Sunday Links

Still in the process of transitioning to my next project.  Here are some of the things I’ve been reading and thinking about this weekend:

  • Laura R. Walker and Jaclyn Sallee make an argument for funding public broadcasting in a Washington Post editorial. One noteworthy statistic: an estimated 170 million people make use of some form of public broadcasting every year, well over half the U.S. population.  Their series Frontline and P.O.V. have been significant supporters of documentary film, as well, so even if the films are not watched on PBS stations, their financial support for these films is still crucial.
  • Anne Thompson, Erik Kohn and Leonard Maltin continue their Three Critics series with a roundtable discussion on the “Forces of Change” in Hollywood in 2011.
  • Volkswagen jumps the gun on the Super Bowl advertising attention sweepstakes with their Star Wars-themed ad.  As Patrick Goldstein observes, it’s a clever bit of messaging for Volkswagen in its efforts to imbue “magical” powers to a mid-sized sedan.
  • Ted Hope works with Lance Weiler on exploring transmedia extensions of Weiler’s latest entertainment project, structured around Weiler’s film, Hope is Missing.
  • Echoing the philosopher Michel Foucault, Andrew Keen warns us that “sharing is a trap.”  Keen builds upon the ideas behind Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon to suggest that social media produces a new form of visibility, one that can control (or at least profit from) our actions on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.  Keen implies that participation in these sites is essentially inevitable, which is probably an exaggeration, and (correctly) points out that our practices of sharing will lead to the data being sold to advertisers.  Keen’s discussion, however, seems a little too dismissive about the pleasures of sharing via social media, the enjoyment many of us get when hanging out at the digital water cooler.

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