Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A hiccups Soundslide

Just a quick note. Thought you'd enjoy this one from the St. Petersburg paper.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Wall Street Journal does video

The WSJ is touting its new print look as well as its growing multimedia presence. It offers a good helping of videos and encourages you to link to them. It also offers an option to copy and then embed the html code. So I thought I'd give it a try and see what happens. I clicked the link to "get code" then "copy" and I have now pasted that code into this message. It takes up nine lines. Here goes. I'm going to click on "publish" now...

And I return. The blog image cuts off the right part of the video. If you click on the blog post's hed or the link in what I wrote you'll see the original size.

Liberians in Minnesota

This is the project we looked at briefly in class last night. I hope you will take time to go through it and appreciate how well it's been done. Check the navigation, use of images and typography, and integration of Soundslides. Especially note the skillful editing and pacing of the Soundslides. Make sure you see the introduction. I've noticed it doesn't always play automatically. Of course, you might note areas of improvement, too, and I encourage you to comment on both, whether here on Cronkbyte or in class.

The project has attracted attention within the profession. Mindy McAdams, who writes an influential blog for teachers of multimedia, raved about it. She also offered a point-by-point critique that's a model for how to do such things. Worth a long look. Others posted their own comments to her review.

On a tangent, Nancy Barnes, incoming editor of the Star Tribune, pledges a multimedia future for the newspaper and cites "Liberians" in an interview she did with the paper's reader representative. (I apologize in advance for the thoroughly annoying registration request that will impede your progress toward reading this interview.)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

See where the stories take place

The Chi*Town Daily News is an online-only newspaper that aims to be hyper-local (a buzzword you hear a lot these days) and welcomes citizen journalism. This interactive map (well, it is on the site)uses the "pin" technique. When you mouse over one of them, there's a pop-up (it's the "alt" tag) that tells you what story is associated with that location. I think that's tremendously helpful. Another map that works this way shows where bloggers who blog about Manhattan (or another borough of New York) live -- very much a neighborhood thing (NYC really is a collection of neighborhoods, no matter how foreign that sounds to those who haven't experienced it). See NYCbloggers.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Bubble Project

This is a project based in New York. Quotation bubbles were distributed, pasted to signs and posters, and the results were photographed and turned into an online production. Here's the site that resulted. I remember seeing some of these bubbles when I was in Manhattan over winter break and I wondered what they were all about.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Contact list for class

Click to see comments.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

What shall we do? Recap for discussion.

Your goal is to produce, as part of a group, something larger than any one of you could produce on your own.

Under the broad heading of "things that don't get covered," we broached good ideas. Some were single-story options (keep these in mind for your personal projects), others had the complexity that would make for a large project. Some would take too much time (as with the assimilation stories); others don't mesh with our talent pool -- not enough people interested in the investigative reporting that a full-blown light rail project would entail, for example.

We will, as a class, be a multimedia team. I'll be executive producer; we'll need two producers to oversee management of the project. Others will take various assignments. Everyone's ideas and suggestions are welcome -- as with any project that expects to get done, however, some will be developed and others will not according to what works best for available time and resources.

Multimedia projects have stages: Conception, Planning & Assignments, Hunting & Gathering, Primary Editing, Production.

Conception: Brainstorming. Establishing possibilities, range of interest.

Planning & Assignments: Storyboarding. Deciding how to tell the Big Story by parsing it into parts (perhaps six short Soundslide profiles, a timeline, and an introductory text and six brief texts, one for each profile). Assigning people to get the parts that are needed according to what you need: stories, sound, video, photographs, art, maps, information, etc. Unless you're working on a story you're trying to keep from competition, this is where you negotiate any outside partnerships (as with a print publication or TV station) or find expert consultants, if needed. Set deadlines.

Hunting & Gathering: Getting it. Producers coordinate this.

Primary Editing: This is where cross-editing takes place. Do you all think you got what you intended to get? Do you have to change anything? Is there something cool you can add or something unworkable you must drop? Look at the material you've gathered: images, sound, text (make sure it's in good shape; it gets harder to copy edit beyond this point). This is a point where brainstorming is appropriate so long as it's productive.

Production: Now that you know what the project should look like, follow the amended storyboard to put it together. Assignments are made according to what is needed: Soundslides, preparation of digital images (scanning in art, for example, or cropping photos), creation of any needed illustration or art, creating the project "shell," audio or video editing, factchecking, narration. Set a production schedule.

So all that remains is the topic. Based on our class discussion, I suggest we focus on "things that don't get covered" with a slant toward unusual, off-beat and interesting. Certainly, our gambler fits in here, as does the incredible professor. Perhaps a POV piece from a light-rail worker would work here, too. How's about a profile of someone adapting to the city culture? A "profile" of an off-beat store works, too. All of these can form a collection, and the collection is our project.

Okay. Over to you for development! Feel free to post story ideas, comments, etc., in this forum. See you Monday for class.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

About the Rheingold reading (to get you started)

As promised, here’s a write-up of some of the questions that occurred to me as being relevant to understanding/exploring the Rheingold chapters. You may find other questions that I did not. That would be welcome!

In your summary, I wouldn’t expect you to deal with all of them – that would take a chapter or book all your own – but you could explore a few of them in meaningful ways. This would be in addition to summarizing Rheingold’s (or whichever author you would be dealing with) main points.


Early in the reading, I start to wonder: What’s Rheingold getting at with the metaphor of a family? Does it hold up?

He’s recalling his life on the computer since 1985. So in what context is he experiencing this use? What was his life like during that time? How might his experience be different today?

What does he mean by “self-design of a new culture”?

Why might a virtual community feel less authentic by not being “grounded” in the user’s “everyday physical world”?

How does his virtual life co-exist/intertwine with his “real” life?

He says: “Most people who get their news from conventional media have been unaware of the wildly varied assortment of new cultures that have evolved in the world’s computer networks over the past ten years.” What does he mean by this?

“Big power and big money always found ways to control new communications media when they emerged in the past. The Net is still out of control in fundamental ways, but it might not stay that way for long.” Comment and explain.

How does Rheingold define “grassroots” and how does he see that as part of the Net’s development?

For those of you who game, how accurate or astute are Rheingold’s predictions of CMC becoming a “serious marketplace for meterable interactive fantasies”?

Do your experiences of CMC match up with his? What examples can you cite?

Comment on the three levels of CMC. Is the political significance of CMC being realized, for example?

How does he contrast the agora and the panopticon? How does he develop that metaphor?


I’m not going to go too deeply into this because I’m sure you’re getting the point from the above questions (and I don’t want to rob you of the pleasure of tracking your own interactions with the material), but one aspect of the reading leaps out: How does Rheingold develop the “heart” metaphor, and what characteristics does he envision the Well – and by extension, other virtual communities – as having?

Have fun. See you all Monday.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Superbowl vs SOTU?

You know, just a guess here, but I bet we're going to find some spectacular game coverage. I've heard there will be plenty of live blogging. Steve Johnson of the Chicago Tribune plans to in his blog, Hypertext, for example. If you catch this note in time and feel like posting some good links, go for it. For starters, the official site is here. And this site is reserved for the Superbowl ads. Enjoy.

Welcome to Cronkbyte

Hi, all. This is meant to extend our opportunities for discussion and to serve as a class resource. There are many ways in which this site might be put to use and I hope we explore lots of them during the semester. Meanwhile, until we're up and running, feel free to explore some of the links already posted. "E" you soon!