By Salina Christmas
Manuel Castells spoke before a full house at the London School of Economic (LSE)’s Sheikh Zayed Lecture Theatre yesterday to tell us that protests, politics and even romantic correspondence can’t do without the internet nowadays. While he did, I deployed our mobile newsroom with nothing more than wifi, open source apps and mobile devices. Methodology: whatever won’t kill the battery.
I am not going to argue with an eminent sociologist, especially if he is the fifth most-cited social science scholar, according to Wikipedia. But after listening to Castells’s talk, “Social movement in the age of the internet” at the LSE last night, I really wonder if I could have a relationship that is totally off the internet. Away from Facebook, Twitter and all. Now that would be a challenge I shall rise up to.
His talk also gave Sojournposse the opportunity to play around with Qik, Audioboo and the various mobile devices and open source software applications that we deployed on our iPhone, iPad and Mac laptop, just to see if the mobile newsroom concept that we have been harping on for ages work.
The photo, rather grainy, was snapped from a distance using an iPhone4 – no guys, not the kind of work I’d submit to a photo competition (yes, we have participated in quite a few), but the point is, we used a phone, not a camera, and I edited it using GIMP, not Fireworks. I have to say no photo editing software can beat Fireworks in terms of web optimisation of photos. But yup, I have purged the new Mac off the usual Macromedia and Windows applications.
Doing the do with Audioboo
Since Qik would definitely kill off the iPhone battery, we opted for Audioboo instead. I have the old version of iPad and wasn’t sure if it could record sound very well. It could. It’s not BBC Radio 4, anyway, and the intention is to apply the digital anthropology principle of ‘bricolage’. So we rode on the LSE wifi, and away we went with the broadcast. Have a listen to the clips, each lasting four minutes.
The embed worked fine, but as usual, you have to change the dimensions a bit with basic coding. Nothing spectacular. After four months of academic writing, it felt great to code again. The mobile newsroom is good to go.