Saturday, November 28, 2015

"Together" (New photo of mine on Flickr)



Title: "Together"
Photographer: William Hart, Ph.D.
http://bit.ly/1meoMVj
Description: "via Instagram bit.ly/1XyQn6t"
Taken: November 28, 2015 at 08:47AM
(C) William Hart






Tuesday, November 24, 2015

HistMedia: Internet/New Media: The Jobs-Gates Rivalry (W14-P2) [VID] Fa15



"Are you a pirate?"  What's that mean?  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Any life lessons you learn from this movie?
Any career lessons you learn from this movie?


The Pirates of Silicon Valley tells the story of the Jobs-Gates rivalry from the early 1970s until the late 1990s.



The following video interview of Jobs' biographer picks up the Jobs-Gates story where Pirates left off.





For a humorous, but insightful look at the rivalry you might also want to check out the "Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates. Epic Rap Battle."


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HistMedia: SCOT, Tech Determinism and the History of Media Tech (W14-P1) Fa15

Ev Rogers and I wrote a book chapter which, in part, explained the Social Construction of Technology and Technological Determinism theories.  We also tied the two theories together.


The chapter appeared in The Changing Conversation in America edited by Eadie and Nelson.



Ev and I wrote about Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) this way:


We said of Technological Determinism:



At the end of the chapter we included a diagram.


NOTE: There is something missing in the figure.  It was included in the paper we submitted, but left out in the printing.  What is missing?

What do we mean by "complete picture" (see caption of the diagram)?



Using SCOT and TD to Understand the Historical Development of Technology

How do these theories help us understand how media technologies develop?

Like the ideas of Kuhn and Burke (presented previously), technological determinism and social construction of technology are theoretical constructs that help us understand the development (or history) of technologies.

How do these theories help us better understand the history of past media technology?  Books? Radio?  TV?   How do they help us understand the stories of Gutenberg, Edison, Woods, De Forest, Armstrong and Farnsworth?  For example, how could we use the idea of  social construction of technology to explain (or understand) the story of Granville Woods?

How do they help us better understand the development of more recent media technologies (computers, the PC, the Internet, etc.)?   How do they help us understand the stories of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs?  Mark Zuckerberg?




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Monday, November 23, 2015

DigPhotog: Becoming a Photo Doctor (Photo Editing, etc.) (W14-P1) [VID] Fa15


Brooke Miller Underexposed
Photo by Richard MasonerUsed under Creative Commons.
Let's get a little metaphorical.

Somebody who edits photos is a photo doctor.  A photo doctor diagnoses a photo and then prescribes a treatment for a photo disease.

For example, diagnose the photo to the right.  What's the problem with it?  What photo disease does it have?

It is underexposed.  Is that your diagnosis?  In your favorite photo editing software, how would you treat that disease?

A medical doctor uses a variety of tools to treat medical problems (e.g., a scalpel). As a photo doctor, what tools would you use?

As you begin your internship as a new photo doctor, I'd suggest you start with a small set of "diseases" that you can diagnose (recognize) and treat (fix) and a small set of tools to learn how to use.  As you progress as a photo doctor, become an expert in treating more diseases and learn how to use additional tools.

I'd suggest you start with a set of photo diseases like below and learn the 2-5 general steps that are usually needed to treat the disease.
  • Underexposed Photo (whole photo)
  • Overexposed Photo (whole photo)
  • Part of Photo Underexposed
  • Part of Photo Overexposed
  • Unwanted Elements in Photo
  • Distracting Background
  • Washed Out (Low Contrast) Photo (See the before photo below.)


For steps on how to treat the photo disease listed above and many more, see Digital Photo Doctor.   The book takes a similar metaphorical approach.  Check out the book.  You should be able to get it for $5 or less.

Of course, you could also do a YouTube search for helpful photo editing tutorials that deal with the disease you want to treat.



As a beginning photo doctor, you should also start learning how to use a small set of of photo editing tools and techniques. Here are some basic photo doctor tools and techniques that you'd need to treat the previously listed photo diseases.

When learning how to treat the diseases and how to use the tools, I'd recommend that you learn how to use the tools at a general level so that you can move from one photo editing software to another.  Don't get to caught up in the key-strokes used in specific software (e.g., press Shft+Ctrl+U to desaturate in Photoshop).

Speaking of photo editing software, I would, of course, recommend the premiere photo editing software, Photoshop, especially the cloud based version.  Of course, this'll cost some cash.

In terms of saving some money, I'd recommend GIMP, a free photo editing software package that you download to your computer (see info video).  I'd also recommend Pixlr.com, a free, powerful, photo-editing site that allows you to edit photos right within your browser.   Go to Pixlr.com right now and try some the things discussed above.

