Category Archives: Yulblog

Audio People of the World: “You, Knight!”

Much to be said about a recent ITConversations podcast episode. Ostensibly, this episode was about the LibriVox success story. (LibriVox is a community project producing public domain audiobooks from public domain books in diverse languages.) Yet, during this conversation, Web analyst (and Microsoft employee) Jon Udell along with LibriVox founder Hugh McGuire managed to share much insight on such varied issues as community-building, project management, grassroots movement, open source development, participatory culture, and aurality/orality.

After the chat, Udell and McGuire followed up, on their respective blogs. Udell developed a useful script to make all LibriVox books into RSS feeds for use in iTunes and other media players. Such a collaboration is an appropriate example of the power of “scratch your own itch” development, described during the podcast conversation. The conversation also prompted Librivox reader Sean McGaughey to describe LibriVox as a killer app. [Update: Blog version of the same description.]

I was led to this podcast episode through a visit to LibriVox reader Kara Shallenberg’s blog. Started listening to the LibriVox podcast after reading about LibriVox on fellow YulBlogger Patrick Tanguay’s own blog. Among other things, LibriVox helped me appreciate Canadian Literature and I’m quite glad that the project may contribute to Montreal’s widespread recognition at the cutting edge of technology and culture.

As an aural learner, I was quite taken by Udell and McGuire’s comments on auditory media. It seems that these two guys really grok what is so neat about sound. At least, their ideas about sound are quite compatible with my own ideas about music, language, and the cultural importance of sound.

We might be in a minority, North Americans who care about sound. Many people (including some online visionaries) seem to care more about visuality. In fact, given the large number of Web designers in the “Web 2.0” movement, it might be said that auditory media have often been considered a subset of “audiovisual content.” Yet there is something to be said about sound standing alone in digital life.

For instance, McGuire and Udell talk about the possibility for people to undertake other activities while listening to audiobooks and other auditory content. Commuting is probably the easiest one to grasp, for most people, and while it might be fun to watch a DVD on a plane or bus, audio podcasts are possibly the ideal “distraction” for (hearing) commuters. Listening to podcasts while moving around has led to very stimulating experiences.

Fans of McLuhan would probably think of “hot” and “cool” media. The difference between video and audio podcasts clearly relates to McLuhan’s ideas about participation.

There’s also the issue of rhythm. While moving images certainly can be rhythmic, speech and musical rhythm seem, to me, to be more readily associated with diverse human activities. No idea where to look for the cognitive side of this but it’s clearly worth investigating.

For lack of a better word, sound is more “abstract” than other sensory experiences. Acoustic signals do have a physical reality but the practise of listening has been used to elicit important ideas about abstract structures in Euro-American aesthetics.

Lots more to talk about but it will do for today.

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Yulblog le 4 avril: qui est game?

Bientôt le Premier mercredi d’avril, donc rencontre mensuelle yulblog. Patrick nous conseille de mettre au défi des blogueurs alors, allons-y franchement. (On est encore le premier, fa-que…)

Alors, Martin Lessard, tu t’occupes juste de Yulbiz ou tu viens voir les vrais blogueurs aussi?

Pis, Robin Millette, Yulblog c’est pas assez camp pour toi?

Vincent Collard, t’attends que le monde vienne vers toi?

Fred Fortin, t’es trop gratteux pour venir à Yulblog?

Komtois, tu vas t’ouvrir un blogue à chaque mois?

Andi, ‘A’ is for April. Are you in town for Yulblog?

Randy, are you so busy brewing that you can’t come meet some fellow bloggers?


Small World? More Than an Experiment

Should have known this would happen eventually. One of my wife’s good friends’ ex-boyfriend had been on my mind for diverse reasons. Had pretty assumed that he might be blogging as he’s a technical writer and had been at the Montreal Mirror for a while. As Montrealers might know, the Mirror is a good source of bloggers (and fiber). Turns out, he’s not only a cool blogger (putting words into The Tinman’s Thoughts) but he also knows Blogmeister Blork quite well (despite some hiatus in the 1990s, it seems).

Also spent time talking with, among others, open-minded music educator Prof malgré tout, intriguing Cameroonian political scientist Waffo, enthusiastic and rational environmental geographer Benoit, outgoing and friendly Houssein, as well as a bunch of people I had already met (and blogrolled 😉 ).

