Thursday, July 27, 2006

'Bout Blogs

Mr. Porteno contributes the item of the day. From NYTimes Pogue's Posts, David Pogue interviews blog pioneer the former Wonkette Ana Marie Cox. She's moved on from her gossipy, funny blog and from to work for Time magazine and develop a book deal (not to say she isn't gossipy or funny anymore). Take a look at the article, some good insight.

A few excerpts:

DP: So what are the ingredients then for a successful blog, apart from being entertaining or snarky?

AMC: I think it’s changing. Six months, a year ago, I would have talked about what I think made Wonkette successful and makes Gawker successful, to a certain extent, and other blogs: A strong, defined personality with a sense of humor about themselves. An ability to filter news quickly and to recognize, you know, what is interesting to other people as well as interesting to themselves, and finding the balance between those things.
What I think is changing is that people have now become addicted to the rapid update. You know, the not just 12 times a day; 18 times a day, 24 times a day. And it’s almost physically impossible for one person to do that.
And so I think that we’re probably going to see that the individual, strong-personality blog is not going to be at the forefront, because group blogs are going to be able to do what people expect of blogs better.

DP: Who are the readers of the blogs? Is it just the BlackBerry crowd? The white-collar coasts?

AMC: I think it’s people with time on their hands. People who work at white-collar jobs, have high-bandwidth Internet connections, and aren’t expected to produce, you know, widgets on an hourly basis. I think those are the blogveyers.

DP: Wait till the widget blogs get a hold of these comments.

AMC: Now, I’m not insulting the widget makers. I come from a long, proud line of widget makers. (LAUGHS)

DP: I doubt it. So, blogs are read by this upper–

AMC: Well, they’re read by the opinion-elites, if you want to put it that way. Which means that they get written about disproportionately to how much they affect the world.
But because they get written about, they do wind up affecting the world. So–

DP: It’s self-fulfilling.

AMC: Yeah.

DP: Do you have any big-picture wrapup on the future of blogs?

AMC: I think that the media fascination with it as a force could decline. But, what’s kind of neat or inspiring about the blogosphere is that it’s very American. The idea that someone could enter into a conversation, you know, based just on having an opinion and an argument. And it’s a conversation that includes people who have real power in the world. I mean, that idea is very seductive.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Aha! Moments

In an earlier post - NPR spoke with a network exec about more dramas on the docket this year versus the deluge of Reality TV shows of the past seasons. Today Renee Montagne reported on the serial nature of those new dramas, and how that is causing stress among fans and those who create the shows. Why? Because fans are afraid they'll become emotionally involved and then the network will pull the plug and leave them hanging.

Here is where the Aha Moment comes in for me. I've been exploring on this blog how the internet will be used as a new delivery system for broadcast and cable television shows... what does that mean, exactly and how will we all make a living from it?

Montagne reports that network execs will use the internet to bridge gaps for these new shows in a few ways. If a serial drama gets cancelled, the network may continue the rest of the season through the internet. For the shows that continue - fans can keep up with evolving story lines through internet updates.. and the real Aha came when Montagne said there are even a few shows being developed primarily for the internet. If they do well and garner a fan base... they will make the jump to broadcast.

Aha! Check out the story. Very interesting. Perhaps we are getting somewhere.

On another note: I've been doing video work for a group called The Knowledge Trust which is a University of North Carolina-led group of industry gurus, uber librarians, and other visionaries. Their job is to figure out what the digital revolution means to libraries and specifically training librarians (UNC is one of the world's premier library schools). They are asking simple questions like: what IS a library? what happens to books? and what exactly ARE the questions? Also on NPR today - those same types of questions apply to museums. Here is the link to the web extras page:

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Manilow Method

Poor Barry! I have a soft spot in my heart for this dear, disrespected crooner. My SUNY Buffalo singing group was hired as backup for Manilow's Memorial Auditorium extravaganza in the mid '80's. I'll never forget mid-medley on stage catching sight of two of my former high school teachers swooning in the front row, their lighters bravely blinking through the darkness. It was then I was sure the Bar was not my ticket to stardom.

