#Mojocon. The case for boutique V behemoth conferences.


I’ve written previously about the evolution of RTÉ’s Mobile Journalism Conference: Mojocon. In April this year we will host the second RTÉ Mojocon and once again we are shining a spotlight on the activities of broadcasters, publishers, NGO’s, businesses and educators who have pushed the boundaries of  content creation using smartphones and other digital consumer technology.

This is my second time organizing a conference and though it was an induction by fire the first time around, I learnt a lot of extremely valuable lessons from Mojocon 1. Probably the first lesson was understanding the phases of the planning. The Pre-production phase involved eight re-writes of the business case over three months with each one having a substantial reduction in the proposed budget.

Once the final business case was approved the next phase began: Initial logistics. Venue, dates and draft session lineup. After multiple quotes have been received and a venue is secured, we then move to announcing the conference with a “save the date” campaign and so begins the process of finding major sponsors for the event.

It’s worth pointing out that RTÉ run Mojocon on a not-for-profit basis. From its very inception over two years ago the entire concept pivoted on the idea that at the core of Mojocon is the intention to bring together a growing global community of people who are interested and can see the potential in mobile content creation. I think the non-profit aspect is one of the key things that separates RTÉ Mojocon from many other journalism related events.

That said, the cost of hosting an international standard conference for 500 delegates; venue, catering, travel and accommodation for 40+ international speakers, pr and marketing etc. all add up very quickly so major sponsors are absolutely essential to making the event a success. Without them the ticket prices would well exceed €500 and in my opinion render the event unfeasible.

We were extremely fortunate to have Sennheiser, an international audio solutions manufacturer, come on board very early into the process. When Google News Lab subsequently joined the conference as sponsors things really started to take shape.

Now, with just eight weeks to go, we are in the exhibitor and delegate ticket sales phase and it is this part that always leaves me somewhat bewildered. Over the course of the last two months I have reached out to over 80 companies inviting them to participate in the event as exhibitors, or in an ideal world sponsor/exhibitors. The thing that really frustrates me is the repeated cycle I’m seeing in the negotiation process where, as soon as I mention the delegate numbers are 500 I get a “Oh, is that all” response.

I’ve started to tease this out with exhibitors, asking why they feel 500 is such a small number and time and time again I’m getting replies like “We can take part in other international media events where the delegate numbers are in excess of 15,000 people for a similar investment-so its not offering great R.O.I. for us”

This is where the case for Boutique V Behemoth really kicks in. I would love to do some market research on the BIG conferences referred to above. As part of that I would like to see for each exhibitor who takes part in those multi-thousand attendee events how many make connections of real value. I would measure connections of real value in three ways: 1. Immediate conversion to a sale. 2. Viable lead for a post conference sale 3. Important and strategic contact in the target market.

Last November I attended The Web Summit for the very first time. Follow the link if you don’t know anything about the Web Summit. It has been heralded as one of the great success stories in recent years for the digital economy in Ireland. That perhaps was the case until co-founder Paddy Cosgrove announced in October 2015 that the event was moving from Dublin to Lisbon from 2016 onwards. Without digressing into the debate about the reasons why I will simply say that I am sure Paddy and his team had good reasons.


From my perspective, Websummit was a behemoth, like Mobile World Congress Barcelona, or NAB Las Vegas or IBC Amsterdam. A huge, sprawling multi location complex of stands and talks with 30,000 delegates trying to find something useful to do with their 8 hours in the venue (a substantial amount of which is spent queueing to get from talk A to B). I’ve experienced this myself at MWC and IBC. You can meander around hall after hall looking for interesting technologies and solutions but instead of finding them you end up bumping into familiar faces again and again and asking them have they seen anything really interesting and worth checking out.