Also, in terms of browser-based editing, I'd also recommend Fotoflexor.com.  While Pixlr has the look and feel of Photoshop, Fotoflexor does not.  It does, however, have some of the same features (e.g. layers and curves).  It also has the added benefit of easily editing photos stored in Flickr.

As for free photo editing apps, I'd recommend Pixlr Express (Apple | Android), Photoshop Express (Apple | Android), Aviary (Apple | Android) and Snapseed (Apple | Android). If I had to choose just one app, it would be Pixlr Express.  I like the number and type of editing tools.  However, I'm starting to warm up to Snapseed. With Snapseed I especially like slide user interface and the "Selective Adjustment" tool which allows for some dodging and burning. What's dodging and burning, again?  See above.

Do recognize the limitation of photo editing apps.  The apps do not even come close to all that photo editing software can do on a desktop or laptop.


Cosmetic Photo Surgery

The above discussion may leave the impression that the only thing you can do with photo editing tools is fix or treat photo diseases or problems (e.g., underexposure).  However, photo editing tools are not just used to treat a disease, but can also be used to “beautify” or modify the photo   You could think of this a cosmetic photo surgery.  You are not really fixing a problem with the photo, you are adding to it.

You could turn a color photo to black and white and then colorize only one item in the photo.




Of course, there are tons of other interesting photo editing techniques you could learn.  Have fun adding to your cosmetic photo surgery skill set.



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Saturday, November 21, 2015

""Rambutan"" (New photo of mine on Flickr)



Title: ""Rambutan""
Photographer: William Hart, Ph.D.
http://bit.ly/1meoMVj
Description: "via Instagram bit.ly/1jdoOBX"
Taken: November 21, 2015 at 10:49AM
(C) William Hart






Friday, November 20, 2015

"From Damascus to Detroit, a Young Syrian Refugee Shares Her Story | Mashable Docs" (My New Liked Vid on YouTube) [VID]

From Damascus to Detroit, a Young Syrian Refugee Shares Her Story | Mashable Docs


"Zeina Aboushaar was only 9 when the Syrian government bombed her school in the Damascus suburb of Darayya. Since then, things have only gotten worse and the civil war has cost the lives of almost a quarter of a million people. Zeina managed to escape with her family and today she lives in a suburb of Detroit with her mother and 3 brothers. (Her parents are divorced and her father lives in Egypt.) When memories overwhelm her, she sits down to write. She shared her story to explain what's happening in her country. MASHABLE ON YOUTUBE Subscribe to Mashable: http://on.mash.to/subscribe More Mashable Docs: http://bit.ly/215Klif MASHABLE ACROSS THE WEB Mashable.com: http://on.mash.to/1hCcRpl Facebook: http://on.mash.to/1KkCTIP Twitter: http://on.mash.to/1Udp1kz Tumblr: http://on.mash.to/1NBBijY Instagram: http://on.mash.to/1U6D40z Google+: http://on.mash.to/1i27L5R Mashable is a leading global media company that informs, inspires and entertains the digital generation."
Via YouTube http://youtu.be/TCJC_BeYhkw
Liked on November 20, 2015 at 09:14PM






Thursday, November 19, 2015

MassMedia: Social Media and Web 2.0: Facebook and the Zuckerberg Story (W13-P2) Fa15

How did Facebook come to be? What is Mark Zuckerberg's story?
Fact and Fiction

You might know some of the story from the 2010 film, The Social Network.



However, is the film based on the fact?  What does Zuckerberg object to?



If you are curious, you might also want to check out a recent article "Zuckerberg reveals he found The Social Network 'hurtful'."

A documentary or news story would be a better way of getting to the true story.



If you are curious, you might also want to check out a full bio on Bloomberg's Game Changers series.

How is his story similar to past media tech visionaries?


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MassMedia: Social Media and Web 2.0: Intro (W13-P1) Fa15

What makes Facebook or Twitter examples of social media? Is YouTube social media? 
What is social media?  

"Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as 'a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.'" (Wikipedia).

So, Web 2.0 has something to do with social media. What is Web 2.0?

"The term Web 2.0 is associated with web applications that facilitate participatory information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design,[1] and collaboration on the World Wide Web. A Web 2.0 site allows users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators (prosumers) of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where users (consumers) are limited to the passive viewing of content that was created for them. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, hosted services, web applications, mashups and folksonomies" (Wikipedia)

So, if this is Web 2.0, what was Web 1.0?

How did social media develop/evolve?  What is the short history of social media?





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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

MediaTech: Social Media and Web 2.0: Facebook and the Zuckerberg Story (W13-P3) Fa15

How did Facebook come to be? What is Mark Zuckerberg's story?
Fact and Fiction

You might know some of the story from the 2010 film, The Social Network.



However, is the film based on the fact?  What does Zuckerberg object to?



