Giant Floating Google Map Pin tells friends ‘I”m Here!’

158-_MG_2060In September 2014, a group of 30 artists and engineers gathered at 3331 Arts Chiyoda to take part in a 3-day hackathon.

Organised by Ryuta Aoki (founder of VOLOCITEE Inc and curator of TEDxKids@Chiyoda), 3331α Art Hack Day 2014 was a part of the 3331 Art Fair, during which a wide range of exhibitions, workshops and performances were put on.

The team that I was a part of (Atsuki Kawahara, Gyoda Naoshi, Ryo Shiraki, Yuki Takada, Shiro Nohara and Genki Nakamura) decided to make something BIG. It took us a while to figure out what that might be, but by the end of the day we had a rough sketch of something larger than life, something that spanned the boundaries of the physical and virtual worlds.

Our piece, simply titled ‘I’m here’, was a giant Google Map pin, held aloft by 1,000 litres of helium. Reeled out from a robotic launch vehicle, it would float high overhead, whilst the attached auto-tweeting arduino-powered camera sent photos of the location to the online world.

The proposed use case was as follows: when you receive a message from a friend wanting to meet you asking where you are, rather than sending a virtual map pin, you would launch the balloon, which would then tweet a gps-tagged photo of up in your current location, with the message ‘I’m here’, whilst also acting as a very clear physical landmark thanks to which people could find you.

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It was fascinating how the team brought their combined specialist skills together to realise this idea. There was web and arduino coding, physics and mathematics (related to the helium), storytelling, performance art and filming – each of us had a unique part to play (my contribution was focused on the presentation, as shown in the video below).

At the end of the two day event our team were both surprised and honoured to be presented with a prize (the Exonemo Prize acknowledging our vision, creativity and performance. As you can see, those judges like flashy stuff!

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Whilst we have yet to be approached by investors I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

Overall, the hackathon was a fascinating experience for me. I was really impressed by what other teams achieved in such a short period of time too – there’s some really talented folks out there, and when events like these bring them together, magic happens.

A Week in Tokyo – Tame Style

I’m just emerging from what has probably been one of the busiest weeks of the year so far. Whilst busy is good for a freelancer, it’s been a little *too* busy at times – but emerging from the other end I can now look back and appreciate it all!

Monday I met with the communications officer at a local charity whose website I’m moving over to WordPress.

Tuesday I attended a meeting about live streaming TEDxYouth Day – training some volunteers in how to handle the tech. Following that was a meeting for 21 Foundation – we finally have the first copies of the DVD of 21:21, our educational documentary, and it’s looking beautiful! From there it was on to create a resume for the Domino’s Pizza job that pays GBP19,000 for a single hour’s work in December – fingers crossed for that.

From there, on to Roppongi for the GEW/ Impact Japan kick-off event. I was taking photos and video for that.

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Wednesday we spent the whole day at InterBEE – Broadcast Equipment Exhibition. Boy was that fun! I got to try on some real heavy duty steadicams (like wearing some kind of robot suit) – just incredible how stable they are.

Whilst there I was interviewed for French national TV by a leading tech journalist regarding the exhibition and the marathon project. We also found the steadicam that I think I can use for the Tokyo Marathon. Watch this space.

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Wednesday night was TEDxTokyo yz Theatre at Time Out Cafe. I was meant to be taking photos there, but my entry level DSLR really showed it’s true colors in the poor light – mainly black! Great night though. Loved the balloons that lit up when moved, and the incredible human beatbox performance.

Breaktime at TEDxTokyo yz Theatre

Thursday morning I headed to the Nike employee store – Nike have very kindly offered to support the Tokyo Marathon project by supplying all of my sports gear! This is very generous of them, and I’m now fully kitted out with some very comfortable and practical running gear – I’ll be talking more about that over on my running site.

Following that it was off to a meeting about next year’s TEDxTokyo event – trying to get as much done in advance this year. Things are starting to fall into place there, exciting stuff!

