Hat tip to Michelle, Five for Fighting’s John Ondrasik has launched a unique charity drive:

Hey guys,

Whatkindofworlddoyouwant.com has finally launched!

Let the world know your views and wishes and raise money for charity by making and uploading a video of yourself, your friends or your family answering the question, “What Kind Of World Do You Want.”

There are no rules. Your films can be personal, political, serious, amusing, Write a story, Tell a story…ANYTHING GOES!

You can raise money for six amazing charities I’ve selected by watching any of the videos posted and supporting each sponsor. Each time you do, up to 49 cents goes to the charity.

Please go to the site, upload your videos and/or watch a ton of them….Please spread the word and together we will raise money for these important and deserving causes…

What Kind of World do you Want? I’m asking!

And I look forward to your Statement…

John

Ondrasik is an interesting guy, to say the least. Check out his podcast interview with InstaPundit’s Glenn and Helen Reynolds, in which he reveals that the title for his latest cd, Two Lights, came from having lunch with Victor Davis Hanson. And here’s Ondrasik’s report from Guantanamo, where he recently played a concert for the troops stationed there and tasked with guarding some of the world’s most dangerous captured terrorists.

If you’ve never produced video for online use before, it’s not that hard. If you have a home camcorder, check to see whether it has a DV/Out jack (also called firewire or IEEE 1394). If your camera is digital anything–MiniDV, Digital8, etc–it will have a firewire (or 1394 or DV/Out or DV In/Out) port. If your computer was made in the past three or four years, it should have a firewire jack on either the front or back. It’s usually next to your USB ports, but it’s a little wider and with a triangular shape on one end. Shoot your video on your camcorder, use a firewire cable (your camera probably came with one, or you can pick one up at Best Buy etc for about $10) to plug the camera into your computer, and if you’re on a Mac, iMovie will come up and let you record your video onto your computer. If you’re on a PC running XP or later, Windows Movie Maker will come up as one of the choices for recording and editing video. Bring up whichever app applies to you up, use it to control your camera with the VCR style buttons in the app and set it back to the beginning of your clip, and then use the app to record (or digitize) the video onto your computer. If you’ve never edited video before, just be patient with either iMovie or Movie Maker, use the program’s tools to trim the video, and then export the video. Movie Maker has templates you can choose for what your video will be used for, so just select the appropriate one for Ondrasik’s contest, select where the file will go on your computer, and export. It may take a minute or two, depending on your computer’s speed and the length of your movie. Once that’s done, send the video in to the contest.

If you don’t have a digital camcorder, they’re cheap these days. Entry level digital cams with firewire ports start out around $200 on Amazon. Just make sure that the camera you get has firewire. Most of them will. Here’s a JVC that’s digital and very cheap, certainly good enough for this contest. Most newer digital camcorders also have digital still cameras built in too, which is a nice bonus.

If you’re on an older computer that lacks firewire ports, you can buy a card to add ports to your system. They’re usually around $10 or $15. But if your system is running either Windows NT or anything earlier than Windows 98 SE, firewire won’t work. I’m not sure where the cutoff is on the Mac, but it’s back in the misty past somewhere. If you’re on a Mac, chances are you have firewire and iMovie. Later Macs have iMovieHD, which is just cool. Windows Vista’s Movie Maker is also HD ready. Is anybody out there actually running Vista yet?