Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Safari's new cub!!! (First pictures)

Well here he/she is ... the very first glimpse of Safari's cub!!! Andre De Kock, of Arathusa (http://www.arathusa.co.za) snapped these two pics on the 23rd December 2008 on Arathusa, which is right next door to Djuma on the western side.
Safari moved her cub, very normal at this early stage to a new 'secret' location. WE will never know if there was ever two cubs or if only one was born. usually two are born, but if the mother feels that she is unable to effectivley bring two up, she will leave one behind on the first move. :-( Safari is about 13 years old and she has had many litters. WE all think this will be her last cub, and look forward to getting to know the new addition to our WildEarth family.
Happy New Year Safari. You sure are quite a leopard ...

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Please help WE for FREE

You have all done so much for the village of Dixie this year, and WE have worked hard to bring you the best LIVE wildlife broadcast through 2008 ... WE now humbly ask you to do something for us over the next 24 hours.
Please help us to get into the top 5 of a few categories in the Shorty Awards. The first round closes at midnight on the 31st December 2008. Nominating us will not cost you a single cent and only take a few minutes of your time, but it could make a big difference to getting the word out there about WildEarth. You see WE are in negotiations with several PayTV operators all over the world and a win at the Shorty Awards will help them to take the risk on our new concept of LIVE wildlife TV because they will start hearing about WE in the mainstream media.
First you need a Twitter account, which is totally FREE, and a good idea anyway because then you will be able to follow @WildEarth on Twitter and track our Tweets. So scoot along to http://twitter.com and get registered ... :-)
Then send a Tweet from your new account to: @shortyawards I nominate @wildearth in category #entertainment because ... (write why you love WE, but make sure the whole message is under 140 characters).
You can nominate us in other categories as well (please do) but only one nomination per account per category. Here are some other categories you might nominate us in:
  • #socialmedia
  • #tech
  • #travel
  • #photography
  • #green
  • #tech
  • #video 
  • #media 
This really won't take very long and will make such a difference to us. It would be a great way to say thank you to the WE team for all the great viewing in 2008 and help us make 2009 an even better year.

Little blue eyes that will look around soon.

Imagine having known Karula since she was a little cub, sharing her young adventures, seeing how Safari, her mother, raised her to be a strong, savvy independant adult a couple of years later. Now imagine sometime later she has cubs again, and WE spend time with them, get to know them! This WE can do. . .WE have known Saseka and Tingana for sometime now.

They are independant now, might have some of their own cubs not so far into the future, but, their mother Karula and their Grandmother Safari are already carrying on with the family tree.
WE know, but no one has seen Karula's new cub(s?) yet. WE can see it from her behaviour and more obviously from her swollen, suckled nipples (mamory glands to be formal).
All eyes are looking, ears are listening and hearts are hoping ... and then ... suddenly there will be a moment, a single moment where WE will see her new mam'pim'pans (cub/s), and if all goes well,  they will still be so young, that they will still have blue eyes to explore their new home through!
Now, going into 2009, it is not only Karula that has got beautiful little lives to share, there are two other leopards in our neighbourhood that are having sleepless nights.
Whitecloth (who's territory is to the east of Karula's and of Djuma) also has little ones ... again, no visual confirmation yet, but all points that way.
Then, maybe a journey WE can all hope and cheer for. (Did you know journey translates into safari in Swahili?) ... anyway, Safari, mother of Karula, grandmother of Saseka and Tingana -
leopardess extraordinaire!!! Safari has a cub ... visually confirmed and even photographed!!
Now I can go on about her, she was the first leopard I really got to know around here in my guiding days, even before Karula was born. Safari looks like she could be from the
future (with her one eye) and is old enough to be part of the past in this part of Africa. She is the first leopard Lieschen and Rory ever saw in the wild, and her cub might be one of those
you may get to know LIVE from it's youngest days. Her, Karula's and maybe even Whitecloth's.
WE will see them, but more importantly, WE will share their lives, as WE share ours.
At this moment, right now, there are a few different leopard cubs, somewhere safe and warm in a den, not far from where I sit. Maybe they are snuggled against mom, suckling warm milk or just sleeping, while the rain soaks the earth, their earth and our earth. Soon their eyes will open, soon they will not crawl but walk, and soon they will explore and WE will find our hearts captured by them.

