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Critical Margins Podcast
37 minutes | Nov 20, 2014
Are Pen Names Worth It? (Episode 25)
Special note: This is our last episode for 2014, but we’ll be back in January with even better topics, so keep listening! Kevin is taking time off in November and December to figure out fatherhood. He is expecting his first son sometime in November. For now, enjoy the show! Today, we are talking about pseudonyms. Do writers need them? Are there ever times when we need to hide behind a pseudonym or publish anonymously? Some writers and artists make their persona part of their style, so certainly a pseudonym can work, but it’s not for everyone. Show notes: Teacher who was arrested for publishing book under a pseudonym about a school shooting Wattpad has a lot of writers who write under pen names. Good or bad? White vegan couple cooks up controversy with ‘Thug Kitchen’ cookbook Teacher spends two days as a student and is shocked at what she learns How To Blog Anonymously (and how not to) “On Dildos” Or “Why I Don’t Use A Pen Name” We’d love to hear from you! If you enjoy our show, rate us on iTunes or Stitcher and get the word out. Leave a comment or contact us on Twitter: Kevin (@criticalmargins) or Jason (@jasonanthebeast).
59 minutes | Nov 13, 2014
Writing Like a Cyborg (Episode 24)
In today’s episode, we go where no other writer has gone before: into the great unknown of artificial intelligence. We use tools that augment our lives every day, but as writers, we’ve relied on the same tools for centuries. What if we could automate or offload almost every part of the writing experience – maybe everything except writing itself? What if robots and algorithms took over the drudgery of creating, freeing up our minds for other things? Show notes: What started us off on this idea: “The Data Driven Life” by Gary Wolf – The New York Times “Wired Up! Ready to Go!” by James Wolcott – Vanity Fair “The Beginner’s Guide to Quantified Self” – Technori.com “Stop Writing Dystopian Sci-Fi—It’s Making Us All Fear Technology” We’d love to hear from you! If you enjoy our show, rate us on iTunes or Stitcher and get the word out. Leave a comment or contact us on Twitter: Kevin (@criticalmargins) or Jason (@jasonanthebeast).
61 minutes | Nov 7, 2014
Episode 23: The Future of Libraries
In today’s show, Jason and Kevin take a close look at the future of the library. Libraries aren’t fusty old buildings with mildewed books any more. Today, they serve as community centers and digital outposts designed to help people get things done and discover new skills. In fact, some libraries are getting in on the maker trend. The maker movement seeks to transform community centers, like the library, into places to create. Are librarians up for the new information era, where books are only one of many ways to gain new knowledge and learn new skills? Show notes: Why Your Library May Soon Have Laser Cutters and 3-D Printers by Clive Thompson (Wired) What Will Become of the Library? by Michael Agresta (Slate) Pew’s research into the future of libraries Library as incubator project Why Libraries Should Be the Next Great Start-Up Incubators Florida Polytechnic University’s library with no books We’d love to hear from you! If you enjoy our show, rate us on iTunes or Stitcher and get the word out. Leave a comment or contact us on Twitter: Kevin (@criticalmargins) or Jason (@jasonanthebeast).
60 minutes | Oct 23, 2014
The Late Bloomers (Episode 22)
What happens if you peak late in life? Today, we’re talking about those late bloomers, the writers and innovators who gain notoreity after years of hard work. Did you know Charles Bukowski wasn’t published until he was 51, or that Walt Whitman self-published the first edition of Leaves of Grass at 36? Today, we seem obsessed with young genius, but we still see cases of people publishing and gaining success later in life. Jason and I are both over 30. We keep writing and trying to get our work out there. I guess we’re late bloomers, or getting close to it. Perhaps there’s too much emphasis on young genius in our culture. Show notes: “8 Authors Whose Biggest Successes Came After The Age of 50,” Bookriot You’re never too old to start writing, The Guardian Teacher Man by Frank McCourt The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock Malcolm Gladwell’s 2008 piece in The New Yorker about late bloomers: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/10/20/late-bloomers-2?printable=true How The New Yorker ‘20 Under 40’ Is Like a Highbrow, Literary American Idol, The Vulture Brief Encounters with Che Guevara by Ben Fountain A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn We’d love to hear from you! If you enjoy our show, rate us on iTunes or Stitcher and get the word out. Leave a comment or contact us on Twitter: Kevin (@criticalmargins) or Jason (@jasonanthebeast).