Barry Manilow's music may be magic to some but not to everybody, as they're finding out in a suburb of Sydney, Australia.

To chase away car enthusiasts who were gathering in a local park at nights on weekends, officials have been blasting songs by Manilow and Doris Day. Officials say after a month, the music is having the desired effect. But people who live near the park aren't too happy. They say, imagine having to listen to "Copacabana," "Could It Be Magic" and "Que Sera Sera" every week. One woman says she can't sleep when the songs are blaring and she can't imagine how she'll survive, given that officials plan to keep up the musical barrage for the next six months. The Australian city has turned down the volume a bit and is reviewing the playlist. Even Rockdale's deputy mayor admits he can't stand Manilow's hit "Mandy."

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Clean Soles and Designer Doodles

This from one who does not consider herself precious: I realized today that I now own anti-bacterial hiking shoes and a hypo-allergenic dog. Hmmmmmm...

No Dander Zone

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bloodthirsty Hybrid From Hell

Upcoming on National Geographic: The Is It Real? series episode of Chupacabra which was the show I directed and produced on my summer vacation 2005. Episodes air on Nat Geo Channel on July 30 at 8P, with follow-ups on July 30 at 11P and September 10, 8P.

TV.Com gives the show a 9.3 superb rating with 2 whole votes! ben10fan12475 says "there is something different about this episode" and rates a perfect 10. Hmm, mysterious, elusive. A little like... EL CHUPACABRA.

TV Production One, Oh...??

My fall course for Shenandaoh University's Center for Lifelong Learning

Television Production Workshop
If you’ve ever wanted to film for T.V., this is your chance! This course is a hands-on introduction to the basics of producing, writing, filming and editing. The goal of this six-week course is to expose you to all aspects of video production, while creating a thirty-second Public Service Announcement for a local non-profit organization. Early in the course, you’ll help develop a concept for the PSA with the instructor and learn technical basics. Midway through the course, you’ll apply that theory on location and help in filming, interviewing subjects and getting background video. Finally, the whole class will assist in editing the assembled elements, and finish the PSA. Each participant will receive a copy of the final product. Paulette Moore is the producer and director of the SU Television Center, and the creator of many documentaries, commercials and short videos. (Limit 6 students)
Credit Hours:
Course Meets:
Tu 6:00:00 PM to 8:00:00 PM
Course Dates:
9/12/2006 to 10/17/2006
Course #:
CONT 338 CEL w

Monday, July 17, 2006

Truth and Science Reprise

Anyone who doubts that sexism remains a problem deep and wide in our world should read, no REALLY read this Washington Post article on transgendered Stanford University neurobiologist Ben Barres. He spent the first half of his career being ignored and underestimated because... well, as close as he can figure... because he was a woman.

His article appears in the journal Nature and provides a unique perspective on former Harvard president Lawrence Summer's assertion that innate differences between the sexes might explain why many fewer women than men reach the highest echelons of science.

Here are a few of my favorite anecdotes from the article:

After he underwent a sex change nine years ago at the age of 42, Barres recalled, another scientist who was unaware of it was heard to say, "Ben Barres gave a great seminar today, but then his work is much better than his sister's."

And as a female undergraduate at MIT, Barres once solved a difficult math problem that stumped many male classmates, only to be told by a professor: "Your boyfriend must have solved it for you."

"By far," Barres wrote, "the main difference I have noticed is that people who don't know I am transgendered treat me with much more respect" than when he was a woman. "I can even complete a whole sentence without being interrupted by a man."

Barres said the switch had given him access to conversations that would have excluded him previously: "I had a conversation with a male surgeon and he told me he had never met a woman surgeon who was as good as a man."

Barres's salvo, bolstered with scientific studies, marks a dramatic twist in a controversy that began with Summers's suggestion last year that "intrinsic aptitude" may explain why there are relatively few tenured female scientists at Harvard. After a lengthy feud with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Summers resigned earlier this year.