This is where thoughts become things.

Hi, I'm Daniela. Welcome to my personal lair on the Internet. This is where I write about storytelling, activism, technology and pop culture. Sometimes I post videos. I update my lair when the mood strikes me. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates (@dcap).

Tag : youtube

5 Rad Things – Filmmaker Edition: Smartphone gadgets, world’s largest use-generated feature film and moooooar

figure from one of my altars

Happy Dia de los Muertos weekend! While many celebrate Halloween, I’m going to participate in another tradition and document examples of altars, sugar skulls and other spiritual artifacts. I’ll share the photos and some video next week.

In the spirit of filmmaking and film love in general, here are 5 Rad Things happening at the intersection of DIY, crowd-sourcing and low-budget awesome movie making.

Capta: Best $25 you’ll ever spend

Have you ever been at an event and kicked yourself for not bringing a second camera? Or, have you ever wanted to record yourself with your smartphone from a different angle but couldn’t pull it off without having Inspector go-go Gadget arms? Capta is a new device that I have invested in and am looking forward to experimenting with. From the team: “We set out to create a hybrid accessory for smart phones that would be elegant, functional and universal. Capta was primarily designed to be a tripod mount and has developed into an amazing hybrid accessory that allows you to do much more with your smart phones.”

Watch for yourself and dream of the possibilities, particularly with the impressive video quality on the iPhone 4S (captures full HD 1920×1080 footage, now with image stabilisation):

Check check check it out

If you go to their Kickstarter campaign and pledge at least $25 (the $20 pledge level sold out — hurry!), you’ll get one of these bad boys. For a $60 pledge, you will receive ONE exclusive Kickstarter black anodized Capta with green print and green pad, one multi purpose suction cup mount and one black PU multi-purpose sticky pad. AMAZING! Big thanks to Corvida for turning me on to this quite handy, low-cost product!


5 Rad Things: YouTube’s new editing tools, how to hide yo kids, hide yo wife, Instagram news, Cinemagraphs and The Queer Commons

In my last edition of 5 Rad Things, I raved about Sonic editions for iPhone. I’m happy to announce that as I approach my 30th birthday (9/29), I have yet to put away childish things and am still inspired by the same ‘ole stuff the kids love: productivity enhancements! 😀

Here are 5 rad things that I’m going to obsess over today:

1. YouTube’s new editing tools

Last week YouTube rolled out some great new features, including a marvelously addictive “fast little kid” version of YouTube Editor. This was a natural step for a video portal that sees more traffic than all other video sites. As the article pointed out, YouTube Editor had some limitations that more than likely prevented people from uploading certain kinds of clips on the fly. Before, online editing would result in a new video with a new address; now, old uploads can be made new in the same place.

I would have uploaded more clips from Paris if this feature had been available last fall

According to YouTube engineers, the vast majority of uploads were unpolished clips straight from phones and point-and-shoot cameras. They realized people might not want to post-produce using video software or the existing YouTube Editor, which would result in a new upload and address. These new features make it easier to publish, edit, polish and share your clips through your phone and browser. YouTube Editor, which allows combining trimmed clips with transitions and other elements, isn’t going away. The Edit Video button just offers needed one-click improvements. Click here for more from the review of YouTube’s new editing tools.

Minor but significant improvements like the ability to retain your original link after editing definitely augment any social justice activity — something that excites me. For example, the #takebackwallstreet events in lower Manhattan — more people can document and share police activity and events. At some point, YouTube will allow more than just their Partner Program folks to livestream video and then I think that’s when YouTube is really going to see a wider breadth of content and engagement. In the meantime, there are a ton of existing livestream options for your mobile phone, like USTREAM. You can watch what is happening on Wall Street right now. YouTube is missing out on a big opportunity right now to support activists but I’m sure that will change.

2. How to hide yo kids, hide yo wife on YouTube

It’s really easy. If you don’t want everyone oogling anything that should remain private (like minors in various states of undress, private functions, etc.), follow these simple steps:

Go to your video on YouTube and click “edit info” button in the upper left corner, then at the bottom of that page there is a section called “broadcasting and sharing options.”

– Public (anyone can search for and view)

– Unlisted (anyone with the link can view)

– Private (only people you choose can view — you can select by email address or YouTube username)

If you are uploading videos of your own children, it’s up to you to decide what the best option is for your family. However, if you’re uploading videos of other people’s kids, please do yourself a favor and ask permission first. If you forget to do that, at least change the video privacy setting to PRIVATE and add the parents email address or YouTube name so they can watch it and give you instructions on whether to make it public or take it down.

