Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bedlam Stories

Can't say too much about it yet, but things are looking very good for Bedlam Stories to go into production in 2012. Here's some concept art from Chad Michael Ward:

I'll be writing for it, and possibly contributing some other media. More here when I'm able to share it!

While you're waiting, why don't you check out one of the many projects I put out in 2011?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Apocalyptic Imaginary Early Edition Available as eBook

This book captures and expands upon the unique commentary and analysis that has helped define the Modern Mythology project in 2011. Through the voices of many contributors, we collectively take a hard look at the blurred lines between narrative and truth, philosophy and literature, personal history and cultural memory. All of this is done with an eye towards the imagined apocalypse that is always just around the corner.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Media and Monetizing The Container

By James Curcio
Some of us still remember going to a store to buy a CD, a tape... a record! Or a book. Most of us don't want to buy just any book. We want to buy a book with certain content. A book associated with a certain author or idea we are attracted to.

A few of us bemoan the loss of quality that occurred with the containers themselves over the years. The decline of paper quality, the loss of craftsmanship in the process of mechanization, mass-market industrialization. They are the few who relish the feel of the material object in their hand, consider its craftsmanship a part of what it is. Books themselves used to be works of art. But this is unfortunately an even older perspective on media. Most consumers don't think much about the container, the packaging, or anything else. It is all to be discarded, it is all attractive junk. They want to devour the "good stuff" inside. Or maybe they just want to put the book on their bookshelf and make people think they read it.

You know the story of what's happened. Digital media doesn't require a container. You can download an album, a movie, and now a book, without needing a container. You can carry hundreds or thousands of them around with you. And so we have the advent of "piracy," because all these years we've been monetizing the container. This is not an entirely new point, even for me - I've weighed in on this subject many times in the past. 

What I want to ponder - what I want all of us to ponder - is the conundrum facing both the producers of media and the companies that "support" them. We'll also look at some of the ways that these companies have failed to sufficiently understand the problem they're facing. 

How To Do SEO Write (And Not Be A Douchebag)

By James Curcio
Some of what I say here are probably occult "secrets" that shouldn't be shared. Maybe I'm decreasing my "market value." I don't know. I just want to clue you in on just a few of the things I've picked up essentially living with a console of some sort glued to my nervous system for the last decade and a half.
There are, generally speaking, three kinds of SEO. I'm going to talk about two of them here. The third is "black magic" and I'm not going to talk about it. At least, not yet. 

There's the kind of SEO that you learn as a part of web design.
This is how I first learned it, officially. It is what tells you to create all of your "semantic" content in HTML, and keep all design elements as CSS and graphics. Why? So you don't confuse the search engines. It tells you to create a hierarchy of priority using things like page titles, meta tags, and header tags. It is actually not incredibly complicated. It shouldn't be. It's simply "best practices" designers should follow to make their sites easy to spider.

There is "SEO writing." This has two sides. 

The first is the writing element of what I just described: understanding how to format a document so that it is easiest for machines to parse. Hierarchy. Headers. Bullets. Proper image tags. Don't bury your key ideas inside some arcane table. Look at what words you use next to which words. Consider using but not overusing certain combinations of words, especially in regard to core concepts. 

The second is more complicated. This involves a mixture of timing, intuition, association, and having the kind of manic attention that can follow what thousands of people are saying at once. I'll talk about this last one first because it relates to the other three.