Lo-Res Graphics

Lo-fi graphic, low-res graphics, text mode visuals, ASCII art, ANSI art, pixel art, Unicode, Twitter art, Facebook art and all the other forms and styles of creating simple graphics.

Otromatic, 8 bit graphician.

Raquel Meyers – Lo-fi graphics mixed media artist.

ASCII Arena

8 Bit Today

8 bit collective – 8bitcollective is the first completely open chiptune-related media repository and file sharing community.

The Slowing Web

Designing for the Slowing Web

Jonathan Bailey of the Blog Herald wrote about Surfing the Slow Web, a summary of his recent experience trying to connect to the Internet as an evacuee from Hurricane Gustav. While most web designers are pushing the limits of heavy handed design towards high bandwidth, the world still doesn’t work that fast or wide.

I’ve been reading about the lo-fi web (media files created for low end technology). They are able to open faster and they work for people who haven’t bought a new computer system/ media reader in the past six months or less.

My own computer is a few years old, though not so old I expect it to stop running. I find my computer runs slow when it comes to sites using Flash or videos. I tend to skip them or shut them down rather than waiting for them to load. Usually, there isn’t anything I really needed to see as most of the Flash are ads. This means all that extra time we pay to our ISP (Internet service providers) is at least partially for viewing ads. I think it’s pretty poor that part of my bill for the Internet is so I can pay for the time I view ads I’d be quite happy not seeing.

So far I haven’t had old software issues. But this is because I changed to Ubuntu Linux instead of sticking with MS Windows. My previous computer was a terrific IBM which ran on MS Windows ME until it just couldn’t work with most of the software I was using. I never had trouble with Windows ME. Ubuntu has been good too but I’ve had to learn how to use an new OS (operating system) of course.

Anyway, I think the slowing web will become a bigger issue and cause a wide gap to crop up between people who have money to burn on the latest software and hardware and those who don’t. Also, if there were a disaster or some other event which caused a lot of the computers that keep the Internet running to go down, what would happen to the communication online? So many people rely on the Internet to keep in touch and know what’s going on in the world and their local community.

Do you Want to be a Movie Reviewer?

At this time of year people talk about movies and everyone has some kind of opinion. Could you write movie reviews, as an official, paid movie critic? It’s not for everyone. I’m happy on the sidelines, just offering my free advice and reviews to the general discussion.

Resources:

Fab Job: Become a Movie Reviewer
Make Use of: How to Write a Movie Review Online and Earn Money Doing It
eHow: Money: How to Become a Film Critic
eHow: Money: Career as a Movie Critic
Freelance Writing: So You Want to be a Movie Critic
HubPages: How to be a Film and Movie Critic
Salary: Dream Job: Movie Critic
2BlowHards: Movie Reviewing: Job? Career? Calling?
Moviefone: Rough Cuts: How to Become a Movie Critic
The Guardian: Film Blog: What every film critic must know

Here is a movie review job. Not one I’d send anyone to apply for, they don’t sound very ethical or concerned about an honest review.

Movie Review Writers Needed: This job is always open so feel free to apply ignoring the job posting date.

We are looking for movie review writers to write reviews on various movies on regular basis. All the reviews should be positive review with critics in favour of positive points and no negative critics.

We will provide you the title and you have to write a positive review on them. The movies will be from all Genres such as Drama, Animation, Thriller, Comedy, Horror, Animation, Sci-fi etc.

Movies will include old, new and upcoming releases.

This is ongoing work. You will have to write movie reviews on regular basis.

Following are some of the terms for writing reviews

Reviews shall be in about 500 words
All reviews shall be unique and shall not be copied from any sources
All reviews shall be grammatically correct
Reviews would be our copyright so you can’t publish them in any media including Online
You have to write review with keywords stuffed in them. We will provide guidelines on which keywords to stuff in.
Ideally you should have watched the movie, if not then you will have to rewrite review based on official review release and other online reviews.

Avoid the Daily Post Burnout

Avoid burnout.

If you want to stick to daily posts on your site you have options.

