The CMIR and What it Means to Me.

The CMIR is a place I frequent quite often. I am in there almost every single day and it’s a place that has basically come home. I can get work done in the AHA! Lab and I have met on several occasions in the meeting rooms to get projects done. It has also allowed me to come up with some anchor videos to show potential future employers.

The CMIR has two main components and both are beautiful areas of the J-School that see so many different groups use them. I know that the production group, ChomPics, uses both those spaces quite often for their writing and directing teams to meet. As a member of NBS, I know we have used the AHA! Lab for several general meetings and the projectors in there to show some ChomPics videos as well.

I have gone there alone many times as well to get some work done and it is definitely one of the hidden gems on the entire campus. I personally think the 21st Century News Lab is under utilized by many students because it is on the ground floor, but is a great resource for the college and those in it.


Tipping Point Review

The book The Tipping Point is almost 15 years old, but still holds relevance in today’s world in reference to how things catch on or become world wide phenomenons. Gladwell starts his book describing the foundations of how things to get the tipping point or boiling point or critical mass if you prefer the science route. Although many believed that these things didn’t have anything in common, Gladwell goes on to say that there are in fact three factors or variables to decide how something might become the next biggest thing.

Those variables are: the Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor, and the Power of Context. Using the disease epidemic model, Gladwell says that these things can be traced back to a small group of people. There are usually three kinds of people; Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen. 

The Stickiness Factor was exampled by Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues. Two incredibly popular shows making their debuts in different decades and Gladwell explained how this could have happened by saying that these shows “stick” because they do exactly the opposite of what other shows are doing at the time. Sesame Street ignored many of the assumptions about children’s cognitive abilities and TV-watching behaviors. The more divergent the show is from conventional wisdom, the more it is likely to stick.

Gladwell explains the Power of Context with the decline of crime rates in New York City in the 1990s. He mentions the Broken Windows Theory and that the police cracked down on the smaller crimes to eventually lead them to preventing bigger crimes. The second half of context power is that the right amount of people with the right amount of power have to assert that power and convince others of this phenomenon. The example he gave was the book called The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, which eventually became a national best seller and movie after starting out as a regional cult favorite with middle-aged women in Northern California.

The rest of the chapters are case studies mostly. One is about Airwalk shoes and using several different factors to make their product a hit with skateboarders until they disrupted the delicate balance they had achieved within the market.  Another is how teenagers who smoke will never really be dissuaded from doing so and he sees the continuation of this as benign and inevitable.

One of the few issues I had with Gladwell’s explanation was that his Stickiness Factor took a little too long to explain and I understood the concept long before he finished getting through it in his book. A major problem he presented was the murder committed by Bernard Goetz and he wrote it off as a guy who had enough of the graffiti and turnstile skipping, but this dude was seriously disturbed! He went out and bought a gun and thought he would become some ridiculous vigilante. Not to mention two of the four kids harassing him were on drugs and known hoodlums with a record.

Other than those flaws, I found the book enjoyable to read and very informative even though it was published in 2000. There were still concepts and theories that certainly can be applied to some phenomena today like Facebook, Twitter, and for awhile, Friendster.

Amid the Madness – Part Deux

Not to be left out, there are a few more sites you should visit that are hosted by my colleagues. Trevor Sikkema has a lot of good insight and he also another website for NFL Draft things that is very enjoyable to read. He does for football what I like to do for basketball, except he talks about current collegiate athletes.

If you enjoy Gators or the traditions associated with the university, then Savannah Olinger’s blog site is for you. She writes about what tradition means to the Gators past and present as well as some of the history behind those traditions.

Jesse Pagan is one of my good friends and he is hilarious in person and even better on his blog site. He talks movie reviews and tells you why movies suck, why they don’t, and why you should bother spending money on some films.


Amid the Madness

Let’s all take a moment to pause here and appreciate what March is all about. It’s about Spring and potentially a new beginning. Both in the NCAA postseason and perhaps in life. It would be really cool if you all would check out my girl, Elizabeth Beisel’s website about keeping a healthy lifestyle and how to celebrate it.

For those looking for something a little lighter and “poppy” you should probably hit up Lauren Crawford’s blog. She covers a little bit of everything and her topics range from Beiber to Sochi so have some fun with it!

And if you like small government, Kayla Gaskins has you covered there. She has video, articles, and some commentary if you’re digging it.

More Shameless Promotion!

I want you…to want me! That’s how Cheap Trick wanted it and that’s how I’d like it so please check out my stuff! You can find me on the tube filled with yous, or even writing about Orlando Magic things. I’m really good at writing about the University of Florida as they have been the subject of my amusement for the past three years.

If you don’t think that’s enough, just check out some of the other stuff I have done over the course of my college career. There’s some video things, writing things, radio things. I like to think I am well-rounded, but I’ll let you all decide that. Here’s some of the latest work from my blog if you really want to check it out.

Gators Are Still Good

The Florida Gators have accomplished something no other SEC team or major conference team has. They have gone 18-0 in conference play and are kind of good. They have only lost two games on the season and have set some serious school records. They have the most consecutive home wins (33) and longest winning streak in their history (23). They are playing some of the best offense and defense of their season. They even had Michael Frazier II set a school and SEC record for triples in a game with 11. Anyone can catch fire any given night and the Gators have no intentions of loosening up now.

