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Links for November 26th 2008:
- Obama’s Video Strategy: A Peek Behind the Curtain [NewTeeVee] – “During the 2008 presidential election, the Barack Obama campaign set up dedicated new media teams in many states, but there were only eight with dedicated videographers: Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. What do those states have in common? They were key swing states — and on Nov. 4th, Barack Obama won every single one. I recently spoke with with Kevin Hartnett, director of new media for the Pennsylvania campaign … In this election cycle, the incorporation of online video as part of a wider new media strategy was clearly revolutionary — even to those involved. “This was not something the political professionals on the campaign had had before,” Hartnett said. “” (Fascinating look at how important social software, online campaigning and the cheap’n’easy nature of digital video was to Obama’s largely grassroots campaigning.)
- Preview of my Television & American Culture book [Jason Mittell / Just TV] – Television and American Culture, forthcoming from Oxford University Press, copyright by Jason Mittell. Introduction: Why Television? Section 1: Television Institutions Chapter 2: Exchanging Audiences Chapter 3: Serving the Public Interest Chapter 4: Televised Citizenship Section 2: Television Meanings Chapter 5: Making Meaning Chapter 6: Telling Television Stories Chapter 7: Screening America Chapter 8: Representing Identity Section 3: Television Practices Chapter 9: Viewing Television Chapter 10: Television for Children Chapter 11: Television’s Transforming Technologies Conclusion: American Television in a Global Context (The introduction is online; looks like a possible textbooks for Digital Media.)
- Web Suicide Viewed Live and Reaction Spur a Debate [NYTimes.com] – “For a 19-year-old community college student in Pembroke Pines, Fla., the message boards on BodyBuilding.com were a place to post messages, at least 2,300 of them, including more than one about his suicidal impulses. In a post last year, he wrote that online forums had “become like a family to me.” “I know its kinda sad,” the student, Abraham Biggs, wrote in parenthesis, adding that he posted about his “troubles and doubts” online because he did not want to talk to anyone about them in person. Last Wednesday, when Mr. Biggs posted a suicide note and listed the drug cocktail he intended to consume, the Web site hardly acted like a family. On BodyBuilding.com, which includes discussions of numerous topics besides bodybuilding, and on a live video Web site, Justin.tv, Mr. Biggs was “egged on” by strangers who, investigators say, encouraged him to swallow the antidepressant pills that eventually killed him.”
Links of interest for November 10th 2008:
- Filter advocates need to check their facts [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – An important article from Mark Newton that seeks to inject some solid information back into the conversation about proposed measures to filter the internet at large, at ISP level, in Australia. It remains a terrible idea, and the advocates for this notion seem completely ignorant of the technical realities of implementing it (not to mention the social ramifications of living in the censored country).
- The Media Equation – How Obama Tapped Into Social Networks’ Power [NYTimes.com] – ““Thomas Jefferson used newspapers to win the presidency, F.D.R. used radio to change the way he governed, J.F.K. was the first president to understand television, and Howard Dean saw the value of the Web for raising money,” said Ranjit Mathoda, a lawyer and money manager who blogs at Mathoda.com. “But Senator Barack Obama understood that you could use the Web to lower the cost of building a political brand, create a sense of connection and engagement, and dispense with the command and control method of governing to allow people to self-organize to do the work.” All of the Obama supporters who traded their personal information for a ticket to a rally or an e-mail alert about the vice presidential choice, or opted in on Facebook or MyBarackObama can now be mass e-mailed at a cost of close to zero. And instead of the constant polling that has been a motor of presidential governance, an Obama White House can use the Web to measure voter attitudes.”
