August 29th, 2012
sassational
What is a publisher anymore, anyway? A blog is a magazine. A magazine a blog. A newspaper a WordPress install. A Twitter account a journalist.

Craig Mod, Our New Shrines 

Here are a few tidbits from the article (his take on the PR monster, Facebook) that stood out to me, while I sat drinking my coffee, reading my emails, and pondering the evolution of macro communication and public relations:

This company with (no product and) four million fans soon to be five, soon to be ten: they decided back in 2010 to make Facebook their shrine. They spent five minutes setting up their Facebook page. Five minutes. That was their development cost. They didn’t engineer a custom CMS. They didn’t modify Django. They spent five minutes and were done and then spent three months hustling.

They hustled and found great content. For three months they hustled to develop a critical momentum in audience. They needed momentum behind their content, their brand, not momentum behind their shrine. They hustled to get their name on the maps of big bloggers, influential Twitter users. They hustled and promoted and continued to post great content not to their Tumblr site or ExpressionEngine CMS, but their Facebook page.

They have excited, eager, positive, and supporting fans. Millions, growing at a breakneck clip. Fans happy to jump toward wherever they’re pointed.

I’m sorry, but that’s creepy as fuck if you ask me.

The point of the article is to show publishers that building a community of fans is paramount to having a great product (or ANY product, even), i.e. the method of selling is changing. The way people are allowing themselves to be sold to has changed.

Duly noted. Let us also keep in mind that a lack of critical thinking is never a good idea. 

Reblogged from The FJP
August 9th, 2012
sassational
Reblogged from superfluidity
June 5th, 2012
sassational
May 30th, 2012
sassational

Origami Street Art: Mademoiselle Maurice

French artist Mademoiselle Maurice creates stunning geometric figures on urban surfaces using rainbows of folded origami figures.
[via tacticalshoyu]

Reblogged from HeyNay
May 16th, 2012
sassational

My new-to-me artist of the day is Alex Alemany, of Spain.

From the artist’s website:

Pintar En Defensa Propia

Vivimos en una estructura cultural, cuya complejidad es superior a nuestra capacidad individual para entenderla. La hemos construido nosotros; pero quienes deberían organizar, legislar y gestionar las sociedades liberal-democráticas y todos sus problemas culturales ya no tienen los recursos, conocimientos y capacidad necesarios, para entender lo que está pasando y lo que se puede hacer para resolverlo. El ser humano, ya no puede entender el mundo que ha creado.

En lo concerniente al Arte, soportamos mansamente la continua victoria de la promoción y el marketing sobre el conocimiento y los valores.

La pobreza de la preparación artística, se ha convertido por la alquimia del mercado, en un instrumento poderoso para la mejor “expresividad artística” del momento, entendido en términos consumistas.

Este es un momento caracterizado por la ausencia de tendencias claras, debido a la exhaustiva proliferación de propuestas e informaciones convulsas que somos incapaces de procesar y, que bloquean la selección, provocando la necesidad de buscar refugio personal. Quizá sea el momento del individualismo y la práctica del oficio como defensa mística ante la incertidumbre y desorientación. Al menos es la opción que he escogido.

Google Translation:

Painting In Self Defense

We live in a cultural structure, whose complexity is greater than our individual capacity to understand. We’ve built us, but who should organize, legislate and manage the liberal-democratic societies and all its cultural problems and lack the resources, knowledge and skills needed to understand what is happening and what can be done to solve it. Human beings can no longer understand the world you created. 

With regard to Art, meekly endure the continued victory of the promotion and marketing on knowledge and values.

The poverty of artistic training has become the Alchemy of the market, a powerful tool for the best “artistic expression” of the moment, understood in terms of consumerism. 

This is a time characterized by the absence of clear trends due to the extensive proliferation of proposals and information that we are unable convulsive process and to block selection, causing the need to seek shelter staff. It may be time of individualism and practice of the profession as a defense mystical face of uncertainty and disorientation. At least that is the option you have chosen.

(Source: sassational)

May 7th, 2012
sassational
The Dream
I have awakened from the dream:    It is no more — Now noghts to come will be    As once before.
Always a star will swing between    The earth and sun,But never nearer since    The dream is done.
Toyo Suyemoto,July 1941 
I found surprisingly little about Toyo, as I did a quick Google search while sipping my morning coffee. I will continue to search, as the poems I’ve read of hers in Quiet Fire: A Historical Anthology of Asian American Poetry 1892-1970 are arresting as well as thought-provoking. Her perspective pulls at my heartstrings. You can read more about her below, an excerpt I’ve quoted from Amazon.com’s listing of her book I Call to Rememberance: Toyo Suyemoto’s Years of Internment.