Then another meeting about the project proposal for a major mobile communications company. That would kick off next year if we can get it through.

Thursday night a Skype test with TEDxSingapore in prep for TEDxYouthDay on Saturday.

Friday was spent providing tech support for TotalFootball (something I do on a daily basis really), then off to Tokyo International School to set up livesteraming gear for TEDxYouthDay, which happened Saturday.

Saturday morning I was back at TIS before heading to Yokohama for the wedding of Lars and Tomoe; Lars was my senpai at university, and they met in Sheffield. It was a pretty interesting experience which I’ll talk about in due course. Very happy for the new family!

Back to TEDxYouth Day to pack up.

Sunday I ran 32KM in 3 hours…

Monday I took 2,500 photos for Rock Challenge Japan.

All in all, it was a hectic week!

July 2010: Mt. Fuji, Tweetup, and Going Freelance

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Looking back at the past month of entries on my blog, I see that I’ve completed neglected to talk about how things have panned out since I left White Rabbit Press at the end of June. The reason for that is simple – I’ve been extremely busy with new projects, and have not really not had any downtime.

I’d like to start off then with a brief summary of what I’ve been up to since my last proper check in.

To start off, we had the Mount Fuji climb.

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I documented the entire adventure though tweets, audio recordings and videos on the various social channels, so I won’t go into detail here. But in brief: this went really well. The weather was perfect, being warm and with relatively clear skies. I picked up the brand-new 10-seater minivan early in the morning, luckily remembered how to drive (after a 2-year break), picked up the other 9 team members, and headed out on the two hour trip to the 5th station of the Yoshida Guchi trail.

. It was around lunch time when we finally got our feet on the ground and started the long trek up.

Last year, we’d climbed at night time, and in appalling weather conditions, making for a pretty bad experience. This time, thanks to the fact that it was a day climb and that the weather was good, it was an entirely different story. It was an absolute breeze to reach the 8th station where we’d then spend the night – I could hardly believe it was the same mountain, it was that easy.

The staff at the 8th station were pretty surprised by all the technology that we were carrying: iPhone, Cerevo live-streaming camera, iPad, 17″ MacBook Pro, DoCoMo wifi dongle, Canon HD camera and live-stream USB converter, multiple batteries, solar panel charging kit…!

I used all of this technology to tweet, livestream (via Ustream), upload photos, audio and videos as we climbed. Of course, at the end of the day the quality of the output was to a certain extent limited by the speed of the data connection (and lets admit it, whilst it’s pretty reliable it’s not exactly fast up there!)

Reflecting on the livestream aspect of the adventure, I don’t see it as being all that successful. I made a poor decision to not broadcast constantly, and I also neglected to involve the audience to the extent that I should have done. It was very much a one-way thing, and lacked the ‘challenge’ aspect. Also, there was the time problem- we were to reach the summit at 3.30am! Still, to be honest, I don’t mind all that much. It was a learning experience.

I’m very grateful to have had the support of NTT DocCoMo and Cerevo.

Having slept for a few hours at the fantastic mountain hut we got up at about 2am, and made it to the top for the beautiful sunrise.

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We also recorded a very special music video on the rim of the crater – more on that in due course…

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The Japan Times published a story online and in print about ustream and my use of it on the morning of our descent.

This climb of Mt. Fuji is something that I won’t forget – thinking about it now brings a smile to my face. The reason for this is not necessarily the beautiful view, the fun that I had with the technology, the good weather or the tasty curry at mountain station 8, it’s the people that I went with. It’s the interactions with them, the sharing of the challenge, the friendships that grew stronger through the experience – these are the things that ultimately matter.

It’s the same with the next mini-project I was a part of: the official Twitter Tweetup held on July 23rd.

With Twitter’s crazy success in Japan, the demand for tickets far exceeded the supply – only 400 would be able to attend. As with most things round here it was a case of knowing the right people. For me, that person was @mikamika59, an employee of Digital Garage, the company that runs Twitter here in Japan.

