Author Archives: Jason Mittell

MiddLab Ideas

Neuroscience senior research: how alcohol tolerance is built. Study based on rats. Might connect to broader research lab? (HE)

Amy Briggs (CSCI): designing AP course for computer science. Ongoing grant project. Could solicit discussion, participation. Collaborating with Duke faculty. Share examples, syllabi, public discussion (email list/blogs). (MW)

David Small (student) thesis on remix culture. (TH)

Wildlife reserve photography biology project based on internship. Photo gallery, interview, maps. (TH)

Julia Alvarez essay about caring for elderly parents across different cultures. Profiles (audio/video) of different cases. JA has expressed interest. (LG)

Sarah Harris interviewing staff members about their backgrounds & experiences. Tied to Susan Burch’s project? Tied to fellows in narrative journalism? (PG)

Hedya Klein’s travelling art exhibition – gallery of her & student works. QTVR or panoramic photos? (HN)

Student video work from Sight & Sound – how to differ from FMMC student work page? (MD)

Interactive gallery of faculty books. (MW)

Student publications featured on site? Literary, culture, other publications. (HN)

Carlos Velez (Psych): internet-based preventions for risky sexual behaviors. Online survey & effects of orientation. (MW)

Dana Yeaton (Theatre): mounting interactive production of play tackling race/diversity issues on campus. How to make online? (IM)

Chat Roulette

One of the interesting things about this class is when a fairly new media tool or site emerges during the semester, letting us think about how such media might take hold or peter out. One example is Chat Roulette, which has gotten a fair amount of press in the last couple of weeks. Take a look at this video about the site as well.

So have you tried it yet? What might Shirky or some of our other authors say about it? What do you think?

Wikipedia editing

As promised in class, here’s a brief assignment to enter into the realm of Wikipedia editing. Find a Wikipedia page about something you know a lot about – it could be something you’ve studied at Middlebury, or something from your personal background, or just something you really like. Make sure you read the Discussion tab of that page to see what other editors are saying about the article. Edit the article to improve its quality – no vandalism, even as an experiment! Be sure to read the Wikipedia Editing Tutorial for both technical and editorial guidelines for the Wikipedia platform & community.

Once you’ve made your edits, blog about it with a link to your article, and check back at the article to see how your edits are received by the community. What does it feel like to join the editing community? Why are your edits important to the larger project? How might different reactions to your edits impact your sense of how Wikipedia works?

Mashup aesthetics and DJ Earworm

In an act of serendipity, I just saw that MCAB is bringing DJ Earworm to campus for Winter Carnival on Saturday night. If you don’t know DJ Earworm, you should – he is one of the most accomplished and innovative mashup artists working today. I was going to assign this article about mashup music later in the semester, in conjunction with the screening of RiP in April, but given that he’ll be here this week, read it now and explore his website for a sense of his work.

And yes – you are all assigned to attend Saturday’s Go Gold Winter Ball and blog about it!

Blog prompt and links

A couple of things you should think about for next week’s blogging. We’ll be talking about podcasts, so do a podcast review like your blog review – choose a podcast that interests you, and discuss how it works, how it differs from or parallels other media, and what types of participation and environment it encourages. Also, be sure to post your reactions to the first half of Shirky’s book.

As promised, here’s You Suck at Photoshop – as far as I know, it’s the world’s only serialized parody of technical training vids layered with the story of a man’s crumbling marriage. Enjoy!

Blog prompts and Twitter FAQs

First for the Twitter newbies, check out this site and this video for some useful tips and overviews.

For Monday, here are two specific blog prompts:

Blog review: find a blog out there in the internets that interests you (it could be new to you, or something you already read). Analyze how it functions as a site, thinking about the issues we discussed in class like its grammar/form, how it builds on the blog environment, what elements seem to be shaped by the cultural vs. institutional practices, how it allows participation, how it impacts social relationships, how it might be different in another medium, etc. (You don’t have to hit all these points, but use our class content as a guide to analysis.)

Reading response: Scott McCloud’s book serves as an extended “meta-media object,” using the tools of the comic to explore the medium itself. What aspects of comics, both as a medium of analysis and medium of expression, did you find particularly interesting? How might McCloud’s ideas extend to other media, or how might someone be able to express such concepts in other media? And how might his work resonate with the medium theory of Walter Ong, McLuhan, or Meyrowitz?

Welcome to the class!

This blog will aggregate all of the posts from each student’s individual blogs, as well as host postings from Jason Mittell and Joe Antonioli. See the blogging assignment for details on how to use the class blogs.

For your first blog assignment for Wednesday’s class, please launch your personal blog with an opening post as a brief “techno-biography”: write a biographical account of some way that media technology had a direct impact on you. It can be a specific anecdote, a broader reflection on your technological use, or any other entry that serves to introduce you to your peers and might intersect with themes from our course. Make sure you’ve posted yours by class on Wednesday the 10th.

Also you’re expected to post regular reflections on course readings, so if you have thoughts about the readings for Wednesday, please post them to your blog. Happy blogging!