musical heroes

Somehow think I’m co-opting the term “hero” for what is actual fandom, but who cares!

The Pet Shop Boys are heroes of mine because they continue to impress me with intellectual lyrics and catchy melodies. Their latest album, Yes, is the first once since Very that I HAVE to play over and over again, which makes me quite excited about their upcoming USA tour. And there in lies the rub–the blessed boys have chosen tour dates and cities that are most inconvenient to the start of an academic year, but I’m somehow going to make it work!

I’ve seen them 5 times already, all with my PSB partner in crime, Joe G, and we’re not going to let work schedules and real life responsibility get in our way now! LOL.

Here’s their brief interview and full performance of “Love, ETC” on the Graham Norton show.


more teaching with Twitter

A supplement to my post from earlier this week, with the full write up available here.

This is great to have now b/c my summer ENG 101 course starts on Monday and after watching this video students will be able to see how, while it can get “messy”, using Twitter during our short semester will allow for more dialogue and exchange of resources, not to mention improve their writing, e.g. vocabulary and diction.


Twitter in Time


Without these guys, I’d not have much to talk about these days.

As someone I’m following on Twitter said today, “wow…Time magazine actually *gets* Twitter. how odd.” But they do get it, and this statement from Steven Johnson’s essay “How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live” says it all: “In short, the most fascinating thing about Twitter is not what it’s doing to us. It’s what we’re doing to it.”

If you take a look at the report I posted yesterday to my Twitter Research page, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many different ways students used it to get answers, take notes, talk to one another, get to know me as more than a teacher-bot, etc. I witnessed many conversations between students asking for additional peer reviews & help with converting files from DOCX to PDF. They turned to Twitter rather than email or the D2L discussion forums, and I can only speculate that with ever-growing awareness and use of Twitter, my students will continue to create uses and make meaning, in 140-characters or less.


Carolyn Ellis + autoethnography

A true hero of mine, and former prof, Carolyn Ellis, has been on my mind lately b/c I’m re-working the third chapter of my dissertation. This is going to be the longest one b/c of its defining of methods and then the data itself. I’ve been moving a lot of information around but I believe I’ve finally found a logical way to discuss both digital writing research (or virtual ethnography) and autoethnography:

I feel being a digital writing researcher complements autoethnographic studies since both push the primary investigator to find new ways of understanding. As the edited collection Digital Writing Research contends, “Because of the complexity of researching in digitized spaces…researchers should ‘embrace working across methodological interfaces’, pursuing multiple methodologies while continually engaging in critical, reflexive practices” (McKee and DeVoss 17). “Doing digital research is not merely a matter of shipping old methods and methodologies to a new research locale” (Porter, “Foreword” xvi), which echoes Ellis’s definition of autoethnographic approaches as ones that “do no follow a rigid list of rule-based procedures” (16). The interdisciplinary nature of the Internet engages scholars in innovative ways, and learning to both approach research subjects and collect data requires new techniques.

I will share more about my use of a wiki to collect my interactive interview data as I polish up the profiles of my participants this week and next, but for now I wanted to link to Jeffrey Keefer’s live blog post about Carolyn’s latest book, Revision. I haven’t finished reading all of it, but the opening chapters have been quite helpful to turn to the past 2 weeks. It’s reminded me of being in her classroom at USF and how the best [in terms of emotionality and story] writing I did in my PhD program was in her course, rather than the many literature and rhetoric courses I took!



Being that it’s June 1st and I’ve neglected my blog for too long, I’ve decided to attempt completing NaBloPoMo this month. The theme is “heroes,” which should tie in with my dissertation writing about Hurricane Katrina survivor bloggers, right?

To get the ball rolling I thought I would share a story that’s got a few people I know outraged. This story “Will Smith to play Katrina hero John Keller in Sony Pictures release” ran in the New Orleans Times-Picayune the other day and I immediately got a phone call from my friend Rudy who was also on the roof of the American Can Co. apt building during Hurricane Katrina. Like the author of the letter to the editor I’m pasting in below, Rudy is vehemently against the hero-ization of this John Keller. He didn’t save anyone & Will Smith, Hollywood and the world need to know that!

Katrina story turns a tragedy into a cartoon
Saturday, May 30, 2009

Perhaps you have heard of a recent memoir whose central premise was two lovers who kissed through a concentration camp fence, later exposed as a complete fabrication, with actual Holocaust survivors understandably furious.

Ultimately, John Keller, the “hero” of American Can Co., will be exposed as such a character. I wish you would stop perpetuating his story.
For starters: There was no 11 feet of water in the American Can. At its deepest point, in the deepest part of the street outside, the water was perhaps 6 feet deep. Water was only ankle deep at best in the lobby. Which isn’t to say it didn’t suck. But when you exaggerate, all can be called into question. Why not throw in some snakes and alligators?

