Category Archives: social media

Performance art and acceptance

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An interesting piece of performance art sent to me by someone who hates performance art.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZFkZiwMLZ4

I suspect that “hatred” of performance art is in some degree based on the name. All art has a performance element, be it photography, sculpture, or playing Othello (either the Shakespeare character or the game). So dropping “performance” out of the term, it is clear that the content and perceived message (if any) is critical: this was sent to me by a politically conservative friend who appreciated the patriotic message.

Presumably, the same performer, the same music, the same paints, etc., would have been unacceptable if the end result was, say, a picture of a slightly dented tuna can.

Posting via MacJournal

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MacJournal is an inexpensive application that allows you to blog — or create a local journal on your Mac, or both — using a full, native Mac application. There are also iPhone and iPad versions, but we’ll ignore them and stick with…

The Mac version of MacJournal allows you to write text, incorporate graphics, sounds, links, and other things.

We’re going to start off small with some links:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=39.101672,+-76.654406

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=33.105775,+-117.313155

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=33.100213,+-116.999352

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=33.100239,+-116.999414

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=32.708186,+-117.164559

which may — or may not — be as meaningful as any other links. If this works, we may venture on to more robust fare.

Such as: useful graphs. Or at least a useful graph:

wpid-wpid-ymca-2010-07-29-22-131-2010-07-29-22-13.jpeg

It suggests a whole new kind of hobby: electronic scrapbooking.

[Added later] By the way, most of this blog was created with MacJournal and then uploaded, via MacJournal, to WordPress.

Posting via iPad

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There are few things more 21st century than blogging. And there is an app for that! Since WordPress is synonymous with blogging, the iPad and iPhone app is called: WordPress.

It is on the iTunes store, is free, and presumably was written by someone associated with WordPress. This entry was written with the app. Now to see if I can publish my entry…

And of course the application interface offers no obvious means of publishing. None. So you can write a local draft, and it is forever more just that: drafty.

The app has no on-line help, and no manual. The company behind WordPress and the app is Automattic, but the interface isn’t as automatic as you might expect. What to do?

And the answer is: research. The reviewers failed to have an answer (or even note there was a question), but the app Faq has the answer: on the “write” screen, change the Status: entry from “Local Draft” to “Published” and then Save.

Uh, OK. But could it have hurt to have a visible button or toggle?

Social Media is like teen sex

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A colleague sent me a great quote today. The quote is brilliant; the responses are funny in an absurdist sort of way:

Social Media is like teen sex

. Of course, this is cnet, and cnet reported earlier that the White House was dropping YouTube. The White House and Google disagreed, and cnet did post a modest link admitting as much, but — this is cnet. Allowances must be made. Disclaimers must be made, too.

Time traveling communications

A Web log (blog) is a form of time-shifted information. In our busy modern world, we are too busy to attend concerts, so we have iPods. We are too busy to listen to the phone, so have answering machines. We are too busy to watch TV, so have video recorders.

Most of these time shifts are scheduling issues. A hundred years ago, if you wanted to talk to Farmer Jack up the road, you walked up the road. Chances are, Farmer Jack was there and you could talk to him. Where else would he be? Going into town was an event, it took planning (horse had to be fed, saddled, shoes checked, etc., or the buggy had to be readied, horse harnessed, etc.) You had to have a reason. “Joy riding” wasn’t an issue since riding wasn’t that much of a joy; you had to have a reason to leave home, and most people worked within a few hundred feet of their home — or closer.

But today we work an average of 45 minutes from home. We are gone from home for ten hours a day or more. There is an excellent chance someone stopping by our home to chat will be met with a locked door and silent house. If they call on the telephone, they will usually be answered by an answering machine, not a person. If a sporting event is scheduled at a good time for people on the East Coast, it is probably a bad time for people on the West Coast.

Time-shifting devices help. Watch the Lakers-Celtics game “live” via a device that records the event to hard disk, then allows you to play it at your leisure. Listen to phone calls at your convenience, not that of the caller. Read your E-mail at your convenience, not that of the sender.

Web logs are another time-shifted medium. Much like a newspaper (which is not “news” by the time it is in print; many of the events documented are days old, and in some cases weeks old), a Web log can be read at your convenience. You can read it an hour after a posting. Or a week. Or a month. Or a year. Unlike a newspaper, a Web log can have longevity; a posting might be up for days or weeks or months or years, while a newspaper’s life is a short one.

While this suggests Web logs have certain timeless features, they are also severely limited. They require a level of technology far more sophisticated than that needed to produce a book or a newspaper. You need computers for hosting, computers for viewing, electrical plants to power all this, and a massive, horrendously complex telecommunications network to support everything.

More limiting yet: topics. The average Web blog — and there are hundreds of millions of them — has just one entry. The first.