I attended MWC just once and found it utterly head wrecking. At WebSummit I had one day where I really worked hard to navigate the halls teeming with startup alpha and beta’s who, once they noticed your badge said “Media” would instantly pounce in you to “Come meet our CEO/CRO/CTO/COO etc”. I have to be honest, the idea that a startup with three staff has a CEO,CTO and COO does make me wonder! The consensus from Media people I met was that they were actively hiding their media accreditation to avoid the “vulture effect” it induced. Don’t get me wrong here, I fully appreciate WHY this was happening, but it felt like utter desperation.

I can see from a profit point of view how economies of scale play a part in making these events so big. But as organizer of Mojocon, I am not interested in profit, so I don’t have to pander to these scales of excess to cram as many topics and threads into our event, in order to draw as many people as possible. Rather than trying to bring twenty diverse topics together in one space to “grow” an event into a behemoth, I would much prefer to do twenty boutique events where the participants, speakers and exhibitors have a real opportunity to connect. A chance to share stories and actually chat and exchange ideas, not just exchange a cursory few words while you glimpse at a leaflet on the way to the next queue for another talk you will be excluded from because its over capacity.

I have heard people say that they think a conference is worthwhile if you take away three ideas from it. If that is all attendees take away from Mojocon then I and the organizing team have failed. I want delegates to not have their minds opened to the possibilities but blown open with inspiration and ideas. Anything less would be a disheartening and disappointing result to me.

Mojocon has a very finely tuned scope. That breaks down into three components…
1. The plenary sessions with 40+ speakers on panels and fireside chats to learn from the experience of others.
2. The exhibition with 30 companies with products, accessories, apps which enable the professional production of content using smartphones and other consumer digital technology.
3. The workshop day where, if you were inspired on day 1 and bought some gear in the exhibition, you will have the chance to learn from some of the best and most respected mobile journalism and media trainers in the world.

If you follow that process through to the end you can leave mojocon not with just three takeaways but with real skills and inspiration to start your journey as a mobile content creator. Who knows maybe next year you could be a speaker sharing your journey and experience with the #mojocon community*.

Side note: As a spin off from Mojocon we created a group on Facebook to help build the community and keep the conversations from the conference going. The group now has over 750 members. You are welcome to join at http://www.facebook.com/groups/mojocon.

Hope to see you in Dublin in April 29|30.

PS. As a reader of my blog I’m giving you an exclusive tip about a St. Patrick’s Day promotion we will be running. Check out the video for details.

Using the Zoom H5 as external mixer for iOS and some other Zoom gear with potential for Mojo: iQ6, iQ7


I recently posted a blog about using the Roland Duo Capture EX (and some other mixers) as a Dual Microphone/Stereo Audio I/O device and mixer for iPad and iPhone. Ie use the Duo Capture EX to plug TWO microphones into your iPhone / iPad via Lightning. Read it here

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 18.51.12

I recently bought a Zoom H5 to use with my DSLR as a discreet audio capture device but I was interested to see if I could use it as a Dual Microphone I/O device via lightning also and sure enough it works! There is a mode in the menu on the Zoom  to activate it for USB use with iOS.


Go to MENU > USB > AUDIO INTERFACE > STEREO > iPAD and voila the STEREO output from the Zoom appears as the External Microphone input in FilMicPro.

Note it is important to connect the device to the iPhone/iPad via the lightning to USB adapter and to ACTIVATE the mode outlined above BEFORE you launch FilMiCPro.



This is great news for Radio Journos in particular as they probably already use something like the Zoom H4n for Radio Packaging. To the best of my knowledge the H4N DOES NOT support this function so an upgrade to the H5 or H6 will be required. However it means you can connect two mics to your iPhone or iPad  via the Zoom and record within Apps like FilMic Pro (which support Stereo in via lightning) the only surprise to me was that you CANNOT record locally to the SD card in the Zoom when this mode is enabled, which seems kinda nuts!.

