All the results live: the Matildas on Twitter

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For the rest of us who couldn’t be at Brisbane’s Matilda Awards tonight at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Twitter came to the rescue. Pete Foley (@iusebiro) and Katherine Lyall-Watson (@arts_tart) live-tweeted the event minute by minute. This is where social media used well is absolutely brilliant! Thanks to them, the event was beamed out live via desktop and mobile phone.

This is the stream which we’ve embedded below to give you an idea of how the news unfolded tonight. Scroll down and read for yourself. If you don’t already have a Twitter account, what are you waiting for!

Congratulations to all the winners! It was a night to celebrate indie theatre.

Aggregating blog content: the dilemma

I’ve been keeping blogs for several years now. This one was the first-born, or at least it ‘growed up’ out of my first experiments in what I thought of as an online journal. Fairly soon after its incarnation, Spinning a Learning Web became too sprawling, so I reined in my grasshopper inclinations to write about life, art and the whole darn thing, and focussed my Web 2.0 commentary in a more appropriate way for my then-position as a higher education lecturer.  I did from time to time stray outside the higher ed boundaries into discussions on what you might call recreational digital tools – photography for example. Until very recently I thought of Spinning … as my primary blog. Indeed its URL contains my name.

My other blog Groundling is all about theatre, performance, voice art – the other passion and avocation in my life. I maintained Groundling in a quarantined fashion from Spinning … . There I’d mention the web and digital technologies from time to time, but it was largely a separately focussed, niche area, and the blogs very rarely met on common ground. But that has changed, and this is where the dilemma has begun for me.

Life goes on, we change, and the time has come to consider the future of both blogs, at least in their current incarnation. The reality is that I no longer work in higher education, but my interest in all things Web 2.0 continues just as strongly if not more so. I’ve got more time to scrabble round the web, chat to others, experiment and reflect.  But Spinning …  is no longer focussed on higher ed. Of course, the learning goes on!

Groundling on the other hand, continues to focus on theatre etc., but more and more the world of digital performance, business marketing for the arts using online tools, social networking, and other topics I was used to dealing with in Spinning … are now finding their way into posts on Groundling. I think that Groundling is going to be the primary/only blog from here on in, incorporating its coverage of things theatrical, performative and so on, whilst dealing at the same time with life on the web. What’s developed is a natural outcome of my work in both areas of interest over the past 5-7 years.

The other element in the equation, and perhaps a key driver of my thinking right now is that I find myself working a great deal of the time via Twitter and Facebook, two community-driven, eclectic chat platforms which feed my communications needs with colleagues, as well as the wider community of social networkers. This engagement provides me with research projects and then material for longer, reflective posts on the blogs, but also – and here’s the rub – it lessens the time I can spend or would want to spend in maintaining two other, quite separate blog presences.

I’ve done what I can to integrate my social media sites on the blogs. I’ve pulled Twitter in via a widget; FriendFeed is also present, and you’ll see in the navigation tabs at the top of the page that there’s a link out to Groundling – on Groundling there’s a link to Spinning. In each blog’s sidebar there’s a link to other places where Dramagirl hangs out on the web. But the thing is, there are still two blogs with separate readerships needing attention. And whilst I am not driven to post unless I have something to say,  I’m very mindful of the long time between posts that has become the norm.

Can I – should I – consider a design change and create an ‘uber-blog’? What might this look like? Do you know of any good templates that would enable me to pull in and archive my Spinning … posts perhaps as a Category? Is this even desirable?

I’ve not written a help post before, but then I didn’t have as wide a network to consult as I do now.  I’d love to hear from you here or via Twitter should you come across an idea to spark my own thinking on the next step.

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Reporting on that election via the phone

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The 2008 US presidential campaign is the first campaign in history in which social media have played such a huge role in stimulating voter interest, soliciting campaign support, urging voter registration, and then actually getting people out there to exercise a civic right/duty. During the last couple of days, friends on my Facebook have been ‘donating’ their status to get the vote out, largely for Obama it would seem. This may have less to do with Obama’s cleverly run campaign and use of social media … though I suspect not … than the political leanings and support from my FB friends.

As to what’s happening on the ground, we’ve seen the broadcast media folks on television, but a lot of the reporting is using file content that’s hours old … how dull! Enter the ordinary person equipped with a mobile phone and a bit of software … and the reporting landscape changes fundamentally, and for ever. Now it’s possible for anyone to make individual commentary via social media and to get that material out via other social networks. Yes it can be dreadful stuff, but it’s going to get better and it’s direct, immediate, and unfiltered by network concerns.

Here’s an embed from a Seesmic contact Kevin Spiedel a self-styled former ‘political hack.’ He’s in Arizona, McCain’s home state, and he’s reporting on events as they unfold from the candidate’s campaign base. What’s great about this is that Kevin’s unique, often quiky approach is being streamed from his mobile phone using a platform called Qik. Think about it!

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Do real bloggers tweet?

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Are you blogging more and enjoying it less? No … OK, are you twittering more and blogging less? Or does twittering/tweeting count as blogging/micro-blogging? Is there a trend developing here? Does it really matter?

My own rhythm of online communication and blogging in the past couple of months has altered a lot. Well, OK, I’ve been away but still. It all started with Seesmic video posts and comments, and has continued with Twitter. And don’t even start me on Friend Feed … no seriously, I love Friend Feed. You can probably detect a note of mild guilt between the lines. You know, the guilt about frivolity being a bad thing! And seriously, Twitter and Seesmic are fun!

This little video below on how or why some folks use Twitter is interesting and not only for the number using iPhones. Fact is, I am micro-blogging/commenting more and blogging in the original sense of the word … less. Time to ponder on the outcome.

I’m thinking the fun factor comes from the immediacy of the social media … blogging is more considered and yes, takes longer to do … no bad thing of course! It can also be very lonely … no feedback, no sense of community. Twitter and Seesmic are anything but lonely. There’s always someone hanging out ready for a conversation or comment. Maybe that’s it. Social network platforms are increasingly becoming easier to use as they evolve technologically and become sophisticated. Now that’s good design. From the aesthetic point of view, I find sophistication in design to be inherently attractive.

Whatever … I will continue to use whichever media suits my purpose, but I suspect my blogging posts … which get sucked into (aggregated) Friend Feed will change in style as a result.

How Do You Use Twitter? from biz stone on Vimeo.

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