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August 2011
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October 2011

Diving into Google Plus

Upvoting the Last Space WalkGOOGLE PLUS FEATURES in every creative multimedia module that I teach on the Clonmel campus of the Limerick Institute of Technology because I believe its infrastructure facilitates collaboration.

Many of our third level students are nonplussed by their first view of the G+ ecosystem because when they sign up and look at what's there, they often see just themselves. You have to build your Circles before you can see a result. I've made a short five minute YouTube video that shows a little activity inside Google Plus as I tap and scroll through my circles. You can play the clip inline below the break.

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Collaboration Plus

Adding to #litddALTHOUGH THE SCREENSHOT (at left) might not look like anything special, it represents a major step forward in my collaborative classroom.

Thanks to the instant upload capability of Google Plus, I'm able to record short pieces to camera with my creative multimedia students and let my mobile phone do the rest of the work. The items upload automatically behind the scene or I can remove the Xperia Arc's memory chip and manually upload the files later. This is a big deal because it removes all post-production processing from the loop. I can set an oral task, walk around with my cameraphone, record a few pieces with the camera, and know that Google Plus is shoveling the short takes onto a shared space behind the scenes. We're helped along in the process by a free and open wifi node on the campus. And we're also fortunate to have students who have shown a willingness to dive straight into the process of collaboration through tight circles on Google Plus.

My Totally LIT Circle on Google Plus.


The Power of Social Video

Part of the Pacdog VideoSOMETHING SPECIAL HAPPENS when you produce social video because truly social objects have social currency--they are empowered by being passed around.

And that's how I feel after watching "Pacdog is Awesome" on the Flickr blog. It's a story of friends of Paul Collins, AKA Pacdog, and how they connected by sharing images that form a video postcard. Jake Rome tweeted the ideaAs Jake explains, Pacdog has been active on Flickr more than a half decade. He has made hundreds of friends across the site on various groups, and has never made an enemy. Jake writes, "When he lost parts of five fingers in an accident, he seemed to be down and I resolved to organize his friends to cheer him up." The result is below the fold.

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First Day as a Tagcloud

Firstday in Wordle

THE FIRST DAY BACK (#firstday on Twitter) forms the basis for a speed drill in the Media Writing module of the creative multimedia programme at the Limerick Institute of Technology.

Wordle thinks #firstday means one thing (see the screen grab) and some students have a different take on the subject. We looked at 26 pages of tweets to formulate a short intro that a radio presenter could use to introduce the topic to listeners. And we put some Kelly Rowland Radio onto Audioboo to use in the background as students cranked out their speed writing.




Major PR Practical Exercise Summarised

Team ConsultationsPUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGNS earn a lot of cash for clever agencies so we will start the eighth year of the Creative Multimedia PR module with a short overview of campaigns worth academic credit.

The goal: have groups of three to five people organise organically and claim taskings that are outlined in Evernote and Google Documents. The suspense for group formation: 21 September 2011. This is the most ambitious campaign management ever attempted with a third level group in Tipperary. The risk is worth taking because of the number of clever and focused students in the group. A few specifics emerge below the break in the YouTube clip.

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Twitter Influence in Ireland

Twitter  LatteTHE NEW TECH POST had a look at "the most influential tweeters" in Ireland and put the editor of onto the list.

The NTP list is admittedly subjective becacuse "influence can mean many things to many people." I agree with that assessment but think the listing is a good one for someone new to Twitter. In fact, the names are people tweeting in Ireland so they are more relevant than the ones that Twitter recommends for people. The NTP list spins through several objective factors like numbers of followers, the number being followed back, total tweets, retweets and favourites. As I click through the list, I wonder how many of the 10 cited follow the other nine people on the list. I know I don't follow all the influencers who are cited on the list. But I feel there's a nice eclectic mix in the listing.

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Sand Animation

Creative SandWE RETURNED FROM INCHYDONEY BEACH with a bucket of sand and immediately set off trying to make it tell a story through an animation.

Caroline Leaf does it much better but it's good to know that storytellers of all ages can be empowered by the simple things in life. Like sand. There is a lot to be learned from Caroline Leaf's work and a lot of inspiration walking the streets of Annecy, France, during the annual animation festival there. We start the first session of the 2011/12 academic year with both thoughts in mind. And below the break sits a sample video used in the lead-off Digital Design lecture.

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Merging into the High-Speed Trust Lane

Trusted HingeTHE 2011-12 ACADEMIC year starts with the Limerick Institute of Technology trying to work out how to leverage trust in the newly-formed large institution. From where I sit, there needs to be a greater awareness of helping people to find their "flow" -- their maximum effectiveness in an organisation -- and to ensure the organisation fosters mutual trust.

At the moment, small tribal teams have encamped throughout the organisation Those teams feed on implicit trust. But when the tribes surface inside the larger organisation, trust often breaks down. This leads to the growth of process and the oozing lethargy of bureaucracy.

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I Like the Windmill Farmer

Windmill FarmerTHE WINDMILL FARMER works for me on so many levels, from character design to its underlying message of growth and setback.

I also know Toon Boom software helped created the animation--software I've admired since first encountering the Canadian programmers behind the program during the 1998 Annecy Animation Festival. I'm marking this animation as a discussion point with the first year students in the Digital Design module at Limerick Institute of Technology. In a perfect world, at least one of the students will be able to describe the process behind the story, its production and the tools used to create the final short animation. Click on the image accompanying this post to see the YouTube clip by Joaquin Baldwin.

Windmills [mp4]