By Lance Weiler, April 4th, 2010

In a little more than a year and half we’ve held 6 DIY DAYS events (LA-twice, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York). All of these events have been made possible thanks to a community. A community of passionate people who have been willing to give their time and talents and as a result we’ve been able to hold a series of quality events that are FREE for those who attend.

DIY DAYS NYC was a turning point for us. The community that we’ve supported for the last 3 1/2 years via the WorkBook Project came through in a big way when a sponsor for the event stepped away at the last moment. In less than 36 hours via an indiegogo campaign we raised $4,600. And THANKS to the community DIY DAYS NYC became a reality.

This past Saturday in NYC we held our largest DIY DAYS event to date. Close to 400 people attended the event which consisted of 30+ speakers, 27 sessions and a brand new addition called Incubator.

The DIY DAYS Incubator was an exciting experiment that enabled two media startups (openindie and gigaplx) to kick the tires on their biz models with the assistance of experts from various industries. The final presentations to the conference attendees were exciting and they seem to already be baring fruits.


Over the coming days we’ll be starting to release the videos that were shot at the event as open media for all to embed and spread.

We want to hear from you

If you happened to shot video, record audio, snap pictures or intend to share thoughts on the event we’d love to see, hear and read what you’ve documented.

Erin from Briefly Noted

The creative collective behind yesterday’s DIY Days, an open think tank for content creators, has requested that attendees pay it forward by sharing insights and knowledge from the day with our community. I’m happy to oblige.

On the table, we talked transmedia and social media storytelling, strategies for innovation and personal branding. We rose up and screamed “we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!” (a queue from Network) in response to the sad state of the industry for artists, and we were introduced to new models from OpenIndie and GigaPix (site in development) that could very well change everything for filmmakers and musicians.


tuckergurlAngela from MediaRights

On Saturday, Ashley, Jolene, Felix and I attended DIY Days, a roving conference for creative folks brought to you by the Workbook Project.

My favorite workshop was “The Real You: Personal Branding, Social Media & Storytelling.” It was by run by Michael Margolis, the founder of Get Storied—a publishing, education, and consulting company. His talk was pretty inspiring. Other workshops provided more concrete tools through successful case studies but in the end, you have to be in the right mindset to embrace all of the various opportunities out there.


guy Guy from

You might think that after three months of attending multiple publishing and technology conferences — not to mention enduring weeks of Applings (Apple Lemmings, as Forrester’s James McQuivey calls them) bleating about the Rapture of the iPad — that I might be a bit burned out on talking about doing things and want to get back to actually doing things. As Wendig so perfectly put it, be “inspired to Make Shit and Make It Awesome”.



With invites pouring in to take DIY DAYS to other cities around the world. We’re focused on our next stop which will be LA this coming fall. If you’re interested in lending a hand or have a suggestion for a speaker or topic of discussion please let us know.

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Posted in DIYDays NYC event news
By Lance Weiler, April 2nd, 2010

This Saturday DIY DAYS comes to NYC with our biggest event to date. We’ll be streaming live and you can follow along via the conference dashboard.

The day is full of talks, workshops, open presentations and a new section called incubator. Here’s the full schedule for the day.



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Posted in DIYDays biz dev event
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By Lance Weiler, March 28th, 2010

This coming Saturday DIY DAYS NYC stops off at the NEW SCHOOL. We have an exciting lineup of storytellers and innovators from a variety of creative disciplines (film, music, design, gaming, software)

We’re very close to capacity so if you’re interested in attending make sure to register – it’s FREE but space is limited.


We’re still in need of three volunteers. Looking for folks with tech skills, organizational skills and those willing to lend a hand for a good cause. If you’re interested please contact us at work [@] workbookproject [dot] com with the subject “volunteer.”


If you have a power strip and / or an extension chord bring it along so we can help those attending the conference to have power. We encourage attendees to bring a laptop so they can interact with each other, the speakers and those tuning in from other parts of the world.

