I was asked to write some thoughts about YouTube, which is eight years old this week. Other than it reaching another milestone, I’ve not got much of an angle to work with, so I just thought I’d write a brief note detailing some of the things I think of when I think of YouTube. This is pretty much off the top of my head, but here are five things that came to my mind: Continue reading
This is a cross post of something I’ve put up on my personal blog – but which some people can’t see as the DNS changes for my migration from Posterous are already in train.
We’ve been fans of Posterous for while at the Birmingham Centre for Media & Cultural Research. It’s been a good tool for teaching, as we can create shared blogs for classes with ease. It’s also been handy for project partners, allowing us to build quick and dirty solutions for them so that they can see our ideas play out quickly.
We were strong advocates for the software, and experimental users of it (way back when, I pointed out to Posterous that they’d actually accidentally built a great podcasting tool and Simon worked with them as a private beta user of themes, amongst other bits of play we did with the platform).
As I say, I’ve been meaning to move for a while because I was starting to lose faith in the software (it had stopped being simple, had started to bloat) and because I was becoming worried that it locked users in too much. By this I mean that when Posterous went hard on a drive to recruit bloggers from other platforms it produced a suite of blog importation tools, but never provided a way out. There’s no back up in Posterous and no easy way to leave. When you’re working with a company that is funded through VC investment and has no clear business plan, these things should always be a worry – that’s why during the revalidation of the BA (Hons) Media & Communication programme at BCU I’ve introduced the idea that students across our degree specialisms (journalism, PR, new media, photography, TV, radio, music industries and events) should build their personal web presence using web 2.0 tools, but that they should take a considered approach to this, interrogating the institutions in which they are trusting their professional presences.
So I’ve had my escape route planned for some time. Funnily enough one of today’s tasks is “work on blog” – I’ve promised my PhD supervisors that I’ll start writing publicly about my PhD, and as I’ve a PhD tutorial tomorrow I thought I’d better get things in hand (ever the student, eh?).
I’ve just done a dry run transfer of Posterous to self-hosted wordpress. Back last year I’d planned to use the Posterous to WordPress importer plugin, but it hasn’t been updated yet (I bet that’s in progress after yesterday) and doesn’t work with the latest version of WordPress.
This blog post is useful in outlining one way to get content migrated quickly, using wordpress.com as a bridge to a self hosted wordpress site. The import took less than five minutes to clear into wordpress.com, and same again on the transfer to self hosted.
Some things to look out for:
- The first transfer to wordpress.com keeps private posts private, but you’ll lose them altogether when you move to self hosted.
- If a Posterous user has marked your post as a “favourite” this shows up as an empty comment, attributed to them.
- You’ll need to update the permalink structure of your WordPress blog if you want to retain inbound links and search engine relationships. Longer post titles are problematic as Posterous seems to truncate them at 44 chars
- Your RSS feed address will be wrong and so you’ll need to sort that
So I’m now waiting for my domain to switch over to my hosting, and this will be my last posterous post. It’s been a fun ride.
Friday 30th September (1pm – 4pm)
Birmingham MAC, Foyle studio
After last year’s inaugural Jazz and the Media conference, Birmingham City University have teamed up with Harmonic to deliver the second instalment. This year’s focus will be social media and how it can be best used to promote jazz and develop new audiences, as well as how jazz collectives are using these tools. Hosted by Tim Wall with guest speakers including Sebastian Scotney (London Jazz), Andrew Dubber and the festival directors themselves.
Jez Collins, of the Birmingham Popular Music Archive reflects on a recent article about the use of Twitter and Facebook by the archival community.
I started the Birmingham Popular Music Archive as way of engendering civic pride through the wide range of music activity that has emanated from Birmingham and as a way celebrating and recognising those individuals and organisations that have played a role in this.
Jez Collins, the originator of the Birmingham Popular Music Archive chaired a panel consisting of: Dr Marion Leonard, who was the curator of Liverpool’s The Beat Goes On, and who oversees on ongoing project to examine how museums collect and preserve (or not) popular music; Alison Surtees of the Manchester District Music Archive; Eve Wood, the director of the documentary Made in Sheffield (2001) and Mike Darby of Bristol Archive Records.
Speakers offered insights into each of their projects, revealing the variety of practices in this field, the public appetite for music heritage and the innovations and connections that curation has been making. Surtees for instance outlined how the online MDMA had generated input from around 2000 individuals, half of which regularly posted material on the site. Some of these were members of the bands featured and indeed, these explorations of music past also connected with the present scene in ways that avoided the potential necrophilia of such work.
Editors and publishers conference
Monday 6th September 2010
Digital development and Application; Content and Creativity
The publishing industry is currently undergoing major challenges: digitisation: is changing the material form of the industry’s key artefacts; the internet is transforming the potential ways in which publications can be distributed and the expectations of their consumers; and these two lead to profound implications for the business models of companies in the industry. Through this event we hope to bring together individuals and organisations involved in academic publishing to identify the issues and set out a way forward. We will present research we have undertaken into the perceptions of publishers, and identity models for the future which have been developed in both publication and our own work with the music business.
Sam Coley and Oliver Carter presenting to the Sights and Sounds conference, University of Salford, June 2010.
As part of its Wednesday research afternoons, the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research recently hosted a talk from Katrina Sluis of London South Bank University.
Katrina Sluis is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Arts, Media and English at London South Bank University where she leads the BA (Hons) Digital Media Arts. Her scholarly interests include critical theories of photography, digital memory and contemporary fine art practice. As a visual artist, she works with photography and digital media to explore materiality, archiving and transmission in relation to the digital image.
Her paper was entitled ‘Digital Material Archives: Web 2.0 and algorithmic memory’.
What is it?
‘Just Like Jazz‘ is a collaborative project between the Interactive Cultures research unit at Birmingham City University, and the Scarborough Jazz Festival. The team comprises Professor Tim Wall, Andrew Dubber, Dr Simon Barber and Jez Collins. Part of our academic interests include jazz and so we’re working with the Scarborough Jazz Festival to explore the ways in which jazz festivals can be portrayed online.
“I can’t believe how hard you work.” High praise from Nitin Sawhney, composer, multi-instrumentalist and (it turns out) heavy-duty arts and culture thinker.
Of course, work’s a relative term when you’re doing something really enjoyable and fascinating in a really amazing setting, but given that I was completely focused on (almost) nothing other than the task at hand from 8am till 2am over 5 consecutive days, perhaps he had a point.
I was in Genoa, Italy with Birmingham web developer and entrepreneur Stef Lewandowski to work on the Aftershock Project – a pan-European collaborative music event. In short, Nitin Sawhney turns up in a town, brings about a dozen musicians together, and they workshop, compose, rehearse and eventually perform about an hour’s worth of completely new music over the course of a week. Stef had been commissioned to make them a website, and he’d asked me on board for my perspective as the “online music guy”.