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A veritable firehose of information is available on the internet in the area of video production. Manufacturers and individuals have reams of helpful info on their sites, but for the most up to the minute word on how the latest drivers for your software are perfoming (before you load them on your system!) and for all kinds of helpful opinions and advice from people who are out there doing the job every day, the most up to the minute source is user groups, forums, and e-mail lists.

E-mail lists are kind of like an e-mail party line. Each subscriber sends messages to the list to a central server which copies the message to all the subscribers. When you hit the "reply" button to a message, it doesn't go to the person who wrote it, it goes to the list servor and then to every member of the list.

While extermely helpful, they can be a bit of a challenge to keep up with. I'm active in one for users of In:Sync Speed Razor editing software that often generates 50 to 100 messages in a day. To handle this, you need a couple of things. First, an email box with unlimited messages. I was on Compuserve for a few years and they had a message limit of 100. After that it started rejecting messages. I had to download messages a couple of times a day to stay ahead of it. A pain.

You also really need email client software that allows streaming of messages into folders (directories) based on rules you set up. For ex: everything coming from the Speed Razor list goes into it's own folder. That way my personal mail doesn't get lost in the scads of list messages. I have looked at several programs and find that Microsoft Outlook 98 works best for me. Plus, when they first introduced it it was a free download on their website! (It's about $100 retail now, I believe) Outlook 98 also lets you display messages and subjects many different ways, displays threads of messages based on subject, list of subjects only, etc. It allows sorts on all parameters: to, from, subject, date, and string searches of message contents. It also integrates with Internet Explorer so your mail generated in the browser is filed with your other mail. I like it!

Here are some valuable lists:

Pigsfly Speed Razor forum (a must for users of In:Sync Speed Razor)

     subscribe/unsubscribe speedrazor-request@pigsfly.com (one word in body of message: "subscribe") or at http://www.pigsfly.com

    Also at the Flying Pig Ranch (pigsfly.com) you will find sign up for lists specifically for sales of Non-linear system related          items, Inscriber CG software, audio for video, and several others

Matrox Digiforum for users of DigiSuite and DigiSuiteLE

    sign up at http://www.matrox.com/

http://www.nonothing.com/NewNonlinear/   web based discussion forum on Non-linear editing.

Videomaker magazine has forums which tend to draw more amateurs, but there is sometimes useful info to be found.

    www.videomaker.com/agora/

Video Nexus is an internet book that is being written on In:Sync's website (the publishers of Speed Razor video editing software) It's very cool! Take a look at http://www.in-sync.com/videonexus/   Click on "Steadicam JR" for a surprise.

http://members.xoom.com/dvfilmmaker/   is a website started by a guy who's into making feature film style projects using DV technology. Kinda close to my own heart, actually, being a film trained video guy. (Thus my "video" on a film clapboard logo). There is an email subscription that is supposed to run every two weeks. Lots of interesting links and several chat areas available on DV production, shooting, editing. A really big resource if you follow the links. There is info on how to subscribe to the email newletter.

http://www.promax.com/  Accessories for DV production and editing systems. Some interesting stuff.