Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Updates: corporate giving, poetry, and another Smithsonian problem

Some updates today on past topics, in no particular order:

Say I bet you've heard the conventional wisdom about corporate charitable giving being on the decline. (Can't work in or read about this sector for more than two minutes without hearing it, really.) Or perhaps its more-specialized cousin, the one about how corporate funding for the arts is shifting to marketing budgets. Um, nope. Say how about we open nominations for a couple of new cliches to fret about, those two ceased being original or interesting back around the Carter administration.

Poetry seems to have just burst out all over within the last generation or so in the U.S., and Chicago has for some reason played a huge role in that. When I graduated from college in 1985 poetry appeared to have a smaller place in the national consciousness than competitive ballroom dancing or ultimate frisbee. Since then the poetry-slam phenomenon, created in Chicago by Marc Smith, has burst out all over the place; and I've written about the sudden creation of a large well-funded non-profit to promote classical poetry (big enough to fight over you might say) which is headquartered in Chicago. Now I read, in the Chicago Tribune, that the University of Pennsylvania two years ago started making readings of poetry available for free download to iPods, and last year the site had 8 million downloads!

And over at our misbegotten national museum, sigh...turns out that the Smithsonian has been charging for prints of photographs of iconic historical items like the Wright Brothers' plane, and citing copyright rights to justify the prices. A notable flaw being that the photographs are not in fact copyrighted, as Public.Resource.org points out, meaning that the museum has been collecting money in exchange for rights which it has never actually owned. The advocacy group applied a nice example of the radical democratization which the information age can enable: they simply downloaded all 6,288 photos from the Smithsonian and posted them for free elsewhere! Cheers to them both for the originality and the point. (And kudos to my favorite blogger Harold Henderson for the tip.)

1 comment:

venus said...

general. And what I’ve come up with is to put the “Primary Action”-button left-aligned with the form. One of the reasons for doing this is that the eye automatically searches for a new fo \rm element I’ve been doing some serious research about the positioning of buttons in forms in to the left just under the previous elemmoney and profit