Talk back, get money, play music


Sick of listening to pundits and their softball questions? Why not ask comment or hurl a zinger yourself through Prez Conference, a YouTube forum where citizens and bloggers are trying to get the attention of the powers that would be.


Blogger J.D. (Social Media) Lasica was recently thrilled to learn that Sen. Joe Biden had video-blogged an answer to one of his questions. (Here’s a link to Lasica’s post that leads to Biden’s video, the original question and more.)


How cool is that! Lasica, a grassroots media entrepreneur and co-founder of OurMedia, wrote:


“I hope other bloggers and videobloggers will join in and ask questions of the candidates. The pundits are saying YouTube and MySpace will play a major role in the 2008 election. But what’s really about to happen is that we, the people, will.”


New Voices: Ten community news groups will each receive grants of $12,000 from the New Voices program sponsored by the J-Lab. Each grantee is eligible for a $5,000 follow up grant. These awards bring to 30 the number of groups that have received New Voices funds. The deadline for the next set of applications in February 2008.


Among the 2007 winners was Marc Smolowitz of Access SF, which will “train San Francisco non profits to produce a community news program with a neighborhood focus for cable access television and video blogs.”


Take a look back at the profiles of the 2005 and 2006 winners for ideas, inspiration — or to see who is still in the game after the money ran out.

* * *


Zipping through a backlog of tidbits, I came across a cute note from my blog buddy Kristen Abkemeier about the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra, which makes music using “carrot flutes, pumpkin basses, leek violins, leek-zucchini-vibrators, cucumberophones and celery bongos, the orchestra creates its own extraordinary and vegetabile sound universe.”

I’d add a remark but it would just sound like sour grapes.