Monday, March 24, 2008

Barack Obama- a friend of social media

The project for excellence in Journalism analyzed the websites for the 2008 presidential candidates for compatibility with social networking. Apparently, "Candidate Web sites have fully embraced politics as a two-way conversation with voters. Twelve sites also offer the opportunity for visitors to turn that dialogue into grassroots action (organizing their own events, fundraisers, etc)." The data shows that the democrats have the most interactive sites, led by Barack Obama, then Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Bill Richardson.

Obama's site was the most successful in engaging voters and allowing participation. Factors contributing to his standing at the top include open comments, citizen blogs, and interaction with social networking sites like Myspace.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

VH1 Social Media Podcast

Here's a link to our podcast assignment, we interviewed Kristin Davis, digital marketing coordinator at VH1.

Monday, March 17, 2008

SXSW: My Highlights

Oh SXSW, you tricky mistress you. Sure, it's a really great week, filled with countless bands and hopefully free booze- but that doesn't change the fact that by the end of the week you're ready to collapse. So, as I recover, I thought I'd share some of my personal highlights, band or otherwise.

She and Him: The collaboration of singer M. Ward and actress Zooey Deschanel proved to be really soulful and edgy. Who knew she could sing? It's a little Rilo Kiley, so if you're a fan, check out She and Him.

Salt and Samovar: A band I've been hearing about all over NPR and KCRW, I was really excited to see them, even after a super long night. The hype was justified- this ended up being one of my favorite shows.

Standing next to Rolling Stone editor David Fricke at the Bad Veins show: The band was awesome, and watching Fricke scribble notes onto a pad made me feel pathetically hip. The guy is really the best thing about Rolling Stone in the past couple of decades, and last year I got to watch him interview Iggy Pop. Look for Bad Veins in the next issue of Rolling Stone perhaps? Maybe Fricke's Picks can make them big.

Lou Reed's Keynote Speech: Oh, Lou. I love him, I always will. He's crochity, but who cares. When asked if he put thought into his songs, he said "I have a B.A. in dope". Gotta love it.

Oh, there's so much more that I could talk about, but I'm sure that its pretty self-serving, and I won't bore you. I will, however, encourage you to volunteer at SXSW next year, as you get a free badge or wristband! Take Tere Garza's class- it's a requirement!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Indie darlings to launch online music tv channel

Pitchfork, the immensely popular music blog, is launching an online music channel to "document independent music as it happens". According to the site, the channel is in response to the decline of music-centric programming on music networks. While television attention is given to rock giants (Bono, anyone?), independent music often fails to receive similar creative attention. The rise of the Independent film channel, and general success of Independent films over the past years has proven that the American public is open to deviating from the mainstream, and, thanks to Pitchfork, indie music gets its own venue.

A visual extension of the blog, will bring indie fans closer to their favorite music- through mini-documentaries, exclusive stage sessions, full concerts, interviews, and a carefully "curated" selection of music videos. In addition, will become the first online video channel to screen full-length feature films, vintage concerts, and music DVDs free of charge. How cool is that? Sure, netflix has obscure-ish music titles, but you pay a fee. Now you can watch a Pixies concert film free of charge, in the comfort of your own living room. Content is also available to consumers on-demand, a feature that allows people to weed out what they deem uninteresting and move on to their preferred content. The online channel is without revenue, leaving it to be a user-controlled, and pitchfork-moderated creative vehicle.

I love this. I can't wait for the launch (April 7, in case you're interested). I love Pitchfork, and read it often, frequently using it for purchasing advice, music news, and concert updates. Sure, MTV2 airs some independent videos, and MTVu (yes, it exists) communicates the interests of the college radio devout, but indie music needs it's very own visual home.

Also, speaking of the channel's boast of secret rooftop shows, I found another venue for indie artists. The "Black Cab Sessions" takes artists on a cab ride around London, wherein the musicians perform and record a song or two. It's pretty great, and the lineup so far has been impressive, and I have found myself constantly checking for new videos. Check it out. If you're a music fan, you won't be disappointed. Local tip, Austin bands Spoon and Okkervil River have both participated.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Live from New York, it's a political election!

Hillary Clinton appeared on last night's episode of Saturday Night Live, NBC's late night sketch comedy platform- now enjoying higher ratings than it's past several seasons. In a sketch that mimicked the Cleveland debate, Clinton appeared to add an "op-ed" response to the debate between herself and Senator Obama, something she's been criticized for doing as of late. She commented on how much she enjoyed her portrayal on the show, which prompted her doppleganger to enter the stage, played by the brilliant, yet sometimes brutal, Amy Poehler. Clinton was amicable, even funny, when she exclaimed to identically dressed Poehler, "I love your outfit, but I do want the earrings back." She even got a few laughs when fielding questions about her campaign's morale stating "we're doing very, very well... why, what have you heard?" It was obvious that her appearance on the show was following in the footsteps of a certain Illinois senator (as he was referred to on the show), as well as an attempt to prove likability and appear aloof, qualities she's not often criticized for lacking.

The reason I blog about her appearance is this: the past several seasons have seen the rise of the SNL viral video. Thank Andy Samberg for that (so pretty...). You may remember Samberg as Justin Timberlake's counterpart in the infamous "D*** in a Box" video, or the dude rapping about red vines in "lazy sunday". His shorts have given SNL a place on the internet, making their videos some of the most passed on of the year. Rarely do people watch actual SNL broadcasts, but or Youtube are common venues for video clips from the show. Hillary did a smart thing by appearing on the show. With a minute and thirty seconds on the show, she's giving the young people something to watch (and blog about). She's dispelling rumors of campaign weakness and her frigidity in a forum that can be passed on an immense number of times. Sure, commercials are important, and a campy appearance on a comedy show may seem a bit contrived, but you can't blame a girl for trying. She'll also appear on The Daily Show tomorrow night. I can't wait to witness her awkwardly attempting to banter with John Stewart.

In case you're interested....