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Summary:

This morning, having trouble constructing an article to process my intense emotions about the Virginia tech shootings at NewTeeVee, I ended up cutting out most of the parts about television news and online video, feeling the real story was about mourners uniting using tools like Facebook. […]

This morning, having trouble constructing an article to process my intense emotions about the Virginia tech shootings at NewTeeVee, I ended up cutting out most of the parts about television news and online video, feeling the real story was about mourners uniting using tools like Facebook. Eventually, the post became a better fit for our mothership site, GigaOM, where it was published this evening.

Now, video associated with the attacks has made its way online — footage killer Cho Seung-Hui captured of himself and snail-mailed to NBC in a “multimedia manifesto” between the two shootings. It’s riveting and appalling. Watching police swarm a school building with the sound of gunshots in the air was terrifying; this is a whole different level.

Not all of the footage has made it online. Dave Winer has written a petition asking that the videos be released in full. “It’s 2007, and it’s a decentralized world. We should all get a chance to see what’s on those videos,” he says.

According to NBC, the materials included a DVD with 27 QuickTime video files of about 10 minutes in total.

“You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today,” Cho says in one of the videos. “But you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. The decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off.”

I, for one, find Cho entirely unsympathetic. He apparently affiliated himself with the Columbine killers in writing that was mailed in the package. I know video is an especially compelling medium; I hope this clip is not.

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  1. i’ve been taking the role of devil’s advocate on this one, since nobody else is. he sent it to the media so that they would put his garbage all over the place. are these videos something we want people marking as “favorites” on YouTube?

  2. I felt sick, when I saw that video. I wish people would stop sending death threats to the owner of the store wear he bought the gun. It was not the owner’s fault that their store was given the “okay” to go on with the purchase. Also, obviously someone with that much rage was going to get a weapon no matter what. There has been enough pointing fingers at everyone for who’s fault it was (the gun store owner, the police, the school), the truth is it was only Cho’s fault, no body else killed those people, he did, he is to blame.

    Blaming people will not bring those loved one’s back, we just have to hope and pray that no one will want to replicate such an incident, and pray for those who were robbed of their futures.

  3. Taylor McKnight Wednesday, April 18, 2007

    Is this a horrible and chilling after-effect of a new generation growing up on youtube? Killers expecting to get their 15 minutes of fame with ‘multimedia manifestos’.

    Part of me wanted to watch it but the other part kind of wishes that NBC (while this is an amazing exclusive they are gitty over) held off from giving this guy what basically is his last dying wish.

  4. as difficult as it might be for some of us, we all need to pray for this young man’s soul. God will deal with him. please remember him while prayng for the vctums and their families

  5. steve garfield Thursday, April 19, 2007

    Since when does mailing a DVD with Quicktime files to someone constitute vlogging?

  6. Dave Winer’s post was utter bullshit. The fact that you’ve parroted that crap over here is really disappointing. I kind of liked this blog but it’s clear you have no idea.

  7. Speaking directly into your video camera about your innermost thoughts definitely says vlogging to me. Perhaps it wasn’t the perfect example of the technology side, but consider how easy it was for NBC to post those QT files online.

  8. Liz, Cho wasn’t a vlogger. He didn’t have a videoblog and he didn’t post these videos to a blog. People are getting confused as to why the title says he vlogged his manifesto.

  9. From wikipedia, Video blog:

    A video blog or a vlog is a blog that includes video.[1] Regular entries are typically presented in reverse chronological order and often combine embedded video or a video link with supporting text, images, and other metadata.

    Vlogs often take advantage of web syndication to allow for the distribution of video over the Internet using either the RSS or Atom syndication formats, for automatic aggregation and playback on mobile devices and personal computers. See video podcast.

    Though many vlogs are collaborative efforts, the majority of vlogs and vlog entries are authored by individuals.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Videoblog

  10. NewTeeVee » VT Killings: Worst of a culture addicted to fame Thursday, April 19, 2007

    [...] the videos Cho mailed to NBC, he repeatedly refers to himself in the past tense. He has a meta-cognitive view of himself. In [...]

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