Saturday, April 21, 2012

New Text Wiki Draft Reviews

This week, I reviewed the drafts of two of my classmates' wiki pages:
Technologies of Wonder - Bea Sink's Wiki
Designing Culture: The Technological Innovation at Work - Crystal Tubbs' and Smitha Butts' Wiki

It seemed like both of their drafts might be works in progress, but I was able to get a great sense of their texts from their wiki pages.  As an aside, I really like being able to get a glimpse of the unfinished wiki pages because I like to be able to see where people start with their work and then compare it to a final product.  It gives me an idea about different ways that people approach a project, and I like to see how to project evolves from start to finish.

The thing that both of these wiki pages had in common was that they were both text-heavy and were somewhat limited with regard to the format options so far.  I would consider myself a visual learner - especially when consuming digital content - so it can be hard for a wiki page lacking in visual/interactive elements to hold my attention. Nonetheless, I think all of the wiki authors will do a good job at "selling" their texts, and I look forward to seeing their presentations and final drafts. 


This week, Cheri, Bea, and Diane reviewed our wiki page:
The Filter Bubble - Laura and Eric's Wiki

I am working on a wiki for The Filter Bubble with Eric Sentell, and I'm really excited about our concept, which is based around the idea that we have created a "filter bubble" for our wiki readers.  I was so excited to read the comments by Cheri, Bea, and Diane, because they all picked up on the fact that the format/navigation scheme for our wiki was connected to the concept of creating a filter bubble. 

Cheri suggested that we add a small explanation for how the order for the pages was chosen, and honestly that part is something that Eric worked out, and I'm not clear on it myself. However, I was happy that the unexplained navigation was actually frustrating/confusing to the reader, because it goes along with the idea that the filter bubble "gives you what you want, whether you want it or not!"

I plan on making some of the recommended suggestions from my classmates:
  • clarify navigation
  • include 1-2 line summaries of videos
  • fix alignment/format of the subpages and make them CRAP-pier
  • add citations/alt-text for images
I hope we can pull off our ambitious wiki! It has been a lot of fun to conceptualize and put together, and I feel so fortunate to have had Eric as a partner who had the technological know-how to set up the survey and make the choose-your-own-adventure idea for the wiki a reality. :)

Individual New Media Project Update Post

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Reading, Thinking, & Reflecting Post - Online Journals

New Media Project Proposal

Reading, Thinking, & Reflecting - First Person Wiki + The Filter Bubble 3/3

This week, the assignment was to read one of the Canonical Text wiki pages that we hadn't read yet, as well as the third third of the New Text we have selected.

This week, I reviewed Mat's Wiki Page for First Person. I really like the old school Legend of Zelda theme for the wiki's images, and how you could navigate to the next subpage by clicking through the images.

I was really intrigued by the term cyberdrama, because it "describes the interface between active participation and passive reading that is a product of storytelling in computer media." This really stood out to be because digital storytelling is a hot topic in ESL pedagogy right now.  In fact, there were several sessions on it at the TESOL International Convention in Philadelphia this year. 

Here is an interesting video I found from a school in Oakland, California (2007) that discusses an intiative that utilizes digital storytelling in the classroom:

Interestingly, the instructors comment on how digital storytelling makes the content seem more "real" to the students. It emphasizes how this form of new media is more engaging and creates a collaborative environment for the students.  Since I'm not a gamer, I was happy I was able to understand the concept of cyberdrama as it relates to my career as an ESL instructor.


This week, I read Chapters, 6, 7, and 8 in The Filter Bubble. Chapter 6 was called "Hello, World!" The main point of this chapter was that as technology becomes more integrated into our lives, the more easy it will be for the technology to alter our behaviors as individuals and as a society. Chapter 7 was called "What You Want, Whether You Want It or Not," and it talked about how personalization technology is collecting massive amounts of data about us that companies could use for marketing purposes. Chapter 8 was called "Escape from the City of Ghettos," and discuss the personal, societal, and economic implications of personal data as a commodity that can be bought, sold, regulated, and controlled.

Pariser, Eli. The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You. New York, New York: The Penguin Press, 2011. Print.

Reading, Thinking, & Reflecting - The Language of New Media Wiki + The Filter Bubble 2/3

This week, the assignment was to read one of the Canonical Text wiki pages that we hadn't read yet, as well as the second third of the New Text we have selected.


I reviewed the The Language of New Media (Manovich wiki page, which was developed by Smitha Butt and Amanda David. I liked how they started with a couple of interesting reviews and a table of contents to orient their readers to the text. I also really liked the word web/cloud that they placed within the summary of the text.

In their wiki, Amanda and Smitha provided a definition for new media as expressed by Lev Manovich, author of The Language of New Media:

 new media: "All existing media are translated into numerical data accessible for the computer. The results: graphics, moving images, sounds, shapes, spaces, and texts become computable, that is, simply sets of computer data. In short media become new media."

I found this definition interesting, because it implies that new media is simply old media that has been digitized.  We have seen so many definitions of new media, that this one almost seems too simplistic. For example, it seems like social media, which to me seems to be an essential consideration in the definition of new media, is not included in Manovich's definition. In the graphic below, social media is a "subset of new media."

