Why this isn’t just a website…

So. If you glance at the page before you, you’ll see that, well, it’s not much of a blog. It’s a little piffle of postings, but I have every INTENT of keeping up the trickle and eventually there will be some vast digital corpus and everyone in the world will benefit from it and my 9 month old son will sleep through the night and there will be peace in the Middle East and so on.

But seriously – someone said that blogs are just another way of publishing a website. And that’s TRUE, factually. The mechanism used is definitely just another way of putting a site up, and most, maybe even this one, are the equivalent of those grey pages with pictures left justified with blue outlines of some biology department data processing nerds overfed Siamese sitting in a Hello Kitty lunch box that we used to see in, say, 1993.

But blogs are also something much much different… maybe. Continue reading Why this isn’t just a website…

Why thoughts matter…

Julian Bleecker – the dude who wrote the thing about Why things matter and blogjects — riffing in a PhD way on the whole spimes thing etc etc — has a post up that, well, resonates:

Nutshell: He’s been reading other’s responses to his blogjects riffs, and seems to be defending, somewhat, against the notion that there’s nothing new there. There’s no new ‘technology’ (read, no new thing per se), or specific tool that enables this — so why the big deal?

His response: It’s a new way of thinking, and that is something new.

His conclusion, to me, is why a blog is NOT just another way to publish a website. Unless, of course, you are just publishing a website.

I may have mischaracterized. If so, please correct me. In either event, my take away:

New ideas != new tools
New ideas = new uses

Cyber Lions, BFD

So, the Cannes Cyber Lions

Big fucking deal.
I know. They matter, in the same way the Oscars and Grammys and whatnot matter. They’re about affirmation. They help (like all awards) impress clients, they help recognize something about something for someone.

First – a disclaimer: There is some great, funny stuff in there. I’m less peeved about the entrants than about the category, and what it represents… There are people who put their time away from their families and friends to pull this stuff off, and they deserve respect for that.

The thing is — looking at the thumbnails for each category, they all look the fucking same. Flash piece, centered more often than not in a dark background. One off. No depth. Something to play with. They are, painfully, devastatingly, CLEARLY the modern equivalent of the :30. I will create something hemmed in. Something I can contain. I will allow people to email it, and hence it will be VIRAL (which, different rant later, it wouldn’t be, it would be simply SPREAD VIA EMAIL)

Continue reading Cyber Lions, BFD

Gaming, and missing the point…

This post on Kotaku has me thinking. There’s a few others on lately that do the same, more on that in a second. Basically the poster suggests that the Darfur is Dying game (go check it out) could be a more immersive, survival horror type game, with the player either as a hero trying to help or as a victim trying to escape. Proceeds to fund the relief efforts, such as they are.
My basic problem: The Darfur is Dying game isn’t meant to be ‘fun’ like that. It’s horrifying to play, basically hopeless (as a game, to win) and meant to trigger a completely different experience than, say, Resident Evil. Instead of goading our emotions like ‘fun’ and ‘excitement’, instead of allowing us to live in fantasy role, it forces us, through the medium of gaming, to empathize and as much as a fairly ‘simple’ Flash game can, inhabit the life of people who, as a society in general, we are ignoring.

But my beef isn’t really that they missed the point on this one as much as they seem to miss the bigger point, and frequently. Continue reading Gaming, and missing the point…