Saturday, April 30, 2011

Adopting the "New Media Mind"

This 30-second video is my introduction to digital literacy. My belief is that we must learn not just a skill set, but a mind set for the digital age. That mind set is based on three core principles:

  1. Consume
    In a world of too much information and media overload, how do we meaningfully find, filter, search, and otherwise control the deluge of input?
  2. Create
    How doe we establish a meaningful online presence, regularly produce content worth sharing, create opportunities for ourselves and value for our communities?
  3. Connect
    How can we interact productively with others, collaborate meaningfully, and take advantage of group dynamics?
I will keep returning to these concepts, and in this blog, relating them to literary studies and writing online. Do you have the "new media mind"?
  1. Do you consume media intelligently? 
  2. Do you create and share content? 
  3. Do you connect with worthwhile projects and meaningful people through the new communication tools?  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chasing the White Whale of Literary Blogging

flickr - Skelly B (creative commons licensed)
So ignorant are most landsmen . . . they might scout at Moby Dick as a monstrous fable, or still worse and more detestable, a hideous and intolerable allegory. --Melville, Moby Dick, chapter 45, "The Affidavit."

With apologies to Melville, I'm indeed going to use his famous tale (and whale) allegorically to investigate the topic of literary blogging. I've chosen a rather benign looking white whale in the picture here. His home is an aquarium, and he looks like the sort of sea creature that would roll over to let you pat his tummy. And maybe that's what I want literary blogging to be -- a tame creature, like this one, that can both delight and educate visitors.

But after piloting three courses in which I have had students blog, I've learned that the new media -- of which blogging is merely one well-known species -- is certainly not tame. The new media is a set of cultural and technical practices that are engaging, yet evasive -- like a certain whale from a certain novel.