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This is an experimental, informal blog for learning about blogging, blog development, and blog-related professional development activities.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Exhibit A in PictoBrowser and Flickr displays

This post displays a Flickr photo set (Exhibit A, public), embedded with a new-found slide show tool, in which I'm just beginning to fiddle with display parameters other than height and width to fit this blog's template.



Thanks to Alan Levine for pointing out Pictobrowser on the CogDogBlog (Slick Flickr Browser, 2008.08.13). It sure is easy to use.

For purposes of comparison, I'm including a Flickr generated slide show the same size below.



The most noticeable differences apart from border shades (colors) and the like are:

  1. Thumbnails and jump arrows for navigation appear constantly in PictoBrowser display, while only briefly after starting the show (">") or on mouse-over in Flickr;
  2. Slides advance only manually in PictoBrowser, but automatically or manually in Flickr;
  3. Titles get displayed in overlays at the foot of the graphics in PictoBrowser, but only in full-screen view with "Info On" in Flickr (or on the Flickr site);
  4. Notes - Descriptions from Flickr - appear in PictoBrowser on mouse-over ("Notes"), but only in full-screen view with "Info On" in Flickr (or on the Flickr site); and
  5. As Alan suggests, PictoBrowsers "spawn" - you can generate another PictoBrowser slide show on the spot, by clicking on the link at the lower right-hand corner of the display frame, while you must got to the Flickr site to accomplish the same feat.

Wesch introducing YouTube at the U.S. LoC

Billed as "an excellent backgrounder to social media, user-generated content, and online communities through the lens of anthropology" by Alec Couros (2008.08.03), this YouTube video resonates in a similar post by D'Arcy Norman (2008.08.06). The video represents a June 23, 2008, appearance of Professor Michael Wesch at a U.S. Library of Congress (LoC) podium to display and describe his and his students' findings from ethnological investigations into YouTube as participant observers (Wesch, 2008)

Wesch describes media such as YouTube as neither content, nor tools of communication, but rather as a landscape that mediates human relationships. He suggests that changes in "the mediascape" correspond to changes in human relations (approx. 12 of 55 minutes in), reflecting manifestations of participatory culture and networked individualism. Eschewing Powerpoint, he and his students remix dozens of independent video productions to portray a mediated state under tension between personal expression and social aspiration:

  • individualism and community,
  • independence and relationships, and
  • aggrandizement and authenticity.


"More info" in the YouTube sidebar provides a timeline for the video itself (Added: July 26, 2008). However, you've got to see the presentation to believe it!

Reference


Wesch, Michael (Dir.). (2008). An anthropological introduction to YouTube. Retrieved September 9, 2008, from http://youtube.com/watch?v=TPAO-lZ4_hU

Friday, September 05, 2008

Social media: Is there anything but?

August 7, 2008, Chris Brogan listed ebooks that he'd found available for free, and thought looked worth reading to learn about social media. I've made five quick picks from his list of twenty; my fifth pick (his 19th) is actually a journal article:

  1. The Zen of Blogging, by Hunter Nutall (2008);
  2. A Primer in Social Media: Examining the Phenomenon, Its Relevance, Promise and Risks, by Eric Karjaluoto (2008);
  3. Effective Internet Presence, by Ted Demopoulos (2008);
  4. Introduction to Good Usability, by peterpixel (2008); and
  5. How blogs and social media are changing public relations and the way it is practiced, by Wright and Hinson (2008).
I've made one more tentative selection from Chris' updates:
IBlogged with the Flock Browser

[Notes: What first caught my eye was Siemens' musing about Brogan's list, "In the sense that all media ... require a producer and consumer, doesn't the notion of media have an inherent social trait?" (elearnspace, 2008.08.21). I'd been wondering the same thing with regard to a local course entitled Social Communication, because even though communication may manifest anti-social characteristics, it is fundamentally social.

Though I've only peeked under the covers of a couple of items on my short list, it seems that my choies differ in concentration on marketing from other items and articles Brogan later added to his list. As a subset of social activity, he may be focusing more on the commercial than the educational. (2008.09.08)]

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tools, types of site, and such

Without delving into the nitty-gritty of many actual sites, I've been tracking and listing up most of the tools and types of sites that I've used over the past week, since deciding to do so while writing Tools I use (2008.08.27). I've taken cross-sections of what's up and running on machines at work or home just after lunchtime, in the middle of an academic recess.

The spreadsheet below represents my current findings. It also enables me to continue working in details without necessarily having to tweak or follow up on this post. Such details may include:

  • Future sampling periods, possibly:
    • during academic sessions, and
    • including computer laboratory applications;
  • Other (unexploited) possibilities in my tool chests; and
  • What's free or open source software.

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