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:
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.

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