Monday, December 31, 2007

Spring 2008 New Media Class

Journalism 63 Spring 2008

Spring Semester Class Blog
Here is the class blog for my Journalism New Media Class for Spring 2008. More information is here:

  • The class is officially MCOM 63, Section 03 / APSC 63, Section 03
  • Title New Media
  • Dates: Wednesdays, 1/23/2008 - 5/13/2008
  • Time: Evenings, 6:00p - 8:45p
  • Location: Dwight Bentel Hall 226

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Vacation Break

I have been taking a break from geek posting here. Most of my blogging action has been happening on my family blog.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Special Commencement

Cameraphone Post: Prepping for commencement
Tonight I attended a Journalism & Mass Comm commencement for the first time as a faculty member. That was a real thrill. In this photo you can see Department Chair Bill Briggs adjusting Bill Tillinghast's robe before the convocation.

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Bubble 2.0 er 1.1 Video

Bubble 1.1

This is too funny
I just heard about this video by the Richter Scales. It is great. Apparently it was first called Bubble 2.0, but there was a copyright issue...

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How many friends are too many friends?

Facebook has a limit of 5000 friends. More and more people are running into that wall. We used to say, you cannot have too many friends, now, thanks to Facebook, we know that is not true. Questions:

  • If you have not yet hit the cieling in Facebook does that make you unpopular?
  • Are there two types of friends, those good enough for your Facebook friends list and those not?
  • If you have hit your ceiling and now a really good friend comes and so you have to remove another friend to make room for the new friend, how do you tell your old friend that he/she has been delisted without it seeming like a snub?

Meanwhile: Gaurdian Blogger Bobbie Johnson talks about people who have over 800 friends as being "Facebook Whales." Well, if you are hot, you're hot and if your not...

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Monday, December 17, 2007

I attended the Santa Clara AIPAC dinner

Editorial: Nuclear Iran is No Joke
Last night I attended the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) dinner in Santa Clara with other faculty from SJSU and UC Santa Cruz. I am very concerned about Iran getting nuclear weapons. I do not think most Americans, or most of the rest of the human race, appreciates the potential threat this poses. It is hard to imagine that Israel or the United States could let this happen. In my opinion Ahmadinejad is a lunatic. Are we really stupid enough to believe they have stopped trying to get a nuclear weapon? Did we not learn enough from the days before World War Two? Did we forget the lessons learned after Neville Chamberlain's Peace in Our Time speech given in defense of the Munich Agreement in 1938? The Second World War provided us with many lessons we dare not forget regarding the appeasement of lunatic leaders who hate Jews; especially the holocaust.

Iran's Ahmadinejad is a holocaust denier who hates Israel. He denies the right of Israel to exist and is in favor of a world without the United States. My favorite line last night was, "why would a country sitting on top of some of the world's largest oil and gas reserves even need nuclear power?" In my mind it is not a matter of liberal versus conservative, right versus left, pro or anti-war, it is a matter of our survival. In terms of issues that cannot be ignored, I think this is right up there with global warming!

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Remembering Jack Fields

Jack Fields talking to the photo staff

Jack Fields, former SJSU PJ Prof: a great teacher, photographer, person
While talking to SJSU Alum Kim Komenich yesterday I learned about the recent passing of former SJSU JMC visiting professor Jack Fields. Jack was at SJSU when Kim and I went through the PJ program. He was our photojournalism teacher. Here is what is on the San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographers Association website about Jack:

Retired freelance magazine photographer Jack Fields, former San Jose State University photojournalism instructor, died of heart failure on December 13 at his Placerville home. He was 87.

Fields served for three years as "Visiting Professor" at SJSU in the late 1970's. While at SJSU he pioneered what he called a "no-nonsense" approach to photography, a subject that was often taught as "pure art" at many universities.

Fields was founding chairman of the Bay Area chapter of the American Society of Magazine Photographers in an era when Wayne Miller, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Imogen Cunningham were members of the organization.

As a young boy in Kansas, Fields dreamed of "far-away places with strange sounding names". After a formal education and a wartime stint in the South Pacific, Fields embarked upon a 50-year career, traveling on assignment for Collier's, Saturday Evening Post, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Look, and Life.

