The discovery of the digital tardiness (and my new nom-de-plume, Jennifer Smoke)

The German public radio network, ZDF, ran this great snail photo with its recent story about Slow Media, which follows below (as translated by Babel Fish).

On-line Filmer Kirby Ferguson wanted to deslag – mentally. Thus he did
not meals or alcohol, but without speed in the Internet. Slow Media is
called the movement from the USA, which sloshes now also to Germany.

The rules are clear: In the Internet surf is forbidden – exactly the
same as blog, News feeds, television YouTube, DVDs and Twitter. The
computer use and the multitasking are reduced. Maximally 30 minutes
private emails per day are permitted. Okay is " everything that ist" on
paper; , as well as radio, Podcasts, cinema. And a Hintertürchen gives
it: A daily Blog and Facebook update are permitted.

Ferguson brakes

It is an experiment, which Kirby Ferguson at the beginning of the yearly places itself. On-line
Filmer made of New York is " Digitally Native". He says of itself: "
Most of all I make everything gleichzeitig."

Facebook, Twitter, a blog,
YouTube, RSS feed – Ferguson goes through everywhere. And as like that
is in a Blog Facebook Nabelschauwelt: He observes himself thereby. And
it states that its concentration frays that its thoughts constantly fly
away to him.

Continue reading “The discovery of the digital tardiness (and my new nom-de-plume, Jennifer Smoke)”

ISO: Electric Dreams from the Beeb

Does anyone know where to get copies of BBC television programs that aren't being marketed on DVD? I'm eager to acquire "Electric Dreams," this British reality TV show about a family that moves forward through time, living in different decades and using historically appropriate technologies from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Sort of like PBS's "Frontier House" but dynamic and, well, electric.

The producers are pretty obsessive about vintage gadgets but there's also an interesting focus on how media technologies affect family life. They wonder: Has technological progress always been for the better? Spoiler alert! Depends on who you ask. The parents seem to enjoy the experiment more than the kids…

You can watch segments of it on YouTube (as above) but I'd like a complete, intact version of it that I can hold in my hands because — as the attentive reader of this blog might have noticed — I am the kind of person who likes to hold media products in my hands. The person who finds a copy for me gets a free subscription to my blog!

Is e-mailing more like “writing” or more like “talking”?

The Pew Internet in American Life Project released a fascinating report last month on "Teens, Technology & Writing" that concluded, "Teens write a lot, but they do not think of their e-mails, instant and text messages as writing." As a writing instructor, I wonder about the implications of this — especially whether I'm fighting an uphill battle trying to get students to hold e-mail messages to the same standard as formal writing.

My argument for formal e-mails is that students need to learn to express themselves in many modes, in order to meet the expectations of various audiences. You don't communicate with your friends in the same mode that you use with your family members or bosses or teachers. Writing to people such as the latter — who are in a position to evaluate you (e.g. fire you, give you a bad grade, deny you an interview) — in an informal mode seems immature and irresponsible.

Sure, sometimes e-mails are sent from handheld devices and feel more
like a text message than a letter. And instant messaging happens in the same
place as e-mailing (say, in Gmail) so I can see how people could
equivocate the two. But it seems better that students err on the side
of being too formal than being too informal, especially with people
upon whom they're trying to make a professional impression.

Continue reading “Is e-mailing more like “writing” or more like “talking”?”