Archive for April 2010

Big Cheeses at FutureWeb

April 30, 2010

Our students and faculty had an extraordinary opportunity the past three days to hear and meet the biggest names in today’s communications revolution.

Elon students and Professor Janna Quitney Anderson at the FutureWeb conference

Vint Cerf, "father of the Internet"

In nearby Raleigh, more than 40 of us from Elon heard speakers such as Vint Cerf (“father of the Internet” and Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist) and Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web).

They were among more than 60 speakers leading more than 20 events at the FutureWeb conference, organized by the Imagining the Internet Center in Elon’s School of Communications, in conjunction with the 19th International World Wide Web Conference, held in the United States for the first time since 2004.

Students and faculty in the school’s M.A. in Interactive Media program also led and participated in the Social Media Future Academy for high school students and educators. Terrific speakers included Chris DiBona of Google and Greg DeKoenigsberg of Red Hat.


Wowed by the iPad

April 3, 2010

This week’s Newsweek cover story did it for me. The headline is: “What’s so great about the iPad? EVERYTHING.”

Author Daniel Lyons notes that the iPad seemed no big deal when he first saw a demonstration, then he got his hands on one.

“Right away I could see how I would use it,” he writes. “I’d keep it in the living room to check email and browse the Web. I’d take it to the kitchen and read The New York Times while I eat breakfast. I’d bring it with me on a plane to watch movies and read books. That may not be life-changing, but is it worth 500 bucks? Yup. Done. Sold.”

Photo illustration from The First Post, a free online site based in London

Me, too. Of course, Apple has received a quarter of a million preorders, so it may be awhile.

In the meantime, we’re closely watching its impact on both computing and the media.

Says Lyons: “The interface is so intuitive — navigating with your fingers rather than a keyboard and mouse — that it will change what we expect from our computers. Today we talk about ‘getting on the Internet,’ but with iPad you can have a persistent online connection…. The iPad could eventually become your TV, your newspaper, and your bookshelf. Pretty soon, Apple might even become your cable company.”

At Elon, the School of Communications is a Mac environment. We love the simplicity, elegance and quality of Apple products, both hardware and software. And now we’ll have a new and innovative tool to explore.

First and foremost, we want our students to become excellent content creators and strategists through words, images, video, sound and multimedia. But for that content to have an impact, it must reach an audience through effective distribution systems. The iPad is both a content creator and a content distributor. We’re excited.