convergence: blogs and forums

My earlier comment about traffic really boils down to the fact that it is hard to police a community of blog commentators. However, if you look across the “pond” to the web-based forum, they often don’t have the same kind of problems. Forums like phpbb offer much tighter and fine-grained control over the userbase.

However, there is a lot of overlap between a forum and a blog. Topics are categories; posts are posts, replies are comments. You can essentially map the two onto each other.

I had posted on this some years ago[1], but others have also been thinking about it. For example, there’s a plugin for phpbb called phpbblog.

UPDATE: There has been substantial interest in creating a plugin for WordPress that uses the WP database for the forum user db. Also, the forum software in use at wordpress.com (bbpress) itself actually boasts complete user integration. But this kind of misses the point – I am talking about a blog and a forum as different “skins” to the same discussion content, not two separate content spheres intersecting solely at the level of the userdb.

[1] my previous posts on this topic below the fold: Continue reading “convergence: blogs and forums”

My crazed obsession Totoro

Steven has been watching My Neighbor Totoro, and comments, “I watched it twice, and I’m still not sure what story it was telling. I’m not even sure there was a story. In fact, I’m not even sure there needed to be one.”

Try watching it 50 times!

True story – when I first saw Totoro, my daughter was about two years old. I actually picked the movie up in the $5 bin at Wal-Mart. I brought it home thinking she’d like it.

She became a Totoro addict. There is something in this movie that is like crack for little kids. I don’t just mean she wanted to watch it often; I mean she wanted to watch it eight times a day. In succession. Back to back.

After dealing with tantrum after tantrum I finally had enough and sent the damn disc to my parents’ house a thousand miles away across four state lines. As far as my daughter knew, we “lost” it. Somehow we weaned her off Totoro.. though my sister, evil incarnate that she is, suddenly “found” the disc and sent it back.

I hope that it won’t be toddler crack like last time – especially since my daughter is now four and maybe if her reaction to the film is non-insane, I can actually enjoy it myself. I am quite keen to see whether the 4-year old in the film matches up to the four year old on the sofa. When we were watching Sugar, she was kind of indifferent to the Kannnon character who was also her age, but as Steven mentions, in Totoro the four year old actually acts four years old. So, it will be quite interesting indeed to see whether my daughter recognizes a kindred spirit or not.

Gedo Senki: Legend of Earthsea

Studio Ghibli is producing an anime version of Ursula K. LeGuin’s classic science fiction series, The Legend of Earthsea. It is being directed by Moro Miyazaki, son of the legendary Hayao.

For a fan of science fiction alone, this would be incredibly exciting news. As a fledgling otaku my anticipation can now extend along the anime axis as well! Of course there is no guarantee that the junior Miyazaki is as talented as the father, nor is there any guarantee that a piece of literature will survive the transition to film. Bicentennial Man was a real stab in the heart for Asimov purists, and I’ve ranted on the H2G2 movie before. But there are successes – witness the glory that was Blade Runner (an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?). I think that the anime format suits the subject matter far better than live-action and have high hopes indeed.

Most of those high hopes being fed by what I’ve already seen of the film, of course. You can view the trailer as a Flash movie at Ghibli.net or at YouTube.

There’s also a production blog (translated by Nausicaa.net).

Haibane fanart

While I am sure there is an infinite supply of this sort of thing out there under the dot-jp domain, this particular Haibane fanart gallery happened to be indexed by google. There are of course the usual obsessions with swimsuits, but what I found much more interesting were the concept art of scenes we never actually saw in the series, such as Reki taking her Flight, and Rakka’s cocoon bursting. And this scene of Raka and Reki in kimonos is just surreal, yet also somehow appropriate…

Of course, the Haibane rock band also, well, rocks. Go, Reki! And I note that the artist has a particular thing for Nemu…