WE are on this journey together, and who knows what can be seen around the next corner. Soon our safari will show more, but for now ... imagine and dream ... it is in our nature ...
Pieter Pretorius

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Water for Dixie

The WEangels have done so much over the past few months for this small African village on the edge of Djuma, in Mpumulanga, South Africa. WE took the kids to the movies in Nelspruit three hours away by bus, when they had never seen a paved road or a double storey building. On Christmas day WE gave 146 kids presents and provided a super lunch to over 600 people. WE have made a difference in the village of Dixie, but now the time has come to change this village forever. To make sure that every home has fresh running water!!!
Right now the woman have to walk to one of the few taps in the village and collect the water into plastic barrels and then carry them home. This process takes up much of their time and leaves little opportunity to do the things that they need to do.
Running water changes lives. It improves hygiene, saves labour, makes irrigation possible and it gives hope. Water is life and WE can give it. To do this for Dixie is not just our responsibility it is our privilege, and I ask you to now begin this journey with us. WE have built up a great deal of good will and trust in this community, and I think that WEangels can do this. Yes WE can!
The first two projects were relatively easy, this one will not be easy. Not only will it cost a lot more, require far more physical effort and take far longer, but it will also be fraught on all sides by politics and complexities that WE will have to overcome.
... and overcome WE shall ... it is in our nature!
Over the next little while WE will plan and cost this project, and begin consulting the necessary tribal authorities, muncipalities and other stakeholders. Above all WE will secure the support of the people of Dixie, and together we will overcome all obstacles one at a time. But for now I would ask that you go to http://www.amazee.com/water-dixie and join this project. Please ensure that you upload a picture to your profile, because the top three projects (measured by members with profile images) will win the Amazee Bucket worth $10,000!!! This money will go a long way to providing water for Dixie
WE already have two projects in the top three (http://www.amazee.com/christmas-dixie and http://www.amazee.com/wildearthtv-we) and a fourth project lagging behind (http://www.amazee.com/kids-dixie) If you have not already joined these projects please do so, and invite everyone you know, it is absolutely FREE and WE must do everything possible to make sure that WE win 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize in the Amazee Bucket and take home the full $10,000 to Dixie.
I estimate (much more research to be done) that the total cost of this project will be around $25,000, depending on whether or not WE have to drill new wells or not, and whether or not WE can use the exisiting resorvoir between Dixie and Utha. What ever happens WE are going to need more than the $10,000 from Amazee (that is if WE win it) so please donate to this worthy cause by 'sending' money via www.paypal.com to dixie@wildearth.tv WE know that you have already given so much, but this is soooo important.
Please get everybody you know to join us in this important mission. I know that you will all rise to this challenge ... thank you WEangels.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Sometimes WE carry others ...

... and on Christmas day 2008 the WildEarth Angels (WEangels) were the heroes that made a small village, of much less fortunate people, the happiest little village in the world!!
WE were late getting started because of rain and a power line had broken in the storm, but the WildEarth crew woke up before dawn and after a hot cup of coffee the time had come to make a special day for the children and adults of Dixie village in Mpumulanga. First stop was to collect all the meat from Sidney's fridge, pack all the mielie pap, coleslaw, more than 400 presents and the broadcast equipment. It took three trucks to haul all the 'stuff' from Djuma to Dixie. WE couldn't have done it without the help of Djuma Game Reserve, and in particular Jimmy, Warren, Char, Jurie and Pippa.
Although WE were late getting going, the kids knew what was coming and the whole village was excited at the prospect of a 'proper' Christmas celebration. Word had gotten around about these mysterious 'WEangels' and the efforts that WildEarth were going to to make sure that these special people got a taste of what we all mean by Christmas.
As soon as the technical issues were behind us (a baboon had damaged our main antenna cable in the night ;-) Rexon began the task of giving 146 children their first ever Christmas presents ... something he has been looking forward to doing for a while.
The excitement and happiness is difficult to describe. There are some 'seekpoints' at the end of this Blog if you missed it LIVE that will help you to understand what you did. The pictures go some way to capturing the emotions, but I need to tell those of you that have never been into a rural village in Africa and seen the poverty what it means. What the word poverty actually is ...
You see poverty doesn't just mean that you have to go without clothes, food, water, education, health care and Christmas presents. It means that nobody cares. It makes you feel worthless in a way that is hard for us to imagine or relate to. It makes you feel ignored and rips away your self esteem.
But when some kind hearted people from thousands of miles away, take the time to think of those that they do not know and will never meet. Reach into their pockets and give a little love. On a day like this day ... WE change the world. Not in a small way, but in a huge way. Because the impact on these children's lives was not small ... it was massive. Not because they got a toy, but because in their hearts they knew that on this big scary planet Earth they are not alone. 
They have not been forgotten. 
They matter.
Well after the kids had their presents Rexon took us on a short walk around the village, which included a look at the 'stand pipe' (the tap where all the ladies collect water for their homes). Providing water to every home is going to be our new WEangel project, but much more about this over the next few days.
Then it was time for the ladies to cook the mielie pap ...
with a little help from Rex ...
 
