2.29.2008

Music w/ Windows

What I consider to be another desktop MC project: from VP, Music w/ Windows.

2.28.2008

Weird Bullet

This WARNING flier is being distributed as a pdf on campus this week. (Click to enlarge.)



While there is no indication that this is an elaborate, Lost-like contagion ruse to keep students from attending Unofficial, The Faculty All-Campus Party, it does appear that the U of I has invented a new bullet point.



From the campus that brought you YouTube and Paypal, we now have the triple-decker colon. Very cool.

2.26.2008

Joseph Williams

I was reading through various list serve posts tonight, and came across a thread on the WPA list noting that Joseph Williams has died. Wow. He's the author of several books and what I consider to be the cleverest article in composition/rhetoric: "The Phenomenology of Error."

Without Williams' piece on error, I'd have no way to model for students how invention can function at the level of form in an essay. With his piece, I'm always able to demonstrate how typical essay writing is rhetorically arrested by keeping form free of invention. It's an article that demonstrates just how powerful play can be in academic argumentation.

What a clever, clever man. And what a loss.

2.25.2008

Animator vs. Animation

My sister Leah turned me on to this groovy Pygmalion animation. You've probably seen it before, but anyway. It's like the coolest thing I've seen in two weeks and, I think, another take on desktop MCing.

There is a nice .swf here, and below is the visually impoverished YouTube version. You can also play the game here.

2.17.2008

Nice Hack

Jentery points this stylus interface out. A very cool hack AND a justification for buying a Wii. As if you needed one.

2.09.2008

Fetishizing of the Handwritten Interface

This may look cool, but I don't think it is. Pete thinks it is, but not me:



My sense is that techno-gadgetry like this looks more cool than it is due to some kind of fetishizing of the handwritten interface. As if doing something simple (the vid is a sequence of Rube Goldberg machines, really) via a handwritten interface is somehow intrinsically intriguing. So you animated a white board: and? My claim: nah.

This is alliteration Saturday, a BWI activity. Found Friday will return after the commercial break.

2.04.2008

Videos on Essay Writing

Did you know that YouTube has a ton of videos about essay writing? I have a few linked here; this one (below) is my current fave:

2.01.2008

Video Writing Journal R.I.P.

If you're a frequent reader, lurker, or interloper here at El Blog, you will note that what was once the fabled Video Writing JournalTM is now toast.* Toast as in poof.

After five months (August 30, 2007 — January 28, 2008) of publishing the video journal online, I decided to nix it. Doing the journal was a fun online experiment, though, so I thought it might be worth posting a bit about it.



Strangely, I haven't been able to find too many other video objects online called "video writing journals." Given how valuable journaling (online or elsewhere) can be for writers, I'm surprised more folks aren't posting online writing journals. But maybe that's just me.

Oh, and I should say that I'm not going to stop using the journal; I'm just no longer posting it online.

Breakdown:



Things I Liked About the Project

I really liked the way the video worked, like most writing journals I've kept, to keep me accountable as a writer. I don't know exactly why, but there is something about sitting down and saying/writing "Today, I'm gonna get crackin' on that conclusion" that keeps that goal in focus for the day.

It was also nice to be doing something new on a blog that I've never seen before. New web projects keep me going; it's that simple.

I also liked the times the video was funny. Sometimes it was decidedly not funny, but when it was goofy, I liked that.


Downsides of the Project

The biggest downside of the project is something I blogged about a week or so ago: the damn videos got syndicated all over the place. At first I thought this wasn't a big deal. So what if the videos were showing up on other sites? But after a while, it started to bug me. The nature of media objects online right now is simply that there are a ton of sites out there trying to capitalize on video content, and this means that video posts of the kind I was putting up there were/are distributed far and wide.

Another downside is the oppression I've always felt with online composition projects that rely on regular, habitual composition. I just don't write/compose that way. There were many days when posting to the journal was natural, fun, and seemed like the right thing to do. But there were many other days when it was the last thing on my mind, yet neglecting the project seemed like a shame. I'm simply not a guru of regularity-based online projects in the way that some proj-gurus clearly are.

Oh, then there is the weird way that Revver.com, the site I chose to host the videos, kicks back payola to members. And after I realized this, there was nothing I could do to keep Revver from putting small change in my account for the videos. Serious chump change, but the commodification of the whole thing really wrecked it for me. Of course, I could have bumped the hosting over to The Tube, but once I had the Revver viewer on my site, I kind of liked it. Oh, the conflict and turmoil that was the Video Writing JournalTM! ;)

Here's what Revver owes me.



------------------

* Kind of a funny folkonomy thing: I tagged every post in the journal with "toast," so if you do a search on Revver for that term, the journal pops up in weird ways. My little tagging experiment.