Screenshot 2014-11-13 18.17.58Screenshot 2014-11-13 17.50.52

Zoom have also recently(ish) launched TWO new Stereo iOS Lightning mics called the iQ6  (RRP €100) and iQ7 and also an interesting Dual Microphone mixer TAC-2R (RRP €400) which uses Thunderbolt i/o for Macs. Strange they didn’t put USB in too! For more info click the images.



Testing the @Rodemics NT-USB Microphone against the Samson Meteor


I took delivery of the new Rode NT-USB microphone yesterday and committed to doing a studio test with it today.
The first thing I did was unpack it so see whats in the box.

I decided to test it against my current USB mic: the Samson Meteor.

I asked my frined and colleague Cian McCormack, who is a reporter with our Morning Ireland radio show, to read a piece of script.
He has a trained “Radio Voice” and also has a great appreciation of good sound so I was eager the hear his opinions also.

Here are the recordings from Voice Record Pro uploaded directly from the App to Soundcloud.

In case you are wondering what Cian is talking about in the test, he cycled the full length of Ireland, from Malin to Mizen Head recently and broadcast his adventures along the way!


Here’s a link to the feature on the RTE.ie website. You can follow Cian on Twitter

I tweeted that I would be trying out the NT-USB and asked had any of my followers suggestions for tests.

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 14.48.11

Iain Collins, this is just for you:

TWO things struck me from that test:
1. If you hit off the Popshield on the NT-USB you gat an incredible bass hum so avoid that – BIG TIME.
2. It clearly picked up the staff to my right, one of whom coughed several times during recording, so not ideal for noisy environments.

Ultimate take away: The NT-USB is a well built, sturdy Microphone which performs best in a studio environment. The sound is clean, bright with great frequency response (Cian’s words) and I particularly like that you can use it with you iPad/iPhone as well as you Mac or PC. For more info visit the Rode Website


RTE Mobile Journalism – Where it began, where we are now and where we are going…(potentially)


Back in late 2010 I was working in the Technology Division of News in RTE and I had bought an iPhone 4 for myself, which I had, like every other iNewbie loaded with Apps to try out. I started investigating accessories for the iPhone beginning with the Owle Bubo which was one of the first iPhone Tripod mounts. After a few months of testing things and seeing what worked or didn’t I had created-by accident- a small production kit and I showed it to the then Director of News Technology: Ray Purser. After a bit of experimentation he suggested I create a presentation and that we pitch a pilot project to the then Director of News and Current Affairs: Ed Mulhall. A few days later we delivered the pitch and Ed asked us to show it to some other RTE management and the general consensus was – there was definite potential and it merited further exploration..and so began my mojo project.

Within 6 months I had tested thousands of Apps- seriously! But the end game was I had assembled a selection of Apps which allowed you to improve the quality of the video above the standard iOS Camera and also allowed basic editing on the device. I had been training video journalists in RTE for a number of years at this stage and I was also sent annually to assist with the Circom Regional VJ training course. It was on this course in 2011 that I showed the gear and Apps to the trainers: Karol Cioma, Tony O’Shaughnessy and Darko Flajpan on the VJ course.

While in Budapest I shot a short tutorial video on the iPhone and edited in my iPad then sent the finished edit back via FTP. I subsequently posted the video online (9/10/2011) and its been viewed well over 5,000 times:

After sharing this proof of concept I was asked to present the project at the next Circom Conference which was held in Malmo Sweden in May 2012. The one hour presentation was well attended and the response was overwhelmingly positive. With the result that the Circom executive asked me to develop a mobile journalism course for them. That November (2012) I led the first of the RTE mojo courses for Circom and I was joined by John Inge Johansen from NRK, and Karol Cioma who had championed the idea and Darko Flajpan whom I had worked with previously for VJ training.


Since then I’ve led three Mojo courses for Circom and I’ve blogged about them here and here but Mojo training has taken me beyond Circom to working with AlJazeera and elsewhere.