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Mika (left) with my co-presenter montomos

I first got to know her following the Tokyo Marathon – she sent some very kind messages during the run. We subsequently met by chance on a bridge in Roppongi, and then went on to work together at TEDxTokyo – she was my co-host for the Ustream live stream.

Thus, when it came to the Tweetup she asked if fellow tech-otaku and good friend Steve would manage their official stream of the event.

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I happily accepted, and on the night worked with montomos as a presenter. Part of the deal was that I got to interview Twitter CEO Evan Williams.

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(thanks to @kirai for the photos)

Really enjoyed that – apart from the first 5 minutes in which I died on camera. I mean, it was really bad. I’m trying not to think about that. Luckily it wasn’t recorded, and only about 80 people were watching the stream at the time.

I managed to use the event as an opportunity to come out about my Twitter addiction: ABC News, Yahoo News, Fox 11

The following day it was off to @invisibleGaijin‘s to shoot a couple of short videos for a friend – his daughter wanted to enter a ukulele video competition.

Unfortunately on the way home from the shoot I twisted my ankle, and subsequently was unable to walk for a couple of days – this was a big shame as the following day was our 2nd Wedding Anniversary 🙁 Still, despite my being an invalid we had a nice time staying at a hotel in Asakusa – got a free upgrade to the best room in the hotel after I discovered and complained about a toothbrush in the bathroom that had already been used!

A week later I was on the 36th floor of a certain Japanese corporation, the name of which I cannot reveal here for reasons of rabbit security. There I was dressed in my bunny ears giving a presentation about the Tokyo marathon. It went down very well, despite my pretty bad Japanese and the fact that my keynote file completely disappeared off my computer an hour before I was due to give it. Bizarre.


All of the above has no real connection with my work, although I’m sure some of it will come to influence what I do in the future.

When it comes to work, things have panned out pretty well. I’m working freelance as a digital media producer / consultant. I have two clients at present, one a friend who has established an international education foundation (more on that in due course), and the other, my brother-in-law’s company, Total Football. Leigh (my wife’s sister’s husband), a professional football coach with 20 year’s experience, established the company in 2007 to run coaching sessions across Japan in collaboration with Nike Japan. We have ties with international level teams such as Manchester United – this coming weekend we’re running a couple of coaching sessions with coaches from FC Barcelona. Leigh himself is becoming known as the face of youth football in Japan for Nike. He’s currently in Holland having been invited by the Dutch FA to attend their elite training programme.

The company is now looking to take itself to the next level: *Twinkle*, with her experience over the past few years in many areas of business, is now in charge of everyday operations and expansion. I’m working with them to help develop a new marketing strategy. There’s huge potential here, and our job is to see that it’s realised.

The amount of work involved in both of these projects at present is such that I’m working pretty much 7 days a week. Still, the fact that I have the freedom to choose where and when I work is a huge bonus. I feel I have a degree of ownership with both projects, and this motivates me to push for big successes. I’m also learning a hell of a lot in the process of carrying them out.


Our affiliation with Nike is motivating me to think more seriously about sport – running in particular. I’ve been fortunate to be able to meet the head of marketing for Nike Running, and hearing how active he is in the sport himself (multiple marathons etc) inspires me to push myself to get back into it. I’m actually really missing running – my foot has not yet fully recovered from the accident I had just before our wedding anniversary. Last weekend I bought new running shoes, an armband for my iPhone, oh, and I finally figured out how to use the Nike+ app on the iPhone (the key is to buy the Nike+ widget thing to put in your shoe – the one I had before that I thought was broken was actually just a piece of filler-foam!)

This kind of leads into thoughts regarding my long term plans. Thoughts that are influenced by videos such as this one:

and people like Pete Gost (his site www.bigafricacycle.com seems to be down at the moment)

oh and Eddie Izzard

Well, it’s an idea to work on.

And make a reality.

Tarra.

Mount Fuji Live! 2010

This post will be cross-posted at MobileinJapan.com.

日本語はこちらです。

Active Otaku

One thing I’ve promised myself is that if I’m going to be a tech otaku, I’m not going to the passive type. I’m not going to be one of those who lie in bed at night with their multi-generational iPhones lined up on the bedside table, ready for their daily polish.

The type who talk incessantly about the sensual curvature of the rear of their iPad, yet dare not take the device out of the house for fear of it becoming discoloured by the suns rays.

No, if I’m going to be a tech-otaku, I’m going to be an active one. I’m going to use my technology and push it to the limits. I’m not going to treat my iPhone with kid gloves – it’s here to work, and if that means forcing it to broadcast video for 42km, or send out tweets in the pouring rain, or act as a wedge to stop the front door from closing when I’m bringing the futons in from airing – well, so be it.

(OK, so that was actually my wife’s iPhone).

Mount Fuji Live! 2010

Having sat in front of my computer pretty much all the time since the Tokyo Marathon, earlier this month I decided it was time for a bit of exercise. And what better way to get in shape than climb all the way to the roof of Japan – whilst broadcasting live video of the adventure using a groundbreaking camera beaming data through a special temporary wireless network from atop a high-tech plastic helmet. I will be joined by a team of 9 intrepid fellow Tokyoites.

At 3,776m, the summit of Mt. Fuji – a dormant volcano that last erupted a little over 200 years ago, puts you almost within arm’s reach of the International Space Station.

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The trek to the top is often mistakenly thought of as not that difficult – but it can be lethal: two people died of exposure on the same path as us 24 hours after we descended last year.

Altitude sickness is never far away, and the danger of losing all your money is also pretty high as the bottled water sold from mountain huts gets progressively more expensive the higher up you go. On windy days the volcanic ash covering the upper slopes gets whipped up into a frenzy, blinding those without goggles.

Arriving at the summit after 6 to 8 hours of climbing, you feel both utterly exhausted – and elated. The view is spectacular. You stand their next to the defiant vending machines, speechless, wondering at the beauty of the landscape before you.

(Or, if the weather is like it was last year, you desperately try to take shelter in one of the packed mountain huts, begging to be served anything hot that will help your bones defrost, wishing that the weather was clear enough for a helicopter to take you straight home).

Pushing Mobile Technology to the Limit

There are many people who have never made it to the summit of Mt. Fuji, and for many reasons (e.g. having a bit of common sense) never will. I’d like to share the experience of making it to top with those people, and in doing so push some mobile technologies to the limit.

You won’t usually find mobile network coverage on Mt. Fuji, mainly because the local inhabitants (volcanic rocks) don’t have much use for phones. However, every July, NTT DoCoMo switch on two stations at the foot of the mountain, beaming coverage up its slopes. Receiving these signals are two repeaters places on the rim of the crater, providing coverage around the two shrines up there.

NTT DoCoMo have generously provided us with one of their new pocket-wifi devices, the Buffalo DWR-PG. Connecting to this will be the Cerevo Cam Live – kindly provided by the makers for this adventure. The Cerevo Cam, homemade in Akihabara, has built-in wifi, and connects directly to USTREAM (or their own Cerevo Life service). We’ll be using this for much of our trek up the volcanic slopes, and from the top, hopefully catching the sunrise.

We’ll also have the iPad of Stamina with us, provided by Heather, owner of Rinkya.com (who’s also climbing with us). This will be connected via Wifi to the NTT DoCoMo network, and will be used to display YOUR Twitter messages of support for the team to read whilst struggling to the peak (hashtag #mtfujiTV)

We’ll be providing a GPS signal too so you can keep tabs on just how slowly we’re moving 🙂

We plan to do some kind of performance once on the summit – although are yet to figure out what this will involve other than coconut shells and a horn.

