Tuesday, November 23, 2004

It must be true......

That the English are reserved.
This is a Canadian trucker's blog and he has a picture of a Canadian cinema audience.
It looks like a rock concert my dears.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Got this on Monday

I have been very acquisitive lately but will stop now.
This little number has an emphasis on little and works a treat.
I got it for carrying about with me but have been so thrilled have used it at home all the time too.
Battery life is only two hours but I think you can get a spare (battery, not computer). Weighs less than 2 pounds and is 11mm thick.
I think one day all laptops will be like this, slim as Jim.
Have resolved not to clutter it with stuff but to carefully file things on memory cards etc.
Test somebody's love and ask for one.
(Who said I was shallow?)

Friday, November 19, 2004

Product Placement

This is Avril lavigne's blog. Don't forget to turn the volume down before you go there....
Have a look at the first two entries ......
She talks about loving her fans, then addresses them directly. Bit of audience confuion there.
This is blogs as covert advertising.
Reminds me of when I used to get Jackie magazine in the 70s when there were ads for Anne French cleansing milk disguised as cartoon stories.
Is there a special name for this kind of marketing? Where ads hide behind another genre?
I think we will see a lot of blogs like this.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Barbie Jam

I learned aout jamming from Colin and Michele here.I found some great Barbie sites, with Barbie as suicide bomber, and very spookily, a site which performs surgery on Barbie in order, I guess, to understand her more.
Great fun can also be had trying to make supermodels eat more on the AdiosBarbie site.Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Blabbing on the blog

A poor bored diplomat from Croatia is in trouble over his blog.See here.

How is your Croation? The blog is here.

You will be able to work out where the naughty bits are.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

TV B Gone!!

You could have SUCH great fun with this FAB invention. As good fun as the electric shock handshake from when you were a kid. But the thing is part of a serious campaign and so that dulls the fun a little. This sort of thing is a bit scarey. And this.
The BBC commented like this on it.

I thought also that you might like to see this little visual joke - from Canada ..

Saturday, November 13, 2004

G3 mobile, Internet, tv , pop star combo

Quick!! Go to this site to preview 'Empire Square" a cartoon about to hit the UK Channel 4 screen imminently.... (but actually, the humour is not for the faint hearted and is, to say the least, on the dark side. It is to be shown late at night).
First developed on line by Blur's drummer Dave Rowntree, this cartoon has apparently a cult following on the Internet. The very pixelated characters were designed to star in shorts to be viewed on G3 mobile phones but have now been 'discovered' by Channel 4 as a rival to South Park. The English accents mean I can understand it all though and it certainly is novel to have something like this from the UK I think. (Not that I identify with the characters or anything.)
The site is very off the wall (literally - you'll see) - with interactive stuff a bit like the Sims - you can add your own building to Empire Square.
Spending time in the discussion forum is somewhat banal to say the least.

I am fascinated mainly by the conception of the cartoon as digital text, originally destined for phones. The whole thing is very intertextual, interactive and an extremely interesting development in terms of modality.

And also, by the way, .... I bought my first Bratz doll today. She has her own DVD camera, mobile phone and robotic dog. Very cool. I love her.

Popular culture goes elite

The elevation of the status of mobile phone photographs, is being pushed through with a new verb, 'fonetography' and an exhibition on the net of pix taken by professionals with their Nokio fones. Go here.
However I do still find my sony cybershot fantastic and have had it with me every day since I bought it over a year ago - half the size of a packet of cigarettes I guess. Takes great pictures and everyone covets it when I produce it to snap up some little thing that takes my fancy. I love to take it shopping with me and take photos in stores of things I think my daughter might like. (Never buy without consultation).

Friday, November 12, 2004

kidz on line

I have had a browse on the exciting Bratz site, done the quiz and seen the celebrity photo gallery. For help in deconstruction one need not go much further than this presentation on Barbie e zines from this great site. And this is a great place to surf around and find good theory links. But that's not all, this site is a treasure trail and has a great shot of the shoe blog Guy mentioned.

Are we now going to see a lot of fake blogs which are just vehicles for hidden advertising, strategic product positioning etc???

Today I also liked reading about Avant-Pop

By the way in doing the quiz, I should be dressed like this:
Versace: Oww, the essence of haute! You are
flashy, daring, and dramatic! You believe in
beauty above practicality and view fashion as

What fashion designer fits you
brought to you by Quizilla

I am VERY pleased, as really I look like this:


which means I am a closet exhibitionist.