Its odd to look back now after just four years of development but at the same time its been a very interesting journey. Watching what BBC, NRK, Aljazeera, Skynews, and other are doing in the space is really exciting.

This May I missed the Circom Mojo course which was held in Dubrovnik, Croatia but Philip Bromwell, a colleague from RTE and someone I admire hugely as a storyteller, took my place.


Interestingly on the course a lot of energy was spent testing Microsoft Lumia devices versus the iPhone. I’ve had a Lumia 1020 on loan from Microsoft for months now and I do think it has an absolutely exceptional camera: 41Mpx! which puts the 8Mpx iPhone camera in the shade. However the current weakness for the Windows Phone/Lumia range is not hardware but software, there simply aren’t as many pro grade production Apps as there are for iOS. What is interesting about the Windows Phone/Lumia is that, like Apple, Microsoft have a limited range of phones but they now control the Nokia hardware so they can, unlike Google’s Android platform, guarantee performance on their devices, this will, in time, give Microsoft a genuine advantage and hopefully secure market share for them where, for example, they currently hold just 3% of the US Smartphone Market Share.

Source: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/smartphone-milestone-half-of-americans-ages-55-own-smartphones.html

As of writing a new Circom Mobile journalism course is in the planning with an associated competition called the “Mojo Challenge” which will take place in October. The project is being led by Karol Cioma.

I’ve chosen to not be involved as I have invested a huge amount of time in developing the iOS training programme and though I am interested in both the development of both Windows Phone and Android I still believe that iOS offers the best, most diverse and powerful solution for mobile journalism at this point in time. Windows Phone is not mature enough yet, it needs more Apps and greater penetration and the recent announcement by Microsoft that they would be shedding 18,000 jobs from their global workforce, 2/3 of which will be from their newly acquired Nokia division shows that Microsoft are going through a refocusing period where lots of things can, and will, change.

Meanwhile it is widely rumoured that Apple will release their next iPhone model(s) in September which may see a new bigger class of iPhone 6. This I think could be revolutionary for Mojo- an iOS Phablet may very well be the ultimate mojo solution. Small enough to still be discreet and portable, yet big enough to allow proper video editing and processing. The Apps are already mature and the workflows proven.

In fact today I decided to pull together the stories that my colleagues and alumni of the RTE Mojo courses have produced and I think it pretty impressive – but I would say that wouldn’t I. I have to give credit to Philip Bromwell also as he and I are now training staff together and the combination of our skills, his storytelling and journalism, my technology and workflows is proving very effective.

For me, the emphasis now shifts to what next…I’m trying to secure funding to organise the first (to the best of my knowledge) dedicated Mobile Journalism Conference. The idea behind @MojoConIRL is to bring together the global community of mojo trainers, practitioners, evangelists and storytellers so we can share our knowledge and bounce or other like minded creatives. The problem is I had planned to do this at the end of October 2014 and that is looking more and more unlikely as time passes. Securing funding to book the venue, marketing, flights and accommodation for the speakers and panelists is proving to be far more difficult that I anticipated.

Sure, I’ve been asked can I not just  launch the tickets and use the ticket revenue to cover the costs-if they sell fast enough but thats not viable for such a niche event. I will know by the end of this week if I can pull off MojoConIRL or if I will have to defer it to early 2015. The thing that disappoints me most is that so many incredibly talented people offered their support and participation and I was getting really excited at the prospect of bringing these people together in Dublin to interact and share.

Meanwhile, I have enquiries for me to join sessions at a number of pretty high profile conference engagements over the next few months including the World Economic Forum Global Shapers conference in August, the European Broadcasting Union News conference in Paris in September, the International Broadcasting Conference in Amsterdam in September and the EBU Training Academy conference in October. I will post updates (if/) as these events are confirmed.

