A Virtual Unknown Blog | News OK

Beating a path through the digital wilderness


Archived Blog Posts

  • Facing angst over ads

    Jim Willis | Updated: Sat, Dec 21, 2013

    Facebook is both a creative and marketing success story, and that may be one of the biggest understatements of 2013.

  • CGI and the moviegoing experience

    Jim Willis | Updated: Sat, Nov 30, 2013

    If you’re old enough to remember the original Star Wars (1977), or  you’ve dusted off Dad’s old VHS of it, you are probably still struck by one of the classic battle sequences in that film: the famous “trench run” sequence in the climactic Battle of Yavin.

  • A not-so-sweet time for predators

    Jim Willis | Updated: Wed, Nov 6, 2013

    Several years ago I focused a blog post on a movie called, SimOne, about a beautiful woman (ostensible named Simone but who was really Simulation One) who captured the moviegoing public.

  • The new journalism of the social media

    Jim Willis | Updated: Mon, Oct 7, 2013

    I live in Southern California about 15 miles east of Pasadena, a city known for having some of the best scientists in the world who work at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

  • Online vies with on-campus learning

    Jim Willis | Updated: Sat, Sep 28, 2013

    I heard a somewhat disturbing talk this morning by an editor with The Chronicle of Higher Education, the weekly newspaper focused on college and university issues.

  • The fiery Snowden debate

    Jim Willis | Published: Mon, Jul 1, 2013

    Last year, when the loud thud heard in Washington was the sound of the PIPA and SOPA proposals hitting the dusty shelf, many in the Internet community of netizens breathed a loud sigh of relief.

  • From the stick phone to the iPhone

    Jim Willis | Published: Thu, Jun 27, 2013

    My mother passed away June 6, just shy of her 104th birthday.

  • Shooting rumors like ducks in a row

    Jim Willis | Published: Thu, Jun 6, 2013

    Last night I was scrolling though the news feed on my Facebook page when I came across a post of a news story about Ann Coulter, and I found myself gasping for air.

  • The Web and the Undead

    Jim Willis | Published: Sat, May 11, 2013

    I was talking to my college students a couple weeks ago about their favorite TV shows.

  • A marathon media moment

    Jim Willis | Published: Sun, Apr 21, 2013

    Twenty-four hours before the first of two bombs exploded on Boston’s Boylston Street on April 15, I was walking that very street, impressed with the organized way the city was preparing for the 117th running of the Boston Marathon.

  • How real is real in a digital age?

    Jim Willis | Published: Tue, Mar 19, 2013

    The late media guru Marshall McLuhan once noted about the electronic media of his 1970s that, “We go outside to be alone and we go inside to be together.” Think about that for a minute.

  • Sourcing the crowd

    Jim Willis | Published: Mon, Feb 4, 2013

    Crowd sourcing is the term that many businesses — including the news media — are applying to a growing use of the Internet.



A Virtual Unknown


Journalist, professor and author Jim Willis explores the new media landscape and its evolving place in our day-to-day lives.


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