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Archives: September, 2010

Media Space debuts on UWTV with Cheezburger Network CEO Ben Huh

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There is a lot happening at UWTV right now. Sept. 29 marked the debut of Media Space, a monthly series bringing the hottest issues of the digital age into focus. The show airs monthly on UWTV (channel 27) and you can watch the entire 30-minute debut above or visit the Media Space site on for more information.

Hosted by Hanson Hosein, an award-winning former TV news journalist and director of the Master of Communication in Digital Media (MCDM), the program’s first guest was Ben Huh, CEO of the Cheezburger Network and the mind behind the hilarious LOL Cats and FAIL Blog. They discussed the physchology behind user-generated content and humor, as well as the social impact of such websites.

Said Huh, “In order for things to go viral you need a surprise and a shock factor. It is very difficult for you to be new, to be fresh and unexpected over and over again. So, instead, what we focus on is quality content on a daily basis. If you come to the site and you enjoy it, you will come back again.”

Upcoming guests on Media Space include Elan Lee of Fourth Wall Studios, Kate James of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and web entrepreneur Monica Harrington.

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What should be the next UW president’s No. 1 priority?

From the September issue of Columns comes the popular Alumni Vote:

With Mark Emmert stepping down as UW president to head the NCAA, the university has formed a search committee to conduct a national search with the goal of having a new president in place for the 2011-2012 academic year.

What should be the next UW president’s No. 1 priority?

Visit the Alumni Vote to share your opinion, and check out these replies from your fellow Huskies:

  • Preserving tuition affordability is the top priority. The higher that public university tuition increases, the tighter the door to the middle class closes on a generation of young people. Husky Promise is a good start, but is not nearly enough.
  • We need the new president to make academics the priority. Obviously, the budget is constrained, but attracting the best professors and instructors means offering higher salaries. I agree with the above observer that a new stadium and an emphasis on sports is not in the best interest of this university. An academic university does not make the media as often as sports, but it does make a reputation in the right circles.
  • All professional salaries and staff salaries need to be revisited and most reduced, and examined from the standpoint of supply and demand. Then future raises should be based on fixed dollar amounts, not percentage raises which favor those with salaries at the upper half.

Photo by Ken Lambert, The Seattle Times

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The changing face of a communications department

David Domke, chair of the UW Department of Communication, outlined his goals for the department’s next few years at a recent staff meeting. The author and former journalist reflected on these goals in a forward-looking blog post that speaks to what a communications department of the 21st-century should look like.

Domke says the department will look to be entrepreneurial, seeking funds, developing ideas and creating new products and approaches. It will engage with the public via lectures, workshops, organizational boards and partnered events. It will act as a source for news media and will seek opportunities to provide knowledge to students and foster a navigational mindset for how to succeed in a 24/7 communication world.

In short, it’ll get busy, get involved and get noticed. Read Domke’s post here, and enjoy these tasty Dawg Treats:

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UW’s TEDxChange event is the largest in the world

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Bright and early on Monday, Sept. 20, the UW was changing the world—again.

The UW’s Master of Communication in Digital Media (MCDM) hosted a satellite event at Kane Hall for The Gates Foundation’s breakthrough TEDxChange: The Future We Make, a worldwide forum designed to generate discussion and review the eight Millennium Development Goals set by the UN in 2000. It also assessed how close we are as a global community to achieving the goals by the 2015 deadline.

The main event was held in New York City and featured Gates Foundation co-chair Melinda Gates as the keynote speaker. A live feed broadcast the event to the world and more than 70 locations from Singapore to Sao Paulo hosted satellite events—the UW’s being the largest of them all. Watch the webcast here.

I have been to a couple of TEDx events this past year and both have slapped me silly with feelings of deep empowerment—to make change, to go further, to ask the tough questions. These are quickly replacing concerts and Husky games as my favorite events. There is something absolutely magical about them, and the UW was a gracious host for this special event. Attendees arrived early for a networking breakfast and were treated to a warm introduction from UW alum Bill Gates Sr.

