Cool Links #29: Coolness Just Won’t Stop The Bad Economy

This was a really long week.  First week back from spring break and my wife’s campus announced that there would be a RIF (reduction in force).  My wife is on the RIF list.  She can still be retained in the district if enough other English teachers leave and she can then be offered a position.  Of course she can look for another English teaching job outside of her district.  Houston has a lot of schools.  But it is still scary in this economy.

Here’s the coolness:

1)  Learn how to record audio like the pros with the ABCs of Good Audio on mojo.  Good video tutorial, too bad it can’t be embedded.

2) Computer World magazine wants to burn some books – textbooks.  After seeing a video by a student about how textbooks compare to using the internet, I think I agree.  I rarely use any book in my classroom.  I do use a lot of web resources and it really bites when our internet connection is slow or down.  In a related post, one of my best blogger buds says that students need to use more technology.  I can only agree.

3) News organizations of all sizes and levels need to get rid of advertising departments and introduce revenue departments. What a great idea.  It is all about paying the bills to do journalism.  Ads alone probably won’t do it.  Find other services to sell.  Make videos, create desktop publishing products, design whatever might appeal to your client base to help pay for the journalism. Just be sure to keep an understanding that purchasing your products does not give you immunity from hard hitting reporting.

4) Former UCLA coach John Wooden has to be one of the all-time great motivators.  His web site if full of gems and he had a killer TED Talk.

5) Jon Stewart just keeps coming up in this blog. Are he and Colbert replacing traditional journalism?



6) Schools need to stop putting so much focus on testing and do these five things or they could face extinction. My favorite takeaway –

Stop blocking/banning Internet use. This does NOT stop students, and it causes huge problems for teachers who want to engage their students with the social networks.

7) Design guru Shepherd Fairey has posted his own defense of using an AP photo in his iconic Obama poster and claims fair use. In a related fair use case, the barrier breaking docufilm “Eyes on the Prize” about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. may never be seen again because of draconian copyright laws that charge $15,000 for tiny incedental use of people singing Happy Birthday.

8 ) NewsU has posted a new course – five steps to multimedia reporting. Looks great.

9) The Poynter Institute has an informative post of 21 ways to generate new story ideas.  Good list.

10) Reuters has a beautiful slide show focusing on the photographic theme of framing.

11)  For all Desktop Publishing, Yearbook and Newspaper teachers – this Typeface Glossary just rocks from anti-alias to x-height.

12) This is just too fun to pass up.  Photojojo has an entry on using oranges and coffee to develop film.  It reminds me of the scene in The Killing Fields where they try to make a photo using common household chemicals.

13) Xark has an interesting and scary post about what news will look like in 2010, 2015 and 2020.  Worth the read.

14) And the Irony Award of the Year goes to the Obama Administration for banning the press from an award ceremony that the press gave to the president.

15) Save the Media has a short list of lessons we can all learn from the Seattle P-I. But the Tech Buzz says that it is OK for Newspapers to Die and they seem to be in the majority on this.

Abandoned Newspaper Racks

Abandoned Newspaper Racks

16) The Nation blames corporate journalism and a loss of family owned newspapers for the demise of newspapers.

17) Adam Westbrook a radio reporter with a video blog talks about capturing media for multiple platforms.

18) Save the Media has Ten Rules of Journalism You Can Break on Your Blog.  Fun post.  Best takeaway –

Link to the enemy: If the nearby TV station has the best video of the bear running wildly through downtown, you can link to that from your news blog or even embed the video. Under traditional journalism rules, you’d ignore that the TV station has the fuller story, and you’d withhold reporting the story to your readers until your reporters got it. With blogging, you can give your readers the best — even if it’s not from your staff — immediately. They’ll be thankful that you’re thinking of them more than your own ego.

19) Need a tutorial for CSS, Photoshop, HTML or Javascript?  Tutorial Today has everything your need and more.

20) Lastly, Marc Silber has a great short, never before seen video of Ansel Adams discussing the Key to Great Photography.  Worth the look.

Have another great week.  Lots of links!  Enjoy.


  1. Sorry to hear about your wife. I was rif’d a few years back and then rehired at the last minute. It was a grueling couple of months.

    • This is actually the second RIF they’ve had in the last six years. Almost everyone RIF’d last time was rehired before the summer ended. Kind of a dumb way to run a district.

  2. Jon Stewart is NOT a journalist, nor is he anything new. He’s returning to an earlier role in comedy – that of the jester.

    And he’s got the added bonus that he doesn’t face execution for pissing people off!

  3. Sorry to hear about the family stress – I hope you make it through okay. Give my regards to your wife and wish her the best.

    I’m just home from the JACC conference in Sacramento and the burning question was: will there be jobs when I graduate.

    The resounding answer: we don’t know.

  4. Sorry about your wife’s RIF. You’re lucky, though, that you live in the Houston area. As you said, the Big H does have a lot of schools! And, yes, I think Steward and Colbert are taking over from traditional news outlets. I sat down to read the Sunday paper today, and it’s so thin I got my days confused and thought it was Monday!

    BTW, I’m celebrating One Year in the Blogosphere with a special 2-day Sx3 today and tomorrow. The winner gets a $50 Tar-Jay Gift Card. Please say you’ll play!

  5. […] Read the rest here:  Cool Links #29: Coolness Just Won’t Stop The Bad Economy […]

  6. I agree. This is a good list. It’s well worth the read. I wish the chair at my J-school had read some of these things. Hey, I know…maybe I’ll share some of the info you posted with him. Thanks again.

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