Cahootify – Social Network of the Media Industry

In a world where a huge amount of business (particularly in the media industry) is done online, it is very useful to have a specific platform from which you can operate. On this post I will be talking about the new website ‘Cahootify’, and how it can specifically help film-makers of all ages and levels of experience.

Depending on your role in the industry, a film-maker could require many different things from a platform of this type, ranging from creative inspiration, to people for employment, to a simple place to store and present your existing work. Cahootify provides all of these. The ‘about’ page on the website describes the service as ‘an online project portfolio and team-forming platform for the creative production industries’. All of its main features are completely free, however there are plans in the future to offer a ‘premium’ account for a small fee which will offer more control over the features. While there are many other online platforms available that have been used by people/film-makers in the past, Cahootify is unique in its features primarily because it is specifically and solely designed for the media industry.

Features

The first notable feature is the way you can create an online port-folio. When someone else in your industry visits your profile, they will be presented with all of the past projects you have uploaded in a tile presentation format. As well as being a useful way of storing and backing up your work for your own reference, this instantly shows potential employers and employees what your skills are, how much you have done in the past, and what sort of projects you might be interested in taking part in in the future. The benefit of this being online is rooted in the fact that Cahootify is in essence a social network. Where as in the traditional way a film-maker, or anyone in the industry might go to an employer or someone you need to employ and present their work in an interview environment, in an online community there is no need. Once you have uploaded your work and it is public, people looking for roles will come to you, and can freely explore what it is you do.

This brings us on to the feature of recruiting to form crews for your own productions. Firstly there is the ‘projects with needs’ section of the website. This shows projects either by country, by the skills they require, or by keywords in the title (in the same tile format as on your account page). Each tile represents a project that someone has posted with the intention of recruiting positions such as camera operators, directors, actors, technicians and so on, and this is displayed as tags in the wanted section along with a brief outline of the project. Even as a film-maker you may still be looking for work on other people’s projects, and this feature makes it easy to enquire and to make connections with people. However what you are more likely looking for is individual people offering a service to employ on your own production. For this purpose, Cahootify has the ‘people with skills’ sections. This page gives a list of people which you can refine by country, or by keywords related to name, skill, or specific project. The ‘skill’ keywords which feed into this search come from the tags displayed on the profiles listed, along with a profile picture, name and short bio. These tags which can be for roles such as directing, producing and acting can be as obscure as the person wishes and therefore can tailor to any role in the industry. This however would propose the problem of how experienced are the people in the role that they claim they can provide? Cahootify solves this by colour coding the tags. If a person has shown evidence of having performed this role in a project by uploading it onto the site, it will be highlighted green, whereas if they are unexperienced in this role and simply want to or would be willing to perform it, it will be shown as grey. This is useful to a film-maker who’s recruiting for their project because it gives an indication of not just how good they may be in this role, but also issues such as how much they will be expected to work for. For example, you may follow these tags and find out that the person is enthusiastic but unexperienced (a student for example), and therefore will likely work enthusiastically for free to gain that experience.

Compared with other platforms

As mentioned, there are several platforms that a film-maker could try to use for these functions, and considering that Cahootify is new and up and coming, they have been used in the past. Facebook is one of these possibilities. It is an excellent example of a social network, and compared with Cahootify as well as most other networks, it is far more saturated with people. However, while you may have the advantage of access to a much larger group of people, Facebook is not designed to be a social network specifically for those is the media/film-making industry. Unlike Cahootify it is full of people and pages completely unrelated to whatever it is your profile or page is concerned with. Also, a film-maker could easily create a page that explained their requirements, their projects and their roles in the industry, but Facebook would not automatically link them to people who specifically fit their needs or interests.

Another platform that may be good for actually posting the media itself is YouTube. Similarly to Facebook, YouTube has a much larger community of subscribers than Cahootify, but in this case differs from the others in that it is not a social network. Although the home page of YouTube does give the viewer suggested videos based on the subjects they have viewed in the past, it lacks the functions for conducting business. The projects on Cahootify as standard present and inquire about roles within the production process that a film-maker may find valuable, whereas YouTube is simply a place that posts and classifies videos. From a professional point of view there is also the issue that most of the videos posted are personal entertainment videos posted by amateurs who have no role or interest in the professional media industry.

Twitter could also provide some useful features to a film-maker. As well as also having a much larger community, twitter is an instant way to get a message to a large amount of people. That being said, your tweets are only visible to those who have discovered you and followed you, rather than anyone who might be useful to you as is the case on Cahootify. What you post is also very limited. There is a limit on the word characters in each ‘tweet’, and there is no way of tailoring what sort of person will be viewing the media unless you specifically tweet it to them as an individual, or if you only allow certain people to follow you (but this is difficult to tailor and maintain). The main problem however with twitter is that due to the rolling continuous ‘news feed’ format, anything you post will only be visible to your followers on the first page for around 7 minutes.

In conclusion

While it is still a young and unfinished network, Cahootify is a valuable platform for anyone involved in media production, particularly those in the professional media industry. The main selling points I would identify are…

  • The ability to create a professional and interactive portfolio that will reach out to bring you professional possibilities and connections.
  • The ability to view and hire potential production crew members.
  • The ability to present yourself and your work to potential employers.
  • The ability to connect with people of all levels/roles/interests within the media industry.