Mr. Keller claims he saved “244” folks. If you did the research you would find there were maybe 400 people stuck in the building — and that seems generous — which would mean this guy personally saved two-thirds of them. His only impressive feat is getting his yarn so far up the Hollywood food chain.

I was at American Can. I couldn’t have picked this man from a lineup without looking at his picture in the paper. Why? Because while he may have been assisting a handful of people in some wing of the building, the rest of us were doing the same with whoever was within our radius.

I don’t want the horror of my Katrina experience turned into a cartoon. The cartoon of “Col. Keller, the One-Man Calvary, Saves the Day!”

There were many quiet and humble heroes from those times, unlike the boastful and self-aggrandizing Mr. Keller.

Brett Evans
New Orleans


we live in public

We Live In Public TRAILER from We Live in Public on Vimeo.

This film looks amazing, in that freaky kind of way.

“The Truman Show for everyone” [and don’t get me started on how great that Philip Glass PBS documentary was] describes We Live in Public as a “90-minute documentary about the Internet pioneer-turned performance artist Josh Harris… who made $80 million when his Internet-research company, Jupiter Communications, went public in the early 1990s. He used his dot-com millions to fund experimental art projects — surveillance-themed works that seemed to anticipate today’s over-sharing Internet culture of blogs, Twitter and social-networking sites.”

Jason Calacanis wrote about it earlier this year and, given my interest in public writing and communities of support evolving online in new ways than before, I found his definition of “Internet Asperger’s Syndrome” intriguing. [In this syndrome, the afflicted stops seeing the humanity in other people. They view individuals as objects, not individuals. The focus on repetitive behaviors–checking email, blogging, twittering and retiring andys–combines with an inability to feel empathy and connect with people.]

As someone who does repeatedly communicate with people via online spaces more than F2F lately I can see how it might impact one’s socialization; however, I feel I’ve become more social as a result. Will have to think more about this, especially in light of my asking students to use technology more to communicate with me, e.g. virtual office hours and Twitter.


CCCC09 link roundup & SIG promotion

I’m sure I will edit this post to include more links later, but I’ve had several tabs open for the past few weeks and then yesterday received an email from the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives with the link to my video contribution.

So here we go:

Devon’s post on my CCCC Presentation: A(Re)mediating Social Technologies
Dennis’s post on my CCCC Presentation: Session B21 (Re)Mediating Social Technologies
“Twitter, Facebook, Families, and Students” video {MOV file] — starring me and Cindy Cochran

Also, for those interested in such research, please join me and other members of the Emerging Social Software SIG in our bookmarking to bibliography project. Our group on diigo is flourishing and would only benefit from more shared resources!


a focus on Twitter

While I created this new site over a month ago, I’ve wasted some time trying to gain access to my former blog’s content, particularly the “social software” category.  It looks like I  may just recreate some of those posts here, as I’ve decided to make the primary focus of this space to track the use of social media in academia and everyday life.

I’ve been a Twitter user for over a year now, and recently presented the preliminary findings of my “Teaching with Twitter” experiment at the Conference on College Composition & Communication [see slides here], so it’s kind of funny to see this new wave of stories about the microblogging social network emerge from the traditional media.

With that said, I’ll be using this site to annotate some of those key moments in popular culture’s understanding of Twitter, not to mention share links to stories that specifically discuss the use of social media in education. 

See below for an example of the former but please also go to this link for a much more resourceful list of 100 Tips, Apps, and Resources for Teachers on Twitter


Welcome to my new site!

Hello everyone!

After trying to regain access to my USF Doctor Daisy blog for weeks now, I finally bit the bullet and bought my own domain name!  More posts and widgets and plug-ins to come, but if you’re ever interested in what I’m doing, in 140-characters or less, you can follow me @phdaisy on Twitter.

I do hope to be able to export that Doctor Daisy content into this blog, but one thing at a time.  Besides, it’s 2009 and a fresh start is called for.  I’m in a new town with a new job and it’s time for some Y@ Change!


Using Twitter

This week I was officially awarded a Professional Development Grant, which will make my travel to San Fran for 4Cs much easier on the wallet. I’m also 1 week away from receiving final exam essays from the students I asked to start Twitter accounts. Their responses will be the basis of my presentation, and I already know that I’m going to continue with this research next semester b/c I’ve learned so much from them in terms of what their 1st semester college freshman experiences.

This semester I let students protect their updates and only follow me as a way to let them explore the informal writing space; however, I think next semester I will require students to follow all their peers in class too. That way, especially for my online writing courses, we can build community and more easily and quickly share resources. The discussion board posts can evolve to be more formal writing responses and Twitter can remain informal.

More on this once I see if my current students even feel that maintaining the timeline helped them reflect on their tech literacy, but here’s a video created by the folks at Twitter about how and why some people use the microblogging tool. If you notice, nearly everyone is updating from their phones…something I plan to point out to my students!

How Do You Use Twitter? from biz stone on Vimeo.


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
* peoplessoftware.com


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”