Then the men got on with the job of cooking 450 pounds of beef on several fires ... as the rain started up again.
Nobody has ever done this for these people before and their appreciation is very deep. Deeper than I can express.
On behalf of all the people of Dixie, all the kids, the crew of WildEarth and the viewers around the world that watched it LIVE (and those that will watch the WEarchive for years), I want to thank, from the bottom of my heart, each and every WEangel that donated to this most worthy of causes. Your money was necessary and made this possible, but it was the fact that you cared enough to do something on this day that made 600 peoples day so much brighter. You are all heroes and should be very very proud of yourselves. 
I am so proud of you all and I believe that our journey of helping others, educating people about wildlife, enjoying the trials and tribulations of our planet's nature and saving this WildEarth of ours, has only just begun.
Merry Christmas.
Some seekpoints ...
Rex starts giving out presents.

Presents continued ...

Presents continued ...

Presents continued ...

Presents continued ...

Rex thanks the WEangels and translates the headmistresses speech.

There is a great deal more in the WEarchive (http://www.wildearth.tv/wearchive) please go and explore ... it really is worth it.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Wrapping the presents!!

You have to see all the presents ... thank you team for the wrapping and thank you WEangels for the gifts. Its going to be an awesome Christmas.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Dixie Christmas Update

With only three days to go, things seem to be falling into place nicely. The food and drink from La Bamba will be delivered on Tuesday 23rd along with all of the meat from the butcher. We are no longer going with a whole cow, but rather 200kg of beef cut up into steaks by the local butcher. This should be more than enough to feed everyone. Sydney Frankel has a neighboring lodge and he has very kindly agreed to allow us to store all of the food there so that it remains cold and fresh for the big day.
Lieschen has got together a team of volunteers from the village and they will be organizing chairs, tables, cooking pots and water. They plan to have a "kitchen" area under some trees on the edge of the field with the tent and fire to cook the meat more towards the middle. The serving of the food will take place in the tent. 
The team plan to fetch the food from Sydney Frankel's lodge at 05h00 CAT (Central African Time) on Christmas day and head out to Dixie to set-up (with the help of the volunteers). This will enable them to be ready for the present giving around 07h00 CAT (don't miss this). The choir from the community will also sing at this point.
Shortly after this the lighting of the fires and cooking will commence.
As you know all of this will be filmed LIVE on the day, so make sure you log in to http://www.wildearth.tv. I understand that for our American audience that means staying up very late, but I promise it will be worth it. For those who really can't make it then it will all be recorded in the WEarchive so you can watch it at a slightly more reasonable hour.
Once again thank you so much to our wonderful WEangels for making all of this possible. It really is promising to be an amazing day, and one that the people of Dixie will remember forever. I have some more angels to mention and thank those who have donated since the last Blog. They are:
Ronnie S, Tony Barnett, Caroline Fraser, Tom and Lynley Thomas, Amanda Tobin, Nancy Klassen, Constance Jaynes, Harold Yielding, Lily Flanagan, Barbara Broomell and Beth Brothman. Beth was donating on behalf of the Students in Ms Brothmans SAIL classes at Frontier Central Schools, the Students in Mrs Sentz's 4th grade class at Cloverbank Elementary School and Frontier Central Schools Dimensions of Learning Facilitators.
Many Thanks to all of you, you are all amazing. I hope you enjoy the day.
Emily Wallington

