back to school; back to blogging

In case you haven’t noticed, ever since I started my job at UW-Stout in 2008 I’ve hardly blogged. The dissertation [on blogs of all things] consumed me and even though I defended in March, formatted in April, skipped the Tampa graduation in May, and finally received the diploma in the mail in July, I took the summer off from anything over 140-characters.

Doctah Day-Z!!!!!! on Twitpic

Sure, I traveled to NYC, TX, and Italy, and could write volumes on those trips. I even taught a summer course and scored thousands of AP essay exams in June, but I just couldn’t bring myself back to reading blogs until a few weeks ago.

Now, though, I have some fresh new research and publication ideas, which I will post on later this week, so beware: I’m totally throwing myself back in to blogging!

It helps that every course I’m teaching this Fall has a technology emphasis:

  • ENGL 101 is using the textbook New New Media and while these students aren’t required to blog, we will be relying on Twitter [in class only] to generate questions and reactions of assigned readings. 1 section of the 3 is dedicated to a Learning Community called the Google Generation, and I’m excited to see how these students connect our reading and writing to that assigned in the Information and Communication Technologies course they go to immediately after mine.
  • ENGL 495 is a brand new 2-semester capstone course. I have 1 very diligent student, and this semester we’re focusing on research methods with the final project being a proposal and pilot study. I’m having him purchase Research Confidential and Internet Inquiry as well as read a bunch of PDFs that either discuss methodology or put mixed methods into practice.
  • ENGL 745 is a brand new graduate course in our brand new Master of Science in Technical and Professional Communication program. Students are reading Socialnomics as well as 40+ journal articles/book chapters [including some from Always On, The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It, and Convergence Culture], all with the goal of “interpreting the ways emerging media and digital technologies affect writing, rhetoric, literacy, and the discipline of technical and professional communication.” If anyone has any suggestions for more tech comm-y texts that I should include, please let me know!Aside from academic posts, I can tell you already that I’m also going to share my opinions on various TV shows since I’ve become quite the fangirl. Between watching stuff online, via Netflix, and now with cable at home, I’ve got quite the list of favorites. To close this post, I’ll share 2 swoontastic pics of my man, Don Draper. Please note, I don’t have a crush on Jon Hamm. It is only Don Draper that makes me weak in the knees.




I’m going to experiment with colors and word layout settings, but here’s my first go at pasting my 150-page dissertation into Wordle

Wordle: DaisyPignetti_WritingtoReNewOrleans

And since my dissertation is on blogs, here the Wordle of what’s here at



Twitter on paper

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

BTW if you follow me on Twitter you know that I’m in the final push of formatting the dissertation according to grad school standards. As soon as I’m done I plan to compose thoughts longer than 140-characters and update this blog with details about my defense experience, feedback I received, and ideas for future projects.


Google Map Time Machine

Does anyone know when Google Maps updates its street views?

It’s becoming common practice for those impacted by disaster to use Google Maps to either organize efforts or search for views of homes/neighborhoods, but I was surprised when tinkering around with Street View to see my now razed home still showing up.


Some background:

As I blogged in September 2005, the site allowed me to type in my address and find this information:

My parents chose to move permanently to Mississippi instead of rebuild and when I went home over Christmas they saw the house had finally been demolished. Here’s a pic of my brother who visited NOLA in January:

While I’m all about the Internet providing more accurate and authentic information than traditional media, I have to say that, especially during this time of finalizing the dissertation, it was comforting to see my home still there…


this is the turnaround moment


Thank you, Drew and Sean!

And thank you, Cokie Roberts!

NOLA’s future is bright and I couldn’t be happier! Just wish I didn’t have to wait til JazzFest to get down there to celebrate…

Speaking of which, other than Twitter, which I can scroll through pretty quickly, I plan to be offline a lot for the next few weeks. There are dissertation deadlines to meet and with only about 20 pages left to write up, I’m not stopping now!



I’ve been in serious dissertation writing mode this new year which means I’ve hardly tweeted, watched little TV other than that on DVD and returned very few emails. Sorry about that, but that’s what consumes my life when the semester begins. Well, not the TV part.

Anyway, since I am in this dissertation state of mind that means I’ve been in a Tampa/USF mood too, checking in with the graduate program assistant [Lee is amazing!] and talking to current grad students and former faculty. I even checked my USF email account to make sure my final tuition payment went through and was surprised to see a blog comment notification. For months I’ve been trying to log in to my space with no success. That’s part of the reason I even started this new space and bought my domain name. Just last week I even checked the main site and saw nothing. I figured they took all of them down to save on server space. I don’t think there were many active bloggers using the service. After seeing that blog comment email though, I tried one more time and saw my Doctor Daisy blog as a newly revamped WordPress site! I no longer have my fleur de lis theme over there, which you can see in the version, but that’s OK.

Taking this discovery a step further, I decided to explore the export/import tools since both of my blogs are Word Press. Short story short, it literally took 3 clicks and now this space has ALL 475 of my USF blog posts.

WordPress ROCKS!

