Thursday, 18 December 2008

A connected world brings sweet music

The rise of social web networking surely must mean that the Six Degrees of Separation theory has become more realistic than ever before?

I pose the question because of a small chain of events that happened today. It goes like this:

1. I read an article on the Guardian website, revealing that Jonathan Ross has started using Twitter, the micro blogging site, where users can post short SMS-type updates on what they're doing.

2. I go to Jonathan's Twitter site and post a response to his question, 'which song should I play first when I return to radio presenting in the New Year?' Remember that Ross and comedian Russell Brand found themselves in hot water earlier in the year, when they left obscene messages on the answerphone of the actor Andrew Sachs. Brand quit his BBC Radio 2 job and Ross was suspended for 12 weeks.

3. My post is picked up by a band I've not come across before,  Georgia Wonder. They start to follow my postings.

4. I get a link from their Twitter page to a website offering bands the chance to find an audience and build a relationship - Reverbnation. Following a brief registration process, I am able to download a handful of songs by Georgia Wonder, and think they are fantastic. Now, I'm here, writing to you, to say that the band are well worth a listen. Reverbnation is worth checking out too. It's interesting because when you sign up, there's an option to become a 'street volunteer', handing out flyers etc, for the band you like. It's another example of how the virtual web is beginning to find ways to link audiences and producers together, via shared interests, in a physical sense. In a knowledge economy, financial reward isn't the only currency - free tickets, a sense of belonging and self-worth all acquire a transferable value.

5. Having completed this post I am going to post a link to it on Twitter and the Georgia Wonder website. This in turn might bring them and interested audience members to my blog. 

6. Who knows what contacts may arise as a consequence?

Communicating science - the Ancient Greek way

This is a great video, posted on the Guardian's Science blog. It's all about the Antikythera, possibly the world's oldest computer. The story emanates from the respected magazine, The New Scientist.

Fragments of one were found in a shipwreck, and after many years of toil, an academic has re-created one. The Antikythera predicted lunar cycles, the movement of the planets and more.

Having read Classics at university and being a Media teacher now, there are several aspects to this story that I find appealing.

Firstly, there's the intrinsic interest in the science. To remake something that worked 2000 years ago is a marvel, and a testament to the perseverance of the team involved. 

Secondly, it's great to find an accessible story about science. Science as a genre of broadcasting seems marginalized on our TV schedules, which is strange, given how large a part science plays in our everyday lives.

Thirdly, it's interesting to find text and video about this on a newspaper's science blog, which shows how the press is adapting to the new media age. 

Finally, this all goes to show how even in ancient times people were looking to share information, process facts, and make life easier via technology. Not mch changes, does it?

Here's the video: