Monday, January 31, 2011

Trying out the "Poll" Gadget

You can see in the upper right today my first attempt at a poll on a blog.  We'll see what happens.  Please choose from the selected movies and let us know what you've seen!

I've also changed the background from a flowery fluff to some high-tech looking ones and zeros.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blogging Tool Testing

We're working with blogging options on the student blogs.  The course text is Media Now, 7th Edition.  It's got some online materials, but we're making some of our own, including some upcoming work on a wiki, and plenty of trying out of blogging tools.  Some things to try:

  • Commentary.  Text is the key to blogging, and it's no mistake to say that good commentary makes good text.  Adding to the accumulating knowledge of the world, especially as it relates to English and New Media, and we're good.
  • Photographs.  It's easy to snap some shots and upload them.  Again, you're helping make the world become better informed.  With the blog, you can link to photos not your own, but better yet, you can upload the great photos that you've got.  
  • Video.  It's like the photos above.  Upload your own or add links, embed ones worth commenting on from Youtube, Vimeo, or the many other sites where others upload the millions of hours of video being constantly uploaded.
  • Comments.  Write on blogs not your own, and promote some of your own posts on other sites.  
  • Links. Show what sites you're watching and reading (including, yes, Facebook, if you're a fan).  
  • RSS.  Build some blog feeds into your site.  Make your site a place where your followers get news from the sources you decide.
  • Surveys.  Add a survey widget and see what your readers think about some issue.  
  • Other Gadgets:  Try some of the many gadgets that are offered up by Google and their blogging team. 
Then, tell us about your efforts at building a strong presence.  

    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    My Electronic Media Gizmos

    Okay, I have to confess.  I have some old crap.  I have the following from my days in the service, circa 1975:  

    ·         A Kenwood stereo amplifier, 83 watts (which was big in those days)
    ·         A matching Kenwood tuner (which hasn’t been plugged in for some time)
    ·         A Teac reel-to-reel SX-4300.  A sweet machine, still works great.
    ·         A Marantz direct-drive turntable
    ·         A Pioneer cassette tape deck
    ·         A Teac cd player hooked up to the stereo parts above (about 15 years old, probably)
    ·         A pair of Pinnacle speakers, kick-ass (but small, compared to the Pioneer HPM-100 speakers that I blew up.
    ·         About 1000 stereo record albums, all still good, well kept, with everything from Merle Haggard to Elton John to AC\DC.
    ·         A lot of cassettes, a few 45’s,  several dozen reel-to-reel tapes
    Midway between the old and new:
    ·         A portable boom-box, with a cd player, cassette, and radio
    ·         A hand-me-down component stereo in the garage, with radio, cassette player
    ·         A cell phone with one song on it: “Big Black Horse and a Cherry Tree”
    ·         A Sony PS-2 game console with several games, a guitar, and several Guitar Hero games, some driving games, and some 007 games (which sits in the basement and is almost never played)
    ·         A conventional TV, connected to an antenna (getting us about a dozen channels for free).  It’s on much of the time when we’re home.  We watch sitcoms, movies, dramas, the network news, and public television, including documentaries
    ·         A VHS/DVD player (one unit), plus another VHS and another DVD player in the basement
    ·         Two more TV’s never used.
    ·         A Kodak digital camera, now retired
    ·         A Nikon digital camera, now out of service.  I was using this a lot until it fell out of my bag and refused to wake up. 
    ·         A Sony digital camera, rarely used
    ·         A cheapo digital camera that will hold about 16 pictures, very cruddy pics, but very small
    ·         A radio alarm clock next to our bed and in the guest bedroom.
    ·         Our tablet computers, which we use for work, shopping, and communication
    ·         A desktop computer, used mostly for photos and a newsletter
    ·         An older Macintosh, rarely used
    ·         An old Dell laptop maybe 8 years old, not used
    ·         A Lexmark all-in-one printer, with a scanner and copier
    ·         A second-generation iPod with many songs
    ·         A Panasonic Lumix camera
    ·         A cell-phone with no music on it
    Relatively new stuff:
    ·         An iRiver music player with a 10g hard drive (maybe 5 or 6 years old, almost retired)
    ·         A small Creative Zen music player (with a radio and voice recorder).  I use this when I’m working out or riding my bike.  It’s got about 15 albums on it.  Sometimes, I play albums, sometimes random.  No playlists
    ·         A Roku unit for streaming Netflix to our TV. 
    My car has a radio, CD, and cassette player.  We mostly listen to the radio, but we keep CD’s in the car and play them when we’re on the road.
    My pickup has a radio and cassette player

    I do lots of stuff with my computer, everything from recording music to making videos to writing poems and stories.  Lots of stuff online.  

    A Qwiki on New Media

    I'm intrigued by the ambitious project that is Qwiki, a project provide automated multimedia presentations on a broad range of subjects, including New Media, as the video here displays.

    Media Inventory

    I'd like students to take a media/technology inventory.  Assess the ownership and use of communications devices.  How does your experience compare to that of your parents and grandparents?  How does it compare to that of students in other countries?

    Post on your blog.  You can take photos to accompany the inventory.

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    Obama and the Use of New Media

    Barack Obama was noted during the campaign for his adept use of social media and the internet in general as contributing factors in his successful run.  The activities of this President, more than any other, are being mined as material for new media activities.  It will be interesting to watch how the media, especially the online sites, will engage with the State of the Union address on Tuesday night.  Some sites to watch:
    • Federal Computer Week notes that will be providing online resources live as the President speaks. The article notes,  "President Barack Obama’s speech to Congress on Jan. 25 will be presented in a live video feed along with new features that include visual aids, charts, statistics and other enhancements at the website."  More here:  
    • The American Presidency Project has a site devoted to the State of the Union address and related information regarding it (press releases, what guests were there, what Congressional members were missing, etc.).  It's here:  An image  from their site showing the language used in the addresses is below:  

    Plenty of material to engage with the President's address.  

    Sunday, January 23, 2011

    Plain English Explanations of New Media

    Here is the first of several videos explaining (in Plain English) some of the new media advantages.  By Lee LeFever.  They include topics such as social networking sites, wikis, twitter, and other media.

    New Media Literacies

    Some folks talk about the merging of new and old media forms and how the consumer is becoming the producer.

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    Book Trailers

    Video is being used more frequently on sites like YouTube to promote reading and books. These products are called book trailers, and they seek to generate interest in the books in order to promote sales. Here's a great example, for the book, Going West.