Weekly round-up [2/19/10]: Old media memes, new media TV audiences, race + tech, and awesome uses of twitter

By | February 19, 2010

First, a couple of pieces that looks at “traditional media” concepts in light of new media practices and insights:

  • Over at Harvard’s Berkman Center, there was a recent talk from Jure Leskovec that tracks quotations-as-memes use in news cycles. While I’m more of a qualitative gal myself, I do have to admit a certain amount of geeky quant envy whenever I hear “mathematical model.”
  • C3 2009 white papers are going on official release over at the Convergence Culture Blog. First up is my esteemed colleague Sheila Seles discussing audience models and online video.
  • Pat Hanlon, whom I’ve had the fortune of working with at Thinktopia, has an insightful and galvanizing post about smart product design and innovation as a vital part of branding.
  • Speaking of design, basic web publishing is almost “traditional media” by now too, isn’t it? BBC breaks down its design overhaul in light of how digital publishing has changed, making it more social, accessible, and global.
  • On the media+globalization front, there’s an interesting post by C. Custer that asks if Twitter use in China might not be more dangerous than liberating. I brought up a similar post in a post I wrote for C3 back in early 2008 about how the discourse on Chinese digital censorship has been too tech-focused. Pervasive and deep censorship operates at a much more profound level through social, economic, and political controls — blocking websites is merely a surface symptom.
  • Jace Clayton has posted up excerpts from an interview with himself and Kelefah Sanneh from Bidoun Magazine all about noise music. As he puts it, it’s for anyone who’s ever wondered about “what that distortion pedal has to do with American race relations.”
  • Race-relations related, Alex Williams at ReadWriteWeb reports that Google, Yahoo!, Apple, and Oracle refused to release the gender and ethnicity breakdowns of their employee base, declaring the information a “trade secret.” Either they’re afraid of bad press due to their white male make-up, or they’re stockpiling minority innovators and don’t want all the boys’ club tech companies to know that minorities and women can be good at innovation too.
  • And on the less political, more wonderful side of technological innovation, a simply gorgeous sound visualization project from Jonas Friedemann Heuer.
  • On the media consumption side, I’ve been marathoning Lost, hoping to catch up before the end of the season, since I’m pretty sure there’s no way to remain unspoiled for the finale. Plus, it’ll make Lost fans less annoying.
  • I’ve also gotten hooked on Echobazaar from the folks over at FailBetterGames, a great little indie twitter-integrated social game with wonderfully evocative worldbuilding in a twisted-classic seedy steampunk London underworld, and infuriatingly addictive game-play mechanics. My only complaint is that there’s no way to send direct invites to my twitter followers so that I can recruit more compatriots for my shady dealings.
  • Another great twitter-related amusement: New York Magazine book critic Sam Anderson is tweeting the best sentences he reads everyday. Awesome use of twitter as an on-the-fly curation tool.
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