Archive for October 2009

Augmented Reality

October 30, 2009

About those yellow lines superimposed on football fields on TV…

It’s a technology called “augmented reality” that mixes graphic special effects (the yellow lines) with reality (the actual football field).

Esquire magazine plans to experiment with augmented reality in its December issue. A Wall Street Journal story said Esquire’s cover and several pages will include square stickers with a black-and-white design that will trigger interactive video segments. A reader will be able to hold up the magazine to a Web camera to trigger video stories on Robert Downey Jr. and other actors.

Will readers bother to trigger the interactive feature? Esquire acknowledges that its use of augmented reality is a gimmick. No matter. A lot of experimentation starts as a gimmick and evolves into a meaningful interactive technology.


Sport as a Career Choice

October 28, 2009

Illustration accompanying BusinessWeek article

A lot of students at Elon are interested in sports careers — not as athletes, but in sports media, sports information and sport management.

The sports industry in the United States is a $200 billion powerhouse, according to a 2008 BusinessWeek article on sport management programs.

Depending on specific career interests, students need a strong combination of communications courses, sport management courses, business courses, and a professional internship.

The School of Communications offers three sport-related courses:

— Sports and Media.  Examines the media’s role in shaping and packaging sports content and programming as forms of popular culture.

— Sports Information.  Focuses on writing, public relations and organizational skills, including effective operations of sporting events.

— Sports Broadcasting.  Focuses on radio and television sportscasting, which serves the dual role of journalism and entertainment.

In turn, Elon’s Sport and Event Management Department provides courses in sports marketing, programming and event management, research methods, policy development, financial operations, facility planning and legal aspects.

Talk about Irony

October 7, 2009

Two blog entries below is an account of “Celebrate the First Amendment” day on Elon’s campus. As part of the day, First Amendment boards were set up across campus as a vehicle for free expression.

Some of the comments were serious on meaningful topics such as health care and Afghanistan. Other comments were witty, some crude, and a few unfathomable. As I read the boards during the day, I’d nod my head in agreement, shake my head in disagreement, and sometimes blanch at the rawness of some comments. But that’s the way it is with free speech.

photo submitted to The Pendulum, Elon's student newspaper

photo submitted to The Pendulum, Elon's student newspaper

When I picked up today’s Pendulum, I saw this photo. It looks like a woman is taking advantage of adding thoughts to a board. But the cutline told a different story. It read: “An Aramark employee crosses out a statement related to the company on one of the First Amendment free speech boards last Tuesday.”

It’s a “submitted photo,” which means a Pendulum staff member was not there at the time. Instead, someone with a camera saw the deletion occurring, took the photo and sent it to the student paper. No doubt it was a mean-spirited comment about Elon’s food-service provider, but the photo captures the irony of free speech.

Here Come the Professionals

October 2, 2009

They came from Fortune magazine and “60 Minutes,” National Geographic and Nexstar Broadcasting, the Greensboro newspaper and a Raleigh public relations agency.

Each semester, we welcome members of the School of Communications Advisory Board. They speak in classes, visit with students and faculty, and guide us on ways to become an even better School.

Six new Advisory Board members joined us today: Nina Easton, Washington bureau chief of Fortune magazine; Michael Radutzky, senior producer with CBS’s “60 Minutes”; Stavros Hilaris, chief technology officer of National Geographic Global Media; Rick Rogala, senior VP of Nexstar Broadcasting; Allen Johnson, editorial page editor of the Greensboro News & Record; and Ann Camden, senior VP of Gibbs & Soell in Raleigh.

Overall, the 14 Advisory Board members who spent today on campus spoke in classes about the new media economy — how social networking, online video and new distribution models are impacting their work and their organizations.

Our students love it. And we appreciate the professionals making the day at Elon so memorable for our students.