Midterm Discussion 2007

questions for seeding midterm discussion

Part of this course is to push writing boundaries, and to test preconceptions about writing, about reading, about 'how' we think about writing in both electronic spaces and traditional spaces.

Our discussion over the next few days is not an exam or a debate, but a heuristic dialog: an opportunity to think about and reflect on what you've been doing over the past few weeks. The questions on this page are some guides that I may call on to direct our attention.

See also MidtermReflection | MidtermDiscussionNotes26Mar2007


getting started

Think back to how you looked at these matters at the beginning of this course.
- Think back to how you thought about blogs and wikis at the beginning of this course Go to the archives of your personal blog and read a few entries, and take note of what you noticed, what you valued and why you valued it.
Most of my posts at the beginning were random observations I made throughout the week and decided were witty enough to be shared with the world. My reviews of other blogs looked mostly at the ease of navigating the site and how well organized the owners thoughts were. Before this class my only interactions with blogs and wikis was Myspace and facebook. I have come to realize the wider range of uses for blogs and wikis since then. There is a lot more going on than just informing people what you had for breakfast, the expansion of blog and wiki use for businesses is really interesting. Call me old fashion thought, I think I would still prefer to carry out the majority of my conversations in person.

Since the time when you wrote those entries,
I still blog about other random/interesting sites. I also still speak to an invisible audience.

How are you spending your time on your projects?
- time spent/week
7-10 hours
- how often
5 days/week
- how long
? see above
- doing what
Researching other wikis/blogs, blogging about my progress, looking at classmates projects, searching for new questions to answer and post on my wiki project, etc.

projects

What's going well? What's going better than expected?
The wiki works great for the type of project I set out to complete. Once I get in the mindset to work on the wiki I just want to keep going till I finish it all. It is sometimes hard to take a break, so I jot down lots of notes for the next time.

What's going not so well? What unexpected problems have you encountered?
I used the wrong sites to help me find the right ones. I searched through different links pages until I was able to come across a wiki with goals similar to my own.

What are you going to do next?
Most of what I already had planned to put in the wiki is done. I am now going to edit what I do have and review the records of questions asked to see if any come up that I haven't already addressed.

writing spaces

Has keeping a blog/writing in a wiki changed your writing habits, and if so how?
I am much more informal and write without using third person on my blog and wiki.
- writing habits include when you write, where you write, how you write (drafts, revisions, editing), who you write to (audience imagined and audience addressed), how you read your own writing. Do you write and run? return to it to develop later?
If the blog entry is going to be a long one I will usually write it in a word document, because I do not want to loose it with the wrong click of the mouse.
Not that I can tell, or at least not yet.

Has keeping a blog/writing in a wiki changed your understanding of writing, or your understanding of your self as a language user?
RedefiningBoundaries

realm of usefulness

As you see it now, how might you use a blog or wiki to support what kind of writing?
- research / academic writing and publishing
Blogs and wikis provide a free place to publish. It is also a place to have a poor man's copyright, since entries are dated. Blogsand wikis also allow people from around the globe to debate, with supported evidence linked into their argument.
The web is a public space, which means there is an endless source of editors and aficionados just waiting to correct others mistakes.
One can create scrapbooks, videos, stories, etc and keep them all in the same place. All of this can then be shared with friends and family, helping everyone stay in touch.
It is hard to produce false news when there are so many eyes out there keeping watch. Information can also come from closer to the source, if not the source itself.
people from all over the world and with diverse opinions/views could work on the same project. While initial coordinating may be a little difficult, the web allows for people to comment, add, and work together at their leisure.
literary works can have multiple authors from around the world, a multitude of editors, and it gets what might otherwise be an obscure, but great piece of writing exposed to the masses.
Just look at the weblogs and wikis page or the daybook. Professors and students can stay in touch over breaks and there is less confusion over what assignments are due on what days.

generative questions

You're now approaching a level of expertise that allow you to address these questions with some authority. So
A blog is the chronological ordering of an individual or groups literary genres. The word genre is used here to include varying topics, comments, and methods of expression.
A wiki is a personal or group created book in web form on the web. The web has as its center the home page and then topics, ideas, pictures, etc branch out from the center sometimes connecting across to other lines of the web.
Instead of summing up something I read or saw I can refer the reader to the site. This cuts down on confusion and poor communications, while creating a richer debate/discussion.
So many color choices, so little time.
It fits in one's pocket.
I am more aware of the audience.

and so

I took this class with little prior knowledge and so no expectations but to learn. What I have learned that was surprising is just how elaborate some of the online communities can be.
Skepticism once associated with the possibilities of blogs and wikis.

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