  • Write the posts a week ahead and then schedule them to appear daily.
  • Instead of writing a long post with many points divide it up. Use each point as an individual post and turn them all into a series, interlinked on your site.
  • Get help. Find someone else in your niche who would like to write but doesn’t want to do it alone, or doesn’t know HTML, etc.
  • Use borrowed content. There are many sites which offer contributed content. Read the rules at each site.
  • Write shorter posts. Go with an illustration or draw a web comic one or more days of your posting week. You’ll still be busy posting every day but the change of media could keep it from getting stale and give you fresh insights.
  • Revamp your blog layout, template or theme. Giving the site a new look makes it feel new again, or at least not the same old routine.
  • Change the format of your posts. Write in point form or make a list post once or twice a week instead of the standard paragraph form.
  • Write ahead for seasonal posts. That way you know you have at least one day off to look forward to.
  • Interviews and product reviews can be kept in a stash to be posted when you want to take a week off without notice.
  • Most people have a 5 day work week. You can take off weekends and still be considered to be posting daily. (It’s a personal choice).
  • Exchange content with another writer. Or, arrange to exchange blog babysitting so he/she writes for both blogs one week and you take on both blogs the next week.
  • Run an event. It could be a contest or something with the idea of social networking/ community building. You will need to promote it and get others involved but it also gives you something to write about each day as you talk about your idea and the progress you are making.
  • Finally, just take a week off. Announce it in your blog and give the date you will return. Try to stick to the return date unless you really do decide to abandon your site once you are away from it.

 

What is an Online Editorial Assistant?

This is an actual job post for an Online Editorial Assistant:

The ideal candidate will have consumer writing and web experience, as well as a background or educated interest in interior design. A post-secondary education is also required. Experience with a content management system (CMS) such as Drupal, WordPress, Joomla or Moveable Type are also assets. Proficiency in Microsoft Excel, Word and Power Point for Mac computers is a must. The online editorial assistant will report directly to the Online Director, and liaise with the web team, iPad, Sales, Video and Creative Services Team and other departments of House & Home Media.

Job Responsibilities

  • Research and write photo galleries, articles, blogs and other online content
  • Reception relief duties
  • Assist with research and production for iPad issues
  • Contribute to online promotional materials as needed
  • Assist with content creation and uploads for digital partners and initiatives
  • Conduct photo research and crop images
  • Assist with updating the online editorial calendar
  • Contribute to online forums and social media communities
  • Monitor site traffic, content performance and user experience
  • Grab screenshots for results reports
  • Review press releases/product info directed to houseandhome.com and, on occasion, attend/blog about events
  • Develop content ideas and opportunities
  • Other tasks as instructed by Online Director.

Time to Defriend the Social Network Clutter

…it’s very dangerous for companies to get involved on social networks unless they can guarantee a meaningful conversation.

via Time to cut the Facebook and Twitter clutter, says AOL’s ‘digital prophet’ | Media | guardian.co.uk.

I very much agree with the points in this post. I have already given up on using Facebook for anything, other than drivel and family members who pass me notes instead of using email. I do like Twitter but I am cautious about who I choose to follow and especially careful about those I follow back.

I’ve been doing the same with email. I have deleted at least 20 email newsletters in the past few months. I know I signed up for them. We get asked to subscribe to endless newsletters and lists. It’s easy to just say yes at the time and doesn’t seem like a big deal to add one more newsletter when they only come out once a month, once a week, or now and then. They add up and they clutter up your email inbox, quickly.

Get Your Handyman

I noticed a job post for someone to write Twitter posts for a handyman service. They asked people to submit 5 tweets as examples. The content could be anything you deemed appropriate for the site/ service.

What would you write? This is what I am sending in. Maybe it is too commercial and too much of sales copy for what they would like. But, I don’t see the point of advertising a service to the world at large unless you can do it with email or some other digital media.

  • Need someone good with their hands in Queensland? Call Fallon Services for your handyman. We’ve got the right tools.
  • Has your TV antennae fallen and can’t get up? Call Fallon Services in Queensland. We can fix it!
  • Sprung a leak? Have a drip you can’t get rid of? Call Fallon Services, Queensland. Handyman and plumbers.
  • Getting a bit hot under the collar? Call Fallon Services, Queensland. Let us get your air conditioner working.
  • Need some electrical work done? Tidy up your wiring? Call Fallon Services, Queensland. Let us zap your problem.

Types of Content

Kim Lawless wrote What do we mean by content?

Back in 2007, pioneering content strategist Rachel Lovinger defined the main goal of content strategy as “to use words and data to create unambiguous content that supports meaningful, interactive experiences.”

Part of the problem in defining methodology is that content is such a small, generic-sounding label for the big, diverse, unruly, ever-changing universe of digital stuff we consume. To complicate things further, what stuff we can call content seems to be up for debate (there have even been backlashes against the word ‘content’ itself).

But instead of arguing about what is and isn’t content, could it be more helpful — in order to better come up with the ‘how’ of content strategy — to start instead by looking at how to work with particular types of content? Think of content as falling into one of these four major groups: informational, branded, user-generated, and systemic. The lines between them aren’t always completely clear, but each type tends to bring up a unique set of goals and challenges, and desired outcomes.

