Archive for March, 2006

lagging under pressure

My apologies to anyone who reads this blog – the enthusiastic start seems to have wanned slightly. My excuses are as follows: I am coming to the end of the degree so a lot of work is being heaped on and the proposals for next year are being written and sent out, unsurprisingly, they are being difficult. Excuses out of the way, your expectations lowered and my conscience eased I guess I'll post…

Sigla posted about poetry blogs earlier this week, something I am very interested in. As a result I have started to add a blogroll on the site, which will specify Irish arts blogs to make them easier to find. This is partly a selfish act however, I'm hoping that others will leave blogs that I don't know about in the comments – so I can read blogs I never knew existed.

In other news, I am enjoying the photoblog. It has proven easier to find a picture than a post most of the time, and I have received some very good feedback from photoblogs.org and photofriday.com, amongst others. Please post any comments, criticisms etc on the site here – I'd like to hear what people think.

a dedicated blogger, and great writer – Neil Gaiman, again…

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therapeutic blogging

In the interest of conversation I want to raise a question about blogging. Especially after I came across a few blogs that are using their respective sites as a form of therapy. Are these the 21st century’s version of keeping a diary, with the single largest difference that anyone can read what you write? I think site’s such as these give an insight into the people and may help them, but how many of these types of blogs are there? (And who reads all of them?)

All of those that I have read seem to have a specific audience in mind – as in here and here. Are these blogs relevant to anyone online? I enjoyed reading all of those that I read in preparation of this post, but am just a little sceptical.

first the blog awards, now live blogging St. Patricks Day: Twenty Major, what is next?

too hot to handle?

Buzzmachine‘s Jeff Jarvis made his first post on the Guardians new Comment Is Free site by lashing out at the FCC over hypocritical controls on what should be aired on American television. On the ruling that the words ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ are profane and grossly offensive Jarvis replied “To sum this up all too bluntly: “nigger” and “kike” are constitutionally protected while “fuck” and “shit” are not. In a response to the FCC fines the Daily KOS have posted the Parents Television Council contact details on their site.

The episode of Without A Trace that is costing CBS $3 million was aired earlier last year by TV3, I have emailed the BCC to try and find out how many complaints, if any at all, were made against TV3 for showing the same episode. Did anyone watch the programme? Was it as bad as the PTC have made it out to be, and is it worth $3m in fines? I’ll update as soon as the BCC get back to me.

UPDATE: No word from the BCC and I’ve been too busy to realise – I will have another go today.  

released from its prison: comment is free

never let me go

Kazuo Ishiguro has long been the favourite of many – particularly since the success of The Remains of the Day film adaptation, the novel is a beutifully subtle and powerfully written novel. Ishiguro’s latest book, Never Let Me Go, has sat on my shelf unread for almost three months. Breaking away slightly from the precedent that his work has set, Never Let Me Go moves into genre’s previously unknown to Ishiguro; science-fiction. A daunting and strange change for any author, but for the flawed and specific characters that Ishiguro creates in his work, the book seems almost fear-some in its own potential.

they give anyone a blog: gladwell.com

in lieu of better confidence, complain!

In the space of three weeks I have changed my very stagnant site into a photoblog, and have begun writing this blog alongside it. I was, and to a degree I still am, terrified of writing posts in blog form – the onus is on me to create posts in a community where there are already established blogs with much better content. Print journalism is much easier to contend with – especially in dealing with someone face to face, the majority of interaction with this blog so far has been the wordpress stats page.

I am coming to the end of my undergraduate in Journalism and have faced very little writing for web, and nothing about blogs, citizen journalism/commentary or web 2.0. Anything that has been published online was originally written for print and re-used by the publisher. There has been a large oversight in the course I attended on web-specific content and writing for web. (Not to dissuade anyone from taking the course, it has been a very interesting and excellent experience with very dedicated and genuine teaching staff.) The course and staff, one-part academics, the other practicing journalists, can only reflect the industry – where a large majority of media organisations have yet to establish a web specific staff/editor.

I am not arguing that all media organisations should suddenly start hiring journalists and editors for online content, but that for a soon-to-be graduate of journalism I have had very little experience with online writing. If the industry is changing so dramatically, why are students only being taught traditional methods?

picture perfect: photoblogs.org

child’s play

In an interesting debate with an English Lit. student today I argued that Childrens’ Literature (caps?) was as violent as it has ever been. During the debate I pulled in references from some of my old favourites – Darren Shan, Lemony Snicket, Gaiman, Gliori, Rowling and Tolkien. The opposition filed in with 18th century children’s literature, much of which I had barely heard of, and mostly never read. The ensuing argument did leave me with a few interesting points to note however.

The majority of literature written for children in the 18th Century was created to instill the fear of god or to gain other disciplinary results . This formed much of my argument about violence in modern Childrens’ Lit. – the modern novel is written for entertainment, not for any moral or ethical end-product. There is also much deeper character development in modern childrens fiction – this engages the reader much more emtionally so that although the violence from some authors may be less detailed the effect on a young reader is greater.

The authors of children’s literature are certainly much more engaged publicly with their audiences and know what subjects they want to read about – children make the best critics. If an author treats the reader, and plots, as adult the young reader will engage much more with the characters and the author. My experience of this was at a CBI (Childrens Books Ireland) event in Dublin a few years ago where a number of authors were invited to give readings and talks about their books. Having never met or read anything of most of those involved I attended a talk by Larry O’Loughlin in which the author was so re-caught by the emotion of his own novel that he cried. Seeing a grown man cry had such a profound effect on me that I bought his book, and others and will be a fan for life.

The debate, my apologies for straying, ended however on a very pleasing note when my opponent admitted to having read very little new Childrens’ Lit. Not a strong win but with a pleasing result – she agreed to read some of those that I used in my argument. This post is not just to gloat that I finally managed to win an argument, but also to raise the question of what others think.

hadn’t seen this until today: Oscar Winning, Six Shooter

every little helps

Following in a similar trend as Disillusioned Lefty, I want to make as many people as I can aware of Gavin’s request for help as I can. As a new site I don’t receive very many hits a day, but I hope that those that do visit here will pass the link on and give whatever they can. Paypal or Money Transfer.