In the meantime if you want to learn about Mojo then here are links to resources I’ve posted on the blog over the last few months all distilled into one list:

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 18.23.07

Mojo Hardware options: here and here
Original Post: Mobile Journalist Gear: Mojo Tripods | Hahnel Triad Compact C5 Tripod/Monopod combo

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 18.09.40

Mojo Applist: here
Original Post: Interactive Mojo App list for iOS via Thinglink


Mojo Sequences deconstructed: here
Original Post: The Ultimate Mojo CheatSheet! Sequences Deconstructed, examples, apps – everything you need (except the gear)

Cheatsheets for:


FilMicPro : here
Original post: FilMicPro “At a Glance” CheatSheet & Simple Tutorial


Original post: Hokusai – An advanced Multi Track Audio Editor for iOS (iPhone & iPad) FREE CheatSheets HT @wooji


iMovie   Page1 Page2 Page3
Original post:New: iMovie CheatSheet PAGE3 – Advanced features. Free download for all #mojo




FilMicPro “At a Glance” CheatSheet & Simple Tutorial


I just noticed that FilMicPro have redesigned their website. Looks very nice indeed. Also impressed that they have chosen to outline the new features expected in v4.0 – the new release due in Autumn.
Screenshot 2014-07-22 00.03.59

That means that I will probably have to re-do this CheatSheet in a few months but nonetheless I still think its a handy reference.


Theres a High Resolution A3 version available to download here
Here too is a refresher tutorial for the slightly older version of FilMicPro – this will be updated for V4 upon release.



Interactive Mojo App list for iOS via Thinglink


I used to give Mojo Trainees a PDF list of my favourite Apps but that’s so damn old school so instead here is a ThingLink with interactive links to my favourite Apps.

Click the image to explore!

Sorry I have t redirect you to their site but WordPress.com doesn’t support iFrame embedding.

Let me know if any of the links don’t work or if Apps disappear from the Appstore (which happens – quite a lot!)

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 18.09.40

Hokusai – An advanced Multi Track Audio Editor for iOS (iPhone & iPad) FREE CheatSheets HT @wooji




Hokusai is a multi track audio editor for IOS which is very powerful. Aside from the core feature of multi track audio it also supports the Sonomo Audio Copy/Paste feature which can “bridge” the sandbox between Apps allowing you to move audio clips/files from one App to another. Its also supports the Apple OPEN IN protocol – both of these features mean you can easily import and export audio clips between other Apps like Twisted Wave-One of my other favourite Audio editing Apps.

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 13.08.35


Hokusai is free to download from the App Store but in fact to get the full use of it you need to purchase advanced features in App. If you buy all the features you get a “All-In Bundle” for €8.99.

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 12.51.34

I checked the Developers Website Wooji-Juice.com to see if there were any tutorials for the App or to download the manual.

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 12.56.23

There are tips on the site but to get the manual you have to email the developer via the contact page on the site. I did this yesterday and he kindly and quickly sent it to me. If he grants permission I will link to it here.

The only issue I had is the manual is quite “wordy” : (11 pages) with no illustrations or images so, being a visual learner I decided to create CheatsSheets like those I’ve created for iMovie previously.

You can download the 3 sheets as PDF FILES here:




MukuLabs Shuttr – Bluetooth Shutter remote control for iOS and Android- unboxing and review


I had a play today with the MukuLabs Shuttr Bluetooth controller and I have to say I’m really impressed.

The device is neat, well built, simple to use blah blah blah but the thing that really impressed me was the bluetooth range. Watch this to see why…

So is it worth the splurge of €30/$39 for your Mojo Kit? I damn well think so! To be able to trigger your camera (photo/video) from that distance is nothing short of brilliant.

Very Handy.



Editing Video on Android – whats out there? Try TrakAx an Irish company with vision

In November last year I noticed a new follower on Twitter: @trakAx and after a little further research I discovered an Irish company who may well have addressed one of the biggest challenges for Mobile Journalism on the Android Platform: editing.


