Arab Spring, a Literary Festival in Gaza, and the Role of Media in Revolution

Profile of Boston Palestine Film Festival artist Omar Robert Hamilton, originally published on Open Media Boston, October 24, 2013.Image courtesy BPFF, from Hamilton's film "Though I Know the River is Dry."

by Tate Williams (Staff)

Omar Robert Hamilton’s entry in the Boston Palestine Film Festival is his third fiction short, but he’s made several other films, dozens, in fact.

They’re mostly brief documentaries he filmed and publicized as co-founder of the Egyptian film collective Mosireen, which played a major role in documenting the 2011 revolution and aftermath. Mosireen became the most-watched nonprofit YouTube channel in Egypt, and even worldwide during one month.

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End of An Era for Boston Media as Phoenix Shuts Down

Originally published in Open Media Boston by Tate Williams (Staff), Mar-15-13

BOSTON - When the Boston Phoenix announced it was shutting down Thursday afternoon—after nearly 50 years of often being at the cutting edge of alternative media—the response was a mix of utter shock and resigned acceptance.

After all, while it had been a staple publication for the city for decades, there was general awareness that it was struggling in a world where classified ads are all online, and “alternative media” has fractured and bled into every corner of the Internet.

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Can playlists ever replace mixtapes?

From 2001 to 2004, I created one mixtape every two months, compiling the best of the music I had been listening to at the time. The idea, inspired by a Cameron Crowe interview, was to make a diary in music that you can look back on years down the line, and be transported back to the period of your life through the songs you were listening to. And it’s fun listening, and you can share with friends, etc. My rules were pretty basic: I would pull together 10 songs from each month and load them on to one 80 minute CD. I usually started with an audio or comedy clip and bisected the mix with another to mark the start of the second month.

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'99% Invisible' Uncovers the Hidden World of Design

Originally published in the East Bay Express, 2012 Roman Mars' radio show and podcast is changing the way we look at design — and maybe the nature of public radio.

By Tate Williams

When people think of design, they usually conjure images of prominent, beautiful objects, like a sleek modern building or a stylish piece of furniture. But there's another world of design, one we rarely notice, that quietly orchestrates our lives — the paths we walk, our moods, our interactions.

That secret world is the terrain of 99% Invisible, a four-and-a-half-minute-long KALW radio show and podcast that local producer Roman Mars creates at night from his home in the East Bay, and has become something of a national hit. In its sixty-plus episodes, the show has uncovered the hidden world of design, revealing such stories as the murderous history of dentures, the faults and virtues of the cul de sac, and the free-jazz of deteriorating escalators.

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Paying for it

Originally posted on mrchair March 17, 2011.

Within minutes of the email and website announcement of the NYT paywall details, Twitter was all aflutter.

Cory Doctorow made his rote attack against all things not free and open to the public. His basic argument is, this paywall is flawed as a way to keep freeloaders out of their content. It will piss people off, and people will stop linking to the Times because they won't want to, by extension, piss of their readers.

The other general negative sentiment is that the site will hemorrhage traffic, lose ad revenue, etc. This may all be correct, but I'd wager, and the Times is wagering big time, that none of that matters.

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