no mo' NaBloPoMo :(

Haven’t been feeling 100% and as a result, I forgot to blog last week. Will have to try NaBloPoMo again in December!

I’ve got the rest of the semester all planned out, but I think my body is telling me that I need Thanksgiving break NOW! Must catch up on grading and prepare for all the final papers & exams too. It’s been a great 1st semester at Stout, but I do know my laptop policies are likely to be stricter in the Spring. Tired of blank stares and/or complete lack of eye contact all together.

Back to bed b/c I’ve got a lot to accomplish before going to a Liberal Education conference in Madison this weekend.


State of the Blogosphere 2008

Just noticed that Technorati has release another “State of the Blogosphere” report. What I like most about this version compared to previous years is that they “asked some of the leading minds on the Blogosphere to give us their thoughts on where blogging is headed.” I’m pasting in a few below:

“The word blog is irrelevant, what’s important is that it is now common, and will soon be expected, that every intelligent person (and quite a few unintelligent ones) will have a media platform where they share what they care about with the world.”

* Seth Godin
* Author
* Tribes

“Blogging is getting easier and easier and some day, we’ll all have blogs of one sort or another. Most won’t look like my blog, maybe more like mytumblog or my twitter feed, but even more likely they’ll look like something else. Earlier this year I wrote on my blog, ‘Honestly I am not envisioning anything other than this; every single human being posting their thoughts and experiences in any number of ways to the Internet.’ That’s where we are headed and blogging is a big part of that.”

* Fred Wilson
* Managing Partner
* Union Square Ventures

“Although new ‘right-now’ web tools like twitter and lifestreaming aggregators like friendfeed have shifted some attention from classic blogging, they’ve actually deepened the conversation and made the blog, as a place to comment, reflect, and analyze, more central than ever. Blogging has become part of the daily discourse within many communities, and more and more essential is a growing number of disciplines outside of the technosphere.”

* Susan Mernit
* co-founder, People’s Software Company


internet on film

This week I’ll be showing my students 2 episodes of Law and Order, one from 1999 called “Chatroom” and one from 2006 called “Avatar.” Both deal with issues related to the speed, reach, anonymity, and interactivity of the Internet, which [coincidentally? heehee] are the key terms Laura Gurak uses to define the term “cyberliteracy” in her book Cyberliteracy: Navigating the Internet with Awareness.

I’ll post more after we have our class discussions to highlight what my so-called “digital natives” AKA freshmen on a laptop campus had to say about them. I’m most interested to see if they feel the 1999 episode is dated or not. When I watched it the other day to prepare, I felt the plot twists were a bit over the top, but at least they included family members/issues of parental control over computer use.

As far as future television programs that rely on the internet & Web 2.0 software apps that I may include in future lesson plans, I know there have been several CSI episodes that focus on YouTube videos, virtual worlds such as SecondLife, and gaming guilds, as well as the episode “Goodbye and Good Luck” [see clip below] that used Twitter to solve a crime:




Thought I posted for NaBloPoMo today, but looks like I’m getting this post in with only 10 minutes to spare.

Here we go!

I’ve been noticing several sites talk about the use of the internet in this election, one of which being “Blogged Down in the Past,” from the Columbia Journalism Review. See the map below to note “…a fundamental difference in the candidates’ approach to the blogosphere.”


See also “Obama Says – Yes We Can, With Social Media & More” and “Barack Obama and Blogging”


the power of video

I remember seeing this in 2003, on the Alan Cumming website of all places, and thinking how powerful an example it is:

So it’s amazing to see now, thanks to YouTube and other video-sharing sites, there can be efforts such as “Why Tuesday?” and “Video Your Vote”.

Obviously these videos aren’t as polished, but they still have an impact and purpose, whether to inform or persuade. Since I’ve looked at the use of internet in political campaigns since 2003, I’m just baffled at how much things have changed, how widespread access has become, and how people are using the internet in more innovative ways than thought possible.

Consuming, Producing, AND Sharing content = Citizen Media!


Politics 2.0

After noticing all the Twitter election coverage tools, I’ve decided to spend tomorrow reviewing these sites [and others] with my students. To do this most effectively, I need to begin with a quick lecture on Howard Dean’s 2004 blog and the ever-growing power of video.

This video will help start that conversation:

Then we can move on to pages such as, Twitter Voter Report, YouTube’s Video Your Vote, and the counter and map Facebook has set up.

