Sunday, August 07, 2011

MediaWeek (Vol 4, No 32) Digital Storytelling, Report on Graduate Earning Power, Citation of Wikipedia, Forsyth's Jackal + More

From the Observer: Storytelling: Digital technology allows us to tell tales in innovative new ways. As the tools available to publishers grow more sophisticated, it's up to us to experiment and see what sticks. (Observer)

But the tools they use to tell tales are evolving, becoming more modular and tailored, more participatory and more engaging than just the printed word or the moving image. The new form of storytelling that's coming from a digitally enabled cabal moves beyond reinterpreting a text for radio or screen. Some creatives have taken their inspirations from Kit Williams's 1979 picture book Masquerade, which motivated a generation of people to pour over symbols in illustrations to find a treasure buried in the Midlands, starting their stories anywhere – online or off. They weave narratives from seemingly innocuous blogs, magazine ads, TV slots, fashion labels and public phone calls. Clues in the alternate realities designed by authors are littered in the physical and the virtual; consumers simply need to be tuned in to see them, and willing to take part in the unfolding narrative.
Frank Rose, author of The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue and the Way We Tell Stories,believes this is exactly what people want from their story experience. "The kind of multi-way conversation that the web makes possible is what we've always wanted to do," he says. "The technology finally enables it."
Rose celebrates the way that the new kinds of storytelling brings audiences together to traverse plots, but recognises that there are challenges for consumers and for creators: "It's very different when you have a medium that forces you to engage with other people," he says, reflecting on the arc of a narrative that is necessarily more complex, multifaceted, and demands more flexibility. "You don't know if you're going to have to tell a story for one hour, two hours or 10 years."
Also more examples from the author's tumblr site.

Georgetown study looks at the earning power of graduates (InsideHigherEd):

The study, entitled “The College Payoff,” is the latest of a string of reports Carnevale’s shop has released that generally tout the benefits of college attainment. (This one was trumpeted Thursday at a joint news conference with the Lumina Foundation for Education, whose college completion push resonates with the Georgetown study.) For the report, the Georgetown researchers estimated the lifetime money-making prospects of various types of degree holders. To reflect contemporary circumstances, they extrapolated a 40-year career based on 2009 earnings data. Unlike previous studies with similar methodologies, the study used median estimates rather than averages.
Carnevale and his co-authors describe gender and race/ethnicity as “wild cards that can trump everything else in determining earnings.”
A man who drops out of college will probably earn about as much as a woman who graduates with a bachelor’s degree, the study finds. Under current conditions, men are projected to out-earn women over their lives at every level of college attainment. The greatest gap occurs at the level of professional degrees. The Georgetown researchers projected that women who get a professional degree will earn $3 million over their lives. That is more than $1 million less than a man with the same type of degree.

Thinking about Wikipedia as an authority (IHEd):

Not that a book consisting entirely of reprints from Wikipedia is, by definition, worthless. A lot has changed since five years ago, when Stephen Colbert could create the "fact" that Africa's elephant population had tripled in the last three months. The entries remain susceptible to vandalism, or to invasion by the chronically misinformed, but a substantial community of regular contributors and editors has developed that exercises a degree of control, and numerous studies show that its level of reliability compares favorably with other reference works.
Meanwhile, an interesting dialectic of popularity and authority is at work as major institutions begin to find it necessary to deal with the site, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. In May, the first Wikipedian in Residence began assuming his responsibilities at the National Archives. Around the same time, the Association for Psychological Science announced its Wikipedia Initiative, encouraging members “to participate by adding new entries and enhancing existing ones with more complete and accurate information with references.”
A few years back, universities were debating whether to ban citation of Wikipedia in student papers. The APS, by contrast, makes an appeal to “teachers and students who can make updating or creating Wikipedia entries part of coursework” as a practicum in learning “the importance of logic, strength of argument, flow and clarity of writing, and citations of the appropriate literature.” Wikipedia has undertaken a number of other initiatives to academe, as reported last month in Inside Higher Ed. And according to a paper published earlier this week, the online reference is being both analyzed and cited with some frequency in the peer-reviewed literature of several disciplines.
An interview with Frederick Forsyth on the 40th anniversary of The Day of the Jackal (Bloomberg):
It was Forsyth’s first novel, written in just 35 days at the start of 1970. He’d returned to a particularly frigid London, worn out from reporting on the Biafran conflict. Unemployed, sleeping on a friend’s couch and badly in need of cash, he sat down at his bullet-scarred portable typewriter and began bashing out a novel he’d conceived years earlier, as a “junior junior” foreign correspondent in Paris.
His job back then had been to trail de Gaulle in case he was assassinated -- which seemed a good possibility in the wake of Algerian independence. The young Forsyth figured otherwise.
“I was watching, and worked out in my head that the OAS were not going to get him. His security was too good and they were too amateurish. I thought to myself the only way they could get him is by bringing in an outsider.”
Four publishers turned the novel down, unable to see the point in a book about killing de Gaulle when de Gaulle was already in retirement. Where was the suspense? The point is to find out how close the Jackal gets, Forsyth says.
I wasn't active on the twitter over the past week but these are the items I may have clipped had I been:
Maps to most shopping malls: Bing Maps Go To The Mall
Publishers Weekly reports on ebook sales E Not Replacing P
Lexis deny they have plans to move out of Dayton after announcing a new Philipines facility DaytonDaily
And in Sports, ManUtd get things off to a winning start (Guardian)

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