Monday, March 31, 2008

Take Me Out

So I'm not a huge sports nut, but there is something about Chicago sports that fires me up, so to speak. Maybe it's just the hometown pride, but Chicago is a city that really gets behind its sports teams, and it's really cool to see. The Chicago Cubs in particular have a rabid fan base, and Wrigleyville during baseball season is truly a sight to behold. I thought I'd share video of opening day, if for no other reason than it does a really good job of creating a sense of what it's like to hang out with a bunch of drunken baseball fans on opening day (sorry about the annoying commercial at the beginning):

Mother Knows Best

So, if you're anything like me (which, God help you if you are), you have a mother who you love to death, and who means well, and who just wants you to be happy--but for the love of God woman, can you please just stop nagging me for two seconds and let me live my own life every once in awhile???

Ahem. Where was I? Right. So, luckily for me, my mother can't find the power switch on a computer, let alone send an e-mail, so the guilt trips and "advice" just come in the form of phone calls, which is just fine by me. Some people aren't so lucky, and it is for those people that Postcards From Yo Mamma was created.

The concept is simple but brilliant: readers send in e-mails from their mothers, which are in turn posted on the site, providing children with parents everywhere the comfort that they're not the only ones out their with a well-meaning but occasionally exasperating mother.

Here's a sample:


Visit and enjoy. And don't forget to take your vitamins and lock your doors before you go to sleep, and would it kill you to call every once in awhile??

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lights out, 8 to 9 p.m.!

What a brilliant place and way to publicize Earth Hour. I can't imagine a day going by without visiting Google at least a dozen times and, while okay maybe I'm a bit excessive in my use, it's a wildly popular place. I'd forgotten about this time, and certainly that it was tonight, until this morning when I Googled something. I'm getting my candle ready as soon as I hit "publish" on this.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Great Documentary from Frontline

I happened upon this Frontline documentary on Monday night when I got home. It traces the Iraq war from the beginning up until 2006 or 2007 (I can't remember which). It was called Bush's War. It was incredibly disturbing. What the administration thought they could do and how it spiraled out of control really puts the whole situation in a different light. The thing that was very cool was that they have all the complete interviews on their website and all kinds of other features that they kept promoting during and after the documentary. Also, you can watch the whole thing on line. I haven't had a chance to explore the website, but I thought it was a good example of broadcast taking advantage of multimedia.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Following Helen O'Neill's story...

I just did a Google News search and found one site that packaged the story with many related stories -- many were on your idea list from last night. So my first contribution to this "sighting collection" is from ABC News.The Guardian merely carried her story. And we had such high hopes!

Interesting way to display photos at the Charlotte Observer.

WOAI in San Antonio just shoveled three stories onto a Web page, one on top of another.

Sadly, a paper in Hays, Kansas, didn't even bother with a headline:

Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm sure you've all by now heard of, the joint venture between NBC and News Corp. that brings TV and movie content to the web for free. I finally checked it out this weekend and was pretty impressed. After being sucked in to watching clips from old episodes of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", I came upon a collection of clips from the very first Today Show (I love the "Today in Two Minutes" feature):

The site can give away the content by including advertising in the clips, which is a small price to pay for being able to access such a library of content, in my opinion (where else can you find "The Three Amigos" AND "Requiem for a Dream"?).

The video player offers many features, including the ability to rewind and fast-forward with ease, to email, share or embed links and to watch full-screen. My personal favorite, though, is being able to watch video in a pop-up screen. This allows you to keep watching a show while simultaneously browsing other sites. The player runs independently and does not lose its spot even if you navigate away from the page. I have two monitors at home, so I can work on one side of the screen and watch a video on the other. Nice!

Friday, March 21, 2008

"The last Jews of Baghdad"

Aaron Brown showed this video in his class the other day and I was lucky enough to be told about it (thanks, Samuel!). Aaron said this is the first video CNN aired that depended in huge part on still photographs, making much of this very similar to a Soundslide. I'm posting it here because it's such a moving example of a story well told in both visual and spoken narrative.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Green Toe Shoes

I was shopping or rather wishing I could afford to buy these cool shoes made by Simple when a I came across a very neat website design. The line of shoes is called Green Toe and they are organic, recycled and all that earth friendly stuff. Somehow it seems like all the earth friendly stuff is way more expensive, that has always intrigued me. Anyway, I digress, they have a cool little feature on their website where you can go learn about all the stuff these use to make the Green Toe shoes. I thought it was a unique way of getting information across to the consumer without boring them with the technical jargon. The best part is that it does not take long to load but it is still visually exciting.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A little Term Paper Advice

Since the semester is continuing forward at a rapid pace whether we are ready for it or not, I thought we could all use some advice about the dreaded term paper. Also, they just started offering this code to embed the player so I wanted to see if it works!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Time to start practicing

Well, maybe just time to start watching for good videos on YouTube. Here's the link to the Cliburn channel.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Clinton SNL clip pulled from YouTube!

I knew I should have looked this afternoon!

Yahoo in the news ranking business

Just got an email about Yahoo! Buzz, a new service designed to compete with the likes of Digg and Reddit. It's still in beta, but from the looks of it, users vote on the popularity of news items (including blog items) and the news gets ranked accordingly.

Interestingly enough, many of the rankings list Yahoo News as the source, even though Yahoo aggregated the news from some place else, likely a wire service. That only seems to add confusion to the whole did-this-come-from-a-credible-source conundrum of internet journalism.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

PR 2.0

Ford's Media Relations site is a good example of public relations in the Web 2.0 environment. The site includes links to multimedia press kits arranged by product, event or theme. In addition, the site also features Social Media Press Releases that package a traditional press release with photos , video, quotes, tags and links to additional resources and discussion groups. This innovation excites me, as I think it makes the jobs of both the PR practitioner and the journalist much easier and, potentially, the relationship between the two much richer and more symbiotic.

Sound Advice, a site founded by Angela Grant of the San Antonio Express-News, is designed to provide tips of the trade for anyone interested in producing online news video. The site features tricks of the trade on everything from equipment to storytelling, as well as examples of interesting online video. Here's one about graffiti artists in Orange County: