Common ground

I don’t think I talk enough about how important language is to me.

When I was young, my mom would tell me that at night, I traveled in my dreams. You went to Korea, she’d say. And Venezuela, and Israel and made a quick stop in Australia. Next, off to Mongolia. I would wake up in a cocoon of sheets, hanging off the farthest tip of the bed.

When I was young, I made a list of languages I wanted to learn. I rearranged it every year. First, it was Korean, Hebrew, French, Japanese, Cantonese, Urdu and sign language. Then it was Pidgin, German, Korean, Hebrew, Spanish, French and Thai. I never counted less than seven languages at a time. I wanted to talk with the world.

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Filed under: Ethnicity, Storytelling, , , ,

The important thing

Crossposted from my Portland Community Media blog. View comments on the original post.
I learned of Portland Community Media back in January, when I first embarked on my long-distance job search, destination: Portland. I asked the alumnoids of my college for suggestions, and one person responded with Portland Community Media. “OH MY GOD!!” I thought. WTO strikes. Wiring stories about Oaxacan maestros up in arms. Rebellion! IndyMedia! Wait—IndyMedia’s hiring?

Three months later I was sitting in PCM’s conference room for what was the beginning of a long interviewing process. I learned that PCM was once Portland Cable Access. The name-change became official at 8 p.m. on July 20, 2004.

“We don’t really do print,” was the gist of it. “We do television and we want to expand into ‘new media.’”

A few months later, I was hired as PCM’s “New Media” CTC Vista. To give an idea, “New Media” = YouTube, Wikipedia, Blogspot/WordPress, Twitter, Facebook/MySpace, OhMyNews, Digg, StumbleUpon… Is it true? Media critics and techies perched on the same rooftop have been screaming it for years. “Print is dead!”

Perhaps I’ve become a curmudgeon despite that I’m in my tender 20s, but I disagree. Yes, the Internet has created a unique situation where we can create online communities that are truly virtual salad bowls of nationalities and cultures; from mountaintops to undulating deserts. The Internet is a democratizing force, and naturally, film and visual programming are also migrating to the web. Accordingly, the tube is about to get snuffed, too. A second casualty of the Web.

Well, let’s play with three word associations:

  • Media
  • Community Media
  • Portland Community Media

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Filed under: Internet, Portland, Storytelling, , , , , , ,