"A little over a year ago, Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck mashed up fine–art photography with animated GIFs, and the 'cinemagraph' was born. Since then, a cottage app–industry has sprung up around this ingenious digital art form, offering everyday folks easy tools for creating artsy animated GIFs of their own. Now a new iPad–only app called Echograph is targeting professional and 'prosumer' imagemakers who want to get into the cinemagraph–making game.
If apps like Flixel are trying to be the Instagram of animated GIFs, Echograph is more like Photoshop Elements. It's pitched as a creative tool, not a social network or a digital–hipster fad. That's why it's designed for the iPad, which can display higher–resolution imagery and offer users enough screen space to subtly finesse the details of their animated compositions. 'We saw an opportunity to harness Echograph as a more professional medium that takes full advantage of DSLR and higher resolution videography,' Echograph CEO Nick Alt tells Co.Design."
(John Pavlus, Co.Design)
"On Saturday June 13th, as protests began to flare on streets across Iran, 10.5m American TV–viewers naturally turned to CNN [...] Unfortunately, instead of protests many of them saw CNN's veteran, Larry King, interviewing burly motorcycle–builders. [...] [Yet,] thanks to the internet, dedicated news–watchers knew what they were missing. Twitter and YouTube carried a stream of reports, pictures and film from Iran's streets. The internet also facilitated media criticism. [...] A typical post: 'Iran went to hell. Media went to bed.'
[...] By June 16th Americans were getting decent reports, and even Mr King was paying attention to the story. [...] Meanwhile the much–ballyhooed Twitter swiftly degraded into pointlessness. [...] Even at its best the site gave a partial, one–sided view of events. Both Twitter and YouTube are hobbled as sources of news by their clumsy search engines.
Much more impressive were the desk–bound bloggers. Nico Pitney of the Huffington Post, Andrew Sullivan of the Atlantic and Robert Mackey of the New York Times waded into a morass of information and pulled out the most useful bits. Their websites turned into a mish–mash of tweets, psephological studies, videos and links to newspaper and television reports. It was not pretty, and some of it turned out to be inaccurate. But it was by far the most comprehensive coverage available in English. The winner of the Iranian protests was neither old media nor new media, but a hybrid of the two."
(The Economist, 18th June 2008)
"Man is God. He is everywhere, he is anybody, he knows everything. This is the Prometeus new world. All started with the Media Revolution, with Internet, at the end of the last century. Everything related to the old media vanished: Gutenberg, the copyright, the radio, the television, the publicity. The old world reacts: more restrictions for the copyright, new laws against non authorized copies. Napster, the music peer to peer company is sued. At the same time, free internet radio appears; TIVO, the internet television, allows to avoid publicity; the Wall Street Journal goes on line; Google launches Google news. Millions of people read daily the biggest on line newspaper. Ohmynews written by thousands of journalists; Flickr becomes the biggest repository in the history of photos, YouTube for movies. The power of the masses. A new figure emerges: the prosumer, a producer and a consumer of information. Anyone can be a prosumer. The news channels become available on Internet. The blogs become more influential than the old media. The newspapers are released for free. Wikipedia is the most complete encyclopedia ever. In 2007 Life magazine closes. The NYT sells its television and declares that the future is digital. BBC follows. In the main cities of the world people are connected for free. At the corners of the streets totems print pages from blogs and digital magazines. The virtual worlds are common places on the Internet for millions of people. A person can have multiple on line identities. Second Life launches the vocal avatar. The old media fight back. A tax is added on any screen; newspapers, radios and televisions are financed by the State; illegal download from the web is punished with years of jail. Around 2011 the tipping point is reached: the publicity investments are done on the Net. The electronic paper is a mass product: anyone can read anything on plastic paper. In 2015 newspapers and broadcasting television disappear, digital terrestrial is abandoned, the radio goes on the Internet. The media arena is less and less populated. Only the Tyrannosaurus Rex survives. The Net includes and unifies all the content. Google buys Microsoft. Amazon buys Yahoo! and become the world universal content leaders with BBC, CNN and CCTV. The concept of static information – books, articles, images – changes and is transformed into knowledge flow. The publicity is chosen by the content creators, by the authors and becomes information, comparison, experience. In 2020 Lawrence Lessig, the author of 'Free Culture', is the new US Secretary of Justice and declares the copyright illegal. Devices that replicate the five senses are available in the virtual worlds. The reality could be replicated in Second Life. Any one has an Agav (agent–avatar) that finds information, people, places in the virtual worlds. In 2022 Google launches Prometeus, the Agav standard interface. Amazon creates Place, a company that replicates reality. You can be on Mars, at the battle of Waterloo, at the Super Bowl as a person. It's real. In 2027 Second Life evolves into Spirit. People become who they want. And share the memory. The experiences. The feelings. Memory selling becomes a normal trading. In 2050 Prometeus buys Place and Spirit. Virtual life is the biggest market on the planet. Prometeus finances all the space missions to find new worlds for its customers: the terrestrial avatar. Experience is the new reality."
[Despite the clear problems with such techno–utopian predictions this clip highlights the significance of our current convergence inclination.]
"The last speaker is Stuart Allan, speaking on citizen journalists' reporting of the London bombings. He begins with a review of some of the citizens' reports of the bombings, and the political rhetoric responding to it. How were the components of a local news story of instant global importance drawn together? The social phenomemon of citizen reporting especially as aided by mobile devices demonstrated its potential to challenge and change the journalistic reporting process. Stuart notes the late James Carey's view that the core purpose of journalism is the report, and the discussion of and challenge to what is taken to be real. The industrial processes of journalism may interfere with this process, however.
What constitutes journalists and journalism, and how reporting works, then? Interestingly, in the immediate journalistic response sites such as BBC News responded to the tension between reporting as soon as possible and making sure that no misinterpretations became established as apparent truths by posting reporters' logs as well as citizen eyewitness accounts and photos; in addition, other London–related sites and Londoners' blogs began posting their own reports and commentaries as well. The significance of participatory journalism is at stake here, and the event significantly challenged the industrial formula of news as well as definitions and ideologies of what constituted citizens, reporters, reports, and the news."
(Axel Bruns 23/06/2006)
[Axel Bruns' comments about presentations made at the 2006 International Communication Association (ICA) Conference (ICA2006) in Dresden, Germany.]
Fig.1 Eliot Ward (2005). camera phone photograph of Adam Stacey, on a tube train between King's Cross and Russell Square, London, July 7, 2005, during the 7 July 2005 London bombings.