8. Dezember 2012
“I feel like, on a more macro scale, there’s started to be a relationship between filmmakers and people who watch their films – you know, on Twitter and on the Internet. That relationship’s based on honesty, so the minute I knew that I was definitely not in the game, I made sure that I made that clear. Because I don’t want people to think I’m out there pulling strings on this thing. I don’t have a PR rep. I live in Vermont. It’s just me on my computer, seeing these things catch fire.”
- Colin Trevorrow on his alleged involvement with Star Wars
I have always been interested in fame. When I was in my late teens, I had the chance to talk at length with an actor who was now working in theatre but used to star on a daily German soap opera, about the experience of being recognized on the street and being sent love letters by teenage girls. In my vast egotism, however, what I find most interesting about the new artist-fan relationship brought about by the internet is not even the way the artists/celebrities feel about it (although that is still fascinating as well, listen to this episode of the /filmcast to hear three average Joes talk about their small internet fame). What’s exactly as strange is the way, this new communication paradigm sometimes makes me (and, I guess, others) feel like I know people I most definitely don’t. And then I try to chat to them on Twitter as if we’re mates. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s weird.
13. Mai 2012
This is a rant. And a whiny one at that. With the internet so free and international as it is, there is one problem it hasn’t solved: the language barrier. Sure, computer translators like Google Translate do an okay job at translating the gist of foreign websites, but they will never give you the real experience of reading something in a language you actually understand. They still produce too much gibberish for someone to actually enjoy an article written by someone in a language that’s foreign to the reader.
Which puts people like me in a strange predicament: What language should I use for publishing on the internet?
I can only work from my own example here, because I have not heard anyone else complain about the topic so far, but I am sure there must be others that feel the same way. Having studied the language in college and spending some time abroad, I think that I speak and write English well enough for others to understand me and for me to be able to express even slightly complex thoughts in it. Since English is the language understood by most people around the world, the logical conclusion should be to keep my writings in English. This way, I will reach more people, right?
However, my native language is German, and I know that not only can I express myself better in German, I also have a different style in each language. When I write in English, I can also never be absolutely sure that what I am writing sounds “natural” and not like a foreigner who is trying to impress native speakers with his English. (I recall giving one of my essay papers for proofreading to my English flatmate in Edinburgh. He started reading it and then stopped, unnerved. “I don’t know what to say”, he said, “nothing you wrote is actually wrong, but it just doesn’t feel like something a native speaker would write.”)
While I have been writing mostly about films recently, I started this blog while I was still working full-time as a media journalist. And there’s a lot of topics where I just doesn’t make sense to write in English, because they concern the German media landscape or debates going on in the German blogosphere which concerns itself a lot with developments in media and the internet (and not much else).
Okay, you might say, write in German, then. Do what you do best, link to the rest.
Really? But Germany has no real movieblogging scene to speak of. Most of the people blogging about movies in Germany either just review what they last watched, link to the newest trailers or translate news from English movieblogs. Almost no one in Germany just writes about the stuff that interests them in that half-academic, half-nerdy way that is so popular (and often so good) on British and American blogs. Why would I want to alienate these people that I admire and miss the opportunity to enter into a dialogue with them. “Great post, here’s my thoughts on the topic translated into English by Google. Nevermind that most of it doesn’t make any sense this way.”
Right, then. Blog in both English and German, depending on the topic.
That’s what I am doing at the moment. Stuff that concerns only Germany, I write in German. Everything else, I write in English (although sometimes, I wish I could just write it in German because it’s so much less of an effort [told you, I'd be whining]). I’ve also switched my Twitter account to be (almost) exclusively English, because most of the people I follow speak English.
This solution, however, is adequate at best, neither fish nor fowl at its worst. If what you read is true, a personal Internet “brand” is at its strongest when it is at its most recognizable. Bilinguality does not help. If I was a reader of, say, a blog written by a Spaniard, I would regret every post she writes in Spanish, because I don’t understand Spanish. On Twitter, there is some German topics I would really like to write about sometimes, but I would feel silly writing them in English (especially when replying to a German tweet) and I don’t want to “break character” by writing in German.
