kathy's blog

this morning's dream while it's fresh in my head

I woke up at about 4:30 this morning then couldn't sleep properly, thinking about this week's nightmare at work, but must have finally drifted back to sleep as I woke again at 11:09 and then drifted off for another sleep.

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reading notes from "Grassroots - a field guide for feminist activism" by Jennifer Baumgardner & Amy Richards

Today I read "Grassroots - a field guide for feminist activism" by Jennifer Baumgardner & Amy Richards. It's a DIY feminist activism book that gives examples of how everyday women can perform activist activities without having to be too radical. Examples are from high school, university students, women at work and in their local communities. Baumgardner and Richards speak about and provide contact details for many organisations performing and supporting feminist activism projects. I've included some links in the feminism and activism links on this site if you are interested in finding out more, otherwise track down the book from your local bookstore..

The authors, who also co-wrote "Manifesta", define activism (page xix, Prologue) as:

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reading notes "Where you're at" by Patrick Neate (notes from the frontline of a hip hop planet)

I've just finished reading "Where you're at - notes from the frontline of a hip hop planet" by Patrick Neate. I thought it was a great book - sometimes he went off on a few tangents, but they provided interesting background information on the context of the hip hop communities in the different cities covered in the book. I'm now re-reading/skimming through it to post up some notes on sections I found most thought provoking. Much of the underlying thread of the book is about the cultural misappropriation of hip hop.

from Part One: New York
page 30

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critical issues in multimedia e-book

I've started reading the Interactive Convergence : Critical Issues in Multimedia e-book and so far it's providing some more useful names of other books/reports to chase up. The first chapter is about the different new media university courses in the UK. pasting snippets here as I come across things to follow up or ideas to think about.

Chapter 1
Locating Interactive Media Production

(page 2)
A few media/cultural studies writers began to look at the social
and cultural impact of new media, Sherry Turkle (1985) Second Self:
Computers and the Human Spirit; Carolyn Marvin (1988) When Old
Technologies were new; Philip Hayward (1990) Culture, Technology and
Creativity in the Late Twentieth Century; Jay Bolter, (1991) Writing
Space: The Computer, Hypertext, and the History of Writing; Philip
Hayward and Tana Wollen, eds. (1993) Future Visions: New technologies
of the Screen and Roger Silverstone (1994) Consuming Technologies:
Media and Information in Domestic Spaces

This paragraph has an interesting point.. there's not many books or published educational materials for teaching 'new media' - I suppose the plethora of academic papers are not used for this purpose??

(page 9-10)
8. Maintaining curriculum integrity - quality teaching resources
There are other difficulties facing interactive media course designers
within any academic context. There is an impoverished supply of good
academic sources and few records of the historical development of design
for CD-ROM or the web. Compared with the sources we can draw on for
the teaching of video and film production for example, good books in the
field of interactive-media production are rare. A simple request to fellow
course leaders of interactive media in 7 different institutions for their
favourite production books, revealed that we are resourceful when it
comes to choosing teaching materials but also that most of our books were
over 4 years old and some were very old indeed. This is their list:

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online libraries

It's great to see so many online libraries and different organisations such as archive.org and google running digitization projects. I've spent so much money over the years on technical books and general reading books, which, the tech books in particular, are out of date quickly that I've often felt I have wasted some of my money on them. Since starting the new job (well over a year ago now, so not so new), and having to travel more, I've been using some of the online libraries - partcularly Questia, Safari (tech books) online and archive.org. The blogosphere and online libraries reminds me of the Neal Stephenson book "Snow Crash" - the citizen journalist, uploading of information & media for future references, online libraries. The future is happening!

