Making your own bed: are there limits to professional responsibility?

True story: a friend told me how she invested a large amount of money in order to advertise her product on a fairly central website. The campaign bombed and my friend queried the veracity of the site owner’s claim that his site is a popular place of convergence: “you cannot tell me that your site is popular and charge for advertising, when in fact all that you have is a large number of visitors. This is disingenuous!” she fumed.   Continue reading “Making your own bed: are there limits to professional responsibility?”

We’re Here to Bury Comments, Not to Praise Them

In the beginning was Marshall McLuhan, who would have celebrated his 98th birthday these days, but more about him later.  When I launched this blog almost two years ago, I decided not to accept comments: I observed how other blogs got inundated with horrific verbiage, often unrelated to the piece the comment was supposed to reflect on. Most relevant to me, however, was the fact that the majority of comments recycle the piece instead of adding something new to the concepts, ideas and thoughts used in the original. Why waste bandwidth with comment like “I agree fully” or “this is nonsense”?  We’re here to bury comments, not to praise them. Continue reading “We’re Here to Bury Comments, Not to Praise Them”

e-Murder most foul?

Ghost: Murder most foul, as in the best it is; But this most foul, strange and unnatural. (Hamlet, Act 1. Scene V) 

According to US President Barack Obama; video games are a clear and present health hazard that is endangering the American people. While many still consider video gaming to be a geek-dominated, unsavoury fringe activity, Gamasutra.com offers in-depth analyses of the way games and digerate cultures interact.  Gamasutra is a website dedicated, as its masthead declares, to ‘The Art & Business of Making Games.” Created during the late 1990s, Gamasutra offers news, opinions, features, job connections and general information about and around video games.   Continue reading “e-Murder most foul?”

Learning online vs. face-to-face instruction

Over the years we have witnessed an ever-growing migration of students from brick-and-mortar universities, schools and colleges, to virtual institutions of learning online. In fact, entrepreneurship scholars Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman noted (PDF) that “online enrollments have been growing substantially faster than overall higher education enrollments” and that “[o]nline enrollments have continued to grow at rates far in excess of the total higher education student population, albeit at slower rates than for previous years.” Increased students access and degree completion, as well as “[t]he appeal of online instruction to non-traditional students” are cited as reasons for universities to offer online instruction. Continue reading “Learning online vs. face-to-face instruction”

The Rise of the Digital Natives

Who are the digital children of 2017? e-Learning specialist Marc Prensky coined the term Digital Natives and used it in two major articles he published in 2001 (Part I , Part II, PDF.) Digital Natives, he says, “are used to receiving information really fast. They like to parallel process and multi-task. They prefer their graphics before their text rather than the opposite. They prefer random access (like hypertext). They function best when networked. They thrive on instant gratification and frequent rewards. They prefer games to “serious” work.” ” Continue reading “The Rise of the Digital Natives”

To Whom the Turnstile Spins?

As you may have seen for yourselves, media’s ‘new e-business’ aspirations have caused quite a stir. I have ToingToing!ed about it here and The Financial Times Online offers a decent detailed assessment of the situation, both pieces are offered for free, I hasten to add.  Advertising does not bring in the money anymore (did anyone tell the agencies, BTW?) and so, content providers, such as Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corporation, are desperately looking for new ways to generate revenue.  In an earlier piece I ToingToing!ed about Murdoch’s conundrum: he is trying to recoup a USD 209M loss in quarterly profits incurred by his newspaper division. In what seems like an overreaction, Murdoch decreed that usage charges will be introduced to premium publications (such as the Wall Street Journals, aka WSJ) and that “users would pay “handsomely” for WSJ content.”  This is where the legendary producer Max Bialystock would quip “You keep saying that, but you don’t say how…” Increasingly, many content providers who push so-called ‘new media business models’ name micropayment as their ‘how’.   Continue reading “To Whom the Turnstile Spins?”

The Insane and the Genius

A quote attributed to Albert Einstein argues that ‘insanity means doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. Scriptwriter Bruce Feirstein, who wrote some of the James Bond movie scripts, asserted further that the distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.  Armed with such heavyweights-uttered quotes, we can reflect on things billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corp. said about the future of online news.   Continue reading “The Insane and the Genius”

Reflection: If this be magic, let it be an art

When one observes magic, let it be clear that the magician is a skilful human, an artist, and not a born wizard. His acts are crafty examples of sleight-of-hand, and no supernatural forces are involved.  

Beyond the wonderfully positive effects of the Harry Potter series (for example, the reported growth in the number of book readers, notably – of children, worldwide), an auspicious downside may be the diminishing in importance of “fake” muggle magic, as opposed to “true” wizard magic. Continue reading “Reflection: If this be magic, let it be an art”

Life at Fahrenheit 451

As a teenager, I literally stumbled upon François Truffaut‘s powerful interpretation of Ray Bradbury’s 1953 book Fahrenheit 451. I went to see the movie simply because it featured Julie Christie, the woman who invaded my pubescent dreams as a blonde Russian siren named Lara in David Lean‘s adaptation of Boris Pasternak’s epic Doctor Zhivago. On my way home from the movie theatre I stopped at a second hand bookstore and bought a copy of Fahrenheit 451:   Continue reading “Life at Fahrenheit 451”

Pulitzer’s Digerate Media Relevance

American media supremo Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911) dedicated his life to the pursuit of excellence in writing and publishing.  He was an uncompromising and committed journalist who sought to redefine journalism and turn it into a discipline, complete with its public goals, professional ambitions, value systems ethical considerations and criticism of itself, as well as of other. He bought and developed the New York World and St. Louis Post-Dispatch– two well known newspapers of his time.  Pulitzer is credited with coining the term “Yellow Journalism.” Continue reading “Pulitzer’s Digerate Media Relevance”