Monday, 23 February 2009

Making TV viewing more of a community experience

While I was watching a Mike Leigh film on tv on Saturday night (I know I should have been reading on a Saturday night of course), during one of the advert breaks they suggested that we all go online and write our views of the film so far.

I love this. What a neat idea. As it happened I was Home Alone and so this potentially offered me a way of viewing and sharing an opinion with others at the same time. In the past, critics of tv viewing habits sad that we all had 'square eyes' or would ruin our eyesight and all sorts of other things. They implied that watching tv was bad for you and 'rotted the brain'. Certainly they assumed it was less good than reading a book. I loved the way this suggestion to go online acknowledged that people have opinions they want to express; that they watched in an active way and that they were not just 'receiving messages' in a one dimensional way. I also loved that the telly was giving us opportunities for sharing our views through online networks.

So much for those who argue that the Internet fosters isolation.

Mind you - I did not do any review because I was multi-tasking - on my laptop surfing whilst also watching tv. I wonder how many other people do this habitually?

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Twitter, Cancer and other Viral Stuff

Gosh. I wish I had known this before. Apparently going on Twitter and Facebook (etc) can lead to Cancer. It has got everybody all of a flutter (as well as twitter) commenting on articles and on blogs all over the place. (They should know better).

The National Health Service ran this summary of the report; it seems that the 'study' upon which the report is based is largely data free. The report argues that social networking sites actually ISOLATE people. Gosh. So much for my little blog post yesterday. Even the infamous badscience blog gives the 'study' a mention but does try to exert self control.

Gosh. Why oh why are people so scared of online social networking? They are funny. Honestly I sometimes think they are joking. But it's not really funny that they are saying these things cause cancer. I am having enough trouble keeping off the red wine. (or on it).

Twitter can help save lives as well though - since it allows surgeons to communicate quickly and effectively, supporting each other across the network as they operate.

Just to show I am not a complete cynic, I like this website about science.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Dipping my toe in the water

I would have imagined that anyone having three months off work would immediately take to incessant blogging; uploading zillions of back logged photos onto Flickr and even .... even .... starting to write the book she had been thinking about doing for a while.

But no, no no. This is not what has happened to me ... so far. Just the opposite. I have been hiding under the keyboard and feeling strange and in a funny space of not being at work and not being able to think in joined up sentences. I have been off work now for about 7 weeks .... but look at this ... I am blogging.

What has helped me feel brave enough to plunge in again? The culprit is Twitter ...or specifically people I know Twittering me ..... allowing me to just dip my toe in and help remember how nice it is to get glimpses of your friends online... getting messages through of just a couple of lines has helped me back in somehow and maybe just maybe, when I get back to work I won't feel so twitty having first been tweeting and blogging my way into digital literacies again.

So this is an interesting little use of social networking ... a vehicle for helping people to make their way back into communities after absence.

What have I been doing meanwhile? Not a lot ... but I have read this (yesterday) by mad old Janet Street Porter; this (REALLY hilarious); and this (not hilarious but totally not put downable) . I have over the last weeks been forced into reading articles about Jade Goody like this and it has driven me batty. How can anyone bear this stuff??

I have been eating healthily in extremis lately and so I have been reeling from looking at this blog which beautifully illlustrates the path to fattiness and obesitydom.