Live Stream Schedule

The live event, which will take place right here,  is planned as follows:

Tuesday 20th July

  • 11:00 JST (02:00 UTC, 03:00 BST) – Live stream starts from minibus en-route to Mt. Fuji from Tokyo
  • 12:00 JST (03:00 UTC, 04:00 BST) – We start climbing Mt. Fuji (from station 5 on the Yoshida-Guchi trail)
  • 18:00 JST (09:00 UTC, 10:00 BST) – arrive at Mountain hut, station 8 (about an hour below the summit) – provide entertainment, stay the night there.
  • 03:00 JST (Wed in Japan, Tue in UK/ US (18:00 UST, 19:00 BST) Wake up, head for the summit
  • 04:30 JST (19:30 UTC, 20:30 BST) Sunrise from the summit, party on the roof of Japan, walk around the crater
  • 09:00 JST (12:00 UTC, 01:00 BST) Descend to the van, return to Tokyo.

Take part!

The live stream will be displayed on http://www.mobileinjapan.com from 7am (JST) on Tuesday 20th July 2010.

You can actively take part in this spectacle by sending your messages via twitter – just use the hashtag #mtfujiTV and it will be displayed for the whole team to see on the iPad of Stamina (and in our streams).

We’ll be watching our timeline and will try to be as interactive as possible during the climb. Also, follow me on Twitter @tamegoeswild for the latest updates in the lead up to the climb, and in the event that the video stream goes down.

It’ll be interesting to see just how much data we manage to push out. We’re not giving any guarantees here, so the whole project could fall flat on its face – but no loss if that’s happens.

Thanks to NTT DoCoMo, Cerevo, The Japan Times, the BBC and Heather of Rinkya.com for all of their support.

Special thank to @SteveNagata for his tech support, and @MikeKato for helping get all of this organised.

cooltiger – The Bread Runner

You may remember that towards the end of the Tokyo Marathon, I was stopped by a family whom I’d never met before, who’d seen what I was up to and decided to prepare some bread to give to me when I passed them. It was a very kind gesture – I was touched.

In an unexpected repeat of events, during the final session of TEDxTokyo at Miraikan earlier this month, another volunteer came to me and told me that there was someone to see me in the corridor. Somewhat surprised, I made my way out and was greeted by Eiko, a.k.a. cooltiger / The Bread Runner. We first met at a party my friend Stu’s place last year – she’s an artist and was working with them on a ‘finger food’ event – drawing the hands.

Her latest project is pretty cool – she’s running all over the place, stopping off at good bakeries along the way to try their fresh bread products, and then documenting it all on her bilingual blog.

So it was that on the day of TEDxTokyo, she’d chosen to run Odaiba – and having seen me tweet from Miraikan, decided to stop off with some very special bread for me from a 100-year-old bakery in Tsukiji. It was delicious – just what I needed to get me through to the end of the day, having missed lunch due to that being the busiest time for us on the live broadcast team. As you can see, I was pretty out of it…!

cooltiger also gave me a Bread Runner card, spreading the word about the project – anyone can take part.

I hope to go running with cooltiger myself when I’m back up to speed. At least that way I can eat a load of nice bread and not put on any more weight!

TEDxTokyo 2010

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Jake Shimabukuro performs live at TEDxTokyo 2010

Without a doubt the one thing that I’ve focused on more than anything else over the past month has been TEDxTokyo.

What is TEDxTokyo?

I was first invited to participate by good friend and fellow tech-lover @SteveNagata. Knowing my interest in live video projects, Steve gave me responsibility for ensuring that TEDxTokyo reached as wide a global audience as possible. What at first seemed like a fairly simple role turned out to be a whole lot more, ultimately providing me with a great opportunity to get hands-on experience of not only live-video project-management & execution, but also of a limited social media campaign.

Just the kind of thing I’d been looking for.