Informational content
Reduced to its essence, the goal of informational content is to meet one of your users’ most obvious needs — to give them the information they’re looking for. Relevance, clarity and consistency are crucial. To make that happen, one of the biggest challenges is in managing production flow and lifecycle. You need to understand who the authors, approvers and editors are; how content gets from ideation to publication; where it gets published (on your site, to an app, social media channels?) and when — does it change hourly, daily, weekly? And finally, how it will be managed and governed.

Branded content
Rather than strictly informing, branded content builds connections with users on an emotional level. Its goal is to build and support brand messages, persuade people, tell stories, and encourage engagement.

User generated content
Whether it’s through social media, commenting, or more intensive uses of UGC, having content produced by your audience is an effective way to build engagement and loyalty with content, and as a result it has become key to many content marketing strategies. Since real users are contributing content, UGC is often seen to bring both authenticity to brands and engagement to the audience, benefitting from things people are already doing online. In many cases, UGC is being produced in alongside (often in response to) informational or branded content.

Systemic content
This is where you’ll find content that describes content, making it findable, helping it flow to the right places, supporting SEO and even setting it free from the constraints of platform by giving it structure and extensibility, allowing for reuse. It is often available through an api, and helps publishers to identify, organize, and publish content in ways that are meaningful to users.

On any site or platform, the content ecosystem is going to be made up of one or more of these content types. By delving more deeply into the each of these types and clearly defining what outcomes you want from each of them, the ‘how’ of content strategy –- processes, tools, and roles should be involved, for example — starts to become more clear.

This is more than I am really OK with quoting from the original post. Usually I restrict the content I quote to a paragraph or the essential elements of the list post. I will write things in my own words with my own experience and thoughts added to give my point of view.

This time I want to read this over myself and get more from it. Also, the points made don’t make sense once they are taken out of the original context. So, here it is.

Where do you stand or waver on the limits of curating content versus just reprinting someone’s original ideas?

How Does This Sound?

I applied for a job as a Social Media Assistant for a women’s site in the US.

I can bring experience, creative ideas, ingenuity and pretty great spelling to the New Women’s Guide.

I’ve been working with social media since before it had a name. My own sites have been through many learning lessons, trial and error, with me. I’ve found what works, what does not and what might be worth a try. I enjoy trying something new, I’m often an early adopter for new sites and technology. When I find something that really works I’m loyal to it and glad to pass it along and help a good site grow. The best thing about doing it yourself is making all the mistakes first hand and then learning from them. I began writing online in 1998, I’ve explored, made those mistakes, had a great time doing it all and I learned a lot!

I’m not a social butterfly, using social media just to fill up space or as a secondary RSS feed for blog posts. I’d rather contribute something real, make a difference in someone’s day or at least not seem boring or trivial. My posts are social and have something to say whether I’m sharing an idea, a link to a site or exchanging information and building a community. It’s too easy to feel you are drowning in social media with it’s SEO advice, reposted links and commercialism. While I do use social media to post my own links I also make a point of giving something real of myself and my experience.

My resume is posted to Google Documents: https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1-S4PiKl4t0PJyI-oiIuw2kGhAFZMnDvYWVWeJxprUT8

Are you a Content Curator?

A content curator is more than someone who re-posts links, quotes sources and aggregates content from feeds. A content curator uses their own passion for the topic to filter and give meaning to the content they select. They also add their own information and ideas to the updates.

I have worked as someone who collects content in several ways and methods: web directory editor, topic writer and group moderator. Each requires some aspects of content curating. Online content curators will not only present content but give it their own perspective and priorities. A content curator can shape public opinion with the choices they make, the content they choose to include or pass by.

The Economist: Meet the Curators
You might say that you don’t need to be a journalist to cobble together a list of links. But actually, given the huge proliferation of sources these days, you do. Being able to scan a vast range of material, determine what’s reliable, relevant and sufficiently objective, decide what will actually interest your particular readers and arrange it in a way that they can use are not trivial skills.

Social Media Today: Marketer, Media or Museum: The Content Curator

For Bloggers – A Cure for Writers Block
If you’ve thought about creating a blog but suffer from writer’s block, this concept is great news for you. You don’t necessarily have to become a star journalist overnight. Instead, start as a curator. Read all the blogs you can in your niche market, then sort and prioritize, hand-pick the best, and share them with your readers. A “Top 10 posts” on a particular topic makes a great blog post. Or, find a post that stands out for you and add your voice by sharing your reactions on your own blog (like I’m doing here!). Always link back to the original writer, of course, and invite feedback if you want to make it a dialog.

For Social Media Types – Sharing With Purpose
As a content curator, you don’t just share what seems interesting; you prune through the overload, find what’s most valuable to your audience, and share it – branded with your perspective. Make sure the content you’re sharing is consistent with the brand or image you want to convey — and that it feeds social media followers to related content on your blog or website. The idea is to share the right information at the right time, to the right people.

