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All posts by Karen Jeynes

Karen Jeynes is a writer, arts manager, lecturer, and general wrangler of words. Predominantly aplaywright, but sometimes she writes for websites, magazines, radio, television, novels, or newspapers. She’s pretty indiscriminate. She lectures in Digital Culture; and teaches scriptwriting at SA Writers College. In her spare time she goes to committee meetings, reads anything she can get her hands on, and watches reality television, chick flicks and bad horror films. You can read her blog on writing and theatre and stuff.
  • 10 Essential digital tools for budding authors

    Ironically, I experienced a great deal of writer’s block when writing this article. In fact, right now, all I can think of is Fatboy Slim's "right about now, the funk soul brother" which is of no help to any of us. But a deadline is a writer’s best friend, so I opened up Notepad, and went in search of a little inspiration. Where does a writer go to find apps that help you jolly well get on and write? The basics: Assuming you can write, the biggest problem you’re going to face is focusing on – ooh, did you see...

  • 9 Social media resolutions worth keeping in 2012

    Although New Year's resolutions might be viewed with an air of scepticism these days, it's always worth aiming to start the year on the right foot. If you don't want to do anything as extreme as ArLynn Presser's quest to overcome her agoraphobia and meet all her Facebook friends, there are still a few things we should all consider. DO 1. Take time to do a clean out of your contacts. Make a break...

  • 10 online tools that guarantee you’ll have a great festive season

    Tis the Season to be jolly, they tell me, and as lots of us pack up for an end of year holiday, here are some ways your computer can be part of your holiday fun. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas 1. These days, it's not just the kids sending Santa letters, Santa sends them videos too. Create a personalised message for a child (or adult) in your life quickly and easily with Portable North Pole. And they're now even more portable, as you can download the app for your iphone or Android. My only question is, who sends...

  • Six ways to make migrating to your new laptop less of a nightmare

    I recently migrated laptops. Alarming how simple that sentence looks. I mean, migrations are long and hard, and things die. They have an alarming inevitability. Everything in their path gets trampled. Being able to express that in a single tiny sentence seems unfair. Unfortunately there's little that can be done about the endless hours and megabytes you will spend on downloading Windows updates, and there's no relief for us Windows XP diehards who now have to come to grips with Windows 7 (having gleefully avoided the Vista bullet). And for some reason, Windows makes it as difficult as technologically possible to...

  • Yo mama’s blog: 10 of the ‘best’

    "Why don’t you write about the non-mumsy mom type sites? Or something like that. You know what I mean" was pretty much the brief I got. And so I set out on a quest. I ploughed through pooey nappy posts and pictures. I was up to my elbows in constipation advice and lurid descriptions of piles and varicose veins. I nearly lost my bottle in an onslaught of product endorsements and cutesy pie backgrounds. And let’s not mention the disgusting disregard for spelling, grammar, and the CORRECT PURPOSE OF CAPS that afflicts some of these poor souls. I did...

  • Perceptions of women online are stuck in the Dark Ages

    We have a real obsession with labels in our society. We like to put people into nice little boxes and categories, so we can package them, pop them on a mental shelf, and not worry about them. And we tend to do this far more with women than with men. The ancient literary trope of "maiden, mother, crone" seems to be alive and kicking online. And I, for one, am sick of it. A literary metaphor for representations of the female online may seem a little academic, but I believe this has serious ramifications in the real world. The internet...

  • Who the bleep are you?:The pros and cons of online anonymity

    Anonymous has given anonymity a bad name. Pseudonyms, aliases, nom de plumes, all have lubricated social communication for centuries. Famously, several female authors wrote under male names, but other reasons given for changing one's name include feeling free to write about people you know without recrimination, attempting to mute obvious cultural elements of your name so that people don't view you through the lens of a particular worldview, or just plain wanting to have a different persona. The battle has been waged on several fronts -- unsurprisingly, as the internet is spreadeagled across nations with many different laws and perspectives...

  • 9 apps to make you lose faith in humanity

    Applications; what a few years ago was something we filled in when we wanted a job, has become an integral part of the way we use technology. In the war between Android, iPhone and BlackBerry, apps are tossed about like hand grenades. What started out as an honest effort to make our phones more versatile, has turned into a silly festival. Don't get me wrong, I delight in the sheer unnecessary entertainment offered by fmylife or damnyouautocorrect and am grateful to all those YouTube video creators who spend hours lipsyncing politicians to dodgy lyrics, but I'm not always satisfied....

  • An ode to Prezi

    It started as a casual flirtation. I was perfectly content with my presentation software at the time, and while Prezi was new and stylish and slick, and I gave it admiring glances in passing, I saw no reason at the time to break up with good old fashioned Microsoft Powerpoint. But a few years and several conferences down the line, the tedious, endless, same old, same old presentations became a little too much. While Powerpoint remains a useful way of organising my holiday photos, if I was going to wake anyone up with my conference presentation, I needed something new....