Dr. Eric McLuhan, son of Marshall McLuhan and taking after his father as a communication scholar, talked at Vidfest about digital media and the new culture created out of that. McLuhan’s panel was moderated by Michael Tippett of NowPublic.
Some highlights from the panel include:
Inattention is more potent than your attention, you have no defenses. It’s an area of vulnerability, of openness, by definition. Advertisers now compete in this area, since you have build up defenses against them grabbing your attention.
The message is small, the medium is enormous
Global village – coined to describe the effects of radio. People in instant proximity to each other. The fact that the bodies are spread around the world is irrelevant – it hasn’t constrained communication.
Since television, the global village was replaced with the global theater. The world is a stage, and you’re on it all the time. Everyone around is looking, not for jobs, but for roles to play. Role playing brings the idea of an audience – being observed by people. Your identity is connected with your roles for various groups.
Private identity means detaching yourself from people, but private identity is now useless, an encumbrance against the participatory world.
News is no longer factual, it’s participatory. It’s emotional.
Literacy is going out of style – it’s no longer a pre-condition to be in this world. It is not the only skill we need now.
Copyright, private ownership, is meaningless. Just like with private identity, it has no place anymore. Copyright started to become meaningless with photocopies, but the Internet made it obsolete. Enforcement is impossible.
Linear existence is no longer useful – people live in many spaces and times. They live mythically. For kids, this is very normal.
The session was much more in-depth than my notes can convey, but my thought process was still pre-coffee at this point. I didn’t agree with everything that Eric McLuhan had to say, particularly with his convictions of "how things are" and that the "right" perspective is one outside that of the digital age (he does not use a computer). Although I have great respect for his ideas, I have always been argumentative with communications scholars (it was actually encouraged in my degree), and am of the school of thought that you have to live in the digital era in order to understand it.
In the Right Brain Rock Out! panel at Vidfest, by far my favorite panel of the day, Jonathan Tippett, the engineer behind the Mondo Spider, answers the audience-posed question of how to get clients to pay up-front for design services for a brand-new web design company. Jonathan’s answer to the question was to create a formula:
Jonathan Tippett also talked about creativity being created out of necessity. You create a necessity and some idea will be born of that. The Mondo Spider was created out of the necessity he and his friends created to challenge themselves; the "necessity" was to create a walking machine. To Tippett, creativity is not just the spark of an idea, since many people have amazing ideas all the time, but the ability to actualize that idea.
Apple has come to Vancouver, joining H&M this week by opening a store at Pacific Centre. Devoted Apple fans started to line up for the opening as early as 5:30am on Saturday. When we arrived just before 9am, the line extended all the way from the store inside the mall to the outdoor of the mall. By 10am, the time of the opening, the line was wrapped all the way around the block.
A half an hour before the store opened, a crew of highly-energized Apple employees came out to cheer on the crowd. At 10am, the doors opened to applause and hundreds of eager people filed in for their free Apple shirts and a look at the new store. The store is deceptively large – it seems small, but is actually quite big. It’s filled with row upon row of Apple gadgets I’d love to buy!
Check out some other Apple Store experiences from John Biehler and Buzz Bishop, and watch Buzz’s video of the line below:
This has got to be the best Facebook feature upgrade ever. And I’m being serious here. I may even think it’s bigger than allowing for applications as addicting and wonderful as Scrabulous.
Facebook is removing the mandatory "is" from status updates. Now your status can be something other than action-related. And grammar nuts like me can breathe a sigh of relief.
No more: "Arieanna is hating the WGA strike"
Instead: "Arieanna hates the WGA strike"
The planned removal of ‘is’ will happen tonight.
The news will be warmly welcomed by thousands of activists who have joined more than 500 anti-"is" Facebook groups, including the "Campaign to lose the mandatory ‘is’ from status updates" and the "I die a little bit inside when I see grammatically incorrect status updates" group.
Update: Robyn from MyBlogLog explains in a comment that Arieanna can add me as a co-author.
I was watching a funny video on Darren’s blog and decided to leave a comment. So I fill in my name, email address and blog URL, write my comment and click submit. And this is what I see:
Arieanna’s picture next to my comment! Looks like the picture comes from MyBlogLog and Darren is probably using some plugin to add the photo next to people’s comments. At this point I’m thinking that maybe if I get a MyBlogLog account it will be able to tell that it is me, based on my email address or name. I remember I do have an account I’ve probably logged in to only once when I created it, so I go to their website to try to add my blog information. And this happened:
I can’t set my blog because Arieanna already did. Haven’t they heard of blogs with more than one author? The error message is funny too: of course the blog already exists, if it didn’t why would I want to add it to my profile?