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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stats Stats Stats! More Than Half of UK Consumers Have Watched TV or Movies on Mobile Devices

Excerpt from original article here:

http://www.cellular-news.com/story/51910.php

"...The survey, which questioned respondents across the UK on their mobile TV usage and viewing experience, indicates that the increase in mobile TV consumption is driving a change in viewing habits including:

  • The majority of respondents (51%) reported having watched a TV show or film on a mobile device such as a smartphone or a tablet.
  • Mobile TV watchers preferred to view on demand TV (44%) compared to 28% who preferred to use mobile devices to watch live programming.
  • Most consumers watch mobile TV at home, but 39% watch TV on mobile devices while commuting.
  • Tablet device users watch mobile TV for far longer time periods than on smartphones - 20% of tablet device users reported having spent more than an hour of uninterrupted time watching a TV programme or a movie.
  • Mobile TV users are regular viewers with 33% of respondents reporting they watch at least once per week and 12% viewing almost every day.
  • As more consumers watch mobile TV, the demand for higher quality and a wider range of services is on the rise with over 75% of respondents stating they would like their service provider to invest more in their mobile TV services...."

Posted via email from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Shot by Jonathan Demme: End the War, Tax the Rich, We're the 99%, Occupy Wall Street on Vimeo

Profile of Thorin Caristo- From Occupy Wall Street Protester to Live Documentarian | on PBS Blog POV

Media_httpwwwpbsorgpo_fxysa

Excellent list of links and videos for watching Occupy Wall Street:

occupywallstnyc's Livestream page, including video by Thorin Caristo

globalrevolution's Livestream page

Right Here All Over by Alex Mallis and Lily Henderson (via Vimeo): The most-watched protest video to date on Vimeo.

End the War, Tax the Rich, We're the 99%, Occupy Wall Street by Jonathan Demme (via Vimeo): The director of Silence of the Lambs and the doc Stop Making Sense captures the sights and sounds around Zuccotti Park.

Deepak Chopra meditation at Occupy Wall St. Grounded... by occupywallstnyc and Ground.TV (via Livestream): Documents the celebrity spiritualist as he shows protesters how to meditate.

Occupy Wall Street Sept 17: Protester speaks out (via YouTube): From the first day of the protest.

Occupy Everything by Kristopher Rae (via Vimeo): Documents the Oct. 1, 2011, Brooklyn Bridge march, where more than 700 protesters are arrested.

#OccupyWallSt - Law Student & Journalist Arrested for Civil Disobedience 9/24/11 (via YouTube)

Where Do We Go From Here? Occupy Wall St. (via Vimeo): Ed David talks to protesters on its one-month anniversary.

Posted via email from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

Ok. I'll Bite: Aurasma - The world's first Visual Browser, bringing the physical and virtual worlds together

Open Rights Group reports of state of VOD in the UK | Can't look now: finding film online

Can't look now: finding film online

By Peter Bradwell on Oct 19, 2011. Comments (6)

(Written with Jag Bahra)

Excerpt from a long & detailed post on OpenRightsGroup:

"Last week YouTube announced the opening of its movie rental service. This could be great news for film lovers, offering easy access to the films they want to watch. Exactly how useful this is to consumers depends somewhat on how many films are available through the service.

The availability of legal content online has featured heavily in discussions about the digital economy, most recently in the ongoing roundtables, hosted by the Minister Ed Vaizey MP, about new website blocking powers over sites involved in copyright infringement. The question is whether consumers' demand for films, music and other goods is being satisfied.

ORG, and others such as Consumer Focus, believe that more attention needs to be paid to how well the markets for films and music are serving consumers before we assume that certain kinds of enforcement measures are necessary and proportionate. We want to see thriving and innovative cultural markets that help creators and consumers get the best out of new technology.

In this context, and against the backdrop of the recent injunction won by the film industry that requires BT to block the website Newzbin2, we decided to have a look at the availability of films online. We looked at how many of the recent best-sellers and catalogues of critically acclaimed films, including the top 50 British films, consumers can legally buy or rent online. We searched five content providers, and looked at rental and purchasing prices, and compared them with DVD availability and prices.

Our experience points to a lack of availability, poor pricing and quality issues when compared with physical media. In short, we found a situation that indicates serious problems with the licensing of films for online providers. (See bottom of the post for more on what we did and tables of what we found.)

Poor availability

Given the scope of our work and the way catalogues available in these services frequently change, these results should be seen as indicative only. They point at the questions policy makers should be asking about cultural markets online.  What they indicate is not good news for consmers. Anybody who has tried renting or buying films online will probably be unsurprised at what we found.

DVDs are available for just shy of 100% of the films. But a wealth of British cultural history is simply not available through legal providers. Only 43% of the top 50 British films can be bought or rented online. Similarly, only 58% of the BAFTA Best Film award winners since 1960 have been made available.

The situation looks worse if iTunes is discounted. Excluding iTunes, only 27% of the BAFTA award winners are available, with 29% of the best British films. Only 6% of the best 50 British films are on Film4 OD or Virgin Media, with 14% available through a LoveFilm subscription and 4% through pay per view on LoveFilm.

Availability is better for recent best selling releases, but it is still very patchy. Some 86% of the best selling films on Amazon.co.uk in August 2011 can be bought on iTunes, but only 63% on blinkbox. There are few other means to purchase digital versions of films online. Furthermore, purchasing films on blinkbox for the most part means purchasing unlimited access to a stream. Only some are available to download, and for PCs only, meaning access is, for many, dependent on blinkbox's continued existence.

Rental services fare worse – 64% of the films are available to rent on iTunes, 18% are available on Lovefilm pay-per-view, 55% on blinkbox and 41% on Film4 OD and Virgin Media.

Price and quality

Digital prices do not compare favourably to those of DVDs. For the best selling DVDs from August 2011 the average price was £6.80. For iTunes purchases, of the films available through it's service, the average price was £8.88. For blinkbox purchases the price stood at £9.49.

Of the 14 of the 49 best British films available to purchase on iTunes, the average price is £6.56, while for DVDs the average price is £6.63. DVD prices for the BAFTA winning films average at £5.84, whilst on iTunes the average price stands at £6.72. For the 7 of those films available on blinkbox, the average price is £5.70.

