May 23, 2015

Happy Birthday Edgar! Here’s to an Original…

Edgar Allan Poe would be 201 today. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Every man is born an original, but sadly, most men die copies.” Lincoln who would come to national prominence after Poe’s death, surely was familiar with Poe’s works. Poe was an original. Although many critics of his time, i.e. Rev. Rufus Griswold, thought him to be an odd and overly analytical literature critic. Griswold who met Poe in 1841, thought they shared a love of literature, but that’s about all they shared. Griswold thought befriending Poe would help his own writing career. Until later in 1841, when Poe wrote his first criticism of Griswold’s work in “Autobiography” – the friendship was over.

In this day of citizen journalism, with blogs, you tube, and all the other social media available, I find it hard to find an original. It’s just so easy to just retweet, cut and paste and just create a copy of others works. I wonder what Edgar would think of all this instantaneous media and news? Would the Griswold vs. Poe feud take place on Twitter? Would their “personal brands” be damaged by being thrown under the bus by one another on TMZ?

The two men would continue to criticize each others work. Phrases such as “hack”, “outrageous humbug” and “lacks independence, or judgment or both” were traded between them and in letters to friends. Griswold would hold the grunge beyond Poe’s death. Griswold’s obituary of Poe would become infamous, as the fans of the first detective novel and the master of the macabre, would forever color Griswold as the villain.

Do you have someone in your life that you’re cordial to in public, but behind their back you slight and criticize? How has society and the implementation of so much technology changed the way people criticize one another?

Until next time, Tim


The Changing Definition of “Audience”

The social media aspects of the Internet are changing the rules of the game and personal technology, (i.e. mobile phones) are changing the audience at those games. As I prepare to take in a ballgame of the 2008 World Series Champion Phillies tonight, an article on Mashable caught my eye. It seems the SEC College Football Conference has updated its media policy to be stricter on regular fans in the stands:

football-fans“Ticketed fans can’t “produce or disseminate (or aid in producing or disseminating) any material or information about the Event, including, but not limited to, any account, description, picture, video, audio, reproduction or other information concerning the Event. …”

This policy is stricter than most policies out there and written that way for a reason. Since it’s publishing it has been slammed by bloggers, Tweeters, and the like as “chasing shadows,” or “not enforceable.” All true, but I don’t see security personnel scanning 90,000 fans and swooping in on a fan in the stands who’s using TwitPic to upload a shot of the latest touchdown by University of Florida.

I agree with most that state that such policies, such as the SEC’s is a fear reaction to not only the present technology that makes every fan with a mobile phone “a mobile news van” but also a policy that is trying to prevent the future from happening when phones will be uploading and sharing video of the action (can you imagine the phone bill?). The definition of audience is merging with the media. Fans are becoming reporters and reporters are relying on such technology to capture fan reaction or track down different perspectives. Remember policies about using the phone at work? Or ones regarding sending personal emails from work? Some are still in place in the corporate world. And right now there is an HR professional out there somewhere writing a policy regarding the use of social media within the company. All will be ignored or skirted as the technology becomes easier and easier for everyone to use. “It’s my mobile phone. I can do with it what I like,” is the prevailing attitude and I think the SEC will soon find that out. Technology is making it more difficult to keep events, whether they be sporting events or a plane crash on the Hudson, from being the sole domain of the media. We’re all media and the sooner the traditional media: newspapers, TV, even today’s bloggers realize it and forget about trying to legislate how we interact and use technology the easier it will become for them to reach and engage their “audience.”

What do you think?

Until next time, Tim

Somewhat related video from YouTube, could this be the future the SEC fears.


Bloggers United for a Good Cause

Today I’m joining the chorus of bloggers united for Human Rights today, May 15. My issue – the junta – or ruling military dictators that have kept relief supplies for themselves or relabeled foreign aid coming into Burma or Myanmar after the cyclone recently devastated the country. They relabel the supplies with their country’s symbols and crests so the people will think the government is helping them.

Bloggers Unite

Evil coming in many forms, but this blatant refusal to assist other humans in surviving a natural disaster is a new low. Even when the US failed to act promptly or properly in helping its own citizens struck by Huricane Katrina, we knew the government had good intentions, but were just overwhelmed by incompetence and bureaucracy. In Burma, it seems the government is overwhelmed, but also fearful of losing power even slightly by letting aid in. How sad, let’s hope the international outcry and attention Burma is receiving will change things there.

Find out more about Bloggers United from blogcatalog.

Until next time, let me know if you are doing a Human Rights blog and what your issue is concerning. Tim



Great Idea – Business Cards for Bloggers

Today, I stumbled upon a great idea from Brian Yerkes, a blogger and designer who is collecting business cards of bloggers. You can add your business card to the mix by visiting Brian’s blog. Great idea Brian! Here’s mine:

RavenWood Creative Business Card

And I have to say, I stumbled upon the idea by checking out one of my favorite blogs from designers who blog.

Until next time, TIm