Archive for the 'writing for electronic communities spring 2008' Category

Johnson-Eilola’s book, Datacloud: Toward a New Theory of Online Work

Okay, so for grad. class I’m again reading. This time is is Datacloud- and found the book to be…okay.

He discusses the problems users encounter with many different interfaces. In addition to this, the idea of the community in the role of technological understanding occurs. He discusses the role of IM” ing especially in the workplace, and how users are ultimately never away from the technology- it is always creeping in the background.

 

something struck me while reading this- i actually agree with much of what is

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A new kind of class.

This week’s writing for electronic communities grad. class was the most interesting yet. as always, we were to discuss the reading assigned the previous week. instead of verbally talking about it, we logged onto a laptop and were assigned to a chat room, in which we would tackle the questions in an anonymous voice.

i found this to be a breath of fresh air. we have some very intelligent, very vocal students in class. because of this, i often want to speak up, but hesitate, and ultimately end up listening. at times our professor even seems to clam(mostly be choice, i think) up and the dominant voices run the show. fine, but, I hope when it comes to grading, he takes into account some of what i said while in the chat room. i’ve done the reading, and had ample things to say. i found a forum in which to do it! as a teacher i’ve learned not to rely on one format in class discussions because someone is always left out…

i liked the fact that we also were asked to make connections and reflect on what we have read this semester. i found the idea of learning communities to be huge. technology is an interface that has effectively further separated humanity; people are alone with their own form of technology. that being said, this class showed me some ways in which those barriers can be crossed via somewhat interesting reading. lonelygirl15 and wenger’s communities of practice are two pieces i’ve enjoyed immensely, and fit into this area.

i’ve once again been reminded of the value of silence. i leaned alot sitting there, alone with my anonymous thoughts and typing away in class…

Loneygirl15 delivers..

For our grad class, one of the articles we were assigned deals with the phenom Loneygirl15. This article is interesting because it really shows the power of vloggging, and just how many people out there are voyeurs in their own way. I have to admit, I myself was intrigued and looked her up a long time ago to see what the hype was about. it s about getting into the private details of a cute girl, while in  the comfort of your own home. Sound familiar?

Mark Zuckerberg & the Web’s hottest platform- aka facebook…

For our grad class, we are assigned weekly readings to comment on and discuss. This particular reading is important because it details the rise of the facebook giant, generated by a Harvard student named Mark Zuckerberg.

Here, success is attributed to this young man because he had the foresight (or luck??) to hold out and wait, not accepting Yahoo’s outrageous 1 billion dollar offer. Instead, Zuckerberg is rewarded with the dubious honor of having his baby, facebook, now recognizably as one of the largest platforms for a new software explosion ever in the tech field.

Facebook is now generating even more diverse users (as opposed to myspace, etc) due to copious amounts of downloads and software apps.

Quite interesting stuff-makes me feel like inventing something..

response to reading questions posted by a fellow classmate;)

In our grad class, Writing for Electronic Communities, we also read about other electronic communities, and respond. I am responding to some interesting questions posed by our discussion leader for the week.

He first asks “1. Knowing this, do you feel you would have enjoyed these stories if they were in a regular, linear format or did this prove more enjoyable because you could choose (in Unknown’s case) where you wanted to go?”

No, I think the less linear, the better. Maybe it is just the ADD in me, wanting to be able to click and then BOOM! Change the story! I loved feeling like I had a little bit of control over the story, but not so much, as I could never fathom what would come next. The journey, not really what was being said, eventually became more important to me as I made my way through the text.

He also asks “4. Do you think that these websites might be the future of literature over the Internet or do you think people will continue to prefer the linear form?

“I’m on the fence to whether or not the physical books as we know them will go away. One thing is sure, technology is changing so rapidly that some people face frustration as one new “technological” thing they have mastered is now “old news” and other areas are the “new thing”. As a teacher standpoint, I have heard of schools moving towards using laptops entirely with text books online, etc. There are some pros and cons to this (as is with anything) Students (in my opinion) are more apt to do the work if it is connected to technology- nothing against my teaching, but kids today have been raised to have a technological awareness that many other generations did not. Also, schools will save some money on supplies. The cons of course will be that (in my opinion) there is nothing better then enjoying a really good book- one that I can hold, and lay in bed with while reading. laptops get hot and can be cumbersome. Another downside is that students will ultimately lose the experience of having to disseminate and find information of their own; with technology, it is all that their fingertips, and is a matter of point and click for more information than needed!

Next he poses, “5. Why do you think someone would go through the trouble of creating a website like The Jew’s Daughter? What purpose do you think it serves?”

“Things seek realization in new configurations” (screen 221). The Jew’s Daughter gets the reader involved on a deep level, even subconscious thinking. This is a new configuration, even for the Web…Will books go to this, sure, why not? Some, maybe it would work, but when it comes to having to get a hold of facts, one might not like the idea of jumping all around in cyberspace.

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The Murky World of The Jews Daughter

For grad. class were were asked to read and comment on a particular piece of online text. The Jew’s Daughter is a non conventional way of reading a piece of text. Basically, it is comparable, in my opinion to a choose your own adventure book. The challenge for some is whether or not to click the hypertext, which will, inexplicably, change what you are reading, as well as the thoughts and possibly ideas of what you have previously read.

I was excited and curious as to what to expect. I tried (successfully) to get through the first page of text without moving my mouse over the blue hyper-linked text. But then, at the bottom of the page, I felt bored. Yes bored. I wanted to be like the other kids and choose my adventure. So I hypertext(ed?) again and again. I found my eyes travelling back over the text I had previous read on the page with amazement at the change hat occurred in the text that had yet to be read.

I don’t know if this piece is meant to be understood in terms of meaning rather than in symbolic terms that mean to convey the power resulting in usage of hypertext.

Response to “We Are the Web”

images.jpgWe are the web? We are the world? For my grad. class, we are assigned a reading each week. I actually feel as though I’ve been disconnected from the past two weeks worth of readings. This week was different- I could relate!

Most of the readings were pretty good, but Wired’s piece “We Are the Web” was a fascinating take on the evolution of technology via the scope of the Web. I was one of those people in the mid to late 1990’s frowning upon the computer for more than typing a paper. To think of buying something online, trusting an e-merchant was unfathomable…

Then, I met my then boyfriend(now husband) who was totally down with computers. He showed me all of the possibilities that “being online” could have for me, such as online banking, searches, e-commerce etc.

Back to the article though, as I was digressing…I found the line “…every document in the world should be a footnote to some other document…” to be very thinkable. I mean, could this be true? And if so, why wasn’t Shakespeare’s predecessor discussed as part of my Shakespeare class??(2 of them at Rowan)

What are we teaching children if we adopt this in use it in daily writings on the web, or elsewhere? Is stealing someone else’s main idea, then adding your own views in there okay???

I think we all know the answers here, but the article makes a point of showing the development (and evolution, lol) of the web, mostly through the idea that ideas should be linked to SOMETHING…..

The idea of changing passive consumers into active trollers on the web was made easy through fun stuff, free music downloads, explicit images that some might want to view, as well as a multitude of other options. People were gaining more freedom with the growth and development of the Web. The importance of usability gained a foothold with emerging websites- not by the developers, but rather by the consumers. Again, a look at how much Web- infused power we all have at our fingertips…

More later. Happy web surfing;)