The quality of films available online also does not compare well with physical media. Standard definition tends to be just short of DVD quality across the content providers. HD film purchases and rental are available on iTunes only, with 45.5% of the best selling DVDs from August available to buy (at an average of £11.59) and 40.9% to rent (at an average of £4.49)..."

Read the full post here:

http://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2011/cant-look-now:-finding-film-online

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Removal of restrictions can DECREASE music piracy - Study at Rice University | Excerpt #infdist

10/7/2011

David Ruth
713-348-6327
druth@rice.edu

Amy Hodges
713-348-6777
amy.hodges@rice.edu

Removal of restrictions can decrease music piracy
New research from Rice and Duke challenges conventional wisdom that removal of restrictions would increase piracy levels

Contrary to the traditional views of the music industry, removal of digital rights management (DRM) restrictions can actually decrease piracy, according to new research from Rice University and Duke University.

Marketing professors Dinah Vernik of Rice and Devavrat Purohit and Preyas Desai of Duke used analytical modeling to examine how piracy is influenced by the presence or absence of DRM restrictions. They found that while these restrictions make piracy more costly and difficult, the restrictions also have a negative impact on legal users who have no intention of doing anything illegal. 

Their findings, which will appear in the November-December issue of Marketing Science, add to the ongoing debate about technology that limits usage of digital content.

Because a DRM-restricted product will only be purchased by a legal user, …"only the legal users pay the price and suffer from the restrictions," the study said. "Illegal users are not affected because the pirated product does not have DRM restrictions."

"In many cases, DRM restrictions prevent legal users from doing something as normal as making backup copies of their music," said Vernik, assistant professor of marketing at Rice's Jones Graduate School of Business. "Because of these inconveniences, some consumers choose to pirate."

The research challenges conventional wisdom that removal of DRM restrictions increases piracy levels; the study shows that piracy can actually decrease when a company allows restriction-free downloads.

"Removal of these restrictions makes the product more convenient to use and intensifies competition with the traditional format (CDs), which has no DRM restrictions," Vernik said. "This increased competition results in decreased prices for both downloadable and CD music and makes it more likely that consumers will move from stealing music to buying legal downloads."

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Jordan Scott (dir) RSA Films for Prada - Thunder Perfect Mind - one beautiful video

Very Cool Remix Project - 5 DJs + an Orchestra = RE:GENERATION - Future of Branded Content

Media_httpwwwregenera_dhhvb

From the Facebook Page:

"Five DJs turn the tables on the history of music. Follow DJ Premier, Mark Ronson, Skrillex, Pretty Lights and The Crystal Method as they remix, recreate and re-imagine five traditional styles of music. From the classical perfection of the Berklee Symphony Orchestra to the bayou jams of New Orleans jazz, our five distinctive DJs collaborate with some of today’s biggest musicians to discover how our musical past is influencing the future..."

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Cory Doctorow & more distressing facts: Movie fans turn to piracy when the online cupboard is bare | Technology | guardian.co.uk

Excerpt from Cory Doctoro's original post in the GuardianUK 22 November 2011.

"....Here's what ORG found: though close to 100% of their sample were available as DVDs, more than half of the top 50 UK films of all time were not available as downloads. The numbers are only slightly better for Bafta winners: just 58% of Bafta best film winners since 1960 can be bought or rented as digital downloads (the bulk of these are through iTunes – take away the iTunes marketplace, which isn't available unless you use Mac or Windows, and only 27% of the Bafta winners can be had legally).

And while recent blockbusters fare better, it's still a patchwork, requiring the public to open accounts with several services to access the whole catalogue (which still has many important omissions).

But even in those marketplaces, movies are a bad deal – movie prices are about 30% to 50% higher when downloaded over the internet versus buying the same movies on DVDs. Some entertainment industry insiders argue that DVDs, boxes and so forth add negligible expense to their bottom line, but it's hard to see how movie could cost less on physical DVDs than as ethereal bits, unless the explanation is price-gouging. To add insult to injury, the high-priced online versions are often sold at lower resolutions than the same movies on cheap DVDs...."

the long downhill slide of the film/VOD industry - what other industry functions like this?

full post here:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/nov/22/movie-fans-piracy-online

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OK. It's Katy Perry but Floria Sigismundi directs & it's not your usual KP Video - Black Dog USA

No video playback capabilities detected. Why not try to download the file instead?
MPEG4 / H.264 .mp4 (Windows / Mac)

To play the video here in the webpage, please do one of the following:

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Kim Longinotto's PINK SARIS | Women Make Movies | Trailer on YouTube

Huge: Telefilm Canada launches new Success Index at Annual Public Meeting in Winnipeg

Telefilm Canada launches new Success Index at Annual Public Meeting in Winnipeg


Fiscal 2010-2011 results also unveiled  

Winnipeg, November 23, 2011 – Telefilm Canada held its third Annual Public Meeting in Winnipeg this afternoon. The event was also broadcast live via a Webcast. Michel Roy, Chair of the Board, and Carolle Brabant, Executive Director, announced details of the organization’s innovative Success Index, which will effectively measure the cultural, industrial and commercial performance of its portfolio, as well as presented highlights of Telefilm’s 2010-2011 annual report, entitled Daring to change: A new vision.

Telefilm Canada’s Success Index

In its most recent corporate plan, entitled Fostering cultural success, Telefilm stated that the creation of a broader measure of success was a top priority. Created in consultation with the Canadian audiovisual industry, the new Success Index is a quantitative tool that will allow Telefilm to measure the overall success of its investment portfolio over time. It is composed of a series of weighted attributes that are summarized under these three categories: 

- Commercial (60% of the total index)

    - Box-office receipts in Canada

    - Gross domestic and international sales

    - Cultural (30%)

      - Number of selections and prizes at certain international festivals and events

      - Selected awards won at certain national competitive events and festivals

      - Industrial (10%)

        - Ratio of private versus public funding in productions supported by Telefilm

        “Telefilm and Canada’s audiovisual industry believe that theatrical box-office earnings, while still very important, tell only a part of the story, given the industry’s increasing brand appeal on the international scene and the expansion of online distribution platforms,” said Michel Roy. “Telefilm is innovating by creating a more comprehensive success index that takes into account commercial factors, cultural factors and industrial factors.”

