Radio

The News Machine is Absolutely Brilliant.

Voice recognition systems like Siri make some hilarious mistakes. For instance, the system in my VW seems to think that when I want to call Bev Johnston, I really want to call Colby Garlets. Accuracy, is obscured by things like road noise, and my inability to articulate syllables accurately.

The video below called News Machine is an installation for COLORS magazine that was designed in collaboration with interactive designer Jonathan Chomko for Colors #86- Making the News and Journalism Festival 2013. Specifically for a lecture by Patrick Waterhouse that took place on April 24th for the conference.

News Machine churns your tweets through different media filters and into print, simulating the contemporary 24-hour news cycle. You can tweet a headline to @colorsmachine to see what happens.

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Society 46, Swedish Radio Case Study Video.

Below is a video outlining a campaign created by Forsman & Bodenfors for Swedish Radio. I want to talk about a couple of things here.

First off the campaign itself is quite brilliant. Sweden is a country with just 9 million people in total population. In 3 days this campaign generated more than 100,000 users, and got more than 4.5 million media impressions thanks to news coverage. Not bad at all if you ask me.

The second thing I want to talk about is the video itself. A recap of a project can be one boring piece of work. You are talking about numbers, success rates, click throughs, data, etc. This little animated short from , manages to take that kind of information and keep it lively with an upbeat script, simple illustrations, a nice color pallet, and animation techniques that are fun, but not obtrusive. Great job with this case study video.

Ban All The Political Ads For Forever.

I try not to be very political in this space. This blog isn’t about politics, and my political view point is really no ones business but mine. With that said though, I am going to post something somewhat political.

As we move toward the November elections, the mud slinging, hate mongering, misinformed bullshit of both parties political machines is kicking into full force. The first salvos of political propaganda are hitting the TV and Radio airwaves, and it is only going to get worse before it gets better. My email inbox is being flooded with spam from both Obama and Romney. Today I received 3 text messages from the Romney camp. How they got my cell number is a mystery, but they got it and they pissed me off.

I have a proposal. Something that might make the average American think, and actually have to listen to the candidates, and not the party spin machine. The propaganda factories, and superpacs spinning millions of dollars of TV ads trying to sway your opinion with half facts, and semi truths that paint their candidate in a better light.

The proposal is this.

NO ADS FOR PEOPLE RUNNING FOR POLITICAL OFFICE EVER.

Instead the candidates should be required to conduct one debate a week from June first until October 31st on Public Television and Public Radio. The Questions won’t be submitted to the candidates in advance, and can be emailed, tweeted, or phoned in by any American citizen.

Think about it. The candidates wouldn’t be coached on how to answer the questions. They would have to answer to the best of their ability. They’d be forced to show their true colors, spin less, and cut the bullshit. Perhaps the American public would become more involved, and stop listening to the talking heads and actually form an opinion of their own.

Think of all the money that would be saved. If you get rid of the billions of dollars spent on TV and Radio ads. On Facebook, Twitter, text messages, direct mail, billboards, news paper ads and every other media ad outlet, and applied it to something worthwhile, maybe things would get a little better.

I know it’s just wishful thinking, but damn I wish something like this could happen. I know I’m going to want it by November.

John Peel’s Record Archive.

When I was in college I wa a radio DJ at a couple of college stations. The hours were good, I could be on air after class, get off before the bars closed and still make it to art school the following day with a minor hangover, and whole lot of musical inspiration to push me forward.

One of the things I looked forward to, were the latest releases from the John Peel sessions that used to arrive at the station. These were live recordings made at the BBC studios, and they usually featured a cutting edge band that was bound to influence musical tastes into the future.

For those of you that don’t know, John peel was a very influential radio DJ that introduced so many new bands to the radio waves it is hard to count them all. He had an amazing ear, hearing things that others dismissed knowing that they would be great. Over the course of his career, he collected more than 26,000 LP’s an almost equal number of 45’s, and CD’s. When he died in 2004 his wife helped to create the “John Peel Centre for Creative Arts. 7 plus years after his death, The Centre has begun digitizing a portion of the 26,000 LP’s and singles which will be made available in the future.

To help showcase his immense library of music, they have created a really nice website that invites you to explore the virtual stacks of albums from the archives, and experience Peel’s diverse and immense musical taste.

Do yourself a favor, go to the site and look around.

John Peel was a hugely respected member of the local, national and international communities and always gave support to worthwhile local initiatives. He was renowned for encouraging new music from unlikely sources and for many people he embodied the “punk” ethos of people just doing it for themselves.

John Peel Centre for Creative Arts.

Radio does Mad Men.

Lately I have been watching Mad Men seasons 1 through 4 on Netflix. With Season 5 delayed until January 2012 I’ve been jonesing for the show just a bit, and I decided to watch the first for seasons over. I’m actually really glad that I have. I am catching all sorts of things this time around that I either missed or forgot over the last 4 and a half years.

The real reason I am posting about Mad Men has nothing to do with my TV viewing habits. What it does have to do with are these great posters from Cape Town-based design studio Radio. I have no idea if these are going to be used to promote Mad Men for the AMC network, but if not they should. The posters have a really nice retro feel to them without being to period. At times they feel older than the decade that Mad Men is set in, but that doesn’t bother me that much. They have a great illustrative style and the execution is really well done.