- Text for free condoms during Schoolies Week [The Courier-Mail] – “School leavers will be able to send text messages to receive free condoms in an attempt to encourage safe sex practices during Schoolies celebrations. The TXT 4 Free Condomz sexual health campaign has been launched by health care group Marie Stopes International. Mobile phone users will be sent two free condoms in plain packaging when they text their name and address details to 19 SEXTXT. Marie Stopes International general manager Jill Michelson said the party atmosphere meant an increase in risky behaviour. “This initiative overcomes both the embarrassment and the cost issue of buying condoms, and does so using a medium and language that resonates with youth,” Ms Michelson said.” The website: http://www.sextxt.org.au/
Interesting links for September 1st 2008 through September 2nd 2008:
- The Newest YouTube Stars: Campaign Managers [The Trail | washingtonpost.com] – “As of yesterday afternoon, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama had uploaded 1,410 videos on their YouTube channels — 224 from McCain and 1,186 from Obama. Surprisingly, some of the more interesting, revealing of these videos were posted by their campaign managers. While they may not have been watched as heavily as others, these four videos tell us about the respective campaigns’ differing online strategies. For all the talk about McCain lagging behind Obama in using the Web, credit Rick Davis of the McCain campaign for going first.”
- Google to Offer Its Own Web Browser [NYTimes.com] – “Google said Tuesday it plans to begin distributing its own Web browser. The move is likely to heat up its rivalry with Microsoft. Google, the Internet search leader, confirmed the long-rumored browser in a posting Monday on its Web site. Google said the free browser, called ”Chrome,” will be available for downloading on Tuesday.” Keeping with the cool kids, Google have introduced Chrome via a comic book (drawn by Scott McCloud, no less!); there are a few more conventional words a Google’s Official Blog, too.
- Kids to parents: get out of my face(book) [The Age] – “More mum and dads are signing onto Facebook and receiving mixed reactions from their kids. … When Matt Florian signed onto his Facebook account recently to check the status of his 400-plus friends, he had a friend request. It was from his dad. The junior at Sherwood High School, Montgomery County, Merryland, US, didn’t panic. He simply took a deep breath and pondered his options – “what are the social implications of ‘friending’ your folks?” He could accept it or ignore it. If he accepted it, he had the option of limiting parts of his Facebook profile that his dad could see. Facebook users around the world are contemplating similar questions when they log onto their accounts.” (Yes, this is a recycled Washington Post story from six months ago. Clearly the Australian internet runs quite slowly! :P)
Interesting links for August 19th 2008 through August 20th 2008:
- Facebook, MySpace users warned of cyber crime risk [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “The Victorian Government has warned users of social networking sites not to post private information online. The Government has released a list of security tips for users of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace in response to the emergence of cyber crime, such as identity theft. Tips include urging users to think twice before posting private information such as addresses and phone numbers online.”
- I Was There. Just Ask Photoshop. [NYTimes.com] – Photoshop, from realfact to goodfact: “REMOVING her ex-husband from more than a decade of memories may take a lifetime for Laura Horn… But removing him from a dozen years of vacation photographs took only hours, with some deft mouse work from a willing friend who was proficient in Photoshop, the popular digital-image editing program. Like a Stalin-era technician in the Kremlin removing all traces of an out-of-favor official from state photos, the friend erased the husband from numerous cherished pictures taken on cruises and at Caribbean cottages, where he had been standing alongside Ms. Horn, now 50, and other traveling companions. “In my own reality, I know that these things did happen,” Ms. Horn said. But “without him in them, I can display them. I can look at those pictures and think of the laughter we were sharing, the places we went to.” “This new reality,” she added, “is a lot more pleasant.””
- Unleashed VC is a blog’s best friend [The Australian] – Steven Schwartz on being Australia’s first blogging Vice-Chancellor: “…the blog has given me the opportunity to express my views on such issues as “the idea of a university today”, reprising Cardinal Newman’s famous essay in a new context; the development of a new code of ethics at the university; if governments can make us happy; how to develop a fairer higher-education system; and expanding equality of opportunity in universities. I have also discussed philanthropy, research, innovation, the role of the humanities, what the future may hold, health, depression, literacy, education, marketing and, by way of making an argument about the importance of scholarship, Tiger Woods. It has been rewarding, and a lot of fun. There is a downside to blogging: a large amount of spam that needs clearing out each morning, and some comments are rude, hostile, or unintelligible.” [Via Andrew Bartlett]
- Is Jon Stewart the Most Trusted Man in America? [Television – NYTimes.com] – An engaging profile of Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, charting where politics met parody: “Mr. Stewart’s comedic gifts — his high-frequency radar for hypocrisy, his talent for excavating ur-narratives from mountains of information, his ability, in Ms. Corn’s words, “to name things that don’t seem to have a name” — proved to be perfect tools for explicating and parsing the foibles of an administration known for its secrecy, ideological certainty and impatience with dissenting viewpoints.”