30+ speakers
8 workshops
11 talks
2 think tanks
23 open sessions


9:30 AM to 10:10 AM


10:10 to 10:15
Opening remarks

10:20 to 10:40
Ted Hope, co-founder of This is that & Good Machine, has produced close to sixty films, including three Sundance Grand Prize winners and the first features of Alan Ball, Todd Field, Michel Gondry, Nicole Holofcener, and Ang Lee. A strong supporter of a truly free film movement Ted believes that– due to the democratization of the tools which enable & spread creative expression — a self-supporting artistic middle class is now establishing itself. But in order for all those who are creating to also sustain, we must be as rigorous in thought & action towards the creation of an independent infrastructure. Are you up for the challenge?

10:45 to 11:05
The future of media is being invented today, but it is increasingly being defined by the terms of the old models for media production and consumption. This is for the worse, because instead of a new era of innovation we are in danger of a new era of sameness. The future of media is not just about new distribution models and building a fancy new TV that can show 3D, pull down an endless library of content and let us chat with our neighbor about which products to buy. This is precisely what passes for visionary by those controlling the future of media now, and unless media artists take an active role in creating the future, that may be the best we get. What would true innovation look like and what are the historical models we can turn to for innovative thinking about the future of the field?

11:10 to 11:40

Growing up in the projects of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Jeff Gomez dreamed of fantastic realms full of strange creatures, amazing heroes and high adventure. Today, as the President and CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment, Jeff engages audiences around the world by producing spectacular transmedia storylines for Disney, 20th Century Fox, Hasbro, Microsoft and Coca-Cola. DIY Days invites you to hear Jeff tell his remarkable tale, and learn about a vanguard form of writing, creative development and production that is taking the entertainment and advertising worlds by storm.

11:45 to 12:05

Toys have been used as storytelling devices for years. In this session, we will talk briefly about past uses of toys. Then, we will discuss the current state of the industry. With the advent of broadband internet, wi-fi, etc., toys can act as a new platform for distributing traditional media, such as songs and stories. In addition, toys can be used as conduits for interactive media, such as games and interactive stories. We will talk about Intellitoys’ platform as well as future possibilities of toys and content. As media companies move from licensing toys that simply utilize their characters to toys that reinforce their narratives and their missions, where do content creators (artists, musicians, gamers and technologists) fit?

12:05 to 12:25
What do ‘Most money destroyed for profit’, the ‘Longest shhh’ and ‘Most flaxseed cracker people created in one minute’ have in common? They are all records held on Dan Rollman and Corey Henderson’s Universal Record Database, otherwise known as the ‘definitive site for human achievement’. Dan Rollman takes us through the thinking behind the project and shares how URDB has built a dedicated community.

12:25 to 12:35
OPEN SESSION what are you working on what do you need ?
Conference attendees are given 60 seconds to present a project and express what they need to make it happen. These slots are LIMITED and will be available on a first come first serve basis. Interested parties will be able to sign up for a slot when registration opens at 9:30.

12:35 to 1:15

1:20 to 1:40
Will Apple’s iPad and the new wave of tablets usher in a new reading experience? Are consumers ready for a transmedia magazine, and is traditional publishing up to the task of producing one that is commercially viable? The blogosphere has left its mark on old-school media, social media has in turn transformed blogging, and the reader is now at the center of the media conversation. But what, if anything, will consumers pay for? And what will advertisers support? Join Cyndi Stivers (of, formerly of Time Out New York) and Sree Sreenivasan (Columbia J-school dean and digital media professor as well as contributing editor of for a discussion of the next-gen print experience.

1:45 to 2:05
Sometimes the story that you intend to tell takes you on a journey you never expected. Join Jason Bitner co-founder of Found Magazine and co-creator of Cassette From My Ex as he shares the birth of an unexpected project – LaPorte, Indiana. Born from a chance discovery of over 18,000 studio portraits – a time capsule of personal milestones captured over the course of three decades by local photographer Frank Pease – LaPorte, Indiana is a candid look at a tight-knit American community. What started as a magazine assignment, blossomed into a documentary feature film and is now coming full circle as it’s turned into book. Jason shares his creative process and sheds light on the delicate balance of letting a story find you.

