My colleague Katie Shrieves passed along this link to a comparison of the technologies supporting the Web sites of the two presidential candidates. The analysis sheds some light on directions for Web development and the tech leanings of the two camps, but is also a humorous read for Webheads.
Any mashup fan would be remiss without mentioning the death of Don LaFontaine. Just that name suggests a kind of smooth talk that goes a long way toward making the movie trailer its own kind of composition. As homage, I embed Five Guys in a Limo and Voice Talkers. Voice Talkers is my favorite:
This NY Times piece on the pre-announcement editing of Sarah Palin's Wikipedia entry sheds light on the way Wikipedia functions in the larger media ecology, in large part based on its open structure and currency. That updates in the wee hours prior to a candidacy announcement might be the efforts of an insider comes as little surprise. But the way that such updates morph the site into a kind of engine for dissemination and creation of news shows that the combination of at-large editing and instant updating amplifies information sharing power enough that people need to adjust their expectations about where to find (and how to make) the news. As the Times reports, the Washington Post called it "another example of Wikipedia’s mysterious ability to predict about-to-break news, if we only knew to look there."
6:10 minutes (5.65 MB)
Our notions of what counts as literary shift constantly, a theme woven throughout much of the work that has happened in courses I've taught this semester. Sometimes as these shifts play out, it can be difficult to recognize the emerging forms among an evolving landscape formed around stalwarts like Shakespeare, Faulkner, Austin, Morrison. We need podcasts like this to help us make such identifications.
My first thought after landing here was, what a great Web site. Who would put so many resources into making something so kitschy? I still just had a great time poking around, but after eventually jumping to the corporate sponsor, I'm thinking, what a slick example of contemporary advertising--slick in both a good design and a watch your wallet kind of sense.
[via funny pages]
From the Washington Post comes this piece about corporations playing fast and loose with images found online. The article is of interest to writing teachers working with new media for its illumination of fair use principles. If one of the four lenses through which we might view fair use is the potentially commercial nature of the use, it's tempting to look at the "photonapping" of images by corporations and argue for more flexibility when applying the profit criteria to use decisions. This, however, might not be true to the phenomenon reported in the piece. It's not that the uses by the corporations are fair. The article quotes Lawrence Lessig, who points out, "There's really no excuse for [these companies] except that they think it's not important to protect the rights of the amateur." For educators, these legal dimensions might be discussed as part of a broader conversation about how to make decisions about using materials in projects. I put a screen shot of the Post article above to serve as the link to the article, which I've attributed and which I'm discussing in terms of educational uses of media. Is it fair? These questions are sometimes complex.
Lessig's quote and the rest of the article, more interestingly, get at what is behind much of the trend of companies wanting to appropriate amateur materials from the Web:
"Authenticity is the new consumer sensibility," says Joe Pine, a business consultant and co-author of "Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want." It is the criterion "by which people decide what to buy and who to buy it from."
It's a byproduct of the user-generated world: the trustworthiness of YouTube, the realness of Facebook. Above all else, we believe ourselves. "People don't want to buy the fake from the phony anymore," Pine says. "They want to buy the real from the genuine."
If nothing else the trend asks us to continue thinking about the power of citizen media as reflected in the desires of corporations to be like Mike, or Allison, or Tracey.
Jeff made a post about memory and the fit between blogging and reflecting with pleasure. In that spirit, I offer two items. The first is from my personal collection, an official KGBS CB Radio Guide. I actually sent off the SASE to have this thing mailed to me--must have been 1977. The second is a link to my own television memory item. No comment.
Not much going up here lateley, so how about a poster posting to represent the current state of things. [via David's playlist]
3:20 minutes (2.3 MB)
I think I prefer to read this one silently, though I believe in poetry being performed aloud.
Is it just me? At first I was worried that I had picked up a quirky habit when I caught myself prefacing most statements last week with the phrase, “I mean.” Since then, though, I’ve noticed lots of people saying it. Even an interviewee on the local NPR show this morning saw fit to begin his answer by assuring listeners that it was indeed he who was expressing the views and that he did indeed mean them. I suppose the phrase is just one of those phatic tags designed to create a pause or simply indicate that something relevant is about to be said. I guess these phrases keep the conversational wheels humming. I wonder, though, what it means when they seep into the mediated now by virtue of moving from an individual’s quirk to a common cultural styling. I mean it’s like every other sentence now begins with “I mean.”