DGLA Nominations & Predictions
Breaking the Glass Slipper on "Writing Characters of the Opposite Gender"

The Wnids of Wniter, Long Content, and Hatsune Miku

Wnids of Wniter

The Winds of Wniterr

Automated Fanfic generator! If you're tired of waiting for The Winds of Winter, here's my algorithmically generated conclusion:

Tyrion felt really dperessed one day. She had been slitting her wrists even more then normal. She had just found out that she was adopted. Her real parents turned out to be nobels from Europe. They had a upper class tower and were mighty richt! But she had none of that richness around. It made her feel pretty bad about herself so she listened to some good music.

But long she did not have to be depressed as Jon came in and kissed her in her special place (they had falled in love at the end of the story see). And she said: "I love oyu so much, it hurts.But fortunately I like pain, as I am into that stuff. But I know you are hurt now and not in the sexy way. What is wrong with you? If you feel bad then I feel bad.But not in the sexy way"

So Tyrion told her the whole story. She was shocked to hear this and said "I'm really shocked to hear this! Your parents are monsters!"

"Which ones?"

"All four of them, I don't like them. As much as I don't like Sam!"

And that was a lot because Tyrion knew that Jon hated Sam because she was unbelievably stupid and fat.

But Jon took out a letter, "this had just arrived," said Jon.

Tyrion openend the envolupe and inside was an invitation:

"Most Esteemed Tyrion said the message"

"You are condord invited to the royal ball of your parents. Your real parents, miss."

"We hope to see you soon. Most esteamly yours, dutchess!"

Oh my, said Tyrion this is rad!. But Jon was a little sceptic: "Maybe it's a trick."

"Why?" said Tyrion

"Because there are.... rumours. Of Danaerys still being around!"

"Surely she could not come all the way to Europe!?" said Tyrion confidently because she didn't think that Danaerys could travel that far.

"Hurm," said Jon contagiously, "we just have to be careful."

And there's more where that came from! (Not sure why Tyrion is female, maybe I missed something in Dance wid Dlagons?)

More fun stuff below.

image from www.journalism.orgPew commissioned a big ol' study on a very specific question - do mobile readers eschew long-form content? Good news! They don't! In fact, even as they get (roughly) the same volume of visitors, the long-form readers stay over twice as long.

Also, interestingly, 'long form' apparently means over 1,000 words now. Meaning we're a purveyor of 'long form' content. Who knew?

The study is great, and relevant to bloggers (hiya!) and, theoretically, publishers (if they moved to more directly-accessible sorts of content). One fact that leapt out was the difference in social media origins:

While Facebook drives more traffic, Twitter tends to bring in people who spend more time with content. For longer content, users that arrive from Facebook spend an average of 107 seconds, compared with 133 seconds when they come from Twitter. The same pattern emerges with shorter content: Those arriving from Twitter spend more time with that content (58 seconds) compared with those coming from Facebook (51 seconds). Yet, for both short- and long-form content, Facebook referrals drive about eight-in-ten initial visits from social media sources, while Twitter drives about 15%.

Just cross-checking against my handiest source of anecdotal evidence... Pornokitsch which is, as noted, 100% long form. We're not too far off the average. Facebook generates around 75% of our 'initial visits from social media sources' and Twitter around 15%. And Twitter users stay about 2 seconds longer (as opposed to the 7 in the study). I'm not sure what that means. Our Twitter followers need to up their game, I guess?

Reinventing Open Worlds

How do you deal with complex morality - and the repercussions of an infinite number of choices - in an open world game? How can still make the stories engaging without railroading?

Killscreen looks at Great Cascade, a debut game that tries to get to the bottom of this:

Great Cascade is described as a “system of cause and effect.” It’s not scripted and it’s not a morality system. Instead, it’s simply dynamic AI characters, remembering the choices you make in regards to them, and reacting effectively to it. The story itself emerges through play: how you interact with different characters—all with their own unique personalities, traits, and memories—shapes the story itself.

A great article on gaming (I'm starting to crush on Killscreen, btw, so expect many more links in the future), if sadly too short. BUT also an interesting mindset when it comes to tabletop RPGS and - dare I say it! - fantasy world-building.

Virtual popstar, real event

A 'long form' (over 1,000 words!) piece on a Hatsune Miku concert in Seattle. If you have no idea who she is (I didn't), she's a virtual pop star - a 'Vocaloid, one of a handful of fictional characters developed by Sapporo-based Crypton Future Media'. This is a real sentence from a real article, and not a William Gibson novel. 

'She' has been touring since 2009, and the crowds are both sell-out and incredibly enthusiastic. The concerts look absolutely amazing:

A real human being in the centre of a stage has a difficult-to-define quality called “presence,” something that has to do with the way a person projects power and transfixes the attention of an audience. The projected Vocaloids don’t have this, but the live backing band helps reinforce the notion that something immediate and genuine is happening, that you haven’t all gathered just to watch a video. The distribution of glowsticks also adds a slightly interactive component to being in the audience and can be quite beautiful when the crowd is coordinated.

The Kotaku piece tries (in a self-aware way) to pull together some sort of 'what does it mean?' hot-take, but let's set aside the cyberpunk musing and put our business hats on. What's this mean for the future of events? Hell, even for minor events - [<-- 1000 WORD POINT!] cons, awards ceremonies, you name it. Video streaming makes it so guests from all over the world can 'attend' - which is great. Or that 'attendees' never need to leave their sofas, which is... less great for the event itself. How do you make a virtual experience entertaining for real world attendees? How can you make a virtual pop star a worthwhile live experience? And what can we nick from it?

In the case of Hatsune Miku, the key seems to be a sort of co-creation - an interactivity before the event that leads to a sense of ownership:

What really makes the concert work, however, is the audience’s enthusiasm. Fans love to take credit for making “their” artists popular, but it’s never been more true than in Hatsune Miku’s case. Fans write her songs, make her music videos, draw her stories. Anyone can buy the program and write a song for Miku to sing; her likeness is Creative Commons-licensed. MikuMikuDance, the de rigueur software for designing Vocaloid dances for music videos, is fan-created freeware.

In a sense, they're turning out to see their own work. Hatsune is them. Je suis Hatsune?

Linky links

"We would have paid her the same if she weighed 500 pounds". Wow.

"The Man Who Put Marvel in the Black." (A warm welcome to The Undefeated!)

Jessa Crispin still not pulling punches about the demise of Bookslut.

The occult illustrations of Alphonse Mucha.

Get three issues of Sanya Anwar's gorgeous/amazing 1001 for free.

The Economist looks for a way to reform European football. (Warning: contains sports, stats)

Drew Magary is a terrible hobo.

Has 'empowerment' lost its meaning?

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