[act-ma] reminder: NWU Digital Media Conference starts today! (6 p.m.)

Jason Pramas jpramas at igc.org
Fri Oct 16 09:26:17 PDT 2009

Dear Boston progressives,

Just a quick reminder that doors open for the NWU Digital Media 
Conference - sponsored by Open Media Boston - today at 6 p.m.

If you haven't registered yet, and are able to go, I'd very much like to 
encourage you to pop over.

That's it for now. I hope to see you all soon ... at this and other 
upcoming NWU events.

Our full conference announcement follows.


Jason Pramas
National Writers Union and Open Media Boston

p.s. - tell 5 friends about the conference, if you haven't heretofore ...

National Writers Union Digital Media Conference: "Shall We Write for 
Free or Shall We Write for Pay? Writers Face the Digital Age."

Info at http://www.digitalmediaconference.org (Online registration now 
closed! just come on down and register in person!)

Friday, October 16 (TODAY!), 7 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. (registration starts at 
6 p.m.) at the John D. O'Bryant African-American Institute, Northeastern 
University, 40 Leon St., Boston and all-day Saturday, October 17 
(TOMORROW!), 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (registration starts at 8:30 a.m.) at 
the Egan Research Center, Northeastern University, 120 Forsyth St., 
Boston, two blocks from the Museum of Fine Arts and the MBTA. Parking in 
the Renaissance Garage. http://www.northeastern.edu/campusmap/

Cost (covers Friday evening, all-day Saturday, catered lunch): $50 with 
$10 discount for members of the National Writers Union and co-sponsoring 
organizations (PEN New England, Grub Street, Open Media Boston, Women's 
National Book Association, Organizers' Collaborative, and the John D. 
O'Bryant African-American Institute at Northeastern University). $30 for 
students/low income.

For more info, contact Jason Pramas at jason at openmediaboston.org or 
617-506-9515. Ticket also admits you to the "Grassroots Use of 
Technology Conference" being held concurrently 

Friday Evening Panel

* "How Can Creators Make a Living When We Are Expected to Give Away Our 
Work for Free?"* This panel will feature a broad discussion of the 
biggest questions facing writers and other creators in this digital age. 
New technologies are doing amazing things in terms of allowing 
instantaneous communication between hundreds of millions of people 
around the globe. They are also inspiring more and more people to 
publish work of all kinds in all media for audiences large and small. 
But can people with the talent and drive to find an audience and sell 
their creative work still do so with a reasonable hope of supporting 
themselves ... and keeping control of the rights to their work? Is 
copyright relevant anymore, should new rights regimes replace it, or is 
there some kind of middle ground? Is all talk of creative rights 
outdated and antithetical to creative freedom? Will trades like 
journalism, book writing and documentary film making survive as is? Or 
change completely? Or even disappear? Will new developments like 
"citizen journalism" replace these traditional trades or augment them in 
some positive fashion? Are media corporations providing a public service 
by encouraging amateur creators to publish their work for free? Or are 
they simply exploiting amateurs and using them as a way to replace more 
expensive professionals? Panelists include Dan Kennedy (moderator) of 
Northeastern Univ. Journalism Dept., Zach Seward of Nieman Journalism 
Lab, Topper Carew, noted TV Producer and Writers Guild member, Lisa 
Williams of Placeblogger.com, Felicia M. Sullivan of Organizers' 
Collaborative, and Jason Pramas of the National Writers Union and Open 
Media Boston, plus welcome statements by Richard O'Bryant of the John D. 
O'Bryant African-American Institute and Jeanne Harnois of the National 
Writers Union.

Saturday Events

Morning Workshops

*Creators on Creative Rights:* This roundtable will feature creators 
from various industries sharing their experiences with keeping control 
of rights to their work in a time when many employers expect people to 
sell all rights to their works in all media for low one-time payments./ 
Led by Roberto Mighty (new media producer and director of prime time 
programs and documentaries), David Goodman (Open Media Boston and 
I.B.I.S. Radio)/

*Introduction to Virtual Worlds:* You've probably heard about virtual 
worlds like Second Life - online systems which allow millions of people 
to create online versions of themselves (called "avatars") and pursue 
all kinds of creative and mundane activities in a completely 
human-created environment with global reach. But did you know that 
writers are making money in virtual worlds? This workshop will provide a 
general introduction to Second Life via live demonstration of the system 
- followed by an online presentation on writing in virtual worlds. /Led 
by "Persia Bravin," the avatar of a noted UK-based journalist for major 
media outlets, Joyce Bettencourt (The Vesuvius Group and Global Kids), 
Lori Landay (Berklee College of Music Liberal Arts Dept.) and Gary Zabel 
(UMass Boston Philosophy Dept.). All participants are noted Second Life 

*New Ways to Get Paid for Your Work: Micropayments, Microfinance and 
Crowdfunding.* Can you actually make enough money from $5 or $10 
payments from your website's audience to actually make a living? Does 
getting sponsors to pay for your freelance work make good financial 
sense? This workshop will talk about the ups-and-downs of trying to fund 
your work through online micropayments, ads and donations. /Led by Jesse 
Kirdahy-Scalia (Open Media Boston)/

Saturday Lunch Talk

*The Road Less Traveled: Public Funding for Content Creation. This talk 
by noted documentary maker and community media expert Fred Johnson will 
address publicly funded media culture, and the potential of WPA-style 
programs for creators in the context of current discussions of "Public 
Media 2.0", and other possibilities now being considered in American 
academic and policy circles.

Afternoon Workshops

*Mastering Social Media and the Internet: Tweeting, Blogging, and 
Friending Your Way to Online Marketing Success.* This workshop will give 
you a jargon-free introduction to one of social media's most important 
functions - helping you to market your work to the growing online 
audience using Facebook, Twitter and other social media services. /Led 
by Rob Watson, Massachusetts Cultural Council Social Media Communication 
Coordinator, and Jeanne Harnois of the National Writers Union)/

*Is There a Future for Journalism as a Career?* Experienced journalists 
and those just entering the field - or considering going to school to 
learn to do so, see layoffs and newspaper/magazine closings and ask: are 
paid journalists opportunities out there, or should they switch to a 
field where there are jobs? /Led by Steve Simurda of the UMass Amherst 
Journalism Department./

*Who Owns Your Work: an Intellectual Property Rights Primer.* Here's 
your chance to learn not only the basics of copyright but how to spot 
new clauses that are popping up in contracts that can diminish your 
control of the use of your writing and other creative works. /Led by 
Barbara Mende of the NWU Grievance and Contract Division./

Concluding Discussion

*Open Forum on a Potential Digital Rights Campaign.* Speakout and 
Brainstorm on how we make common cause to enhance our collective ability 
to improve our working conditions online and beyond./ Led by Larry 
Goldbetter, President of the National Writers Union./

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