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Archive for January, 2007

’08 race: the first (screen) shots

by henrycopeland
Thursday, January 11th, 2007

Well, John Edwards’ ads, launched in late December, have been followed by ads by Mitt Romney, Rudy Guiliani and, yesterday, Barack Obama. Screenshots below.

To date, the Edwards’ ads make the most effective use of Blogads, reaching the most blogs, grabbing the highest placements, running multiple versions, including a video clip image in one version and, in all versions, multiple links to resources on Edwards website.

Yes, other candidates are on their way.

In MediaPost, Shankar Gupta does an excellent wrap-up of the first two candidates:

“Matt Gross, head of online communications for the Edwards campaign, said the candidate intends to use the Web to deliver his message to voters unfiltered. ‘We saw blog ads as an effective way to bring people in the blogosphere directly to the campaign Web site, where they could hear from Edwards directly.’” …

[Romney's spokesman, Kevin] Madden, said that Romney hopes the blog ads will reach the most influential voters. “The effort is driven by our recognition of a very unique and motivated audience among New Media devotees,” he said. “Our blog ads help reach this audience and drive traffic to our mittromney.com website and provide more information about Mitt Romney, his campaign, his ideas and how they can then in turn join our effort.”

Here are screenshots…

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Time’s person of the year

by henrycopeland
Monday, January 8th, 2007

Is it just me, or does Time’s person of the year essay have serious problems with pronoun disorienation? I guess its symptomatic of media’s general problem with disintermediation.

Here’s a pronoun focused excerpt: “He believed… You control the media now… we could blame… you’ll see another story… we are so ready for it…. We’re ready to balance… You can learn more… And we didn’t just watch, we also worked… We made Facebook profiles… We blogged… We camcordered… We’re looking at an explosion of productivity and innovation… I’m not going to watch… I’m going to turn on my computer… I’m going to mash up 50 Cent’s vocals with Queen’s instrumentals… I’m going to blog,.Who has that time and that energy and that passion? The answer is, you do… Sure, it’s a mistake to romanticize all this any more than is strictly necessary. Web 2.0 harnesses the stupidity of crowds as well as its wisdom. Some of the comments on YouTube make you weep for the future of humanity just for the spelling alone, never mind the obscenity and the naked hatred… But 2006 gave us some ideas. … Go on. Tell us you’re not just a little bit curious.”

Go on, tell me, it’s weird, right? This revolution is all about the subversion of the corporate “we” by the “I” and if you’ve spent your whole life writing as “we” its (apparently) nearly impossible to figure out how to write about the new world.

Hissing?

by henrycopeland
Monday, January 8th, 2007

I thought the web bubble 2.0 had another 18 to 36 months to go — since after all, its underpinned by real market growth of 30-40% a year — but apparently some folks think the bubble is already abursting.

Blogads for film screening in Second Life

by henrycopeland
Sunday, January 7th, 2007

Before Christmas we ran a pile of ads for Haxan Films’ Altered DVD. (Haxan of Blair Witch fame.) The Altered ads were really creative and got a phenomenal clickthru. And I just noticed that while I was on vacation, Haxan ran some ads for a virtual screening of the DVD in Second Life. (See the top ad on the left.) Here’s a review of that screeening. That’s gotta be a first, right? Here’s the Altered blog, which includes links directly to Youtube clips about the movie’s filming.

World literature and the melting pot of Central Europe

by henrycopeland
Saturday, January 6th, 2007

Fans, foes and former residents of Central Europe should enjoy Milan Kundera’s essay in the January 8 New Yorker. Since its not online, I’ll quote generously:

There are two basic contexts in which a work of art may be placed: either in the history of its nation (we can call this the small context) or else in the supranational history of its art (the large context.) We are accustomed to seeing music quite natually in the large context: knowing what language Orlando di Lasso or Bach spoke matters little to a musicologist. But because a noval is bound up with its language, in nearly every university in the world it is studied almost exclusivitly in the small– national — context. Europe has not managed to view its literature as a historical unit, and I continue to insist that this is an irreparable intellectual loss. Because, if we consider only the history of the novel, it was to Rabelais that Laurence Sterne was reacting, it was Sterne who set off Diderot, it was from Cervantes that Fielding drew constant inspiration, it was against Fielding that Stendhal measured himself, it was Flauberts’s tradition living on in Joyce, it was through his reflection on Joyce that Hermann Broch developed his own poetics of the novel, and it was Kafka who showed Garcia Marquez the possibility of departing from tradition to “write another way.”

