Some favourite blogs

10 11 2013

I always wish I had more time for reading, it is one of my favourite activities and I like reading about all kinds of topics, from current affairs, media trends, gardening, art, etc.

Anyway, one way I have found useful to keep informed is by setting up Google Alerts, on a range of topics. I receive regular emails reporting of media and blog articles related to the topic areas.

I also follow a few blogs and always find something interesting in brain pickings, check out this article about Author’s self portraits. I also like this article about advice on writing from famous authors.

Another blog that regularly has interesting articles is gov loop, here is one – 8 lessons to guide your career and an interesting one on selfies.

I also like Purpose Fairy, for all kinds for reasons!

There also also a few email lists that I have followed for nearly 2 decades – nettime and -empyre-  are two examples.

It would be good to just sit down and read a novel now and again, but nowadays it seems that there is only time on holidays 🙂

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Resources for Public Relations students and professionals

7 11 2013

Recently I did a scan of recent articles and texts focused on current best practice and theory in the broad field of media and communications.

One list I came across recently was very useful – A Partial Reading List for PR Students, mainly targeted at students with some very good resources.

Another one worth a look is Public Relations: Theory and Practice, a text designed to understand the varying roles for Communications and PR professionals. The text is targeted to students providing information on a broad range of communications areas including digital strategies and community relations. The description states that:

They show how to develop effective public relations strategies and tactics and explain how to research, run and evaluate a successful public relations campaign. Drawing on a range of communication and public relations theories they discuss how to work with the media and how to use print, electronic and other forms of communication for maximum impact.

There is so also a lot of information about writing for online audiences, which I think is a critical area of communications and public relations. Check out this article from 4syllables titled Managing distributed publishing, part 1: The challenges.

Here is some other good posts about PR resources:

A comment from one of the posts also mentioned that “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” by Jonah Burger, is a “great book” on viral marketing based on research. Might be worth a look.

Anyway, lots out there!

Some new ones to read and some which would be worth a revisit 🙂





What’s hot at Web Directions

15 10 2010

Yesterday a colleague and I were interviewed at Web Directions about “What’s hot and what’s not”. This was a great opportunity for us to plug livinggreener.gov.au as well as offer our opinion about what is emerging in the web development and design space.

Well, for me what is smoking hot at the moment is HTML5 and CSS3. I am uber impressed by what you can do without Javascript – transitions, fades, specialised fonts, animating images. To be honest I don’t think I have even explored the tip of the iceberg here as there is so much new stuff.

It seems so long ago when I created my first page in 1995, complete with tiled pineapples and a flashing title (many would remember that now ousted tag). There was not a lot of opportunity to animate then, not unless you included an animated gif or a flash tag. Javascript and Flash came later and both had their pros and cons. The capacity HTML5 and CSS3 has for doing much more of this work with less code is very inspiring.

Silvia Pfeiffer’s talk on HTML5 audio and video was fantastic (I know that is totally uncritical feedback). It was excellent because the possibilities offered to audio and video in HTML5. Silvia’s knowledge of this area as impressive and I look forward to keeping abreast of developments with HTML5, particularly in the open video space.

Knud Möller’s talk on RDFa was good value. As a member of the W3C RDFa working group he has a lot of insight into this emerging standard for tagging data. Again, there seems to be some good support in the open source community with Drupal 7 including RDFa as part of the standard set up.

Michael Smith’s “HTML5 Report Card” was very entertaining, the information was really useful and the presenting style was lots of fun. The useful links from this talk are all covered in his presentation on Slideshare (where he appears under the handle of sideshowbarker).

Also, I think there is momentum building in the geomapping space, though I have a way to go to get around the dev side of things. Icelabs Max Wheeler’s talk went a bit over my head on a technical level, though his website decaf sucks, is a lovely example of the use of geo-data that displays elegantly across desktop and mobile devices. Although I still have lots to learn, I am certainly getting a much better idea of what is possible with flexible design and geo-data.

Speaking of Icelab, it was great to see Nathan McGinness, who used to work there and was a member of dorkbot cbr before he relocated to Sydney to work with Digital Eskimo. He was there showing off his invention sketch lab. Good luck Nathan – it is a great idea!

Nathan McGinness - sketch lab

As a first timer, I understand now why so many web people make the pilgrimage to Web Direction year after year, as this is a great opportunity to learn, network, catch up with friends, colleagues and even past students. One of the things that hit me the most is this where people talk about how they make things, rather than just thinking or writing about it (which is what I have spent last 9 years doing –  focusing on my PhD).

I am looking forward to much more time to play and learning through doing, not just observing and I have plenty to inspiration thanks to Web Directions.





The Blender Institute

20 07 2008

The Blender Institute in Amsterdam is a not-for-profit studio for open source 3D projects. Sounds exciting eh!

As a follow-up to the successful project Orange’s “Elephants Dream”, the Blender Foundation initiated another open movie project. Again a small team (7) of the best 3D artists and developers in the Blender community have been invited to come together to work in Amsterdam from October 2007 until April 2008 on completing a short 3D animation movie. The team members will get a great studio facility and housing in Amsterdam, all travel costs reimbursed, and a fee sufficient to cover all expenses during the period.

The creative concept of “Peach” was completely different as for “Orange”. This time it is “funny and furry”!

The Blender Foundation and Blender community have been the main financiers for Peach. As for the previous open movie, a pre-sale campaign to purchase the DVD set in advance will be organized.

Additional support from sponsors and subsidy funds has been realized as well.

Peach also was the first Open Project hosted by the new Blender Institute in Amsterdam. This will make the project more independent, without much involvement of production partners, and also will ensure continuity.

Their recent production Big Buck Bunny has gone live on youtube and you can check it out here…