Media landscape

One thing that I had a question about was why Manovich would consider cinema to be an area of new media, because I would actually think of film as old media.  So, I did a quick Google search on cinema and new media and found a couple of interesting things. First, I ran across Mutable Cinema, which is "a new digital form of entertainment that allows people to explore cinematic content within the framework of an interactive movie."  Second, I found out that Hamilton College, which is located in my hometown (Clinton, NY), has an entire major dedicated to Cinema and New Media Studies. Anyway, it seems that if cinema is interactive, then it could be considered new media. This makes sense, as interactivity is one of the key concepts we are studying in this course.



This week I read Chapters 3, 4, and 5 in The Filter Bubble

Chapter 3 was called "The Adderall Society," and the main idea was that with new forms of media operating in conjunction with the filter bubble, our attention and creativity is being affected.  Additionally, our view of the world is becoming more narrow as there are advances in personalization.

Chapter 4 was called "The You Loop," which covered the idea that as a result of data collected through personalization, we are essentially creating narrow online identities, and in turn the content we receive is supposedly tailored to that identity. So, again, we are starting to see an increasingly narrow view of the world (that is, if we get most of our information online). 

Chapter 5 was called "The Public Is Irrelevant," and mainly discussed social implications of the filter bubble and cloud computing.

Here is Intel's idea of what the future of cloud computing could look like:

While there are clearly many benefits of this kind of technology, there are certain problems that could arise as a result of users only receiving content that is tailored to them. In The Filter Bubble, Pariser states that the "public sphere will become less relevant" (148) and we will begin to see an "emotional world" (151.)

Pariser, Eli. The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You. New York, New York: The Penguin Press, 2011. Print.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Reading, Thinking, & Reflecting - Remediation Wiki + The Filter Bubble 1/3

This week, the assignment was to read one of the Canonical Text wiki pages that we hadn't read yet, as well as the first third of the New Text we have selected.


Remediation: Understanding New Media by Bolter and Grusin, link to
First, I'd like to reflect on the Canonical Text wiki page.  I decided to read the wiki page written by Diane, James, and Wil.  They did a really great job of presenting Remediation: Understanding New Media by Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin.

I liked how they started by explaining how "new media" isn't really new at all, but it in fact builds upon what already exists - or, as they put it, "old media, to avoid becoming stale and obsolete, adapts features of new media and improves as a result of new media's influence. What makes new media 'new' is the particular way in which it reconstitutes the elements of the media [that] precedes it."

My favorite part about their wiki page was the chart that they developed, which looked at different forms of media, and then explained specifically what media those media were remediating, as well as what logic was being used to create the new experience.  The two forms of logic were immediacy and hypermediacy, which the group also defined in their wiki. I found an interesting article called "Immediacy, Hypermediacy, and Remediation" from a blog called Time Barrow: Contemplating Digital Orality, which talks about how Online Video Conversations (OVC) could be yet another type of media that could be added to that chart.

I'm really interested in how things are related to each other (and when I say things, I mean literally anything - I think it's cool to trace relationships between things whether it is language, living beings, media, whatever...), so I definitely have added this book to my reading list.


Compared to the first two texts I read for this course, this almost felt like light reading. Also, I'm reallty interested in the topic of this text, which is the effect of social media on society (and vice versa). The main concern of The Filter Bubble is how personalization of the internet could potentially affect people's behavior and knowledge, and how the push to monetize the internet based on people's behavior could threaten the original purpose of the internet.

The first 1/3 of The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser has been fascinating.  I am a extremely regular user of the internet (...okay, I'm addicted), and by the time I finished reading just the introduction of this text, I found explanations for things I have been noticing online, particularly on social networking sites. For example, certain ads repeatedly pop up on different sites across the Internet.


The filter bubble can be defined as a "unique universe of information" that is created by "prediction engines," which are "new generations of Internet filters [that look] at the things you seem to like." (9)

There are three dynamics of the Filter Bubble (9):
     1) You are alone in it.
     2) It is invisible.
     3) You don't choose to enter the filter bubble.

One effect of the filter bubble is attention crash, which is defined "as the cost of communication over large distances and to large groups of people has plummeted, we're increasingly unable to attend to it all." (11)

Another effect of the filter bubble is that our identity often becomes defined by our behavior online as companies collect data about our likes and interests - then the filter controls the information we receive. "You're getting a free service, and the cost is information about you." (6)

Also, instead of bringing people together, we are actually becoming more fragmented. "Democracy requires a reliance on shared facts; instead we're being offeren parallel but separate universes." (5) We also suffer loses of bonding and bridging social capital. (16)

Connection to Key Terms  

Information - "the Internet was going to democratize the world, connecting us with better information and the power to act on it." (3)

Interface - "Every technology has an interface... a place where you end and the technology begins.  And when the technology's job is to show you the world, it ends up sitting between you and reality... There are lots of ways for it to skew your perception of the world." (13-14)


Pariser, Eli. The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You. New York, New York: The Penguin Press, 2011. Print.