Of the numerous weird yet useful yet interesting things I’ve been exploring on Twitter is the potential for collaborative projects/thinking. Especially in the realm of libraries/books, there seems to be ample innovation for imaginative brainstorming. Here are two projects that I’ve come across.
Jeff VanderMeer (@jeffvandermeer), extraordinary author of le nouveau weird, has come up with an interesting project based on the World Cup. His World Cup of Fiction is a chance to display your hysteria for the tournament by reviewing works from those countries that are participating. So far I’ve chosen Brasil’s Rubem Fonseca and his work The Taker and Other Stories, which certainly made an impression. Hopefully I’ll make another submission soon enough. At any rate, it’s a good way to generate more interest in what we consider ‘the foreign’ and reading in general.
Another interesting project is Lee Barnett’s Fast Fiction Challenge. Budgie (@budgie) asks his troupe of followers for a title, consisting of a maximum of four words, and if he’s keen on your idea he’ll compose a 200 word virtual scribble of literary frenzy. Anything to keep the creative juices flowing. See, it’s not just a virtual vuvuzela, though there are sites for that.
I’ve finally been sucked into the supermassive vortex of Twitter. I suppose it was inevitable, but I’ve actually become intrigued by its potential, rather than simply skeptical and fearsome of the thing. There’s a bit of a learning curve in terms of familiarizing oneself with what replies actually are, retweets, hash tags and the like, but it is an enchanting RSS type of device.
One reason I see for its popularity is how personal it can make the user feel. Receiving updates to your device directly from types like Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself), Brent Spiner (@BrentSpiner) or Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) or whomever else you follow is beyond cool, almost as if the messages were sent with you in mind (which often can be).
Downsides can include the uberspam if you follow too many users and the certain time suck if you continually carry and monitor your device. The main realization I’m getting is that it’s useful if you have specific people you’d like follow, but takes more effort to build a following with a consistent stream of updates.
The University of Nottingham is definitely on to something. What with their wildly popular and scientastic Periodic Table of Videos, it looks as if they’ve unveiled a new venture that’s rampaging through the Interweaves. It’s called Sixty Symbols, “a channel devoted to those funny letters and squiggles used by physicists and astronomers.”
As evidenced by the rejuvenated popularity of Star Trek, I think people’s minds are melding to the idea that the 21st century is more about learning than it is about greed. Huzzah.
A colleague just passed along a link concerning FORA.tv, and I must admit it looks exceedingly captivating. Like academia.edu, FORA.tv is another piece of the academic’s puzzle for marketing ideas by and for those in the academic world, or rather anyone who wants to learn for learning’s sake. What is FORA.tv all about?
FORA.tv helps intelligent, engaged audiences get smart. Our users find, enjoy, and share videos about the people, issues, and ideas changing the world.
We gather the web’s largest collection of unmediated video drawn from live events, lectures, and debates going on all the time at the world’s top universities, think tanks and conferences. We present this provocative, big-idea content for anyone to watch, interact with, and share –when, where, and how they want.
I’m not sure, but it looks as if FORA.tv gathers its content from institutional organizations themselves rather than indexing from sites like YouTube or Google video, etc.; still a little uncertain on this one. Uploading video also requires a submission process, obviously for weeding out the less educational content. But if you wanted to find the latest high-profile speech on the economy or were even wondering what it would be like to die via black holes, FORA.tv is the place to be.