Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Burst Culture |

I hate jumping on this stuff so long after everyone else, but it's a post worth pointing to.

"I’d like you to ignore, for a while, anything that smacks of Web 3.0, or even Web 2.0, or any of the other dumb ideas that distract from production of actual content on the web. Instead, consider these simple things:

* The hurdle to credible publishing on the web, now, is the nine dollars it costs to buy a domain name from GoDaddy, which can be mapped on to a free Tumblr or Blogger space...

* Bursts aren’t contentless, nor do they denote the end of Attention Span. If attention span was dead, JK Rowling wouldn’t be selling paperbacks thick enough to choke a pig, and Neal Stephenson wouldn’t be making a living off books the size of the first bedsit I lived in."

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Own Story 2 - Expert warns users to beware Vista upgrade

Here it is. My second story for Newswriting, this time as a video/TV item. There's nothing amazing or innovative in all this. It's just a standard TV style which is definitely one I'm used to.

Thanks to Harry for putting up with me shooting video of his computer in his bedroom, Ray Shaw for taking time to guide an inexperienced student through the interview when most people aren't even interested to talk if it's not going to be published and mother-in-law Kay for letting me know about the story in the first place.


Expert warns users to beware Vista upgrade

Computer users have been warned to think twice before upgrading to Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows Vista.

While the computer giant has been working hard to convince users to make the switch, one expert says there’s no major benefit in doing so.



Intro: Computer users have been warned to think twice before upgrading to Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows Vista.

While the computer giant has been working hard to convince users to make the switch, one expert says there’s no major benefit in doing so.

Voice: Harry Vogler was happy when told his recently purchased Media Centre computer was eligible for a free upgrade to the newly released Vista operating system.

However his happiness turned to frustration when what should have been a simple operation caused his computer system to stop working.

The unexpected fault left Mr Vogler with no way to recover his computer’s contents.

Harry Vogler: I didn’t back it up like I should have. It’s half my own fault. I should have backed up but I didn’t expect there to be such a catastrophic failure and in the process I lost pretty much everything.

Voice: Mr Vogler’s experience doesn’t come as a surprise to Brisbane IT expert Ray Shaw who found similar problems during his own Vista upgrade testing. He says XP Media Centre was never designed as a premium product.

Ray Shaw: To get Media Centre in Vista you have to buy the Home Premium version, and it works pretty well. But try and put that on a system that ran XP Media Centre and it won’t work. I don’t know why.

Voice: He agrees with Microsoft’s claims that Vista has better and more relevant Internet security than XP, but says most users shouldn’t upgrade operating systems during the life of their PC.

Ray Shaw: It’s the old story. It it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Voice: Microsoft wouldn’t comment on Ray Shaw’s findings but said it was genuinely pleased with sales of the operating system which had sold 20 million copies worldwide in its first month.

The company has made several online tools available on its website for those considering an upgrade.

Even with this assistance Harry Vogler has some advice for those considering making the switch.

Harry Vogler: Back up everything and do a clean install. It’s the only way you’ll get everything working properly.

Voice: The first major Vista update, Service Pack 1, is expected to be released at the end of this year.



Comments, as always, are welcome (but not expected).

Friday, May 18, 2007

Links what to finish the week with!

My new favourite web series.

On, Rupert Murdoch weighs into the modern media debate.

"Traditional companies are feeling threatened. I say, bring on the changes."

Chris Anderson with an interesting thought.

"Web 2.0 is such a phenomena because we're underused elsewhere. Bored at work, bored at home. We've got spare cycles and they're finally finding an outlet. Tap that and you've tapped an energy source that rivals anything in human history. Solitaire Players of the World Unite!"

Warren Ellis with a haunting piece on the deserted sections of Second Life.

"The wind whistles through the brick canyons of Welles City. You strain to pick up more sounds, but there’s nothing. Ten-storey buildings with no one in them. An empty church. Apartment blocks, one after the other, with no sign of life. It reminds you of 1980s documentaries about the neutron bomb, that would kill all organic life but leave all the buildings standing. Streets with no people.

"Lots of people have had lots to say about the recent hype surrounding Second Life, but very few have addressed the basic experience of the world — that you’re incredibly alone there. You can spend eighty percent of your time walking through immense, labyrinthine castles that no one lives in. Visit a seemingly endless string of shops with no customers."

And finally a bunch of articles from the ever thought-provoking Lost Remote.

How to Write for the Web

"FOR YEARS web producers have handled the tedious process of converting TV scripts for the web. But today the demand for more timely and comprehensive online coverage has led many newsrooms to assign TV staff to write for the web. Even with the growing popularity of online video, written stories still attract the vast majority of traffic."

Build a niche video site and take back online video

“You would think the one place video could win online would be in video.” I usually don’t quote myself, but it’s a line I use in my talks and I wanted to repurpose it here. And why not? There is a way to use your archives to start making money online. So far the TV stations have ignored it. And that’s one reason why the local TV stations have lost vast amounts of money, both real and in opportunity. There’s one more chance, and once again it requires one simple act: let video be video."

The disconnect between consumers and major media

"John Jurgensen, Digital entertainment reporter, Wall Street Journal: It’s important to note that “yesterday’s consumer” is still with us. That puts people like Jim (Sexton, SVP Interactive Brands, Scripps Networks) in a pretty tough position. People are gravitating to a sense of ownership to sites and services because they got there early or found a niche. If they feel they own it they put time into it, they write reviews – it’s a real passion for some people. Any way you can tap into that aspect of ownership by recognizing those people by rewarding or honoring those people – that’s important."