With iOS/OSX Ive been using FilMicPro to shoot and iMovie to edit on the iPhone,  Pinnacle Studio to edit on the iPad and Final Cut Pro X on the Mac. The workflow is extremely easy no matter which combination you choose. With the iPhone you export from FilMicPro to the camera roll and iMovie sees the video immediately. With the iPad you transfer the video from iPhone either via the camera connection kit (as shown below) or via an App like Photo Transfer or indeed shoot on the iPad using FilMicPro.

It might be time to update this video with an iPhone5s, lightning Camera Connection Kit and iOS7!!!

With OSX you can connect the iPhone via USB and copy the files directly from the FilMicPro Library (no export to camera roll necessary) via App Sharing in iTunes of you can use iPhoto on the Mac to copy from the camera roll.


The quality of the editing tools and the ease of the workflow is one of the fundamental reasons I teach iOS Mojo. However I have often publicly said I would love to have a comparable workflow for Android or even Windows Mobile.

In the case of Android, smartphones like the Galaxy S3 and the Note III have awesome cameras, which in the case of the Note III can shoot at a stunning 4K resolution. But right now (to the best of my knowledge) there is no Video Editing App that can deliver in-phone editing to the same standard as iMovie (or Voddio) can on the iPhone.

So when I saw this promo for TrakAx I got excited…

So here are my initial impressions:

1. There is a lot of potential in the App, it has a substantial advantage in the Google Play store right now as there is really very little to compete with the it.

2. The fundamental functions of editing are all within the App, Insert, trim, mix, audio fade etc.

3. The App leverages the power of the smartphone so as long as it packs a snapdragon 600 chipset or higher it will give great results*

4. The App accesses the photos App on Android so no exporting from other Apps – mind you, if FilMicPro had an Android version that would potentially be a great workflow.

5. I have reservations about the proprietary CHANNEL editing process which is currently limited to six channels, though each channel can support video or a stack of photos.

6. The live Mix solution before output is a novel approach to creating the final story, its more like taking 6 sources into a vision mixer and mixing it live that traditional non-linear timeline based editing. My concern here is that there is no way to pre-programme frame accurate cuts. You have to cut between channels as part of the final mix, the App records a macro of your mix cues, fades, audio mix etc and then at the final stage it conforms and compiles the final rendered story.

Overall I think it is a powerful App and its pitched at exactly the same price point as iMovie on iOS

€4.50, there is a free version too which the developers suggest is a good way to pre-test your hardware’s ability to run the App. Thats a very clever solution to one of the fundamental weaknesses of the Android platform: Market Fragmentation. So many manufacturers, devices, chipsets, cameras, specification variations and custom flavours of Android.

Anyway of you have a powerful Android Smartphone and want to experiment with video editing without having to dump it off to the cloud or to a PC/MAC then TrakAx Movie Express is definitely worth a look.


iOS7 supports SD HC and SD XC Cards – CONFIRMED

iOS7 supports SD HC and SD XC Cards - CONFIRMED

Earlier this year I wrote a blog post about an issue I discovered with the iPad Camera Connection kit and Secure Digital (SD) XC cards when trying to import videos I had shot on my GoPro camera. When I connected the MicroSDXC card using this combination

MicroSD-conxthe iPad failed to read the card, instead I got this message: contents not available,

Last month a comment was posted Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 19.30.21that suggested that with the release of iOS7 the SDXC issue had been resolved and that the card would now work with the camera connection kit into the iPad.

I have just tested it (Sorry for delay) and I can confirm that the Lightning Camera Connection cable for SD cards with a MicroSD card adapter did indeed work as did the 30pin Camera Connection kit into the 30pin to Lightning adapter. I’ve also checked the Apple support forums and SDXC is now confirmed as a supported format according to this article : http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4101 This is great news as you can now use 64Gb SD/Micro SD cards in your DSLR (if compatible) your GoPro Hero3,3+ and other cameras -giving you lots more storage.