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Alex Williams Alex Williams
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Matt May Matt May
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Nicole Simon Nicole Simon
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Roland Tanglao Roland Tanglao
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Matt May is a Web accessibility specialist, and has written on the interaction of people and technology since 1995. He keeps his own weblog at, and produces a podcast called Staccato, which features Creative Commons-licensed music.

Alex Williamsblogs, consults and produces unconference style events, where people immerse in DIY media. These are fun occasions, designed for people who want to get together with authors, artists, technologists and leading thinkers to converse, eat, listen to music, write, shoot photos and post podcasts and videoblogs. Alex also works with companies to establish DIY approaches, where writing, photography, voice and video come together to create new conversations and communities. Alex is currently fascinated with digital photography. His girlfriend calls him a Flickrholic. Send Alex a nice message: alexhwilliams at

Nicole Simon loves blogging and podcasting, dashed with an European view. As consultant she helps to facilitate such tools for business purposes or personal publishing empires. She can be found at cruel to be kind and on her private blog Useful Sounds.

Roland Tanglao is a well known podcasting enthusiast and a passionate advocate of blogs, RSS, and social software as a means of online expression for people, organizations and businesses. He is a prominent participant in the blogosphere and online communities and one of the founders of Bryght and as Bryght's Chief Blogging Officer reads hundreds of blogs daily. He graduated from the University of Waterloo, worked at Nortel Networks where he ran its first internal corporate blog, has has been blogging since 1999, and was the first business blogging consultant in Canada.

In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline


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June 27, 2006

Constraint Based DIY Media

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Posted by Alex Williams

I love the stories about DIY gear for podcasts.

I ran across this description of a podcaster's wind screen in a post by Jake Ludington :

I'm a big fan of DIY gear for shooting video or recording audio when your budget is holding back your ability to produce an otherwise great creative endeavor. You can save a ton of money in many cases and you get the satisfaction of creating something useful along the way. Case in point, the DIY microphone zeppelin windscreen from Joel Greenberg of Joel and Karen. Zeppelins are those fuzzy things you see covering microphones on long boom arms and help to greatly reduce wind noise when recording with a shotgun style microphone. Using some PVC, leaf guard, fur from the fabric store, and a hot glue gun, Joel built a very functional zeppelin to help cut down on wind noise when recording audio in windy outdoor environments in Texas. He details all the steps and provides a before and after audio recording sample to demonstrate the sound difference. As a bonus he also shows how to build a microphone shock mount using PVC too.

I met someone in San Francisco last week who I urged to make a show, based on the use of a high definition camera mounted to his battery powered helicopter. He has constraints. He can't afford to trash a high def camera nor a battery powerted helicopter. He has to define his shots, plan them and make sure the helicopter is not in the air for more than a few minutes. What results are pictures that are unique to his own perspective. The art is constraint based.

What's distinctive about these examples is how the constraints make the productions more creative. That seems to be the key aspect of why DIY media is becoming so popular. Shows become popular because they have a unique style or perspective which in some part is defined by the constraints of the people producing the show.

I'll be looking for more examples of DIY gear for podcasts over the coming months and how the constraints of the producer serves as the basis for their creative works. Know of a good example?

In the meantime, here's MAKE magazine's DIY Podcast Shower Radio.

Goes to show that DIY is not just for the developer but the user, too. :-).

Comments (1) | Category: DIY Gear


1. drifornorhook on May 20, 2009 8:48 AM writes...

Terrific article: will visit soon.

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