Writing Machines is the course website for English 170L at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
It's true that the end of semester increase in post frequency has allowed for a lot of fun interaction. It also seems that without a ton of class reading to discuss, people are making fewer monologues and are actually responding to eachother, which I think is fun.
Early on, we talked a lot about whether blogs were truly interactive, or whether they offered a false interactivity. I think in these last few weeks I've gotten a better sense of the kind of interactivity that really serious bloggers manage. Professional bloggers often post several times a day, and when you have a group of peop
I was looking around in the wiki yet again, and I only just really noticed that it presents something of an amusing contradiction. The basic narrative is something torn out of one of those daytime soaps watched by shut-ins and people in hospitals, or maybe out of this Desperate Housewives show I hear so much about. From what I understand, that one's even got a plumber. However, being a class full of English majors, we really can't resist attempting to make it literary. I know I couldn't resist thinking back to Paradise Lost a whole lot and throwing an appropriate, but probably unnecessary Candide reference into a tale of suburban marital angst, although the former probably has something to do with the thesis i'm writing about Satan.
I wonder what the blog would look like if it was less structured. Just kind of a free-for-all. Length of posts, amount of posts, content of posts, all completely open. Would that be better or worse?
During the past couple of days, it's been pretty hilarious in that commiserative, "I feel your panic/pain" sort of way, to check up on the away messages of my friends in this and the other blogging class and repeatedly see some variation on the theme of "-- out of 36." Or in the really unfortunate cases, "- out of 36."
That said, there's a visibly productive side to this frantic game of catch up many of us are playing.
I was browsing through some stuff and started reading a blog entry from this guy, David Pogue, who blogs for the NY Times. He starts off his post with this letter some 15-year-old wrote him, in which the indignant teenager criticizes another post of his. Anyway, the whole thing basically gets down to his point that a lot of people are not so civil on the internet. These are his theories why:
* "On the Internet, you're anonymous. Since you don't have to face the person you're dumping on, you don't see any reason to display courtesy.
I agree with Oz and Silversprung that our wiki is turning out really well. It seemed to me that while it started out being very promising, it then went through a somewhat dismaying phase of chaos and contradictory lexia. I've been really pleased and excited to see the way various storylines have been tied together. The whole thing makes much more sense as a coherent whole than I ever expected. There are still a few things I hope we can all iron out before the end of tomorrow, but I'm really very happy with our experiment. It's not a small thing to create something this ambitious with this many authors in the mix.
So now a couple of people have posted on the nature of the class this semester, but here's my two cents:
This semester has been anxiety-ridden in terms of academic performance for me. And I blame most of that on the endless information I get from the blog and the wiki. Two of my classes have blogs, which means that no matter where I go, I can't leave class. There's always a discussion going on that requires a response or extra reading to do so you don't repeat a point made on the blog in class or just an interesting link. That's my first complaint (or maybe just an example of my laziness).
I think Oz kind of touched on this topic earlier, but there are some things I've been thinking about lately in terms of the nature of this class. On this blog we use anonymous names, but of course we all know/could figure out who's who. We saw presentations of people's final projects and can also clink on links to see all of their content whenever we like. We can look at who's updating the wiki and who made what editorial changes. There's something about the way this class is set up that lets people get to know more about each other, and to make judgments, whether correct or not. Most classes you just sort of drift through without really getting a sense of who other people are or what they're interested in, but not this class--I feel like I've seen certain parts of people's personalities coming through their academic work. And what's interesting to me is that this new level of interaction (or at least it's new for me) is facilitated by the internet and the online communities we've created.
Does anyone know how his project with Cassie turned out? I was quite intrigued by the whole stalker thing, and have been checking the final project page for updates....and it wasn't on the final project page, so I went through the facebook group "Find Cassie," which doesn't have her identity revealed as of yet.....so I tried to find pseudo anonymity's blog on this blog, and I can't, for some reason (I went through each blog, the numbers at the end of the address, like mine is 18).....so I'm reaching directly out to pseudo anonymity himself.
Hey, pseudo anonymity, or anyone else who might know.
So....uh....how long do you guys plan on keeping your final projects active and online? I know this sounds like a silly question - why not just leave it up, for everyone to see and love and admire for all posterity or as long as the internet exists?
But mine kind of....worries me.
I mean, I know it's not Googleable. I tried Googling various phrases and names from the family tree - no results. But something about having THAT MUCH information online, accessible if you know how, and possibly accessible with later editions of Google or other search engines, freaks me out a little.
Most of the stuff I said about people isn't bad, really, I swear. It's just that I've talked about EVERYONE in my family online, and that's a little scary.