Saturday, May 27, 2006

Lisense plate web link

The car in front of me in traffic today was from Florida, and I thought it was interesting that Florida has their state web address on their plate. I'm not sure the license plate is the most effective spot for a web based ad, since the viewer is so far from a computer, but it's a neat idea. If anyone knows of other states that do this please let me know.
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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I'm schoolin casino cinema

While watching Casino Cinema on Spike TV host Steve Schirripa introduced the show with the wikipedia definition of "Casino Cinema". He made some little joke and then said "well I'll have to email wikipedia and tell them to add that".

And I laughed at his ignorance.
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ipods have morphed into a lot of different things: jewelry, audio recorders, day planners. This is the first time i've seen them as a pedometer. For a clear explanation of how it works view the website here, but basically a transmitter in the shoe broadcasts into your music what your speed, distance etc. are and later you can download the info into your computer and track your progress.

Blog site boingboing belives hackers will find some interesting ways to modify the transmitter.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Daily Texan's lagging online

The web editor, Jonathan McNamara, of U. of Texas's student newspaper, The Daily Texan, wrote a scathing critique of the paper's website and their selling out to internet developer College Publisher. The Daily Texan publishes in a template hosted, designed and managed by College Publisher for free...well sort of free. In exchange they have to have a fat load of ads and are stuck inside a template design not to mention College Publications is a division of a youth marketing firm. Jonathan complains that the University has talented students who could design and manage the site themselves if they were just given the opportunity, and offers the Texan's alternative publication, NOT hosted on College Publisher, as an example of that.

The Daily Texan is one of the nation's most respected college papers, so I think they need to lead the way in online journalism and give their online division what it needs to become a lab for multimedia students to learn about online news. An online news site is more than just a place to plunk information. It's a place to have discussions, to interact, to allow students to share, to expand on stories. McNamara makes a really good arguement, and I applaud him for using (a pretty good portion of) his last senior column to fight for the school's future.

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Online is journalism's destiny

Every little budding journalist at the University of Texas gets their class work published in the school's newsprint publication, The Texas Journalist. For some students this is the first time they've seen their work in print.

But not this year. No, this year if they want to see their work they're going to have to log on here because the school decided to go exclusively online. They wrote a special article to reassure all those doomed print majors that going online was a "matter of necessity rather than acceptance of print?s demise", but the rest of the article actually goes on to say that "publishers know the well soon will run dry". And who did they come to for help? That would be me, in the web publishing class, who used simple html in a style sheet to publish the publication.

This is the first time I've majorly seen the journalism school accept that online is our destiny, so it still boggles me why they aren't teaching every student multimedia skills. Frankly I'm glad they're not because it ups my chances of employment.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ethics of citing Social Networks

I've been working on a class paper about the ethics of journalists citing Wikipedia, social networking sites and blogs and wanted to share some interesting points.

  • Many journalists are quoting directly from the bio and comments sections of social networking sites. I cited an article in my local Austin American-Statesman where a murder suspect's screen name "Ilovemoneyandhos" and his love for the movie Scarface were given as examples of his violent tendencies. I know that these pages are technically public, but the kids who publish them are writing them for their friends and the content is often exaggerated. Journalists should be realistic and fair with what they quote.

  • Just because the information is public domain, doesn't mean it should be reproduced in the story and journalists need to have sensitivity about this. An article in Higher Ed magazine about students creating a group to mock their TA quoted directly from the comments on the site, published a screen shot of the page and published all of the girl's names from their facebook page. I don't think reproducing this material made it any better for the TA, nor was publishing the students names necessary. One blogger made a good point that nowadays with google news an article can stay around for a long time, and if those girl's names are searched in the future this story will come to haunt them.

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  • Preschool mp3 player

    Wow, finally an mp3 player I can't kill! These new preschool mp3 players and digital cameras are hooking kids on technology early. They even come with headphones specially set to protect hearing. One thing the mp3 player uses that I'm surprised hasn't been done before is that it connects to Fisher Price's own music store designed to match the player and with songs and stories specifically for that audience. Im surprised Disney hasn't done this making a whole Disneyfied sort of itunes that would promote all their preteen actor/singers. (found via BoingBoing)
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    Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    Pirate myspace campaign

    I like that a company is at least being transparent with their viral marketing. Disney is working with myspace to market Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead man's chest. Myspace picks one of the movie's friends as a winner to distribute the exclusive trailer on myspace. They also get to join the press junket as a myspace correspondent. I'm not sure how much the distibution is worth, seeing as how the winner got the secret trailer on Monday and it was released to everybody by Tuesday, nonetheless it's an interesting new era of marketing.

    Oh..and the trailer looks really sweet!
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