Thursday, 18 December 2008

WEstuff

Hi all you wonderful WE people! :-) You can tell I am in a great mood. Tis the season to be jolly, and WE are! But it has been a tough tough year for WE. There has been a lot of waiting, and hoping and waiting, and then more waiting ... sprinkled with a lot of hard work with limited resources. However, as you all know, the WE team are a force to be reckoned with. Our small band of TV spartans have battled a great many problems and always prevailed. WE never give up. Anyway, enough of that.

Here is a few bits of news ...


WE are the most popular Twitterer on the African continent! Check it out ...
http://twitterholic.com/top100/followers/bylocation/South+Africa/ If you are not already following us on Twitter, please do at http://twitter.com/wildearth WE are still asking for volunteers to join our growing army of WEtwits so if you have some time available to take a shift and inform our Twitter followers of what is going on at WE then please mail us at twits@wildearth.tv

If you do have a Twitter account and if you love what WE do, please nominate WildEarth for a shorty award in the entertainment category over here:
http://shortyawards.com/category/entertainment WE have a very real chance of winning this category if you all nominate us. Please give it a go, it would be our first award!

The WEarchive has grown again. Our friends over at Zaplive have put the 'seekpoints' right up front in the archive now. (Thanks to all of you that are creating such great seekpoints, and helping WE make video history.) Also, the WEarchive is now searchable by date and just a lot easier to find stuff in. There is so much more coming here ... but I don't want to let the cat out the bag. ;-)
http://www.wildearth.tv/wearchive

A huge big thank you to all our Amazee members ... you are all WEangels and amazeeing! If you are not yet a member please join up here:
http://www.amazee.com/christmas-dixie If WE have the highest number of members, with pics, on the 22nd Januray 2009 WE will win $5000 ... here are the current rankings:
1.
Studieren Ohne Grenzen - 229 Members - 40 pics
2.
Pressenger.de - das Presseportal - 218 Members - 35 pics
3.
Yabonga e.V. - 194 Members - 102 pics
4.
Christmas at Dixie - 187 Members - 175 pics
As you can see that while WE are sitting in fourth place in terms of number of members, WE are actually well in first place with the numbers of members with pics!! So we are doing well, but I think WE should not be to certain until WE have the highest number of members outright. Please invite everyone you know to join the project. I will be announcing the new project on the 26th December ... and you are all going to be blown away by the ambition and importance of this project. WE are going to really change lives ... its in our nature.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Dixie Christmas update

Well its 8 days until Christmas and the WEteam have been frantically organizing what promises to be the best Christmas day ever in Dixie and all thanks to our truly generous WEangels. I am shocked that it is nearly the end of the year already, it has flown by. We have achieved so much in WildEarth this year and we are only at the the foot of the mountain. On a personal note I got married and had a baby this year, so it has been pretty amazing for me as well.

This blog is primarily to thank all of our WEangels. You guys have once again made it possible for a village of disadvantaged people to have a day that they will never forget. You should all be very proud because you have made a difference in peoples lives. However, before I list the names I want to let you all know where we are up to with the organizations. Most of the food has been ordered from La Bamba who are our local food suppliers for the bush. I have ordered 75 cooked chickens, enough cabbage, carrots and mayonnaise to cook coleslaw for 400 people and maize meal and sauce for the same amount. One hundred litres of orange drink concentrate has also been ordered along with 500 plastic cups and 500 plates. We are getting 220 kilograms (about 500 pounds) of beef from the local Hoedspruit butcher, all of which will be cooked on the day. We are in deep discussions as to how to cook all the meat at the moment so I will keep you posted as to what is decided.
Lieschen has arrived at just the right time because although I can do all the phone ordering, getting to the bush to actually help on the ground is impossible due to a certain small addition to my family. However, Lieschen has it firmly under control at the camp and is getting a team of ten ladies from the community together to cook and prepare on the day. Storage of all this food prior to Christmas remains a problem unsolved but we are working on it. A huge tent has been booked and this will be erected the night before and I have booked a DJ who will arrive on the day at lunch time and play 'tunes' until the last person goes to bed. This apparently is the most important thing to have at the party (Rexon has been adamant about this) people love to dance.

