Does the Internet know more about Star Wars than Africa?
On YouTube, searching for “star wars” pulls up a wealth of fan films, movie scenes, and that fat kid playing with his lightsaber. By contrast, the first clip about Africa is the music video for that Toto song. On the other hand, for still photographs, Africa does much better. The amateur pix posted to Flickr.com include over 250,000 images tagged under “Africa”— and they are startingly beautiful: a yawning hippo halfway underwater, a fat, gnarled Baobab Tree. Meanwhile, a search for Star Wars pix will just get you nerds. Advantage, Africa.
But things really get interesting when we look at the blogs and pocasts. Now, it’s true that Star Wars inspires hundreds of blogs and podcasts by fans comparing notes on the latest collectible toys. You can’t find as many blogs or podcasts from Africa— but the smattering of voices from across the continent are far more intense. In the “Paradise Lost” podcast, a white ex-pat from Zimbabwe interviews a man who’s spent 31 years working for the National Railways. In South Africa, a 24-year-old rape victim who contracted HIV talks about her dream of becoming a photojournalist. A tourist’s guide to Cape Town, South Africa recaps centuries of history in less than three minutes. And an aide worker in Uganda lets her frustration boil over after a hot day in a Sudanese refugee settlement.
Each of these voices added a little information and a lot of perspective: Putting them together was like scratching names and places onto a blank slate. I was starting to know what I didn’t know.
Dahlen links to journalist and blogger Rebecca MacKinnon. Her piece is well worth reading — when many North Americans feel a disconnect to the world outside their borders, can journalists improve the situation — doing better international reporting via citizen media, and connecting to local communities of interest — a necessity in the face of international bureau cuts from major news outlets.
Dear Colleague In The Design Biz...
I notice that you redesigned your website recently; I saw your old one months ago. I love the new aesthetics, but — well, not to be critical, but I’m wondering, why have you chosen to go all-Flash? You do realize that Google and other search engines can’t index your site now?
I know that maybe it’s not my place to say anything, but…I’m an Aquarian, we’re known for brutal (if friendly) honesty, and it’s my birthday on Tuesday, so….
Continue reading “Dear Colleague In The Design Biz...”
"New" Concordia Logo - part III
Not to flog a deceased equine, but compare the new Concordia logo to this.
I recently also discovered the site of the other agency that was bidding on the contract, PostImage. Check out their logo designs under Print / Campaigns. “Concordia 2” is frankly stunning, I’m really surprised it didn’t win.
From my friends at the University who have to implement the new….thing… on all manner of print and Web projects, they still don’t have a full set of logos adjusted for different uses (such as small or large sizes, different backgrounds, etc.), they have to fight with a central office to even get access to proper vector graphics files.
My sources also tell me, for all the money spent on this rebranding, there isn’t even a full brand identity guidebook with usage rules yet. Furthermore, to add insult to injury, they have to submit all their work to that same central office to make sure it passes muster. That’s really going to speed things up, I’m sure.
The more I look at the new logo, the more it seems like it’s gonna be really hard to center, as well…
Oh yes, answering the trivia question in my logo design: the heart shape is composed of the letters V and M, for the old name of the City of Montreal, “Ville-Marie” or “Villa Maria” in Latin - you can find that interlocking V-M design on many of the city’s oldest buildings and religious institutions.