- Gaming surgeons quash technology fears [The Australian] – “”…playing smarter computer games can actually help modify our abilities in problem solving, visual attention, working memory, forming and modifying strategies, even creativity.” Professor Westwell said the study on keyhole surgeons, published by the Archives of Surgery, found that while operating and playing computer games, the doctors made decisions and responded quickly to the consequences of those decisions and any unexpected changes that occurred.”
- IOC Wants Olympic Torrents Off The Pirate Bay [TorrentFreak] – “In an official letter to Swedish Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has asked for “assistance” from the Swedish government with preventing video clips from the Olympics in Beijing to be shared on The Pirate Bay. The Pirate Bay, however, does not plan to take anything down, and renamed their tracker to The Beijing Bay.”
Interesting links for June 30th 2008 through July 2nd 2008:
- The Internet Has the Power to Transform Your TV Show into a TV Brand [Deep Focus/Yahoo!] – New research (from a survey of 2000) which shows viewers under 35 treat the TV show as part of a franchise or brand, and that engaging with the franchise online strengthens brand ties (viewers > 35 see the TV show as the main event). [Via Nancy]
- World’s Best Presentation Contest [SlideShare] – Online slide sharing service Slideshare are running their annual competition to find the best slides (ppt, keynote, whatever else in pdf form) from around the world. We need many examples of powerpoint done better, so get sliding! (Entries close July 31st 08).
- Fast-talking Fred is the toast of YouTube [The Age] – Fourteen year old Lucas Cruikshank and his online persona, 6 year old Fred (with anger management issues and a chipmunked voice), is YouTube’s latest (and very annoying) micro-celeb. Visit Fred’s Channel.
- The romantic appeal of the “long tail hypothesis” [PopMatters | Blogs] – An interesting critique of Chris Anderson’s Long Tail theory: “With our identity riding on what we consume, we come to believe that there’s something valuable about having unique tastes, but we don’t actually pursue such a course in practice.”
- That Violet Blue thing [Boing Boing] – Boing Boing respond to accusations of censorship, stating their own position (they can retrospectively delete whatever they want) and getting quite a few comments in response!
- MySpace suicide: new law outlaws cyberbullying [The Age] – “Missouri Governor Matt Blunt signed a bill today outlawing cyberbullying, just kilometres from where a 13-year-old girl committed suicide nearly two years ago after being harassed on the Internet.”
- EA Grabs Your “Spore Creature Creator” IP [Clickable Culture] – “Talk about harshing my buzz. Electronic Arts is going to let us design creatures with its long-awaited Spore game and stand-alone Creature Creator, but in using the game and creator, we agree to hand over all rights in our creations to the megalithic publisher…”
- swedish teenager making millions off her blog? [jill/txt] – Jill Walker Rettberg looks at the fascinating case of a Swedish teenager who appears to be making a very healthy sum blogging by inserting paid ads and editorial comment without disclosure. [More links here.]
Interesting links for June 17th 2008 through June 19th 2008:
- Study: 82 Percent of Consumers Accept In-Game Ads [Life from Wired.com] – “… according to a recent study crafted as a joint venture between the Nielsen company and in-game ad entrepreneurs IGA Worldwide. “82 percent felt games were just as enjoyable with ads as without,” the study reveals…”
- NSFW: A Beginners Guide To Sporn [Rock, Paper, Shotgun] – (Contains Images Only Intended for Adults!) “You give humanity a creative tool, the first thing a human will do is – well – make a tool with it. Since the Spore demo?s release, it?s become a bukkake wave sweeping the web: comedy pornographic images via Spore. Spornography – aka “Sporn”.”
- This is Sparta! ? Facebook prank or political statement?[ Examiner.com] – When 30,000 students taking a literature exam all write “This Is Sparta!” somewhere during the test and cross it out again, examiners discover there’s a Facebook meme at work, 300 style.
