Saturday, January 31, 2009

Keeping Up is Overwhelming

In class this week my students asked me how I keep up with everything, the truth is that I don't. I read as much as I can when I can. Most of my news now comes from the breaking news alerts that I get on Twitteriffic on my iPhone. A lot of times I don't even have a chance to visit the news websites but I'm informed at least minimally.

I do try to visit several blogs and websites on a regular basis including Rick's RSS, the BuzzMachine and By the way, if you can sign up for Professor Rick Hancock's job board. It will give you an idea of what jobs, resources and career networks are out there to help you. I am going to require my students to sign up so they can see the reality of the journalism job market.

I just ordered five books on What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis, Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman, The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, the Ominivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and The Man Who Owns the News: The Secret World of Rupert Murdoch. When I'll have time to read them is a totally different question but in order to teach I have to be up to speed.

I know we are in a scan society NOT a print society. Meaning as Jeremy Rifkin wrote in his book The Age of Access and noted in a previous blog post, time and attention are commodities. Therefore, I will end this post now.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

From the Chicago Tribune by way of Twitter, thanks to Mark Toney, Smith Geiger.....
WMAQ-Ch. 5 reinventing itself, tells producers, writers and editors to do the same
News producers, writers and editors at NBC-owned WMAQ-Ch. 5 were told Wednesday they must reapply for new multi-faceted positions, the demands of which reflect the station’s efforts to provide content not just for TV but the Internet, mobile devices and other emerging platforms.

The new jobs – with titles such as platform manager and content producer – are to be posted beginning Thursday, not just for internal candidates but outsiders as well.
Here's the rest of the article, WMAQ Chicago.

So, the bottom line is that beyond being fired, laid off and/or downsized, you will be eliminated if you do not learn new media skills.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow is accumulating in Nashville

Daybreak in Nashville

Winter weather is predicted in Music City USA and my Twitter friends
and I plan to cover it. You can contribute as well. Comment on this
blog, join Twitter and follow me I'm drsyb. I will establish a flickr
tab shortly I hope. On Twitter put #TNWX on any weather post. This
is going to be fun!!!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My First Book Interview

Nashville Pride Columnist and Reporter Dr. Robert Elliott conducted
the first interview about The Color-Full Alphabet Book. The piece
should run on Friday just in time for my scheduled appearance on local
show, Talk of the Town. And, the new website should launch this
weekend. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Crash Course

Please check out the work my Harpeth Hall students have done creating
tutorials for different websites.
Use second set of links on right side. The top ones take you to the


Alright, so I know the sun shouldn't be in the Jing video, I know it isn't loading quickly. I'm just having fun with new media.

Interview with John Girton on Skype taped with JING

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Washington Post Commemorative

You can order them online.

Inauguration Crowd Video with Sound

History Has Been Made!

Sorry, I could have sworn that I posted this the day of the Inauguration after I wrote it.

Hello Everybody,
Wow, what a day!! I woke up at 5am and headed straight for the shower. We were in a great place strategically (at the beginning of the line) so when we got to the train station a little after 6, we sat right down on the train. We took the train down to Dupont Circle which was beyond the National Mall. Then, we hung out at Dr. Alma's office where I took a power nap and then we walked over to an area beyond the Washington Monument. I've posted some pictures on this blog as well as on my facebook page. We were just fine watching the ceremony on the Jumbotron. Dr. Alma and I leaned up against a row of Port-a-Johns. I know that sounds awful but we were on the back side and I believe they blocked the wind and other people from crowding us in, so it worked. We could see the screen through several trees and that was fine. I also taped some with the Flip Camera, I've uploaded some of the video. People cheered former Presidents Carter and Clinton and jeered the former President Gerge W. Bush. They even broke out in an impromptu, "NA, NA, NA, NA, Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye.

People were very nice and very excited. For me, it was rough to watch them mess up the swearing in, but hey, maybe that needs to change a bit too. President Obama (doesn't that sound good) gave a meaningful speech. It wasn't earth shattering but it was solid especially the part about putting away childish things. The expectations were so HIGH that it was impossible for him to surmount them all. He isn't Jesus but many people believe he was sent by Him.

