#ff #ct #politics @ChrisDonovanCT @ChrisMurphyCT @JoeCourtneyCT @RepJoeCourtney @BlakeForMilford @journalinquirer @CTNewsJunkieSubmitted by Aldon Hynes on Fri, 09/09/2011 - 06:42
As we head into the political season, I thought I should highlight some of the candidates that I follow on Twitter, as this Follow Friday (#FF) post. For those who are Twitter regulars, hashtags, like #ff, #ct, and #politics are ways of marking topics when you have only 140 characters to use, and Twitter accounts regularly start with an at-sign to indicate they are twitter accounts.
I’m starting off with @ChrisDonovanCT. Chris is running for Congress in the fifth district and this is his campaign Twitter account. He will be opening his campaign headquarters in Meriden this evening after starting his tour around the district this week.
There is a site called Klout which measures the influence a person has on Twitter. It is a scale of 0 to 100, and Chris’ Klout currently comes in at 29.
Next, is @ChrisMurphyCT. Chris Murphy is currently the Congressman from the fifth district and he’s running for U.S. Senate. I ran into Chris last week at an even in New Haven. He says that he’s been working on his social media and his campaign twitter account has a Klout score of 50.
Joe Courtney has two Twitter accounts that I follow. One is his reelection campaign twitter account. It has a Klout score of 1, with only 167 followers and hasn’t been updated since February. His Twitter account as Congressman, @RepJoeCourtney has is much more active and has a Klout score of 48.
At the end of the list for today is @BlakeForMilford. Friends of mine live in Milford and had been asking me about Ben’s online presence. @BlakeForMilford only has 25 followers, hasn’t been updated since July, and doesn’t even have a Klout score yet.
For those of you who don’t want to follow the politicians directly, there is always the Journal Inquirer with over a thousand followers and a Klout score of 31 and @CTNewsJunkie with over 3000 followers and a Klout score of 43.
These days more and more politicians are using Twitter to get their message out. President Obama mentioned Twitter in his speech last night, so it remains More and more news organizations are using Twitter to highlight their headlines, and everyone can benefit from this by checking out specific Twitter accounts, even if they choose not to tweet themselves.
In 2008, I wrote a few blog posts about a young mother from Florida, “ branded by Nancy Grace on national television as the worse mother in America”. No, I am not talking about Casey Anthony. I am talking about Erin Markes. She had a son with a rare birth defect, and Nancy Grace “ridiculed and branded a criminal before all the facts about her son’s medical condition were known…The State Attorney’s Office eventually dropped the charges. The boy died in hospice care two weeks later. Markes has remarried and has a healthy baby. Nancy Grace never apologized.”
Now, I must admit, I have not followed the media circus around Casey Anthony. All I really know is that a jury, when presented the evidence, found Casey Anthony not guilty of what she had been accused of by Nancy Grace.
But that was last week’s news. This week, the big story is the unraveling of parts of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. The ‘hacking scandal” has already cost the jobs of quite a few people and we’ll see what is left to be played out.
Meanwhile, the discussion about how to understand and resolve the financial problems of our country and the world seem caught in a game of he said, she said, where the focus is on placing blame, scoring political points, and not doing anything to make our country or our world a better place.
All of this brings me back to the SPJ Code of Ethics,
Seek Truth and Report It…Minimize Harm…Act Independently…Be Accountable
I am not a big fan of television. Much of the content seems a bit mindless. However, recently, we purchased a Roku and I’ve been re-evaluating my thoughts about TV.
Mostly, we’ve been using the Roku to watch movies on Netflix. I’ve been trying to get my daughter to spend more time watching interesting shows. After much negotiation last night, we ended up watching the documentary, Between the Folds. It was a fascinating exploration of aspects of origami that I was not aware. Fiona enjoyed it as well.
After she went to bed, my mind was still engaged, so I thought I would go back and watch more of a lecture at Columbia, Manuel Delanda, "Deleuze and the Use of the Genetic Algorithm in Architecture". I had started watching that a while ago, but hadn’t watched in on Roku. However, as is often the case, I got distracted and started watching Cinéphilosophie: Philosophy goes to the Movies by Maison française.
The video isn’t all that high a quality. Pretty much a single shot of a lecture. Yet it was fascinating for a bunch of reasons. The topic was fascinating, the intersection of philosophy and cinematography. The idea that it was a lecture, filmed and placed on YouTube, to be viewed online, and here I was, watching it on my television, as the guests spoke about thinking about film.
