Saturday, October 21, 2006

weekly blog review~5

David Pogue lambastes Microsoft (again). During his research for his upcoming book about MS Vista David is all too quick to criticize. I am well aware by this time that Pogue is an Apple man and will let you know that at every opportunity. (I still surmise Jobs gives him kickbacks.) Pogue picks on Microsoft's new IE7 too.

He also mentions the Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge (or BOOK) and Sony's E-Reader. These little devises sound useful. I wonder if you could download audio books as well for the visually impaired. It would be cool if the system could 'read' to you. My father is legally blind and enjoys listening to books on tape. technicalecal comprehension level is extremely low. It always feels like a struggle to get him to consider anything that may assist him. Anyway, I thought these devices might actually be something he could use with some guidance without getting overwhelmed. Audio books are far more expensive than the price point for these e-books. It could give him hours of enjoyment at a far more reasonable cost (once the initial investment in the equipment is made, roughly $350).

Mark Hancock displays his South Texas State Fair photos on a couple of entries this week. The pictures include rides, animals, and the food at the midway.
His PhotoJournalism blog also included a couple of comprehensive entries outlining a curriculum for teaching digital photography at an elementary level. He goes into considerable detail for grading and lesson plans. He lays out quite an extensive plan that could be implemented over the course of a semester.

Of course Eric Deggan's The Feed mentions the St. Petersburg Times redesign (again). Actually, I found the Times' flash expose about the redesign changes well done, comprehensive and easy to follow. Slick.
The Feed also makes way for a 'guest blogger'. Jay Cridlin, from TBT interviews Demetri Martin in an entertaining piece.
The Feed also pays tribute to local radio personality Bob Lassiter. He recently died from complications from diabetes. Deggans eloquently says goodbye while introducing me to Lassiter's touching blog documenting the last year of his life. So long, Mad Dog.

Monday, October 16, 2006

weekly blog review~4

This week in Pogue’s Posts David shares a Futurephone site with us. The web site explains how to make international toll free calls.
The call is made to an Iowa phone number then transferred to your designated long distance number. The only charge is calling Iowa. If you are calling in the evening or on weekends from your cell phone then the call is actually free.
The only drawback with this plan is that the destination number cannot be a cell phone number. See the Futurephone web site for a current lists of countries able to be reached.
Later in the week David addresses readers concern for security realitive to the Futurephone's service for free international calls.

The ‘phosaic’ on Hancock’s PhotoJournalism blog was colorful and interesting. Using mosaic tile techniques, Mark Hancock creates a huge photomural. The piece is created using 225 digital images. Mr. Hancock offers instruction to construct a ‘phosaic’.

The most moving entry on his blog this week was the photo essay of the Patriot Guard Riders. This collection of photos illustrates more than 200 bikers that ‘shielded’ a grieving family from the eight Baptist anti-war protesters that attempt to make a political statement at the funeral of Staff Sgt. Edward Charles Reynolds, Jr. The bikers converged on the event displaying a multitude of U.S. flags and wearing their own colors. Various bike clubs from Texas and Louisiana came together to honor the fallen soldier and offer his family a wall of dignity from the protesters.

Eric Degan’s ‘The Feed’ covers the gamut from ‘Lost’ plotlines to the Google buyout of You Tube. (not to mention the St. Petersburg Times redesign) One entry announced the appearance of Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark and N.Y. Times’ Frank Rich on Oprah. I have enjoyed listening and learning from all three. The episode last week highlighted the current state of our popular culture, the national administration, and journalism. It was an informative hour.

Much space was dedicated introducing and explaining the St. Petersburg Times redesign. Degan’s says that the paper will strengthen its partnership with Bay News 9. According to Degan’s this new alignment will raise the papers profile in the bay area and supply content to the news program. (I think Bay News 9 needs better content than the paper needs advertising.)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

(semi)weekly blog review~three

My favorite entry on Pogue's Post's this week was his (mild) rant about the complexities of today's cell phones. He raises some good questions about the sometimes complex navigation of simple tasks like turning off the phone ringer or looking up a well used number. He said it requires "burrowing" into the phone's menu to accomplish these tasks.

A fun entry highlights a page where one can customize their Google homepage.
Click here to see and try. Enjoy.

One of the most interesting posts in the last couple of weeks on the
Hancock PhotoJournalism blog was the interview with IMAX director Denis Delestrac.

Mr. Delestrac has successfully included IMAX documentary photography to his portfolio. Hancock interviewed Delestrac about his evolution to this medium. Delestrac had an interesting perspective.

He said the new movement of photojournalists from still to video is another way for visual communicators to impact the viewer. The fact that the equipment prices are more in reach for the individual and the abundance of (affordable) editing software contributes to the rise in this trend. Delestrac articulates, "It's another language with a different alphabet."

The interview goes on to explain some nuances of the IMAX genre. It's not like Photojournalism and not like film either. It is a beast unto it's own.

The similarities Delestrac speaks of is the pre-production task of development and acquiring funding. He states this is not his favorite part. This is least favored part of the process of any visual creative individual I've ever know.

Eric Deggan's
The Feed reiterates the ever present influence of blogs on 'legitimate' journalism. The usefulness of the blogs regarding the recent Foley debacle was illustrated. Deggans compares blogs to the tabloids. He says every once in a while the tabloids would run a story that carried serious merit. The blogs play their role too. If a story weighs in with the blogger crowd and sustains any shelf life, legitimate sources may eventually rise to verify the story.

Deggan's also covers the dedication and grand opening of the Peggy M. Peterman newsroom at University of South Florida's
Neighborhood News Bureau in St. Petersburg, FL. He eventually mentioned USF's Media Convergence class blog coverage of the event.

