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It’s Jim, trying to drain the swamp

On a more serious side of community video projects, Natascha Thomson and now Sylvia Santelli of SAP have been working to promote SCN members sending in videos of themselves.


See the wiki page:

30 seconds of recognition – 2010 edition SCN Choice Video Awards


So, yeah, this is 2 minutes and 30 seconds, not 30 seconds, but the limit (to our attention span) is 3 minutes.

This clip is in category 2, of the Choice Awards:


  • SUSTAINABILITY: My tips or story on how I have contributed to a more sustainable world recently (privately or in business).

Category 1 would have been:

  • talk about the tangible benefits that you have derived from SCN membership,  e.g. how you were able to implement a project faster or more  efficiently for you or your customers, or how you got an answer in the  forum that resolved a business challenge.



Technical details:


This video was shot with a Flip HD camera, using a “table-top” tripod, and a washer between the tripod screw and camera as the threads were longer than the socket.  I clipped out the first 18 seconds where the tripod fell over (see: ) as well as a few seconds at the end, turning off the camera.  Edits were done on Windows 7, using “CyberLink Ultra Power Director 8” (and who says product names are hard to remember?). I rendered it to an H.264 format, losing high-definition quality in shrinking the file size from the original 260 MB to a more upload friendly 100MB.  YouTube shows 3 pixel densities available for download/playback: 240p, 360p and 480p, with the default coming up as 360p.

The mosquitoes did  not sign video release forms, so they’ve been digitally edited out of the final print.  Their itchy bites, however, remained rather annoying for several days.  That’s the price of living near the woods, as the tides rise, I guess.


Your turn:


Turn the camera on.  Start talking about the SAP Community.  Upload your content somewhere.  Tell us about it.  Be funny.  Be smart.  Be yourself.

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  • Jim,
    I haven’t done my video(s) yet; I’m still mulling over possible concepts. But did you have to say:
    Be funny.  Be smart.  Be yourself.

    Yikes, as if coming up with one or more concepts, writing the treatments, planning the cinematography, being or hiring the videographer, scriptwriting and starring aren’t enough, thanks for the extra pressure there. Would picking one or two of the three be OK? 🙂

    Oh, and thanks for mentioning your supporting cast that you edited out. Do you know where can we get a copy of the release form if we do want to include them?


    • “Be funny. Be smart. Be yourself.” – we’ll settle for two out of three, or even just one of those if you have stage fright.  I don’t think you have that phobia, though!

      I have a couple video release forms left over (they were in my “2002 ASUG Annual Conference Speaker” binder) from ASUG 2010/SapphireNow.  If necessary I will scan them and share a link with you later.  Or see this link for the text, while it’s still online.


  • Hi Jim,

    I know draining the swamp is a saying, it just made me think, that be doing so, you are destroying an ecosystem the habitat of many organisms. In The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals author Michael Pollen surprised me by saying that Iowa is the state that has the least natural environment, as everything has been adjusted to corn farming.

    Just a side note 😉 Mark.

    • Mark:  Side notes can be the most enlightening.  Yes, I was using “drain the swamp” metaphorically, mostly because there is a large “stormwater management area” adjacent to my yard (and I say “my yard” legally, not philosophically), that in former days was called a swamp, and were it not for the housing development I live in, would have remained wetlands.  The oak tree I shot in front of is planted on the slope between my grassy back yard and the swampy community area.  When we moved in, the former house occupants had grass all the way down to the wetlands; we have since “reforested” about 15 feet of this by not mowing, letting whatever spring up, and planting numerous trees.  As I say in the video, the 2 oak trees sprouted from acorns, so if they aren’t native species they are pretty close.  Most of the other trees are White Pines, grown from saplings I found beneath standing specimens within 100 miles of here.  A few other trees are stretching the “act locally” directive a bit, as my mother shared a set of various species sent from the National Arbor Day Foundation as a donation recognition.

      As for “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals” our local library system has 41 copies, all checked out or on reserve.  Good recommendation, just based on that count.  I’ll find it and read it.

      Later.  Jim