Sunday, February 27, 2011

Poetry, Dance, Music, and Technology

Disappear - from the CD To Call Out in the Night by Pharmakon MTL from Ian Ferrier on Vimeo.

I'm intrigued with this video, the combination of poetry, dance, music, and technical innovation.  There are sensors on the dancers to initiate the movement of some of the text displayed.  Very cool, innovative.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Three Words from the Oscars

I like this simple little thing that Good Morning America does where they ask people to send in videos from themselves displaying three words that capture their sense of their situation.  Today's was a special edition from the folks who have been nominated for Oscars.  Here it is:

Monday, February 21, 2011

TV Joining Hands with Social Media

The NY Times is commenting on the use of social media sites to support the offerings by the television industry.  TV folks are talking about people watching their programs with friends whose TVs and living rooms and laptops are in different states.  The execs are seeking to make the experience of watching the shows deeper by offering more content on line and opening channels to allow people to chat and twitter and socialize as they watch the programming.  Oscars night will reflect a big push in that direction.  Read more here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Simple (Barely) Multimedia Site that Murmurs Its Cool

Check out the Toronto-based website Murmur that offers a collection of audio stories and ramblings with the barest of multi in its multimedia.  It's got some still graphics, but the centerpiece and focus is the audio recordings they offer.  Check it out.

Newspapers Online

I became interested in the news when I was in a World Politics class back at Black Hills State University.  We had to read Newsweek every week, cover to cover.  I had been a laggard and ignorant about much of the events in the world until then, even as race riots, Vietnam, Kent State, Watergate, and many other major events unfolded.  I was largely in the dark.  Nobody in my family much paid attention.  I did, however, take a lot of interest in the space program, especially the moon walk in 1969.  However, in about 1979, I got on board.  The semester of reading Newsweek got me in the flow, and I subscribed to the magazine for years.

That all changed again when The New York Times began offering its news for free in the 90's.  When I was at work, I could read that magnificent paper, but at home I couldn't--the slow, dial-up connection would take forever to load the pages.  Now many papers offer content for free, although this is bound to change.  Our own Trojan Times ceased its paper publication last semester and went totally online.  It had had an online edition previously, but it was rarely updated and hadn't been changed for years.  Some other papers worth checking out are here:
My old paper, The Sisseton Courier, has an online site.  Does your home town?  

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Newspaper Experience

My longest tie with newspapers was with the Huron Daily Plainsman, which I delivered starting at 8 years old in Ft. Pierre.  There was a local paper, the Ft. Pierre Times, and the Capitol Journal, and there were others that people could get, including the Argus Leader and Grit.  Some delivered the Reminder, a free publication that came out on Wednesdays.  I delivered the "Huronite" for about four or five years, every day after school and on Sunday mornings.  No Saturday edition, I think.  I collected on every other Saturday.  It was 90 cents for each week, I think.  Sometimes I had trouble collecting.

I used to write book reviews for the Wichita Eagle-Beacon (later the Eagle).  I wrote about one a month.  No pay, but free books.  That was a little nerve-wracking, as my reviews appeared in the paper with the largest circulation in Kansas.

I wrote feature articles for the Sisseton Courier in the summers when I lived there.  I loved doing that. I still write an occasional article for the Madison paper.

I edit and lay out a newsletter for the Lake County Historical Society and sometimes write articles.  

Friday, February 11, 2011

Some Questions to Consider About Newspapers

As you're reading and considering the material in chapter 4 of the Media Now textbook, you might consider these questions:

  1. What, if anything, can newspapers do to recapture young readers?  Many papers have gone to free distribution and have provided other incentives to gain new readers.  Will these incentives work?  Keep in mind that some research indicates that many young Americans won't read a newspaper even if it's free.
  2. Newspapers are adopting a strategy of convergence--disseminating news over the Internet, television, cell phones, and other media--at the same time that many newspapers are reducing their distribution to just a few days a week.  Will readers pay for it?  Will convergence help?  Is the problem with newspapers the medium (paper vs. online) or the content (how they define and report news)--or a little of both.  
  3. What are the environmental implications of newspapers vs. online media?  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Young Hae-Chang Heavy Industries Does Text

You'll have to go there to check out these very cool text-based literary works turned into dynamic web readings.  Heavy Industries?  Sounds like trouble, but their many projects indicate they've got a cool vibe, dramatic representation of texts, and wild stories.  Check them out at  I watched Dakota, which mentions the Badlands and Sioux Falls.  It's a wild ride.

Publisher News

It's not a site, as an English teacher, that I often look at, but as a New Media professional, a person should look to Publishers Weekly as a place to get news about publishing and the industry.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Last Year's New Tricks

We've been publishing a literary magazine at DSU for a number of years, and last year we began experimenting with some options for putting the magazine online.  We've tried the web page approach, and now we're aiming for a more mobile, more friendly document.  We're not there yet, but we're making progress, as is shown in the document we've worked up and are testing on Scribd and Issuu.
Or embedding, as here:
New Tricks 2010
I like the way it looks here, but you'll note that the page numbers aren't right.

Open publication - Free publishing - More poetry
Want to help us build the new New Tricks?  Let us know.  We'd love the contributions of works and help!  

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

English for New Media in Flowers

A Couple of Trials from ChromeExperiments

I tried a couple of the Chrome Experiments and thought these looked cool. Here's a super cool one.    Here's another one.  

The Unholy Spawn of English and New Media

I've been trolling for some good examples of what's happening to books and stories in the digital world.  The following are some of the places that creative writers with a visual/high-tech interest have been migrating to.  You think English, they think New Media.  Check them out!

Digital Storytelling (Non-fiction)

ENM at the Movies

My poll from yesterday shows that only one of us has seen two of the Oscar-nominated movies in the best film category.  "Winter's Bone" and "The Kids are All Right" got only one viewer in the class, and "The King's Speech" and "127 Hours" got none.  Of course, the latter film has only just opened, so most of us haven't had a chance to see it.  But "The King's Speech" opened on December 10, 2010, almost two months ago.  The most watched film is probably also the most hyped (and with the most special-effects)--"Inception," with 6 of 9 voters having seen it.  Other popular films include "Toy Story 3," which is not just for the kids, and "True Grit," which is a truly adult offering, with each getting five votes.

As consumers of media in all forms, and as media analysts and producers, it's worthwhile to consider why "The Social Network" hasn't had more viewers in the class.  What might explain the lack of enthusiasm for seeing the movie about the creation of a phenomenon that has changed the way people interact?