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Saturday, February 1st, 2003
ChristinaMultimedia Forum Upgrade - 07:00PM EST - hmers1
A month has passed since the new year, and February has arrived in no time already. So what's in store for this month?
First and foremost, the forum has been upgraded with a lot of new functionality. One of the biggest additions is the Calendar which will list our events and TV dates in a much more organized manner. TV Scouters will be responsible for keeping the calendar up to date with all of Christina's latest TV appearances. A lot of minor improvements and changes have been made, so you'll basically have to explore the forum to find all the differences. Some of these include improvements to the Instant Messaging, more built-in smilies (great thanks to HypnoticAngel for finding them), and security improvements such as requiring typing in your password to change your profile (in case someone gets access to your computer and you haven't logged out). Moderators also have new abilites to do things such as split/merge threads, link threads to new events in the Calendar, as well as being able to set threads to a "solved status", which will be useful in our Troubleshooting forum. The solved status is an indicator status which is different than the "sticky" and "locked" status, to indicate threads which have been answered or "solved". We will also be posting new rules on the forum in response to these new changes to make things more efficient. Other than the upgrade, a new Creative Lounge has been added for you guys to post blends, wallpapers, etc that you make.
In our weekly management meeting last week, the managers and I have unanimously decided to promote four members to Global Moderators. These people are: EvilTempTressDQ (Denise), awesomegenie (Jazmine), Tabi, and scorpio76 (Marion). It's not impossible to obtain a high position on here. You just have to show your dedication to the Christina community, and must also express an interest in obtaining a high position. The higher the position you are, the more responsibilities you have so it's not all just fun. For example, the Managers have to attend a meeting each week to discuss issues regarding the site, new proposals, etc on behalf of the community. So there's a trade-off for having a higher position.
Anyway, the new Help Center has been launched. The purpose of this center is for people to find answers to their questions. If you don't find your answer in the Help Center, please ask us in the Troubleshooting section of our forum. Questions you ask us there will be added to the Help Center by the managers as time goes on. The Help Center is currently in a fairly primitive stage, but expect to see a lot more added to it in the future.
In any case, the Board Awards that some of you have been waiting for are finally starting today. You can vote HERE, and voting will last until the end of the month. Please use people's membernames when voting to avoid any confusion. To find out the membername of a person, you just hover your mouse over their nickname. So for example, if you hover your mouse over Kivin, you will see the URL "http://www.christinamultimedia.com/forum/index.php?action=viewprofile;user=Kevin", where Kivin is the nickname but Kevin is the real membername. So in the case of voting, use Kevin. The reason is because the nicknames of people can be changed, but their actual membername can never be changed once they register, and this will help us distinguish individuals uniquely from each other. You can read more about it and follow up on the discussion of this on our forum HERE.
I've also changed the message in the Contribution Center explaining in more detail exactly why we need contributions. We were short again for January and hopefully more people will help our in this area.
Multimedia updates today include the MP3 of Impossible at MTV Conexion (from MpgMann) on the Download Express. MP3 Heaven, Video Palace, and Showcase have also been updated with other MP3s and videos.
That's it for the February updates. We do listen to your suggestions so please keep them coming. Thanks to everyone who has helped for their support in maintaining this system.
Saturday, February 8th, 2003
Download Express Additions - 02:30PM EST - hmers1
A few new additions today to the Download Express. Added TV Caps and the RealVideo of the new 20/20 preview that aired on Friday (3 minutes long), which features various clips of Christina's upcoming interview, as well as a clip of her singing Beautiful beside a piano. The complete interview will be airing next Friday the 14th (Valentine's Day).
Also added TV caps of Christina singing Beautiful from the NBA Read To Achieve celebration that aired today. Special thanks goes to anjelicjac for providing HTTP bandwidth to help host these files (it's why the download limits have been increased).
