Fun with Mind Maps

October 30, 2005

Here's a quick map I put together.

In thinking about our meeting this week: What would you change or add to this map? What's left out? What are you working on or would like to work on that either has, or has not, been addressed in this sketch?


Why ACME Boston?

October 27, 2005

Many people have been asking me, "Why ACMEBoston?", "Why do we need it?", "What is it really trying to do?"

Great questions!

ACMEBoston has a three step approach:

1.) EDUCATION – ACMEBoston works to give media users greater FREEDOM and CHOICE by teaching them how to access, analyze, evaluate, and produce media. ACME-style literacy education emphasizes knowledge, skills, and activism.

2,) CREATION – putting the tools and skills in the hands of people to create and produce their own media. Particularly for those who have been marginalized by, and shut out of, the current media system.

3.) MOBILIZATION – understanding how our government and the market decide who owns the media, who doesn't, and who benefits most from these decisions. ACMEBoston provides an opportunity for public mobilization through civic engagement to create a more just, equitable, and representative media system.


ACMEBoston works to put power back in the hands of people for progressive media, and social, change.

I hope this provides a framework (at least to start off with and to move forward from) in understanding why ACMEBoston is unique, essential, and fun, too!

Congress Hears from Consumer Groups about DTV Transtition

October 26, 2005

Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America and US PIRG urged the House Commerce Committee on Tuesday to make sure that 80 million TV viewers aren't left in the dark on January 1, 2009, when the transition from analog to digital TV is set to be "completed."

Summary of the House Bill can be found here.

More background about the DTV transition can be found here.

Many people are already in the dark when it comes to these and other media policy issues. How can ACMEBoston raise awareness about the DTV transition?

Do we really learn about what's happening about the media policy and Congress from the media? How are we expected to know about these issues when many of these policies are crafted by ($$) and for media companies and Wall Street–not for consumers, independent media makers, and concerned citizens?

ACMEBoston should play a lead role to raise awareness about this issue. We can make sure that people in the Boston area know–right now–that Congress is making decisions–right now–about who will benefit most from the DTV transition. When January 1st 2009 comes, let's make sure none of us are left in the dark.

Connecting to Technology Centers

October 25, 2005

In considering some of the comments made below, I thought ACMEBoston should consider connecting with community technology centers in the Boston area. This could be a great way to put into action some of the ideas put forth below.

A quick web search educated me about a number of technology centers ACMEBoston might consider reaching out to. One idea might be to host an ACMEBoston workshop at one, or several of these centers, (once a month, once a week, etc.) ACMEBoston volunteers could share tech skills, create digital media with others, and learn from and support others' work in these areas.

A few months ago, I spoke to Eli Kao, Programming Coordinator at CCTV in Cambridge, about the possibility of doing a Pro Tools audio instruction course there. This is just one idea, in a number of exciting possibilities that could take place in collaboration with tech/community media centers, in the area.

If anyone was interested in this approach, and/or knew individuals working at any of these centers, I would be willing take the first step to reach out to see where opportunities for collaboration could take place.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts, comments, and or ideas about this posiblility.

Digital Divide

October 25, 2005

Nettrice wrote: we should be the place where the divide closes between those who have access to the emerging technologies and those who do not have access.


This hits a critical point. Digital and other technologies increasingly define the world we live in, and young people today tackle technological challenges with alarming speed and ease. At least, that is a common assumption. The divide between those who have access, education, and the cultural capital to seize the possibilities that emerging technologies offer is growing rapidly. Every year, the tech landscape gets more complex, and children that are immersed in this technology rich environment have countless opportunities to explore, uncover, and create. Yet, too many people have no access or understanding. For many, technology in the home is the TV that’s on at least 4 hours hours a day, serving as baby sitter, sick friend, and teacher. And the situation in poor urban and rural schools is often dire. The digital divide is a symptom of the broader system of inequality and meritocracy delineated by racial and class lines. We would need take on this issue, and at the same, engage young, tech savvy groups to synthesize traditional organizing strategies with the potential of emerging technologies.

Capturing New Generations

October 24, 2005

In the Executive Summary of the NAMAC Deep Focus report there is mention of a "new generation of media makers and viewers" that may drive the field towards emerging technologies. They are tech-savvy, connected, and mobile…"blurring the boundaries between producing and consuming media, gaming, and all the while multi-tasking." Apple calls them "digital natives", Deep Focus refers to them as "the Millennials", and they are the generation born between 1982 and 2000.

This is something ACME Boston should discuss and find ways to invite, engage, and involve those who are using computers and portable devices more and more to view motion media. Also, we should be the place where the divide closes between those who have access to the emerging technologies and those who do not have access, especially through training and information.

Today, I joined the LEF Foundation, the Alliance for Independent Motion Media, and Boston CyberArts to discuss the gaming industry with Kent Quirk, a software architect from SolidWorks Corp. Kent was quite knowledgeable of the industry and engaged all of us in a two hour conversation about gaming, including history, content, genres, delivery platforms (servers, PCs, consoles, etc.), advocacy, and much more. Kent also talked about "the Millennials" ability to deconstruct media, to break the rules. This has to be a consideration as far as media education for this generation is concerned. How can ACME Boston capture the essence of media that crosses boundaries and brings people together across generations, class, race, etc.?

Companies Enlist Students to Pitch Products to Their Peers

October 24, 2005

Building a Buzz on Campus
Companies enlist students to pitch products to their peers
(via Boston Globe)

"In an age when the college demographic is no longer easily reached via television, radio, or newspapers — as TiVo, satellite radio, iPods, and the Internet crowd out the traditional advertising venues — a microindustry of campus marketing has emerged. Niche firms have sprung to act as recruiters of students, who then market products on campus for companies such as Microsoft, JetBlue Airways, The Cartoon Network, and Victoria's Secret."