Moving Day

Posted May 28, 2008 by ricksrss
Categories: Uncategorized

Blog traffic has picked up so much and so quickly I needed to move Rick’s RSS to a new server. Please update your bookmarks and news feeds and head over here for future posts. I’ve moved all of the posts from this blog to the new blog and I will no longer be updating this blog, but will keep it active for a bit longer. Thanks, see you soon at my new home

Screen Capture

Posted May 23, 2008 by ricksrss
Categories: New Media Tools and Gadgets

This week’s Rick’s RSS tip focuses on an often under utilized computer feature, screen capture. And, if you find the built-in screen capture capabilities on your PC or Mac limiting, there are a number of third party screen capture software programs you can buy or download for free.

Why do you need a screen capture tool? Sometimes you may want to copy your computer screen to show it to others. People who prepare PowerPoint presentations often want to include screen grabs of items on their computers or even websites. And, because you may not have access to the Internet during your presentation, a website screen grab is a great alternative.

Many bloggers use screen capture software to incorporate news items into thier blog posts. For Mac users there is an excellent screen capture tool that I use called Snapz Pro X. You can download a free demo at ambrosiasw.com,
but if you can spare the $70, I suggest buying the full version which includes the ability to create video screen captures. Check out the YouTube video I created for a closer look at what Snapz Pro X can do.

And for you PC users out there, (One day you’ll see the light and come to the Mac side) here’s a YouTube video for you to see what screen capture possibilities are out there for you.

TV Or Print? Who Will Win the Online Video Ad Wars?

Posted May 19, 2008 by ricksrss
Categories: Citizen Journalism

It may not matter as much to the folks that own Fox 61. But there seems to be a war brewing between newspapers and local TV stations on which is going to dominate the online video ad market. I say it’s not as much an issue for Fox 61 because it’s owned by the Tribune Company, Trib also owns
Hartford Courant. While the paper and the station operate independently, at the end of the day all the ad money raised from both is deposited into the same bank!
I ran across an interesting item on the Online Journalism blog that highlighted a recent report on just how heated the battle for online video has become. According to the Newspaper Association of America, “online video ads will pull in $1.3 billion nationally this year.” That numbe will grow with each passing year. And, right now anyway, newspapers are beating the pants off of TV in capturing most of the online video ad market. According to the report Zooming In on Online Video: A Development & Growth Guide for Newspaper Web Sites “newspapers have done well at monetizing online video, capturing a 26 percent share of online local advertising last year. But local TV stations are beginning to wake up.”

So, what does all this mean to online content creators? Well, it means a great opportunity to produce great online video themselves and produce, package and distribute to traditional legacy news sites and new web ventures seeking high quality content. It’s just one more reminder that “regular” people now can have an even greater say in what makes news. The power is now in your hands. I say don’t waste the opportunity! If you ever had a desire to tell the stories that are important to you and your community, the time to start telling those stories is now!

Public Companies – Private Phone Numbers

Posted May 18, 2008 by ricksrss
Categories: New Media Tools and Gadgets


The web is a great tool to get useful information about stuff you may want to buy. But what happens when you have a question while visiting a particular companies website? Quite often a company sets-up a FAQ section on its site; and many times you can find the answer to your questions there. But what if you can’t? What if you need to talk with a live customer service representative over the phone? Here’s a test. Head over to two or three of your favorite shopping websites. While there see how easy or tough it is to find a customer service phone number? Go ahead, I’ll wait a few minutes…….

Welcome back! So what did you find? If some of your favorite shopping websites included Amazon.com, EBay or Microsoft you either had to click several times to find a number to call or even worse, there isn’t a customer service number listed at all! Recently, the LA Times devoted an entire article to this issue. My bottom line opinion about this is, while companies should certainly reap the benefits of the lower costs of doing business on the web they can’t detach themselves completely from engaging with customers. Recently, I had a question regarding my AT&T wireless phone account. I couldn’t find the answer on its website, but I was able to “live” chat with an AT&T customer service representative online. I hope more companies offer similar online options. In the meantime, a few websites have popped up that have dug deep into company profiles and have unearthed the customer service numbers you can call if you need to talk with a “live” person to resolve your questions.Hardtofind800numbers.com and Hoovers.com can help you talk to a human if you have to. I’m going to feature these two sites during my segment on Fox 61 on Friday. If you know of other creative ways to reach hard to get customer service reps on the phone leave me a comment. I may share one or two of your tips on air next Friday.

The Flip!

Posted May 16, 2008 by ricksrss
Categories: New Media Tools and Gadgets


This week’s Rick’s RSS Tip is on one of the hottest video gadgets on the market, the Flip Camera! We all know how video is huge on the Internet these days. The Flip camera has become all the rage with many journalists and bloggers. Even Oprah Winfrey is flipping out over the Flip — check out the YouTube clip below.

The Flip Camera is very easy to use, and with the flip out USB connector, it’s never been easier to upload videos to your computer to edit your clips or send them directly to video hosting sites like YouTube or AOL Video.
The Flip Camera comes in two basic models. The major differences are in the amount of video it can capture and in the choice of colors you can buy it in.

THE FLIP REVIEWED

OPRAH FLIPS FOR THE FLIP

Feeding the Blog Monster!

Posted May 13, 2008 by ricksrss
Categories: Uncategorized

For the more advanced bloggers out there, the following tips may seem elementary. However, since it has taken me some time to get my act in gear to post regularly to my blog the hyperlinked tips were good reminders on what I need to do to keep feeding the blog monster. This is also a reminder of just how difficult it is to maintain a blog.

Look Ma’ I’m on TV & The Web!

Posted May 2, 2008 by ricksrss
Categories: Uncategorized

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “Hey Rick, where’s your blog?” For those that remember me from my days as a political reporter at Fox 61 may recall my Rick’s Political Potpourri blog. In fact, I was the first CT TV reporter to start a blog. Let me apologize again for some of my political predictions, especially the ones about former Governor Rowland beating the rap! I promise you I’m much better at this Internet, blogging, podcasting technology gig! This blog will be a mix of news, quips and tips for professional journalists, community journalists, bloggers, podcasters and just about anyone interested in creating content for the web and other digital devices. But a blog is nothing without you jumping in and becoming a part of the conversation. So, what are you waiting for? Leave me a comment!