On How to Break the Rules

It’s really interesting that we run in to “rules” on all of the sites we go to, although they aren’t necessarily written anywhere and people are often left worrying “but if I do this, will it be wrong?”. There’s no right way to use any of the social media websites, but they’ve shaped themselves and developed their own “right” and “wrong” ways to be used, which is really confusing… Especially on the note that the developers of the sites and people analyzing them don’t expect how they end up being used either. The idea that you have to break the rules to find out what you should be doing is a helpful idea to keep in mind. Experimenting is how we learn a lot of things, so learning how to embrace a site and learn how to really use it can be find out through the same sort of experimenting. This would be another good topic to talk about in the beginning of the semester too, to encourage students to experiment with twitter and other sites and perhaps purposefully do something out of the norm on them in order to see what that does and how things work.

I’ve used some of the things that thequietplaceproject has put up and I really like them. The thoughts room is really nice for venting or just rambling out thoughts in a visually relaxing way. I like the mention of how it goes against what we tend to associate with writing- that writing is permanent, but here we see our words falling away and disappearing as soon as we type them. There are so many things that digital writing can become that it makes assumptions of what writing is hard to pin down, because these sort of writing “rules” can always seem to be broken too…

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On Digital Writing on Social Media

A book camp class sounds like a very helpful idea. If anything, a quick first-week run through of just twitter and something like wordpress could be helpful since we use those for class a lot. Even though I’m on the computer all the time, I don’t know all that much about a whole lot of things, simply because there’s just so much out there to know and it can be very confusing. People have mentioned things similar to running through “just how to we “do” twitter?” before too, so it would be beneficial to everyone to look into it for this class I think. It would also allow anyone who already knows the answers to the questions people have to jump in and help out everyone else. It was also a really good idea to have this class hosted in another building with updated technology, if possible. We had a lot of trouble just trying to get things to work, which both ate up time and often left us unable to look into some things that would have been really neat to see. A class on digital writing works best when the digital equipment actually works.

I liked the idea of interviewing/surveying men, women, and children on digital media. It would be neat to see if there are differences between genders and more-so (and where I’d expect an actual difference to occur) how children answer questions as compared to adults. I feel like children just have a better chance of knowing what’s going on with digital media than adults just because it’s what they’re growing up with. It’s like one of their first languages where as adults had to adapt to it later in life. I think it ties in with how it would be neat to see how new generations of children answer to the same sort of questions too and how that changes over time from the post on the kid interviews. I wonder if there are surveys like this out there than already have a couple of years of collected data to examine and see what the changes have looked like so far…

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On Rewriting the Course

A lot of what we talk about in class ends up tying back in to professionalism, so I think discussing the “better ways” of blogging would be interesting to tie in to class. Practicing in class with promotes would help warm people up to writing blog posts and help us work on what makes a blog post more successful so that we could potentially use that to help us create out “digital image” better too. I don’t know how I would feel about creating a business and running on a blog and/or Facebook though. Personally, I wouldn’t have signed up for the class to do something more related to business, and I find the idea of dealing with setting up business stuff rather boring, but I also see how it would be a good skill to think about. Also, it would tie in to digital writing well and help us explore more ways that it’s used, so it is a good idea and perhaps a lot easier or more fun to do that I’d have thought. It would definitely take a lot of careful planning on how you present yourself and your business professionally online.

I love the note on how digital writing as affected and shaped our communication, and it makes me wonder if these sort of changes would have taken place without digital writing. Maybe it was a catalyst in the current evolution of language, or maybe it’s the only reason it’s around. Culture and how writing is used/who the writing is in the hands of has always affected language and brought about changes, so it probably has a lot of affect on how we speak today. It’s most common digitally too, where abbreviations like “jk” and “brb” run rampant. It might be interesting to ponder on how writing will contue to be affected, and how much more it will change in digital writing. Will there more commonly be more abbreviations in a post than there are written out words? Will that become a normal way of writing? Hm…

The fact that nothing is hidden and things get around immediately thanks to the internet is both a good and bad thing, and it directly affects our lives so it would be a good thing to talk about too. On a better note, news gets out so much faster now, and the news can be delivered by people first rather than news reporters. This can lead to distorted information, but it also leads to the fastest updates in real time, almost like you’re there when it’s happening as well. It’s can be very useful for helping keep us aware of what’s happening. On the downside, it’s another space for terrorist threats to spread, which could be really bad as we let technology hold on to more and more of our information. Money-related accounts are kept online, along with a lot of records, and all of that could be in danger as well as all of the material stored on personal computers if someone were to hack in to them. It’s a good thing to stay cautious of, as easy as it can be to be carefree with relying heavily on technology.

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On Writing for the Digital Age- Revamped

I liked the idea of helping expand on people’s use of current social websites as something we do near the start of the semester. It would introduce social media etiquette, or present the idea of it before we start, and people may be able to get a handle on their blogs and twitter sooner rather than later on in class. Learning how to use them for projects would be really helpful too, especially things like twitter. I’d never thought of using social media sites like that for a project before, it seems like it would almost be against the rules to do, but I can see how it would be pretty reliable and beneficial. If anything, it would be a good way to collect data from a lot of people and get questions out to people so that you can use their responses.

The two different blog ideas would be a neat way to incorporate blogging into the class. One on the reading would always be pretty expected and something everyone else is commenting on and examining as well, which helps connect to class, but I really like that the other one could be more open and about any sort of technology related to digital writing. We can only cover so many different forms and ways of digital writing in class, and this would help the students pull things in to the classroom to talk about better. If the time was taken to briefly discuss these, it could help everyone in the class learn more about different ways digital writing is being implemented today and/or different forms of technology that is coming out to affect how we view writing. This seems sort of like a more serious, blog-related post and a more free, sort of “do what you want”-related post, which goes well with the serious and fun project ideas too.

