When this class began and I realized I would be forced to become a "blogger," I never thought I would actually enjoy posting or reading other people's posts and comments. Good god, no. In fact, the idea of blogging was something that was on the equivalent scary level of getting shots, swallowing horse-sized vitamins, etc. It was an unknown that freaked me out. The wiki freaked me out even more. I wasn't quite sure how to get into it--there was no entry point that really clicked with me right off the bat. There was no entry point that made sense to me in terms of my more "traditional" educational structure.
I came into this class thinking I would learn about new forms of video editing and modern art, but on the first day I had a radical paradigm shift. As I learned, New Media has very little to do with traditional media or artwork. The first assignment, as we all know, was to write a blog post on something, anything. I, being the constant cynic, blogged about the uselessness of blogging. I could not wrap my mind around the idea that people could blog for fun; it felt disconnecting and meaningless. However, my prejudices were quickly swayed as I dove head first into the blogosphere. While I still don't consider myself an avid blogger (I only blog for the class), I have come to understand what is so special about blogging, it is, in fact, the community. I still can't quite understand why people would create their own blog that nobody reads, but knowing that our blog leads to a discussion amongst peers and friends seems extremely pertinent and important. Much like facebook, I live in the community I comment about and that's where I derive the drive to post and connect with others.
For starters I definitely agree with most of the people in our class in that having to blog, edit the wiki, and do our final presentations/projects (not to mention class reading) has been a lot. I still think it was overall a good experience though, I only wish we had had more time to dedicate to one project as opposed to trying desperately to get *something* posted on the blog & wiki.
What surprised me the most was that once I got the hang of the wiki, I was much more interested in editing and reading it than the blog. It's funny because I've been a very enthusiastic blogger over at LiveJournal for four and a half years now, updating an average of three or four times a week. I've never had any real trouble thinking of things to post over at my personal journal, it's pretty compulsive. On the other hand, I found it in general to be extremely difficult to come up with things to post in this class blog of ours. Maybe it's because I'm not used to blogging about academic topics? Or that I prefer to have discussions about class material that are engaging and can evolve than posting something flat?
A blog I can't believe I have never mentioned is Postsecret. It is not only one of the most entertaining blog sites I have visited (due to the brutal honesty), but it is shocking and even disturbing at times. More to the point, Postsecret is a prime example of many of the internet/media concepts we have described, all put together. It is the opportunity for people to embrace anonymity to take the chance to express themselves in ways they are unable to normally/in person. It gives them the chance to reveal secrets and get them off their chest in a way that is both safe (to their identities) and therapeutic.
Here's an interesting result of the Kathy Sierra situation. A couple days ago Tim O'Reilly, the very well-respected publisher turned cyber celebrity, proposed a blogging code of conduct. Given our recent conversations, both in class and here on the blog, it's worth a read. On the one hand, some of his guidelines such as "Don't say anything online that you wouldn't say in person," are pretty hard to object to. On the other hand, I'm wary of letting a bunch of A-listers determine what is deemed (in)appropriate in all of the blogging world. I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts...
I just watched the new South Park episode entitled "The Snuke", which is a parody of the show 24. In this episode Kyle (and later, government officials) track down a Russian terrorist from Kyle's bedroom by cross-referencing user profile information on websites such as eBay, YouTube, PayPal, MySpace, J-Date, eHarmony, Google maps, and Mapquest. I was amused. :) It reminded me of our discussion in class about the extent to which we release personal information on the web and the potential it has to cause trouble...!
The LA Times included an interesting piece in today's paper about Josh Marshall and his TPM blog. It's a case of old media reporting on new media. The article begins by explaining Marshall's interesting role in the recent US attorney scandal. When TPM first started hearing murmurings of fired attorneys, Marshall utilized the technology's potential for reader feedback (comments) by asking his "100,000 or so daily readers to write in if they knew anything about U.S. attorneys being fired in their areas." He then gathered the evidence submitted by readers, and this put him at the forefront of the media investigation.
Did anyone else find the reading really difficult to physically read? I'm thinking a new pdf might be in order! I don't do well reading pdfs on the computer screen, but when I printed it out it was all grey and pixelated, almost unreadable. :\
I also was looking over the syllabus and realized that proposals for our term projects are due right when we come back from break. Yikes! I mean, I haven't even finished the midterm project yet, it's hard to think about a whole 'nother one. Hopefully we'll go over it somewhat in class tomorrow...
What am I suppose to do when I find a really interesting site, but have nothing really to say about it besides: CHECK IT OUT!
This guy, Chris Garrett, has basically the same blog going on that we do. Look at his title: "The business of blogging and the new media".
I wonder if he would come and give a speech/lecture/thing or something... A new media version maybe... Like on Aim... See my train of thought... I doubt you care... Sorry, but this is fun... Will I stop...
i don't know how many of you have read/seen the LA times magazine this week, but it has an article on a girl named cory kennedy. coincidentally, she is from southern california like i am, and even more coincidentally, her best friend/business partner went to high school with sarikayla.
anyway, cory kennedy is a 16 year old pseudo celebrity with a blog, myspace, and fansites all over europe, documenting her status as a "fashion icon," and socialite. she is essentially the 16 year old paris hilton (whom, coincidentially, she has been photographed with numerous times).