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January 2008: Do-It-Yourself
A month long look at tools and tricks of Independent Publishing

Jan 7. 2008:

[ Where to Keep it all? ]
semantikon is over 1 million spaces wide, approximately 600,000 words, describing the images and thoughts of about 100 feature artists, features populated by thousands of links and images. semantikon is 40 films and a web TV station deep. Semantikon features 130 e-books, 7 of which have been hand selected from submissions, books that were likely matched-up with a feature and one 29 feature broadside posters. On semantikon, you can download about 40 audio tracks this collection comprised of all the audio we have featured in our 5 years of features and including interviews, music, writers reading their works, archival works, speeches and lectures, Robert Johnson singing "Love in vain" in honor of the city we also love, New Orleans. Semantikon is also a Radio station---Deepsong, crippled as a three legged mule that stutters---as people not cool as Thurston Moore (the RIAA), increased royalties, demanded back royalties be paid----priced at new per-play rates. When the going gets rough, semantikon went beta with a new service, because we aren't making money sharing music, and grew up ----listening to mix tapes.

Add to this array of "content" ---complete graphic novels, web exclusive collections of literature, unique film and gallery premiers, cutting edge commentary---all maintained via the website, our archives, e-mails, RSS, social networks, blogs, personal websites, search engines, and random site address generator like stumble upon. All this and more---not-for-profit, publishing via creative commons licensure, our idea being that art should enter immediately into the public arena. Semantikon is an independent publishing operation that has grown because people share the work and the ideas with others, because people link to us. Those flat slick picture clips in the navigation bar on the top of every page can be misleading, it is a common description that semantikon can overwhelming; we have large scale pictures, novella length stories----things you shouldn't do on the web. We have fielded emails from those who cannot un-tangle the idea that one could spend days just roaming around the site, that is, if there wasn't something else for sale on another.

As I mentioned in the essay "Word of Mouth", when semantikon was starting out, we hadn't stated our position about contemporary arts coverage more clearly. Were ahead of what the users imagined they should expect in coverage about art, literature, and their own ideas. Me and Mick Parson's were talking one day early on and he asked ---What would be next for semantikon? What would make semantikon unique at each new turn so that people would want to come back? How would semantikon grow? The answer I gave him: I hope everyone does what we're doing, and does it better. After all, nearly every medium in recorded history is at our disposal at once, and for the first time, are we leave it to someone else?

In hindsight, I can imagine how this statement may have been mistaken as idealistic. I'm optimistic that the kids coming after this time will look back to us. I am certain mistakes are being made and that more mistakes will follow. The tools are available to you and everyone else; there is little else to stand on.

Jan 7th,.2008 | 11PM
Keep it all in the future. Your audience will always be the next connection forward of this one. 1. Buy or .org, or spell our your idea and put a ".tv" after it, keep anything you can imagine on a QWERTY keyboard, buy it for life from a place like godaddy, better yet, Atlas Design Services because Kevin Coleman takes care of people, took care of us when we started.

2. Web hosting is cheap---look for reviews but beware of awards. Own and maintain space that is yours, people will share if you do.

3. Only work with people you are willing to intimate yourself with today, or, tomorrow.

4. Books rot, quit wasting money on motivational books that come with a Jerry Garcia flavored silk noose.

5. Pay attention and learn from other people who get their ideas across at the speed of light. Don't be intimidated, take what you need, everyone is new to this.

6. Take and make every phone call on speaker phone, in your pajamas, because you have to type while you talk.

Jan 13. 2008:
[ In Motion: being the media, how to set up a web based tv station]

Nearly a generation ago, Jello Biafra said be the media. Throughout the 80's and 1990's, video recording hardware become cheaper, standard policy shifted to include easy home editing capabilities with your hardware, or with computer software. In the first decade of 21st century, the continuing explosion of video recording technology has grown to the point where anyone with a cellular telephone, is likely able to record web ready films, capture an event, email or post it to a network to have it available to the entire world in mere minutes.

In 2005, semantikon adopted the Democracy web video broadcast platform (now named Miro) to establish a web based television station to distribute feature films in our cinema section (See semantikon television station). This platform, developed by the Participatory Media Foundation offers a suite of video publishing tools, a highly versatile video player and RSS technologies allows anyone with server access the means to create their own web based video channels. In addition to a player that recognizes nearly every video file format (useful in its own right considering codec wars), the platform and tools the Broadcast Machine offers includes the support of a social network (the Miro channel guide), automatic RSS setup (for subscribers, stats) and a bevy of licensing tools (copyright, cc, copyleft) in addition to the ability to publish files that are your server, another server, or that are even BitTorrents.

Setting up the Broadcast Machine is relatively simple process. Here is the run down.

1. You will need to be able to access your web server via ftp or other means.
2. If you do not maintain a server, you might want to check out tools such as Videobomb where you set up and maintain a channel through a blog-type publishing platform.
3. You will want a higher speed web connection for uploading and enjoying videos found on other channels. It is not required, but recommended.
4. The Miro Player works on PC, Mac and Linux and a bevy of additional platforms. Get the version you need here: and system info visit: .
5. Miro is free, support is free and people who use the platform are generally, very helpful.
6. What is the state of free broadcasting? Learn more about Participatory Media Foundation.

1. Visit and download the Broadcast Machine software. Follow the instructions for set-up, and do use the help files if you come into any difficulties, Miro help is actually, helpful.
2. Install the software.
3. Set permissions.
4. Visit: and log into your broadcast machine installation.
5. Name and set-up your first channel, just click the "create channel" button.
6. Begin adding works, setting their location information, adding image thumbnails, video info and choosing distribution license (copyright, Creative Commons, Copyleft and BitTorrent to name a few)
7. Once you get the hang of this process, go to the Miro channel guide and share your channel information so the entire Miro network of users can enjoy your offerings.

Tips and Advice
+ What makes the Broadcast Machine a powerful publishing tool, a unique platform is its ability to reference files on your server, files found on sites like YouTube and the ability to publish movies in a wide variety of formats nearly all of which, will play in the Miro Video Player. You can point to your own video files, to those on other sites, or any BitTorrent File that you have the address for.

+ Once you have set up your channel, be sure to go the the Miro Channel Guide and to set up and submit your channel RSS information. Not only will you enjoy the benefits of the Miro social network, but this will link and publish the unique RSS feed that the broadcast machine generates for your channel so users can subscribe and get updates on the fly.

+WARNING: If you move servers or change hosting providers, you will have to re-install and re-establish your video channel on your server and will also have to re-publish your RSS feed to the channel guide. If you set up CRON-jobs, this will go far to maintain the broadcast machine and your entries, but if you move the physical location of your host, then you will have to re-set the physical location of the files in the broadcast machine system. This is not fun, and works around are said to exists, we have had to do this twice---which makes it our only disappointment with the platform and publishing system.

+To avert complications that would come with a server crash or move, we suggest you establish a folder with the movie thumbnails and a single word processing document with the information for each video entry so you can easily re-build your channel offerings should disaster prevail.

+Once you have set up your channel, submit the RSS feed to search engines, on your blog, your myspace, your web pages and sites like Technocrati. People wont find the feed if they do not know it exists. Keep submitting the RSS entry to these sites, but enjoy knowing that the Miro player will automatically find and synch each user.

More about Participatory Media Foundation

:::Next Time, Page Layout (HTML, Print and Found Art Layout Design)

In the meantime, enjoy the semantikon blog Hypergraphia



semantikon home semantikon editorial feature literature feature visual art cinema lost and found feature columns semantikon electronic library learn about site features share your works with semantikon community need help? promote, donate, volunteer your privacy matters