Welcome to the one place where EMAC is Whack!

"Attack of the EMAC" is Kevin Sharpe's class blog for EMAC 6300: Introduction to the Study of Emerging Media and Communications at the University of Texas, Dallas. He is an educational marketing manager and runs the Newspaper in Education program at The Dallas Morning News.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Following up to my AC Advocacy!

After my last post about the impact of air conditioning on sun belt culture and community, I remembered an argument I made in spring 2010 about the new AT&T Performing Arts Center in downtown Dallas. I alluded to air conditioning, but did not make an obvious connection regarding how AC can be attributed to the lack of any type of street-life outside in the heat heart of the PAC.

I wanted to be sure I offered a solution and not just blame. Rather than get all preachy and say how weak Dallasites are about the heat and how AC has spoiled us, I just wanted to point out an opportunity to impact the culture.

It's another example that demonstrates how AC has impacted our infrastructure here in the heat heart of the sun belt!

Consumer demand requires these cultural centers to include parking solutions since the automobile is a "driving" factor in a culture like Dallas where the car is king. While the overall approach to the center's design embraced underground parking in order to prevent any significant type of unappealing impact on the architectural aesthetics, the consequence of this "door-to-door" air conditioning challenge has been an absence of any vibrant street life as well as any sense of community.

Short of suggesting Dallas puts the new AT&T PAC inside a bubble and pump in sweet AC, I attempt to motivate and inspire others to act.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Keeping Cool is the Message ...

Video response to reading is here...

Here's some more insight into the concept I introduced in the video.

The clip I mentioned regarding the 1990 Barry Levinson movie "Avolon" starring Elijah Wood is here. Just after the scene with the parade circus, is a demonstration of the point.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Totally off topic: I NEED YOUR VOTE!!!

Help!!!!! I need your vote!
I'm a finalist in a video contest here in Dallas!!!! They're accepting votes now! Please please please please vote for #13 - Kevin Sharpe "DFW DART Dude at Dealy Plaza the Day After Snow Storm" Please spread the word! THIS IS SERIOUS!!!! Major Dallas Celebrities and Movie Makers will see my ...work and offer me contracts!!!!!

You can vote for #13 more than once!


Connecting to the audience to succeed

When Plato uses Socrates in a fictional dialogue to instruct Phaedrus -- as well as the reader-- what it takes to be effective with rhetoric in “Phaedrus,” one of the concepts that is introduced as a vital element that needs to be addresed in order to “enchant the soul” is an understanding of the audience’s prior knowledge of a topic or what they know to be true.

Two approaches that are compared to support this approach is referenced when Socrates describes a difference of opinion between the Egyptian king Thamus and the god Theuth. While the Egyptian god says he discovered that writing is a remedy for memory, Thamus goes further to claim that writing is a remedy for reminding rather than remembering. Without an understanding of what the intended audience knows -- as well as what they may need to be reminded about -- the writer, or orator, will not successfully persuade the audience and enchant their souls.

This analysis of the audience and an understanding of the memories they possess can be the principle an artist must master in order to inspire and motivate others to act.

“...he will next divide speeches into their different classes: - “Such and such persons,” he will say are affected by this or that kind of speech in this or that way,” and he will tell you why. The pupil must have a good theoretical notion of them first with all his senses about him or he will never get beyond the precepts of his masters. But when he understands what persons are persuaded by what arguments, and sees the person about whom he was speaking in the abstract actually before him, and knows that is is he, and can say to himself, “This is the man or this this the character who ought to have a certain argument applied to him in order to convince him of a certain opinion”; - he who knows all this, and knows also when he should speak and when he should refrain, and when he should use pithy sayings, pathetic appeals, sensational effects, and all the other modes of speech which he has learned; -when, I say, he knows the times and seasons of all these things, then, and not till then, he is a perfect master of his art; but if he fail in any of these points, whether in speaking or teaching or writing them, and yet declares that he speaks by rules of art, he who says “I don’t believe you” has the better of him.”

Whether an artist is in sales, politics, law, or education -- let alone philosophy or religion -- the ability to connect with the audience ensures success. This analysis of the audience needs to be objective and non-judgemental or else the arrogance of the artist comes through and offends those who are being addressed to the point where the reject what the artist claims to be truth. An artist who wants to impress -- rather than connect -- may not succeed in driving the audience to achieve a desired outcome. Using common references rather than ones that obscure and unknown pulls people in because they can recognize what is presented to them.

Today, demographics and psycho-graphics are used to categorize consumers in order to ensure the appropriate use of vocabulary, sentence structure, literary references and poetic devices as well as images. Recognizing an audience’s prior knowledge and experience sets the tone and builds a bond so trust can be achieved.

Discussion Points:
- At what point does "connecting" with the audience become "pandering" to the audience? Is one more responsible than the other? Is one more effective than the other?
- Are there ethical concerns when analyzing the audience's prior knowledge and understanding?
- Is the author being responsible when embracing the princples Plato?