He states that students were supposed to be blogging live during the event. As a participant of the live blog team, I must convey my pride I felt to be a part of USF and St. Petersburg history. It perplexes me that our presents was not noted at the event. (Their were 18 classmates there and a substaion of four laptops outside the ribbon cutting.)

I do share Deggans sentiment when he wishes the newsroom a meaning future.

Monday, September 25, 2006

USA Today

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn."
-Benjamin Franklin

The USA Today interactive site on population was engaging. After I overlooked the coding error that had gibberish bleeding through, the information and presentation communicated with impact. The scale of growth became easier to grasp when viewed as a graphic.
This dynamic presentation allowed me to pick and choose how I wanted to receive the info. The varied formats added perspective to the piece.
The population counter reminded me of a deficit billboard I saw in New York once. It illuminated the U.S. national debt for all to see over Times Square.
The only gripe I have is that the USA Today dictated which countries population I could view. (I was disappointed that Canada was not included. Was wanting to view some larger trends about North America in general and was unable to do this.)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

weekly blog review~two

This was a light week for Pogue's Posts. As I've mentioned before though, Steve Pogue is sweet on Apple. He had four posts this week. Only one did not promote an Apple product. (It would have, if Apple made cell phones!) Wonder how much Apple, Inc. stock this guy owns? The coolest link on his site this week will convert your phone number into word/number combinations. Mine offered some lame choices but check it out for yourself at

I must admit I'm disappointed with Mr. Hancock's PhotoJournalism blog this week too. He posted a series of Brazilian Jui Jitsu demonstrations, some pics from his local high school football games, and a couple of local Beaumont features. His site is subtitled 'Professional photojournalist Mark M. Hancock discusses photojournalism and the eccentricities associated with gathering images for major U.S. daily newspapers.' I though he would blog more about his process and thoughts, not just display his pictures with captions.

Thank you Mr. Deggans for coming through for me this week. The Feed proves to be an interesting read once again. He points out the idiot patrol over at CNN (Christiane Amanpour and Anderson Cooper excluded). I couldn't agree with him more. But guess what? The lineup on MSNBC is just as weak with the exception of Chris Matthews' Hardball (O.K., O.K. and occasionally Obermann). The Doc Blocks are lame reruns too. I thought competition was a good thing, perhaps raising the journalistic bar. It appears that both gave the other permission to lower standards and seduce the viewers with mind prattle. Let's just call it downFOXing the viewer.
Deggan's recycles a list of his 10 favorite T.V. shows. Just filler here.
He also recaps his interview with Dennis Miller. (Is he still on the air?) But enough. (See downFOXing.)


Saturday, September 16, 2006

weekly blog review~one

note: I decided to change one of my blog choices. The Daily Kos was way too large a blog for 1 person to successfully review every week. (unless I quit my job and dropped my classes) So I will review 'The Feed'. Eric Deggans, St. Petersburg Times Media critic, writes The Feed for the

This week David Pogue (Pogue's Posts, featured a few of his observations that reflect how technology impacts today's world. He reviews the hoax of LonelyGirl15. He suspected this vlog (video blog) to be a phony. His experience with the medium pays off.
David also observes that some of the guideposts to our audible world has became outdated due to technological advances. (i.e. the busy signal on the phone, the sound 'ka-CHING' from the cash register, or the 'ding' of typing to the end of the page on a typewriter.) Very astute on his part. I'll never listen to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon the same way ever again!
He also introduces us to pixel artists. Here's A video done entirely in pixel art!

The most interesting post on this week is the online interview announcement. The readers could e-mail questions to Mark Hancock. He will be interviewing film maker and documentary photographer, Denis Delestrac this week. Mark will post the interview on the blog. This way others will be included in the interviewing process.

Finally, Eric Deggan's, The Feed: Eric is getting clever. He realized in order to generate more hits on his site, he could mention hot topic key words that would trigger recognition by majority of internet searches. Therefore, driving viewers (eyeballs) to his blog. (even though he may not cover the particular subject in any depth in his blog)
This weeks hot key words were Cruise (as in Tom, Katie, and Suri) and Debra Lafave. I can't say I blame him for not wanting to write anything else about any of these! Enough said. I hope his hits increase though because I find issues on his blog interesting such as the post questioning whether Nancy Grace's approach was too extreme concerning the interview with Trenton Duckett's mother (who killed herself the same day). It ties together the influence on the media to impact the news, crossing the line and becoming part of the news instead of reporting it. Eric reminds us of another incident that resulted in a murder of a Sarasota woman after an interview. I recall Sally Jessie Raphael being in the spotlight for a time for a similar suicide case. These topics are far too important to be swept aside for another entry about tomkat.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


We were given an assignment to write about a time we remember receiving criticism for my Editing I class. As I recalled such a time, the value of the 'event' became evident. So therefore I am posting it here as well in case it stirs anyone else's memory.

I don't remember any writing criticism, but certainly remember the weekly portfolio reviews in photography school. There were a couple of times, especially the 'end of semester' critiques, that got my heartbeat racing.
Once was asked by a panel of three teachers to explain certain choices I made producing a multimedia slideshow. I was forced to grapple with new vocabulary and justify my decision/editing process to these professionals. One instructor said, "let him bleed", meaning, don't rescue me, don't feed me answers, let me sit in my 'unsuredness'. That experience taught me to come out of my shell, make sense of powerful communication tools and learn to articulate the process.
No matter how uncomfortable it was at the time, I am now grateful for many experiences such as that in school. They taught me to engage, and connect to my passion.