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Former student: “I remember sometimes being annoyed with all of our blogging assignments, but…”

A third alum in the last few weeks has contacted me to thank me for challenging her while a student: When I look back on my time at SHU, I remember sometimes being annoyed with all of our blogging assignments, but yet again, this is proof that the skills you taught us so a few years ago are still transferring into my professional career. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you, because…

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For News Outlets Squeezed From the Middle, It’s Bend or Bust

Hundreds of thousands of people on Facebook followed BuzzFeed’s live video of two people putting rubber bands around a watermelon until it burst. We should all reflect on how journalism can make the news that is truly important interesting enough to compete with exploding fruit. Traditional media companies face the increasingly daunting task of hooking already-inundated audiences, but they also have more tools than ever to lure them. Videos, podcasts,…

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Jimmy Maher’s Appreciation of Infocom’s Classic Sherlock Text Adventure

I learned a lot while reading this enjoyable essay by Jimmy Maher. Looked at today, however, Sherlock certainly wasn’t a bad note to go out on. Being built on the sturdy foundation of everything Infocom had learned about making text adventures to date, it’s not notably, obviously innovative, but, impressively given that it is a first-timer’s game, it evinces heaps of simple good craftsmanship. We may celebrate the occasional titles…

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The Minecraft Generation

It’s a world of trial and error and constant discovery, stuffed with byzantine secrets, obscure text commands and hidden recipes. And it runs completely counter to most modern computing trends. Where companies like Apple and Microsoft and Google want our computers to be easy to manipulate — designing point-and-click interfaces under the assumption that it’s best to conceal from the average user how the computer works — Minecraft encourages kids…

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Recent SHU journo grad, upon the hiring of an even more recent SHU journo grad: “Many times she’ll say, ‘that’s why he did that to us’ 😀 And then be grateful.”

A couple weeks ago I posted about a recent graduate and former Setonian editor-in-chief who said that skills she wasn’t at the time exactly thrilled I made her learn in the new media journalism program helped her land her first full-time job with benefits. Today I heard from a different former editor-in-chief, who was thrilled to learn her company hired this very student. Of her new colleague, she writes: “I…

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Internet hyperlinks do not infringe on copyright, EU court advised

While European Union rules say every act of communication of a copyrighted work has to be cleared by the copyright owner, it would be to the detriment of the Internet to make hyperlinks fall under these rules, the advocate general said. The case arose in the Netherlands where the GeenStijl website had provided a link to an Australian site showing pictures of a Dutch celebrity taken by Playboy magazine. The…

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ink: Inkle’s open source scripting language for writing interactive narrative

Gearing up to teach “Digital Storytelling” this summer. Not sure whether I have time to add this tool to the syllabus, but I’m definitely going to play with it. ink is a scripting language built around the idea of marking up pure-text with flow in order to produce interactive scripts. At its most basic, it can be used to write a Choose Your Own-style story, or a branching dialogue tree.…