Best of Wikipedia, Shorty Awards, Significant Objects
Last week I mentioned Twitter’s helpfulness (or not) in making connections for locating missing people and for providing other information during the quake aftermath. I typed in www.twitter.com/haiti and was instantly provided a number of links. More than a half-hour later I found myself deep into the links, finding bits of information at each of them. That experience wanted me to reevaluate my own membership in Twitter. Most of you know that my opinions have been negative up to now. How old-fogey and cantankerous of me
Twitter has provided an excellent community connection for the day-to-day, and often hour-by-hour or minute-by-minute information stream. One of the links I followed led to the ICRC, the International Committee of the Red Cross. Dozens of Red Cross agencies worldwide follow the Twitter/ICRC tweets. And wireless devices within the ravaged country are doing the job of getting the word out wherever and whenever it’s needed.
Somehow I made my way back to Romanesco at Poynter.org, where professional journalists hang out. The list of classes and seminars, as well as information about Twitter applications, for example are very important to today’s crop of emerging journalists. Therefore, on the eve of this, the 25th anniversary edition of the Beacher, I will no longer bad-mouth the social media explosion on the ‘net. It would serve only to display my ignorance, and my pride would be stung severely. There are excellent uses, as well as stupid uses for new media. Those plugged-in journalists know the difference.
That said, let’s get on with other discoveries for the week.
The Shorty Awards (http://shortyawards.com). While we are still on the subject of Twitter, might as well mention the latest addition to recognizing “good stuff” floating around the Web. Shorty Awards are meant to go to the best Twitter-ers (tweeters?) in at least a dozen categories. A look at the list enticed me to sample some of the nominations, which now provides me with a bonanza of websites to review. I don’t want to insult you by explaining why these are called the “Shorty Awards.” I am assuming the whole world, or at least CyberScribbles readers, have accessed Twitter at least once.
Significant Objects (http://significantobjects.com). Creative writers need to look at this website. I immediately thought of Charley McKelvey when I accessed these pages of stories. Each writer in this project chooses an object—a curious one—around which to pen a story. The object, along with the story, are then placed for sale on eBay. Proceeds go to a creative writing and literacy project in Boston, where this gem of an idea originated. The idea has spawned some offshoots, including writing contests. And it’s good reading, too. Betcha there will be a book coming out eventually.
The Best of Wikipedia (http://bestofwikipedia.tumblr.com). Are you familiar with the television commercial in which a young lady entertains her friends with a constant flow of trivia garnered from her surfing expeditions? Well, I can imagine this not-so-fictional character spending lots and lots of time at The Best of Wikipedia. While I was there, I learned about dwile flonking, Acoustic Kitty, borborygmus, and a Gamma Knife, among other things. You’ll have to access this website to understand what these are, because it would take me another column to explain them.
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