What Parents Should Know About Toyota’s ‘Small Talk’ Campaign

Integrated marketing campaigns can be immersive experiences that add to an ongoing dialogue, inspiring positive change. But more often than not, they can be creepy as hell and make me vomit in my mouth a little. Enter the “Small Talk” Campaign, a new partnership between Toyota and YouTube that encourages parents to whore out their young children for money.

It’s deceptively simple – you just record your toddler cutely answering a company-approved question about cars, upload the video and wait for instant fame.

Toyota (click the image for full screen)

But wait – read the fine print. There’s that giant paragraph of incomprehensible language about signing your child’s life away:

“By entering this Contest, and to the extent allowed by law, entrants grant Contest Entities and each of their affiliates, licensees, promotional partners, advertising and promotion agencies, and third party marketing entities the absolute right and permission to edit, modify, cut, rearrange, add to, delete from, copy, reproduce, translate, dub, adapt, publish, exploit, and use the content of and elements embodied in the Video Submissions, entries, and the entries themselves, in perpetuity in any and all media, including but not limited to digital and electronic media, computer, audio, and audiovisual media (whether now existing or hereafter devised), in any language, throughout the world, and in any manner, for trade, advertising, promotional, commercial, or any other purposes without further review, notice, approval, consideration, or compensation.”

It goes on, but the gist is that, by uploading, you are signing away the rights to your child’s image in that video. They can use it however they want and you have no say over it. They will profit from your child’s image, and you will get NOTHING. NADA. ZIP.

That’s a lot to give up for a $10,000 pipe dream.

Remember Charlie? I love that stuff, because engagement like that, between parent and child, enriches their relationship. Your children know you are focusing on them because you genuinely care – not because you are reenacting something for a company.

But kids doing adorable things is big money, and now Toyota wants your child to help them sell things with their “aw factor.” Referencing “Charlie bit my finger” is a sneaky way to embed themselves into an existing culture of parents on YouTube.

I don’t have children of my own, but this still pisses me off. Why? Consider these points:

1. Social Media Makes It Easy To Be A Fame Whore
You upload your toddler crying over Justin Bieber, she gets to be on TV and meet Justin Bieber. If your daughter screams on camera over a “Twilight” hunk and sends that video to a major media company, she might get to meet Oprah. This is the message we’re selling: “When choosing between options, do [the thing] that leads to instant gratification. Do what will bring you attention.”

2. Companies Like To Use Your Babies
Yes, they do. All the time. Why? It saves them money. It provides the illusion that they are connected with their “community,” that they “get” their “audience.” Bullshit.

Toyota is losing money. They need to make more money. They need their product to appeal to families so they can sell more units. By giving footage of your daughter or son away to them, they are turning around and using it to sell your endorsement – without paying you a cent! They dangle a prize that most won’t win, and you come in droves to help them make low cost commercials — brilliant!

Is Toyota paying your bills? No? Then why are you paying theirs?

3. You Don’t Want Your Child To Be Famous
No, you really don’t. Think about it. Your may want more for your kids, but the chances that your darling is ever going to be the next Dakota Fanning are slim to none.

If you really want to help your children, read with them. Listen to them. Help them with their homework. Teach them how to use the internet. Talk with them about sex, body image and self respect. Google The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and find out how it applies to your life.

Young parents are especially vulnerable to these campaigns that want “non actor” children to sell adult products. Toyota’s video description is tongue-in-cheek, but it clearly states that they want you to use your kids, so they can use you:

“Radio personality, television host and all-around great guy Ryan Seacrest is giving parents a chance to make a little coin off their little miracles. Welcome to YouTube Small Talk made possible by the new Toyota Sienna. For more mom and dad funny, check out The Sienna Family web-series at”

Toyota should be engaging you with deals, better products and parent driver resources – not USING YOU. The actual miracle will be that any of this was worth your time, and that the hours you lost working for free for a big company will ever be returned to you.

In closing, some kids do want to be actors — that’s fine. Fame is another story fraught with complications that the average parent isn’t trained to spot. Chasing fame is not going to get you a new home, vacations or more food in the house. Educate yourself and your children, learning about realistic resources — these steps should be a primary focus in your life.

Think twice before you let big media profit from your innocent child who’s picking his nose, biting his brother or pooping his pants. You are the only one, in the end, who needs to value how “adorable” your kid is. Not Toyota.

For more information on how to protect your kids from advertisers, visit and