We didn't stay to listen to the entire speech because the crowd was HUGE. So we exited stage right grabbed a something to eat at an Asian restaurant called Raku. I really didn't want it at first because I was thinking about having sweet and sour chicken and they didn't serve that. However, the ginger chicken was very good.

Peace and thanks to everyone for sending me words of encouragement. This journey isn't about me, it really is about all of us. I stood and I didn't get cold until we were walking to lunch. But given the sacrifices of our ancestors, what is one day of sacrifice.

Heading Out


Remember the School House Rock segment on ENERGY, well with the power that is emanating from the Capitol, we could solve any energy crisis. The train ride was extremely pleasant. We got on at the end of the line, got a seat and executed our plan, so far without a hitch. Dr. Alma's office is about a mile from the end of the Mall and we'll head over closer to the time so we won't be exposed to the cold for so long. As you can tell, I have computer access. Anyway, I keep getting chills. This seems as surreal as it is real. People keep asking "did you ever think that we would have a Black President?" It wasn't that I didn't think it could be done, I just never thought about it. When the JUNIOR Senator of Illinois tossed his hat in the ring, I was very skeptical. I thought, "Oh, it's Hillary's turn." Now that's the traditional way of thinking. Mind you, I teach other people how to embrace change. We all must CHANGE the way we think. The old system is being replaced by fate or force in every industry, mostly for the good. It doesn't mean forgetting our wisdom, it just means integrating it.

Senator Barack Obama is gifted literally and spiritually. When he accepted the nomination at the Democratic Nomination, that's when I really felt his spirit and knew that it was his destiny to be President. When people are really special, embrace them. Pay attention to the signs. Oprah was Oprah at birth and if you ask her family and friends, they will tell you she was extremely unique. By the way, remember that Oprah backed Barack from day one.

Last night, a wonderful woman from South Africa was telling us how much this President means to the global community. So many people are so proud of America right now. They see hope now and we all need to see it too.

Alright, I'm going to take a nap and then we'll be ready to head out to see and FEEL, the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America.

Sister is Sharp!!!!

Jasmine, Dr. Alma and Dr.Syb

On train to Inauguration.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Embracing Change

As you can tell, tonight was very eventful. We attended the National Association of Black Journalists Witness to History Gala held at a multiple story brownstone that is the headquarters for the
National Visionary Leadership Project.
The Project was co-founded by Camille Cosby, Ed.D. Renee Pouissant in order to capture the stories from the older generation and pass them down to younger generations. You can find out more at their website.

The event was also an opportunity to purchase Gwen Ifill's new book, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. Gwen is a senior correspondent for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. She autographed copies and was gracious enough to take photos. When we arrived and we were standing in line to hang up our coats, I saw Lorraine Toussaint and having watched and really loved the show Any Day Now, I knew exactly who she was. I spoke to her and got a quick picture. She let me know that she is now on the show Saving Grace. I apologized for not watching it and informed her that since I have a daughter, I can tell her everything about Dora the Explorer. She laughed and said that she has a four year old so she could do the same.

From there we headed up a beautiful, yet treacherous winding staircase. Treacherous because I had on long flowing pants. Anyway, when I got to the top of the steps and investigating the second floor a bit, I walked into Bernard Shaw. He, his wife, her girlfriend were really cool. Then, I was getting on the elevator to head to the fourth floor to purchase a book when I ran into Carole Simpson. Simpson is the former weekend anchor for the ABC Nightly News. After that, we went back downstairs and sat down and that's when Glynn Thurman popped up. The next thing I knew Lorraine and her wonderful cousin who moved to DC after living in Africa for 18 years sat down next to us. Mind you, that happened because we were not star struck or rude. We had a human conversation and it was wonderful.

Anyway, I have to end soon in order to get up in the morning. I just wanted to touch base since I'm at a desktop. On the way home, we stopped at the store to get some snacks for our long day. My clothing plan is to wear my long johns, my skinny jeans, my big jeans on top, a tank top, a turtle neck, a sweater, my normal winter coat and then possibly put my long dress coat on top. Of course, I have a hat, gloves and a scarf. We tried to get the packs of warmers that you put in your gloves but they were sold out.