Possibly the funniest interaction for me, during this blogparty, was when I went to talk with someone who was just leaning at the back of the room. The usual introduction to a new blogger is “So… Where do you blog?” (in French, «C’est quoi ton blogue?»). I do use it fairly often during blogging events but it’s the first time I get “Yup!” as an answer. Turns out Robert blogs at the equivalent of a site which would be called “Where Do You Blog!” Of course, “CKOI” is both the name of a local radio station and an IM-like way to say “What is it?,” in French.

Speaking of languages. There was probably a higher proportion of French-speakers at tonight’s party than at the usual Yulblog event. This was the 7th anniversary celebration of this local blogging community.

Again: bloggers have more fun. Than whom? Erm, I don’t know. But they have fun. Good, extrovert, talkative fun.

Shan’t we all be on Facebook, now?


Coming Up: Montreal’s Blogging Community Celebrations

Seems like Montreal’s blogging scene is as active as ever, this month. Scary! 😎

First, on Wednesday, March 7, at 8p, yulblog First Wednesday (monthly meeting, at Quincaillerie on Rachel near Parc Laf). Then, on Friday, March 16, at 5p, Blogging Book Launch at the RJ microbrewery on de la Roche (near my place).


Plug a blog

Hey, blog-brothers and sisters!

Feel free to put a plug to your blog, here. Doesn’t even need to rhyme.

Got the idea from YULBlog last night and thought it might be neat. (Besides, it’s a shameless attempt at getting more comments and/or pings.)

Otherwise, if you came for stuff about craft and homebrewed beer, homeroasting and other coffee geekery, or musical diversity, do browse and comment.

I also have two blogs on music. One for a course in the anthropology of music, the other Thinking Globalisation Through Music.

Though it might not seem so obvious, I’m longing for comments… 😉


Plogues de blogues

Aux blogueurs, carnettiers, carnettistes et cornettistes.. Y compris ceux de YULBlog.

Ploguez votre blogue (carnet, billet, journal personnel, fluegelhorn) ici. Même pas besoin de rimes… 😉

Pour ceux qui viennent pour la torréfaction de café, le brassage de la bière, ou la musique, promenez-vous un peu…

J’ai aussi deux blogues dédiés à la musique. Un sur l’anthropologie de la musique (pour un cours à Concordia), l’autre sur la mondialisation pensée à travers la musique (pour un projet plus vaste).


Les pieds dans la marge

En réponse à: ni.vu.ni.connu / Rentrée radio-canadienne

Suis pas trop télé. Pour dire la franche vérité, ces temps-ci, les émissions qui me plaisent le plus passent surtout à Télé-Québec (y compris Méchant contraste et autres émissions à intérêt social, ce qui est important pour un anthropologue).
Hier, un peu par hasard, ma femme et moi avons regardé quelques émissions radio-canadiennes, dont Les pieds dans la marge. Retonti ici en faisant une recherche pour une comparaison avec Pop Citrouille. Content de voir que c’est une YulBlogueuse qui en parle.
Ça nous a pris quelques minutes pour nous habituer au style d’humour. On savait pas du tout à quoi s’attendre, à qui ça s’adressait. Une de mes premières réactions était que ça ressemblait vraiment à Pop Citrouille, presque une émission-culte de ma jeunesse. Mais avec un peu de Bruno Blanchette (N’ajustez pas votre sécheuse), du Phylactère Cola, du Dans une galaxie près de chez vous, et même un peu de Têtes à claques. D’ailleurs, parlant de TàC, les nouvelles de CBC avait un segment sur le passage possible des vidéos en-ligne les plus connus au Québec (autre que Lynda Tremblay décoration sur YouTube) à la langue anglaise. La lectrice de nouvelles, un peu pincée, qui nous dit que Têtes à claques est… difficile à décrire. Precious! 😉
Pour revenir aux Pieds. C’est très absurde, évidemment. Débridé. Flyé, même. Mais aussi pas mal gutsy. Un petit côté scato, mais pas extrême ni même inapproprié. Ça semble s’adresser à des jeunes ados, mais sans être vraiment puéril.
Ça faisait longtemps que j’avais pas vu des émissions du genre. Et, honnêtement, ça m’étonne un peu de RadCan qui semble se cantonner dans des émissions très structurées, voire stiff.
tk… Tout ça pour dire que j’ai bien aimé et que je suis content de voir que le parallèle avec la mythique Pop Citrouille est bien attesté.