Weekly blog #12

Astronomy picture of the day by NASA.

What have I accomplished?

This class was very beneficial and crucial to the development of my final project. I had my idea and my research, and knew that I wanted to create a project but I originally had trouble figuring out what that would look like. After a few tries with some ideas I finally decided on a TV program. I produced and hosted a program last semester and it was by far my favorite thing I accomplished at Temple so far. With that, I think that culminating my Master’s program in the same fashion is worth my while.

Not only did I develop my topic into a tangible project, I also selected my committee. This is crucial to the project and I’m happy that this class helped my figure this out.

Additionally, it was nice to be with my classmates again after colloquium. A lot of them offered to serve as crew members for my project and I’m so thankful for that.

Even taking this course as an independent study and not participating in every assignment is beneficial. I can still take the projects that I haven’t completed and organize myself with deadlines and parts of the project to be completed.

So, what’s next?

I will be meeting with Paul Gluck before break to select a date to record my show. It will be sometime in February. Also, once this date is set I know it will also really motivate me even further to complete the things I need to complete before the show is recorded.

These items include:

An intro and outro for the show as a whole, as well as my prompter cards for the opening and closing of each segment.

Outline the time stamps and create a schedule for the show.

Organize and collect all the media I will be using and referencing on camera.

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! All winter break I want to ensure that I know my material inside and out since the second half of the show is candid.

I’ve also been watching more episodes of the Patriot Act on Netflix, my reference media/inspiration, and critiquing them and taking notes on his performance to emulate that.

co-star conquers the masses | weekly Blog #11

What am I reading?

How the Design of the Astrology App Co-Star Is Conquering the Masses by Giorgia Lombardo

Giorgia Lombardo sat down with Andrew Lu, lead designer at Co-star, to discuss the app. One thing Co-star prides itself in is not contributing to the technological overload one can easily experience in this era. Co-star highlights the fact that they only send out one push notification a day, keeping their users coming back for more on a daily basis. This also prevents users from being glued to the screen all day, which can happen with other apps and media platforms. Co-star also emphasizes a very intimate space where users are able to connect on deeper and more personal levels than most networking apps.

“Something really exciting about how we’ve seen people use Co-Star is that they open the app and converse over it when they’re actually physically together, like at a bar or over brunch. It feels like an enhancement of “real” life, versus a diversion from it. So I enjoy digital products that provide this kind of experience”

These online connections are thriving in real life social settings as well. The app is taking over the digital world as well as the ‘real world’.

“The digital world adds to my physical experience, instead of the other way around.”

The app gives users a sense of authenticity which can be lacking in most other platforms.

The article ended with this blurb:

Andrew Lu will be at Design Matters 19 to explain how they translated the complex, spiritual practice of astrology into an approachable, practical tool desgined to better understand how people relate to each other.

I want to see if I can find video clips of him talking at the conference. This really opened my eyes to see how I’m truly connecting hot and cool media in more than one way. Not only did the cool media technology of the Hubble telescope trigger the hot media phenomenon of astrology via the internet and social media but now this company is commodifying it in a way to work its way past people’s digital lives, but into their physical lives as well. A tool to connect people through an app; in ways supposedly more deep and personal than natural human interaction.

How does it relate?

I really want to highlight the why in regards to my topic. I think that focusing on astrology’s prominence in pop culture and how it seems to be gaining even more popularity is essential to understanding the connection between the development of technology (more hot media) and the presence of the universe in the post-hubble era. It’s a form of technology that is claiming to be king because of the way it connects individuals and brings them back to technological simplicity. It utilizes the vastness (and fear of the unknown) in the universe to comfort its users. I’ve known about the app but I loved that this article actually featured on of the lead designers so I could understand more of the technical ways that this app is designed and get an idea of why it seems to resonate with people the way that it does. The app is even made it’s way into the ‘Twittersphere’, where I screen shotted various Co-star reference below.

An update

My committee is now finalized and I will be acquiring signatures this week. (YAY!) – My fellow classmates were gracious enough to express interest in being part of my crew on production day so I want to send out an email to them before break asking them if they could sign up for different positions (cameras, teleprompter,audio etc.) and have them confirm. Paul estimated that I should shoot in February, so I will finalize the date over winter break. My plans for winter break also consist of more research and studying my material inside and out to be able to speak candidly on the second half of my show which is my goal. The foundation of my project finally feels complete and I’m so excited to continue to build upon it and watch it come to life.