Toyo Suyemoto is known informally by literary scholars and the media as “Japanese America’s poet laureate.” But Suyemoto has always described herself in much more humble terms. A first-generation Japanese American, she has identified herself as a storyteller, a teacher, a mother whose only child died from illness, and an internment camp survivor. Before Suyemoto passed away in 2003, she wrote a moving and illuminating memoir of her internment camp experiences with her family and infant son at Tanforan Race Track and, later, at the Topaz Relocation Center in Utah, from 1942 to 1945.
A uniquely poetic contribution to the small body of internment memoirs, Suyemoto’s account includes information about policies and wartime decisions that are not widely known, and recounts in detail the way in which internees adjusted their notions of selfhood and citizenship, lending insight to the complicated and controversial questions of citizenship, accountability, and resistance of first- and second-generation Japanese Americans.

The Dream

I have awakened from the dream:
    It is no more —
Now noghts to come will be
    As once before.

Always a star will swing between
    The earth and sun,
But never nearer since
    The dream is done.

Toyo Suyemoto,
July 1941 

I found surprisingly little about Toyo, as I did a quick Google search while sipping my morning coffee. I will continue to search, as the poems I’ve read of hers in Quiet Fire: A Historical Anthology of Asian American Poetry 1892-1970 are arresting as well as thought-provoking. Her perspective pulls at my heartstrings. You can read more about her below, an excerpt I’ve quoted from Amazon.com’s listing of her book I Call to Rememberance: Toyo Suyemoto’s Years of Internment.

Toyo Suyemoto is known informally by literary scholars and the media as “Japanese America’s poet laureate.” But Suyemoto has always described herself in much more humble terms. A first-generation Japanese American, she has identified herself as a storyteller, a teacher, a mother whose only child died from illness, and an internment camp survivor. Before Suyemoto passed away in 2003, she wrote a moving and illuminating memoir of her internment camp experiences with her family and infant son at Tanforan Race Track and, later, at the Topaz Relocation Center in Utah, from 1942 to 1945.

A uniquely poetic contribution to the small body of internment memoirs, Suyemoto’s account includes information about policies and wartime decisions that are not widely known, and recounts in detail the way in which internees adjusted their notions of selfhood and citizenship, lending insight to the complicated and controversial questions of citizenship, accountability, and resistance of first- and second-generation Japanese Americans.


Reblogged from this isn't happiness.
May 2nd, 2012
sassational
Cybernetics is the study of systems and processes that interact with themselves and produce themselves from themselves.

A (somewhat) recent definition of cybernetics, as proposed by Louis Kauffman, President of the American Society for Cybernetics at the CYBCON discussion group, September 2007. [Source]

(Source: sassational)

May 1st, 2012
sassational
Reblogged from The FJP
March 30th, 2012
sassational
The New York Times reports that 300 newsroom employees “signed a public statement insisting that the new owners agree not to alter the news coverage to reflect their ‘private or political interests.’”

Background:The Philadelphia Media Network, publisher of The Inquirer, The Daily News and Philly.com, has been on sale with a primary purchasing group lead by business and political leaders from Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.

Another way to put it: The centers of power that Philadelphia’s news organizations are expected to cover are buying the company that owns the newspapers and the region’s primary Web site.

During the sales process, some reporters claimed that stories about the potential new owners have gone unpublished. And the worry, of course, is that there will be editorial meddling if the sale does go through, which, the New York Times reports, is likely.

Reason for Pennsylvanians to worry? Ed Rendell, former Philadelphia mayor, Pennsylvania governor and former leader of the purchasing group dismisses the idea in comments to the Inquirer,

“You’d think this was the first time some political people owned a newspaper.”

Paul Nussbaum, reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer states, “It could change my job, I guess. I could end up as greeter at Walmart next week,” responding to news that the subject of his recent investigative reports is now part of a team that is buying the company that owns the newspaper.  [Source: The Future Journalism Project]

Read More:

New York Times, Philadelphia Newspapers Set to Be Sold to Local Leaders.

NPR’s morning edition ran a short piece exploring the issues and people surrounding the purchase in February 2012.

February 16th, 2012
sassational

"Where Are The Women?"

Several representatives walk out of the tense congressional hearing on contraception; Washington D.C. delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton accuses the committee of acting like an “autocratic regime”.

FEB 16 2012, 12:13 PM ET

After a clash over the exclusion of women from a panel on birth control, three representatives march out in boycott.

Three Democrats stalked out of a hearing on Capitol Hill today over disagreements about the slant and composition of a hearing on birth control and religion. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, chaired by Republican Darrell Issa, is titled “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?” Democrats were not pleased with the hearing nor with the panel, which included a Catholic bishop, a rabbi, a minister from the conservative Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, and two professors, but no women and no progressives.