Last week Graham and I headed for Johannesburg Town Centre to buy gifts for 143 kids. It was utter chaos but a lot of fun.We made a list of all the children and bought presents that were age and gender specific. Whilst Graham sourced tool sets, water pistols, racing cars and action men, I found barbie sets, cosmetic kits and colouring books. We managed to get three of four gifts for each child and in that was included an item of clothing. We managed to get all of these home in two car loads filled to the brim. Pippa Moolman happened to be staying at our house during all of this and she has taken a load already to the bush so that the team can start wrapping and labelling. Pete Braat arrived yesterday in Johannesburg and in return for the best home cooked meal we can muster, he is transporting the rest of the presents back to Djuma today. I'd like to say good luck to the crew when it comes to the wrapping, it is one huge job!!

As you know WE are broadcasting the events LIVE on the day which should really be something to watch. Apparently the people in Dixie know how to party so please join them on Christmas day. WE have done a test to check that the LIVE signal can be beamed to you from the village and that all went very well, so WE are ready.

Now for the people who have all made this possible. What can I say, you are truly amazing. I never dreamt that we would be able to raise this much money. The final amount stands at $4830 but every now and again money is still coming in. I will keep you posted as to the final amount. WildEarth would like to say a sincere thank you to:-
Kirsty Lynas, Simon Dilts, Kathy Theobald, Kerry and Walter Kosky, Valorie Berry, Aquila, Michael Moss, KCMary, Marty and Daniel Benke, Beverly Bailey, Patricia Mulligan, Snow LEApard, Patti German, David Keen, Nora Olguin, Mary Schooley, Dorothy Mulligan, Joyce Fuller, Lela and Marvin Criswell, Marie Taoukdjian, Sueso, Sharon Mcdorman, Christine Connor, Sandra Walton, Fabienne van Wunnik, Jenny Bell, Cathy Glenney-Munro, Cheri & Troy Pryor, Jeanne M, RavenLunatic, Margo Green, Barbara Ellington, Dawn Palmer, Susan Turner, Tina Yee, Terry Bliss, Patty Kelly, Patricia Hobson, Debbie Hanson, Charlie Kerr, Louis Leger, Randy Hacker, Kay Schmid, Pat from Nebraska, Kathy Lambert, Linda Blankenship, Judit Orozki, Faye Newman, J Braat, Diane Machita, Pamela Bell, Doris Walker, Pam Parton, sabdha, Karen Thacker, Anita Clark, Helen Richardson, Mike Williamson, Joan Jackson, Christine Munro, Gabrielle Walter, Peter Braat, Gail Bauckham, Lana Leeger, Minyard Family, Jaqueline Fenby, Michelle Sundeen, June Bonds, Lynn and Rick Barker, Stacey Manfredi and logan and lacey, Sue Bastiani, Roseann Coon, Barbara macleod, Barbara Tomasovic, Donna Pearl, Lylia Bennet, Leanna Muir, Chris Falk, Allison perras, Carol Smith, Sally Hubbert, Sylvia Wendelin, Julie Woods, Marian Noakes, mothernature/linda, Beth and Eliza Cunningham, Beverly Perkins, Sabine Blackburn,Janine Noble, Harold and Abby Yeilding, Jeanette Prefontaine, Sabine Luhrig, Dr Terry Jackson D.D.S, Aunty Lyn, Lisa and her daughter Selby, Dean Rohrs, Audrey Kepka, Anne K, Walter Gordon, Monika Shamblin, Rebecca Brinlee, John Kilpatrick, Lisa Laurencio, G A Meckmann, Gayle Anderson, Caroline Fraser, Constance Jaynes.
Written by Emily Wallington


Saturday, 13 December 2008

WElcome Lieschen!