- Mum pleads not guity in web suicide case [PerthNow] – “A US woman who prosecutors say drove a 13-year-old girl to suicide with a cruel MySpace hoax has pleaded not guilty. Lori Drew of Missouri, who is accused of creating the fake MySpace persona of a 16-year-old boy…”
- Hollywood relying more on franchises [The Hollywood Reporter] – June 16, 2008: Hollywood is using more and more existing franchises and ‘superbrands’ in an effort to capitalise on existing consumer demand rather than risking new material in an era when promotion is harder and harder.
Interesting links for June 12th 2008 through June 17th 2008:
- Blogger arrests hit record high [BBC NEWS | Technology] – “Since 2003, 64 people have been arrested for publishing their views on a blog, says the University of Washington annual report. In 2007 three times as many people were arrested for blogging about political issues than in 2006, it revealed.”
- Facebook No Longer The Second Largest Social Network [Tech Crunch] – “April 2008 was the milestone: Facebook officially caught up to MySpace in terms of unique monthly worldwide visitors, according to data released by Comscore … Both services are attracting around 115 million people to their respective sites each month.”
- Save Jericho Again: TV Campaign Info – The fan fight to save the now twice-cancelled US TV series Jericho continues, with dedicated Jericho nuts this time raising funds for a series of tv advertisements and billboard trying to save the show and get a new network to pick up the series.
- Sexually Frustrated Superheroes: Superheroes Who Can’t Have Sex [io9] – Which comic-book superheroes can’t have sex? Any why? (And I can’t believe there is an alternative future Spider-Man comic in which Mary-Jane dies after sharing too many bodily fluids with Marvel’s favourite hero!!).
Interesting links for May 23rd 2008:
- Lessons From the Class Blog [zigzigger] – Reflections on 4 semesters of teaching with a class blog in a media course. Some useful observations about how much students blog, ideas about assessing blogs and whether ‘forced’ comments are of any use.
- Star Wars Kid: The Data Dump [Waxy.org] – Andy Baio takes a very in depth look at the Star Wars Kid meme (that he named, hosted and shared) from 2003, complete with very, very detailed stats and a look at the media coverage SWK got.
- Cash will buy clone of man’s best friend [PerthNow] – “A US biotech company will clone dogs for the five highest bidders in a series of online auctions, in a move condemned by some ethicists who fear it could lead to human clones.” (Hello ‘RePet’ from The Sixth Day!)
Interesting links for April 27th 2008 through April 28th 2008:
- Nielsen Online: Produsage Trends in Australia and New Zealand [Produsage.org] – Using details from Nielsen Online, Axel gives an outline of how many Australians and Kiwis are using Web 2.0 tools, and how many are “produsing” (lowdown: a lot use, less make).
- Being a Researcher at a Liberal Arts College [Just TV] – Fascinating reflections from media scholar Jason Mittell and the pros and cons (mainly pros) of teaching in a US liberal arts college rather than one of the the larger, more prestigious, universities. (Esp useful for those of us outside looking in!)
- Israeli jailed for Facebook photo [BBC NEWS | Middle East] – “Israel has sentenced a soldier to 19 days in jail for uploading a photograph taken on his military base to the social networking website, Facebook. … The case follows widespread reports about the potential security risk of soldiers posting photos …”
Interesting links for April 14th 2008:
- The new digital paparazzi [On Line Opinion – 14/4/2008] – Peter Black discusses “the new digital paparazzi” which are more likely friends, family, or even ourselves, posting photos online with little concern for personal privacy. Black argues that this is evident of a shift in the way privacy is thought about.
- Civil liberties expert slams email spying plans [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “The head of the Australian Council of Civil Liberties, Terry O’Gorman, says tighter laws to protect Australia against cyber terrorism threats are not needed.” (In the wake of proposed laws which would let certain employers read their employee’s email.)
- Study: Pirated Web Video Peaks 12-18 Hours After Broadcast [WatchingTV Online] – “Unauthorized viewing of popular TV shows on video-sharing Web sites like YouTube peaks between 12 and 18 hours after an episode is broadcast, according to a study conducted by Akamai Technologies and content-identification service provider Vobile.”
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