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The first thing I needed to do was decide which service we were to use for the live video stream. My natural inclination was to use USTREAM, mainly due to their reach and integration of Twitter. Thanks to the Tokyo Marathon Project I had a contact at USTREAM in the US who was able to introduce me to the head of USTREAM here in Japan. We had a memorable meeting one morning a couple of months back at the Softbank HQ (Softbank having investing millions of dollars in USTREAM here in Japan), a meeting which resulted in an offer to help promote the event.

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Some of the team responsible for outputting media for display on the auditorium screen

However, at that point I was unaware of the extent of the natural synergy existing between the company producing the video for us on the day (Virgin Earth Inc) and a local live-streaming company, Gotcha Media KK – the two companies that had collaborated to live stream TEDxTokyo 2009. When this became apparent, it was clear that we would be unwise to not enlist their support again: they both knew the systems of the other company, meaning that integration of technology was something that we wouldn’t need to worry about on the day. They also happened to be thoroughly nice people – it was important to be working with ‘good’ people!

The attraction of the reach of USTREAM was still there however, and so in the end I opted to use both companies. Gotcha Media KK specialise in high-quality multi-stream broadcasts (basically meaning that people on differing internet connection speeds can all get video optimised for their local conditions). Also, with them being on-site they offered a more reliable service, with USTREAM unable to offer any tech support on the day. Thus, it was decided that Gotcha would provide our main HQ streams in both English and Japanese, embedded in our website.

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The only presentation I managed to see on the day – amazing techno-illusionist Marco Tempest

With the pressure off us, I was then free to use USTREAM in an experimental manner, and chose to label it the ‘backstage channel’. We would re-stream the main English channel during the main sessions (i.e. when presentations were happening on stage), and then switch to a live mobile camera during break times, with which we would interview speakers, volunteers and participants. Basically, give the audience a chance to see behind-the-scenes and get more of an idea of the atmosphere at the venue.

By this stage I was communicating with USTREAM in the US directly, as it was English speaking viewers we’d be chasing. The deal was that if we could provide them with times at which we could guarantee the quality of our connection (i.e. be on a wired connection using their software Producer-Pro), their marketing department would feature us on their front page. Two days before the event I was able to do that, and sure enough, up went the banner about 18 hours before we went live. They also very kindly provided us with a license for Producer Pro, the broadcast software from the makers of Wirecast that they resell with their own branding.

Here then is a summary of how it went on the day (taken from a blog post I originally wrote for the TEDxTokyo website:

In 2009 Tokyo hosted the first TEDx event outside of the United States. Keen to share the experience with TEDsters around the world, volunteers from Virgin Earth Inc. and Gotcha Media collaborated to provide a live stream of all presentations, in what was another first for TEDx.

Bilingual broadcast
When it came to planning for TEDxTokyo 2010, we looked to see how we could share the ideas presented on the day with a far larger audience. An obvious solution was to cater for local TEDsters by providing simultaneous Japanese translations of the talks. To do this we’d need not only a team of experienced interpreters, but also a lot more cable, double the bandwidth and an even more enthusiastic post-production team to edit the resulting 42 videos.

The day before the event we arrived at the venue with 4 cameras, hundreds of metres of wires, countless computers and a huge array of additional components, all of which were then painstakingly connected together like a huge jigsaw puzzle.

The resulting picture was fantastic. As we went live at 9am hundreds of viewers logged on to our two main high-def streams, choosing whether to watch in English or Japanese. As the online buzz spread (aided by the social media team tweeting out links and uploading photographs from inside the auditorium), so the numbers steadily climbed, reaching over 4,300 unique viewers in 57 countries by the end of the day.

Backstage channel
In another first for a TEDx event, we decided to give our global audience a chance to see behind the scenes between sessions. With the generous support of USTREAM, we set up a third live video channel, interviewing speakers, participants and volunteers throughout the day. Thanks to the wonders of Tokyo’s high-speed 3G data network, we were also able to join the lunchtime buffet down on the shores of Odaiba. This proved to be immensely popular, and by the end of the day this channel had seen over 7,700 unique viewers.

