Typecast.com/try-it-now Brilliant bit of detail on the sign-up form. This sort of attention to detail makes me smile, and it makes me trust the company more: if they care about a tiny part of the experience like that, won't they care about me, too? That's the logic, and that's why what my boss calls 'peripheral details' matter.
One can argue that — technologically — we've been building and refining certain infrastructures and tools for digital publishing in anticipation of better consumption devices. Blogger was released in the late 90s. Live Journal. Geocities. All of those old platforms were ahead of their time. Twitter, too, is something of a platform built for the bubbling emergence, but with their reluctance to offer good archives, I'd place it more in the broadcast category than publishing category.
I'm not sure why, but I'd never thought to distinguish between broadcast mediums and publishing mediums online, because 'online' has so often been talked about like it's a medium of it's own.
The way I heard people talk about 'Online' in j-school, it seemed to come with a set of genres but not many rules; like radio meets the wild west cliché. You have your voicers (traditional news) and your trashy banter talk shows (Perez hilton) and your music or other 'genre' shows (Pitchfork, GvB). Unlike radio, no one can agree on how to do much of anything, and building and writing things for the web is complicated by outdated expectations of what publishing should be.
That vocabulary seems to be shifting now - like the movement away from 'click' to 'tap' and 'hit' in the meantime. As different models form we're beginning to see different publications create new management models and distribution strategies, and the vocabulary around them is changing. Online isn't a medium, it's becoming a utility.
Broadcast mediums tend to be defined by the assumed passivity of their listeners. Publishing mediums by their stylistic consistency and coherent editorial tone.
To those I'd add a third use of the medium as well, if it doesn't muddy the waters too much: conversational mediums. Confessionals, almost. Sites that use publishing models in a slightly more collective-navel-gazing way, like XO Jane or Thought Catalogue. To be clear, I love both of these publications, but often it does feel like navel-gazing: cathartic, mildly titillating, subjective and community-forming.
I read Quartz, Smashing, Gizmodo, Foreign Policy, Reuters, the Gaurdian and the New York Times for published news and interesting views; I read XO Jane, the Awl, Thought Catalogue, and This Recording to gain perspective, reassurance or food for introspection. I comment on the latter, or at least tend to pin them. It takes a really insightful or deeply delved long-form piece from one of the former for me to form the same kind of emotional connection (or, pin to a reading list. Super deep connection eh!)
These are not to be confused with all the 'new media' subgroups, and traditional "Newsprint" mediums' classification by the frequency of publication/distribution, which creates different expectations and formats as well. Online, there are the social mediums - 'lighter' third-party content delivery mechanisms - plus different formats - video, audio, visual, and the subsegmentation of sites by reputation, topic and again publishing frequency. Like music subgenres (italodisco post-punk tropicalia house indiepop, anyone?), how we talk about and categorize our information consumption structures is shifting.
The common coefficient is that in every case, the 'medium' is being used for very different tones in ways that grow out of the people using them. Oddly, the format I most often consume 'newsy' publications in is as emailed newsletters, or I skim the headlines in my feed reader. (Industry, longform or music publications get the same treatment as more emotionally resonant publications, though: I save them to read in the appropriate frame of mind.)
The point of Mod's piece seemed to be that no one was doing it as elegantly or simply as This Magazine, but I'd argue that the case (for lack of a better phrase) is very similar to a gorgeous email newsletter. But I love email newsletters and feed readers, and it's the same 'form' of publishing taking place, with similar constraints. Mod seemed to be exploring how they set their distribution and constraints in the essay, which was wonderful; more broadly, setting the constraints appropriately for each publication without getting bogged down in legacy framework is really the next new challenge, and it's something all writers, designers and web-building-people should think honestly about. Sending out a blast is very different to starting a discussion, and should happen in very different contexts.
Publishing is evolving, obviously, as discussions like this (and essays like his) detail. Sometimes the simplest forms really should win out, and sometimes I want to get lost in Symbolia.
* Sidenote: So excited about the A11y project, all of the readings have been saved for this weekend.
This has been on heavy repeat - add some Brenton Wood, Johnny Hallyday, old Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and a little bit of Crystal Stilts/Scratch Massive/Let's Buy Happiness. Plus, oddly, Solange Knowle's
, which has been on repeat for the past month. Mixes coming.
So that miracle from last week? Got picked up by two other shows. Well, one picked it up and another's interviewing the guy again for a slightly different format. Still. I'm such a proud momma.
I'm also really proud this week because I'm doing a piece for syndication. Whoo!
In other learning-experiences, apparently lately I've been good on editing streeters but not good enough on getting peoples' names. It's a smack myself on the head kind of thing. If only I'd gotten random person x's name! I should've learned this two weeks ago (/ages ago) when I had to find a teacher I'd talked to out on the street so we could use her clip - using only the fact that she taught grade three, coached grade 5&6 badminton, and was at a private school. Thank god there aren't many private schools in Halifax and her school's secretary was a sweetheart. Oh well. It worked out on both the streeters where we ended up going back and isolating people.
I complain about all these streeters, but I have to say it's made me a much faster, better editor. I'm much more ruthless about cutting out the useless anecdotes and cute bits. I hate letting people I've talked to/ambushed/interviewed down, which is a dangerous feeling that I should probably let go of. People-pleasing and journalism don't mix very well, unless you're talking with bosses.
Which... anyone else starting to see real jobs in the future and getting mildly freaked? I'm not entirely sure I'm ready for the real world. Empirically, all signs point to me being a Real Adult ready for Real Jobs but it sure doesn't feel that way. Maybe I'll just go shine my resume up a bit more. Just a bit. Then I should make a plan, right? Then chart out options. Pro/Con lists. Potential cities, fields of work, emerging markets and jobs. You know, research. It'll just take me, uh, a while. Then I'll start applying for real things.
This was originally written as part of the internship blog we were expected to write. Click the "internship" tag for more posts from the past month.
I can't believe I still remember that.
It wasn't even a terribly exciting day, except that I spent the whole day (9-6) at the CBC. For work. I'm exhausted and trying to get myself pumped up and organized for the next month, so I can really nail this internship and get a lot out of it. That's what coffee's for, right? Keeping me going, fuelling story ideas, forbidding the yawns... Does anyone else have that issue where they tear up as they yawn? I really hope our supervisor didn't think I was getting emotional about audio editing software.
There's so much to do and I don't have my feet on the ground yet. We've got two days of training before we really hit the ground running on Wednesday, eek that morning's going to be so much more nerve wracking than today was. I'll have to actually do work on a show that's out there in the real world. It's not just a school project anymore.