Tuesday, April 30, 2013

HASTAC and the Future of Literature, the Arts, and Science

I had the opportunity to attend (and present at) the 2013 HASTAC Conference in Toronto, Canada, with Dr. Stacey Berry and Dr. Shreelina Ghosh.

One of the presentations was by a person who was channeling Henry Jenkins:
Morgan Bouchet, VP Transmedia & Social Media at Orange “Transmedialab”  and Professor at SciencesPo.
“From a scattered Transmedia experience to orchestrated authored experience: Transmedia in France””
Orange is the ATT of Europe, with lots of media, including transmedia projects, which is what Bouchet talked about in the session.

Made me think of you students in Foundations of English for New Media!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Forums and Community Building

I was intrigued yesterday with a discussion by Katie Groves, who teaches at the University of Minnesota at Duluth, whose talk was titled “A Pure Meeting of the Minds”: Women’s Participation in
Real Simple’s Online No-Obligation Book Club."  She was paired with me at the Minnesota Writers and English Conference in Minneapolis, at Normandale Community College.  She discussed how the participants in that group on Real Simple's site interacted with each other, how one idea flowed into another, how the women (mostly) shared their ideas about the book selections.  

This discussion came just  after our discussion in class of Henry Jenkins' essay on the "Survivor Sucks" site that facilitates the readers sharing information about what they know to predict the next person being kicked off the competion/game/reality tv show.  

Because the show is shown so long after the events occur, it's a kind of detective story for people who love/hate "Survivor" to chase down clues and try to identify the next victim.  I suspect that even a simple thing like the discussion of a book can have a competitive edge to it, people vying for an upper hand on some points about a character or a scene, for example.  A "correct" interpretation.  But I suspect men are more likely to search for the clues about Survivor and women are more likely to share their ideas about whether a character is realistic.  

In the meantime, the forums allow them to build communities and share information and ideas to move toward a common goal.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Smaller Potatoes

As we read and discuss the chapter on Levinson's "Smaller Potoatoes" chapter, it might be a good idea to take notes and post them to your blog as we go.  Let's try that as a way of note-taking that might help retain the material in the chapter.

So, try answering the questions below, even if you've already answered them previously somewhere else, as in a blog post.

  • What's your experience with Myspace?  
  • Any "cyberbullying" stories that you are aware of?
  • What's your take on the Lori Drew/Megan Meier story?  Especially the result?
  • Levinson notes that the Truth on Earth band provided some "medicine" for cyberbullying.  What's your take on that?
  • Are you aware of any stories about musical successes on Myspace?  Check to see whether some of your favorite bands have Myspace accounts.  Choose one and check some other sites for their presence there.
  • Describe your use of Digg.
  • Reddit?
  • How much social media contact did you have with the elections of 2012?  
Finally, have you used Second Life?  Podcasting?  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Watching Good Videos: ENM Style

My students in Foundations for English for New Media class have done a nice job of representing some simple text in some short videos.  From using stop motion photography to filming themselves blasting away at a piece of paper to spell out "English for New Media," the videos capture a nice sense of style and action.  It's a good thing to see and gives a look at the kinds of things that students enjoy and know how to do.  Thanks, guys!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

New York Times, NFL, and New Media

I love the little activities that some of the online sites give a person to do to check in with the world out there, to test your skills against the universe (without the trouble of traveling and living in the Olympic Village for a month).  My go-to is the New York Times, where they offer some cool things like choosing a March Madness basketball pool or building one on your own, and then testing your scoring and picks against either your friends or the world.  I'm a sucker for that.

So I stepped up to the plate for the Times' questions about what would happen at the Super Bowl:  would Alicia Keyes sing for over a minute and a half?  How many times would Jim Harbaugh appear on screen in the first half?  Would the Destiny's Child ladies join Beyonce at halftime?  That kind of nonsense.  So I answered the questions, and then checked later.  Six right answers out of 25.  I even go the eventual winner of the game wrong.

But my point is that this kind of interactivity can bring those readers to the paper, get them to come back and check their scores, make them watch the game a little differently.  You can watch her halftime show here:  http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-videos/0ap2000000135280/Beyonce-Super-Bowl-XLVII-halftime-performance

Friday, January 25, 2013

English for New Media Video

Here's one of the videos done for my Foundations of English for New Media class the last time I taught it.  It's by Angie Timms, whose husband Giles helped her with the animation.  Very cool 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What have you got in your pockets.

My brother Jered shared this video on Facebook, and I'm sharing for all I'm worth.  It's a nice collaboration among writers, photographers, animators, actors, and creative people in general.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My New New Media Adoption

I have to confess that, in about 1992, when the first web browser appeared, I had already been online for a while, using bulletin boards and email, for a while, even back into the '80s.  But when I looked at the Navigator with a friend, and browsed to see what was available for my work on a project on Edith Wharton, the author, I finally found, after drilling through page after very slow page, an electronic version of one of her novels:  Summer.  I was not impressed.
My colleagues at Sisseton Wahpeton Community College saw an opportunity to make things, which they did, building a language-learning site with sounds and color-coding for people wanting to get a handle on the Dakota language.  It's still running.  Way to go, Darren Renville and Jim Green!
I didn't build a web page until I came to DSU in 1996, but then I began in earnest to build course materials for a variety of courses, especially an American Autobiography course that I inherited from a professor who was leaving.  I was proud of my first web page.  
Prior Facebook, my family and I were actively using a site called eCircles, a free site that offered many of the same features as Facebook does now.  But connection speeds were just too slow and the site crashed.  We had been sharing, writing discussion board posts, and chatting, sharing pictures and audio.  Here's a memorial to that site from one who worked there:  http://www.cww.org/ecircles/index.html.
Like Levinson, I joined Facebook early on (I'm not sure what year) when only people with .edu addresses could join.  Many of my students were already on, and it was a way to keep in touch with what they were doing there.  I didn't use it much.  I also joined MySpace, where my younger son was active for a while.  I didn't have anything to promote, like Levinson did, but I enjoyed hearing about some music that I was not familiar with.
I have done some editing of Wikipedia articles, but not much, and not very successfully; I'm not all that driven to lend my expertise, such as it is, to making better articles.  I have also made contributions to IMDB, the movie and TV database.  Again, not much, but trying it out.
I've made and offered on my blog (begun in 2005) some audio materials, created sound, taken video and added it.  I have a Youtube account that I've put a few movies on.
I have a Twitter account but have never tweeted.
I now have an Apple iPod Touch that I'm using to learn about apps and other uses.  I didn't want a big iPad or even an iPad mini that would be hard to carry; I wanted something to put in my pocket.  I love the little gizmo.  I tried a smart phone for two weeks (courtesy of Verizon) this past summer when my wife and I drove to Boston and New England.  I didn't want the big monthly bill, but I was intrigued by some of the offerings it had.
I joined LinkedIn a few years ago but do little with that.
I have a Google+ account that I do little with.  We'll see.
I have a Second Life account that I recently re-activated after a hiatus.  I wanted to check it out after some urging of some faculty, and I tried it out with my students in Contemporary Rhetoric in 2007.
I have a Ning account, and I used it with some success for two years, but it got too costly to maintain.

Monday, January 14, 2013


It's the second time around for the Foundations of English for New Media, we've got a great-looking group of students, and I'm looking forward to talking, sharing, learning about, and practicing the newest forms of "new new media."  Check out the links to new student blogs in the widget here, and watch for new posts from us all.  Welcome!