The Real Paul Jones

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Creeks, Geeks and Media

A list of my last two days featuring tales of creeks, geeks and media:

  • Very interesting research presentation on media effects and perceptions of news articles by Shyam Sundar of Penn State. Among many of the various findings presented was the “strip-tease effect of slow downloading” that is slowly rendered images increase the arousal and excitation transfer. (Does this mean that we get a better deal on our porn over dial-up? I leave this for others to follow up).
    I’m looking for a brief way to explain the experiment that Shyam presented about multimedia effects and/or a pointer to his paper. Here goes: he used four presentations of the same story: 1) text only 2) test plus picture 3) test with picture and audio 4) test with picture and video. In the series of tests and responses, text with pictures won out over the others (as I recall). The content was an bland story about a smoker using suit settlement money to discourage teens from smoking. I think this experiment was done without embedded video or audio and at a time when web multimedia was pretty creaky. It would be interesting to try it again now.
    In another experiment, the subjects were all given the same story but they were told or tricked as to the source of the story. 1) chosen by professional national news editors 2) chosen by self 3) chosen by other — someone else in the room — a referal 4) chosen by computer program. The finding here was that chosen by other prevailed over the others in both acceptance and in recall. The computer chosen story had stronger effects than the one chosen by professional editors. Remember these are all the same story…
    (Media and a little Geekishness of the Mass Comm and Experimental Psychology type)
  • Interview with Ken Smith of WRAL-TV with Dave McCabe on camera about Internet and politics. I hear this aired Friday night on WRAL and on their sister Fox station. I have no idea what I would have seemed to have said as we taped about 15 minutes and used, I understand, up to 30 seconds. Last time we did 45 minutes and I was reduced (or elevated, as I look better when not show on air) to “experts say…” I could not get Ken to say “Bush Bulge Baffles Bloggers” without having him fall into fits of hysterical giggles. Several people tell me they heard the story, but not one remembered the topic much less what I said. Perhaps if it had been presented as text with picture, as Shyam’s research suggests, they would have remembered. (Media featuring a Geek)
  • Recorded a podcast show with Brian Russell at Weaver Street. This will test Brian’s editting skills since Weaver Street was full of active and noisy folks. We did his new “3 URLs” show. Naturally we couldn’t limit ourselves to three. I did manage to get in Project Gutenberg, Linux Documentation Project, a collection of Tibetan collections (and search for “tibet”) and a little appreciation of Carl Malamud and Internet Talk Radio and in particular his great Geek of the Week show (1993 – 1994).
    More on podcasting once Brian makes the interview available or check out his (Definitely Geeks and Media)
  • Next on to the Bolin Creek Festival to man the table for the Morgan Creek Alliance. Awards were given to Carrboro Mayor Mike Nelson, Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy, and retiring County Commissioner Margaret Brown for their advocacy for the Bolin Creek valley. [Julie McClintock in the hat giving the hugs in most pictures]. Chapel Hill Town Council members Sally Greene and Mark Kleinschmidt sporting a new Orange Politics dot Org shirt as well as Carrboro Aldermen Mark Chilton and John Herrera were there. (Creeks).


  1. The fabulous interview with Paul Jones is now LIVE! Truck on over to and check it out.

    Let me know what you think of the audio quality…what with all the noise and various other issues. I also encoded it 64kbps to provided smaller downloads for people. Good idea? Bad idea?

    Thanks for the time Paul!

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