YouTube Video embed, blog post by John Hoff
A few nights ago, proud new NoMi homeowner Jeff Skrenes was having a house warming party and wanted to show me his Minneapolis 311 smart phone app that he'd recently acquired. Wanting to spread word about the cool smart phone app, I decided to videotape Jeff's enthusiastic demonstration. Things didn't go exactly as planned, however...
The first time I shot video, Jeff tried to upload a photo and a street location to document some graffiti on a black utility box. For some reason, he couldn't complete the upload. Jeff thought he must have done something wrong and wanted to try again. I said, well, let's just "take it from the top" and shoot the video all over again.
So we shot the video all over again. And it still didn't work. Jeff grew frustrated, but mostly with himself. What was he doing wrong?
At that point, Jeff wanted to fiddle with the app on his own and let me know when he got it figured out. The thought flashed through my mind: Why don't we just PRETEND the app is working and do our little dog-and-pony video? But just as quickly I thought, "That's not how we operate at Johnny Northside Dot Com. We tell the truth, even when it's not pretty or convenient."
It started to get dark and there was, um, free liquor at Jeff's party so somehow we never got back around to shooting the video. I actually deleted our first take before doing the second take. Days later Jeff called and asked if I still had any of the video we shot.
Turns out our little video project had documented something we didn't know we were documenting. The Minneapolis 311 smart phone app is reportedly not playing nice with Android phones. Attempts are being made behind the scenes to correct the problem. As I post this video, I am not sure if the problem is recently corrected or if a fix is still being worked upon.
However, the video above was not staged, except we were trying to show how the smart phone app works. What we ended up documenting, however, was how it DIDN'T work.
On the bright side, the video took a free shot at slumlord Keith Reitman, whose ugly and dilapidated "blue sisters" are a special focus of this blog, until they are torn down and something aesthetically pleasing (including well-manicured DIRT) takes their place.