Saturday, August 23, 2008

Google Will Offer Services for Bloggers at the Conventions -
"WASHINGTON -- Google Inc. will help set up a two-story, 8,000 square-foot headquarters for hundreds of bloggers descending on the Democratic convention in Denver next week, and it will offer similar services at the Republican convention in September, as new media gain influence in politics."

Heh. In my media history class I can reminisce about "being there" for some ancient history... "way back" when Dave Winer, David Weinberger, Steve Garfield and a few others from our Berkman blogging round-table were the first to blog from a presidential convention, just as I was leaving town for Knoxville.

Hmm. I don't remember whether Chris Lydon wore a "blogger" pass to the 2004 conventions after blogging and podcasting the run-up... Glad to hear him still having smart conversations on any topic.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Anthropology of YouTube - The Library Today
Michael Wesch discussed 'The Anthropology of YouTube' at the Library of Congress: "More video material has been uploaded to YouTube in the past six months than has ever been aired on all major networks combined, according to cultural anthropologist Michael Wesch. About 88 percent is new and original content, most of which has been created by people formerly known as 'the audience.'"

Food for thought... In both my "Specialized Journalism" and "Media History" classes, we can talk about anthropology and journalism, new media and old media, and professor Wesch's observation that user-generated content, commentary, tagging and collaboration are a new "integrated mediascape" -- and that media are not just delivery systems or content, but a new way of "mediating human relationships."

Internet applications, implications and technology:
Larry Press, professor of information systems at California State University, Dominguez Hills: "Today's freshman cannot remember a time before the Web, but, at first, HTTP and HTML were just newly proposed protocols without users. In the early 1990s, email, file transfer, network news, and remote login were important Internet applications. We also read documents from Gopher servers, and found them using search services like Veronica, WAIS, and Archie..."

Professor Press also linked to Beloit's annual back-to-school entering class profile, linked below, and to the Michael Wesch vision of students today video I've been passing around since being pointed to it by Krista Terry.
Beloit College Mindset List:
"The class of 2012 has grown up in an era where computers and rapid communication are the norm, and colleges no longer trumpet the fact that residence halls are “wired” and equipped with the latest hardware. These students will hardly recognize the availability of telephones in their rooms since they have seldom utilized landlines during their adolescence."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

RU student to attend Democratic National Convention | WSLS 10

This nicely rounds out a trifecta of news stories about Radford students today. One off to be a delegate at a national presidential nominating convention, one off to seek fame and fortune on TV, and another on the street with the modern equivalent of a "will work for food" sign. (See also the loosely related RT blog post, "RU's staff is underpaid.")

I figured the Roanoke Times would have a version of the WSLS story, too... but when I searched its Web site for "Elizabeth Chitwood," some glitch sent me more than 500 wrong hits, starting with an audio clip of VT's president speaking 14 months ago.

Just searching for "Chitwood" narrowed the wrong hits; it came up with no "right" one, but a few of the others suggested questions that might make for a better interview with the young delegate.

Maybe the Times will have the story tomorrow.
The Roanoke Times: New River Notebook : Radford senior on America's Next Top Model:

"Lauren Brie Harding, a Charlottesville native, is one of 14 women vying for the title ... a business marketing major..."
“'I want to become a high-fashion model. That has been my dream, and that’s what I am working toward here.'”

Self-promotion seems to be a theme in the Roanoke Times stories about Radford students today...
Recent college graduate hits the streets for job search -
".... a July graduate from Radford University, has advertised his search using a sign board in downtown Roanoke...
"His degree in social science allows him to do 'pretty much anything'..."

"Allows"? Maybe I'll ask my writing students to come up with a better verb for that sentence, and a list of additional questions and people to interview for the story.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Annals of Alternative J-School Careers...

"Born in Denmark and trained as journalist, Ms. Spiers-Lopez quickly discovered that it would take much longer than she anticipated to obtain a coveted feature writer position. During her years as a reporter, she learned how to think on her feet and get along well with people -- two skills that have served her well in retail."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rupert Murdoch: Big Man On Campus -
"Heading back to college this fall? Rupert Murdoch will be waiting. In May, his Fox News subsidiary bought a minority stake in a Web video-based college news network featuring student reporters called This fall, he'll be ramping up the partnership..."
For more, see "JOE WEASEL Palestra Trusts Young Journalists" from Broadcasting & Cable earlier this summer.

Nope, that's not the cartoon character who used to sell cigarettes. Joe Weasel founded Palestra after working as a on-air journalist for NBC affiliate WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio. He told Forbes he began talking with Fox's local affiliates last week about placing Palestra content on their Web sites around the country.

Hmm. I wonder how and will compare... as well as the other student-oriented video sites mentioned in the story...
Police looking for vehicle Obama?

The "local" page for Radford, Va., has a startling lead on a story carrying this headline:

Pedestrian killed, police looking for vehicle - Topix:

The lead:
"Radford, VA August 19, 2008 Pedestrian killed, police looking for vehicle Obama due for campaign double-dip in Virginia Energy a hot topic in local congressional race Jury selection begins tomorrow for Radford capital ..."

It's all the result of some software glitch -- under insufficient adult (human) supervision -- pointing to the actual "Pedestrian..." story at WDJB Channel 7, and apparently picking up other headlines into one garbled "sentence."

But even the pedestrian fatality story alone is wrong. It's from Henry County, which isn't Radford, either.

Who's in charge? Topix news page says the item was "posted by roboblogger."

Time to go back to news written and edited by humans!
College presidents seek debate on lower drinking age;
critics say highway deaths would rise
(AP) via

"College presidents from about 100 of the nation's best-known universities, including Duke, Dartmouth and Ohio State, are calling on lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18, saying current laws actually encourage dangerous binge drinking on campus. The movement called the Amethyst Initiative began quietly recruiting presidents more than a year ago to provoke national debate about the drinking age."

This AP story is something my reporting students should be able to follow up for a local angle next month.

If the Newsday version of the story has "expired" from the archives by then, they should be able to find another copy elsewhere. I hope the Newsday version is still around, though, because it already had 84 comments the day it ran. The readers' comments are or were here. Thanks to the Web, the comments are (or purport to be) from well beyond Newsday's New York circulation area.

The Washington Post version of the story had half that many comments,but since it's an original (not AP), maybe it and its comments will be around longer.