mandag 29. juni 2009

Step on a sperm!

This weekend I was invited by one of my best friends and his two sons for a special outing. When my friend asked his sons were they most of all would like to go in Oslo, it was not to the amusement park, nor the beach, butyes to the Technological museum..
I was amazed!!
Not only was this a museum for children, where we were walking in rubber boots in five inches of water, driving electrical boats in an imaginary world of melted ice, but it was also a play ground for adults. My many hundreds question about how electricity is made, , how did old phones work, how long is your response time were answered. There was even a own place were the could dismantle a phone and then put it back together, and getting a diploma for doing that.

Still, while walking amongst all the wonders human ingenuity has created in the past 150 years, one can´t stop reflecting on several contradictions of our time: At the museum childrens see, and experience how electricity is made, they can run after a light-sperm on the floor and try to stop it, they can make rubber balls fly in the air - but how many adults still have a problems to use their own phones? How many really understand how the Internet works? How many experience fear when they need to change their mobile phone or computer?
So perhaps this is an idea for the creative museum: Bring your computer and we will help you to understand it?

søndag 28. juni 2009

Gap of knowledge

This spring I attended quite an historical event. Arne Krumsvik, a fellow PhD student, former journalist, editor in chief defend his PhD. Arne has been an editor as well as director for several years. To see him standing there and getting the black belt of knowledge within multimedia journalism, was wonderful.
How many practising journalists and editor in chiefs have a PhD? Not many. There is a huge gap of knowledge when it comes to the changes happening in the world of media, maybe in particularly among many journalists.
During his defence, one of Arnes answers to his academy opponent was that it's time for journalists to look beyond the newsroom. They should try to realise how the role of the journalist is changing day by day, and also reflect upon what is happening with the media economy and in the board rooms It made me think about the time I was working as a journalist, doing my daily plight of work. Deliver, deliver, deliver – and never asking those overall important questions. Why should I? More and more I felt like a passenger on a plane whose only aim was to get there, but not so much wanting to know how we got there. Who wants to contact the pilot to get more information about that banging noise from the engine?
As a hard working journalist I felt I couldn´t care about the constantly changing technological advances. It was enough to do the daily work.
But Arne is right, not only because of his vast knowledge and practical experience but because even passengers on a plane seems to forget that the chance to survive actually increases with information. You could for instance open the door and jump.
(My metaphor in this blog is carefully chosen in Arne's honour. One of his many skills is being a pilot. – to follow his pilot blog:

torsdag 25. juni 2009


Last week I attended a seminar about quality in film. It was only natural to raise exploring questions about the film industry recruiting young talents.
It should be enough to have a good idea, an eloquent script, fabulous characters, and a good chance for the characters to develop in a dramatical sense. But hey… something is missing. Can you guess what? What is more important than structure, a visual voice, a storytelling voice, characters, you name it… exactly: Money.
Traditionally there has always been a strong connection between film and money. Strange then why the industry has not taken the new media opportunities to heart when looking for new talents?
There is this most peculiar contradiction: The film industry seems to think a sure way to a box office hit is the script. This said, there are thousands of thousands of new voices at YouTube and other places on the net. And of course there are executives in the industry welcoming the countless number of people who uses their freedom of speech - and save money for journalist salaries. Tracking down stars on YouTube – doesn’t cost money. So why not look where the new talents are today?
Are there not better ways to stimulate the overwhelming group of growing talent out there? Fundings? Scholarships? Free film classes, or film education? For while some part of the media are tumbling down, there are others making money of all that free work pouring into Internet. What about giving something back? Hello? Google? Gates? You tube? Somebody?

tirsdag 23. juni 2009

Roomy enough for a female norwegian butt

Sunny, warm, slightly windy, the hours of lunch abraces me. I am on my way to the gym. Not very inspired. Not very eager. More haunted by the thought of what will happen to me if I continue to keep “sitting down” as my primary hobby.
After days in the shady light, and with a mission of finishing a paper to the conference at Nordiske Mediedager at Karlstad, I look more like someone from midwinter Siberia than present sunny Norway. Everywhere tanned bodies pass me in the street. Yes, I know, I was going to write about librarians and writers in my blog today. Still having in mind the strict production of journalism, it feels like a taste of freedom to not having too follow up on my promise. Isn't bloging about follow distractions as well? Follow the production itself. I might be mistaken.
My distraction this day is shopping. Not for myself, mind you. Through the festive years before the present financial crises, I have started to suffer from “non-shopping-desire-disorder”.

How many times haven´t I walked into a fashion store with my whole busy academic life in a tired sports-bag, hoping to get some service and help. It never happened. The women (mostly) behind the counter usually screened my shopping ability faster than it took for me to cross the treshold. Being an object of screen-testing - and not in the good sense - usually left me with two choices: To stay or to leave.
Today I passed a shop, Zibo, at Skovveien in Oslo. Outside the shop pants where hanging in a row, with promising discounts, but even more, promising normal waistlines! I instantly thought about a good friend of mine who at some point reacted to shopping-mocking by stopping to shop. This made her happier, more liberated, but definitely less good looking.
I therefore picked two discount pants and courageously crossed the threshold. A smiling face wished me welcome. Her shop is offering Norwegian jeans by a Norwegian Stavanger-based designer, Øivind Bjaanes. A design which promises a better fit for Norwegian women obviously more acquainted with breakfast and dinners than those who live by the life of “Sex and no food”. So today's catch for a normal Norwegian female: Two jeans. A medicine against mock-the-shopper: A smiling face.

mandag 22. juni 2009

A crows intermezzo

It’s June 22. I have been working on a forthcoming paper since early morning.
I guess there isn’t an English word for it – but I am rather cooked.
While trying to blog this evening I am listening to a beautiful soprano voice coming from the garden on the other side of my street.
- Ave Maria, Ave Maria, she sings.
For some reason the singer seems stuck to that line, going on for an hour with the phrase. Two seconds ago a crow came tumbling down through the leaves in the trees.
- Craw, craw, craw, he says – as being fed up with the singers tryouts.
- Shut up, the singer shouts.
The crow seems to be more sensitive to the audience reaction than the singer. He or she really shut up. Maybe surprised of the commanding voice. My husband suggests right now that I should go to the window and shout: I agree with the crow.
Anyhow, the blog is more than an intermezzo to day, than a real blog. The theme of librarians and writers has to wait. I am too tired. It happens.
But I got a good laugh.

As should you.

søndag 21. juni 2009

Here comes a knock-out!

It is Sunday. It is afternoon tea. It is time for a reflection of the recent week.
My last week is still influenced by Jeff Jarvis and What would Google do?
Jarvis says that a key to understanding the Internet´s impact on society is the fact that now everyone is able to organize themselves without organizations.
I still remember how wise men in the nineties religiously talked about the future of the individual. It was going to come. It is now here.
Jarvis even suggest in his book how everyone who is bored with their jobs should start to blog for money. Blogging will create network, networks create new possibilities in the working fields. Well, I wouldn’t bet a financial crisis on Jarvis being right on that one. But he puts forward some wonderfully -anarchistic ideas about the times we are living in. I love them.
Jarvis writes how this is a time where a lot of people are dissatisfied with their jobs. His point is showing what a huge impact the Internet has on how we organize ourselves in our society. This also has an impact on the organizations themselves.
One of Jarvis amazing stories is about when he complained about a Dell computer. Complaining on the phone is no longer of any use. One has to blog the complaint. It took Jarvis a year before the snowball he pushed downhill bloggwise started too seriously effect Dell. So a blogger might have a profound impact on even the almighty organizationsfrom the outside.. But what about the organizations themselves? When will the new openness of Internet's divine or demonic powers effect working places? Hey, you´re wrong someone might say. Organizations won´t be effected by the Internet. I guess, being a Norwegian and in a way more like a hillbilly in Europe, I guess it already has? If you tell me about it. I am here to learn.
I am not quite able to see were Jarvis predictions will end. But I did realize something while reading him, I started to think that the Internet consists of two kinds of human: The writers and the librarians. Too grasp more of this …. You have to follow the next episode of this blog.

Og husk å le… tross alt …. Selv om det ikke alltid forlenger livet.

fredag 19. juni 2009

About organizing oneself!

When I first started to walk out on that bridge being called "going from journalist" to bekconing PhD student, it was scary, but more than everything it was as taking a jump from a place where I was making three to four documentaries for television each year, into an ocean of having to make 60 documentaries a year. And I, who had thought being a PhD student was going to give me time to spare. I no longer know the meaning of those words.
But to look on the bright side of life, to quote Life of Brian, it has given me a possibility to learn how to take a step at a time. Have Ilearnt?
Not at all. Walking on the PhD road though, one cannot aviod picking up an advice
or two. Most important is simply just to get it down there. Or as Hollywood always says: DO THE DAMN THING. Preferably early in themorning.
Why? Well, there are still some hours of the day where there are no twittering, sms, mobilphones, facebook-messages that interfere. So in these hours there is a vast possibility - if taken.
Suggestion of the day to busy ADHD-strucken digital people: Do the damn thing.
And PS: Laugh. Laugh as much as you can.
To Norwegian friends: Take time to laugh during the day.

torsdag 18. juni 2009

A universe of choices

This morning I started to read a bit more of Jeff Jarvis's bestseller What would GOOGLE do? For an old timer of a journalist reading this book  makes me start to think. For a long time I have been trying to understand why media companies are acting as they do. I myself was a journalist novise of the 90´ties. I was part of a television magazine that was all about distributing to the mass market audience.

            At first, ratings were low, but hope and aim always up. And after a while this attitude seemed to work. We were broadcasting to approximately half a million viewers every week. Being a journalist in an ambitious atmosphere hungry for more ratings for that one program, makes one wonder why in heavens name media companies have a strategy of dividing their prey into pieces. But they do indeed. Their mantra seems to be: Small is good. Point being: Users have discovered the multitude of opportunities on the internet, companies within media (and others….!!) need to correspond with users where they are. And people are everywhere. Still there are some niches which seems to bring more people together than others. Platforms enables the companies to create such a strategy.

            Back to what I was wondering today as I was reading Jarvis's book.  I got a feeling of how billions of possible choices not necessarily make people capeable to take the right choices. What scenarios of the 90's predicted “In the future, it will be difficult to choose between all choices” has indeed become a reality. There is a new universe with stars and planets, but there is this human belief  - maybe an arrogant belief - that we will be able to make a full use of this universe.

Well, I don´t think so. 

The truth is that we need guids, maps in this universe, as in all others. We needs to find ways to limit our personal universes. So to day I have startet my search for great guides. I start with Jeff Jarvis and What would Google do? A great guide as a starter.  

onsdag 17. juni 2009

Uuuuuuuu.... jeg blir blogger!

Slik kan det altså gå.... Så lang tid tok det. Selv når en forsker på media tar det jo halve livet før 
en tør å strekke ut foten og dyppe tåen ned i bloggen. Men altså, her er jeg! Fullstendig bergtatt av den nye internet verden. Rede til å mene og mene. Men entusiasmen skal ikke få ta overhånd. 
Litt seriøst skal det vel også være? 
Og forresten velkommen til alle som er innom min blogg. La oss - hva er det heter på denne planeten - nettverke oss i gang.