Thursday, November 11, 2004


I recently bought this book which writes hilariously about what it is like looking up and then meeting, your pals (and enemies) on Friends Reunited. When that site was first around I spent a lot of time looking up old schoolfriends and then people who I used to teach. This ex pupil (who often had days off to go golfing) has his own site now it turns out here.
It is strange how I felt totally fine about the idea of never again meeting people I went to school with, then felt very excited 25years later at the idea of peeking at their new lives without being seen. I renew my subscription every year just in case someone writes something sensational or in case someone new crawls out of the woodwork. Is this the kind of thing which attracts people to looking up old pals on the web? Do you Google people who you used to know? This is a new sport we now have.

I have a Friends Reunited anecdote which demonstrates something about the Public / Private nature of the Internet as a space......

I saw on Friends Reunited that someone I know locally had declared in her profile that she was expecting a baby. I was delighted of course and mentioned it to her when I next saw her, congratulating her. She was horrified however that I knew, saying she had only told a few people so far, it was a secret! I told her I read it on the web. "Oh yeah" she said, realising the true nature of the web.
Moral: Therein lies a very good reason for us being ethical in our research and getting permision from people to use their stuff from the Internet. (She has said I can use this story in my research and on my blog.)

My other intertextual example is a Harry Potter thing allegedly written by JK Rowling. We all know about the trailers for things like Shrek or Harry, but I like this one. It is an invitation to read the books and get to know the author and I am glad there are writers out there who are not afraid to multimodal.(NB New verb, cf 'text')

Monday, November 08, 2004

Cultural artefacts, stories and communities

When you go to a museum you are not allowed to touch the stuff anyway.
So why not sit back, surf and visit Sheffield's museum of local history. Some lovely stories in this lot.

And from community histories, to community language
Why do we have to put up with this????:
"Texting, lazy jargon, management-speak: never has the English language been so abused. But a new book called Between You And I is pointing out the worst errors - and demanding higher standards. In his introduction John Humphrys explains why bad English makes him cross"
(Should we begin a sentence with 'but'?)

The guy who wrote this, John Humphrys, see here has now written his own nonsense see here
I was just showing you, you know what it will be like.....

But good to see Amazon has got his name wrong.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Bloggers Block

The pressure of producing a blog means I cannot blog.
My ridiculous rushy around lifestyle means I cannot blog.
The fact that people say to me ' How can you have time to blog? I don't have time to blog'
have all led to me having bloggers block.
However I know that I am normal as Google gives 138,000 references to BLogger's block.
So I thought I would share my situation with fellow bloggers.

Looking at my favourite blogs, (this and this) I am excited but dismayed. What is a meme? (I know now, since I went here). But twas not in my dictionary. So the web wins.

By the way, Guy, your dead link to hip hop is alive again. And thanks so much for the reference to Marc Prensky's presentation. Fab. Michelle, I have ordered Gee's latest book thanks to you. (But no thanks to Amazon UK who have got the title wrong - check it out.) Rebekah Willett from the Centre for the Study of Children, Youth and Media says that all this blogging is a bit incestuous. I think it is. But incest is good. And now Rebekah you are in the clan with this link. Hope you don't mind. Rebekah's work on tweenies and new technologies is VERY good.

The incestuous thing is important - albeit that I tend to ususally call it Communities of Practice. It is good to have a place where you can be obsessive about your work, but not need to have well formed theories. It is good chat with like minded others. I thought all this would be just about me writing and thinking, but I am trying to put things out there as part of a whole melange of ideas to mix with other peoples that are New Literacy related somewhere somehow. It is not quite dialogue, but it is not private ruminations.

In one of my earlier entries I mentioned that my sister's partner goes to a gym where mobile phones are banned in case anyone uploads photos of people's non-public body parts. I wondered whether this has ever really happened as I have never seen or heard of it. Is this an urban legend? Has anyone seen anything like this?

Recently I heard of mobile phone related urban legend in Nigeria where calls from certain numbers apparently cause death . I hear that the culture there tends to readily accept stories that my culture tends not to. I know that when I once told a legend to a group of student teachers, the Nigerian student was terrified even after I told the group my tale was not true. (But then again, the OfSTED Inspector also present believed the story. - scroll down to point 19 where he mentions the session! Well inspectors are not very discerning are they?) But then when I look at stories like these it makes me think again. I am thinking of using this site in a future teaching session with student teachers.

That's all from me ...
(I managed quite a bit in the end.)

Am writing my chapter for Jackie and Elaine's book this week I hope. It is based on the ESRC seminar series on Children's Literacy and Popular Culture they managed at Sheffield.

Monday, November 01, 2004

The Black Hours

This is a collection of photos, letters and video footage of women in a prison in Tepepan, Mexico City.

'Objects acquire a different value once they go through the gate'.
I think that this is why the photos are so poignant.

About Me

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Sheffield, South Yorks, United Kingdom
I am an academic interested in New Literacies, Digital Lifestyles, Informal Online Learning.