(And what about the professors of foreign literatures? Is it not their very natural mission to study the works in the context of world literature? Not a chance. In order to demonstrate their competence as experts, they make a great point of identifying with the small — national context of whichever literature they teach. They adopt its opinions, its tastes, its prejudices. It is in foreign universities that a work of art is most intractable mired in its home province.)

I explained that while there is a linguistic unity among the Slavic nations, there is no Slavic culture, no Slavic world, and that the history of the Czechs, like that of the Poles, the Slovaks, the Croats or the Slovenes (and, of course, the Hungarians, who are not at all Slavic), is entirely Western: Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, close contact with the Germanic world; the struggle of Catholicism against the Reformation. Never anything to do with Russia, which was far off, another world. Only the Poles lived in direct relation with Russia — a relation much like a death struggle.

But my efforts were useless: the “Slavic world” idea persists as an ineradicable commonplace in world historiography. I open a volume of the “Universal History,” in the prestigious Pleiade series: in the chapter called “the Slavic World,” the great Czech theologian Jan Hus is irremediably separated from the Englishman John Wycliffe (whose disciple Hus was) and from the German Martin Luther (who saw Hus as his teacher and precursor.) Poor Hus: after being burned at the stake at Constance, now he must suffer through a dreadful eternity in the company of Ivan the Terrible, with whom he would never want to exchange a single word.

Between the large context of the world and the small context of the nation, a middle step might be imagined: say, a median context. Between Sweden and the world, that step is Scandinavia. For Columbia, it is Latin America. And for Hungary, for Poland?…

The fundamental shift that occured during the 20th centurey: until then, mankind was divided in two — those who defended the status quo and those who sought to change it. Then History began to acceleerate: whereas, in the past, man had lived continuously in the same setting, in a society that changed only very slowly, now the moment arrived when he suddenly began to feel History moving beneath his feet, like a rolling sidewalk; the status quo was in motion! All at once, being comfortable with the status quo was the same thing as being comfortable with History on the move! Which mean that a person could be both progressive and conformist, conservative and a rebel, at the same time!

Holiday media

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

Movies:
Borat: 8.5/10 (Gonna have to see this one again.)
Casino Royale: 9/10 (Maybe the best Bond movie ever?)
The Illusionist: 8/10 (Giamatti mirrors his father’s sardonic smile.)
Eragon: 3/10 (A disappointment even for youngsters I’m afraid.)

Books:
One flew over the cuckoo’s nest: 9/10
Darkness at noon: 6/10
Electric Coolaid Acid Test: 8/10
The Scarlet Pimpernel: 8/10
The Exploits of General Gerard: 7/10 if you like Conan Doyle, 1/10 if you don’t.

Plugged in

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

After two glorious weeks offline, I’m back and fully recharged. I’ve posted a few photos from the trip here: here with more on the way.

While I was away, we saw our first official ad of election ’07, a liberal blog blast from presidential candidate John Edwards.

We’re now in our new office, thanks to lots of hard work by Joe Stanton. All the old walls are ripped out and the new wiries zipped in. After some sheetrocking, we’ll get some pictures posted. We’ll be having an office warming next Thursday night, January 11, so if you are in town, stop by 101 B street, second floor, Carrboro. (Right across the railroad tracks from Weaver Street Market.)

Wikians versus busblog

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

Last month Tony Pierce was deleted from Wikipedia.

I’m trying to get my head around how all these various DIY cultures and their status metrics– wikipedia, blogospheric, journalistic, high school, Yahoobuzz, Myspace — compare and clash.

What does it say that Technorati, the service lazy journalists most love to quote when it comes to blog popularity, ranks PerezHilton as blogger #45 despite the fact that Yahoo ranks him as the most searched for blogger? I’ve got a longer essay brewing on this subject, but figure I haven’t posted in a while so should get this out the door.


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