St. Jerome in his Study (1480 fresco, Ognissanti, Florence), left, and Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine in his Blogcast Studio (2005 live broadcast from somewhere in cyberspace). St. Jerome is credited with shaping the Latin version of the Bible. Jarvis should be credited with shaping the TV version of the blogosphere.
Who needs a multimillion-dollar studio?" asks Jeff Jarvis, "a liberal who was radicalized by September 11 and cheered the War in Iraq," as Christopher Lydon described him in an interview a couple of years back. A former TV critic for People magazine and TV Guide and founding editor of Entertainment Weekly, Jeff made history yesterday with a live MSNBC blogging report broadcast from his study:
What you see above is the blogcast studio: A Logitech laptop camera atop my screen; the screen atop a box to get it to eye-level; notes for the spiels taped to the screen; MSM Messenger to show the video; a phone to get the audio back; a very long ethernet cable to get to the router so we didn't rely on wireless; lots of lamps . . . et voila: TV.
You can watch and listen at Jackson's Junction here.
Jeff had sent out an SOS call to readers earlier yesterday -- shortly before broadcast -- for stories and thoughts and links re Pope John Paul's illness after MSNBC, in response to developing news, suddenly changed the show to do a full hour on the Pope. Jeff's swift turnaround from whatever he had expected to talk about to a link-filled all-Pope-all-the-time report was a demonstration of the blogosphere's ability to turn on a dime and add something of value to the story. His childlike delight in the wonder of it all comes through in his wide-eyed analysis:
What's neat about this is that anybody can broadcast from anywhere. Sure, the quality of the image is still iffy (but it's better than an Ollie North satphone call). But the possibilities are endless.
We wrote yesterday of Peggy Noonan's nomination of Saint Joseph of Cupertino as patron saint of the Internet. How 'bout Jeff Jarvis for patron saint of the blogosphere?
Update: The Prop at coffeegrounds comments: Somewhere we all have a Tupperware container full of spare cables and extension cords. How ingenious to turn it into a podium. I only wish he had decided to broadcast in his pajamas . . .