Hi, please

Building communities or creating a divide?: The Digital Divide and Postnationalism

OLPC's "green machine"

OLPC's "green machine"

I tried to keep this short, as I’m sure everyone’s crazy busy with finals.  Have fun debating Dvorak in the comments!

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This is it


This is it – this will be the last brief in the semester.

Wiki Marathon

For week I would like you to work on the wiki and make sure the structure and content of the wiki together with your contribution pages reflects the hard personal and collective work you’ve been doing. I want you guys to do more work earlier and not wait for the last moment on this as collaboration is hard and the process should be given some time to take shape and materialize. Please make sure you make most of your contributions by Saturday and devote Sunday-Tuesday to edit, structure and further substantiate the collective work of the class.

Next week’s reading will focus on the potential (?) of Postnationalism presented by the networked public sphere and on the digital divide through the case study of the OLPC.

Required Reading:

  • Nicolas Negroponte, “Interview with Riz Khan” Al-Jazeera October 2007
    YouTube Preview Image (by the way, Riz’s show is recommended in general)
  • One Laptop per Child Doesn’t Change the World / John C. Dvorak
  • Give me rice, but give me a laptop too / Bill Thompson
  • Frost, Catherine “Internet Galaxy Meets Postnational Constellation: Prospects for Political Solidarity After the Internet” (a pdf will be emailed to you, please do not share, sorry)
  • Sara’s summary + your comment

Recommended Reading:


  • Read the essay & articles and view the presentation
  • Optionally Highlight and annotate the reading to help its accessibility for the rest of you.
  • Summarize it for us in a nicely accessible post to be published by Sunday 4pm, ideally running some threads between them.
  • Be prepared to present the article and lead the discussion in class.
  • Think of questions to lead off the discussion
  • Post to del.icio.us some links that expand the discussion either about the text or about key themes in it.

I can haz teknoluhgee – conclusion…

I apologize for this conclusion, the format AND the lateness – I had planned a video with images and swooshy lettering and such, but the tech gods were not smiling on me this time round. hence a podcast summarizing what I’ve gathered from talking to and gathering info from various people in the technology and education field, trying to get at what they think is the most pressing problem in education right now…


Get ready, here it comes / New Media Embed Program

We are reaching the end of our journey(s) and now we want to extract our experience in a constructive way. You have worked to tag your posts and we can already reflect on the topic trends in the tag-cloud and through the (often somewhat obscure) “Possibly Relevant Posts” feature. In these coming two weeks we will all work together to start and complete the New Media Embed Program. For those of you who are fishing for a better grade, this is your bonus round, so leadership and good work on this class assignment will be appreciated and rewarded.

The New Media Embed Program (a manual)

This one is a group assignment. And by group I mean the whole class. We are going to write a manual for the new media researcher, based on the experiences and themes we have gathered in this class, all in wiki format. I have deliberately not structured the wiki as I want to see how will you guys work together to make the structure emerge from the group activity. What we can expect to have in a manual like this might be (just suggestions, you are welcomed to come up with other ideas):

  • Topics we discussed through readings: trust, community, CBPP, open source, social software, network theory, interface, fun, the long tail, representation/simulation, control, remix culture, game theory, copyright laws, net neutrality…
  • Topics we discussed in class: mash-ups, twitter, religion, Google Wave, Facebook activism, music business, crowdsourcing…
  • Do’s and Don’t for conducting a networked research, posting, commenting, tagging, podcasting, vodcasting, screencasting, interviewing, using rich media, embedding yourself in a media environment, choosing a starting destination…
  • Best practices for travelogues
  • Recap of key travelogues conducted through the semester.
  • What does “New Media” or “Digital Media” stand for anyway?
  • You name it…

To get started:

  • Log in with your username/password from the blog (if you’re not already logged-in, check under the ‘Personal tools’ sidebar)
  • Learn the MediaWiki syntax (if you don’t already know it)
  • To start a new page simply write its name after the tdm/wiki/index.php/_______ and then, when it says the page does not exist yet, edit it to bring it to life.
  • Make sure to link between the pages using this syntax [[Page_Name]] or link to external links (including our blog) using [http://www.somesite.com the text you want to be linked]
  • When saving, write what was the content of your change, so we can easily track it
  • Use the talk pages to coordinate when it makes sense.
  • Track changes through the new sidebar on the blog or through RSS feeds.
  • Enjoy…

Some Tips:

  • We need structure, try to work on the main page to formalize the architecture of the travelogue
  • Feel free to link to currently non-existing pages like that: [[Trust]] if you think it makes sense for someone (maybe even you, but not necessarily you) to write them, and then for someone else to help edit it.
  • Work on pages together, start something, make some subheadings that you think should be filled by someone, invite them to help you, even comment on their posts with something like: “Hey Gordita, I started this page on our wiki about Twitter and I thought you might have a lot to add to it” – that way the wiki will collaboratively evolve.
  • Check out the History pages to see what edits have been made on a page.

* I’m expecting each of you to make at least 35 edits this week, or in other words, make sure you edit so much that you stop counting. This wiki is what we leave behind this class and will be what you take with you from it.

Required Reading:

Recommended Viewing:

For Melissa:

  • Read the articles and view/listen to the presentations
  • Optionally Highlight and annotate the reading to help its accessibility for the rest of you.
  • Summarize it for us in a nicely accessible post to be published by Sunday 4pm, ideally running some threads between them.
  • Be prepared to present the article and lead the discussion in class.
  • Think of questions to lead off the discussion
  • Post to del.icio.us some links that expand the discussion either about the text or about key themes in it.

Accessing the Mashup

Count how many times I say access….



I’m frustrated. I’ve been trying to create my final comic and Pixton has been down, unable to save anything. I created 3 frames, which you can see below (click to view full size):

Picture 4

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Newspapers, Online: Conclusions


Well, Is the Internet Making Us Funnier?

In this travelogue, I’ve explored ways the internet-facilitated humor builds communities and draws people together across boundaries they might not usually cross. I’ve showed ways in which internet humor is invading the offline world. And I’ve also discussed networked features of humor on the internet (multidirectional communication, informality, chatter, and lingering distribution).

But I still haven’t answered the big question: “is the internet making us funnier?”.


If we’re only talking about quantity and speed, then sure. Online, we can easily create and share humor, and we can do it really really quickly!

But qualitatively funnier? In the real world? Maybe I could begin to answer this question if I had hours and months and years to do a content analysis of sitcoms or movies or standup comedy or books over the decades.

But honestly, I think the answer is no. When it comes down to it, people are still making the same kind of jokes, they’re just finding new ways to share and comment upon them. I think this video from the Library of Congress makes my point.

YouTube Preview Image

Guys! People have been messing with cats since at least the 1880s! Which is when this video was made. Seriously.

I’d also like to mention: while there’s a ton of stuff that’s funny out there on the internet, there’s a lot of content that really, really isn’t. In some simplistic way, wouldn’t funny and unfunny create a counterbalance to one another?

Anyway, in an effort to create make something funnier, by building upon something that’s already out there, and then distribute it far and wide using, check out this hilarious video uploaded onto youtube, a source of networked comedy!

YouTube Preview Image

The WELL Concludes

For the last post of this travelogue, I connected with a longtime WELL member to get her thoughts on the site.

Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this Blip.tv video.

After the jump, some follow up questions and answers I received from her last night, (too late to put into my video…sorry for so much text!).

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