I'm currently reading a couple of books - an online copy of Dan Gillmor's "We the Media" and a paperback by Patrick Neate called Where you're at - Notes from the frontline of a Hip Hop Planet. Gillmor reminded me of the google print project which was what started this post. I still enjoy reading paper copies of books - there's nothing like reading in bed on a rainy day, or a weekend, but I like the idea of online versions also. One of the main reason's for this, is that I can search for books I have bought and read them even whilst I'm away and not have to pay excess baggage to carry all the books with me. Before I head back to the UK, I'll drop off the books in Sydney and note down their names so I can either borrow them from local libraries or read online versions. Local libraries! I've had a resurgance in using these also! When I was in primary school I remember we were always in the library looking for books for class assignments. Once I started making money I began to buy the books instead of using the library. I've come full circle again, as I'm enjoying heading to the Auckland City Library. They have a great collection of arts and culture books. I have a friend who used to take his recording equipment (laptop/MD) into the library and dub some audio from the archived films and tapes for samples to use in his music. Perhaps I should check out the media collection at the Auckland library - I'm sure they'd have some great Maori language and local speeches which would be interesting to hear. Maybe even footage of the Rainbow Warrior.. Any way, time to go read some more ... :)

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dpwolf, quartz composer and electrofringe workshops

I went to 2005 electrofringe a few weeks ago in Newcastle, Australia. I haven't finished going over my notes or posting some of the links to the artist's projects, but one of the workshops I went to was on Quartz Composer hosted by dpwolf. The software runs on a MAC, which unfortunately I don't have. :( perhaps if we get a project bonus this year I might be able to save up for one so I can try the software (and also max / msp }. anyway, I also came across the name dpwolf on the videoblogging mail list and low and behold it's the same person. he seems to do some work with Adrian Miles, who does some great projects with video and interactive quicktime and media in general. small world. I'd love to do the course Adrian teaches but can't afford to give up work to do it fulltime. due to excessive work commitments, I had to drop the Internet Communication course I was doing at CQU. now that I've finally upgraded my (this) site and moving most of my projects online (so as not to be so dependant on my laptop in case of travelling without it), I'd like to experiment more with blogging, videoblogging, podcasting and digital art and music projects (in addition to listing other people's projects on the site), hence, why the blog posts here have now become more personal. I've been reading about and been across these media for a while but haven't had much time to play myself, so that's the goal for the next year (& hopefully continuing onwards).

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video for web settings

I went to the Auckland Hip Hop Summit on Saturday afternoon and caught some of the b-boying / breakdancing DISRUPT THE FLOOR heats and semis. The finals were held that night but I didn't make along. The Hip Hop Summit website will have the results. I took some video and am trying to convert it so I can upload to archive.org. What a challenge this is proving to be! The camera records direct to DVD which is great for previewing directly on my pc (or dvd player - though I don't have one here in Auckland), but the software that it comes with doesn't provide much in the way of conversion utilities. :( I have some software called MGI VideoWave which I've had for a while - since buying my Belkin usb/rca converter I think. It works ok - it's like a mini- Premiere package with a basic interface. But it doesn't open mpeg2 files or DVD .vob files directly.. So, to use this method, I need to connect the video camera to the Belkin video input and capture the vide and audio. Now, the camera does AC3 audio inherantly which sounds great on the DVD, but pretty crap once it's been recaptured - especially since the input on the level meter is stuck at 100% so it's really high level. I can capture the video this way, save as .avi file, then open in Quicktime and convert to .mov but quicktime is dropping the audio altogether!

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website collaborations

old brainstorm notes - 15/02/2003 - exported file attached

website collaborations

content sharing - articles/news/events/media etc

examples in industry : aap newswire

most media businesses eg tv/radio/press use the content from newswire services such as AAP, Reuters, PR-newswire

these can include different types of media- vision, audio, scripts

media businesses also use their own local, interstate and networked reporters and staff to report on topics according to their preferences and focus

media businesses are mostly networked these days - eg the commercial television/radio stations have one in every state which allows them to act as separate entities to some extent but also use and provide content to/from their fellow networked stations

there are cost benefits to this as well as sharing of resources

if you use the example of the recent content sharing agreement of paytv whereby foxtel is buying all the content (eg US movie studio content known for it's outrageous pricecs amongst others) for it's competitors optus and austar, there are benefits on both sides - more buying power due to greater audience numbers for foxtel so they can negotiate a better price, and less expense for optus and austar because they don't need to negotiate themselves and compete against their local competitors and they get the choice of more & better content choices for their customers

some different methods of sending content to other sites - depending on the source and destination site

automated via RSS/XML feeds


sites could download it/copy paste from a source site

database dumps

single point of data entry, even on different sites

one or more sites could setup the data entry point for content eg event listings

promoters could either send their data here or enter it themselves, then it is sent to the other sites in the collective

