Friday, June 30, 2006

i Don't buy into your damn campaign

Saw an ad, for the I Don't campaign, featuring zombies wearing ipods on page 10 of these week's Austin Chronicle. Since zombies and ipods are two of my favorite things in the world (after cats and blue cheese) I had to check it out.

Of course no one spend lots of money on color ads and fancy flash websites unless they're selling something, you have to dig a little bit before you find out what it is in this case. After being called a sheep and a member of the itatorship, I finally realized they were trying to insult me into buying the Sansa e200 mp3 player. I almost hate to write about this all here because I'm playing into their clever little marketing bullshit. They're probably laughing at me right now.

The most insulting part of it all though was when I realized the "new comic" I'd been reading in the Chronicle for the past few weeks was ALSO AN IDON'T AD!!! That's right Austinites, the Flocking Hell strip that has appeared at the bottom of the Page Two editorial is selling your ass a music player.

Curse you social marketing.
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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Downloadable Austin audio tours

These are really cool, I'm just resentful because I had the idea a few months ago and didn't have the equipment to do it. Austin Chronicle clickguides are downloadable guidebooks and listings that can be loaded on a mobile device like PDAs or iPods just like an Mp3 song. They have them for several districts around town including SoCo, The Warehouse District and Sixth and Red River.

They are designed by the company CitizenPod, the same company who helped make an iPod guide to SXSW and Austin City Limits Festival. It's hard to tell if this is an Austin-based business or not, but many of their projects are from Austin so I'm going to go ahead and assume they are (if someone knows otherwise, please tell me).

I also happen to know that the Blanton is working on a downloadable audio tour of the museum, but in the meantime they have ecards and neat multimedia exhibits.
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Bloggers turned DJs?

I suppose the line between an Mp3 blogger and a DJ is really quite slim: One collects music and shares online, the other collects music and shares it on the dance floor.

So I should have been less surprised when I got a flier for a party this week where the DJs are listed as The Rich Girls are Weeping, an Mp3 blog. Their name isn't followed by a web address or even written with a .com at the end, nor do they have a title next to their name. Neither of them, from what I can tell, are experienced DJs either.

Funny how nowadays a blogger can become a DJ, a DJ can become a blogger, a blogger can become a celebrity. I think Andy Warhol would have giggled at the way the internet has affected celebrity.
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Monday, June 19, 2006

Know me, know my blog

I try not to get too terribly personal or philisophical here, the fact of the matter is, it makes for boring reading. However, I've had this conflict turning over in my head and it applies to every unemployed young person and not simply myself.

In light of this whole fired-teacher-nudie-pics ordeal, my parents and boyfriend have been chiding me about some of my internet content. They don't like my blogger profile pic, they say employers don't want to hire pirates. They don't like my art I've posted on flickr, they say employers don't like the F-word. They don't like some of my blog entries, employers don't need to know my personal life. All this may be true, but the unique quality my blog offers to the prospective employer is a full snapshot of me..not the polished me my resume will tell you about, but the full me.

I've sanitized much of what I publish online. I realize it's public, just as I distinguish workplace behavior from free time behavior, but I refuse to filter out so much that I disappear and that readers only see words rather than the woman behind them.

Yes, there will be employers who look at my blog, and yes, I'm sure some of them will shake their heads and disapprove. But there will be some that see a person who is as passionate a writer from 5pm to 9am as she is from 9am to 5pm. A person with a rich life that adds to her knowledge and skill set. I want them to see a person, not just an employee. If they come away seeing only the bad things about me, then they've truly seen the forest for the trees.

If anyone IS interested in seeing that boring old resume, you can contact me for a password to the link on the right.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Tamara Hoover UPDATE

Extensive news coverage has turned this teacher's suspension into a city-wide discussion, and many people have been accessing the offending pictures through my blog. Since I originally posted the link, most of the nude photos have been removed with the number of photos in the Tamara gallery dropping from 265 to 187, so that's 65 photos deemed offensive that you won't be seeing anymore. If you want to make up your own mind, I suggest you look at the cache where some of the original thumbnails are still visible.

On Monday the district voted to continue termination proceedings, but she may still appeal the decision. However she has drawn overwhelming public support (she had 9 friends on her myspace page when I wrote my first blog, she now has 573), particularly from the Austin American-Statesman's comments section.....ah, how I love interactive journalism!

UPDATE:Photographer Celesta Danger has addressed the removal of the photos on Tamara's myspace page.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Is porn hurting us?

I'm going to take advantage of a moment when the people of Austin are discussing sexual morality in regards to the Tamara Hoover case, and I'm going to use it to talk about a book I've been reading called Pornified, which may as well have been called "How Internet Porn is Hurting Men, Women, Children and Couples". It's a loose segway..but I'll take it.

Focusing on strictly the consumer end of porn, Pornified tells how internet pornography has transformed America: Men are becoming desensitized to sex and consequently, only increasing violence and hard core activity impacts them. Pornography brings lying into marriges and confusion for women about who to be, and how to be a good partner.

Unlike most anti-pornography literature it's doesn't preach, author Pamela Paul backs her data with facts and interviews. It's made me hate internet porn both for the producers and the consumers. it uses quotes from controversial UT journalism professor Bob Jensen who was dismissed from his church this week!

