- Tributary – Tributary is an experimental environment for rapidly prototyping visualization code. The environment provides several useful libraries, as well as a simple interface for live code editing. We call these shareable code examples inlets. – (software visualization )
- Semiotics Theories / Signo – Applied Semiotics Theories – – (semiotics theory )
- [toread] New Clues: update to the cluetrain manifesto – – (Manifesto DH )
- Peer 2 Peer University – Because anyone who's looking in should get a link to p2pu. [insert fork pun here]. – (courseware p2p )
- Harmonizing Learning and Education -e-Literate – large OV in response to Cormier, Downes, et al concerning active learning, course design, lib Ed. The title says it all, but here's some more: "This is partly a workplace argument. It’s an economic value argument. It’s a public good argument. If Dave is right, then people who care about learning are going to be better at just about any job you throw at them than people who don’t. This is a critical argument in favor of public funding of a liberal arts education, personalized in the old-fashioned sense of having-to-do-with-individual-persons, that much of academia has ceded for no good reason I can think of. The sticky wicket, though, is accountability which, as Dave points out, is the main reason we have a schism between learning and education in the first place – (pedagogy assessment coursedesign culture )
- Building a Place for Community: City Tech’s OpenLab – Report on CUNY's OpenLab, designed in part to align a dispersed community. Come together by way of a leaning community. – (OER openaccess open_learning digitalhub )
- [toread] Rhizomatic Learning – A Big Forking Course | Dave’s Educational Blog – – (none)
- Fedwiki Happening: I Don’t Know How to Start, So Let’s Just Type | Hapgood – Hard? Since when does hard put us off? I read lit theory for breakfast, overthrow six well-won assumptions by lunch, have preconceptions for dinner. Bring it on! "Federated wiki is not hard like setting up a Jekyll instance hard, or the ten steps to embed a YouTube video hard. It’s not hard like “I have to learn to edit video” hard.
- Reading list for graduate seminar in digital humanities (Fall 2014) | William G. Thomas III – It’s time to work on syllabi for Fall courses, order books, and prepare readings. With the DH2014 Conference in full swing I am thinking about assignments for my graduate seminar:… – (course DH syllabus )
- Home · Introduction to Digital Humanities – January 23, 2014 Thanks for making our first day of class so productive and engaging. Just from listening to our initial discussion, I can tell that we’re going to have a lot of fun this… – (course syllabi DH )
- Odyssey.js · Documentation – Odyssey.js is an open-source tool that allows you to combine maps, narratives, and other multimedia into a beautiful story. Creating new stories is simple, requiring nothing more than a modern web-browser and an idea. You enhance the narrative and multimedia of your stories using Actions (e.g. map movements, video and sound control, or the display or new content) that will let you tell your story in an exciting new way. Use our Templates to control the overall look and feel of your story in beautifully designed layouts. – (curating DH maps curation )
- Federated Education: New Directions in Digital Collaboration | Hapgood – Mike Caufield, keynote. – (sfw edtech )
- the Indie Web and resistance – Indie web and other ways to resist edu-corp. – (d2l edtech )
- Is Twitter the Best Option for Online Professional Development? – "Can we really insist or even recommend Twitter for PD?" Yes, but blogs are better. – (weblogs twitter prodev )
- Medieval Notepads | medievalbooks – Read up. Glosses, footnotes, and note slips. – (notetaking notes dh media_archeology )
From The Mechanical Bride, McLuhan, 1967 (1951″>caption id=”” align=”alignleft” width=”299″] From The Mechanical Bride, McLuhan, 1967The Mechanical Bride haunts the interwebs.Both texts myopically focus on readers as bored passive consumers and writers as lackeys to the market. While they both cover (rather than question”>/caption]I just looked over two texts from Rutledge for possible use in digital writing and rhetoric courses, and came away disappointed. Saddened. Without anything good to say. Both books give an unintentionally clear look into the cold heart of darkness that is written mass media. Neither delivers what they suggest they will. Both have a distinctive ordour of journalism-as-marketing-the-brand shaping both the texts themselves and the advice they present as understanding.Writing and Editing for Digital Media is misnamed. Its emphasis is on writing and editing for digital marketing.Digital Innovations for Mass Communications has a similar problem in the title: There aren’t any real innovations in the book so much as continuations of the what McLuan critiqued in the 1940s. The Mechanical Bride haunts the interwebs.Both texts myopically focus on readers as bored passive consumers and writers as lackeys to the market. While they both cover changes in media distribution, they do so superficially, and without concern for semiotic changes in affordances, rhetorical function or situation. They build their work on the purported commonalities: this web thing – it’s not that different when you get right down to it, and Good Writing is Universally Good Writing, as it was codified, variously, by StrunkNWhite, Orwell, and Confucius. Their own directive is poorly worded, oddly aligning “a person writing” with “the principles are”: “Whether a person is writing a news story, novel, letter to the editor, or advertising copy, the principles of good writing are the same.” (Writing for Digital Media, 1.) Gertrude Stein is just below the surface:
Whether a person is writing. A news story novel, letter, to the editor or advertising. Copy the principles of good writing. The same.
Not far off from How To Write.
In keeping with the easy emphasis on The Universal, the text gives the typical (copy and pasted) lists of Advice (active! verbs!). What seems new are tricks of how to generate heads using Wordle, and how to lace up stories with words planted for SEO. But the goal of the advice betrays the mindset of a marketeer, c 1955: Drugstore shelf space and the cover photo used to be the magic for selling pulp; today, keywords are the new currency.
As for readers: Here’s Digital Innovations’s simplistic sense of audience as content consumer motivated by desire: bored, superficial, but thrifty.
noindent”>And here is the obligatory nod to convergence culture – the very idea that makes both these texts untenable. Digital Innovations gives a nod to Henry Jenkins’s, keeping the focus on his head-shot rather than his ideas:
noindent”>But with the next paragraph, they change the direction, away from Jenkins’s emphasis on the activity of the consumer driven by unnamable desire and towards the institutionalized presentation within museums.
noindent”>This is less a remix of Jenkins than a selective appropriation. Jenkins’s focuses on pro-sumer agency with “A whole range of new technologies enable consumers to archive, annotate, appropriate, and recirculate media content and in the process, these technologies have altered the ways that consumers interact with core institutions of government, education, and commerce.” But there’s nothing like the institute of a museum to say Hands Off the Content! Stay behind the velvet rope, children. These artifacts are fragile. They need to be handled by the professionals.
noindent”>Digital rhetoric is at cross-purposes with these examples of digital marketing-journalism. So where are these two texts useful? In courses that look at how the print market is driven. In courses engaged in media archaeology. In courses looking at digital rhetoric in order to question what is being presented as mainstream values. In courses that aim at authorizing the digital reader, that aim at giving the digital reader some agency other than consumption.
- List of Physical Visualizations – Prime example of curation – open for additions and set up for remixing. Needs an astrolabe. "This page is a chronological list of physical visualizations and related artifacts, curated by Pierre Dragicevic and Yvonne Jansen. Thanks to Fanny Chevalier and our other contributors. If you know of another interesting physical visualization, please submit one! Or post a general comment. – (dh curation data_visualization visualization )
- [toread] Some Idiosyncratic Reflections on Note-Taking in General and ConnectedText in Particular – "Looking back at my history of note-taking, I notice that there were two significant or radical changes in the way, in which I dealt with my notes or research information. The first had to do with the change from the analog to the digital ways of recording notes, thoughts, and ideas. I am sorry to say that this change led at first to a kind of disorientation and many false steps. I was searching for a new "paradigm" of keeping my research notes, but this search led to nothing–all I have from this time are Word files of papers I wrote. Notes, insofar as they exist at all, exist only on paper." – (notetaking wiki ple via:shannon_mattern )
- media archeology – a conversation – CTheory.net – The important stuff is always in the footnotes. "Media archaeology is an approach to media studies that has emerged over the last two decades. It borrows from Michel Foucault, Walter Benjamin, and Friedrich Kittler, but also diverges from all of these theorists to form a unique set of tools and practices. Media archaeology is not a school of thought or a specific technique, but is as an emerging attitude and cluster of tactics in contemporary media theory that is characterized by a desire to uncover and circulate repressed or neglected media approaches and technologies. Its handful of proponents — including Siegfried Zielinski, Wolfgang Ernst, Thomas Elsaesser, and Erkki Huhtamo — are primarily interested in mobilizing histories and devices that have been sidelined during the construction of totalizing histories of popular forms of communication, including the histories of film, television, and new media. The lost traces of media technologies are deemed important topics to be excavated and studied; "dead" media technologies and idiosyncratic developments reveal important themes, structures, and links in the history of communication that would normally be occluded by more obvious narratives. This includes tracing irregular developments and unconventional genealogies of present-day communication technologies, believing that the most interesting developments often happen in the neglected margins of histories or artifacts." – (dh theory media newmedia )