SMEast 2007: Your action items

"I loved the example from Mariana Danilovic, the VP of Business Development at MediaZone. She talked about how MediaZone helped take the traditional Wimbledon coverage and turn it into a multichannel event. How do you “long tail” Wimbledon? “We’re (putting) professionally-produced media onto broadband media that wasn’t available before,” said Danilovic. “We’re putting up the world feed of Wimbledon – nine simultaneous video feeds, longform video highlights, archival footage, (and) player interviews – lots of new ways to get information you don’t get on television.” Locals probably aren’t covering the Wimbledons of the world, but they do cover local events - marathons and such - and they use a ton of resources for the TV product. Putting a few of those resources into multicasting would do worlds of good."

Second journalism assignment due Saturday. Hope to have it up by the end of the weekend.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Two thought provoking articles

First up, let's step back to David Foster Wallace and his comments on television.

"TV is not vulgar and prurient and dumb because the people who compose the audience are vulgar and dumb. Television is the way it is simply because people tend to be extremely similar in their vulgar and prurient and dumb interests and wildly different in their refined and aesthetic and noble interests."

With this in mind, it's interesting then to see where people go when they are unleashed from the restraints of mass broadcast.

"Of the top 10 podcasts, 7 are from public radio, PBS, CNN, or in one case - an instructional podcast in learning Spanish. And in the audiobooks section, you don’t find the kind of entertainment Hollywood thinks we want. 14 of the top 15 audiobooks are non-fiction. People want to hear about Einstein. They want to hear from the Dalai Lama and George Tenet. They’re interested in the teachings of Abraham and in Stephen Colbert."

Maybe there's hope for us all yet.

Second, in light of the Virginia Tech massacre how do we define a journalist? The camera-phone footage shot by student Jamal Albarghouti has been designated journalism, and there's even been comments that Seung-Hui Cho, the shooter, should be considered a journalist for creating his own content to be sent on to NBC.

But surely such activity is less that of journalist and more that of a documentary maker. Or, in Cho's case, a Public Relations officer creating a press release package. I think it does both journalists and those who just happen to be in the right place at the right time to capture an event a great disservice to lump everyone under the same title.

I am constantly the first to spring to the defence of untrained journalists and those who look to perform the act of journalism outside the sphere of a reconised media outlet, but I can't resolve a role as observer or documenter with the analysis and contextualisation required for what I define as journalism.

"Jamal, a Palestinian, says it was his exposure to professional journalism while living in the West Bank, that gave him the courage to record the terrifying events of April 16th 2007. It’s interesting that he has such pragmatic view of his role while others hold him up as the future model of TV News."

"i’m not a journalist, i just did this. i was there and i took the video. Traditional media was important, seeing how professionals worked allowed me to do what i did. i would’ve never thought of doing that at Virginia Tech."
-Jamal Albarghouti

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Oz in 30 seconds - The UGC Political Ad

With an election coming up it kind of makes sense to take our current love of all things UGC and work it for a good cause.

"This is a chance to show us your Australia by making a 30 second political ad, which we will air on national prime time television during the lead up to the federal election."

Nice idea. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes out of it.

GetUp | Oz in 30 seconds

[Edit] Just noticed something I'm finding a little incongruous with the supposed (God, I hate myself for saying this) "2.0" vibe of the project. If you're going to put a Flash video promo on the front page of your site, at least make it embeddable so it can be shared around. Hmm, dropped the ball.

My First News Story

What follows is my first story researched and written for my Newswriting subject. It's not perfect, but it's mine.

And as my tutor mentions, it's my intellectual property, so I can do whatever I want with it. Including posting it here.


Busway compensation deal not so sweet.

Frustrated shopkeepers in Coorparoo could be forced to wait up to 10 months to receive compensation for being forced out of their locations due to the planned Eastern Busway.

The current draft Concept Design and Infrastructure Management Plan would see the historic Myer building, which includes the Coorparoo Mall, torn down to make way for a bus stop and dual-purpose development.

The State Government is scheduled to review the plan in June with a final decision not due for several months.

Business owners in the mall were originally told compensation to move to new locations would be made available between July and September this year, but have now been told they may have to wait until February 2008.

Paula Cleg, owner of the Party and Confectionary Shop at the Coorparoo Mall, is concerned that as a result of a downturn in trade some businesses in the area may not survive that long.

“It’s completely like a ghost town now,” said Ms Kleg. “There’s just no one coming into the area.

The centre’s major tenant, Harvey Norman, left the site several months ago.

Ms Kleg is currently working six days a week at the Coorparoo business, and spends Sundays selling confectionary at local markets to supplement income from the shop.

The State Transport Minister’s office refused to comment, however Councillor for the East Brisbane Ward Catherine Bermingham believes the project will be a great benefit to the local area.

“Some of the local residents were concerned at first and now they see the benefits of it,” said Councillor Bermingham.

“They now see there’s an opportunity for a mixed use site which means their property will be worth more money.

“We’ve only really had maybe a half a dozen negatives about the bus tunnel.”

Paula Kleg welcomes the future benefits to the local community however she wants the state and local governments to realise the dilemma currently facing business owners.

“I think the government needs to come in here and have a look and have a bit of care for the shops that are here right now,” she said.

The Eastern Busway project is scheduled to commence in 2008.


Associated Links

Translink: Eastern Busway

Proposed Coorparoo Junction Station Concept Plan

Coorparoo Junction Before & After Artist's Impression

Coorparoo Mall location - Google Maps

Mall History - Australian Heritage Database


As a side issue, I should note that the local Councillor, Catherine Bermingham, is a pretty good person. I didn't intend for her comments to make the alternative view to this story, however apparently it's the Transport Minister's policy not to speak to university students. Unfortunately I wasn't told this in time to get an alternate view, and I didn't feel it was ethical to play the ABC card which means her comments had to play that role. A pity, but it doesn't make the underlying story any less valid as far as I'm concerned.