They are more focused than they ever were as they head into the SEC Tournament and then into the NCAA Tournament as an assumed one seed. Their goal is nine more wins and two more rings (SEC Tourney champs and NCAA champs). If they go on to win, this would easily be the greatest and most celebrated senior class in Florida history. They would have three Elite Eight appearances to go along with this championship, they would have other SEC championships they won as well as the most wins in Florida history (counting the postseason wins).

Before the SEC Tournament, this team was the second-winningest class in Florida history behind Walter Hodge (a point guard who played on the championship teams). That’s better than greats like Jason Williams, Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Mike Miller, and Matt Bonner! Hopefully they will go all the way because they certainly deserve it and have been some of the hardest working groups in college basketball.

The Home NBA Stretch

The NBA season is coming down to its last leg and it’s been a wild one out West. However, I would really like to talk about some other interesting developments that have taken place during the Adam Silver tenure. Silver has already dealt with some fighting, a major injury to a superstar, and a new development league team.

I would say he’s doing pretty well as the new commish and to go ahead and toot my own horn, I will lead you back to my David Stern retirement story. I totally speculated Adam Silver expanding the “D-League” and there is still much more to come from him.

Silver has done an admirable job so far and has handled the publicity of his job well. He even made a big statement by saying he would like to move the age limit to come into the NBA up a year to 20. He has had a lot of criticism for this and it may even imply that he intends to lock the players out in 2017 when their collective bargaining agreement runs out. This would be an interesting negotiating chip if he really tries to get the deal before the CBA runs out. If he could avoid a lockout with his players, that would be a huge win for him and the league.

It has been a consensus after each CBA discussion that the commissioner and league owners “won” each deal. If Silver can make it seem at all like the players won the deal, then he wins in the public’s eye and the players will be less likely to walk away from negotiations for a new CBA.

A Little More About Me

As this blog is for me I find it necessary to get some more information out there about me. I wanted to post a resume so you all can get to understand THE Benjamin Bornstein better. You will see I have had quite some experience in the sports world and if you want to see how that all comes together you can visit my YouTube page.

Other than that, this post is all about self-promotion so check out some of my more recent work on the Florida Sports Talk website and on my Orlando Magic website. There will be some more Florida basketball coming on the FST page come Friday and I am currently working on a re-draft of the 2006 NBA Draft for the Court Magicians so stay tuned for that!

Trade Deadlines

It’s finally happening. The NBA trade deadline is upon us! Tomorrow (February 20th) at 3 p.m. teams will be making moves. It could decide the rest of the season and even the offseason for some of these teams like: the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Boston Celtics.

Those are only some of the teams that desperately need to make a move. The Knicks are floundering with little cap space flexibility, the Nets are massively overpaying their players far into the luxury tax and the Celtics have a bunch of mismatched pieces that contenders could use to patch up weaknesses.

The Cavaliers have a disgruntled Luol Deng who has basically guaranteed he won’t re-sign with the team, so they are trying to jettison him somewhere. The Mavericks are a possibility as they have reached out to the Cavs about the 2-way shooting guard. The Knicks might be making moves to hopefully free up their cap space and perhaps attract a major free agent over the summer.

The Nets have already made a deal and the Orlando Magic should look to do the same. They have three viable trading options in Arron Afflalo, Jameer Nelson, and Glen Davis. The last of which would come the cheapest, but probably at the biggest price off the court. However, the Magic have already made it clear Afflalo will come at a steep cost as they want draft picks and expiring contracts to clear cap space.

This week has proven to be an interesting one with some subplots that could lead to an even better off-season as far swapping super stars and draft picks. Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors is becoming a hot name as well as the topic of Kevin Love’s future in Minnesota. However, he did just come out and say he likes his team better than those Lakers out west.

However the trades go down, it should make for a half season full of plot twists, memorable quotes, and hopefully locker room antics.

A Little Self-Promotion

This is a sports update for a television station in Gainesville, Florida that goes by the call letters WUFT. That guy speaking so eloquently? That may or may not be me (it is) and I wanted to post this video to my blog so 1) people know what I look like, 2) people know what I sound like and 3) so people can get a better idea of how I sound when I’m writing. I enjoy going in front of any sort of microphone, whether it’s pinned on me or hanging in front of me (radio), so I hope you all enjoy the video and if there’s any feedback please let me know, I take it all!

I also posted this video because I wanted to talk to you all about what actually goes into making this broadcast. It starts with deciding the five or six most important sports stories of the day. We move on to making we sure we find the video that corresponds with each story and write the script accordingly. There is usually a producer handling the video aspect and I write my script so it matches what video we have.

Once we get a good start, there is a 2:00 p.m. meeting with all of the news people. My main role is to tell them what I want to tease before we get to my segment as sports is last. Usually the two most exciting things or what we have the most video for is what gets teased.

Once everything is sent to the main news producer to get put into the show, my job is basically to sit back and go over my script in case a technical difficulty should arise and I have to improvise. Fortunately in this show, nothing went afoul and everything was pretty clean. However, the teleprompter has been known to go haywire so having the script with you is big and that’s why anchors always have all those papers on the desk with them.

That’s basically all there is to it once you get over the “pre-game jitters” and become comfortable with your script. After the show, there is a critique meeting, but unless something horrific happens, nothing is usually said about the sports segment since we are somewhat autonomous.