Before embarking on her graduate studies Lieschen developed a love for South Africa, learnt to speak English at age five in Indianapolis (USA), climbed dunes in Namibia and au-paired in Yorkshire (UK). Her childhood experiences instilled in her a love for travelling and for the variety found in different cultures.
Yet there was this dream to be on the cover of Nature, as a genetic engineer making sick babies healthy, thus she pursued an academic career focusing on molecular biology, immunology and infectious diseases. Her research covered a wide range of scientific topics including yeast chromosomal genetics and the development of a genetically modified mouse model to be used as a tool in human infectious disease studies. This led to the completion of her PhD at the University of Cape Town and then the brief postdoctoral investigation into the complexity of Tuberculosis in the Western Cape.
But, as WE all know “life is like a box of chocolates” and there are surprises around many corners. One of these brought her to the bush. A space she learnt to appreciate and love through many childhood experiences. The chance “meeting” of Pieter, who had been a childhood friend from her time spent in Namibia, introduced her to WildEarth and sparked an interest in the WE concept. An interest, which grew even more during her first visit to Djuma several months ago. Lieschen found herself not only fascinated by what WE do and how WE do it, but also with the interactive WE family through which this “reality” bush experience was being broadcast. This extended to the beauty of the bushveld and also the open honest smiles on the faces of the Shangaan people and the WE community.
Sooner than she thought possible she embarked on a new career path and left Cape Town to pursue her WildEarth adventure. Welcome Lieschen, WE are excited to have you on the team and feel confident that your feminine presence will have a great effect on our WE crew.

hyenas are so cute?

WE have been watching another couple of cubs growing up at the hyena den. I must say that I adore these little guys, they are so so cute. I have quite a history with this den and this clan. When my son, Joshua, was six years old he came down to Djuma with me on a filming trip. We were testing some new gadgets that we were going to use in a film for National Geographic in the Serengeti (where Emily and I fell in love). One of the gadgets was a small remotley controlled 'tank' that we planned to manouver into the den, with it's attached Infra Red camera. We hoped that it would show us a glimpse of the cubs world deep inside the termitarian. First we had to wait for the parents to go off hunting. So we waited and waited. We were parked just outside the den in a vehicle that you all know as the Jiga, but then it still had it's roof. :) I sat on the roof and watched and waited, while Josh slept inside ... it took hours for the parents to leave, but when they did, I woke up Josh and together we steered the little 'tank' down into the den through the entrance ... and there they were ... two little tiny cubs ... tucked far down a little side passage. It was adorable and certainly worth the long wait.
The 'tank' went on to film several hyena dens in the Serengeti and produced some amazing footage which is still used by National geographic in some of their African promos.
Here are some seekpoints to moments WE have spent with these special creatures recently:
continued ...
New tiny hyena pup... some may be choppy feed but great sighting
This one I had to include.... when Rexon came upon the hyenas that had stolen a drum. LOL
Well enjoy the hyena clan, cubs and den. Pieter is back from leave and Lieschen has joined WE, but more about that later.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Seekpoints!

Yesterday was an important day in the evoloution of LIVE wildlife broadcasting, because it was yesterday that Zaplive deployed the 'seekpoint' onto our beloved WildEarth platform. You might be asking: 'what is a seekpoint?' Well let me explain ...
A 'seekpoint' is like a bookmark or a hyperlink, only it refers to a moment in the WEarchive. This means that you can 'tag' a particulalrly interesting sighting in the WEarchive, by clicking on the small arrow icon on the time slider at the bottom of the video. You have to be a registered user of course. Then this 'seekpoint' will be created and displayed on that channel's home page.
Go to: http://www.wildearth.tv/web/djuma1/home and have a look on the lower right hand section called 'seekpoints'.
It is still in it's very early stages, so you can't share sekpoints very easily yet, and the list is not ordered correctly (in other words the oldest is first), you can't ad keywords to the seekpoint yet. But what WE can do with this system in the near future is going to be really impressive. The 'seekpoint' is the foundation of the new WEarchive and will allow us all to go straight to an awesome sighting without having to download or rip the video.
Please enjoy this new system and in time WE will be asking for your comments and suggestions on how to grow and use the 'seekpoint' as a weapon of mass entertainment!
(Note: To view the above seekpoint of the stork catching and eating the first catfish yesterday, please go to this short link: http://links.wildearth.tv/catfish1 ... thank you Aquila great moment, I watched it a few times. Both Em and I (and I think the stork as well) were not sure how he was going to kill and then get that whole fella down his throat.)