If you are curious, you might also want to check out a recent article "Zuckerberg reveals he found The Social Network 'hurtful'."

A documentary or news story would be a better way of getting to the true story.



If you are curious, you might also want to check out a full bio on Bloomberg's Game Changers series.

How is his story similar to past media tech visionaries?


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MediaTech: Social Media and Web 2.0: Intro (W13-P2) Fa15

What makes Facebook or Twitter examples of social media? Is YouTube social media? 
What is social media?  

"Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as 'a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.'" (Wikipedia).

So, Web 2.0 has something to do with social media. What is Web 2.0?

"The term Web 2.0 is associated with web applications that facilitate participatory information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design,[1] and collaboration on the World Wide Web. A Web 2.0 site allows users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators (prosumers) of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where users (consumers) are limited to the passive viewing of content that was created for them. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, hosted services, web applications, mashups and folksonomies" (Wikipedia)

So, if this is Web 2.0, what was Web 1.0?

How did social media develop/evolve?  What is the short history of social media?





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MediaTech: Social Media and Web 2.0: Diffusion and Innovations (W13-P1) Fa15


Previously we have noted that when a person or a society adopts an innovations, there are consequences. What are some consequences of adopting social media based on recent research?




Now, let's shift gears, but stay with diffusion of innovations and social media.  The adoption of social media has greatly increased in the past decade or so.  People have adopted social media more quickly than any other past media technology (radio, TV, etc.).  Why?   What makes an innovation spread?  What makes the rate of adoption increase?  What are the key factors according to diffusion of innovation theory?  What are the characteristics (or attributes) of an innovation that makes it quickly become adopted?  


Specifically, what are the attributes of the innovation that make it spread?
























How do these attributes of an innovation apply to the diffusion of social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc.?

---

The above diffusion of innovations concepts has been previously covered.  Now, let's introduce a new diffusion of innovation concept, adopter categories.  We'll then apply this new concept to your adoption of social media.

According to Rogers, there are five categories of adopters, five type of people who adopt an innovation.


  1. Innovators - "Innovators are willing to take risks, have the highest social status, have financial liquidity, are social and have closest contact to scientific sources and interaction with other innovators. Their risk tolerance allows them to adopt technologies that may ultimately fail. Financial resources help absorb these failures."
  2. Early adopters - "These individuals have the highest degree of opinion leadership among the adopter categories. Early adopters have a higher social status, financial liquidity, advanced education and are more socially forward than late adopters. They are more discreet in adoption choices than innovators. They use judicious choice of adoption to help them maintain a central communication position."
  3. Early Majority - "They adopt an innovation after a varying degree of time that is significantly longer than the innovators and early adopters. Early Majority have above average social status, contact with early adopters and seldom hold positions of opinion leadership in a system (Rogers 1962, p. 283)"
  4. Late Majority  - They adopt an innovation after the average participant. These individuals approach an innovation with a high degree of skepticism and after the majority of society has adopted the innovation. Late Majority are typically skeptical about an innovation, have below average social status, little financial liquidity, in contact with others in late majority and early majority and little opinion leadership.
  5. Laggards - They are the last to adopt an innovation. Unlike some of the previous categories, individuals in this category show little to no opinion leadership. These individuals typically have an aversion to change-agents. Laggards typically tend to be focused on "traditions", lowest social status, lowest financial liquidity, oldest among adopters, and in contact with only family and close friends." (Wikipedia)


When it comes to your adoption of social media, which category did you fall into?



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DigPhotog: Technical Meets Ethical: The Ethics of Photo Manipulation [VID] (W13-P1) Fa15

So, one of the benefits of digital photography is that it is so easy to edit a photograph.

However, you could also say one of the problems with digital photography is that it is so easy to edit a photography.   


How can this be both a benefit and a problem?


The advances in photographic technologies leads to some ethical issues in photography that need to be addressed.

Photo manipulation: "the application of image editing techniques to photographs in order to create an illusion or deception (in contrast to mere enhancement or correction), through analog or digital means." (Wikipedia)


Ethics: "(1) the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation. (2) a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values —often used in plural but singular or plural in construction... (3) the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group." (Merriam-Webster)


What are your ethical standards when it comes to digital manipulation?

When is it O.K. to manipulate a photograph and when is it not?
Would it be acceptable in the area of art, but not in journalism?  Why?

Digital manipulation of photos can come up in the realm of politics as in the Fox News clip below.  The third photo shown (with the poodle) is clearly "photoshopped," but so are the previous two photos of the two men (yellowed teeth, etc.).




Digital manipulation controversies can also show up in the realm of advertising with some racist overtones. One example: Did Vanity Fair lighten Beyonce’s skin? - Entertainment - Access Hollywood - TODAY.com. For more on this story and other related digital manipulations in the news, see this set of links.




