so no harm done if I don’t use it) and it’s (almost) funded through Kickstarter.

Make Facebook a Public Utility – Large parts of our economy are increasingly powered by one commodity: our data. The problem is that the (profit) motivations of those collecting the data are often not in our best interest. As a result, privacy is disappearing with potentially large negative  effects for our democracy. I think many people agree that more regulation is needed but I think we need to do something a little bit more radical: turn social media, the largest source of data collection, into a public utility so that the people who use it have a say on how it is run. This way we can still have all the benefits of the “social revolution” but have more control over what happens to our data.

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365 In Focus – A Group Photography Journey

Special to Flip the Media by Evonne Benedict

Image by #365infocus member (and former FTM editor) Elizabeth Wiley

Image by #365infocus member (and former FTM editor) Elizabeth Wiley

A few years back I set off on my first 365 journey – a mission to take a photo a day, EVERY day, for a year.  I decided to do this for a few reasons – I wanted to become a better photographer, I wanted to teach myself how to develop a new habit, I wanted to see the world in more visual way.

My husband has been a professional photographer (video and stills) his entire adult life so I knew I had a good teacher and coach close at hand.

But it turned out to be much harder than I expected.  Still I persevered and at the end of the year I had 365 photographs scattered across my blog, my photography website, my Facebook page, and in my iPhone. It didn’t matter that they weren’t all in one place, it only mattered that I had DONE IT.

Six months later I tried again, but failed. It just wasn’t in me. I needed a new reason, and I couldn’t find one.  I still took photos, lots of them, but when and where I wanted to.

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Primetime Pitch: OFunnel | Google Alerts for Relationships

OfunnelAt this year’s Northwest Entrepreneur Network’s Entrepreneur University Flip the Media partnered with Jenni Hogan, CEO of TVinteract, to hear “Prime Time Pitches” from local start-ups. This article is the sixth and final installment in a series of profiles of up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the Pacific Northwest.

Social media has made building your personal network as simple as clicking “Connect.” But how meaningful are those relationships and how do you leverage the power of an ever-expanding catalog of connections? This is precisely the problem OFunnel is out to solve.

In his interview with Jenni Hogan, OFunnel CEO Kushal Shah explains that sales are all about relationships, but keeping track of those relationships and knowing when and how to leverage them is laborious and time-consuming in the fast-paced world of sales.

That is why he and co-founder Van Chappell created OFunnel: “Google alerts for relationships.” The web-based app uses the information in your LinkedIn account to automatically find connections to the companies on your sales target list. It looks for people you already are connected to, and the people they are connected to, to see if there are any matches that could offer an introduction.

There could potentially be other uses for a tool that organizes and curates your online connections, and it sounds like the team at OFunnel is open to discovering different ways to use the tool. What started out primarily a sales solution has grown into a recruiting and competitor research tool as well.
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Viral Video: YouTube Rewind 2013

At more than 60,000,000 views, we’d say this is one viral video. References to the year’s most talked-about videos fly by furiously in this 2013 rewind. How many can you spot?

Do these videos have something to say about what will intrigue us in 2014, or will we have moved on to radically different tastes and trends? Before long, we’ll know.

How Do They Do That? – Behind the Scenes at TCB’s Nutcracker

When I got the idea to make a short documentary on Tacoma City Ballet’s world premiere prequel to “The Nutcracker” I knew it would be easy to get poised people who look good on camera. After all, these are dancers! And yes, despite a big learning curve on using my new camera for dance footage I got some good visual moments. But I also got a few things I didn’t expect: a big burly stonecutter with tattoos and raspy voice who built incredibly delicate set pieces and loved dancing the role of the King, a young dancer who didn’t hesitate to admit how much of your life is consumed by this art form, and some cool footage when I put a GoPro camera onto a male dancer.

I also didn’t expect that my computer would eat half my footage one week before the final cut was due. So now I know a lot more about filming dance…and about backing up files. :)

Contributed by Rosemary Ponnekanti, Cohort 13