Before World War II, Fields earned a Bachelor's degree in Science from Kansas State College. He was planning to teach but was sent to New Guinea with the armed forces where he began taking pictures. He was assigned as a photographer for the Air Force?s Yank Magazine when he contracted tuberculosis and was returned to the U.S. to recuperate. While at Cragmor Sanitorium in Colorado Springs, Fields met Dorothy Gindling, also a patient and fellow TB sufferer, whom he married in 1948.

After five years of recuperation, the Fields moved to Los Angeles where Jack attended the Art Center College of Design while Dorothy enrolled in writing classes at the Maren Elwood School. As an art student, he sold his first photos to Look Magazine. After completing their studies, the Fields traveled to Europe, working on assignment for various publications.

The Fields became known for their ability to find interesting, yet untold stories, especially in the South Pacific. In 1971 they approached a Japanese publisher with an Idea for an all-encompassing book on the region which became their 1973 book "South Pacific".

Fields was the first photojournalist to report on Micronesia after it became a U.S. Trust at the end of WWII. His photograph of a laser pioneer at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center was used as a reference image for a commemorative stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service in August, 1999.

I remember Jack very well. He was a wonderful guy and a great teacher. In 1994 we gave Jack and Dorothy our dog Reno, a black and white Shetland Sheepdog and he had a loving home with them. Jack lived a good life and he still lives on in the hearts, and the eyes, of many of us who knew him.

[Click here to see larger version of photo]

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Scoble Leaving PodTech

A list blogger, podcaster, author, SJSU JMC Alum and friend Robert Scoble is leaving PodTech. Rather than me say anything about it, here is his related post. This follows, by several months, a change of leadership at PodTech when John Furrier, the company's founding CEO, stepped down as CEO and was followed in the CEO position by James McCormick.

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Sad to see semester end

SJSU New Media Class Students, Fall 2007

Fall 2007 New Media Class
I am really sorry my Fall 2007 new media in journalism class is over. We had a lot of fun. This was a great group and all of them accomplished a lot. Every student graduated with his or her own podcast. We did Photoshop, InDesign (for web delivery), Dreamweaver, audio/video production, RSS, blogging, video blogging (vlogging) and podcasting. They did a great job and I am very proud of them. Here are their stories:

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Work Family

Aditi, Pranav and I

Loosing some great students and friends
The best part of the job is the students. The worst part is when they leave. Really great students become a part of your lives. They become like family. That is the way I feel about some of the students in Journalism and Mass Communications where I teach and about many of the students at the San Jose State Help Desk where I work days. Some of the best students are graduating this winter; wonderful folks like Ross Bytheway, Rohan Saxena, Jimit Raval and especially Pranav Patel and Aditi Sinha. Aditi and Pranav are such great young people. They have been real hard workers and we owe so much to them regarding the success of the Academic Success Center stage area in Clark Hall. They really put their heart into the help desk and have made San Jose State University a better university. So many students, faculty and staff have been more successful in their academic pursuits because of the hard work, passion and dedication of Aditi and Pranav. They have made a real difference in my life. They are great people. I am proud to have worked with them and am lucky to know them. People don't get much better than these two.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Can we trust Web apps for Education?

Google was down today
For about an hour today Google was down. We could not access anything Google, not Blogger, not Gmail, not anything. This is finals week. There is a lot of talk about using Google apps for class work. I have even been interviewed by a local TV station on the subject. I started thinking, what if I had depended on it for my final? There are so many links from the lab where my students take their exams to Google and there are so many possible points of failure. So many things can break at the worst possible time. Backhoe disconnects, firewall problems, and many other network and server issues far from my classroom can cause my students to not be able to accomplish a critical task at a critical time. Today it was an inconvenience. If it had happened in the middle of an exam it would have been a disaster. It made me wonder, can we trust Web apps for Education?

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Help Desk Holiday 2007

Birthday celebrants sharing cake

Help Desk Holiday 2007
On December 8, 2007 we had our big help desk holiday party! It was a great event, organized by the help desk staff themselves. Colin even showed up as did several other former help desk staffers.

I think everybody had a great time.

[Click to See More Photos Here]

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Stacy Bond: Producing for the Ear

Stacy Bonds Podcast

If you are a podcaster, you must listen to this podcast!
This Podcast Academy podcast by Stacy Bond from the Portable Media Expo may be the most important podcast for podcasters to listen to that I have heard in a long time. Podcasting is just a way to deliver content. This podcast talks about creating great and compelling audio, how to produce podcasts for the ear.

It is no longer enough to have a podcast to get an audience. There is some great compelling content that you are competing against. You need to listen to this podcast by Stacy Bond the Executive Director of Audioluxe. You need to at least consider what she is saying, even if you choose to ignore it, even if are doing video. This is a great podcast for podcasters, in my opinion. Set aside an hour and listen to it at least once!

Listen to Audio

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Bigger Share for Apple?

Will Apple's Macintosh Gain Market Share?
Investor's Business Daily thinks so. In a December 7 posting they said, "Macintosh computers are poised to make sizable market share gains in the coming months, according to a research firm that tracks PC purchase intent."

[More Here]

Celebration for Nonna

Nonna and Madison

Happy birthday Nonna Sue!
Last Thursday Jeff, Nicole, Madison and Jacob came over to celebrate Sue's birthday. It was a great celebration. Madison had fun with the cats and her Nonna and Gramps. Gramps got to hold Jacob and give him a bottle. They brought over cookies and we shared a bottle of wine.

[Click here to see more pictures on Flickr]

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Unsafe Cycling at SJSU

Cyclists riding double past pedestrians

Safer Cycling?
According to the Center for Neuro Skills, "The implementation of effective bicycle helmet programs could have a substantial impact on rates for fatal and nonfatal bicycle-related head injury. For example, from 1984 through 1988, if a presumed helmet-use rate of 10% had been increased to 100% (i.e., universal helmet use), an average of 500 fatal and 151,400 nonfatal bicycle-related head injuries could have been prevented each year."

SJSU has a bicycle policy allowing the use of bicycles on campus without helmets. The few provisions to provide to improve the safety of both cyclists and pedestrians need better enforcement. I am talking more about this issue on another of my blogs.

[Click Here to See More Photos]

Friday, December 07, 2007

VuVox Photostory Collage

Scoble interviewing Hernandez and Howard

Vuvox for photojournalism
SJSU J&MC Alum Robert Scoble recently interviewed Richard Hernandez of the San Jose Mercury News. About this interview Scoble said, "Richard Hernandez, who's worked for the San Jose Mercury News (Silicon Valley's biggest newspaper) for 13 years shows off how he uses a new service from VuVox to build a new kind of photostory based on a collage. He shows how he overlays audio, video, and other pictures and links to tell a new kind of story." Also in this interview is Dane Howard, CEO of VuVox. This is a really cool tool we should look at. It would be great to do something with this at SJSU.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Justin Beck on Podcasting

SF Chronicle Podcaster Justin Beck on Podcasting
Edupodder Podcast Episode 31, 45:30 min

On December 4, 2007 San Francisco Chronicle Podcaster and Media Producer Justin Beck spoke to San Jose State University journalism students about podcasting and new media. As SJSU SJSU School of Journalism and Mass Communications professor Cynthia McCune reported in the JMC Journal Blog, "Beck talked with students about the process of developing and producing a podcast. He said one of the most important steps of the process is creating a tape log -- a rough or complete transcript of each interview -- with time codes noted so you'll be able to go back and find the clips you want to use." The audio from the class is here:

Listen to audio

Podcasts Beck played at last night's event were:

Justin Beck's Handouts
Posted here with permission from Justin Beck are these two very informative handouts. The first has great information about the tools and methods of doing rich podcasts. The second focuses on how to tell great stories with podcasting. Both of these are in PDF format:

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Justin Beck coming to SJSU

Justin Beck

Justin Beck Coming to visit!
Justin Beck, the chief technologist and podcaster from the San Francisco Chronicle, is scheduled to speak at 4:30pm in our class tomorrow, Tuesday Dec. 4th, in DBH226.

Beck will be speaking about podcasting and how newspapers are using new media. A recent big story the Chronicle podcasters covered was the bay oil spill. Beck has a background in National Public Radio. He has a workflow that produces rich audio and has documented that workflow and shared it with Journalism students.

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USB Wine: wine from your computer!

USB Wine

USB Wine, Il est révolutionnaire!
The French are so smart. This is long overdue technology. I want this for Christmas!

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Happy Birthday Susie

Sue at birthday dinner

Today is Sue's birthday
My wife Sue celebrated her birthday by going out this afternoon and evening with a bunch of her girl friends. They went to a tea in Campbell (and drinks after.) We celebrated yesterday at home. I made a pot roast and we had some really good wine. Kenneth came over and joined us. Friday night she and I went out. It has been a fun weekend!