64 minutes | Sep 18, 2014
Digitally Composed, Consumed, and Critiqued (Episode 21)
We live in a digital world, and that means writers need to develop their readership online. Luckily, the tools available to do that continue to improve. Wattpad is one of those writerly tools, and fan fiction one of the ways writers find an audience. Today, Jason and Kevin talk about how to be digitally composed, consumed, and critiqued. We look at the phenomenon that is fan fiction. Remixing and revisiting popular works has existed for centuries: look at what Shakespeare did with his source material or today, what Disney does with old fairy tales. But fan fiction is very popular online, and even amazon gets into the whole fanfic game. Show notes: “Tomorrow’s Best-Selling Novels Will Use This 19th-Century Trick” by Clive Thompson in Wired Wattpad.com – Excellent place to get your work out there Prodigy by Edward Mullen – An example of a Wattpad novel “Web Fiction, Serialized and Social” in The New York Times “Clive Thompson on the Importance of Fan Fiction” – An earlier article from Wired Jane Friedman on serialization in fiction Amazon’s attempts to sell fan fiction aren’t going well. George R. R. Martin on fan fiction (he doesn’t like it!) Hope Leman’s Critical Margins interview with Anne Jamison, author of Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World This book explains Don Quixote as fan fiction throug academic sounding terms like cantaminatio and ekphrasis Smarter Than You Think by Clive Thompson – Thompson’s book on dealing with technological change We’d love to hear from you! If you enjoy our show, rate us on iTunes or Stitcher and get the word out. Leave a comment or contact us on Twitter: Kevin (@criticalmargins) or Jason (@jasonanthebeast).
54 minutes | Sep 9, 2014
Writing in the Margins (Episode 20)
In today’s show, we explore the promise of digital marginalia. Remember when you were a kid and teachers told you not to mark up your textbooks? And then you got to college, and teachers told you you had to mark up your books? There’s something about writing in the margins of a book that either scares readers away or excites them. If you’re a regular Critical Margins reader, you know I love marking up books and see a lot of promise in digital margin notes, but we have a long way to go. Kevin’s thoughts on marginalia: “What we gain and lose in the future of reading” and “Why Marginalia?” Sam Anderson’s year in Marginalia (from 2010): http://www.themillions.com/2010/12/a-year-in-marginalia-sam-anderson.html & his essay on defending digital marginalia: ‘What I Really Want Is Someone Rolling Around in the Text’ Writing on the Wall by Tom Standage is a history of social media – you’ll see the connection between marginalia and social media come through in this book. “Marginalia” by Billy Collins – a wonderful poem We’d love to hear from you! If you enjoy our show, rate us on iTunes or Stitcher and get the word out. Leave a comment or contact us on Twitter: Kevin (@criticalmargins) or Jason (@jasonanthebeast).
63 minutes | Aug 17, 2014
Evernote for Reading and Writing (Episode 19)
How do you organize your reading life? Today, we’re talking about how to use Evernote for writing and organization. Both Jason and Kevin use Evernote to write notes, keep lists, organize daily writing, and keep track of our digital books. You can even use evernote to organize your ebook reading notes as well. Show notes: Clippings.io is designed to export your Amazon Kindle notes, and you can send them to Evernote Book mentioned by Jason: Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning: Insights from a Neurologist and Classroom Teacher Evernote Essentials by Brett Kelly and Evernote: The Beginners Guide to Mastering Evernote To Skyrocket Success and Achieve your Goals by Brad Holloway are two books that will get you started with Evernote. If you use David Allen’s Getting Things Done method, check out his guide for using Evernote for GTD: David Allen’s Best Practices Guide for GTD & Evernote Kevin’s guides for how he uses Evernote: Evernote for Book Lovers and How I’m using Evernote and IFTTT to collect and organize my digital marginalia See what you can do with Evernote’s connected apps. We’d love to hear from you! If you enjoy our show, rate us on iTunes or Stitcher and get the word out. Leave a comment or contact us on Twitter: Kevin (@criticalmargins) or Jason (@jasonanthebeast).