2:10 to 2:30
DIY EMPIRE “how a little art class took over the world”

Four years ago, as a broke art school drop-out Molly Crabapple set up Dr Sketchys, the anti-art school, as a social gathering in Brooklyn. Now a sought after fine artist, comics creator and illustrator in her own right, Dr Sketchy’s has spread to over 100 cities and has grown from an event, to a movement. Weekly, droves of artists and amateurs alike swarm to these experiences internationally to draw glamorous underground personalities from burlesque dancers to fetish models to drag queens. Molly shares the lessons learned and details how she’s using a little art class to build a mighty DIY EMPIRE.

2:35 to 2:45
OPEN SESSION what are you working on what do you need ?
Conference attendees are given 60 seconds to present a project and express what they need to make it happen. These slots are LIMITED and will be available on a first come first serve basis. Interested parties will be able to sign up for a slot when registration opens at 9:30.

2:45 to 3:05
Bre Pettis loves to make things, share them with the world, and support others in their dreams of making things. He co-founded MakerBot Industries to bring manufacturing to the masses and he co-founded Thingiverse so there would be a place for to share digital designs on the web. He is also a founder of NYCResistor, a hacker collective that seeks to learn, share, and make things. When Bre’s not making things, he is sleeping.

3:10 to 3:40
The music industry was the first media industry affected by file sharing, digital distribution, and new models centered around emerging technology. As the major labels try to find new ways to retain control, independent artists and labels are innovating with new ideas that bring music directly to their audiences. Similar changes are underway in film and print, and everyone is looking at music to see what will happen next. BRIAN McTEAR (Weathervane Music) and JESSE VON DOOM (CASH Music) discuss how their organizations are playing a part in the change, and shed some light on the trends that are growing today and how they’ll impact the music industry and beyond.

3:40 to 4:00
Harris will discuss the evolution of his new interactive online community engagement project “Digital Diaspora Family Reuinon” where genealogy meets the visual image to create new forms of particpatory storytelling. This project was developed parellel to a sister project his current documentary, “Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People” which is slated for release in 2011.

4:00 to 5:00
DIY DAYS Incubator Pitches
Two media startups will make presentations in front of a live audience that detail their vision, business models and goals.


11:30 to 3:30
Two media Startups meet with experts from various industries to think thank their models and to craft presentations which will be made to those attending the conference at the end of the day.


11:30 to 12:30
This workshop will take you through the process of conceiving, developing and releasing an app for mobile platforms including the iPhone, Android, mobile web and other platforms. We will take a close look at the process of designing User Interface and User Experience. We will also look at the evolution of human interface interactions and where we are headed. What is the future of mobile devices, including the iPad, netbooks and smartphones. Particular focus will be on augmented & alternate reality design and building immersive worlds and transmedia integration.

12:30 to 1:15

1:15 to 2:00

The ubiquitous nature of smart phones and location aware devices means transmedia storytelling can become a local and dynamic experience for the masses. This workshop will serve as a rabbit hole into the technology behind AR and geo-locational platforms. Open source software, some programming gumption, and off the shelf hardware is all that is needed to experiment. Android phone app development will be thoroughly evangelized. Ideas on using local space to connect distant users will be explored. Show and tell includes AR on the Android, hacking the wiimote, anaglyph 3D, browser based AR, video see through head mounted displays, Google Maps api, and more.

2:00 to 2:30
OPEN SESSION – 3 x 10 minute talks
We’re looking for three conference attendees who’d like to share something they’re working on, something they think will help others, and something that will be an interesting topic of discussion.

Those interested should email us at work [@] workbookproject [dot] com with the subject “open session.”

2:35 to 3:10
Chuck Wendig kicks aside that old question, “Can games be art?” and instead focuses on the question: “Can games tell an effective story?” Are games – video games, pen-and-paper roleplaying games, ARGs – appropriate vehicles for the kind of stories and storytelling that incense, enliven, and challenge? What does the story arc of a game look like? What is the difference between plot and story in terms of gaming? Does any of this matter, or do we just want to slay dragons and blow stuff up?