Browse through the many examples of photo manipulation found on Photo Tampering Throughout History.  This site has over 120 examples of photo manipulations from the late 1800s to today.  There are 26 examples from 2011.  As you check out the examples on the site, see if you can fine tune your ethical standards about photo manipulation.  When is it O.K.?  When is it not?


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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

HistMedia: Connections - Past & Future: Mr. Burke & His Connections Approach to History (U13-P1) Fa15


Previously we took Thomas Kuhn's theory of scientific revolutions and applied it to the study of communication broadly and international communication specifically.  That is, we used the theory as a way of understanding the history of these fields of study.  According to the theory, first this happens and then that happens.  There is a pattern in the histories.

In a similar fashion, here we are going to use James Burke's ideas of scientific and technological development to understand the history (and prehistory?) of media technologies.

But, first who is James Burke?



To start to understand his approach, let's first recall our much earlier discussion on why we study history.

Note the reason that is in boldface.  That will start to get us thinking like Burke.

Burke: "If you don't know how you got somewhere, you don't know where you are" (ep. 10, Connections).

With that reason in mind, let's next look at Burke's concept of the "Trigger Effect."
What's the "Trigger Effect" of which Burke speaks?

Burke laid out some of his ideas, including the Trigger Effect, in his TV series Connections from the late 70s.


Play video from 0:00 to about 4:50.

NOTE: If the video is not available online then see this transcript.

Now let's take a look at some of Burke's further thoughts on technological change.  In the 10th episode of Connections, Burke...  outlines....explains...

As you watch the beginning of episode 10 of Connections ("Yesterday, Tomorrow and You"), here are some questions to answer.

What did the plow triggers?   The plow lead to what which lead to what?  See what Burke means by connections?

As the title of the episode implies, what will be our technological future?  Can we look at the trigger technologies around us and figure what the key triggers are?  In what ways are these key triggers likely to act?

Is there anything we can learn from the past that would help us understand possible technological change in the future?

As Burke points out, this may be difficult to figure the future because of the way we've been taught the history of technological development.

The history has been presented to us as happening in a linear, discrete fashion.  We are told history...

  • in packaged units (e.g. the history of agricultural technologies).
  • as the story of the "lonely genius in the garage with a light bulb" creating all by themselves (Eastman, Edison, etc.) 
  • as sets of "Golden Ages" that began on such and such date and ended on such and such date.
According to Burke what is the problem with each of these ways of thinking?


These ways of thinking about the history of technological development makes you think in straight lines, when indeed, as Burke stresses that history is web of inter-connections.

Now, with this understanding of Burke's ideas, what do you see in terms of technological change in your future?  What would think Burke would say of today's technologies, especially communication technologies?

---

Now with a good understanding of Burke's alternative approach to change, I'd encourage you to watch episode 9 of Connections in which Burke applies his ideas to tell a history (and prehistory?) of some media technologies.

As you watch episode 9 of Connections ("Countdown"), here are some questions to answer.

How are cannon balls connected to film and television?  What is the path?  What's the process?  Can you list the steps and briefly explain each step in the process?  Can you make the connections using Burke's approach?


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Friday, November 13, 2015

DigPhotog: Writing Captions in Photojournalism (W12-P6) Fa15



Besides composing a good photograph, photographers may also be involved in another type of composition. Photographers, especially photojournalist, may also compose captions for their photographs.


Richard Lee Bland Newspaper Photo
Source
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words.

If that is true for news photographs, then the caption (the verbal description) for the photograph, is like the lead to the thousand word story.

In a news article, the first few sentences of the story is the lead. The lead tells the reader the who, what, when, where, why and how of the story. Packed into the lead is quick overview of the whole news story.*


So, as Kobre' points out in his book, Photojournalism: The Professionals' Approach, a caption should tell the reader/viewer the who, what, when, where, why and how of the photograph.  The caption serves the same purpose as a lead in a written news story. [If your interest is specifically in photojournalism, I'd strongly recommend Kobre's book.]

The 5 W's and the H of a news story (or in this case, a news photograph):
  • Who - who is the news event about, who is in the photo?
  • What - what happened in the news event, what is happening in the photo?
  • When - when did the news event happen, when was the photo taken?
  • Where - where did the news event happen, where was the photo taken?
  • Why (1) - why did the news event happen, what happened that lead to the photograph, what happened before?
  • Why (2) - what is the significance of the news event, why is it important to us, what is going to happen after this event?
  • How - how did the event happen?

So, a lead in a written news story should answer the who, what, when, where and how of the new event and sometimes it'll address the why and how.

Now, if a caption of a news photograph is like the lead of a news story, then what does a caption include.

