Tag Archives: broadcasting

This is the Movie of Your Life

This “everyone’s got a story to tell” business is getting out of hand. What if you could make a documentary film about your very own life, or better yet, what if you could create an ongoing reality series devoted exclusively to the Cult of You? You could actualize the implicit power and potential of “iMovie” by hollering “Action!”, enacting the “i”, and casting yourself as You!

This isn’t a joke. You can really do it. You can be the star of your very own Truman Show. Who needs Jim Carrey, You play a better You, anyway.

Why let others exploit your banal existence when you can exploit yourself? Live out your ordinary fantasies in real-time. Live life onscreen, in perpetual documented beta.

What better place than here? What better time than now?

Live from the 16th Annual Aspen Institute Roundtable on Information Technology, Arturo Artom, CEO of Your Truman Show, Inc., announced the public beta of the company’s online broadcast network. Artom was invited to discuss the future of online video along with Chad Hurley, co-founder of Youtube.

YourTrumanShow.com empowers real people to tell their stories to the world through their own reality series while also encouraging producers to connect with other storytellers. The site extends the fiction of life-on-camera into a new and fun network of tomorrow’s online reality stars. It gives them a publishing platform and a broadcast channel to migrate from generating single videos to developing an ongoing multi-episode series.

Source: 901am

Of course, this idea isn’t without precedent. I’m just concerned about how pervasive this form of narcissistic self-surveillance, or sousveillance, is becoming.


Remix the Mashup: the future of music and film

Today I am posting a call for contributors that has just been sent out to everyone involved with AssignmentZero, as I think it offers the most current and concise summary of what we’ll be covering for AZ’s film and music pages. Have a read and get in touch if you’re interested in contributing.

In 1987, a pair of young producers/radio DJs, known as Coldcut, stormed the UK dance music scene with a pioneering, sample-based style that featured a barrage of reworked rhythms and sound collages, set to a live accompaniment of synchronized film and video clips.

Who could have anticipated that, twenty years later, this hybridized aesthetic would give rise to a cultural movement in remixed music, mashed-up film, and crowdsourced art?

From online remix/mashup music communities like SpliceMusic.com, to collaborative film productions like A Swarm of Angels, the art of making art has been radically transformed by the crowd. Songs are being written collaboratively by musicians located around the globe, and films are being funded using crowdsourced donations and created through public participation in every stage of production. Artists are increasingly embracing the ethos of open-source, and joining Coldcut with a call to: “Let the data be free!”

These are the new forces driving open-source culture: projects that cultivate “participatory experience” by allowing public access to art, artists, and creative processes; projects that enable creative collaboration between people regardless of location; and projects that can be downloaded, remixed, mashed-up, and shared.

What kinds of songs are being written collaboratively? What kinds of films are being crowdsourced? What are the benefits of creating art in this way?

AssignmentZero is interested in examining how the languages of sound and cinema are being transformed by crowdsourcing. If music and film are your passions and you can volunteer between 5-10 hours over the next three weeks, please join me in looking at the future of free music and art.

How to get involved:

* Choose your focus. Music? Film? Or both?

* Sign up to the right team. If it’s music, visit AZ’s crowdsourced music homepage and click on ‘join team,’ or write me back and put “music” in the subject line. If it’s film, go to the film homepage and chose ‘join team,’ or write me back and put “film” in the subject line.

If you’ve got some spare time today, check out the assignments on the topic homepages and get started. Or send an email to me, the editor, introducing yourself: jarrett.newassignment@gmail.com

Over the course of the next month, those who sign up will be working closely with me and our film and music teams. I am particularly passionate about these topics, as my background is in media and arts production, and I am a producer, editor, cultural critic, media host, and musician based in Montreal, Canada.

Together our group will work toward producing several pieces that will be submitted to Wired.com for publication on June 5.

If music and film are your passions and you can volunteer between 5-10 hours over the next three weeks, please join us to explore the future of the collaborative arts.

The Principles of Citizen Journalism

The good folks over at the Citizen News Network have just launched a very timely project that outlines five essential principles of citizen journalism to “help citizen reporters master the fundamentals of the craft in a networked age”. By focusing on concepts that address “the core values and tenets of quality journalism at the grassroots level”, the group has identified its key principles as follows:

The KCNN site provides an excellent and comprehensive list of web resources for established and aspiring citizen journalists that includes text-based summaries of key issues, as well as screencasts, podcasts, and video and audio interviews with notable social media/web 2.0 heavyweights including: Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, fêted blogger Jason Calcanis, and NYU professor Jay Rosen, among many others.