there could be check boxes for the promoter to choose where they want it sent and text boxes for them to suggest other places

one site could handle event listings, another interviews for distribution- these don't necessarily have to be on the one site, but could be if people are happy with it

advertising sharing

there would be more buying power for the person/s who were buying advertising due to greater audience reach

they would be able to setup deals for cross platform media, eg maillists,magazines, websites, radio, netradio etc

there would have to be some guidelines in place - perhaps following the tv/radio advertising rules (eg u can't show competitors ads back to back on tv/radio - eg ford ad then toyota ad)

each site would specify it's audience size and demographics (without giving away all their secrets of course!)

each site would still be able to arrange their own local/direct advertising if they wish but if they were part of the advertising sharing option they would have to use some from it as well

paid advertising : there would be a number of corporates/related businesses approached - this is the tricky part of course, who to choose? people don't want to be accused of 'selling out' and some people have problems with certain corporates.

most sites tend to be using party promoters banner ads - this is cool, but I think often the parties, especially the smaller ones can't afford advertising

I think if say it started with (choosing a low number here for example) 8 sites in the collective, 24 advertisers came on board - everyone would have to use at least 2-3 of them.

there may be some caveats from the advertisers, but when setting up the deals, it would be better to say there is a pool of sites wanting to show your ads

there should be different categories of ads : paid general, sponsorship, community announcements, local/direct ads up to the discretion of the individual site

promo/publicity sharing

each collaborative site specifies the requirements of it's banner ads or other type of advertising which is freely available for the other sites to access

banner swapping between the sites or link swapping-whatever the individual site's policy is

the sites may choose to only swap with some of the sites in the collaboration, ie you probably wouldn't swap with your competitors unless you were happy doing that

sites involved

a wide range of sites would be approached, some examples include:



music community- strong message board focus


music label

mailing list services

both specialty sites and general interest sites

national and locally focussed sites

visual art sites

general notes

when mentioning sites in the sections here I'm referring to different members of the collective whether they be websites, magazines, street press, zines, radio programs, maillists etc

these ideas are designed to share resources and information and give some of the smaller sites the opportunity to concentrate on the part they do best.

individual sites could use this sharing system in a small or large way - totally up to them, some may choose to have some shared content, others might want content and ads/promos etc


there are also possibilities for distribution for artists wanting to be featured on a site, new music releases announcements, reviews etc etc

this could tie in with music distributors and people signing up to p&d deals - these are not much use without a bit of publicity to let people know about it, so this could provide a source of revenue for the collective as well - ie people pay a fee to publicise or be featured on the sites without having to approach them all seperately

administration & skills & revenue

a new system could be put in place, with members of the collective administering it, or members of the collective could allocate an area of their existing system to use for the collective

there are already many talented people working on their own sites with excellent and transferable skills - everyone is basically working towards the same goal of spreading the word of what they are passionate about.

some people have sites which create revenue, although I think this would be rare and if they do make money it's probably only enough to cover costs

some people are just doing it for a hobby/gain more skills and others are wanting to prepare their future by setting up something which may be able to support them in the future

the costs would be shared between the collective just as the benefits would be

there are a wide range of skills available to the collective if people were to join up - writers, editors, system admin, web designers, coders, publicists, music artists, advertising sales/buyers, music label people, graphic designers, video editors, visual artists, party promotersas well as general people who are happy to support their friends, biography writers

revenue streams exist in a few places, such as the advertising deals, publicity services, helping people make press kits, artwork etc

even if the revenue streams are not high, they could outweigh some of the expenses (even if only in time) which are involved in the running of a site which could allow individual sites more time to spend on their own fun or revenue making methods (eg, sometimes people have these great ideas but spend most of the time administering a site or replying to emails that they never get to try find banner ad prospects or advertise anywhere else)

of course, not all sites want to make money, but I imagine most would like to at least cover their costs, and perhaps pay contributors or spend any money on further developing their site so one day it might become a more self-sustaining site. and even if people do make some money on their sites, I think there would be only a few if any who were making industry standard wages - most would be working other jobs to pay the bills and doing their sites in any spare time they have. these are the types of sites which could benefit from a sharing system/collective

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