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I Can See Everyone's House from Here

A very nice night yesterday: dinner with my friends (and colleagues) Jane Turner and Oksana Zelenko - I managed to whip up a very nice eggplant curry, Jane made her trademark chicken curry, and we watched both volumes of Kill Bill. The revelation of the night was Jane's pointing out the new Google Earth freeware - enabling the user to view high-definition (and I mean high - you can make out individual cars) satellite images of the whole world interactively. I found my home as well as a number of previous homes back in Germany, the Creative Industries Precinct where I work, and various other landmarks, and I'm still exploring more...

I Seek Dead People

OK - there's no way for this not to sound somewhat morbid, so here it is. I've been invited to do a brief research residency at the Institute for Distributed Creativity in New York later this year, and as part of my time there I'll be giving a memorial lecture related to my research work (most likely covering issues around gatewatching and collaborative news production, blogs, and the rise of the produser). Being a memorial lecture, it needs to be in memory - in honour - of somebody, though, and that's where I'm coming up short at the moment. The usual suspects - say, oh, Marshall McLuhan and the like - are a little too obvious, while some other key scholars in the field aren't actually dead yet (I checked). And in spite of the helpful suggestions of a colleague, the authors of that silly diatribe just don't qualify.

At any rate, the iDC folk would probably prefer the lecture to be dedicated to someone less known anyway. So, dear reader, any suggestions? Do we have any unsung heroes of citizen news, of news blogging, who were killed for their efforts? Who are the first martyrs of blogging? Please post your suggestions in a comment to this entry. And be assured that despite my somewhat flippant tone here, I do take this question very seriously - a memorial is no laughing matter.

Recent Book News

Uses of Blogs, edited by Joanne Jacobs and me, is now out on Peter Lang. Order now!

My book Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production is now available from Amazon.com - order it here!

Where Was I?

Backtracking a bit to cover some events from the last couple of weeks. That Ten News story I taped finally ran on Friday 24 June, but with all the delays and amidst other (and perhaps more urgent and timely) news stories it didn't turn out quite as well as it might have - in the end they used only a short soundbite from what had been probably five minutes' worth of material in the interview. That's the nature of these 'soft' news stories, I guess - they're ready to be chopped and changed as required when more important stories come to hand. What we had thought it would be was a more substantial piece to be promoted throughout the week, but in the end they ran only one promo for it on Thursday night. Ah well.

Welcome to Iceworld

OK, I really have to get back to blogging again. I suppose I blog the most when exciting and interesting things are happening, but the last few weeks, filled with chores between the end of one semester and the start of the next, have been difficult to say the least. I have tried hard to keep my weekends free from work-related tasks at least, though - with varying levels of success. Will try and post a few updates on current projects over the next few days.

One thing I have been able to do is to compile Iceworld, a CD of some ambient soundscapes I've tinkered with over the last few months. These are mainly improvs very much in a 'drone, bleep, blurt' mode, recorded live and edited into a series of individual tracks. The CD clocks in at just over 70 minutes and generally has a somewhat antarctic feel to me (hence the title); I've made it available here in MP3 format under a Creative Commons licence. Having listened to them a few times today, I'm quite fond of these tracks - "The Factory Ship" in particular has some very impressive bottom end on a good sub-woofer... Any comments are very welcome. (I might write a little more about how I've recorded these at another time.)

M/C Journal 'copy' Issue Launched

Today I sent out the announcement for the latest issue of M/C Journal, edited by Rachel Cobcroft and Susanna Leisten:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 8 July 2005

                          M/C - Media and Culture
            is proud to present issue three in volume eight of

                                M/C Journal
                   http://journal.media-culture.org.au/

          'copy' - Edited by Rachel Cobcroft and Susanna Leisten

On the News Tonight...

Well, tune in to Ten news tonight - that segment I taped the other day will be on; it already made it into yesterday's previews. While generally I'm a little bemused by the idea of being able to preview what will be in the news tomorrow (not exactly news then, is it?), I guess in this case it makes sense... Let's hope I did, too.

Rakin' It In

Just when I'm starting to bag the Federal government, they're starting to hand out the dough (but they'll have to do plenty more to change my rock-bottom opinion of them). Aaanyway, it's been a good day for us at QUT, with to funding decisions in favour of the Creative Industries Faculty: not only will we be setting up a new ARC Centre of Excellence in Cultural and Media Industries, but in addition our founding Dean John Hartley will become a Federation Fellow.

Past Futures

It's nice to see your students do well after university - and especially if they remember you. Today an ex-student of mine who now works for Channel Ten in Brisbane came by to interview me for their Friday news show. He's found some 1980s news footage about the (then) impending changes due to the rise of computers, and is putting together a kind of reality check and update of the predictions made back then.

So, I talked about the 'computers will take over our lives' scenario from back then, and how it has, and hasn't, come true by now - yes, they're almost ubiquitous in our everyday lives, but they still aren't much smarter or in control of us than they were then. The main thing that has happened, and continues to happen, is the gradual shift away from manual and menial and towards more intellectual and creative work environments which computers have enabled - with all the negatives of workforce changes and unemployment for some, and the positives of more interesting and self-determined work for others. Has the computer destroyed more jobs than it's created, or is it the other way around? Perhaps that's not the most important question, as it's unlikely that we can change or stop the trend even if we wanted to. Rather, we need to make sure that new opportunities are made available to those who are disadvantaged by the changes. (Of course, socially responsible policy is not something the Howard government has ever been interested in...)

M/C Journal 'print' Issue Launched

I produced the latest issue of M/C Journal last night, which was edited by my colleagues Glen Thomas and Jaz Choi:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 10 June 2005

                         M/C - Media and Culture
             is proud to present issue two in volume eight of

                               M/C Journal
                  http://journal.media-culture.org.au/

                'print' - Edited by Glen Thomas & Jaz Choi

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