This morning, I woke up, not feeling all that well, so I did a little work online, but mostly rested. As I searched around, I found the European Graduate School on YouTube. So, I spent a little time watching Claire Denis. Perspective Context and Narration in Film. 2010.
The video quality was even poorer than the video from Columbia, but again, the content was fascinating.
So, now I’m on a question for the best sources of educational videos on YouTube, and by this I’m talking about graduate school level lectures and now six minute how to videos about starting blogs.
This is a slightly edited version of an email that I sent to a list of group psychotherapists that I participate in. It pulls together some ideas from Story.lab and my thoughts about writing my blog and writing for The Patch.
Here in the United States, it is Thanksgiving Day. I will spend most of this day with my extended family away from technology. There are over 10,000 unread emails, including a fair amount from this list, sitting in my inbox. There are websites I should visit and articles I should write.
Yet I want to take a few moments to reflect on the comments on the mailing list. I have an odd relationship with media. As a technologist, I am immersed in it. Yet at the same time, I have a strong dislike of what I consider 'bad' media.
To me, technology and media are not bad in and of themselves. They are neutral. They can be used for good, or they can be used for bad. As I try to determine what makes for the good or bad use of technology or media, I come back to three key ideas. Engagement, connectivity, and creativity. Technology and media that encourages engagement, connectivity and creativity are, in my mind, technology and media that is being used for good. Technology and media that discourages engagement, connectivity and creativity are, for the most part, being used badly.
My older two daughters grew up watching limited television. Typically, we limited it to arts and education shows. They are better versed in opera than in boy bands. For computer games, they were typically limited to educational games and I always told them they were free to play any game that they could write.
Years later, they have commented about how this created difficulties in them adjusting to the society around them and I worry that in some ways I was too restrictive. It is useful to have at least some exposure to popular culture to be able to relate and connect with our peers that are more steeped in popular culture. In addition, it seems like there is something artificial in a line between high brow culture and low brow culture. There are good boy bands and there are bad operas.
As an aside, as I talk about technology and media, I think of two addition thoughts. First is Marshall McLuhan and "The Medium is the Message". Certain media encourages passivity. Certain media encourages creativity and engagement. This leads into the second thought. My middle daughter is now a senior in college majoring in art. She did drop the double major in psychology, but it remains a strong interest of hers. As a creative fine artist, her favorite media are oils and clay. Her favorite technology is the paintbrush and the potter's wheel.
So, I've altered my parenting style with my youngest daughter. When she comes home, she plops down in front of the television. She needs time to unwind. We all need that from time to time. I let her chose what she wants to watch. However, she knows that my wife or I are likely to engage her in discussion about what she watches. There are a few evening television shows that she likes and is permitted to watch, Glee and Modern Family. They often lead to long discussions about the moral issues as well as the creativity involved.
At the beginning of this week, I took a new freelance position as the Around Town columnist for a hyperlocal online news site. I am very aware of the content I am being paid to create and I constantly ask myself, is this good content? Am I being creative? Will people be better people by reading what I write. As I talk about media and technology the same applies to my coverage of local events. Am I promoting engagement, connectivity and creativity? I hope so.
So, whether you are concerned about schools, media, technology or whatever, I come back to engagement, connectivity and creativity. I hope we call all learn a more of this.
Yesterday, I started freelance writing for the Bethwood Patch. I have a column that I will attempt to update twice a day with articles about what is happening around Bethany and Woodbridge. I will need to see how this fits with my other work, writing at this blog and the future of The Woodbridge Citizen.
Especially important to me is how it affects the quality of my writing. Will I be able to pump out two articles a day of writing I can be proud of, of writing that properly honors the towns of Woodbridge and Bethany, or writing that inspires people to become more involved in their local communities? We’ll see.
What will it do to my writing here? The stuff I write about Woodbridge and Bethany is likely to appear only in the Bethwood Patch, so I’ll probably be focusing a little less on local issues and more on other topics here.
Patch is an interesting venture. Can AOL revive itself and local journalism through The Patch? What will Patch do for journalists coming out of J School? Will there be more jobs, or will some of these jobs go to people who haven’t been to J School? Will reporters for Patch cover the local news stories that haven’t gotten enough coverage in recent years, such as board of education meetings, with a local touch in a way that makes them more engaging to local readers and frees up well trained investigative reporters to pursue more challenging stories? We’ll see.
Meanwhile, be sure to check out my column About The Towns at the Bethwood Patch. Share your comments about the columns there and any meta discussion here. And, if you have any tips about things in Bethany and Woodbridge that I should cover, let me know.