Sunday, 7 December 2008

WE are asking for volunteers ...

WildEarth is working on a major upgrade to our WEarchive . Instead of the archive being based around 'time' only, WE are going to make it focused on 'sightings'. What this means is that you will be able to search the WEarchive through a variety of mechanisms, but with an emphasis on what was seen. There are several things we will introduce over the coming weeks (more on these as WE go), but first WE need some volunteers to make this the best archive on earth!
I know that some of you have been noticing the WildEarth Twitter account, where our directors (mainly Siphiwe) Tweet that activity they see on WildEarth ... well now WE are going to form a new team to take over this function 24 hours per day ... WE are going to call this new team the WEtwits ... names like this are in our nature ... as you probably know! ;)
Now these WEtwits will each take a shift (to be decided amongst the team) and during that time you will need to monitor all the activity on WildEarth and Tweet (on the WildEarth Twitter account) the second you see an animal or a sighting of any kind. These Tweets will then be logged in the WEarchive and be searchable by keyword, but also visually on a time line. 
Additionally, you will be provided with an @wildearth.tv mail address, which will give you access to our growing WEintranet, where you will be able to propose, swop and manage shifts, amongst many other things. Soon thereafter, WE will be creating a system that will allow the WEtwits to tag the WEarchive in addition to the Tweets, which will allow all sorts of very exciting and groundbreaking applications.
If you are interested in volunteering some of your time to be a WEtwit and wish to be part of a team that will be pioneering a whole new way of looking at LIVE wildlife video and helping to build a potentially very important archive of animal behavior, please email us at twits@wildearth.tv  You will be contacted by one of the admin team, and over the next few days and weeks WE will select, train and guide this new force ... the WEtwits!
Thanks for all you do to make WE the best ... its in your nature.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Come run with the WEangels

WE are now three weeks to Christmas and the WEangels have raised just under $4500.00!!
Emily and I are still working on the presents for the kids, Rex is still getting prices for the tent, music, two cows, three sheep, almost 100 chickens and a team of cooks. Emily has organised all the other food and drink, which will be delivered to WE just before Christmas. WE appreciate all your donations, please keep spreading the word as the more WE raise the more we will be able to feed.
But you can help the WEangels raise $5000.00 simply by registering at www.amazee.com for FREE and then joining the Christmas at Dixie project. The project that has the most members (with photo avatars, so don't forget to upload a photo) by the 29th January 2009 will win $5000.00 dollars! This will be too late for Christmas, but WE will think of something that will benefit the people of Dixie and you can make it happen. It will only take a few minutes out of your day, but could end up making a real difference in the lives of some poor and super deserving people.
Currently the lead project has 100 members ... WEangels can certainly beat that ... it's in our nature.
I would also like to thank Stacy Manfredi for all her assistance so far on this project. She has very kindly been helping to start the WEangels Blog, the WEangels Facebook Group and the WEangels "Christmas at Dixie" Facebook cause. I would also like to thank Karen, Aquila, Valorie and Bev for their massive contribution to running the WE social network and for creating the WEangels group. Please join up and help promote all these different places. The WEangels project is growing from strength to strength, and I suspect that it is going to be around for a very long time and make a very big difference in a lot of peoples lives.

The new WEarchive


Well there are some cool new features that were introduced to the WEarchive this morning by our friends at Zaplive.tv.
Now you can search the archive based on 'date', 'highest rated' and 'most viewed'. Also there is a new 'quickview' function that 'pops up' the archive clip you want to see. Next week WE will be introducing 'seekpoints' that will allow you to go straight to a particular moment in the archive rather than just a clip. This may not seem like a big deal, but this 'deep linking' into the archive is the beginning of a system that WE will develop with Zaplive.tv that will eventually allow you to edit the archive without downloading clips ... cloud mashing! Not to be confused with storm chasing, which is something completley different! ;)