The Associated Press recommends a caption should contain two concise sentences. The first sentence of the caption should include the who, what, when and where.  The second sentence should provide the background information on the how and the why, especially the significance of the news event.

Tip: Start the first sentence with the most important thing to your audience.  If who is important, then start with who.  For example, if a celebrity is the who, then you'll probably want to start your sentence with that person's name. If the where is important, then start your first sentence with where.  For example, if a disease is breaking out is a certain area, then the location or where, is probably more important.

Check out AP's Top Photos of the Week page for current examples of news photographs and their captions. Hover the mouse over the photos to see the captions.  Do the AP photographers and photo editors practice what the AP style guidelines recommend?

Can you write a caption for a new photo?  Find some photos you know something about, perhaps from the AP link above or this link, and see if you can write a caption for the photo.  Practice. practice, practice.


* We're especially talking about hard news stories here.



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DigPhotog: An Intro to Photojournalism (W12-P5) [VID] Fa15

Earlier we've spoken of the power of photography to move, to motivate people.
More recently we've spoken of the rights and responsibilities of a photographer.  
And, we've touched on the role of the photographer in society.

This brings us to a powerful quote from Gordon Parks.

Parks once said: "I saw that the camera could be a weapon against poverty, against racism, against all sorts of social wrongs. I knew at that point I had to have a camera."

It is the photojournalist then who could and should be the soldier on the front lines fighting.  Parks was a photojournalist.

Who is a photojournalist and what do they do?

The following videos provide a good overview of photojournalism from rules and tips to what it is like to be a photojournalist.

First, let's get a feel for what it is like to be a photojournalist.

"A Day in the Life of a Photojournalist"


"Insight into Photojournalism - David Dare Parker" - Freelance Photojournalist - The International Angle




In the "Photojournalism Tutorial" video below pay close attention to (1) the definition of photojournalism, (2) the three key rules of journalism/photojournalism, (3) the rules of the field and (4) the tips for being a good photojournalist.

"Photojournalism Tutorial"






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Thursday, November 12, 2015

MassMedia: Advertising & PR: The A.I.D.A. Formula for Writing Commercials (W12-P2) [VID] Fa15

Below is a clip from the film, Glengary Glen Ross, about four real estate salesmen and  the challenge set before them.


The A.I.D.A marketing formula is something that can help you in your own marketing efforts.

You want to be successful in your media career?  No matter your career path, you will be "marketing" something, "selling" something, "promoting" something, if only that something is yourself.   To be successful, it would be good to know key marketing techniques.

One of those key marketing techniques is the A.I.D.A. formula.  For details, see below.


Did you notice what I just did?  

==================

The A.I.D.A. formula is a common format used in the writing of commercials.
  • Parts of A.I.D.A. Commercial
    1. Attention: Get audience’s attention
    2. Interest: Keep interest expand attention, tell benefits, use “you,” etc.
    3. Desire: Create desire in audience.  Develop some need in the audience members that the product meets.
    4. Action: Tell audience what to do. Go to an address, go to web site or call now.

Take a look at the following TV commercial script.  See the parts of the A.I.D.A formula?  What's the need addressed?

A typical commercial script follows a two column format with the video on left and audio on right.  The video column describes what the viewer sees in each part of the commercial and the audio column describes what the audio will hear.



















Source: Hillman


There are three major formats of commercials and the A.I.D.A. formula best fits the format called the straight sell.

Format of Commercials
  • Straight Sell
    • Main “character” is a pitchman who tries to sell product to you.
  • Testimonial
    • A personal story is told to sell the product. “I use the product. It works for me. So,…”
  • Dramatization
    • Tell a quick story/mini-drama to sell product.
      • Get attention
      • Create suspense by creating a problem/need for a character
      • Solve the problem/need.  Very often it is the product that solves the problem or meets the need.


The idea of a product meeting a need is mentioned above a few times.  It is important.  There are a variety of ways of talking about human needs, but the classic is Maslow's Heirachy of Needs (see below).



We need the things above.  With this in mind, how would you write a commercial to sell a product?

Take a look at the following, recent commercial.  Does it use A.I.D.A.?  What format?  What need(s)?



What about this one?







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MassMedia: International Public Relations: Case Study of U.S. Military Image in Afghanistan (W12-P2) [VID] Fa15


A case study is a method of teaching in which students are presented with a problematic scenario or case.  A case is an example or illustration of a problem or challenge.

Case studies are some times used in law classes and some times in public relations classes, for example.

After an international case is presented there is a common method used in PR courses.
  1. Define/describe the PR problem.
  2. Give ways for addressing or solving this problem.
  3. List resources needed for implementing solution(s).
  4. Give a timetable for implementation.
  5. State expected impact of solution.
  6. How did you use intercultural skills?

