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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Newsweek Multimedia

Newsweek has started publishing in an interesting format on their web site. They're doing photo essays, sometimes narrated slide shows, on topics. This is remarkably innovative for a print magazine.

The first one I noticed was on early Star Trek Conventions. What was interesting there was how the early fan stuff was frequently motivated by women. Previously, I'd actually assumed that the Browncoats were a bit unusual in how women-driven the fan groups were. Turns out that's a totally false assumption. The male Trek geek is just so much easier to make fun of, so I suspect that's why that is what is portrayed in parodies. And really, having been to Comic-con and had more than one little fanboy walk up to the mike and ask a super-specific question about a single episode or request that an actor read back a line. They make everyone in the audience groan. But these little dorks aren't what makes the fandom work. It's folks like Arielle or Amy Lund or Beth who say, "You know what we should do..." and make stuff happen. Stuff like thousands of dollars raised for charity and giant gatherings organized.

Today's nifty nugget was on the history of birth control. My favorite detail in that essay was that H. G. Wells said in 1931 that in 100 years time, Margaret Sanger's work would grow to be "the most influential of its time." He was so very right.


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