For Webmasters — Digital Assets That Drive Traffic and Conversions
A comprehensive content marketing strategy should have your company website at its center. A content curator will aggregate your company’s best digital assets for display, much like a museum curator creates a thoughtful exhibit to display historical or artistic artifacts.

Grow: Are Content Curators the power behind social media influence?
The Curators are the greatest consumers of content AND the greatest contributors—including sharing. That makes Curators a hub and the easiest users for marketers to reach. Curators, like me, are actively looking for information to share with others, and actively spreading the word. Content Curators are the best online friend a marketer could have!
In this new world, Curators become a commodity and they have value that will be sought after. Marketers will seek curators in specific topic areas and with specific traits. Marketers will want to know:

  • The topics this person curates. Curators specialize.
  • The networks and communities he/she curates to. Curators who are plugged into niche communities and forums may be even more valuable.
  • The number of connections on those networks. The volume or following always counts.
  • The types of connections the curator has. What’s the quantity of different types of social users following this curator: gamers, social butterflies, shoppers, deal seekers?
  • Reshare value. How many of this curator’s followers reshare the content, and how wide a net do they cast?
  • The click-through-rate for this curator’s content. How often do people open the items this curator shares?
  • The conversion rate resulting from this curator’s content. How often does a recommendation from this person generate sales? How often does a click through on a piece of content from this curator result in a sale?

Trainingwreck: Content Curators

The first skill or change to adapt to is to begin thinking this way from the beginning. As we all go about our day, and we inevitably come into contact with content, knowledge and wisdom that may benefit others, we need to begin thinking in a way that is selfless not selfish. We need to say to ourselves, “who may benefit from this as well?” Let’s think of this as the curate stage.

The second skill or change to adapt to concerns our ability to categorize and thus effectively store the knowledge somewhere. I liken this to an intricately interconnected network of universal personal content management systems. I’m not exactly clear how this can be accomplished, but think ‘dewey decimal system’ only individualized, personalized and capable of much more than surfacing links. It’s certainly supplementary and much more useful than Delicious or other bookmarking sites as well.

The final skill or change to adapt to is our ability to appropriately communicate the knowledge that has been curated and categorized itself. No, I’m not referring to email distribution lists. Whether through some digitally sewn quilt of RSS and other push-communication capabilities, the communication of this now categorized content is incredibly important.

Influential Marketing Blog: The Five Models of Content Curation
Aggregation – Aggregation is the act of curating the most relevant information about a particular topic into a single location. Often taking the form of catalog style blog posts which list “27 Great Resources For Small Business” (or similar aggregations), this is the most common form of content curation.

Distillation – Distillation is the act of curating information into a more simplistic format where only the most important or relevant ideas are shared. As a result, there may be quite a bit of additional content that is lost for the sake of simplicity – however the value comes from the fact that anyone digesting this content no longer has to contend with a high volume of content and can instead consume a more focused view of information.

Elevation – Elevation refers to curation with a mission of identifying a larger trend or insight from smaller daily musings posted online. Encompassing much of what many trend-focused websites do, this can be one of the hardest forms of content curation because it requires more expertise and analytical ability on the part of the person or organization during the curating. The benefit is that it can also be the most powerful in terms of sharing new ideas as well.

Mashup – Mashups are unique curated justapositions where merging existing content is used to create a new point of view. Taking multiple points of view on a particular issue and sharing it in a single location would be one example of this type of behaviour – and could be used to describe the sort of activity that takes place every day on Wikipedia. More broadly, mashups can offer a way of creating something new while still using content curation as a basis for it because you are building on existing content.

Chronology – Creating a Chronology is a form of curation that brings together historical information organized based on time to show an evolving understanding of a particular topic. Most useful when it comes to topics where understanding has shifted over time, this can be a powerful way of retelling history through informational artifacts that exist over time to prove how experiences and understandings have changed.

From a job posting for an Online Content Curator:

The ideal candidate:

  • is passionate about being part of the future web
  • has some tech background, including basic web development (but no serious dev chops required)
  • has the proven ability to write a snappy headline and coherent commentary – copy-writing experience a plus
  • is an online media consumer and is familiar with sites like Huffington Post and Daily Beast
  • adapts quickly to data and content management tools and interfaces
  • has some image editing experience
  • is moderately well-informed, from pop culture to global politics, from Kim Kardashian to Kim Jong Il
  • enjoys reading (and possibly writing) high-quality blogs
  • approaches repetitive tasks with “productive zen”
  • thinks about usability in a mobile context… and has an app for that