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George's semantic network of photo tags by ciro@tokyo, on Flickr

Weblogs and Wikis Week Two

Blogging, Communities, and Networks: Changes in literacy, dialogue, and genres

It's now common knowledge that blogging has changed literacy, publishing, participation, and the acquisition and distribution of knowledge. There were social network antecedents to blogging, but blogging made it into the world-wide public sphere and set the stage for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. This week's readings start a focus on the changes social network communications have created and what they might mean for us as students, teachers, writers, technologists, professionals, citizens.

Use the materials - and others you locate - to learn as much as you can learn about weblogs and blogging and related concepts. The more you partake (read, aggregate, annotate, repurpose - comment on the work of others), the more you'll be able to participate in the course. But take your reading in a direction that interests you. Start by reading and annotating / reacting to / reflecting on / readings: do something to what you're looking at. From there, move to repurposing: doing something with what you've read.

One way to get started is to read Rettberg, then post some notes on what angle or topic you want to dig into more deeply this week: genres, now weblogs are social, who blogs and why ... Focus yourself.

Class sessions

We meet Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday: Discussion and Q&A on the class.
Thursday: TBA Presentation and discussion

Required reading


Suggested readings

You're not expected to read everything below. You can skim until you find a way into the subject. Find your own readings and videos and blogs to add. There are other readings on the web, but there are also be videos, slide shows, podcasts, or maps and images on Flickr or Wikipedia that you can draw into your circle of resources.

Finding weblogs
Preface a google search with blog: - as in blog:diary

Weblogs
Changes in Literacy
Networks and Communities
Of possible interest: Presentations by JWR
Here's the author of our text in presentation mode.

Suggested Activities

Locate Jill Rettberg's twitter stream and her blog and follow her and read her blog. View and summarize the presentations she's posted online, focusing, for others in the course, on those sections that pertain to your interests.

google for other sources/pieces you can use to extend the ideas introduced by rettburg : video, podcast, reading, diagram, whatever.

Do some searches on some of the ideas and issues Rettberg raises. Search on Google and Google Scholar for The Phaedrus by Plato, readings and notes on Eisenstein, Vanavar Bush, Ted Nelson, Walter Ong, Doug Englebart. Wikipedia is a good place to start. Check the resources list at the end of the Wikipedia articles. Locate stuff, read and annotate it, tag it so everyone can see it, draft more extended comments on your blog.

Find and link to a set of blogs that enact some of the features that Rettberg and others point out: how a community is formed, how comments appear and develop. Or develop another brief project to test some of Rettberg's assertions about blogs and blogging by looking at some blogs.

Some of the blogging pages on this wiki are getting out of date. Update and refactor blog topic pages you find on this wiki, drawing on what you find on the web and your own consideration. Post a request to do so and I'll tell you how to register.

Blogs, like nearly everything on the web, are multimodal compositions: They aren't just text as we encounter it in books but are encased in design - more like magazines - and include images, blogrolls, links, comments, widgets, and other furniture. Look at three of blogs to see how the bloggers and readers use these affordances to make meaning.

Find a blog of a particular genre, read it, comment on it: Make it the center of study for a week.

Do all this on your blog, using annotated bookmarks and twitter when useful, when you want to get something out there, and to manage your learning. Or create a presentation, a PPT, a podcast or video cast ...

Issues and topics I've spotted in Chapters 1 - 3





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