Around the Office: Twitter town hall, Tilt-shifting the classics, more

This week, US President Barack Obama answered questions on the economy and jobs in his first Twitter town hall. Obama’s use of contemporary media has been cleverly compared to that of other American presidents, who have used the popular medium of their day such as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s use of radio, John F. Kennedy’s televised news conferences, and Bill Clinton’s taking of questions on MTV and “Larry King Live.”

This has had Roberto consider the increasingly important role of social media in our lives, and how it can hardly be ignored by politicians, nor by businesses. Market research company, Forrester, for instance, recently estimated that social media marketing spending in 2011 will total $1.2 billion in the US alone. Roberto’s advice to any business — small, medium and large — is to not ignore social media as a part of their strategy and online presence. Knowing well its power, Pres. Obama does not ignore social media; he takes advantage of it.

Tilt-shift photography can create the impression of a miniature scene in photographs using selective focus. This week, Brent discovered a reworking of a famous Vincent van Gogh painting, Starry Night Over the Rhone, using a digitally simulated tilt-shift that puts into focus foreground elements and reflections on the rippling water. This tilt-shift interpretation ranks among other tributes to this painting, which include the Don McLean ballad “Starry Starry Night”.

Eva found a great video showing that you can create an animation using the Chrome Web browser. The Japanese video shows a group drawing individual panels, which are each scanned, and put into a Chrome tab. Once there were around 300 tabs, they shut down the browser, showing the images sequentially, which tell a story. Who would have thought that closing an application could be so entertaining?