Tag Archives: captology

bird *here*

I’m starting to pull things together for the E-Rhetoric course that starts in January, so a twitter from Anne that Brightkite was in open beta came at the right moment.

I’m a latercomer to the service, so much of this has been said before. At root, Brightkite is like Twitter but centered on location information: the where just as much as the what. Less bird here than bird here. When a user checks in, they make their location available to others nearby. And that allows for face to face contact and flash mobbing.

The service also has built-in photo sharing, which opens the message up to more than 160 characters. That visual channel makes a difference.

It’s integrated with Twitter, so that posting to Brightkite will also post a location and a link to the photo to the twitterstream. Need to be careful with that feature; it can create a lot of noise on Twitter. (Of course, Brightkite also has a Twitter account, so you can follow them.)

It has the usual friends network set up, and will send notifications vie email or text.

Some older mentions:

lauren’s library blog » brightkite and twitter

Brightkite: Twitter + Maps + Photos – Joe Lazarus

Matt Thommes / Customize Brightkite-to-Twitter updates

Hands on with Brightkite: real-world social networking

A Peek At Brightkite For the iPhone

and of course

Brightkite Wants to Win the Mobile Social Network Battle

One interesting marketing feature is the Brightkite Wall. It streams Brightkite activity to a browser that can be set as full screen. The persuasive element is the banner encouraging viewers to send text messages that will appear on the wall – without having to register.

brightkite.com.jpg

But there are some prosaic uses for all this in mobile learning. Students out exploring can trace where they’ve been and where they are, which makes it possible to focus content sent to them. And the wall allows everyone in a cohort see where everyone else is. That says flash mob gorilla theater.

So far, I’m finding Brightkite more interesting to play with than Twitter. Pulling together act, place, and image is pretty compelling. I’ll run it past the E-Rhetoric students and see what they can come up with.

e-planning planning for spring

E-rhetoric textsIt might snow Sunday, and that means it’s time to start to select texts for spring classes.

Our campus bookstore wanted selections by mid-October, and while I’d like to accommodate the corporate giant, it will have to wait. Two courses I’m teaching in spring, E-Rhetoric and Weblogs and Wikis, benefit from using the most recent texts and addressing some of the most current ideas. And I’m still looking for the right texts, and will be right through the US Thanksgiving.

For E-Rhetoric, I’m considering a look at digital and new media poetics. Our Creative and Pro Writing BFA students don’t get much exposure to the work that’s going on in poetry and short prose in the electronic world. While an e-literature course might be best, E-Rhetoric can take a look at current electronic modes and productions. A new literature brings with it a new rhetoric: a new set of affordances, a new way of making and articulating meaning. The difficulty in this section of the course might be keeping a focus on the rhetorical dynamics of the object rather than the object as an expressive artifact. But digital products tend to be collaborative ventures, which moves us away from self-expression and towards semiotics.

In the same vein, I want to look at digital- print hybrids and social- digital mapping. There are projects possible. I’m thinking of having students annotate a journey or two through the campus or sections of downtown. Students from the visual arts department have done a little of the preliminary work for this, chalking some of the academic buildings, and annotating the doors.

While it would be nice to have everyone with an iPhone or a laptop post to geo-located walls using something like graffitio, we might be able to do this as a mapping hybrid along the line of the proboscis projects. The idea of leaving text annotations at the particular site is interesting. The next move is a rhetoric of geo-cacheing.

The rhetorical angle: Look at the places students choose to define as noteworthy, the contexts they place those places in, the language they use to give them importance. If rhetoric is calling attention to something, then inscribing it with a building name or sticking a 3X5 card on it is a starting point. Annotating makes the campus into a campuscape, a gallery, a narrative, an argument.

The rhetorical choices behind social scape annotation starts to stand out when we compare citizen annotation of the campuscape with the authorized labeling: building names (former faculty and presidents for academic buildings, tree species for student residences), the Deputy Arch, the names of scientists carved into stone on Sattgast, campus maps, advertising banners, even labels on some of the benches. There’s more going on than first seen.

Mobile Learning. A lot is just about to happen with mobile technologies and learning in the field. E-Rhetoric’s interest would involve how language is used and shaped to suit onthefly learning. Perhaps by annotating the urban landscape.

Persuasive Technologies. I get blank stares when I mention captology to students. How does your car persuade you to slow down? The E-Rhetoric students can benefit from a brief look at captology, less as a field of study and more as a way of thinking about technologies in the world.

For Weblogs and Wikis: Jill Walker Rettberg has a new text on blogging (Yes!) that addresses it as a social- and professional act. I’ve been making that up-hill argument for six years, and it’s good to have back up. Students tend to view blogging more as diversion than substance; faculty at large tend to see it more as daily diaries from amateurs. Faculty with a stake in print place it as a diversion from the Real Work of writing and publishing. No editors! Certainly second-rate writing.

I’m still waiting for / writing the similar text for wikis. But I reckon I’ll be able to slide laterally to apply Rettberg’s observations on weblogs to wikis. And I’d bet I can do the same with Wikipatterns: use it to apply to weblogs, especially collective weblogs.

What’s in my bookbag?

I wait until the snow flies to make the final choice, designing a syllabus around the texts I have in mind to see how it all might fit together.

Education doesn’t need to be driven by the self-serving deadlines of bookstores.

special friday exercise: authenticity

What makes this authentic?

From Captology Notebook: MoveOne uses video to persuade (not text)

January 23, 2008
MoveOne uses video to persuade (not text)Today MoveOn started using online video to persuade supporters. For years they’ve relied on text.

However, with the U.S. election heating up (and perhaps declining response to email), MoveOn has created a persuasive video message, re: the link below. It’s about one minute long.

https://pol.moveon.org/donate/elivideo2008.html?id=11950-2869739-r.Zq39&t=77

The age of persuasive video is just beginning. The success of video will make text seem old fashioned.

My advice to persuaders: Get out your video cams and start practicing! (And be sure to learn what works: brief, authentic, direct call to action. MoveOn does it well.)

–BJ Fogg

The video is brief (about a minute) and makes a direct call to action (two of them, by my count).  But what features make it authentic?

View the video a few times and make some notes.  Look at the usual stuff: setting, composition, cuts, but also listen to –  even better,  map out – the words and the spoken delivery.  As a start, to what extent does the delivery sound scripted?  To what extent spontaneous?

There are other elements and affordances to take note of, so don’t stop with one.  What, for instance, do you make of the final gesture of the speaker pointing out of the video and towards a url on the web page?