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Monday, June 12, 2006

My blog is not radio, your radio is not a blog

As though I didn't have enough reasons to be annoyed by radio already, this morning I was listening to the Bobby Bones Show on Austin station 96.7 Kiss FM when the DJs started doing their morning blogs, blabbering on about what they did this weekend.

As though people (particularly radio listeners) weren't confused enough already, Kiss FM has to go confusing them even more. Let's look at the etomolgy of the word blog: it originated as a combination of the words "web" and "log", with the important word here being "web". Now Bobby Bones, your radio show is no more a blog than my blog is a radio show, not even if you play sounds of keyboard typing in the background while you speak.

It upsets me when companies, trying to stay current, adopt technology (or in this case technological terms) that they don't understand. Stop using our airwaves to confuse people!
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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Fader magazine goes PDF

In that past I posted a blog about local Austin magazines that were publishing only through downloadable PDFs. Now Fader magazine claims to be the first magazine to do the same. They are offering their entire summer issue for free as a PDF with an RSS. Blogger Steve Rubel offers up the term "magcast" for this new type of publication. Other candidates include podzine, pubcast, magcast or iZine.
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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Austin teacher suspended for nude photos

I got a myspace bulletin today about a local Austin teacher who has been suspended from her job and is facing being fired over images taken and posted by photographer Celesta Danger.

The teacher, Tamara Hoover, taught art at Austin High School where she has excellent reviews. You can read her personal account on her myspace page where she's raising funds to fight her case, but basically a student tipped off teachers about photos of Ms.Hoover and she was escorted off the campus and deemed ineffective.

I don't know how long she has been teaching at the school, but nude photos of Tamara were posted as recently as June 2005. I would hardly describe them as pornographic but probably not something she would want all her students and their parents seeing. The site does contain some homoerotic and S&M themed photos, including full frontal nudity.

I myself have learned the hard way that once something is out on the internet it's done, and it's there for the world to see. I worry that she may have had something in her contract that did prohibit this type of activity, and that her case won't stand a chance.
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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Online classes

My particular division at the University of Texas may be technologically retarded, but the rest of the school isn't.

I'm currently taking an online course in the school of information, and it's been really fun just to see what technology they're employing to make it work. I receive my class bulletins through an RSS feed, I converse with my professor via AIM, throughout the lessons there are hyperlinks to additional sources so you can learn more about what intrigues you and webcast video lessons are common. I'm not really sure how all those online degrees operate, and if they use this same sort of process..if anyone has any insight please let me know.

I'll keep you updated on what it's like to learn this way and the course's successes and failures.
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In this week's June 5th issue of Time magazine they put a full page spotlight on Time is one of my favorite magazines but lately they had been replaced in my heart by the New York Times because of their publications multimedia content. It looks like Time is trying to catch up and, like everyone else, face the future of journalism.

Some of their coolest features include:

  • Sphere It, a search engine next to their stories that lets you look at what various blogs are saying about that topic
  • Mulitmeda packages in a format very similar to the NY Times, including one on War in the Congo
  • Book excerpts
  • A collection of the week's best political cartoons and photographs
  • A full blog section with its own layout that looks more like a traditional blog layout rather than a modification of the rest of the site. All the blogs have RSS and deep linking.

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Love in the information age

I guess you're not as apt to notice a phenomenon when you're part of it. Lately my boyfriend and I have found ourselves lying in bed together with a laptop each, quietly surfing instead of watching TV. We're together, we're entertained and I feel like even though we're working seperately, we get more out of it because we inevitably end up sharing links and learning new things about one another. It makes what's normally a private activity into something shared.

Writer Nick Currie is looking at love in the information age and is exploring the phenomenon of couples surfing the web together. He's put out a call for comments for his upcoming story for WIRED and is exploring questions like:

  • do couples touch while they surf together?
  • does it enhance or impair their communication?
  • is there anything subversive going on, i.e. secretly flirting on IM or looking at porn while you're with your partner?
  • if they're looking at sites like youtube, has surfing come right back around to being television watching?

Plus Nick has an eye patch, and I think it's cool.

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

The next big thing

If parents are wondering where the next place kids will be going to soil their minds and waste time looking at and buying crap, start by looking at these sites. The magazine of online media, marketing and advertising along with Buzz Marketing Group has picked the following sites as the next places to be:

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Social networks for the rest of us

Myspace gets a lot of flak for being a pickup site or a wellspring for teenage trouble, but the site has refined a concept for social networking that is amazing and unignorably popular. Today many other specialized social networking sites are expanding on the idea and giving adults their own uses for the technology.

  • My boyfriend hasn't checked his myspace in over a month, but he informed me the other day he has just posted his 1000th entry on a car forum site, I suggested he visited carspace or rideroom.

  • My mom and her friends might be able to find another use for social networking outside of spying on their kids with Martha Stewart's new site.

  • And finally, one of my favorite parts of myspace is still being able to stay intimately up-to-date with friends who are far away. Sites like famoodle and cingo are applying this to families and helping them share photos, stories and important dates with one another.

  • Or if you want to just meet strangers try

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I saw this website advertised on the side one of Austin's pricey downtown lofts. It's a really neat flash site that allows you to go around a map of the city and click on little photo essays that people have made that represent their immediate community. Oh yeah..and it also sells you houses..but whatever. It's a really neat idea sponsored by AvenueOne Properties and lets you see a lot of the small attractions that are uniquely Austin but so particular to one community that the general public may never see them.
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