Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Meet Squidley... new KinderGoth from Bleeding Edge. Squidley likes bed bugs and dust mites (keeps them as pets), practical jokes, salt water taffey and surround sound. Dislikes being ignored (when on a blind date), meatloaf and rocky road ice cream.

What's not to like??

Monday, January 21, 2008


First Monday (one of the first open access, peer-reviewed, online journals devoted to the internet) has published a paper on the concept of 'transliteracy'. Written by Sue Thomas, Chris Joseph, Less Laccettti, Bruce Mason, Simon Mills, Simon Perril and Kate Pullinger the abstract notes:
Transliteracy might provide a unifying perspective on what it means to be literate in the twenty–first century. It is not a new behavior but has only been identified as a working concept since the Internet generated new ways of thinking about human communication. This article defines transliteracy as “the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks” and opens the debate with examples from history, orality, philosophy, literature, and ethnography.

Read the full paper 'Transliteracy: Crossing divides' here - Vol 12, Number 12, December 3 2007.

Move over 'digital literacies'!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Google Maps Mania

Mike Pegg runs this cool blog. It keeps an eye on new mashups and tools using googlemaps : "An unofficial googlemaps blog tracking the websites, mashups and tools being influenced by googlemaps".

Some are more serious than others.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Map e-cards

Like pretty much everyone i know, i am obsessed by maps (which is interesting given that i get lost everywhere i go and can't follow a street directory to save myself - but that's another story).

I have found these e-cards based on maps at World of Experience. How cool! Admire, if you will, 'I hate you' and 'I want you'. There are a range of others designed to capture less polarizing moments, but i have to admit to loving the frozen wastelands of hate and despair.

If you're interested, you can create your own, customized map online.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Body Tattoos

There's an article in the Sydney Morning Herald this week about 'mummy tattoos'. When middle class mothers start wandering en masse into tattoo parlors you know something is going on.

What is this trend to permanently ink your body about?

I wonder, as I do, if it's movement into the mainstream is in some way linked to the increasing trend towards DIY biographies and reflexive self-narratives argued by Anthony Giddens and Ulrich Beck? Are we incorporating our material bodies into our self-constructed narratives? I've just written a paper about reading graffiti in terms of the construction of self-narratives in urban sites and now the connection between place-based narrative and writing onto our bodies is increasingly fascinating.

For more pix of the Beckham's various tattoos - go here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

2007 Horizons Report

The Horizons 2007 Report (New Media Consortium & Educause Learning Initiative) has been released. If you haven't already seen it, you might find it useful to have a look.

Among other things, it reports on six areas of emerging technology that it predicts will have significance for higher education over the next one to five years (read the report to see what they are!). It also identifies six key trends for higher education:

  1. The environment of higher education is changing rapidly (duh..)
  2. Increasing globalization is changing the way we work, collaborate and communicate (again...duh)
  3. Information literacy increasingly should not be taken as a given (getting more interesting now)
  4. Academic review and faculty rewards are increasingly out of sync with new forms of scholarship (now we're talking)
  5. The notions of collective intelligence and mass amateurization are pushing the boundaries of scholarship (yes....!!)
  6. Students' views of what is/not technology are increasingly different from those of faculty (Yes, yes!! How long have i been saying this??)
Download the pdf here

Ulrich Beck in The Guardian

Ulrich Beck has written a piece for The Guardian. Reflecting the arguments of his recent book "The Cosmopolitan Vision",
the article begins:

Europe is Europe's last remaining realistic political utopia. But Europe remains to be understood and conceptualised. This historically unique form of international community cannot be explained in terms of the traditional concepts of politics and the state, which remain trapped in the straitjacket of methodological nationalism. If we are to understand cosmopolitan Europe, we must radically rethink the conventional categories of social and political analysis.

Follow the link to The Guardian to continue reading.