Intercultural skills to keep in mind when working through the international P.R. case
  • Be mindful
    • Be thoughtful, aware of differences
  • Be patience
    • It may be difficult at first
  • Be open-minded
    • Consider other ways of doing things, other views
  • Be tolerance of ambiguity
    • Things may not make sense. Be comfortable with uncertainty

Now, let's do a case or three.
Check out the following news videos about three back-to-back incidents between the U.S. military and the people of Afghanistan in early 2012.  As you are watching these, starting thinking about the above info.  What would you do to build a better relationship between the U.S. military and the people of Afghanistan?


Pentagon denounces Marine urination video (CBS Evening News - Jan. 2012)


Quran Burning Sparks Angry Afghan Protest (Associated Press - Feb. 2012)


Afghan Massacre: Video From Shooting Scene (ABC Evening News - Mar. 2012)



What would you do to build a better relationship between the U.S. military and the people of Afghanistan?



Also, now go through the method given above (i.e., 1. Define/describe the P.R. problem, etc.).  Also don't forget to think about how you'd use your intercultural skills in doing this P.R. work.




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MassMedia: Advertising & PR: Public Relations & Press Releases (W12-P1) [VID] Fa15


Public relations is what an organization does that “helps establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance, and cooperation between an organization and its publics” (Harlow).

If a toy company sold a product that was found to be harmful to children, what four groups (publics) would they want to be sure to work with?


Four key publics that an organization/company works with: (1) consumers, (2) government, (3) mass media, and (4) employees (internally).


What do PR people do?
  • Writing and Editing
    • Press releases, newsletters, reports
  • Media Relations
    • working with journalists, etc.
  • Special events
  • Speaking
  • Production of company media
  • Research and gather data for planning
  • Etc.

An important task that a public relations person would take on would be the writing of press releases.

"A press release, news release, media release, press statement or video release is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something ostensibly newsworthy" (Wikipedia).

The idea here is that, if a journalist does find the press release newsworthy, they will mention it in their newspaper, magazine, news program, etc.  Ideally the press release writer would like to see their press release repeated verbatim in the news.  Really?  Why?

Is it good that some journalist may just take all or major chunks of a press release and present this as news?  See our earlier discussion on VNRs (or video news releases).

***

How to write a press release?  What are the major elements of a press release?


What do the major elements of a press release look like when put all together to be released to the media?


If you are curious, you may want to check out PRWeb's list of recent press releases put out by various companies and organizations.


Press Release Source: Rich, Writing and Reporting News.



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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

MediaTech: Internet/New Media: History of the Internet (W12-P3) [VID] Fa15

What would a timeline (a list of events) look like for the development of the Internet as a communication tool?  Starting with the late 1960s, what new communication tools appeared on the Internet?  Examples: What year did email first appear?  What year did blogs appear?

Zuckerman gives a good timeline (or list) in his brief talk.



What would you add to this timeline for more recent years?

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MediaTech: Internet/New Media: Winston's Model and the Internet (W12-P2) Fa15

How much do you know about the development of the Internet and the use of computers as communication tools?  What do you recall from previous readings, notes and discussion?

Can you trace the development of the Internet using Winston's model?







Source: Media Technology and Society: A History From the Telegraph to the Internet







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MediaTech: Internet/New Media: The Internet Explained (W12-P1) [VID] Fa15

So, how does the Internet work?  What are the steps in the process?  The parts?




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DigPhotog: Street/Public Photography (a YT playlist+) (W12-P4) Fa15


What type of photography do you like?  What type of photography do you like taking?  Landscape?  Portrait?  Street photography?  Close-up nature (flowers, etc.)? Other?

Here, let's focus (excuse the pun) on street photography.


Street Photography

Questions to keep in mind when watching the clips below.
  • What is street photography?
  • What are some do's and don'ts of street photography?
  • What are the rights of photographers in public spaces according to the ACLU?
  • In what ways are street photography and public photography relate?


In the video above Kai suggests that we should "google it" to get a definition of street photography. When you do so, you'll find this definition that works well. Street photography is "a non-formalised [unposed] genre of photography that features subjects in candid situations within public places such as streets, parks, beaches, malls, political conventions and other associated settings"(Fogherty).

Kai also mentions the famous street photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson. If you are curious you can see some Cartier-Bresson's street photos here. Also, if you are curious, I recommend you check out "10 Things Henri Cartier-Bresson Can Teach You About Street Photography."






If you are interested, click on the word "Playlist" or the playlist symbol to see the other videos in my playlist on street photography and the related idea of taking photos in public.