66 minutes | Aug 8, 2014
What’s a MOOC Got to do with It? (Episode 18)
Today, Jason and Kevin talk about MOOCs. You might be wondering: What’s a MOOC? I can assure you it’s not a horned animal from Middle Earth, nor is it something Sarah Palin shoots from helicopters. MOOCs are massive, open online courses. They give some promise to our higher education system in need of reform. But MOOCs aren’t perfect, and they certainly won’t replace traditional higher education anytime soon. Show notes: The MOOC Kevin’s participating in right now, discussed on the show: Coursera.org Social Psychology What You Need to Know About MOOCs, from The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/article/What-You-Need-to-Know-About/133475/ (Includes most of the studies and data we discussed in the show.) College Unbound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students by Jeffrey J. Selingo – this is the book that got Kevin thinking about the flexibility MOOCs could offer returning students and working professionals. Western Governor’s University – a competency-based online university that is NOT a for-profit school. Seems a good model for flexible options beyond MOOCs. We’d love to hear from you! If you enjoy our show, rate us on iTunes or Stitcher and get the word out. Leave a comment or contact us on Twitter: Kevin (@criticalmargins) or Jason (@jasonanthebeast).
57 minutes | Jul 28, 2014
Kindle Unlimited and What it Means to Readers and Writers (Episode 17)
In this Critical Margins podcast, Jason and Kevin analyze how services like Kindle Unlimited might change how we read. Or will they? Are Kindle Unlimited, Oyster, and Scribd hyped up too much? Notes: Tech Titans Take Their Fight to the Mean Streets of Same-Day Delivery It’s here: Amazon’s e-book subscription service, Kindle Unlimited When Amazon Acts Like A Start-up: Why Amazon Has Entered The Ebook Subscription Market Close The Libraries And Buy Everyone An Amazon Kindle Unlimited Subscription Kindle Unlimited: The Key Questions Is Kindle Unlimited Good or Bad for Authors – Six Viewpoints We want to hear from you! Tell us what you think of the show in the comments, and rate us on Stitcher Radio and iTunes.
57 minutes | Jul 11, 2014
Episode 16: Models for a Publishing Future?
In this week’s Critical Margins Podcast, Jason and Kevin discuss models worth following in the future of publishing and the myths that come along with digital publishing. Do we all need to act like we’re publishers in order to succeed? Over at Litragger.com, author Adam Lefton wrote an article titled, “5 Myths About the New Era of Publishing.” Lefton brings up some excellent points about the future of publishing we’d like to discuss today. We’re in a turbulent time in publishing right now. We’ve talked about how to get published and how to write in previous shows, but today, we’d like to to look at the myths, the hopes, and the promises. Are there models we can follow to get published and find readers? Mentioned in the show: “5 Myths About the New Era of Publishing” by Adam Lefton, Litragger.com Jane Friedman’s excellent questions prompted by Lefton’s article Jason’s take on the zombified approach to publishing Kevin’s take on the traditional pub. sinking ship What “Evernote Essentials” author Brett Kelly is up to now “1,000 True Fans,” by Kevin Kelly “Start Here: How to Write a Book Proposal” by Jane Friedman Some reviews of top audiobook sites. Can we do better? How Radiohead found success with “In Rainbows” We want to hear from you! Tell us what you think of the show in the comments, and rate us on Stitcher Radio and iTunes.
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