On another note, whoever sends videos or other multimedia to ChristinaMultimedia should be aware that we allow other sites to take content without giving credit. ChristinaMultimedia works as a gathering system from individual fans... to concentrate efforts into a team to benefit the entire Christina community. We feel that because a lot of effort has been spent to make these things, the more sites that "rob" us (or so other sites call it), the better because that way the investment of effort gets a better "return". "Return" to us is not popularity for this site, but is measured in terms of overall promotion for Christina. To us, it doesn't matter which site people go to get their content. Our philosophy is that it doesn't matter who made whatever, whether it is pics, MP3s, videos, etc. The important thing is the mere fact that a fan made something available for the fan community. So whatever is posted on here, people don't have to ask for permission nor give credit to take and use. Should credit be given, it should always go to the individual, and never to the site itself because the multimedia here come from different individual efforts.
Tuesday, February 11th, 2003
NBA Read To Achieve - 11:00AM EST - hmers1
The NBA Read To Achieve Beautiful performance (including the introduction as usual) and entertainment clips of Christina from Access Hollywood, Extra, and E! are now available in RealVideo format on the Download Express, as well as the RealVideo of MuchMusic Egos & Icons that aired last Thursday. Thanks goes to dirrtyxx for sending a better version of the audio for replacement (my recording had the audio all distorted). High quality versions of these videos have entered into the queue of Video Palace so they will be posted on the next update.
It seems that our updates have slowed down a slight bit lately. It's not that we're low on videos, but actually, the amount of backlogged videos have been growing (partly because I've been so busy). Various appearances have been coming up on a consistent basis such as entertainment clips (that most people end up missing), and in a lot of cases, it's up to me to record them. Sometimes trying to catch the entertainment clips take up a whole day, and it ends up that I have to catch up on real-life work the next day. Basically, my daily schedule is very tight and it so happens that I lack time to do much of anything except focus on gathering and recording new appearances since if I don't, then there would be a very high chance that the appearance will fall through the cracks and will never become available on the Internet (or preserved by the fan community for that matter). Sacrifices must be made to feed the system so I'm not complaining. I just hope that people realize that it takes a lot to keep everything running and to do something to help out if they can.
Lately, we've been posting appearances on the Download Express much faster than Video Palace since RealVideos take up a lot less bandwidth and are much easier for viewing purposes. If you are someone who saves videos, we highly recommend that you get the higher quality versions somehow from the Video Palace system so that in the future, higher quality versions will always be available by more people and have a higher chance to be passed on to more fans in the next generation should something happen to this system and the site collapses... but nevermind that for now. Again, thanks goes to anjelicjac for providing HTTP bandwidth so that we are able to raise the limits on the Download Express for everyone. Please be aware that the extra bandwidth is not the merits of this site, but that everything is from individual fan efforts and that ChristinaMultimedia just gathers resources from individuals and assembles them together in a system. For example, the effectiveness of the distribution on Video Palace depends on the server hosters. That's how it works. Even the master server is sustained by various individual contributors, so that we are able to host every file from the archives and keep them available. That's how we work and so there is no point thanking the site for anything since it all comes from the fans, and the best way to say thanks is to actually take part in the effort. The system is made to be as fair as possible; the more you help out, the more you will get out of it. Points are our way of measuring how much a person helps out with the system. General Members and higher membership levels have full access to the high quality versions from the master server at their own convenience, because they are the ones who are helping or have helped. However, we hope that people aren't going to help for the sake of points and for their own benefit, because the system won't work without enough dedication. That should not be the mindset that us fans have... it just won't work out that way. Keep in mind that the ChristinaMultimedia system is designed to gather appearances for the fan community around the world by a teamwork strategy. In other words, we are looking out for each other so that we won't have to worry about missing a certain TV appearance since as a team, our chances are much greater at gathering TV appearances. It's unfortunate that only the managers know the inner workings of the site and just how things click together, and who realize the great potential of the system. The success of this strategy depends on how well we work together, and how many of us fans are participating to help out. More people helping also boosts morale. If fans see that each other are doing their best to help, it encourages more fans to join in, and this makes those who are helping a lot feel better.
I am aware that a lot of fans prefer to have appearances on VHS far greater than having videos on computer. But do realize that VHS quality degrades significantly as time passes (i.e. in 5 years the tape will look really bad and blurred), while digital versions always keep the same quality forever (i.e. to pass on to the future Christina fan generations). A lot of the old appearances that get sent to me from tapes recorded in 1999 have been significantly degraded in quality (that's why some of the MPEGs of old appearances are in such bad quality)... so be aware that VHS tapes are not an ideal solution to save videos in the long term. Personally, I haven't used my VCR to record anything since two years ago. This is just another reason to help out with the digital video archive efforts. And I'm sure you all know that digital videos are able to benefit a multitude of fans since they can be passed around on the Internet, instead of just benefiting one person.