No tickets to the inauguration yet. No problem. I'm just grateful to be here. Thanks for all of your messages of support. After the inauguration, I have to drive Louise aka Jasmine to the airport so she can make it back to Nashville in time for a business presentation at 10am. Yes, that means I'll be driving back on Wednesday eleven hours solo. Fortunately, I'm never alone. Don't panic. I'll be just fine. Everything happens for a reason.

I didn't decide to come to DC until Friday and in that one day everything was covered. And everything has worked out just the way it should ever since I've been in DC. Don't push it, don't force it, let life happen naturally. I guess I'll go to sleep to be prepared for what tomorrow may bring.

I'll have more from my iPhone if I have reception.

Money Train

You know I couldn't resist. He was guarding money and I swear I could
have taken him. LOL

John Harris , Editor

Politico was one of the sponsors for the National Association of Black
Journalists Gala. More later.

The Governor's Wife

The Real Deal

Okay so this is more like what we'll see tomorrow. PACKED trains.
Fortunately, another one will be along soon at least that's what
Grandma always says.

Former CNN News Anchor Bernard Shaw

Governor Paterson New York

Glynn Thurman and my new friend

Lorraine Toussaint

I LOVED her in Any Day Now. She's doing Saving Grace now. And she's
a classy, cool person.

Lest We Forget

TV News pioneer and Veteran

Carole Simpson

Gwen Ifill's Book Signing


It will not look like this tomorrow.

Newspapers Should Thrive This Week

So most of you remember what happened on November 4th. Of course, newspaper newsrooms really liked what happened on November 5th even better. Their sales surgeda and it will happen again on January 21. Plan now to save and grab different copies of newspapers to avoid having to pay extra fees to get back issues. Newspaper Editors need to add as much substance to the paper as possible in order to encourage readers to use them as a reliable source for a wealth of information from time to time. Remember, people will visit your newspaper, they may not come to stay and that's alright. Just aggregate the audience and stop looking for the masses. Take the niches and add them together ala Chris Anderson, The Long Tail.

Dedication Page

Available at

The Color-Full Alphabet Book

Hopefully, this will sell like hotcakes too. Since Obamamania has hit
the District and beyond.

Dr. Syb is happy!

Exhibit A

Watched Dr. King Speech

Okay, we're not on the Mall, we're eating chicken and waffles at
Gladys Knight and the late Ron Winans restaurant. But we did hear the

Bootleg Ticket

This is Not the Commemorative ticket. We'll get that later hopefully.

Video on Inauguration Parade Route

Wake Up, It's NOT a Dream!

On this the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday, it is a more than appropriate time to wake up and realize that Americans came together and elected a truly American President. President-elect Barack Obama will be our leader in Black and White literally. He embraces who he is and whose he is. Maybe he's so cool because he is secure in his identity even as some Americans struggle with his as well as their own. Dr. King dreamed of a day when Black children and White children would be together. Guess what, Mr. Obama truly embodies the vision in every way. The American Dream is unattainable for so many and so many are now having a nightmare from attaining it. Isn't that ironic? It's time to realize that we each should have a dream of giving more than we receive, loving more than we ever thought possible and living like there is no tomorrow in a meaningful way. Dr. King dreamed of equality. At the time, it was a noble cause. In hindsight, the battle should have been for equity since God created all men as equals. Still, Dr. King is a hero, an iconic leader whose legacy should never be forgotten. And on this day, the day before an African American (Kenyan and Kansan) will become the most powerful person in the free world, I pray that Dr. King, Coretta Scott King, Harriet Tubman, the three Civil Rights workers in Mississippi, Linda Brown, Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks , the four little girls, the Little Rock Nine,
and so many more can see what America has done. We honor their work today and vow to move on fully awake in order to enjoy the reality of the dream and make a significant contribution to future generations. For what we have been given is truly priceless. Let Freedom Ring! Happy Birthday, Dr. King.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thelma and Louise

In front of grandstand.