On-demand videos online in hours
A key part of our strategy was to make all talks available on-demand as soon as possible, as, due to time zone differences we were aware that the largest segments of our potential audience (in the US and UK) would be going to bed halfway through the event.

Thanks to an all-digital workflow pioneered by the volunteer production crew, the generous provision of computers by Tokyo 2.0, and the speed of the post-production team from Virgin Earth, we had the first videos up on YouTube within a few hours of the speakers having left the stage. This strategy worked very well, with the videos being viewed over 90,000 times during the following week (partly thanks to Yahoo News picking up on one of speakers’ toilet talks)…

Whilst these viewing figures were not spectacular, I feel it was a big success. I was particularly happy with the USTREAM figures, as that’s where most of my energy had been spent.

The biggest reward was being able to work with such a team of professionals. I was in awe of Drew – the chap behind the Virgin Earth mixer doing live switches between the four cameras in the auditorium. It was like watching an artist at work, composing his next sequence of flowing shots on the fly, directing the cameramen in their movements. I sat there, mesmerised by his array of screens, now and then glancing at my own computer to see the final result of his work as it went out over Ustream.

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Cirque du Soleil

I also found it inspiring to observe Virgin Earth owner Richard Kipnis direct his team. A real motivating leader who kept his cool no matter what came up.

Personally, I enjoyed dealing with all the challenges faced on the day. It was a delight to be able to push technology to its limits and see what could be done on a budget of $0.00. Highlights included our totally mobile broadcast from the shores of Odaiba (using the Emobile network), meeting speakers such as brain scientist Ken Mogi and musician Jake Shimabukuro, and working with Mika, Nick, Dave, Cindy and Paul.

I think next year we could do much better. I’d start the social media campaign a few weeks earlier, I’d blog a lot more and empower others to blog too, I’d utilise mainstream media in the lead-up to and after the event, I’d get the US and the UK to change their time zones so they’re awake throughout the event, I’d finalise the USTREAM set up a lot earlier so that on the set-up day we could do a practice run with all team members – as it was it was a bit touch-and-go (I’d also hope that Ustream Producer Pro had been improved by then, or instead use the Adobe Flash Media Encoder instead).

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Host of ‘I survived a Japanese Game Show’ Rome Kanda (whom I also met for lunch a couple of days ago)

On Demand videos
The Virgin Earth team had the first videos edited and output before the event was over, and had the lot done within a couple of days – amazing given our resources and the number of videos to upload (about 40). It was then down to me to upload them to YouTube, which unfortunately turned out to take a lot longer than anticipated. Limits on the speed at which it could ingest our videos meant that it took over an hour for each video to upload. It frequently failed to save the video descriptions, tags, dates, locations entered, and on a few occasions threw up unknown errors. In the end it took about 15 hours to get them all up (excluding the time it took to actually to upload them, which happened overnight).

Once the official videos were up, it was time to turn to the interviews we’d broadcast over USTREAM (and simultaneously recorded on my Canon HFS11). I’ve only realised this now, but it turned out that there were 18 of these – more than expected. Thankfully the edits were simple – find the beginning and end points, insert title, speaker intro overlay, outro. I then uploaded these to our TEDxTokyo YouTube channel.

(Not the best of interviews on my part. Head somewhat full of live-streaming challenges! Our cameraman was simultaneously tweeting out about the interview with Ken – thus the lack of the top half of my head!)

This year’s TEDxTokyo is now almost done with. Whilst a lot more work than I’d anticipated, I’m glad I was a part of it. I learnt a lot, enjoyed it a lot, and look forward to putting the skills I picked up to good use elsewhere.

To finish off, I’ll embed a couple of presentations that I particularly like. Do check out the full playlist at http://tedx.to/2010playlist.

Joseph