new media

Twittering ‘Mahabharata’

A prof in England is twittering the “Mahabharata,” the epic Indian poem:

It’s the world’s longest poem — over 1.8 million words, containing over one hundred thousand verses and approximately ten times the length of the Iliad and Odyssey combined. And now India’s celebrated epic the Mahabharata, the writing of which began around 300 B. C. by the venerated Hindu figure Vyasa, is being written again — one 140-character tweet at a time.

Here’s how the tweets begin:

I can’t help staring at the lady with the black cloth over her eyes. I feel disturbed, scared – but I can’t look away.

Pale, beautiful face. Black strip wound tight. Beneath it, the eyes – the eyes with which she wouldn’t see. Gandhari. Our aunt. The Queen.

She hugs Mother. Then us five children. Yudhistira first, then me, Arjuna, the twins, Nakula and Sahadeva. Why is she sobbing?

“Come,” Aunt Gandhari says. “The king is waiting.” She turns. I see the knot of blindfold black against her gray hair. I stare.

Yudhistira follows her. I walk with Mother and the young ones as the palace doors close behind. So it was all true? We were really princes?

You can follow the rest by following him on Twitter.

By | August 21st, 2009|new media|0 Comments

Interesting read on rethinking the newspaper at the San Jose Mercury News. While I’m at it, I’ve been meaning to link to this American Journalism Review piece on the changes already underway at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Good inside baseball stuff, if you’re interested.

By | November 8th, 2007|AJC, new media|0 Comments

Interesting article from the Christian Science Monitor on the concept of journalism “crowdsourcing”:

Mayhill Fowler wrote a significant Web-only political story this week that took the temperature of the Democratic electorate. More remarkable than her conclusion – that Democrats are more undecided and less Iraq-focused than polls suggest – is the whopping 17 reporters in nine states who filed on-the-ground accounts to contribute to it.

The cornucopia of contributors, surpassing what most news outlets could ever afford, cost virtually nothing. That’s because the reporters are volunteers, including Ms. Fowler, a Californian, who at age 60 has embraced beat reporting on Barack Obama.

“I looked through all the information that people sent in and I came up with what I thought were the significant things we discovered in these 14 cities on Saturday,” she says. Her story was published online by Off the Bus, a project boasting 1,500 citizen journalists and affiliation with The Huffington Post, a liberal website.

“Until [this] post, there’s nothing really on the Obama campaign that I think we’ve brought that the mainstream media can’t. It’s this kind of joint effort that really is the thing,” she adds.
Collaborative citizen-reporting projects like this one are sprouting across the political landscape of Election 2008. Thousands of volunteers are adding muscle to efforts by professional reporters and campaign staff to leave no stone unturned – and no skeletons in the closet. But to drive volunteer interest, many of these “crowdsourcing” efforts draw more energy from partisan fervor than traditional journalism’s impartiality, say experts.

Read the rest.

By | October 17th, 2007|new media|0 Comments

Anyone who believes that bloggers do not produce unique content should check out this report from Radley Balko. It’s a long investigative piece regarding the vice mayor of Monassas, Va. It will surely shake up the local politics of that D.C. suburb.

By | September 12th, 2007|new media|0 Comments