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Tag Archives: community

Networking Humor


I found this week’s reading to be really relevant to my study of humor on the internet. As I mentioned last week, humor creates an in/out dichotomy – if you’re in on the joke then you’re in the community. If you’re not, well… as Lorink writes in “The Principle of Networking”:

‘Network struggle does not rely on discipline: creativity, communication and self-organized cooperation are its primary values.’ Its focus is primarily on the inside, not on the enemy. Hardt and Negri rightly note that organization becomes less a means and more an end in itself.

However. What I want to focus on this week is how enabling individuals to share humor across geographical or physical boundaries allows comedy to grow fast and big. When gets everyone involved, the joke just gets funnier. Read More »

Bridging the Gap – Using Humor to Build On- and Off-line Relationships

I decided to start out this last travelogue with the question: “What is humor?”. Well, there are a lot of definitions out there, but I think the most important quality is that it is socially constructed – things are funny because the people around us think their funny. Maintaining social humor helps build rapport and community.

To start out, a very non-digital media example:

This summer I read a classic ethnography called Guests of the Sheik by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea. It was published in the mid ’60s, long before inexpensive, near-instantaneous, global, transcultural communication was made possible by the Internet. Fernea traveled to Iraq in the late ’50s as a young newly-wed to join her husband, an anthropologist. The book details her struggle trying to learn the language, culture, and etiquette of women living in a rural Iraqi village. Fernea’s diligent attempts to become a member of the community don’t go very well for her at first. After many months, she begins to grasp enough of the language and culture to learn that the women, while seemingly polite, have been making fun of her the whole time – right to her face! And it isn’t until she is able to crack her own jokes on the women that they begin to accept her, and begin to consider her a whole person. Read More »

Faith Communities Online: The Website

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The website is the main hub for a church to broadcast information out to their congregation. It is also a place where prospective members can go to get a “feel” for the church.  There has be anecdotal evidence that richer content on the website may drive down visits when individuals or families are trying to find a new church.  Of course some churches have richer digital cultures than others, and that varies somewhat based on relative age of the congregation.

This is a pseudo-ethnographic study that has its own inherent issues. I have surveyed a group of 5 United Methodist ministers. All are white people from the Southern united States and 2 are women.

Today: BurdaStyle.com – The road to collaborative fashion design

BurdaStyle event poster by Mirna Raduka (AAS Graphic Design student)

BurdaStyle event poster by Mirna Raduka (AAS Graphic Design student)

November 4, 6:30PM
Parsons School of Design, Kellen Auditorium, 66 Fifth Avenue, Room 101, NYC
Web Streaming available during the time of the event

A talk by Nora Abousteit and Benedikta Karaisl

Nora Abousteit and Benedikta Karaisl, founders of Burdastyle.com will share their experience of the past three years–building an active creative community based on open source sewing. The BurdaStyle community consisting of over 260,000 registered members that uploaded almost 25,000 designs.

BurdaStyle is a collaborative DIY fashion platform inspired by the open source philosophy: the sharing of intellectual property and allowing the public to adapt it to their specific needs. BurdaStyle encourages its members to remove copyright restrictions from their designs. These open source sewing patterns are free to be used as the basis for a new design that can later be sewed and even sold by other community members. Nora and Benedikta will share their attempts to balance between open collaboration and authorship – maintaining the relations and connections of each work and its modifications to the members who created it. They will share thier stories, successes and failures attempting to enable a true networked design process by building a platform for sharing instructions and techniques for a creative community. Read More »

Corey Bookers Social Media Arsenal and how he uses it

Since his election in 2006, Booker has overseen a 36% drop in crime, doubled the amount invested in public housing development, attracted some 100 million dollars in donations to local charities, and recently turned down an appointment to Obama’s cabinet. After graduating from Yale Law, he lived in a public housing complex in Newark where he organized the residents to fight for better living conditions. Now, as mayor, he lives in a neighborhood traditionally known to be overrun by drugs and gangs.

Mayor Booker is the type of public servant who, despite coming from a wealthy family, being a rhodes scholar, and generally being a member of the professional elite, keeps his feet on the ground and lives with the people he is working for. So how does he use different social networking tools to further his quest to stay as connected as possible?

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ARGs-Community, Culture, Cash ?

For the second travelogue, I’ve been trying to explore alternate reality games from the lens of community, collaboration and education, three somewhat different but interconnected principles found in ARG’s, and the rise of collaborative internet tools in the recent years.

While all of these principles and values are found in ARG’s, I’ve found that proportion of how these values come to be seen and used in the game are generally varied, and dependent on the values of game the game designers.

For instance, the 39 Clues game produced by the scholastic corporation focuses almost most on the role of educating the members of the game through informative clues, research methods and, and the melding of the game and the “reality” of their school lives.  This educational focus pushed the game to not be as communal, in that contact amongst players was limited- for safety, and to allow educators to make the classroom the community.

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