What are the haps?

Hey! Hello! Hi there. Hi. How are you? That’s good. Me? Well, you know, just getting back into blogging, you know how it is. Yeah, I know I know, two-thirds of the way through the Emerging Writer’s Festival it seems my blogging fingers fell off. But I did go to many a thing and have a jolly ol’ time. Maybe some of what I attended and took notes on would still make for an interesting post (many weeks after the event, in contradiction of the internet’s immediacy)? We’ll see. Anyway, since then I have been busy. Moving house. Travelling up to Canberra and Sydney and back again. Oh, and I’ve been enlisted into the Voiceworks EdComm, which is great. We have a blog and we did a night of readings and Boggle and a radio play and a spelling bee, oh and we publish a cracking magazine that you should read and submit to, if yer able.

But anyway! Yes indeed, to everything there is a season. Gone is the long winter of discontented nonblogging. Now is the season for bloggingbloggingblogging, like a glorious summer.

And O! what a time to be a-blogging it is! So many things are the haps! A perpetual cornucopia approaching for me to partake in and report upon! Most importantly, perhaps: the Melbourne Writers Festival! The MWF program has been launched, and in anticipation of the festival’s arrival on August 27, I am spending many an idle moment flipping through the program, planning all the marvellous stuff I might see. Not only that, I plan to be a Genuine Unofficial MWF Blogger, blogging about it a whooooole bunch, much like others such such as him and her and several others. Oh, and don’t forget the Official MWF Blog.

Other than that, to further commence the buzzing warm-up to the fest, check out a nice big blog I did for MWF last year, back when this blog was part of my coursework at the Uni of Melbourne. Speaking of which, as of Thursday, this blog will have been around for a year. Can you believe that? I freakin’ can’t! I will definitely have to celebrate.

But yes, coming soon, I will have a massive post (or three) detailing the myriad things I plan to attend at MWF. All of that and many more meandering missives such as this one are surely on their way.

Ah yes indeed, it is a good time to be blogging. Festivals and blogging go together like custard and fish fingers, or, if you will, bowties and fezes.
(In case you are not cultured, what I am saying is that blogging and festivals go together exceedingly well and they are cool and also Doctor Who is cool and yeah okay so bye and um have a frabjous day!)
Advertisements

010110

If you go by the ever-sensible dd/mm/yy format, and remove the slashes, then today (and several other dates in this new year) are in binary.  Truly, we are now living in the future!

Yup, it’s a new year. It’s the 21st century in double digits. It’s THE FUTURE.  So in keeping with this, it’s more than fitting that I kick off 2010 by getting down with the technology. So as promised, I’m continuing this blog beyond Uni and I’m going to try posting once a week, and hopefully more. I’m keen to start writing some reviews, rambling about things I’m interested in and just experimenting with maintaining a blog.

Since my last post, I’ve completed my diploma, with marks that I’m quite pleased with. I’m facing the first full year since I was four without an educational institution structuring my life. I’ve snagged myself a job in a bookshop. I’m looking to get more experience and involvement in the world of publishing. And I’m going to be reading and writing more than ever before, and not just for this blog. I’ve got lots of plans!

And yes, I’m on Twitter now.

The future looks wonderfully distracting. Here’s hoping I still manage to do good things.

So here’s to a jolly good 2010, full of reading, writing, editing, publishing and more!

Final words (for now)

Well, besides the pending Part 4 of my Web Portfolio, this is the last thing I’ll be putting up on this blog. But not forever.

Although it was undertaken as an assignment for my Writing and Editing for Digital Media class, I’ve taken a bit of a shine to working on this blog. Once I’ve finished my other assignments, had a bit of a break and received marks that confirm I indeed will qualify for graduation, I’ll be back. The focus of the blog might be a bit more casual, maybe a bit more serious, experimental, diverse, random, focused, who knows! I have a few ideas, but by the new year, I’ll be trying my hand at blogging here anew.

Before then, here’s a list of eight comments, thoughts, musings and things I’ve learned through the W+E4DM class and through my my blog so far:

• I’ve really enjoyed reading a diversity of blogging I otherwise might not have read, on topics from Facebook to fashion to kung fu. It’s great to read things outside my usual bubble of activity. If anyone in my class keeps blogging, I’ll keep reading and commenting.

• Blogging is pretty fun and addictive. I didn’t realise what a sad little thrill it would be to check out my blog stats thingo every day. People visited! People linked to my blog! People clicked my links! People searched for ‘peter bakowski blog’ and found mine instead! (it’s here btw). And best of all is when people read and comment and it seems like they’ve genuinely engaged with what I’ve written, even if it’s just in a small way. Or when your blog opens up opportunities to interact with people you’ve only briefly met, people you’d only heard of, or even total strangers. I didn’t think this blog would have an audience outside the class, let alone get visits from other acquaintances, established writers or a random dude from Copenhagen! All of this kind of stuff can be great motivation.

• The areas of writing, editing and publishing are changing alongside emerging digital media and technology. I’m keen to continue being involved in all of this, because there’s a lot of possibilities when everything is in a state of transition, uncertainty and experimentation. And I’m interested to see what role the internet and other related technologies will play in the ever-more unpredictable future of the planet and its inhabitants.

• Hardly anyone on the internet seems to pay much attention to copyright and I don’t really blame them. But I figure if you’re going to publish something for the entirety of the interwebs, you’d better make sure you can stand by all of it. And embrace Creative Commons and the like, because it’s awesome.

• I think my blog already needs a redesign. What do you think? The column layout seems a little off. And apparently white text on black is bad. I kind of like it, but maybe not as much as I used to.