First Ever Official ChristinaMultimedia Artwork Competition! - 06:15PM EST - hmers1
The first official ChristinaMultimedia artwork competition organized by EvilTemptressDQ has started, which is currently in it's preliminary trial stage. We are going to see how successful this first competition is, and if enough people decide to participate, we are going to invest effort to making it much better, improve the rewards, make it automated, and permanently integrate it as a part of our system. If you are a graphics designer and feel that you have creative talents, we strongly encourage you to enter the contest. It'll be a great opportunity to show off your skills to the rest of the fan community. If you aren't so talented, enter as well. You just might end up winning... you never know. :) The purpose of this art competition will not just be for fun, but will also be used for other important purposes such as when we need some creative projects done in the future (i.e. designing a new banner for a certain site). Anyway, please read about the competition in detail HERE, and note that the deadline for submissions is Feb 16th so there's not too much time. Entries to this competition are to be submitted to 'EvilTemptressDQ' by Private Message via the forum. The winning artwork will be featured on the main page here after the competition has ended, and the winner's name will also be featured on the site.
Sunday, February 16th, 2003
20/20 Interview Updates - 12:00AM EST - hmers1
Updates from the 20/20 Interview that aired yesterday are now posted on the Download Express. Took a long time to do... almost all day. First of all, 310 HQ TV Caps have been made; a preview of them are posted in the forum thread HERE. You can also view the whole set of TV Caps here:
20/20 Interview TV Caps - Page 1 of 4
20/20 Interview TV Caps - Page 2 of 4
20/20 Interview TV Caps - Page 3 of 4
20/20 Interview TV Caps - Page 4 of 4
The RealVideos of the Interview are also posted, recommended for those on 56k connections, or for those who just wish to watch the videos without downloading the huge MPEGs. Thanks goes to anjelicjac for providing the HTTP bandwidth. To avoid problems, the recommended way to download is to right click and choose "Save Target As" (left clicking is not recommended).
On the previous update where the NBA-related videos were posted, some people exposed the direct links to a few of the files listed on the Download Express. The direct links of the files should NEVER be posted anywhere (not even on our forum) because they are intended to be masked/protected so that we can manage the bandwidth that we are permitted to use for a certain server. It's not about requiring people to come here to download, but it's just that the Download Express allocates limits for files, and posting out the unprotected links will jeopardize the bandwidth calculations. In other words, downloading from the direct links might mean that too much bandwidth is used up for a certain server since the transfer isn't being accounted for. Because of this, security has been boosted and certain security traps have been newly deployed on the Download Express. Don't say you weren't warned...
Finally, for 2 days only, the MPEGs of the Interview will be hosted for a limited number of people to download on a first come first serve basis. The files are VERY large, so we recommend that only those with cable/DSL connections download them since the links will be gone in 2 days. Please don't post or expose the direct links to these files, because we are only allowed to use 10GB of bandwidth (to be used up in 2 days exactly). Thanks goes to Adnan for the bandwidth to host these MPEGs. These MPEGs are also in the queue of Video Palace for members (hosted on the master server).
I know that newcomers often feel that this site is too restrictive, but the reason is because we often don't have any extra hosting resources to offer. But when we do have extra resources, such as right now, we post it out for everyone (i.e the stuff posted on the Download Express). That's how the system works. Most fans don't realize how difficult it is to gather resources, especially since very few fans actually help compared to the total number of visitors. Teamwork is the key, and our teamwork gathering strategy has been working better than any other system out there can achieve (although it's still not up to our standards yet). Hosting, on the other hand, definately needs a lot of improvement, and currently, this means that a lot of the multimedia we acquire are not able to be distributed to a large number of fans. But nothing improves if people don't help, because what we basically do is take the help and resources from many different individuals and assemble them together to form this large organized system. Like the analogy where it takes thousands of bricks to build a structure, each one of us fans is one of those bricks. Don't give up guys... we can do it. Especially at this time, we need all the help we can get.
