Archive for February, 2011

Wednesday Links

Social media, film, and other topics I’ve been following over the last few days:

  • Via Tama Leaver, a New York Times article on Wikipedia’s efforts to increase the percentage of female contributors to the website.  Currently, only about 13% of the contributions are by women, while the average age of contributors was in the mid-20s.  There is some interesting food for thought here when it comes to how knowledge is constructed within Wikipedia (and perhaps the web more broadly).  I’m in the process of starting up my (slightly updated) composition students’ Wikipedia project, and this article might provide good discussion material.
  • Tama also points to an article reporting that Google has created a device that allows people to post tweets by making a telephone call in response to the internet blockade in Egypt.  Like a lot of people, I’m reluctant, at best, to ascribe the events in Egypt to social media, but I do think that social media tools might allow people to organize more efficiently, and they can also make these events visible in different ways.
  • In honor (?) of the Oscar nomination for Banksy’s documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, street artist Mister Brainwash (who was, in some sense, the subject of the film) has created a somewhat perplexing street mural.  I only wish MBW had gotten around to this a month ago when I was writing an article on fan adaptations and activism.
  • The Self-Styled Siren is hosting a film noir blogathon later this month.  Given that I’ll be teaching an early noir, The Maltese Falcon, for the first time in several years (I usually do The Third Man), I’m hoping to participate.  The blogathon is linked to a fundraiser designed to solicit donations for the Film Noir Foundation to go toward their film preservation efforts.
  • Lots of discussion about Amazon’s plans to offer a streaming video service linked to their Amazon Prime membership.  For $79 a year, not only do you get free shipping on all Amazon products, you also get free streaming videos.  This would complement Amazon’s existing streaming video-on-demand service and seems to represent a logical step after the online bookseller purchased the UK-based LoveFilm recently.  It will be interesting to see how Amazon functions as a competitor for Netflix, but as New Tee Vee points out, this could also encourage people to buy more stuff through Amazon thanks to their “Prime” membership.
  • I think I found this via Girish, but it’s worth noting that Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism has a very cool new online launch.  Girish also points to Cinema Scope’s new online presence.
  • Finally, New Tee Vee also has an article discussing BBC research on how to improve online video recommendations.  Interestingly, they found that older viewers were more likely to vote on videos.

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