Category Archives: Roundup

A Dark & Stormy Night: the video

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Once upon a time writing contests that started with a premise: a circle of light opened in the clouds and … !

Now that style of competition has gone new media thanks to a television production called Sponsored by talk show host and producer Carson Daly and NBC, gives comeptitors a chance to win $1,000 to $100,000 for making the best show on a suggested topic. The Lost Remote blog has more on the contest including this quote from Daly:

“The Internet has become a vast platform for identifying emerging artists. I hope to expose this talent on a much larger, focused scale.”

September 21 is the deadline for the first challenge, Operation Grandma: “Try to teach your grandparents to use modern technology and make a brilliant short while you’re at it.”
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Late start

Off at a conference with a haphazard schedule and intermittant connectivity, here are a few things that have backed up over the week, starting with Susan Mernit’s nice writeup on Jay Rosen’s project in citizen journalism.

Read an excellent report from the European Broadcasting Union on IPTV on that continent where developments are further along than in the United States. Here’s a snippet:

“The Free IPTV service in France is an example of a successful IPTV service. It began in December 2003 and is a subsidiary of the Iliad Group. It currently offers a wide choice of broadcast and telecom services bundled together: 200 television channels (including EPG and pay bouquets), 30 radio channels, video on demand, HDTV, “multi-post” viewing, mediacentre with the FreePlayer, telephone services and broadband internet.”

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It’s too hot to think and terribly inconvenient to imagine that global warming might be to blame, so let me use the minimum wattage of brainpower and point to a series of snippets that interest me, beginning with this suggestion that Apple Computer if gearing up to challenge Audible in the books-for-ears market. And now I imagine you thinking — if indeed biological microprocessors can even function in this heat: “Why bother reading further if MiniMediaGuy proposes to simply harvest links like some blogger-bot?” For the amusement, mon cher, for the attitude, which artificial intelligence has not replicated … yet.
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Week in review

Hollywood’s movie industry has raised hype to an art and this weekend will offer a perfect example as no effort is spared to expose every ear and eyeball to the new Pirates movie. In this light a recent Center for Media Research report summarizes the tactics of Hollywood hypesters who typically start creating the buzz a month before release. I had to deal with the results of this campaign when I stopped the older of my sons from attending the midnight showing. (He is still grouchy this morning.) A lovely article in Slate on Hollywood economics includes this note:

“Studios spend $20 million to $40 million on TV ads because their market research shows that those ads are what can draw a movie’s crucial opening-weekend teenage audience. “

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A laughing matter

To put a smile on someone’s face is a real gift. I’d love to have a daily cartoon to enliven this blog but in the meanwhile the best I can do by way of furnishing a grin would be to point you to The Joke Project, a daily oral history that tells jokes and tries to understand the joking process. Oh, and if you don’t find it funny, blame the Poynter Institute which passed on the reference to me.
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A Face on the News

A Poynter Institute commentary offers some interesting do’s and don’ts on the topic of choosing images in Web design: for instance, use images related to the article rather than stock images. A second commentary talked about how to get readers engaged in Web pieces. Harder to pluck out a single lesson — unless it’s that “media organizations aren’t taking enough risks” — but still worth the read.
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