I’ll let you know how it goes and what students can predict for 2012!


twitter politics

MSNBC had a great article on the power of Twitter during this election. The tips they list below are good ones, and even if you don’t have an account, just seeing the livestream on is AMAZING!

Use Twitter like a pro on Election Day
Register for an account at Choose a username you like; part of the fun of Twitter is people publicly responding to your tweets and vice-versa. If your username is TwitterNewbie, other twitterers will reply to you by starting their tweets with “@TwitterNewbie.”
Cast your vote for the president in Twitter’s mock election,
Check out and participate in, a constantly updated stream of what people are saying about politics on Twitter. Hot topics are highlighted at the top of the page.
If you have voting problems, head over to, a site that compiles tweets of people sharing their voting experiences and suggesting resources.



Andy and I cast our votes last week, so tomorrow we can go about our teaching schedules and not have to rush the polls or wait in any lines. I’m so excited that this election is finally coming to an end. I just hope by tomorrow night we know, for sure, who won.


Tonight Frontline on PBS is showing “The Choice: 2008,” its wonderful examination of the rich personal and political biographies of John McCain and Barack Obama. We’re watching it on tv right now, but it’s also available online here and on iTunes and YouTube.


new social media in my life

Sites I’ve joined over the past few months:–like Twitter, but with music. I love how it gives you “props” and also stores everything you’ve played. I’ve also found many wonderful mashups and covers, such as this bluegrassy one of Blu Cantrell’s “hit em up style”

Pandora radio–for when I don’t want to hear a specific song and just need some background music. I used to rely on radio stations I found in iTunes, but they seem to repeat the same playlists over and over. Pandora gives you more control over what you want to hear and finds similar sounding artists.

Second Life–the Director of our Nakatani Teaching and Learning Center is all about getting UW-Stout a presence in SecondLife, so I’ve been to a few information sessions to see what it’s all about. Thankfully, for people like me who can barely get my avatar to walk or sit, there are two sub-groups: one for beginners to get comfortable using SL, and the other for experienced in order to start students using our space. My avatar’s name is PhDaisy Quandry for anyone interested in looking me up.

Twitter [again]–I established a separate account for teaching. As I mentioned a month or so ago, I’ll be presenting a paper on teaching with Twitter at 4Cs this March. So far, I’m not requiring students to follow people or build a community outside of our class, which is what I find most appealing in my own Twitter use. But I have asked them to maintain their Twitterstream as an informal, public journal focused on documenting their semester-long experiences with technology and literacy, both in my class and others. I’ve been learning a lot from my students, especially how attached they are to their laptops, as well as their lives as freshman. I know more now about what other required classes they’re taking and frequently hear them talk about going home on the weekends, which is nothing like my college experience [I lived at home all 4 years, in New Orleans mind you, so who wanted to leave that?!] I can’t wait to read more over the next month–While it was clear students were struggling to learn the course management software in September, I think this push to be critical of their web use is something they’ll take with them the rest of their 4 years here.

And to keep me more connected than ever before, I recently purchased an iPod Touch. Hands down, it’s the best thing I’ve bought in a long time. Were I not trapped in my T-Mobile contract for another couple years, I’m sure I would be an iPhone owner too, although I do wonder if my constant social media use & updating would run the battery down! One of the best parts about it is that is has a built in speaker so you don’t even have to wear the headphones, say, while you’re sitting in your office and grading papers. 🙂




In an effort to keep up the blogging efforts I started last night, I figured November would be good a month as any to participate in National Blog Posting Month. The FAQ is quite detailed, but I’m excited to try and live up to the challenge! With all of the dissertation writing I still need to do, blogging is bound to get my juices flowing, right?

With that said, I recently read an amazing Katrina-related book that I know I will include on a syllabus in the very near future. [In fact, I just wrote about “place writing” for the Katrina Media blog, so I know this book would be a great companion to the Rose text.]


It’s fiction, but it is the most authentic representation of New Orleanians, both transplants and locals from the Lower Nine, that I’ve ever read. I love the Ricky and G-Man books by Poppy Z Brite, but Tom Piazza’s City of Refuge is set right before, during, and after the storm. Having that focus offered him the chance to explain, through his characters’ voices, why some people stayed, where so many people ended up, and why still so many are desperate to return to New Orleans.

I know of several people who still doubt my reasons and passion for the place I call home, but perhaps after reading this very well-written fictional account they’ll be more willing to empathize.