• I think there will always be a need for people who can write well, think creatively, see things differently, speak the truth, or just make awesome things, be they stories, songs, visual art, games, articles, or software. The internet can help with all of this of course. But don’t forget that no matter how ubiquitous it seems the internet and all the latest newfangled iGadgets seem, there’s always the rest of the world. Instead of refreshing your Facebook feed again, try starting a garden, riding your bike, making something tangible and tactile with your hands, travelling somewhere new with some friends, attending a protest for something you believe in, practicing an instrument, or writing a letter to a friend. Yes, a real letter. They’re actually pretty special.

• A huge proportion of the world’s population do not see digital technology as an all-pervasive thing. There is a significant digital divide. The Internet has a long way to go before it’s a truly global and egalitarian network.

• Above all, remember: the internet is crazy.

CRAZY.

And that’s that! Thanks to everyone who has visited and read and commented and clicked my links and everything! Please do come back when I come back. Keep me on the good ol’ Google Reader! Until then, this is Duncan at DuncanWritingEditingPublishing clicking Publish and signing off.

ACMI is Awesome

My girlfriend and I went to ACMI at Federation Square recently and their new Screen Worlds exhibition is not just fantastic, it’s free. And it’s a permanent exhibition, but I feel you should waste no time in checking in out.

The exhibition is all about the myriad forms the moving image takes, from cinema, to animation, to video games and beyond! Besides the free video games, some stunning displays, and futuristic-looking interactive exhibits, there’s a little thing called the Timeslice. You walk into a booth , press a button, and after a few beeps, a series of cameras films you from every angle as you throw yourself into action. Then, you watch the movie back: it’s like having your own Matrix bullet-time film shoot! And then you can have the video emailed to you! My girlfriend and I had several goes at it and this video was among the best. Yes, it does take a while for it to load, but I reckon it’s entirely worth it. It’s fun doing it too; I could go do this on a weekly basis, I’m not kidding.

Also, upstairs is ACMI’s other new thing, The Australian Mediatheque. There’s several viewing booths with comfy seats, high-quality headphones (though the cords were not quite long enough ) and wide-screen TVs. From their digital database you can choose to view a huge array of Australian movies, cartoons, TV episodes and more. Or, if you call ahead a few days, you can order in just about any piece of pre-2006 Australian moving image material, sourced from archives around the country. And again, for free! Mey friends and I watched the movies The Black Balloon and Home Song Stories, both recommended and enjoyed by us all!

And the cafe at ACMI sells off all of their delicious broken choc-tops for $1 each.

Yup, I’m a ACMI acolyte now.

A Strange Way of Generating Buzz

Had to share this weird video from the Frankfurt Book Fair. It’s one of the biggest meet-ups of the year for publishers, agents and the like, but this is the first video I think I’ve ever seen from it. The Fair itself is not too far from what you’d expect, but I’ve never seen advertising like this before.

Yup, tiny little advertising banners attached to flies. The banners apparently were harmlessly stuck on with natural wax and dropped off after a while. The main effect is a whole lot of double takes and a lot of attention for Eichborn. But I wonder how many people remember the stunt rather than the name though?

Still, it’s a good reminder: there are always unique ways to get your stuff out there that simply can’t be done on the internet. We just get the YouTube’d version of it.

To tweet or not to tweet?

So it seems like Twitter is well and truly established in the interwebbertubertrons, at least for the time being, and I’ve actually started reading a few people’s feeds on a somewhat regular basis. The only problem is, at the moment I don’t even have an account. Yup, I’m pretty much a Twitter lurker, reading but not really interacting.

I think I will finally join up in a few weeks, after I’ve finished all of my Uni assignments and taken a bit of a holiday. It’s just that until then, I don’t really need another distraction. I know if I have a Twitter feed to check compulsively every 5 minutes, it’ll be like having seven Facebook accounts. Nothing will get done, at least not until I get past the novelty stage and I don’t know when or if that would end. So I’m not opening that Pandora’s Box just yet.

 

(Image:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/carrotcreative/ / CC BY 2.0)

I know it’s the whole Google Reader situation all over again for me. Before getting with the times and being introduced to Google Reader in class, I had a bookmarked list of blogs that I would check several times daily on lazy days and a mental list that I would check occasionally too. Now that I use Google Reader, I can go to one page and see exactly where my distraction lies, nicely summarised to show exactly how many posts  I can read when I choose to (621? Oh, that’s nice). Likewise, if I actually signed up to Twitter, I could just go to one website containing my feed, rather than remembering which separate pages I may want to check at any given time, whether or not they’ve been updated. But still, either way, I think I need to hold off on joining the tweeting hordes for now.

On a side note, it’s interesting how in several recent articles, on both The Age‘s website and various  culture/entertainment websites, Twitter posts are a way of both gathering and communicating a quick cross-section of community opinion. This seems to be applied to any topic, from TV shows to complex political issues, and not just the Iranian elections.

So of course, it’s not all distraction. As with all things online, I check out stuff from people who write entertaining things, who find really interesting articles, share mind-expanding stories or forward amazing videos. Twitter will help me do that too, and share back in return. It’s all part of the conversation. And there will, of course, be a few lolcats and inane posts about how delicious my sandwich was. That’s life. It’s just another part of a diverse multimedia-infused world that is constantly evolving, and involving everything: conversations, phonecalls, letters,  novels, poetry, websites, music videos, video games, a friendly wave and a smile, SMS, comics, and now tweets.

Having said all that, any recent converts, or maybe people who are Twitter Qwitters? Anyone who can convincingly sway me either way? Don’t worry, it’s a few weeks at least before I finally pick sides. And no matter which side you’re on, we’ll always have terrible Twitter puns to unite us. Because in the end, websites like Twitter are what you make of them. They can be fun, useful and edifying, depending on who you connect with, but always remember moderation, and most of all, remember: all that Twitters is not gold. BAM!