        Carolle Brabant added: “The new Success Index will paint a more accurate picture of the performance of feature films funded by Telefilm. In so doing, this success index will make it possible to better demonstrate the significant contribution of Canadian cinema on the cultural and economic fronts. As well, given the abundant information it will provide each year, the Success Index will enable Telefilm to provide more strategic, better-targeted support to the industry in the years ahead.” 

        Telefilm Canada’s first online-only annual report

        As part of its ongoing efforts to be more environmentally responsible and to be innovative in the digital multiplatform reality, Telefilm launched its first online-only annual report.

        The following are highlights from fiscal 2010-2011:

        - The brand image of Canadian cinema is increasingly strong. Last year, two films—Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies and Richard J. Lewis’ Barney’s Version—together took home 52 awards and grossed $35 million at the box office globally. In all, Canadian films supported by Telefilm won 127 awards worldwide, compared to 107 the previous year.

        - Total domestic market share for Canadian films was 3.1% in 2010. Within the independent film market (non-Hollywood majors), Canadian films can and do compete with a more robust 20% share.

        - Financing national feature films is always an important challenge, in every country. But in an encouraging sign, Canadian private-sector investments and foreign participation doubled last year, accounting for 26% of total production budgets. The number of Canada’s coproductions with other countries also rose to 57 projects, representing a capital injection of more than 200 million foreign dollars.

        - In 2010- 2011, Telefilm supported the production of 48 feature films, compared to 43 the year before—due to an increase in private-sector and foreign participation. Telefilm provided 31% of overall production costs, down from 38% the year before. In other words, by having to invest less per film Telefilm was able to fund more projects.

        - Telefilm announced that it was working on a national and international promotional strategy, in partnership with the Canada Media Fund, aimed at creating a groundswell in favour of Canadian content.

        - Telefilm renewed its service agreement for another year with the Canada Media Fund, marking five years of collaboration between the two organizations.

        - Telefilm kept the fees for administering its programs at 6.2%, in line with its promise of sound governance for the public funds that are entrusted to it. This performance generated an administrative surplus of $1.5 million, which was re-invested into the Canada Feature Film Fund.

        The 2010-2011 annual report and Annual Public Meeting Webcast are available at www.telefilm.ca/apm-2011/.

        About Telefilm Canada

        Telefilm Canada is a federal cultural agency dedicated to developing and promoting the Canadian audiovisual industry. Telefilm provides financial support to the private sector to create distinctively Canadian productions that appeal to domestic and international audiences. Telefilm also administers the Canada Media Fund’s programs. Visit www.telefilm.ca.

        -30-

        Media inquiries:
        Douglas Chow, Manager, External Communications
        Telefilm Canada
        (514) 283-0838, ext. 2225, or 1-800-567-0890
        douglas.chow@telefilm.ca
        http://twitter.com/Telefilm_Canada

        info@telefilm.ca

Full report reposted from telefilm.gc.ca site -

Posted via email from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

Interactive Graphic Novel- CIA : Operation Ajax for the iPad. Free for Limited Time on iTunes

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How Social Media Revived The Muppets - by Christina Warren @mashable

muppets oscars billy chrystalThe Muppets are back! On Nov. 23, Walt Disney Pictures is bringing its next live-action Muppet film, aptly-named The Muppets, to movie theatres across the country.

The film release is the culmination of a multi-pronged marketing campaign that has embraced the social and digital spheres, and in the process, helped reinvigorate the Muppet brand.

It’s rare to see such solid execution on so many digital and social channels and for that reason, we wanted to take a deeper look at the various aspects of Disney’s and The Muppets Studios’ efforts.


Going Viral to Revive Interest in a Brand


Over the last two years, The Muppet Studios has embarked on a proactive social and viral campaign. It all started with an epic cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and was followed by more songs, iPhone apps and responses to episodes of Internet backlash with just the right amount of aplomb and visual humor.

In retrospect, the timing of these viral video endeavors was perfect. It coincided with the original announcement that a new Muppet film would be coming to theaters.

full post on mashable.com

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Cory Doctorow Post: Movie fans turn to piracy when the online cupboard is bare | Technology | guardian.co.uk

Excerpt from original article:

"...ORG and partner Consumer Focus undertook some empirical research on the state of the lawful market for downloadable movies in the UK. This is important because whenever our government or courts undertake to increase penalties for copyright violations – measures such as our nascent national censorship regime for sites that offend the entertainment industry – it is always with a kind of sad head-shake and the lament that despite the healthy, burgeoning lawful market for downloadable material, stubborn pirates continue to take copyrighted works without permission.

ORG's study Can't look now: finding film online investigated the lawful availability of downloads for "recent bestsellers and catalogues of critically acclaimed films, including the top 50 British films" and what they found was that the claims of the lawful market for movies are as evidence-free as the piracy claims they accompany.

Here's what ORG found: though close to 100% of their sample were available as DVDs, more than half of the top 50 UK films of all time were not available as downloads. The numbers are only slightly better for Bafta winners: just 58% of Bafta best film winners since 1960 can be bought or rented as digital downloads (the bulk of these are through iTunes – take away the iTunes marketplace, which isn't available unless you use Mac or Windows, and only 27% of the Bafta winners can be had legally)..."

Posted via email from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

Secret Location completes mission to preserve veterans' stories :: Post on Design Edge Canada

TORONTO—One of the goals of Remembrance Day is to ensure we honour those who lost their lives in battle in order to secure a better future.

And part of that challenge is to ensure future generations understand what our soldiers sacrificed. That was a mission of Secret Location, based in Toronto, which calls itself an integrated media company.

D-Day to Victory screenshot
D-Day to Victory screenshot

Secret Location created a website extension of the History Television's D-Day to Victory documentary series, which aired leading up to Nov. 11. The site covers the Allied push towards victory in Europe during the Second World War, breaking the campaign down into six components which echo the six television episodes focusing on D-Day on June 6, 1944, to the seige of Berlin.

read the full post on design edge.com

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Vancouver's Moosestash Films goes Kickstarter with The Sticking Place Interactive Documentary

I have NO IDEA what this is. I like it! ... WHAT IS HIDDEN IN SNOW ...