The liberal blog Think Progress snagged the video above, which shows Democratic Reps. Elijah Cummings and Carolyn Maloney taking Issa to task, albeit in relatively calm tones; Cummings complained not only that there were no women, but that there were no representatives of religious groups that had applauded the Obama administration’s mandate that employer provide contraception (labeled as preventative care) or else a compromise reached last week, in which religious employers could opt out of providing birth control, putting the onus on insurers. But things blew up when Eleanor Holmes Norton, the delegate for Washington, D.C., starting speaking and clashed with Issa directly. Shortly thereafter, The Huffington Post reports, Cummings, Norton, and Rep. Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat stalked out of the hearing. Outside, Norton decried Issa as running the committee like an “autocratic regime.”

In his opening statement, Issa mentioned that visiting students were attending the hearing. The visitors certainly got an education in the current state of the U.S. Congress.

[Source: The Atlantic]

(Source: sassational)

February 7th, 2012
sassational

Redlining er, Weblining for Profit.

Stereotyping is alive and well in data aggregation. The quote of the day for me?

"You might be refused health insurance based on a Google search you did about a medical condition."

Holy fuck, a health insurance company can tell me which questions I can or can’t ask? Whoa. I call bullshit.

Please, read on:

FACEBOOK IS USING YOU | NYT

Facebook made $3.2 billion in advertising revenue last year, 85 percent of its total revenue. Yet Facebook’s inventory of data and its revenue from advertising are small potatoes compared to some others. Google took in more than 10 times as much, with an estimated $36.5 billion in advertising revenue in 2011, by analyzing what people sent over Gmail and what they searched on the Web, and then using that data to sell ads. […]

In the 1970s, a professor of communication studies at Northwestern University named John McKnight popularized the term “redlining” to describe the failure of banks, insurers and other institutions to offer their services to inner city neighborhoods.
The term came from the practice of bank officials who drew a red line on a map to indicate where they wouldn’t invest. But use of the term expanded to cover a wide array of racially discriminatory practices, such as not offering home loans to African-Americans, even those who were wealthy or middle class.

Now the map used in redlining is not a geographic map, but the map of your travels across the Web.
The term Weblining describes the practice of denying people opportunities based on their digital selves. You might be refused health insurance based on a Google search you did about a medical condition. You might be shown a credit card with a lower credit limit, not because of your credit history, but because of your race, sex or ZIP code or the types of Web sites you visit. [Read More…]

Reblogged from kateoplis
February 3rd, 2012
sassational

Pinterest is the new Pinterest!

Everybody is talking about it, see for yourself:  

Pinterest is now driving more referral traffic on the web than Google+, YouTube, Reddit, and LinkedIn — combined. That’s according to Shareaholic’s January 2012 referral traffic report, which is based on aggregated data from more than 200,000 publishers that reach more than 260 million unique monthly visitors each month.

In January Pinterest was responsible for 3.6 percent of referrals tracked by Shareaholic, up from 2.5 percent during the previous month. That means the site is quickly gaining ground on Twitter, which drove 3.61 percent of referral traffic.  

Quoted from this Study: Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google , nearly on par with Twitter — Tech News and Analysis (via interestingsnippets)

Wow. I mean, WOW.

I’m sure that means a whole lot to someone who goes to bed thinking about SEO strategies. (The data supporting the article is loose, at best.) As for me, I’ve noticed the moms on Facebook are all talking about it lately.

So I guess the real question here is DO I or DON’T I? (Start a Pinterest account, that is).

The answer is not so easy. I know you are holding your breath so I’ll get it over with. Hrrrrm.  Maybe.  I mean, another media site to babysit?  Just to prove I’m ahead of something?   Meh.  I’m not ready for this level of commitment.  Maybe in Spring. Or maybe if I start feeling like I’m missing something I can’t find anywhere else …(but the reality is that I already have too many places to look). For now, it’s too overwhelming for my already-full plate. 

December 8th, 2011
sassational
I’ve never seen anything quite like the Occupy movement in scale and character, here and worldwide. The Occupy outposts are trying to create cooperative communities that just might be the basis for the kinds of lasting organizations necessary to overcome the barriers ahead and the backlash that’s already coming.

 Noam Chomsky: Occupy The Future 

In These Times, November 1, 2011

October 3rd, 2011
sassational
When you cut facilities, slash jobs, abuse power, discriminate, drive people into deeper poverty and shoot people dead whilst refusing to provide answers or justice, the people will rise up and express their anger and frustration if you refuse to hear their cries. A riot is the language of the unheard.

~ Dr Martin Luther King

A riot is the language of the unheard. 

(Source: illustrationsofsanity)

Reblogged from Mydeadpony

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