3:10 to 4:10

How is transmedia production and distribution different from film, tv, video and game distribution? Join Anita Ondine and David Beard as they deliver a practical overview of the process of producing and distributing transmedia experiences. From budgeting and scheduling to designing an integrated workflow to the distribution of transmedia works across a broad range of delivery platforms – “How to Design Transmedia” will provide you with an overview of how to integrate transmedia effectively into your production and distribution process.


11:15 to 12:15

Hello, is this microphone on? As an artist or creative, it’s easy to talk about your passions. Sure, everybody has a story to tell. Yet getting others to see, care, and believe in the same things you do is a different story. How can you market your truth in way that’s still relevant and genuine? This session introduces a new ego mindset for social media with brand frameworks that will encourage people to embrace and buying into your work.

12:30 to 1:15

1:15 to 2:15

The most compelling reason for most musicians, filmmakers and writers to invest and interact in social media goes far beyond just numbers and fans. You have a story to tell, and you want it to be heard and shared. By creating stories that resonate and cultivating an audience that responds to them on an emotional level, you not only increase the reach of your story, you also grow your financial base and are more likely to recoup some or all your investment. This workshop will show you how to jumpstart finding the right audience and growing it into an army of evangelists for your story, which will help you support your artistic vision.

2:20 to 3:15

Media democratization continues to progress, and the notion of collaboration and mutual-aid gather much deserved cool points. A fresh wave of visionary voices have come to prominence in this new landscape of public consciousness. How did this happen? What was the intentionality behind it? Please join Elizabeth-Jane Cole and Scott Beibin who run Evil Twin Booking for a presentation on how they help to build audiences while engineering information coups in the mainstream press, creating viral media campaigns and organizing tours for socially and environmentally oriented speakers, performers, and films.

3:20 to 4:10

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Posted in DIYDays NYC
By Lance Weiler, March 26th, 2010

One of the new additions to DIY DAYS NYC is an incubator that provides two media service Startups with the opportunity to think tank their concepts. Over the course of the day the Startups meet with a group of industry experts from various fields (biz dev, legal, funding, branding, design). The day will conclude with the Startups making a presentation to DIY DAYS attendees, after which the audience is encouraged to provide their feedback about the model.

We’re please to announce that the following two Startups will be part of the DIY DAYS NYC Incubator.


founder Mark Schoneveld

gigaplx is an online software service for indie bands and music artists that will serve the needs of managing and monetizing professional independent tours in the united states.

gigaplx is a dynamic, robust but simple toolset for building relationships that make executing a successful club-to-club schedule easy.

gigaplx is an opportunity for reputation building and networking as well as tapping into a dynamic collective knowledge base.

gigaplx will include several marketing solutions for bands on tour, but also offer on-point services and sundries to keep the show on the road.

finally, gigaplx will make selling merch a snap with great deals on new band swag from partner dealers with discounted preferred customer rates.


founders Arin Crumley and Kieran Masterton

OpenIndie is a site where anyone can request a local screening of a movie they want to see or put on a screening of any of the films on the site. Upon the creation of a screening on the site email are automatically sent to anyone in the area that have also requested a screening of the film in question.

In November 2009 the site received over $12,000 in donations via from over 250 backers eager to see the site exist. On March 1st 2010 launched in public beta and dozens of films have been added to the site.

The next step is to build the quantity of films on the site, allow users to leverage their existing social networks to promote films they like and build a network of theatrical venues to screen OpenIndie films. The next major feature release planned is OpenLicense which will allow filmmakers to have greater control over how they let the community distribute their film and ensure that OpenIndie is design to augment existing distribution channels.

OpenIndie imagines a future where audiences can travel to a town or city other than their own and immediately receive geo-centric pre-programmed alerts of screenings of films they’ve requested. Likewise, OpenIndie would like to provide a mobile application that would allow screening attendees to donate to filmmakers or buy film branded products right from their seat at the venue.

The over all goal of OpenIndie is to reinvent the cinema experience by bringing audience, filmmaker and exhibitor together in one simple, easy to use, space.

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Posted in DIYDays NYC biz dev event
  • RADAR NYC – feat. Shantell Martin
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