Interesting: Silverstring Media Posts on The Business of Art: Brian Clark at Transmedia Vancouver (1/2)

Excerpt from the full notes "....This conversation gave rise to the concept of an east coast/west coast divide in transmedia, where the “east coasters” were people like Brian who came from an indie film perspective, while the “west coasters” were the Hollywood types talking about larger franchises.

It was this dialogue that led Brian to be invited by Henry Jenkins to speak to his class as the torchbearer for east-coast transmedia thinking in the (again, Brian’s words, said tongue-in-cheek) “dark depths of Hollywood”. And he realized that what we’re really talking about are different business models for these systems.

He says we’ve been pigeonholed by the fact that all our funding models are based on the patronage model — which is where all art forms start. A patron gives us money for something other than the joy of the art: a marketing campaign, an educational purpose, etc. The project is funded because it has tactical usefulness.

And this is contrasted to what we as artists and storytellers all know: that our fans will pay for it. In every other artistic medium, there is some moment where fans start to give us money for what we produce.

Brian then brought up the “impostor syndrome”, which he said was “common among bright people.” It’s the general belief that at some point someone’s going to figure out that you really don’t know anything.

read the full post on silverstringmedia.com

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Love this - great list: POV - Blog . The United States of Documentaries (Map) | PBS

Rich. Detailed. Great Resource: An Introduction to Crowdfunding [Infographic]

Game Lab: A New Fund for the Open Web Game Ecosystem | ServicesANGLE

Excerpt from original post by Klint Finley November 15, 2011

Boston based venture capital firm Atlas Venture and consulting firm Bocoup have launched Game Lab, a new fund for companies building technologies that will advance the development of video games with HMTL5 on the Open web. These need not be game companies, just any company that will advance the technology that contributes to the open Web game ecosystem, including: “authoring tools, platform services, game discovery, content market places and actual games.” The fund was announced last month on the Bocoup blog by Boaz Sender, a software engineer at Bocoup and a member of the Game Lab investment team.

Bocoup is developing Abacus, an open source framework for building HTML5 games. “Essentially, it’s everything you’d need to build a game OTHER than the game engine,” Sender told me in an interview. Its features will include identity management, leaderboards and other components that could be reused in many games. Game Lab companies won’t be required to contribute to Abacus, but it will be encouraged.

full post is on http://servicesangle.com

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Fans Are Responding to Killcam: Live's Unique Interactive Horror Experience | via Dread Central

Excerpt from dreadcentral.com post:

"Killcam: Live is the transmedia brainchild of producer April Wade (@actoraprilwade) and filmmaker Canyon Prince (@canyonprince). Part digiseries, part interactive real time experience, and part feature film, Killcam: Live is the next stage in the evolution of storytelling. The project follows a group of students as they willingly agree to participate in a social experiment put on by their charming psychology professor Michael Grayson (played by J. Michael Briggs). The experiment is meant to explore the effects of current human dependence on technology and social media as the majority form of communication. During the ongoing experiment, the students will be isolated from each other and their only way to communicate with the outside world will be through social media. However, someone has a different agenda in mind as things start to take a turn for the worse.

Every Thursday through December, an episode will play out online, moving the story forward in typical narrative format. The following Monday through Thursday morning of each week will host a LIVE 72-hour period in which one of the students will be trapped in a room, awaiting their horrific fate. During that period, the audience will be able to interact with the character via video, Facebook, Twitter (@killcam_live) and online chat. The audience will be able to inform the characters (in real time) what is happening and possibly even aid them in their escape...or demise.

"We are looking to bring a heightened level of interactivity to the audience" says Wade, "and we feel that this projects is on the cutting edge of a new age of storytelling. As filmmakers today, we have an international platform for our stories that never existed before and I am thrilled to be experimenting with creative ways to use social media to shape the film."

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MediaPost Publications Twitter Campaign Pays Off For AMC Shows 11/22/2011

140 Proof, a social stream media platform company, has created a business strategy and technology that tie interest-based keywords and sentiment from social streams with targeted ads. The company worked with the digital agency TargetCast to connect AMC TV brands, such as "The Walking Dead," "Hell on Wheels," and "The Killing," to Twitter and other social media.

During the campaigns, both "The Killing" and "Breaking Bad" campaigns achieved click-through rate averages of 0.4%, higher than the Twitter average of 0.2%, and nearly double the average for entertainment-focused campaign. For "The Killing," 140 Proof helped target 18-34 males, outside of the show’s core female 25-to-54 demographic. While the campaign ran, the show experienced a 25% ratings increase among 18- to-34-year-olds.

Original post by Laurie Sullivan on mediapost.com

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Authentic Content: Susan Bonds dissects NIN’s Year Zero | Excerpt from Sundance Institute

“There is a science to this – direct participation, amplification, audience build. There are ways to predict and up-step the experiences to deepen audience engagement, but the creators must keep the right tempo for releasing both new content and in unusual ways on multiple levels to make it work. Tempo and rhythm are important. The trends show 8-12 weeks of active engagement is prime for running an interactive narrative/episode, although we have ARGs running right now in years two and three and who knows how long the echoes of Year Zero can or will go.” Bonds said. The length of the Year Zero campaign in active live production was 12 weeks.

During Year Zero, hundreds of elements were developed including music videos that were more like short films, advanced viral distribution of new tracks of original Nine Inch Nails music, posters and phone messages, heat sensitive CDs, survival kits, tattoos, street art, and eventually a surprise private concert for 100 die-hard players.

Bonds is the least surprised at the intersection of creative mediums with technology. She pointed out that young directors and producers like Zach Snyder are the first generation that grew up fully immersed in modern game culture and they are bringing those DNA experiences into their approaches to creative forms.

Asked about the return or ROI on this type of work and Bonds says that there is more measurement available for this type of internet centric work and direct correlation than for other more traditional mediums. Time spent in active engagement is a differentiating factor – earned media is another. The active participation is amplified through social networks, online press and buzz, as well as multiple content platforms/usage that each have their own unique reach.

Posted by Joseph Beyer, Director of Digital Initiatives for Sundance Institute on Oct 24, 2011 at 01:10 pm.

read the full post on sundance.org

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yay Alex & Jason! The Next Day iDoc launches! Beautiful interactive graphic novel explores suicide survivor experiences

Excellent Summary: Telling Stories with Data – VisWeek 2011 Workshop

Note from Nathan: Last week, visualization researchers from all over gathered in Providence, Rhode Island for VisWeek 2011. One of the workshops, Telling Stories with Data, focused on data as narrative and what that means for visualization. This is a guest post by the organizers: Nick Diakopoulos, Joan DiMicco, Jessica Hullman, Karrie Karahalios, and Adam Perer.

"Data storytelling" is all the rage on websites ranging from international news outlets, to political and economic organizations, to personal blogs. Indeed, this trend has captured the attention of those who research and work in information visualization. Scores of both aspiring and seasoned visual storytellers descended on the Telling Stories with Data workshop that we organized this year (the 2nd installment of the workshop) to discuss and learn about visualization storytelling tools, issues, and contexts. The workshop took place in Providence, Rhode Island on October 23rd and was part of the yearly international VisWeek conference which itself drew about 1,000 attendees...."

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Full Interview: Edelman's Steve Rubel on Transmedia Storytelling | via Nora Young & Spark

image of Steve Rubel

Steve Rubel spends a lot of time thinking about the future of media – a favourite topic here at Spark. He’s Executive Vice-President of Global Strategy and Insights at the PR firm Edelman, and a popular blogger, columnist, and Twitterer. Earlier today, I interviewed Steve while he was in Toronto. We talked about transmedia storytelling: what it is, how to do it right, and how to hold the attention of media consumers when there’s so much media available and no more time than before.

You can hear the full, uncut interview below, or download the MP3. [runs 18:44]

If you like hearing these extended interviews, why not subscribe to Spark Plus? You’ll get regular weekly episodes, plus additional blog-only content like this. [Subscribe via RSS] or [Subscribe with iTunes]

via cbc.ca

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SuperCool: A Multiverse of Exploration: The Future of Science 2021 | Institute For The Future

UC Davis Chancellor Katehi walks to car amidst protesters (The Silence IS PAINFUL)

Transmedia Storytelling: All the World’s a Story - Excellent Post from Dr. Pamela Rutledge

All The World Is A Story

Transmedia storytelling is rapidly becoming the new ‘must have’ in marketing and entertainment. Its adoption is slowed, however, by the confusion over what exactly it is. Like most things, there are lots of definitions, but with transmedia storytelling, it’s easy to be distracted by the promise of the wide array of tools and get caught up in the romance of ‘building out a storyworld,’ — and end up overlooking the substance. Good transmedia storytelling starts with the story. The story doesn’t live in the storyworld. The story starts with and lives in the brain. The brain is the vehicle for engagement. Successful transmedia storytelling provides the brain with multiple vehicles for participation. Participation creates immersion because we ‘buy in.’ It is a renewable energy source because it creates the motivation for continued engagement.

All the world is a story

All the world is a story

If you mention ‘Transmedia Storytelling’ to aspiring artists, their eyes light up and their minds fill with remarkable pictures of dazzling storyworlds with lushly illustrated environments and deeply developed characters. Like their lives flashing before their eyes, they see their work sparkling across films, video games, Twitter, comics, t-shirts, anime, Facebook, ARGs, websites, webisodes, skywriting, and…

read the full post here:

http://athinklab.com/2011/11/20/all-the-world-is-a-story/

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Interactive Web Documentary about Vancouver Neighbourhood | Excerpt from Inside Vancouver Blog

Before today, I had never heard of Vancouver’s South Hill neighbourhood.  But I feel like I’m just another neighbour now.

And that’s thanks to a really phenomenal web documentary about the area called Inside Stories.  If you have a minute, check out the link: www.southhillcommunity.ca/insidestories.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

South Hill encompasses the area around Fraser Street, just south of 41st Avenue.  It’s an incredibly diverse residential neighbourhood, with something like 18 different languages spoken and residents from China, India, Columbia, Afghanistan and elsewhere.  But, then again, maybe that’s not so rare for Vancouver.

The web documentary is an effort by the local community organization to represent the stories and diversity of the area.  But while the result could have been bland or boring, it’s quite innovative and riveting.

Read the full original post on insidevancouver.ca

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Nuno Bernardo on How to Finance Transmedia? « Video & Slide Show on The Pixel Report

Until you have an audience you don’t have IP, you just have a good idea.

Nuno Bernardo encourages cross-media producers to think outside the box. Focusing on the development of IP (intellectual property), Nuno presents the different alternatives to cross-media funding, from product placement and branded content, to a more classical R&D and Venture Capital approach.

Nuno Bernardo is an award-winning and Emmy-nominated transmedia writer and producer. He is also the author of The Producer’s Guide to Transmedia.

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On Culture and Interaction Design: an interview with Genevieve Bell Johnny Holland – It's all about interaction » Blog Archive

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Excerpt from the original interview by Dianna Miller on November 15th, 2011

"Dianna Miller: I heard you speak a year or so after you joined Intel about the home studies your team conducted in China. Can you talk about how Intel envisioned the contribution of social research in 1998 when you started there? How has it changed over time?

Genevieve Bell: The impulse to hire social scientists generally—and anthropologists in particular—arose in the 1990s at Intel as markets the company had traditionally served changed and grew beyond recognition. If you can remember back that far (it seems forever ago), it was a time when the PC was starting to move from office and work functions into the home. It wasn’t precisely clear what people would do with computers during this shift. Intel hired social scientists to help explore what might happen. In the vernacular of my office at the time, it was all about “finding new users and new usages” for technology. We looked at emerging middle-class households in urban Asia and their complicated relationships to new information and communication technologies; we studied health-care providers, in homes and hospitals, and mapped their uses of digital devices and analog ones; we studied classrooms and televisions, teenagers and families with small kids. We spent a lot of time educating and engaging the engineers and other decision makers about what life was like beyond the walls of the company – it was exhilarating and exhausting.

These days I have a new research group at Intel – Interaction and Experience Research. Comprised of nearly one hundred researchers, running the gamut from ethnographers and interaction designers to computer scientists and physicists, my group is charged with reinventing how we experience computing. As Justin Rattner, my boss and Intel’s Chief Technology Officer likes to point out, we are “already late,” by which he means our relationships with computing are long due for an overhaul. We have a strongly interdisciplinary approach that shapes everything from framing questions to the projects we tackle and how we choose to share our thinking. Currently, we are exploring changing notions of storytelling and social participation; charting the shift in use of cameras, phones, and televisions; and hacking the latest screens, printers, and sensors to see what we can make with them, just to name some of our work..."

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Myles McNutt on Authenticity & A Song of Ice and Trading Cards: Licensing HBO’s Game of Thrones | Escerpt Antenna

A Song of Ice and Trading Cards: Licensing HBO’s Game of Thrones

November 18, 2011
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Although HBO’s Game of Thrones was always considered a potentially lucrative property for the channel, its success was never a guarantee. This goes for all television programs, of course, but in the case of Game of Thrones it created some particular challenges when it came to licensing the series. While logic would suggest that a built-in fanbase of George R.R. Martin devotees could help fuel sales within ancillary markets (such as merchandise or video games), HBO was particularly cautious with their initial strategy. However, as the series moves towards its second season, the network is taking a more bullish approach, suggesting they at least would like to believe that they have the potential for television’s Lord of the Rings moment.

Acknowledging, of course, that matters of scale would keep this franchise a far less lucrative merchandising opportunity, the fantasy genre (and Sean Bean’s intertextual appeal across the two franchises) does elicit certain comparisons. A recent deal with Dark Horse Comics might sound fairly familiar to those who have read Kristin Thompson’s detailed study of the franchising process surrounding The Lord of the Rings, given that it includes both high-end merchandise (like character statues, character busts or prop weaponry) as well as more commercial forms of licensed materials (like the pictured coasters or trading cards, which fans took up as a [spoiler-filled] hashtag in the wake of the announcement). While the latter may appear on a comic book store’s counter, the former appeal to more “hardcore” fans that desire “official” merchandise of a high quality and value authenticity.

Authenticity is a key term here, given that HBO is clearly invested in questions of quality as it relates to their programming. In fact, the licensing process for the series seems to me to be a question of balancing a level of control over the quality of products related to the series and an effort to both monetize and expand their audience (and thus their subscription base). Before the first season began, they maintained tight control over licensed products, releasing a small collection of t-shirts and other merchandise to their online HBO Store (and its New York City retail location).

read the full post on

http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu

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Smart Post: Transmedia Legitimation: Dark Score Stories and the A&E Brand | Excerpt from Cultural Learnings

Excerpt from Original post by Myles McNutt. November 21, 2011

When I wrote about the “authenticity” of the Game of Thrones scent box Campfire created for that HBO series, I explicitly linked that to the HBO brand, something that is common throughout the marketing for any show on that channel. Dark Score Stories, while aiming for something a little bit more contemporary than that “artifact” from Westeros, is nonetheless tied up in discourses of authenticity, although in this case it has less to do with “historical” accuracy and more to do with legitimating the A&E brand.

Melanie Kohnen, who is currently teaching a course in Transmedia Storytelling at Georgia Tech, remarked on Twitter that her first impression upon receiving a copy of the coffee table book tied to the campaign – which she has since shared with her students, who are in the process of evaluating the campaign – was that “Someone’s really trying to reach for the Quality TV label here.” Quality TV is one of a number of legitimating discourses found within television branding, and the idea of how television is being legitimated has become the subject of an exciting new book (that I sadly haven’t had time to read) from Elana Levine and Michael Z. Newman.

In this instance, I think Melanie is right, and the book (which is very well made, and which features a selection of the black and white images collected on the Dark Score Stories site) and the campaign writ large are definitely aiming to legitimate what could be perceived as a “TV Movie” (which has taken on a low culture connotation when viewed in the context of basic cable) so that it might be more readily considered a “Four-hour epic miniseries” as the press materials suggest. This is not to say that the campaign isn’t also intended to make more people aware of the miniseries’ upcoming premiere, but the nature of the campaign seems designed to make a statement about its quality rather than to sell it more broadly.

On this level, I’m wondering if we might consider transmedia campaigns like this one as an example of channels looking for a way to translate the potential for “spreadability” (or, if you prefer, “virality”) within an online space into a more mediated, and more controlled, context that we might better associate with discourses of quality. Dark Score Stories is still able to be spread by people on Twitter, including a tweet over the weekend from prolific Tweeter Alyssa Milano, but visitors to the site will find something different from the traditional “viral” product, something that’s comprehensive and detailed rather than something designed to capture a moment in the zeitgeist.

That content, by the way, comes in the form of a series of photo essays, accompanied by audio commentary and featuring a number of subtly animated images in addition to traditional photographs (some of which hold hidden secrets)...."

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Totally Agree! The Tenuous Future, Mediocre Design, and Negligible Payouts of Netflix - NoFilmSchool

For its future as a streaming only service, Netflix is reliant on deals with content owners, a situation which has the service being described aptly as a castle on quicksand. As evidence of its constantly-changing library, Netflix recently lost Starz content but today added Dreamworks Animation films to their library. However, Amazon also doubled their Prime library today (which at $79/year — including an unlimited free two-day shipping tie-in — compares favorably to Netflix’s $96 annual fee). Competition is heating up, but I can’t help but note one other thing about Netflix: the design of their website and most of their apps is, and always has been, mediocre at best. Which is to say nothing of the connection between the service’s benefit to consumers and its detriment to content creators.

Excerpt from an original post on nofilmschool.com - I so agree with this - the interface design on Netflix is atrocious:

"Despite the fact that Netflix reportedly split-tests many different designs and only uses the best one, I’ve always thought that their user experience is just a tad short of atrocious. They killed their community many moons ago (remember having “friends” on Netflix?) and have not replaced it since. Other than a basically useless Top 100, they don’t even let you see what’s popular, and every new iteration seems to get worse. The recently redesigned homepage is exactly what you try to avoid as a web designer: a “brick wall.” A brick wall is a bunch of blocks in a grid that forces the user to choose between a ton of options, without clearly prioritizing any of them. A screenshot of my Netflix homepage — which seems to misinterpret this design faux pas as a good thing — is at right. I’m not saying I’m the best designer in the world, but I was a Senior Designer at MTV in a past life. So after many years of being a Netflix customer, stumbling on the following web site was a godsend...."

Read the full smart post:

http://nofilmschool.com/2011/09/tenuous-future-mediocre-design-negligible/

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Whoa! Doctor Who Goes all Narnia! Exclusive DOCTOR WHO 2011 Xmas Special Trailer - YouTube

How Do You Code a Movement? - Rebecca J. Rosen - Technology - The Atlantic

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Excerpt from Rebecca Rosen's original post in The Atlantic, NOV 18 2011:

"The images circulating of the Occupy Movement have several themes: Young-looking protesters with signs. Dirty-looking protesters in tents. Scary-looking protesters clashing with police. To much of the world, this is what the Occupy movement looks like.

But there's another side to the Occupy movement, one that makes for less dramatic imagery: Coders, dozens of them, working at their laptops in offices, parks, churches, and homes around the country. Together, they are building the online face of the movement.

And it isn't obvious what, exactly, that face should be. How do you represent, in code, a movement that is trying to be leaderless yet disciplined? Local yet speaking to national concerns? Inclusive of anyone who wants to join yet not without a cohesive voice? While editorialists can argue about these seeming contradictions, the developers have to work them out in practice.

From early on, they chose not to use Facebook, but to rely on WordPress and other open-source platforms. As Jake DeGroot, one of the movement's web developers explained, "I think one of the major pushes to make our own is the fact that the movement is so heavily based around the check and balance of corporate power." Relying on sites such as Facebook, they felt, placed them too much under someone else's control.

A second and related principle that runs throughout their work is that by building the right online tools, they can make a new kind of social movement possible, one that manages to defy the tensions between leaderless and organized, local and national, and inclusive and cohesive. They can embed their idealism directly into their code.

* * *

The early web efforts of the Occupy movements took shape in August, in advance of the first day of the occupation. Drew Hornbein, a web developer living in Brooklyn, began building what today the web team of OWS refers to as Version 1.0. That early site eventually became nycga.net, the main online hub of the New York encampment. The team behind it (a group whose name and structure is a bit in flux) is the coding arm of the Wall Street occupation's General Assembly (GA), its governing body.

The site is not your typical political campaign website; it is a tool for OWS's internal activities, mostly organized around the nearly 90 working groups that have formed around topics such as media, sanitation, or alternative banking, all of which are organized loosely under the umbrella of the GA. Underlying the site's operations is a social element that allows anyone to create an account and participate in the work. The centerpiece of the mainpage is a stream of constant updates, informing visitors, for example, that meditation is still on for today at 3:30, or reporting on police activity in the area. There are thousands of posted events and the minutes of group meetings and general assemblies, including, for example, this agenda from the first of November:

Agenda:

Winterization
Proposal from structure & organization
Problems with last night's GA
Internal community issues inside plaza Viz. media & substantive issues
Chip: solution to our electrical problems that requires nothing but money & involves no fire-dept. issues
I want to propose a coalition around emergency preparedness for raid..."

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Fascinating Course: The Anthropology of Hackers - NYU's Gabriella Coleman - via The Atlantic

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Excerpt - the full syllabus is published in the Sept 21, 2010, post in The Atlantic:

"A "hacker" is a technologist with a love for computing and a "hack" is a clever technical solution arrived through a non-obvious means. It doesn't mean to compromise the Pentagon, change your grades, or take down the global financial system, although it can, but that is a very narrow reality of the term. Hackers tend to value a set of liberal principles: freedom, privacy, and access; they tend to adore computers; some gain unauthorized access to technologies, though the degree of illegality greatly varies (and much, even most of hacking, by the definition I set above, is actually legal). But once one confronts hacking empirically, some similarities melt into a sea of differences; some of these distinctions are subtle, while others are profound enough to warrant thinking about hacking in terms of genres or genealogies of hacking -- and we compare and contrast various of these genealogies in the class, such as free and open source software hacking and the hacker underground.

Since 2007, I have taught an undergraduate class on computer hackers at New York University where I am Assistant Professor in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication. The class opens a window into the esoteric facets of hacking: its complicated ethical codes and the multifaceted experiences of pleasures and frustrations in making, breaking, and especially dwelling in technology. Hacking, however, is as much a gateway into familiar cultural and political territory. For instance, hacker commitments to freedom, meritocracy, privacy and free speech are not theirs alone, nor are they hitched solely to the contemporary moment. Indeed, hacker ethical principles hearken back to sensibilities and conundrums that precipitated out of the Enlightenment's political ferment; hackers have refashioned many political concerns -- such as a commitments to free speech -- through technological and legal artifacts, thus providing a particularly compelling angle by which to view the continued salience of liberal principles in the context of the digital present.

Week One: Introductions and the MIT Hackers

One of the canonical books on hackers is Steven Levy's superb journalistic account Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution published in 1984. The book is famous for defining the "hacker ethic," a set of aesthetic and ethical imperatives that include a commitment to access, meritocracy, and a belief that computers can the be the basis for beauty, even a better world. While in a general sense, the hacker ethic can be said to exist -- in part because many hackers have adopted this terminology -- this benchmark at times acts as the Achilles heel of journalistic and academic studies of hackers; it is often invoked in simplified terms, applied wholesale to hackers whitewashing the most fascinating ethical dimensions that flow out of computer hacking, which are precisely the ethical eddies, cracks, and tides that render hacker action more ambivalent and ambiguous than a crystal clear standard.

Week Two: The Craft and Liberalism of Hacking..."

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Nuno Bernardo on: How to Create a Franchise, Indie-Style / Harness the power of transmedia to develop a fan base and create a built-in audience for your film | MovieMaker Magazine

Harness the power of transmedia to develop a fan base and create a built-in audience for your film

Nuno Bernardo, co-founder and CEO of beActive
Nuno Bernardo, co-founder and CEO of beActive

"Transmedia is a buzzword that has been used quite a lot in the last couple of years to define all sorts of things, from the independent movie that has a companion Website and a Facebook fan page to the multi-million dollar interactive experience that involves games, interactive Websites and live events. But what all of these different so-called transmedia projects have in common is the desire of their producers to engage an audience using digital and social media tools.