- Resource Management, Note-taking + Abstracting – Words in Space – note taking, template for note taking, software for note taking. – (notetaking theory reading research )
- Reading Effectively – Words in Space – advice and strategies for reading theory, and a framework for designing PLEs. – (dh litcrit pedagogy notetaking ple )
- Using IFTTT To Track Twitter Participation – ProfHacker – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education – – (diy )
- Using IFTTT To Track Twitter Participation – ProfHacker – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education – create recipe to add each tagged tweet to google spread sheet. – (diy )
- “Refuse to be standardized and scripted”: A Book Review – – (none)
- “Please don’t call me uncanny”: Cécile B. Evans at Seventeen Gallery – – (dh )
Locally, we’re ending a semester and with a new season comes the need (!) for a new blogging app. This one is Desk , with good reviews on its paper-on-a-desktop interface. Writes in markdown. Handles image embeds and placement well – very easy. Affordances of headings, styles, quotation and lists are hidden away a little: select the text and a popup selection bar appears (it visually wars with PopClip for a moment). They’re available by keyboard, too. Preview and publishing options, too, are tucked away until you want them.
I enjoy – yep: enjoy – the minimalist writing interface (sans scrollbar) and appreciate the single-window design over floating palettes. I appreciate, too, the stats: characters, words, and reading time. And because I work across two Macs, using iCloud Drive to store drafts is welcome. There’s also some welcome legibility intelligence built into the interface: Re-sizing the editing window re-sizes the text for drafting.
The weblog setup is a little geeky, asking for the xmlrpc.php address. Not a problem for me, and perhaps a feature to teach a few users what is necessary for logging into a weblog. I approach new apps with the mind that the developers are going to show me something new, and I’m ready to let them, so I don’t balk at geek or new interface moves. Every app another way to think
about what we’re doing. Every app a machine to think with.
There are a few things that push towards re-learning. Like the minimalist interface that removes the context. Like the
disappearing publishing information that redraws the text when it’s called up and again when it’s hidden. The difficulty in seeing paragraph breaks in the draft window where everything is single-spaced.
It’s a v 1.0 release, so by the time I get used to these new gestures, the developer will have changed things anyway.
The promotional website is over-kill for the understatement of the actual app – a blast of marketing hype on story and empowerment and mission and passion. The first-grade marketing silliness creeps into the app. Publishing a post is rewarded with a gold-star, “Success! Great Job!” Using hyperbole to market understatement is a nice rhetorical irony, well-taken, but when it creeps into interface design, annoyance lies in wait. To get the best feel for the app, look at John's blog.
Update: Editing and resending a post doesn't update the original post but creates a new one. After publishing this post, I edited it further and then updated – I thought. I ended up with seven versions.
Desk uses the old-school way of thinking about publishing and updating: Get it right before you publish, then publish once and commit! I'm more of the wiki-habit of development in situ. I deleted the six earlier versions and all is fine.
Update: Turns out I was editing and repeatedly uploading a local copy of the post rather than editing the already-uploaded version. The uploaded post is editable. Look over the navigation bar closely and select the version to edit. Desk is slippery, but flexible.