An example of the usefulness of the ChristinaMultimedia system can be seen on the forum HERE. It shows how us fans can rely on the ChristinaMultimedia system to be able to watch appearances that we missed. It sure beats trying to find an appearance you missed watching on Kazaa or other such unreliable systems. Again, the emphasis is that we have to work as a team, and not have everyone care for themselves. And plus, it's more than certain you'll be able to download and watch a whole lot more via a teamwork system, such as how we manage to pull in many minor appearances, as well as appearances from all over the world. Just go check out Video Palace and see the results for yourself. Where else you can find all these videos? Nowhere.
There are not many dedicated Christina fans on the Internet as we would like to think. That's why we have to stick together. We're few in number, and if we want an efficient and reliable TV appearance gathering system which no other fan community of other artists have achieved, we must be willing to work together. It's not about being a part of ChristinaMultimedia, it's about being a part of the ONLY teamwork-oriented gathering effort of the Christina fan community. The only reason why we encourage fans to help us is because we are the only system that works like this. Nowhere else does things the way we do. If there was another place that can do what ChristinaMultimedia can do for the fan community, then we wouldn't care so much. But there's isn't and that's why. We all must look past the traditional methods of gathering and distribution that other sites use, and realize the grander benefits of working together as a team. We get a lot more this way. And while most other sites work to gain visitors to their site, this system here aims to gain more people to help with the efforts. Popularity is meaningless to this system, since our indicator of success is the number of fans who are willing to help out with this teamwork system (and not the number of fans who visit this site each day). That's why we have no affiliates and almost never promote this site on other places. After all, technically more visitors may only mean more people who just "use" the system, so more visitors is not necessarily a good thing. Our approach is basically to let our actions speak for themselves, and hope that the regular visitors realize the potential of the system and take a part in the efforts.
20/20 Interview Entertainment Clips - 03:15AM EST - hmers1
Added videos and TV Caps of Extra and E! News that talked about the 20/20 Interview on Friday. Didn't bother to make TV Caps of the E! News segment since everything in it was basically covered in the other TV Caps, but the Extra segment has a few scenes which were not in the 20/20 interview (it showed different angles of the golfing scene).
Sunday, February 23rd, 2003
MP3Heaven Update! - 09:00PM EST - Kevin
MP3Heaven has been updated with the 20/20 interview, the CDUK and T4 interviews from this weekend, and various others. MP3s you should definately check out are the "Dirrty (Live At Pop Jam 2002)" and "Beautiful (Live On Hit Machine 2003)" MP3s. Both of these were sung live.
Upcoming March 1st Update - 09:25PM EST - hmers1
For today, some new videos have been added to the Download Express. Thanks goes to Jess (dirrtyxx) for sending me the Dirrty @ Pop Jam MPEG (which is live by the way), and to Kevin for the CD:UK and T4 interviews (they're good interviews). Also, Daphne Aguilera's Filthy skit from Mad TV has been posted. Everything is posted in RealVideo due to bandwidth restrictions, but again, Download Express is intended for viewing purposes so you basically download these just to watch. If you want the high quality versions, you'll have to wait for them on Video Palace.
A reminder that the end of the month is approaching and that the CMM Board Awards results will be revealed at that time. If you haven't voted yet, you can still vote HERE. Participation in this so far isn't too high, but it's just for fun so it's all good.
On another note, March 1st will mark the debut of yet another brand new ChristinaMultimedia site, currently undergoing its final testing stage. You'll have to wait to find out what it is on that day.
So March 1st = Debut of new site
Friday, February 28th, 2003
Beautiful on Hit Machine - 03:45PM EST - hmers1
Christina singing Beautiful on Hit Machine has been posted in MPEG and MP3 on the Download Express for TODAY only! If you want it, you should download it immediately before March 1st 12:00am EST, since there is still some excess bandwidth remaining on our server. Other files on the Download Express added a few days ago will also be expiring at that time, so now's the time to download if you haven't done so already and still want them. Thanks goes to MisterB from http://www.mariahstyle.net for capping and contributing the Hit Machine video to the archive.
As mentioned previously, tomorrow will be the big March 1st update, where we will reveal a brand new site that our management team had been working on for the past few weeks. Be sure to check for that tomorrow.