Presidential Inauguration Game Plan

Well, we (Thelma and Louise aka Dr. Syb and Jas) finally went downtown and visited 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. We also walked on the very street that President-Elect Barack Obama will use when he is the President. It was really amazing. And the kicker was that we drove all the way and it really wasn't crowded downtown. On top of that, many restaurants were closed in spite of the increased number of people in town. I just don't understand it. In this economy, I would have definitely maximized the moment. On a side note, it was really cold and we weren't outside for a long time. Hopefully, the masses of people will not just generate energy but also some serious heat on Inauguration Day. One of the back up plans must be to find a restaurant or a church downtown to watch the inauguration if need be. We'll more than likely be in the public areas watching it on the Jumbotron anyway. You can't even bring a thermos. Still, I plan to prevail. Send warm wishes.

Trying to upload some Flip camera video without success. I'll have to try again in the morning.

The Press Grandstand

The future home of the Obama's

Morning Meeting

Using the Washington Post to map out THREE Inauguration strategies.
Not sure if any of them will work. Parking by the train opens at
3:30am and the train starts running at 4am. If we get a parking space
great. If not, we'll ride the bus to the train. We are making
contingency plans for the contingency plan.

It's a minor sacrifice to make for Coretta Scott King, Harriett
Tubman, my parents, family and friends. I will stand for those who
can't be here. It's an honor, a blessing, a privilege and a
responsibility that I take seriously. Think about it, the slaves
escaped into the unknown. They had to face their fears. And so many
people of all races, creeds, and colors have given so much for this
moment in time. It's emotional, spiritual, and inspirational.

Red Snapper

Well, the first night in the DC area was filling. After waking up at
1:30am on Saturday morning and then driving 11 hours (and yes I drove
all the way), I was a tad more exhausted than I thought. This year
marks 10 years since I earned Ph.D at in Nashville
thanks to God, my family and my mentor Dr. Alma. And Alma and I have
kept in touch ever since. She and her husband suggested this
wonderful restaurant. The Red Snapper filled my belly and the lights
went out. But before my eyes shut, I had my normal conversation with
hurricane Alma (I am just one of the tornadoes she spawned). She had
all of these wonderful articles and President-Obama memorabilia. To
hear her passion, excitement, and commitment to the realization of A
BIG dream was contagious after being up so many hours. More to come.
Please pardon spelling errors etc. I'll be reporting mostly from my
iPhone. It's the lightest, easiest and most realistic way to
communicate in the crowds.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Made It!!!

This will be my humble abode for a couple of days. Traffic wasn't too
bad. Of course, I'm not IN DC but about a 30 minute train ride away.

Are local businesses prepared?

Stopped at a very nice Subway with great food and service. However,
they only have two employees on duty. They are enroute to DC. When
asked about the crowd, they were calm and somewhat detached. This is
an opportunity in a bad economy. Maybe I'm just too analytical.

Inauguration Travel

So far, so good on I-81 in Virginia.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Crash Course

Inspired by all of the application icons at the end of each blog post
on, I asked students to choose two and create how to
tutorials on different ones. Multimedia is so much fun. They are
also figuring out when, if, and how to use it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Dr. Syb: The Author

My friends and I have declared the year of 2009, a year of dreams being realized. To that end, I am elated to share with you that I am now a published author. Okay, it's a children's book but that counts. I know, I know I still have some fiction and non-fiction projects to complete, but while you're waiting for those, please support this endeavor by buying books and spreading the word.

The Color-Full Alphabet Book by Dr. Syb.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

Harpeth Hall

As an all girls private school prodigy, I love uniforms. I'm also
excited about this class!

Happy New Year!

Alright after a brief hiatus, I'm back blogging, teaching multimedia and seeing what else I can do to further the new media march into the future. Today, I'm teaching freshman and sophomores at Harpeth Hall about the social media. The assumption is that this generation is multimedia savvy. So far, I have not found this to be the case. Many don't know about Twitter, Mogulus or many of the other fun tools on the web. I'll survey the room and hopefully remember to let you know the results. Of course, they've got the mobile thing down at least dialing, texting and shooting pictures. I wonder what else a mobile phone can do?