Wednesday, March 29, 2006

story of my life

I blogged about Will Wright's article in Wired on gamers-as-producers (meaning, creatively interacting with their environment as opposed to solely consuming), and now I'm pretty sure I know exactly where he's coming from. The gamer that he imagines and, in part, has helped create with games like the Sims, is far from the couch-bound reject often depicted in the media.
This looks like the coolest game ever. (Thanks, Sarah and Greg

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Portable radio

WMUC Alumni Meeting
Originally uploaded by the wanton machine.
Belated WMUC coverage: The WMUC alumni meeting on 3/14 was well-attended. I don't have that much to say about the specifics of what got discussed, but I do feel much more comfortable knowing that there are boatloads of alumni behind the students at this point. More specific info re: the WYPR situation, which was discussed at length, and the Alumni reunion can be found here

Friday, March 10, 2006

Hinge, Door, et cetera

The Portable Folk Band stopped by The Wanton Machine yesterday for some hanging out and playing of albums. What could have been a disastrous invitiation to bring some music to guest-dj with turned out really well. They brought good stuff from Philly to play as well as a clean version of their own album.

The radio show can be downloaded here. This download will be available until 3/15. If you want to skip the part sans-Portable Folk Band, fast forward through the first hour.

Note-- I have seen their ambulance. It is everything they say and more. Mark was wearing a hand drawn I <3 Linux shirt. I find this endearingly awesome.

On a different note, I had the best beer last night. I even looked it up in The Oxford Bottled Beer Database. Fortunately, it is too expensive for regular consumption.

A thesis-blog has been established: AMST @ UMD Project. Research and notes and results OH MY! Look for this to come about in the next couple of days.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

the good people of everywhere

WMUC v. WYPR round-up or "I read so that you don't have to..."

WMUC is the only true "college" station in the Washington DC area that can regularly be heard beyond the campus it is broadcasting from. It is staffed by students and students do all the programs which cover a wide range of progressive and experimental music no commercial station would dare touch.

mailbag at DCRTV
Channel 4 just ran a story on it. Jim Vance called them WMCU, but other then that it was predictable response from UofMD folks, who said things like - WYPR is within their rights...
William Tucker Jr. says in the same mailbag,
...About 3 years ago, I presented a proposal for a cable FM station financed by my company and distributed through Comcast and Starpower systems in the D.C. area to WMUC's student management and Steve Gnadt. The general idea was to re-create the former AM commercial carrier-current station on cable as a flagship operation of sorts, broadcasting to students, faculty and staff off-campus. The cable station would also increase professional training opportunities for stude nts as well as add revenue streams to ensure WMUC's financially self-sufficiency (and subsidize 88.1 FM, which would remain otherwise unchanged). My proposal came with one stipulation; that the station's format would have to adopt some measure of programming continuity. The station manager at the time -- Zack Richardson -- and Gnadt were extremely insular and uncooperative throughout discussions, which I found totally shocking given I'm an alumni...
Check out this google cached letter/response re frequency here
It says,
...I hear that WYPR wants WMUC to move. Wouldn't WMUC would lose any
grandfather primacy they now have, and probably be soon forced off the air?
Realistically, there are probably no frequencies they could move to. Long
ago they tried for 87.9 but were turned down. Is it likely that 87.9 is now
possible? The nearest chan 6 stations are Richmond (102 miles), Johnstown
(145 miles) and Philly (117 miles)...

That's all for tonight, but stay tuned for this developing story. Oh, and I'd like to solicit personal stories from MUC djs, ex-djs, and listeners. Tell them why you care! What did WMUC do for you? email your story to ilikebirds at gmail dot com.

Friday, March 03, 2006

our days in kansas

community cat
Originally uploaded by the wanton machine.
As I sort through tons of surveys of American Studies students on internet use, one thing is standing out that I didn't expect: students want to learn how to build websites.

A new possible outgrowth of my thesis project is an html/web building seminar for humanities students?
  • what do students want to convey on the web or why do they want to learn?
  • what sort of format should a course on web-building take?
  • who would teach such a thing?
  • would students actually attend?

My initial reaction to this consistently voiced desire (to learn how to make websites) is to assume that more people are interested in making content. Making a website represents the switch from consumer to producer. Is this more evidence of the rise of producer culture on the internet?