Work in the MediaCommons

I’ve just joined the editorial board of MediaCommons, an online network for media scholars.  As it states on its “about” page:

MediaCommons, a project-in-development with support from the Institute for the Future of the Book (part of the Annenberg Center for Communication at USC) and the MacArthur Foundation, will be a network in which scholars, students, and other interested members of the public can help to shift the focus of scholarship back to the circulation of discourse. This network will be community-driven, responding flexibly to the needs and desires of its users. It will also be multi-nodal, providing access to a wide range of intellectual writing and media production, including forms such as blogs, wikis, and journals, as well as digitally networked scholarly monographs. Larger-scale publishing projects will be developed with an editorial board that will also function as stewards of the larger network.

In short, MediaCommons is providing a new platform for writing and thinking about media. One of its first projects is In Media Res, in which scholars–known as “curators”–select an online clip and write a short bit about it to seed discussion of it.

To that end, I’ve contributed “The Sitcom’s Death, the Zero Degree of Style” on My Name Is Earl and recent developments in sitcom style. Check it out and come join the conversation!

Pronunciation Guide Gets a Name: ScreenLex

The pronunciation guide I’ve been working on has been christened ScreenLex, with its own domain name:

We’re also officially listed on the iTunes store now. To find us, just seach iTunes for “ScreenLex.”

I’ve also decided to use FeedBurner in order to captures some statistics about ScreenLex’s use. Plus, it has some cool ways to publicize feeds, like this graphic:

ScreenLex: A Pronunciation Guide
Finally, if you’d like to spread the word about ScreenLex, feel free to print out the PDF flier at

And come on by to sample ScreenLex’s work!

Pronunciation Guide Now in Beta

I just released The Pronunciation Guide for Film and TV Studies for beta testing:

[Updated 18 February 2007:]
The Guide contains terms used in film/TV studies and production, as well as people’s names. These items may be accessed in three ways:

  1. As a downloadable MP3 file.
  2. As playable online audio.
  3. As a podcast (e.g., for your iPod) or RSS feed.

The intent behind The Guide is to provide English-speaking film/TV students with guidance on how to say words/names that are often difficult for them to master. I can well remember when I was starting to study film that I read more about the topic than I heard it spoken about. So, I often had trouble putting the printed word together with the spoken one. “Truffaut” is pronounced “true-foe”?, I’d ponder.

The Guide runs on Loudblog software, which does a good job of automating most of the uploading, the presentation of the MP3 files, creating a podcast feed and submitting it to iTunes (which I have not done yet).

A graduate research assistant, Peter Bradberry, helped me get the first 20 or so online–adding end credits to the files. The credits themselves were prepared with the help of Rick Dowling at UA’s Faculty Resource Center. Rick also conducted a podcasting workshop that helped jump-start this project.