Sunday, July 06, 2008

Developing media literacy & meeting the subjects of previous blog posts

As well as being the time of the year for getting wet in Portstewart, it's also the time of year for thinking a bit more deeply about technical matters. Tech Camp looms!

What is it that makes a good set of voxpops?* What makes a good church/youth club website? What makes Powerpoint add value rather than detract and distract?

All the little things you need to think about in the background to make a potential multi-media disaster turn into a success. And all the nuggets to find a way to convey to some teenagers at the beginning of August.

And with access to software and equipment unexpectedly secured, animation will definitely be on the menu this year!

This morning was also a reminder about the realities and ground rules of blogging.

Write expecting to be read. (Unless you've incredibly thick skin, a confident reputation, and friends to give away.)

And sometimes it'll be read by the people you're posting about. So shaking hands with the PCI Moderator this morning, he brought up the fact that I'd blogged about his appointment, and something that I'd commented on! Out of the blue.

It wasn't a problem - and in fact, it turns out he still preaches from small pieces of paper and handwritten (colour-coded) notes! If it works, why break a winning formula?

But it was a reminder that as blogging and podcasting become more and more common place, people will be directed to what's been said about them (or will set Google Alerts to find out).

And it'll not just be authors leaving comments below your review of their books, but it'll be real people having their right of reply, online and in real life.

As well as basic media literacy and developing an understanding of film grammar etc, there will need to be a whole education into how to write and be neither sued nor massively criticised.

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* In truth, not getting a whole list of things wrong makes them good! Not varing the size of the heads on screen - consistency matters. Not breezing over the question you've asked out on the street - so often the audience has no clue what it's all about. Not using clips of people who gave the exact same answers. Not finding the funny person and splitting their response in two to give the short clip some continuity and joy. Not telling a story - even if it's just a progression of responses that hammer home your preconceived answer.

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