I’m pleased to see that efforts such as these are being undertaken to initiate an important discussion regarding the emergent roles and reponsibilities of citizen journalists in the evolving worlds of newsgathering, reporting, and news media. Thankfully, the aim of this project is not to regulate the practice(s) of citizen journalists but rather to begin an “ongoing conversation” that portends toward a set of shared principles that can be actualized through journalistic practice.

As I’ve discussed previously, opportunities to put such ideas into practice have been multiplying at a dizzying pace.

Back in May 2005, Cyberjournalist.net compiled a list of 81 prominent citizen journalism sites and noted, even then, that “so many citizen journalism initiatives are cropping up…it’s hard to keep track”. Since then, two years have elapsed and we have uploaded our way into an era dominated by the multiplicity of You and the singularity of Me.

A billion people are now online. You are now the tube, the space, and the creator. Content is now user-generated and crowdsourced. Journalism is now participatory and civic. And journalists are now citizens, as never before.

We are in the process of effecting an important shift in the way individuality is created and disseminated by digital means; and it is imperative that some shared ethics and standards of practice be developed (and ideally agreed upon) by the practitioners of these new forms of journalism to reflect this shift. But will citizen journalists heed these principles on ethical grounds, as they have been proposed, or discard them in favour of ‘individualized’ standards of practice, perhaps even contingent on compensatory revenue models?

As “content creators” have come to be valued as much for the content they have already created as for their creative potential, the nature of content has been changed. Our words, images, ideas, and selves now constitute a new currency of exchange; one whose value depends on both a shared system of valuation and a common set of practiced principles. But will the principles of accuracy, thoroughness, fairness, transparency and independence help to standardize and embolden responsible journalistic practices or will market forces crack the very “bedrock foundations of journalism”?

What will this new currency be worth?

All the World’s a Story: Wired ‘Borrows’ a Few Ideas from NowPublic.com

The New York Times is reporting today on a recently announced partnership between Wired Magazine and NewAssignment.net to create the citizen-driven, or ‘pro-am’, journalism news site AssignmentZero.

Journalism has always been a product of networks. A reporter receives an assignment, begins calling “sources” — people he or she knows or can find. More calls follow and, with luck and a deadline looming, the reporter will gain enough mastery of the topic to sit down at a keyboard and tell the world a story.

A new experiment wants to broaden the network to include readers and their sources. Assignment Zero (zero.newassignment.net/), a collaboration between Wired magazine and NewAssignment.Net, the experimental journalism site established by Jay Rosen, a professor of journalism at New York University, intends to use not only the wisdom of the crowd, but their combined reporting efforts — an approach that has come to be called “crowdsourcing.”

The idea is to apply to journalism the same open-source model of Web-enabled collaboration that produced the operating system Linux, the Web browser Mozilla and the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

“Can large groups of widely scattered people, working together voluntarily on the net, report on something happening in their world right now, and by dividing the work wisely tell the story more completely, while hitting high standards in truth, accuracy and free expression?” Professor Rosen asked last week on Wired.com.

Source: The New York Times

Well, my first question is: hasn’t anyone at the New York Times, Wired or NewAssignment.net heard about NowPublic.com?

NowPublic has already created a global network of contributors committed to “high standards in truth, accuracy, and free expression” — and its members are actively shaping the site’s development.

One of the most compelling aspects of participatory media is that individual contributors are now invested in the dual processes of creating content and helping to establish shared editorial visions. In the case of NowPublic, this work has even extended into defining what constitutes ‘news’ for the NP site. Members of ‘crowd powered’ communities not only engage in discussions about their work and the work of others, they also participate in a larger dialogue about what kind of stories they want to share and what kind of a community they want to create.

As buzzwords like “social media” and “citizen journalism” have become further embedded in the new media lexicon and thinking of major broadcasters and mainstream media — many of whom are planning to, or have already launched, their own 2.0 initiatives — it has become evident that there will be many more collaborative social media/news projects like AssignmentZero competing for (y)our attention and soliciting (y)our involvement in the future.

But community-based knowledge is only as good as the community that creates it.

Who, then, will participate in these emergent “crowdsourcing” projects? What kind of unique editorial perspectives will they offer and what kind of stories will they share?

And if all the world’s a story, then perhaps the most important question becomes — where will you tell yours?