Lombardo, G. (2019, June 20). How the Design of the Astrology App Co-Star Is Conquering the Masses. Retrieved from https://medium.com/demagsign/how-the-design-of-the-astrology-app-co-star-is-conquering-the-masses-d6b6d235c806.

weekly blog #8

NASA image

Initial Media Feedback

The feedback I received on my initial media was positive and constructive overall. My project recently changed and is now back in the beginning stages of work. One of the questions asked in regards to my project is if I want this new show to be similar or in conversation with my last show or if I want it to be different to show a variety of work that I can produce. 

I think my previous show also looked at a very 21st century way of viewing media, much like this topic is geared toward so I think a similar approach would make sense. My hosting style will be different than the previous show, and that’s something I’m very excited about. The first program I produced was strictly various interview segments where I could rely on a conversation with another guest or two, whereas this has an interview segment of the beginning but the second half of the program is me alone relying on myself to carry the program. A lot of the second half isn’t scripted so I’m going to have to rely on my knowledge and research that I have completed for this project and trust myself to deliver it in a clear and concise way to the audience. 

Some other critiques pertained to logistical things about the set, i.e lighting, the screen for infographics etc. that I will have to work out with Paul Gluck once we solidify the set design and nail done the running time, segments, and breaks. An official outline will help this manifest.

Also to address the NASA image copyright question the website states the following:

What Have I Done and What’s Next on the Agenda?

This past week I met with Paul Gluck to confirm this project idea and recruit him to be on my committee (just have to process the paperwork for this). Additionally, I met with Nancy Morris to tell her about my project and ask for some committee advice. Originally, Barry Vacker was going to be my committee chair, but since the form of the project has changed and I would like for him to be my interview subject I was wondering if it would be a conflict for him to chair. She suggested that it may be, but that it would be perfectly fine for him to still be on the committee. With that, I’m a little nervous about finding a committee chair- which is the most important thing. I sent him an email detailing my new project approach and asking him about his role in everything- I am waiting on a response.

Next few steps to be taken:

Securing interview guest (waiting on a response)

Finalizing committee (one member confirmed, waiting on a response to decide chair/regular member status for Barry Vacker, then deciding on a third). 

Solidifying a crew for production (I have some potential volunteers from my lovely classmates) 

Outlining my showIntro/Outro – graphics as well as my teleprompter intro and outro

Continuous work to be done:

Research!! & Organizing all the ideas I have, I plan to work a lot of this out in the form of a PowerPoint presentation to not only denote images/videos I may use but to keep my thoughts linear as well. 

Weekly blog #5

What am I reading?

Hot and Cool in the MediaScene by Barry Vacker and Julia Hildebrand. One of the major concepts in this article is the idea that 21st century technology has allowed us to discover more about the universe than we ever thought possible. The unveiling of the big, bad, universe came as a shock to a lot of human beings. This new-found existential void is leading people to look for ways to fill the void and the solution? Your smart phone. From the smart phone in the palm of your hand all the way out to the Hubble Telescope, then the satellites orbiting our solar system- there are different layers of media technology. These layers are called The Big Strata and are defined by endo, ego, eco, and exo-media. These then get translated into the 21st century hot and cool media binary, originally developed by Marshall McLuhan. Hot media promotes an inward gaze whereas cool media promotes an outward gaze.

How does it relate?

This article is actually the inspiration, and pretty much the foundation, for my project. At a glance, astrology would be considered a cool media technology. It promotes an outward gaze into the universe, by utilizing the Hubble Telescope to capture images of the constellations. However, astrology takes these outer space images and give these constellations defining personality traits that human beings subscribe to, turning the outward gaze inward. Cool media technology triggers hot media technology. That’s how humans are trying to fill the void- they seek refuge inside the spectacle. A constellation made up of stars billions and billions of lightyears away is a lot less scary if it’s actually there to give you insight on your personality, your love life, and your future. Now it’s not about the big, bad universe- it’s about you.

An update

To start, I’ve scheduled a meeting with Barry Vacker for Monday, September 29thas a potential committee chair. I also met with Professor Zaylea this past week, which really helped me verbalize and work out a lot of ideas I wanted to put toward my project.

With that being said, the concept for my project has changed. Instead of strictly creating a video, my newly proposed idea is an interactive website with shorter video clips. The video clips will be in different styles, based off of the content for each. One might be a sit down formal interview, while another clip may be me explaining concepts and ideas in front of the camera myself (YouTube style). Other video clips are going to be super colorful and have lots of satellite images and just captivating visual content and colors while I explain theory. Once I’m able to nail down what content I want in each video, then I can figure out the stylistic approach for each.


Vacker, B., & Hildebrand, J. (2018, January 28). Hot and Cool in the MediaScene: A McLuhan-Style Art and Theory Project. Retrieved from https://medium.com/mediascene/hot-and-cool-in-the-mediascene-a-mcluhan-style-art-and-theory-project-658ce02a6af8.