Self-defence for bloggers

23 Oct

The Punch recently published this article that collected comments from some of Australia’s most widely-read online writers about the reader responses that make them want to quit blogging.

I thought this was really interesting following on from our discussion a few weeks back about the whole Grog’s Gamut fiasco (in which The Australian unmasked an anonymous political blogger) and the subsequent abuse hurled at James Massola, the journalist who wrote the article.

I think the main message to take from this is that to be a blogger or a journalist you need to be thick-skinned.  People will attack you, and they will make it personal, and they will do it without really having read what you’ve written. Continue reading

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Puppy-stalking!

23 Oct

...although, I wouldn't mind stalking this little puppy a bit

This is so completely bizarre, but in a way, it doesn’t surprise me. I read an article in the Age saying that Mattel has released a novelty dog tag called Puppy Tweets, which comes with a sensor that detects your dog’s movements and sounds to figure out what it’s doing. Then it uses that information to generate a tweet on a Twitter page.

So, when you’re at work and wondering what your dog is up to, you can just check out his Twitter profile and find out!

For example, if the sensor detects that your dog is running around the backyard, it might tweet: “Chasing everything that moves is definitely a full time job!” Or if he’s having a lazy day, you might read: “Your comforter does just what its name says it does.”

And of course, all your friends can follow his tweets, in case they’re not getting enough entertainment following what their own pets are up to. Continue reading

Let’s drink wine!

21 Oct

Shall we have an end-of-semester drink after class next week? I think so. Do YOU think so?

Twitter: How to make it useful and meaningful

16 Oct

This whole semester, the same question I think we all keep asking is ‘but WHY and HOW should I use Twitter?’ And honestly, I never really saw the point of it before, quite possibly because the few people I know who are on Twitter only use it to talk to each other about what they’re eating and what they’re cooking and how great the coffee they just had was. It always seemed to me like just another extension of that ego-centric ‘LOOK AT ME! THIS IS WHAT I’M DOING RIGHT NOW! AREN’T YOU INTERESTED?’ culture that breeds on Facebook, and, I suppose, in the way I had been exposed to it, it was.

But hearing people like Jay Rosen talk about how you can use Twitter to enrich your life and work convinced me that there are other, better uses of Twitter. And I believe now that if you use it properly, it can be really beneficial for professional purposes. Continue reading

Dear classmates!

10 Oct

Dearest classmates! Did anyone go to that Lonely Planet lecture a few weeks ago? I have class on Wednesday evenings, which always seems to be when events I want to go to are on…  I wanna know what it was like! Was there anything interesting? TELL ME PLEASE 🙂 XX

text/art/digital media

5 Oct

Back in the days when I spent most of my time on art, I particularly loved using text to combine the two things I loved most. The possibilities for text in art have long been explored by artists across all different styles and media, whether it’s as simple a relationship as illustration and story, or using the visual characteristics of the text to create images, or creating artist books, etc.

Sometimes the text is readable, sometimes obscured; sometimes it’s making a statement and sometimes it’s completely meaningless. Whether it’s playing on the visual appearance of the writing or the meaning conveyed by the words themselves, text and typography can be a really powerful way to add depth and intrigue to a piece of visual art.

Even though I sadly very rarely draw anymore, I still love seeing what other (real) artists are doing with text to play with these possibilities. And now there is a form of art called kinetic typography emerging- where video art uses moving text to emphasise, distort or embellish on the visual and audio effects. Continue reading

Trent Reznor releases The Social Network soundtrack preview- for free

17 Sep

We’ve been hearing about The Social Network movie for what feels like forever. Apparently, it’s finally being released at the start of October. And now, Trent Reznor is releasing a preview of the soundtrack- for free.

It’s not a surprising move on Reznor’s part. He’s done many experiments with ‘democratising’ music by either giving it away for free or selling it online at a very reduced price. The four-part Nine Inch Nails album Ghosts I-IV, for example, was sold online for just $5, with the first volume for free, and a variety of other packages at slightly increased price points. (Amazingly, as well as gaining mass appreciation from his fans, he also managed to make $750,000 out of it anyway- so all in all, it was a pretty clever business strategy!)

I didn’t actually realise Reznor was involved in the film- but that makes it seem more appealing. I’m a big fan of Nine Inch Nails, and some of Reznor’s more recent experiments with eerie soundscapes are perfect for film, so I’m quite interested to see how it all comes together.

Anyway, from tomorrow, you’ll be able to download five tracks for free from Reznor’s record company, The Null Corporation. And when the entire album is released on September 28th, you’ll be able to buy it from Amazon for just $US 2.99.

Here’s the trailer for the movie itself… I’m not sure what I think!