So...
What is street photography?
What are some do's and don'ts of street photography?
What are the rights of photographers in public spaces according to the ACLU?
In what ways are street photography and public photography relate?  How do paparazzi fit into this discussion?  Did I say paparazzi? :)

One of the video clips in the above playlist makes reference to the ACLU and photography in public spaces. Read the following: "Know Your Rights: Photographers"


Other types of photography

Street photography is just one type of photography that you can focus on.  There are such types as black and white photography, portraits, still life, architectural, landscapes, close-up nature (flowers, etc.), children, sports & action, etc.  I'd suggest you "focus" on one type until you developed some skills in that area and then move on to other types, if you want.


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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

HistMedia: Spotlight On Hedy Lamar (W12-P3) Fa15

Here recently was the 101st birthday of actress and technologist/inventor, Hedy Lamarr.
Google even made note of Lamarr with an animated doodle on their search page.
What was her story?  What did she invent still relevant to today's communication technologies?




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HistMedia: TV Technologists: Farnsworth, Sarnoff & Zworykin (W12-P2) Fa15

Now let's return to our discussion of media technologists, the creators, the inventors of media.

Previously we studied the creation of radio by looking at the lives of de Forest, Armstrong and Sarnoff.

Next, we turn to TV technologists.  Note that Sarnoff returns to play a role in the beginnings of television too.

While Sarnoff did play an important role in the beginnings of TV, note that Sarnoff is more on the business side of things as he was with radio.  Who are the key inventors that deserve attention when talking about the beginnings of TV?

Here we study the creation of TV via a recent National Geographic Channel documentary titled AMERICAN GENIUS FARNSWORTH VS. SARNOFF.



Note that, as clearly stated at the beginning of the film, this NGC doc "includes dramatizations inspired by history."


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HistMedia: Hovland, Persuasion, Propaganda and 'Why We Fight' (W12-P1) Fa15

Early media scholar, Carl Hovland, centered his research on persuasion. During World War II, he was involved in creation and study of Francis Capra's 'Why We Fight' films.  These propaganda films were used by the U.S. government to train new U.S. soldiers.

An Introduction to the Films


Let's also look at the first few minutes of one of the films. How are the films persuasive?  What persuasive tactics are used (e.g., fear appeals)?





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Monday, November 9, 2015

"Karen O – “I Shall Rise” Official Music Video" (My New Liked Vid on YouTube) [VID]

Karen O – “I Shall Rise” Official Music Video


"Produced in collaboration with Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman and Academy Award-nominated musician Karen O, and written and recorded explicitly for Rise of the Tomb Raider, “I Shall Rise” explores Lara Croft’s relentless journey as she tests the limits of the human spirit. Inspired by Lara Croft’s adventure through a hostile world as she searches for the secret of immortality, “I Shall Rise” captures the gravity and cinematic presentation of Rise of the Tomb Raider, and marks Karen O’s first original song for a video game. “The emotional and very human story, of a young woman’s perseverance and journey in accepting her destiny as the Tomb Raider is inspiring on many levels, and I drew on those inspirations for this song,” said Karen O. “She’s such an iconic hero, the opportunity to compose this song and be part of Lara’s history is exciting.” “Karen truly captures Lara’s indomitable spirit and determination,” said Crystal Dynamics Creative Director Noah Hughes. “The mood and atmosphere the song evokes is simply fantastic and compliments the game’s aspirational sense of adventure really well.” “I Shall Rise” is available for digital download today wherever music is sold. Discover the legend within November 10. --- Pre-Order "Rise of the Tomb Raider": http://bit.ly/1Mi6XW4 Download "I Shall Rise": - iTunes: http://apple.co/1OdUaGz - Google Play Music: http://bit.ly/1Q0arhI - Amazon Music: http://amzn.to/1GPCtdJ - Spotify: http://bit.ly/1WK7otO - Cult Records: http://bit.ly/1MiEbBr & other major music sites"
Via YouTube http://youtu.be/1hu8-y6fKg0
Liked on November 9, 2015 at 08:54PM






DigPhotog: Diversity & Digital Photography - Practical Issues [VID] (W12-P3) Fa15

We shift now from the serious issues addressed in the previous blog post to practical issues of photographing people of different skin tones.

For some written advice read Photographing People of Color, if you are interested.  But, here, let's watch a couple of videos with further instructions.






The above videos covered what to do if your subject has darker skin, but what if you have multiple people in your photograph with different skin tones?  Follow and read the link.

To take things a step further, if you are interested, you would find it helpful to also understand the use of the gray card and "middle gray" in photography.  If interested, you may also want to explore how spot metering works in to all this.


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DigPhotog: Diversity & Digital Photography - Serious Issues [VID] (W12-P2) Fa15


The topics of race, gender and photography intersect in a variety of ways.

Photojournalism: A man's world?

(Washington Post video   Nov. 2013)

Notice anything about the women discussed above?  Now that brings us to race.

The camera can be used as a tool to promote racism and to terrorize a group of people as in the lynching photographs/postcards in the U.S. in the early part of the 1900s.  The camera could also be used as a tool to catalog and control a group of people as with Polaroid's involvement in the creation of travel documents that black South Africans were required to carry as they traveled within their own country.

However, the camera can also be used as a tool to fight racism and teach tolerance as in the use of photography to fight for civil rights in the U.S., for example, by Gordon Parks.

So, the above depends on how the photographer uses the camera, for good or for evil.

But, how about the camera itself?  Could the camera itself be inherently racist?  Racist by design?
How is that possible?  What does that mean?
What we are asking is: Is there bias in the design of the camera and related technologies, like film?

The following cases arose a few years back.  One of the cases dealt with the facial detection feature of the CoolPix camera asking Asian people if they had blinked.  The other case dealt with the webcam on an HP laptop not tracking the faces of African-Americans.


HP WebCam


For more details on these two cases, if you are interested, see the Time.com article Are Face-Detection Cameras Racist? or the PetaPixel post “Racist” Camera Phenomenon Explained — Almost.

Now with this general topic introduced, what follows is some required reading.

To finish up on the serious side of the topic of race in photography, scan the following 4 articles.

If you are interested in more online reading on the topic, here is some recommended reading:
Camera Obscura After All: The Racist Writing With Light by Jonathan Beller.


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DigPhotog: Diversity & Digital Photography - "Through a Lens Darkly" [VID] (W12-P1) Fa15

This last post on this topic is not a lecture post.  It is more an advertisement or endorsement.

If you get the chance to see the following new documentary, please do.  It is available on Netflix, for example.




The documentary is based, in part, on Deborah Willis' book, Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers 1840 to the Present








Below is just a little on Dr. Willis and her work.



 If you are especially curious, there is a good interview of Dr. Willis on WGBH's Basic Black.



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Thursday, November 5, 2015

MassMedia: Entertainment: How to Write a Joke (W11-P3) Fa15


“A good joke idea is raw potential and can be used in an almost unlimited number of contexts” (Sankey). Jokes can be used in stand-up comedy, commercials, cartoons, radio shows, a humor column in a newspaper/blog, TV sitcoms, etc. Jokes are the heart of comedy writing.

What is a joke?
  • A funny story.
  • Typically has two parts, the setup and then the punchline.
  • May have an additional part, a tag, which is an additional funny line that follows the punchline.

The Setup:
  • Sometimes called a premise.
  • “A set-up is the information the comic gives to the crowd to establish an initial subject, context and perspective.”
  • Compare this to the Setup in a 3 act film.
  • Henny Youngman’s old joke
    • The setup: “Women are crazy today.”

The Punchline:
  • “the final information the comic gives to the crowd; it alters the meaning of already given information in a surprising fashion.”
  • Compare punchlines to plot points.
  • Henny Youngman’s old joke
    • The punchline: “Take my wife………please”


Do you spot the setups and punchlines in the following Bud Light commercials? Spot the tags in some? Don't need to watch them all, just a few will do.  Watch responsibly.

Bud Light commercials deserve some ideological criticism?

Now, let's take a look at the joke structure in a situation comedy.  Just check out the first minute or so. How many jokes in the first minute?  Wonder how many jokes in a typical sitcom?  Could you write for a sitcom? Can you write a joke?









































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MassMedia: Entertainment: Is Reality TV Real? (W11-P2) Fa15

Within entertainment television, one of the increasingly popular genres is reality TV.

Reality TV: "a genre of television programming that presents purportedly unscripted dramatic or humorous situations, documents actual events, and usually features ordinary people instead of professional actors.”

Unscripted?  Really?

In the video clip below, pay particular attention to the comments about writing dialogue, creating a setup and conflict.  Sound familiar?




More on the writing and creating of reality TV shows.  In the video below, pay particular attention from 1:09 to 3:15.  Note the speakers mention of archetypal roles and frankenbites.  What does he mean by a frankenbite?




The clips above suggest that during the production of a reality TV episode, "writers" sometimes write dialogue for the "actors" and do things to create conflict.

However, it is in post-production, where a lot of the creating or writing of the story happens.  In post-production, the producers and "writers" have to put together the best material to tell the best story.  The post-production process would begin with (1) the screening of 100s of hours of raw footage, (2) identifying a story that they want to tell, and (3) try to thread that story through the acts of episode.

The common parts of a story: introduction of character, explain the problem or need, face the obstacles to overcoming that problem, the character does or does not solve their problem.  This sound familiar?

One of the videos above, suggests that it is in post-production where some creative editing can happen. Frankenbites, for example?

Could you write a reality TV series?  An interesting challenge, yes?  How would it be similar to and different from the writing of fictional TV?


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