Read more…


Become a social media rock star and hedge fund legend

Each week, we’ll gather stories and links about the University of Washington that may be of interest to you. Our aim is to become a hub for Huskies on the web and Dawg Treats is your connection to everything UW:

  • UW alum Matt Bernardy is a social media marketing manager at Microsoft. Read his blog in The Huffington Post on becoming a social media rock star.
  • From Business Insider, learn how legendary hedge funder and UW alum Bill Fleckenstein is investing right now.
  • Congratulations to UW alum Travis Senger, whose film “White Lines and the Fever!” won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the 2010 Seattle International Film Festival. The tragic story of hip-hop personality Junebug’s double-life as a DJ and drug dealer also won awards at SXSW, Tribeca and several other film festivals. See an interview with Sengar at SXSW.
  • The UW budget office estimates a $20-22 million dollar reduction in state support this year, with approximately $19 million coming from the Seattle campus. Read a joint statement from outgoing UW President Mark Emmert and Interim President Phyllis Wise.
  • UW psychologist Anthony Greenwald testifies in Witt lawsuit, saying America’s policy on gays is hurting the military.
  • Nurse Camp at UW creates opportunities for minority, low-income students.

Read more…


Now you can comment on Columns stories

Jake Locker graces the cover of the September issue of Columns

One of the things that makes a magazine so special, I think, is that you never see the sausage being made. The magazine arrives in your box all plump, glossy, tantalizing. Inside, it’s full of evocative images, pretty pictures, interesting stories. And never do you, dear reader, see what goes on behind the scenes.

For us editors, that’s the goal. As exciting as the moments of failed lighting on photo shoots and writers exasperated by our demands for yet one more revision may be, they add little to the actual story. We want you to see a great magazine. Never mind what it took us to get there.

Usually, I don’t share the inside scoop; don’t reveal the man behind the curtain, but I’ll tell you this: The September issue of Columns didn’t come without some excitement, and one serious Hail Mary pass, this month in the form of a cover shoot. Our photo of Jake Locker was shot in about 20 minutes (we often take an hour or more for a portrait like this) on a hot, August evening when the quarterback made time for us between practice and dinner, before he headed back to the field again. (Good practice for our Heisman hopeful, as we’re sure Jake is going to have to get used to the media hounding him during work.)

That’s just a hint at the great things that happened behind the scenes on Columns recently. The fall issue is out now and, I believe, full of some fantastic stories. I hope you enjoy learning about everything from what makes Locker tick to what life is like as a Buddhist monk.

A lot of new and exciting things are happening at Columns—this editors blog being one of them—and we’ll share more with you in the weeks to come. Until then, please check out the fall issue of Columns. And, let us know what you think: as of this issue, you can now comment on any of our stories.

Julie H. Case

Managing Editor of Content


World-class: UW ranks 23rd of all world universities

More accolades for the University of Washington, as the Times of London released its latest World University Rankings and the UW is 23rd overall and fourth among American public universities.

No. 1 on the list is Harvard, and 15 of the top 20 universities in the world are from the United States. The top-ranked American public university is UC-Berkeley (No. 6), followed by UCLA (No. 8) and the University of Michigan (No. 12).

So what does this mean? Well, it means there are a lot of amazing things happening here. The UW is a huge economic driver in our region, generating $9.1 billion for Washington state annually. It’s also the third-largest employer in the state behind Boeing and Microsoft, with more than 69,000 jobs supported by the UW. And don’t forget about the students who continue to excel. More than 25% of UW undergrads study abroad at some point, which is the seventh-highest participation rate in the entire country. Stupore!

Alumni everywhere are making an impact. The UW has led the U.S. in total alumni volunteering for the Peace Corps four years running. Costco, Weyerhauser, Nordstrom and countless other businesses large and small have been created by UW graduates. And there are famous faces all across the globe—Joel McHale stars in the hit NBC sitcom Community, Johnson Toribiong is the president of Palau, Cammie Croft is director of New Media and Citizen Engagement at the U.S. Department of Energy.

And that’s just three of the more than 300,000 living alumni who make the UW special. We’ve always known our university was world-class, but it’s a pretty cool feeling to hear somebody else say it, too.

Thanks to everyone who makes the UW great. Yeah, that’s you!


UW one of the top 10 college campuses to visit

The University of Washington has been ranked No. 9 on this list of top 10 college campuses to visit. That’s not a surprise by any means, but it is great exposure for the UW. There’s nothing quite like campus on a sunny spring day, a crisp fall day, or any day for that matter.

Now, the author does say the campus is in downtown Seattle. But let’s look past that. To an outsider, the campus is pretty darn close to downtown Seattle, and it is worth considering that ours is one of the only major cities in the U.S. with a world-class reasearch institution right in its own backyard.

See more UW campus photos on the Flickr pool site.

Photo by Single Malt.

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