Creating your own social media site, or more so the idea of it, would be a pretty entertaining project to work on. It would help us focus in on what we look for and want to get out of social media sites and it would help examine why certain social media sites do what they do/become more popular. I do like the idea of this being used as a serious project in the class to be paired up with a more fun or silly one- like presenting a viral video and why it went viral. I like this one better (because it’s more “fun”, haha) and I feel like that would be really interesting if everyone had a different video. It would help show connections between them and help the viral video’s do their job of getting around to everyone too. If at least one of these were to be an option, I think the viral video one as at least a mini project would be really neat to look into.

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On Video Games as Literature

The most important part of a game, at least to me and I’m pretty sure most other people, is that it has a good story behind it. I probably wont want to play a game if it has a terrible story just like I wont want to read a book if it has a terrible story. It makes a lot of sense to me that video games can also be considered literature. You can explore new words in, learn from, become inspired by, become engrossed in, and get emotional over video games and books alike. Video games can be easier for some people to see the story unfolding, especially for those that have a hard time picturing things in their head just from text. It also leaves so much interacting up to you, which books (as well as their movie adaptations, which help with visualization already) actually limit. I liked the mention of Assassin’s Creed because of how much work they put in to making the games as accurate as they can. You can’t explore the parts of a city that a book doesn’t tell you about, you’re stuck in the make story, but you can wonder off and explore and do your own thing in Assassin’s Creed and games similar to it just fine. I could see books being turned in to video games more often just so these sort of experiences become possible.

I didn’t previously know that classic books had already been turned in to video games, or at least potential ones. That seems like a pretty good idea, although it may be hard to do right. Anything, literally anything, can be turned into a video game- for example, and as mentioned, Jane Austen. The note that books have their own culture to be followed to make it “work” is a good note though, although (at least for multiplayer games where this would come in to affect) playing the game “right” so that you are working within the canon of the story becomes part of the challenge- and the trust in other players. It’s the important rule of roleplaying, as after all the world can ot exist if you work against how it is set up/supposed to go. It seems like a potentially very neat way to “live in” the worlds of your favorite books/authors and play through the story as you like.

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On Twitter in the Classroom

I think the day we live tweeted during Helvetica was defiantly something everyone took away from the class, even if they didn’t care as much for anything else or if nothing really stuck out as much. I like the note that it was a bonding sort of moment, because it did seem to make the atmosphere of the classroom a little less tense/”who are you people”-like after that. That’s defiantly something that should be used more if it could be. Having class over tweets sounds like a pretty interesting idea- maybe even just live-tweeting during class discussions could help tie it in to the classroom more. Having the discussion all or at least somewhat there gives more people a chance to weight in on ideas and say things they might not have enough confidence to go ahead and say out loud with their voice. It also would be quick, 140 character or less comments on the discussion, which hopefully wouldn’t get to overwhelming as long as it didn’t get out of hand with how much was being tweeted. I especially like how it wouldn’t just “end when the class ends”. It’s written down there to go back to whenever it’s needed and the discussions can always continue. Definitely a really good idea that could be implemented I think, and it could also help people keep up with their twitter count.

The idea of having a questioned posed at the beginning of the week for people to discuss and eventually write a post about by the end sounds like a nice idea too, and would help tie in blog posts to the class more. The did tend to feel disjointed and “separate” from class, even if we talked about topics related to class in them. One of my favorite parts about Honors classes in general is their general discussion-based set up and this would help promote that if everyone was on the same topic for at least just one post they should be writing about. It could also help give people more ideas on what to write about in that post if we discuss it some in class, and could be drawn in to using twitter with that question discussion as well. (If it was meant for people to have the post written up before hand, that works well too, and it could even be a before/after posting on the question, before and after everyone discusses it to see if new ideas/thoughts form.)

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On Kid Interviews

I really love seeing what kids end up saying on interviews, mostly because they don’t tend to have a filter and are very honest (and cute) with their replies. It might be one of the easiest groups to get reliable answers from, to some extent, as long as you can keep them on track. I noticed all of the kids got distracted by the computer in front of them at some point, which just happens with kids- if it wasn’t a computer, they’d be getting distracted by something else. Although they were always straying their focus to the same thing (the computer), while a lot of times kids just get distracted by everything.

I was a little surprised that they didn’t seem to show a preference towards things like computers as opposed to books- I’d always assumed kids growing up with technology would just like the new things better. But it’s not really making reading any different, it’s just giving it more ways to be experienced, and when they grow up with both books and tablets being equally common, perhaps it’s not surprising at all that they wouldn’t have a preference. Both of those things seem natural to them, especially if they’re able to have both around the house to use. I think the most interesting thing is how much technology-savvy vocabulary they know. I’m pretty sure they probably know more about the products and things apple has available than I’ve ever heard. I like how new technology affects the vocabulary that “everyone knows” though, and new vocabulary is “weird” and something people not used to will often want to reject. Everyone in our society knows what a car is now, even older generations around today- no one really goes “What? Are you just making up words? What the heck is a car?” (or at least I assume), but they probably did once. Just like how, years down the like, no one is going to be saying that about a cellphone or a tablet or a computer, as there will be something new and weird to complain about “ruining society” and changing too much. We might hear a lot more of the complaints though if everyone’s still using twitter when they’re 80… If twitter is still a thing, that is.

Something I think would be cool to do is if you could record interviews with kids of the same age groups every year, keeping the questions the same, and 1) see how the aging groups change what they answer to questions and 2) see the changes each year between each new five year old group. Maybe they’ll just keep getting more and more used to technology… And maybe, at some point, we’ll see some sort of preferences forming?

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