Now to update my blogrolls!


images of the dissertation

tis the writing season again! Have a reprieve from the grading and have been back to work!

Typical day begins with editing existing pages, reviewing notes, then artifact-ing [or story boarding] them on a sketch pad.

the dissertation and a cat.
AKA what my laptop-less work loo... on Twitpic

then moves to the dry erase board where the lists help me stay focused.

here are my plans @sisypheantask.  large goal is a full draft... on Twitpic


SYTYCD & Ellen

I’m not into Season 6 of SYTYCD as much as I was Season 5, but while trying to find video of ballroom boy Ryan’s solo from this past week I came across this appearance by the Top 10 on Ellen.

Go Ellen, Go Go GO!


another twitter link roundup

And another attempt at NaBloPoMo down the tubes. Oh well! I still plan to post as often as possible, now that I feel that my weeks are more manageable, even with the stacks of grading.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m very much into Twitter and have a growing list of bookmarks on diigo, which are also copied to delicious, and then shared with my 4Cs Emerging Social Software SIG members.

Several I’d like to feature here include:

Some Professors’ Jitters Over Twitter Are Easing

Tweeting in Class

The most recent Pew Report on Twitter and Status Updating [which I heard first at AoIR]

and finally

30 predictions for the future of Twitter, which includes the video below.

Enjoy, and I look forward to updating my own “Teaching with Twitter” page at the end of this semester since I’ve revised the instructions I give students and now assign some readings from The Twitter Book to assist new users. I also incorporate more live-tweeting into my class discussions, calling on students who post in addition to replying to Q&A.

Now let’s all go tweet about this…


google wave

While I was at AoIR everyone was all a buzz about Google Wave. I too suddenly wasn’t complete until I received an invite, but then when I got one, I didn’t know what to do with it. I noticed several of my Twitter followers saying the same, “It will be a good tool but there aren’t enough people on yet.”

Thankfully, I was added to a Digital Humanities wave, and there I could see things in action. The most important thing I learned there, via Lifehacker, was the “with: public” command, where I could see all of the waves out there and decide which ones I might want to join.

Doing that “with: public” search actually led me back to the gracious soul who sent me the invite in the first place, Matthew Kaskavitch, a student at UW-Stout who I’ve never met, but who is an active Twitter user and social media in higher ed proponent. (Yes, that “one professor in the English department used Twitter in the classroom to communicate with her students” is me. I’ve actually gone on to incorporate some of those suggestions too and now more actively ask students to tweet on readings at the beginning of class then call on them to elaborate during large group discussions).

An interesting Wave that Matt’s started is the “University of Wisconsin Wavers,” which is allowing folks from any of the campuses across the state to communicate and collaborate in ways never before. Of course, things are still in the early stages, but I think it’s a great start to a dialogue amongst tech savvy folks and much more fun (to me at least) than listserv messages.

Other helpful WAVE how-to’s can be found here:

HOW TO: Get Started with Google Wave
Google Wave: A Complete Guide
Google Wave Guide: User Manual Released for Wave

Still, even with all of this, I don’t see myself becoming an active Wave user until I get some invites to share with colleagues. Where those at, Google???


trying this again


Given the cool stuff I’ve been working on and tweeting about but too lazy to blog, I’m going to try this 30 posts in 30 days challenge again. So far, it doesn’t look like there’s a theme to adhere to either.

I always feel better after I’ve clicked “publish” so here goes!


Disaster 2.0 / AoIR

I’m just back from my first Association of Internet Researchers conference and have to say it was the best conference I’ve attended in a long time. Small enough to not get overwhelmed, and with the half hour breaks in between sessions and the #ir10 Twitter channel, it was quite easy to meet with people I’d only interacted with or read online.

Otherwise stated, it was an excellent place for me to “get my geek on.”

All of the panels I attended included a nice mix of qualitative and quantitative research and the whole time I was reminded of my 2007 Summer Doctoral Programme experience. Lots of supportive feedback and exciting international projects.

What I noticed most was many folks working on multiple projects at once, and the detail with which they spoke actually inspired me to save a planned part of my dissertation for a separate project. I think it’s pretty clear that I have enough to speak on blogs and the NOLA blogosphere rather than try to bring in Flickr, Twitter and audio/video embedding. This way I can go into more detail about how my bloggers differ in terms of rebuilding experience and perhaps even map out how they represent so many neighborhoods across the city.

I’ll write again soon, as I really want to make sure I update this space more often, but til then, let me know what you think of my slides:




I’ve been sharing Katrina-related links on FB and Twitter all morning, but now can’t think of anything to say.

I’ve become numb remembering all of this again, even with it as my dissertation topic and therefore something I think about ALL THE TIME. That writing, though, is focused on the positive, the uses of technology to help build community. I appreciate my NOLA blogger friends [and interview participants] so much, mainly because we don’t have to explain ourselves to each other. Our loss is mutually understood.

Many of you who read this will never understand what it’s like to have lost so much, or even what it is we’ve lost because it is so beyond the tangible things, so all I can ask of you is just to remember.