The distribution and monetization of content on multiple platforms is not new. Major studios and networks have been doing it for decades. They were the gatekeepers that controlled access to the audience; they were the ones that had sufficient marketing power to promote their content to an audience on every single platform that became popular. The rise of digital platforms means independent filmmakers are now able to directly connect with their audience using social media and online communities without having a multi-million dollar budget...."

read the full post on moviemaker.com

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Infographic: The Most Valuable Digital Consumers | Nielsen Wire

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Romain Goday on Content Curation: Why Detecting Emerging Patterns Is Crucial

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Romain Goday on: Why Good Curators Need to Identify Emerging Patterns Before Others?

"It is critical to detect emerging patterns in information early to be an effective content curator. Pattern detection is important for a few reasons:

If there is an emerging pattern, there’s something going on...

Patterns provide insights on the significance of an event...

Patterns demonstrate how events evolve...

Patterns link together pieces of the information puzzle...

Understanding patterns helps to identify experts..."

Read the full post for Goday's insights on these points

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Very Cool: Condition One: An Immersive Video App That Lets You Step into News Stories

If you enjoyed the beautiful 360-degree helicopter ride video we shared earlier today, then Condition One is an iPad app for you. It uses immersive video as a way to pull viewers into news stories — viewers control the camera by simply moving their iPad around!

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Wow. Netflix Gets Exclusive 'Arrested Development' Streaming Rights For New Season via HuffingtonPost

The media-streaming giant has signed an exclusive deal to resurrect acclaimed comedy series "Arrested Development."

New episodes will be available only to Netflix streaming subscribers in the U.S. in 2013.

"For the first time in their histories, Twentieth Century Fox Television and Imagine Television will produce original first-run entertainment content for the world's leading internet subscription service, bringing back the acclaimed series to production on all new episodes five years after its cancellation," read Netflix's press release.

"Netflix's bold entrance into original programming presents an exciting new opportunity for our two companies," Fox Filmed Entertainment's President of New Media & Digital Distribution Peter Levinsohn was quoted in the release. "Bringing a classic show back to production on new episodes exclusively for Netflix customers is a game changer, and illustrates the incredible potential the new digital landscape affords great content providers like Twentieth Century Fox Television and Imagine."

Read full post on Huffington Post

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Music to think by: Q&A with David Lynch on his debut album (Wired UK)

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"This article was taken from the December 2011 issue of Wired magazine. Be the first to read Wired's articles in print before they're posted online, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing online.

David Lynch has made cult films and Tv series such as Twin Peaks. His debut album is no less psychologically intense.

Wired has a (surreal) chat with Lynch about his music and the mind.

Wired: The subconscious is a recurring theme in your visual work. How has it translated onto your album, Crazy Clown Time?

David Lynch: Well, I always say if it's subconscious, we don't know it: you can feel it, you can sense it. But when an idea enters the conscious mind, you really know it. So in music, the ideas come along in a flow -- until you get something that feels correct.

Listening to the album encourages the mind to wander. Is music more effective than film at penetrating the subconscious?
A film can get to where music does -- and that's one thing I love about cinema, it can "say" abstractions. But music is pure abstraction and it's really beautiful. You can get things where people weep and they don't know why, but the music is so powerful it can stir the mind.

You sing throughout the album, manipulating your voice. How do you think digital tools affect identity?
These tools are there to help you get it to feel correct. And so the more tools you have, the better off you are.

So all the digital tools we have available, whether it's Twitter or Facebook, allow us to correct ourselves?
Yes, exactly. They may not represent us, but they represent something that feels correct. And so with a song, you work on it, but it doesn't feel right. You keep working on it and you use all these tools and you experiment. You act and then you react until, lo and behold, it feels correct.

As a Twitter user, do you think social media is leading to a super-consciousness?
There's an ocean of pure vibrance -- fullness of consciousness -- at the base of all matter and mind. Always has been there, always will be. Now, if you heighten that in the individual, it leads to enlightenment -- that's super-consciousness. If you heighten that in the world, it brings a higher collective consciousness. But it won't happen because of Twitter...."

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

i-docs 2012 Conference in Bristol | Call for Participation -

Call for Participation

Following the success of i-Docs 2011, we are delighted to invite your participation in i-Docs 2012, a two-day event dedicated to the rapidly evolving field of interactive documentary.

i-Docs is convened by Judith Aston and Sandra Gaudenzi on behalf of the Digital Cultures Research Centre, University of the West of England, Bristol. The event will be held at the Watershed Media Centre in central Bristol on Thursday 22nd and Friday 23th of March 2012.

This year’s symposium will be organized around four topical questions that emerged from i-Docs 2011. Each question will be covered by a keynote speaker, a panel-based discussion and one (or more) workshops. We welcome proposals for papers, panels, presentations of work and other alternative forms of debate around the following questions:

1. User participation in i-docs: how can the act of participating change the meaning of an i-doc?

Where is the participation happening: within the i-doc or around it?
When and why do people want to participate? Is participation an inherently good thing?
What are the ethics of participation: where to stop and where to push?
How do strategies of participation affect the creation of meaning within an i-doc?

2. Layered experience, augmented reality games and pervasive media: are locative i-docs changing our notion of physical experience and space?
Is pervasive technology an effective way to layer the experience of reality?
How does our perception of space change in locative and augmented reality i-docs?
What are the consequences and ethics of tagging content to a place?
How do user experience and design issues effect the planning of a “real world” experience?

3. Activism and ethics: how can i-docs be used to develop new strategies for activism?
Is combining information with role-play opening activism to a younger audience?
Is implicating the user in moral dilemmas an ethical /effective strategy?
Where does an i-doc end and social media activism begin?
How does activism fit with emerging business models for i-docs?

4. Open source and the semantic web: how are tagging video, HTML5 and the semantic web opening up new routes for i-docs?
What new relationships are being created between documentary recordings and live data feeds?
Where does the role of the author lie in an open source i-doc? Are producers becoming curators?
What is the production cycle of an open source i-doc? Is it a finite or continuously evolving entity?
Are users browsers or co-creators of meaning? How can deep engagement be encouraged?

Proposals for both paper and project presentations should be sent to: idocs.symposium@gmail.com by Monday, 21st of November 2011. The proposal should clearly outline your intentions in no more than 300 words. Links to further visual materials may be provided, where appropriate. Proposals for alternate formats and/or workshops are also welcome.

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