Maine-based sharing networks in the news

Still Water’s co-directors are in the news this month in articles about an online song-and-story sampler and crowdfunding for indie movie projects.

A Village Soup article on Maine, in Song and Story showcases an interdisciplinary digital curation collaboration between the Folklife Center, History department, and Still Water Co-Director Joline Blais‘s New Media students.

The Maine Song and Story Sampler (MS&SS) website — with accompanying lesson plans for K-12 teachers — is the culmination of a year’s work by Folklife Center director Pauleena MacDougall and history graduate student Josh Parda….

The site presents audio and video recordings of traditional songs and stories as downloadable mp3s and mpeg4s on a map on the Internet with accompanying transcriptions of the text and musical notations — thus creating a global audience for Maine and some of the Northeast’s unique traditions. Visitors to the site can click on a Google map of the Northeast, find their community and click on a link to a song or story from their community….

The website, designed by associate professor Joline Blais and students in a New Media design lab class in the spring, was developed with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Meanwhile Jon Ippolito weighs in on the benefits of crowdfunding in this article from the Lewiston/Auburn Sun Journal.

“The idea of crowdsourcing has been applied to funding for maybe five years or so,” said Jon Ippolito, an associate professor of new media at the University of Maine.

It has roots in micro-lending (think very small loans that might help a village in a remote part of the world install a well), he said. “It’s not just a fad, it’s a movement that has taken on some steam.”

Those running campaigns spread the word via press releases, Twitter, Facebook or e-blasting contacts. Anyone, anywhere in the world can kick in. Ippolito said people click “donate now” to be altruistic, or for personal reputation — “that’s its own currency”– or to get something back — what he calls the “public radio model.”

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