“Coraline” review dust-up

The “Sunday Paper,” a weekly paper based in Atlanta, Ga., likely didn’t expect the Web traffic that its site has received this weekend. It’s all thanks to a movie review by Editor-in-Chief Kevin Moreau, in which Moreau draws a few too many connections between the movie “Coraline” and director Tim Burton. The problem is this: Tim Burton isn’t connected to “Coraline,” not at all.

Neil Gaiman, the author of the book “Coraline,” noted Moreau’s review in his Twitter feed, which has been filled with “Coraline” release notes lately — basically Gaiman writing about how tired he is from all the promotions and parties and premiere events he’s had to attend. Gaiman’s Twitter fans took one look at Moreau’s review and started filling its comments section with “uh… FAIL” messages and jokes at the expense of Moreau’s writing experience and the paper’s fact-checking thoroughness. Continue reading ““Coraline” review dust-up”

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Facebook = FAIL

Okay, so I couldn’t resist a FAIL joke today. Facebook is down, at least for most people. How do I know this if Facebook itself is down? Twitter, of course. The search feed for “Facebook” is blowing up this morning with panicked messages from people just arriving to work and finding Facebook will not be with them for part of the day. Best one of the past few moments:

mjkopa: concerned that Facebook is down – is this the end of Western Civilization as we know it?

The “20 signs” thing

Maybe I’m slow to pick up on this, but I discovered the “20 signs” phenomenon this morning, RSS be praised. We’ve got the 21 signs that you don’t somebody’s online marketing pitch, the 20 signs you don’t want that web design project, the 20 signs you don’t want that social media project and the 20 signs you don’t want that internal social media project. And those are just the ones I breadcrumbed myself to this morning. Google can provide you with plenty more examples.

One of the sites calls the “20 signs” thing a “memette.” A meme, as my AP-approved dictionary defines it, is a “unit of cultural information… that spreads from person to person in a way analogous to the transmission of genes.” The Wikipedia is, of course, on top of the Internet meme definition, which is just a more specific type of the above-defined. A memette, then, must be smaller than a regular meme, perhaps more limited in scope.

In reality, I suspect a memette must be a meme that has not yet become hugely popular. It’s an immature form of a fully developed meme, much like a tadpole is not yet a fully grown frog. When the “20 signs” thing takes off, people will eventually call it a meme, if they haven’t already.

(By the way, meme is just a jargony word for “fad,” the same way leveraged is just babble that means “use to your advantage” or simply “use.”)

Of course, can anything that David Letterman made famous about 20 years ago become a meme today? Well, I suppose Letterman’s lists are a different creature, aren’t they. After all, they’ve only got 10 items to this memette’s 20.

And now for the 20 signs that the word meme is overused…

Opportunity costs

A new article on CNN today sheds light on a phenomenon that’s been around for a few years now: TiVo Guilt. People program their DVRs to record entire seasons of television shows or shows they they believe they should watch, like Sunday morning news programs. Eventually, they wind up with a DVR full of unwatched shows and a bit of a neurosis about deleting them.

Brad Barens with iMedia Communications tells CNN this guilt is caused by what economists call “opportunity costs.” People are presented with so many options for relaxation that suddenly choosing and managing their recreation becomes more like work.

“With infinite media, you have infinite choices, and therefore you can have infinite opportunity costs,” Berens said. “Your satisfaction index of the thing you actually choose can never be equivalent to the infinite opportunity costs, so we’re in this position of being behind the cognitive eight-ball all the time.”

New Trek trailer

I, like many people around the world, have now seen the trailer for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, which is scheduled to be released in May 2009. Many people are up in arms about the trailer — the whole movie, in fact. That’s because it takes us back to the Original Series era with Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the gang. People are upset that J.J. Abrams is a professed Star Wars fan. People are upset because new actors have resumed the old roles. People are upset because William Shatner’s not making a cameo in the film. People are upset because the new Enterprise doesn’t appear to have enough space between the saucer section and the nacelles. Whatever.

Regardless of all that, the trailer is awesome. You can read descriptions of it all over the Web. I’m not going to describe it for you. I’m sure you intrepid souls who surf the wild ‘Net can find it on your own, or you can read a review of it. All I can say is that’s it’s got shades of Top Gun and other movies in it, and it just looks cool. There are some very large buildings way off in the distance behind Kirk as he rides along a rural highway on his motorbike that… intrigue me.