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=====Describing Facebook=====
Use common sense and decorum in choosing the profiles you will be working with.

1. Use a Planned Survey method for describing
refer to Stoner and Perkins chap 4, pp 46 - 58

Use notes, concept maps, diagrams and bullet lists to create and develop your description. Use wiki for notes and to create an organized prose description once you have a sketch, and expect to refine and revise your descriptions as you work.

Start with one Facebook profile
- sketch the page, showing headings and where elements are
- look for specific devices (rhetorical affordances) in each area that can be used to cause readers to think and act in particular ways (48). these include features of sentences, words, specific arguments, points of view, topics, and so on.
- consider the relations possible between each area and between image and copy
- note what arguments, elements, devices, are missing: the limits
- highlight the material on the page you did not account for.

Add two more profiles, and continue describing.
- Look at the first message against other messages, and in the context in which they are created and used.
- Start noting similarities and differences in both elements and how those elements are used to cause the audience to think and act in particular ways about the message.
- Again: highlight the material you did not account for.

You're seeking to characterize the Facebook profile page in general: What rhetorical devices can be used to cause action or ways of thinking, what choices can be made, the relations between audience and rhetor and how they interact. You're seeking to characterize the kinds of rhetorical exchanges that go on.

In characterizing the profile page, **you're looking for patterns and regularities, similarities, and ranges** in the elements. For instance
- Are there typical photos or typical kinds of photos used as the main photo?
- Are there similarities in wall messages?
- Are there patterns or regularities in Activities, Interests, Favorite TV shows, and so on?
- What is the range of postings, along various continuua or scales?
- Create grids, charts, graphs ... as means for discovering patterns.

Language elements to watch for
- small, fine-grained: sentence length and kinds, curious misspellings, level of formality, notable variations in or deviations from standard edited American English
- presence or abscence of rhetorical figures: metaphor, simile, irony, personification... pp 141 - 145.
- Internet influenced features and devices: images, links to sites, email links ...

2. Add more profiles
Add these to your list of descriptions to extend the range of variation and check the similarities.

3. Describing Context
See DescribingFacebookContext

4. Research
To further understanding of context, look to research, mainly in the popular press.
- Barton's observations and "A Quick Guide"
- other readings from popular press

- Draw on what you know of communication, rhetoric, writing to help you describe the messages.
- Relationships between messages will emerge. Describe them; characterize them.
- Assume a balcony view. Use neutral - descriptive - language, and start drawing on the lists of features for precision.

Work from a set of notes towards organizing your descriptions. Notes are initial observations in no particular order. But to characterize the messages, those initial observations need to be ordered, given some meaningful structure. Two techniques commonly used are concept maps and bullet lists.

And finally, advice from Stoner and Perkins, p 67
Inherent in precise description is a kind of analysis.... [D]escription and analysis are related and you will often find that some preliminary analysis happens as you work on description. That's good, and you should be preparted to notes ideas and message characteristics that merit further investigation when you intentionally begin the analysis of the message. However ... don't loose control when describing the message.

Get started in class. Members of your group will have to revisit your working page over the weekend to refine and reorganize and edit your descriptions, ready for our next class meeting.

Use wiki writing techniques to coordinate your efforts.

Options for group presentation:
* TextContextInteractionInFacebook
* PersuasionInFacebook

for interp: DoItYourselfFacebook
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