Thursday, October 28, 2010

Holiday Gaming: Fallout VS. Fable

Ahh holiday gaming.  Its a splendid time of year, when hundreds of games enter the market to be sold to willing customers.  But which are the ones to focus on this season?  Here are two of the most popular thus far.  Be sure to listen to my audio commentary on both games. 

Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout: New Vegas is the sequel to the highly popular "Fallout" franchise which originally debuted in the PC Game era.  The game is a gritty and realistic look at what life could be like after nuclear fallout, and the dangerous life that comes along with it.  The environments are beautiful in their bleakness and destruction, but nothing compares to the reimagined strip of Las Vegas, now called New Vegas.  The world is divided and resources are scarse as competing factions battle over the last beacon of hope and civility, the Hoover Dam.  Be sure to watch the video and bet excited to enter into the world of Fallout for another amazing adventure. Find out more at

Fable 3
Fable 3 is exclusive to Xbox 360, but it may however change how people view the series as a whole.  Fable 2 was infamous in its failure to deliver on what the customers wanted, but Fable 3 is right on track to changing that image.  The updated graphics give way to more immersion and detail, while the game mechanics themselves have been dumb-downed to be more reasonable for some new gamers in the market.  The story follows the previous games stories, but Fable 3 continues into the fantasy world of kings and peasants.  Grab a hold of the $60 game and $60 controller for the full experience. Find out more about Fable 3 at

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Journalism and Twitter: Watch what you say

     Twitter is slowly changing professional journalism, but that change comes at a price: It is threat to a journalist’s credibility. Some television pundits, such as Rick Sanchez of CNN, have even made tweets an essential part of their programming, but not every journalist has had as much success.

Dissemination of False Information

     The process in which twitter operates lends way to gross misinformation, which can be, and is, read by other members of the twitter community.
     Twitter features a “trending topics” section of its website, which shows the top 10 topics that users are tweeting about around the world. If an important story breaks, it is common to appear as a trend on the homepage. Users can then read any tweet mentioning the event, regardless if the facts or correct or not.
     “I read trending tweets almost all day,” said senior English major Katie Bolger, 22. “I never really think of checking what is right and what is wrong. I just read [the tweet] and move on.”
     Take, for instance, reporter Mike Wise, who according to the New York Times, stated false information about quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension from the NFL. Roethlisberger was suspended for six games, instead of what Wise reported to be as five. The tweet, he said, was to test how fast false information would be distributed on the internet. Wise was suspended for one month from his job at the Washington Times.
     This quick dissemination of false information is a growing threat to a journalist’s credibility. When false information has the ability to spread so quickly through the Internet, few will spend time checking those facts are indeed true. If a journalist is caught, even for typo, it may be too late to refute what was written.

Keeping Credibility

     Twitter was originally designed for personal and social use, not professional use. The framework for the site was built on simplicity, allowing users to upload tweets rapidly. This allows little time to reflect on what the post, or tweet, is really expressing.
     This was the case for Octavia Nasr of CNN who posted what some viewed as pro-terrorist thoughts, according to an article in the New York Times. Nasr was born in Lebanon and expressed her connections with the nation and explained the post, but it seemed to be in vein. Although she was chief editor the middle-east news, she was promptly let go from her position.
     Junior natural science major Sean Gilmore, 20, said, “I see a lot of news guys on twitter now, and I can’t believe what they post. It’s like they forgot how to spell or something.”
     Senior heating, ventilation and air conditioning student Tyler Pohl quit following journalists after he read one tweet by Rick Sanchez. “It had slang, like ‘ain’t’ and ‘go get ‘em,’” he said. “I don’t want to read anything like that, ever.”

No Journalist is Safe

     Australian freelance technology journalist Adam Turner posted a tweet about his personal beliefs concerning a candidate for an election, according the newspaper “The Australian.” Many reprimanded him for bias, even though politics was in no way related to his field of interest.
     Turner was embarrassed, saying the explicative tweet was an “embarrassing mistake,” even though he is not a well known journalist.
     Journalists will need to keep track of their twitter activity to make sure the credibility they built up in their career stays with them. One tweet and they can find themselves without a career.

Here is a quick rundown of Nasr's and Wise's stories

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oops, I Twooted.

No, people, this is not a joke.

I was sitting in class today, discussing my idea for a future blog spectacular about why journalists need to understand Titter, I was informed by Kim Spencer of a new term: Twoot.

Now this caused some uproar for a few minutes for a few reasons. One, is the obvious. It sounds like toot. But upon deeper inspection, I have found that the term "Twoot" describes a tweet which is positive and celebratory of an event. The Urban Dictionary defines the term as such:

An interjection used to express happiness or joy about something announced through Twitter. It is a portmanteau of the words "Tweet" and "Woot/W00t".

An example of such a twoot may be: "OMG I totes asked Jim out and he said YES!  Woot/Twoot!"

As you can probably tell, this started a wave of google searches for new, unheard of names for certain types of tweets.  They include the "Dweet," or drunk tweet, "Mistweet," when a tweet is sent to the wrong person, and of course, the "Lweet," or love message.  If you need to catch up on your twitter vocabulary, check this article for a 66-word list of terms you need a journalist.

As is obvious from and article in the Washington Times, AP style has declared the use of the terms Twitter and Tweet acceptable for use in journalistic works.  Where do we draw the line people?

I refuse to Twoot all over my stories, period.