The only “real” solution, I guess, would be to split my online persona, have an English blog and a German blog, an English Twitter and a German Twitter. But with my output as irregular as it is, I feel it would be very stupid to not put everything in one place. I could also code this blog into parallel sites in English and German, but with only 25 hits a day, I don’t think it would be worth the effort. And it still wouldn’t solve the Twitter problem, because unlike Facebook or Google+, Twitter doesn’t allow you to sort your followers into groups or circles and broadcast only to some of them.
Whichever way you look at it, one thing or another always looks askew. I have no solution. Which is probably why I am so frustrated. If you have a solution, or a comment, please post it in the comments. In any language you choose.
20. Februar 2011
- Tim Smith watches us watching There Will Be Blood.
- 2011′s release schedule sets the record for most sequels.
- Why Gnomeo and Juliet has hideous protagonists.
- There are six giant blind spots in every movie alien’s invasion strategy.
- There are four stages of “getting” Twitter (and I’m not sure, which stage I’m on).
- John Swansburg hates his iPad and gets a lot of sympathy.
- Matt Zoller Seitz takes a look at revisionist fiction.
- “Walk like an Egyptian” stands in a line of ad-hoc protest songs.
- Has Language Log already found the correction of the year?
- 3D-Videomapped living is kinda cool.
5. Dezember 2010
- We don’t have enough late sequels yet.
- Some nifty stuff was shortlisted for the short film Oscars
- Hitchcock would have had a website.
- There is more in store for Social Media Movie Marketing.
- Jon Favreau has actually thought a lot about how he can make his films appeal to both niche and mainstream audiences.
- Disney Princesses are not dead.
- Politicians still haven’t understand the web.
- The Wikileaks-kerfuffle could be a result of oversharing.
- There’s still undiscovered music around.
28. November 2010
Mind over Meta!
- I have only seen 11 of the 19 Films that deconstruct film.
- Someone at “Entertainment Weekly” really likes Harry Potter.
- Scorsese likes 3D.
- Disney has decided to try Perfomance Capturing and I don’t like it one bit.
- Other people listen to audio commentaries as well.
- Twitter “lacking a long term vision” could also mean they are ready for whatever the future brings.
- Investigative Journalism works well with the social web (and I would love to try it some time).
- You can make great videos about the ties in Zodiac.
- Mark Twain can give you advice on blogging.
- I have to think of a late film to blog about.
- In the future, I will be an old media journalist (both denominations).
- Walter Benjamin, Leo Trotzki, Paul Klee und F. Scott Fitzgerald werden 2011 “gemeinfrei”.
- Pressesprecher und Journalisten wissen nicht, ob sie Kollegen sind.
- “Gamification” klingt cool.
22. November 2010
In unseren Köpfen existieren nach wie vor verschiedene Konzepte von Öffentlichkeit, die mehr aus einem vagen Bauchgefühl und weniger aus tatsächlicher Zugänglichkeit rühren. Die gesamte Debattensau um Selbstdarstellung in sozialen Netzwerken, Google Street View und Verpixelungsrecht, die in Deutschland immer wieder durchs Mediendorf getrieben wird, dreht sich letztlich um nichts anderes. Wenn meine Hausfassade in der physischen Welt öffentlich ist, macht es dann einen Unterschied, wenn sie auch im Internet betrachtet werden kann?
Gestern gab es schon einen Foto/Video/Audio/Text-Post zur gerade stattfindenden CYNETART in Dresden, heute kommt noch der zweite Real Virtuality Podcast hinzu. Er enthält ein Interview mit dem Berliner Medienkünstler Jens Wunderling über sein Projekt Default to Public.
Die neueste Inkarnation dieses Projekts namens “Audience” lädt sich automatisch öffentliche Selbstporträts aus den Weiten von Flickr, zeigt sie auf einem Bildschirm, fotografiert die Betrachter und sagt den Fotografen bescheid, dass ihre Bilder angesehen wurden.
Zuvor hat Jens schon Tweets an Hauswände projiziert und auf Sticker gedruckt und die Twitterer mit ihrer eigenen Öffentlichkeit konfrontiert. Seine Projekts stellen interessante Fragen über digitale und analoge Öffentlichkeit, den Begriff “default to public” hatte ich vorher nur bei Jeff Jarvis gehört, der ja demnächst ein Buch zum Thema auf den Markt bringen will, und dem Jens’ Projekt vermutlich viel Freude bereiten würde.
Hier ist der Podcast:
Das Projekt, das Jens Wunderling im Podcast erwähnt, heißt übrigens Buscando al Sr. Goodbar von Michelle Teran.
10. August 2010
It’s not every day that you get challenged by Jeff Jarvis. Very well then, I accept. However, I’m not sure that I’ll win. There is more of an olympic spirit posesssing me right now.
A bit of background: Jeff took three tweets (1, 2, 3) to attack a Newsweek article that basically says that the amount of people using the internet to do meaningful interactive things in their free time (Blogging, Wikipedia, News Commenting etc.) is shrinking and gives the reason simply as “sloth”. While I certainly wasn’t fully convinced by the article I think it did make some points that I think might be true, and that scared me.
Like Jeff, I have always been adamant that people love doing things for free and can be just as good as professionals. However, I could imagine with (a) the web becoming more and more mainstream and part of our lives and more and more people using it that don’t want to contribute to it and (b) the web growing larger and larger, becoming ever more differentiated – that the actual amount of peopleactive at any one site goes down.
However, that was not the challenge. The challenge was to convince Jeff that magazines are not dead. Well, I don’t think they are, at least not for a while. While I am a supporter of a lot of the Buzzmachine theories, especially the one that the future of Journalism lies in ecosystems and not monoliths, I just don’t want to go along with the one that in essence says that journalists should stop presenting finished articles to audiences – which is what magazines do.
While I would say that written articles should be open to debate, change, admittance of mistakes and dialogue between author and audience in the wake of their publication, I also believe there should be the right to say “I like this article I have written as it is; I will gladly correct factual errors or supplement interesting addendums but I don’t want to crowdsource the whole thing until it is no longer mine but the crowd’s”. I don’t think that this is arrogance, it is artistic freedom.
But journalism is not art, you say. Indeed, most of it isn’t. I worked in a news agency for a year and I found it fascinating how we produced truly mutable articles that might begin with a quick announcement at the start of the day and end up as a summary with a completely different focus at the end of it. Then, the newspaper journalists would go and change and mold it once again for publication. A kind of b2b-crowdsourcing, if you will. I gladly accept that this process should continue down to a level of mutabilty that is indeed not restricted to journalists but open to everyone. That’s why I think Newspapers are definitely dead. The kind of articles they present us with were made to be changed all the time.
However, magazine articles and indeed a magazine as a whole, are different. They are much closer to an artistic statement than news are. A good magazine’s contents are carefully curated, designed and sometimes even timeless. The articles are long statements about “big pictures”.
I, for one, like being presented with a magazine like this as a finished – or at least mostly finished (see above, factual errors) – product, whose life cycle is a bit slower than that of an online news article. It means that I can also take the time to enjoy it because I know it won’t change for a while and the authors like their articles as artistic statements that might be refuted (or refudiated) and should please spawn debates – but for now they should stand as they are.
And because I think that a lot of people would agree, I believe that magazines are not dead yet.
I do agree that magazines have to change, shouldn’t rely on print, shouldn’t rely on advertising, build a community around their brand etc., but I still can believe that a particular form of curated, bundled journalistic content with a longevity that makes it closer to art/literature than commodity, will persist.