Hey everyone, so what’s up here at the Sanctum!
Well, the big thing is I’ve wanted to add more ways to socialize – and try out a few ideas I had. So I’ve got the official Seventh Sanctum Tumblr – AND I created automated updates for it. Not only does it repost links to what’s at The Codex, but every day there’s a new, randomly generated story! Yep, every day you’ll have a story untouched by human hands, delivered straight to Tumblr!
I may also be adding some more things over time as I experiment, and of course reposting Sanctum related things.
I also played up our social media on the site – for instance I never really promoted our Twitter. It has a randomly generated idea every day, plus posts from here and anything I think to send down. So now I’m promoting it – join up!
I want to see if this provides some more socializing to the Sanctum before I look at other elements like a more active Facebook community or a mailing list. Yep, still working on that adding-more-social elements goal!
OK, with that done, the Writing Prompt Generator!
I haven’t done much with it recently since I’ve been pretty busy with work – and this takes a certain level of creative energy I just wasn’t feeling (sometimes it seems writing code is more workmanlike than building the data files and kind of relaxing). However the plan is still to get it working well enough and then posting it to get feedback and ideas from everyone. That’s my next goal, actually.
Meanwhile with Way With Worlds, I’m now working on a four to five part series on Worldbuilding and Sex. If you assume that’s going to be exciting, you’re probably going to be disappointed unless you really get into Worldbuilding. Then again you’re here. . .
Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach. He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/.
Last Thursday night was an interesting night to watch my Twitter feed. Two movies were standing out from from the stream – Pacific Rim and Sharknado. The former is a big budget movie about giant mecha fighting kaiju. The latter is a SyFy Channel movie of the week made for, according to IMDB, one million dollars, featuring sharks in a tornado. No, really, check out the trailer on io9. If I ran a Hollywood studio, I’d be worried about my future.
We here at MuseHack have been tracking the Hollywood bubble, from superhero similarities to the big names questioning the sustainability. The bubble’s due to pop; how big the gooey mess will be even we can’t predict. Three big-budget movies have failed this summer. A SyFy B-movie managed to grab more attention than The Lone Ranger. The people in charge should be asking, “Why?”
Pacific Rim, while finishing behind Despicable Me 2 in North America, earned $US3.6 million, with another $US3.7 million in Asia. That is one night’s gross, the opening late show Thursday night. People are going out to see it; visually, it is like no other movie this summer and features giant robots punching giant monsters. My Twitter stream showed a positive reaction to the movie, including Canadian TV personality Ed the Sock calling it one of the greatest movies ever. Meanwhile, at the other end of the budget, Sharknado pulled in 1.4 to 2 million viewers, low but the viewers reached 350k tweets during the length of the movie, shy of the number of tweets generated by the “Red Wedding” epsiode of A Game of Thrones, an episode that garnered 5.22 million viewers. Both movies feature elements not normally seen in North American entertainment. The mecha and kaiju of Pacific Rim are staples of anime and Japanese cinema, but are rare to see in Hollywood.* Meanwhile, Sharknado had people fighting and being eaten by sharks in a giant tornado; a combination that it’s safe to say has never crossed through anyone’s rational thoughts**.
There must be committees now going on in Hollywood, sitting down, analyzing both Pacific Rim and Sharknado, trying to figure out what makes the movies tick, why their respective audiences are raving on social media, and how to duplicate that success. What the committees might miss is that both movies deliver on their promise; giant robots punching giant monsters and sharks in a tornado being fought against with chainsaws. The movies aren’t deep; even Ed the Sock says Pacific Rim is a movie, not a film. But they bring something different in a summer where checklists are failing and tentpoles are falling. I just don’t expect the committees to realize where the problem is.***
* Outside dinosaurs, which fill in for the giant and the monster, but not the fear of nuclear power that kaiju also have.
** Like kaiju, Sharknado uses fear as a hook for the audience. Instead of nuclear power, the fear is of climate change, of once-in-a-century storms happening several times a decade. And the fear of sharks, thanks to Jaws.
*** I do expect copycat films. There should be a MechaShark vs the HurriKraken in the next few years.
Facebook is warning employers about demanding passwords. The social networking site is also threatening legal action over the demands. However, employment lawyers are saying that it’s not illegal to ask. Mind, giving over the password is a breach of Facebook’s terms of service. If job applicants have information in their profile that’s not available publicly that’s verboten to ask at an interview, the interviewer could also be violating employment laws. Of course, check your local laws. In Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec, such password requests are privacy violations. In Ontario, not so much.
I have a backlog of articles to get through, but this is starting to make the rounds. More and more companies and government agencies are asking people they interview to hand over their Facebook user ID and password. Others are asking interviewees to login during the interview so the company/government reps can look around the account. With social media becoming a preferred way to keep in touch with others and companies getting aware, expect social media intrusion to increase.