A question to ask may be ‘is Cahootify an online presence like YouTube, or a social network like Facebook and twitter?’ Based on the features I have just outlined, it seems that it can be both.

 Cahootify-Homepage

cahootify.com

facebook.com

youtube.com

twitter.com

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Sleep deprivation in students

As we go to uni and our social lives change, so do our sleeping habits. We tend to stay up later drinking and socialising and, when our deadlines come (and we realise we haven’t done any work because we’ve been drinking) we stay up working. As shown in this study, long-term and short-term deprivation can affect more than just how tired you are…

Results of the analysis of 143 study coefficients suggest that overall sleep deprivation strongly impairs human functioning. Moreover, it was found that mood is more affected by sleep deprivation than either cognitive or motor performance and that partial sleep deprivation has a more profound effect on functioning than either long-term or short-term sleep deprivation. (Effects of sleep deprivation on performance: A meta-analysis.Pilcher, June J.; Huffcutt, Allen J.Sleep: Journal of Sleep Research & Sleep Medicine, Vol 19(4), May 1996, 318-326.)

sleep-deprivation-infographic

One thing that stood out from this infographic was the 45% increase in the chances of depression symptoms. As such things are on the increase, not getting enough sleep is no reason to up the risk. One of the leading causes of death amongst teenagers is suicide. The Centers for Disease control report that it is the third leading cause of death, behind accidents and homicide, of people aged 15 to 24. Even more disturbing is the fact that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10 and 14.

This video shows some of the tips, tricks, and mental exercises you can use to get the optimal amount of sleep, and make yourself a more all round healthy person.

Its Christmas

Black Friday has passed, and half the country has run out and bought crap for their family without thinking about what it is. If like me you’re looking at buying a DSLR camera for the year ahead you might also have no idea what you want, what’s good value or what DSLR means (digital single lens reflex).

DSLR’s range from 200 quid to 10,000, but no matter what you spend you’re getting a really versatile piece of kit that’s the tool of novice and professional photographers alike.

Here is a list of what i think are the best all round DSLR’s across all ranges of price, so you can try and spend your money effectively while the prices are down this Christmas.

Nikon d3300 – £279

Nikon D3300

  • 24.2 megapixels
  • Sensor size and type: 23.5 x 15.6 mm CMOS
  • Standard ISO range: 100 – 12800
  • 76.2 mm LCD screen
  • 5 fps in continuous shooting mode

Nikon d3300 – currys

Canon EOS 1200D – £349

Cannon EOS 1200D

  • Screen type: 3” LCD screen
  • ISO Speed Range: 100-6400
  • HD video: Full HD 1080p
  • 18 megapixels
  • Sensor size and type: 22.3 x 14.9 mm APS-C CMOS

Canon EOS 1200D – currys

Nikon D5300 – £459

Nikon D5300

  • Screen type: 3.2″ vari-angle TFT screen
  • ISO Speed Range: 100-12800
  • HD video: Full HD 1080p
  • 24.2 megapixels
  • Sensor size and type: 23.5 x 15.6 mm CMOS

Nikon D5300 – currys

Nikon D5500 – £569

Nikon D5500

  • 24.7 megapixels
  • Sensor size and type: 23.5 x 15.6 mm CMOS
  • Standard ISO range: 100 – 25600
  • Built-in WiFi
  • 81 mm vari-angle LCD touchscreen

Nikon D5500 – currys

Canon EOS 750D – £739

Canon EOS 750D

  • 24.2 megapixels
  • Sensor size and type: 22.3 x 14.9 mm CMOS
  • Standard ISO range: 100 – 6400
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC
  • 76.2 mm LCD vari-angle touchscreen

Canon EOS 750D – currys

Nikon D610 – £1,049

Nikon D610

  • 24.3 megapixels
  • Sensor size and type: 35.9 x 24.0 mm CMOS
  • HD video: Full HD 1080p
  • ISO Speed Range: 100-6400
  • Screen type: 3.2″ TFT LCD screen

Nikon D610 – currys

Nikon D750 – £1,999

Nikon D750

  • Screen type: 3.2″ TFT LCD screen
  • ISO Speed Range: 100-12800
  • 24.3 megapixels
  • Sensor size and type: 35.9 × 24 mm APS CMOS
  • Built-in WiFi

Nikon D750 – currys

Nikon D810A – £2,699

Nikon D810A

  • 36.3 megapixels
  • Sensor size and type: 35.9 x 24.0 mm CMOS
  • Standard ISO range: 64 – 12800
  • Built-in WiFi and GPS
  • 81 mm TFT LCD screen

Nikon D810A – currys

Nikon D4S – £4,449

Nikon D4S

  • 16.2 megapixels
  • Sensor size and type: 36 x 23.9 mm CMOS
  • ISO Speed Range: 100-25600
  • Screen type: 3.2″ TFT LCD screen

Nikon D4S – currys

Stewart Lyons – Breaking Bad Producer

As part of my universities journalism week, we are having a Skype conference and Q and A with Breaking bad producer Stewart Lyons in the next hour. I will be live tweeting the event via my personal twitter (linked below) and giving some of the more interesting answers he provides. If you have any questions you would like to be answered by Stewart please write them in the comment section and I will post his responses. Stewart is known for his contribution to many films and television series from ‘Breaking Bad’ to ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ and has a wealth of industry knowledge.

imdb.com/StewartLyons

My Twitter

stewart-lyons