Final POW

You all really sent your blogs out with a bang this week. Choosing POWs was an almost impossible task. Matt and Austin helpfully provided us with examples to enhance the Jenkins reading and Madeline and Trevor helped us think more carefully about how online donations work through Facebook and GoFundMe.

Finally, though, I decided to award this week’s POW to two writers who demonstrated how online activism connects to their passions. In his post, “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Dead Fish,” (let’s be honest, the title is great too!) Sam explores the history of activism that has halted a mine project at Bristol Bay. As Sam explains, spreadable digital technologies made this activism possible:

Before the internet, there is a strong possibility that this mine would have been built, since it would be located in a far off location that few Americans would be aware that it existed. With the internet, word spread and people became aware and they decided they didn’t want a large mine threatening wild waters with toxins and pollutants. This was all done through people sharing videos, stories and information of the bay, and having people donate and sign petitions.

This is a great example of the potential benefits–even for relatively small causes–of online activism and spreadability.

Our other POW is Carrie’s post, Why Wolves? In part, I feel like we have to celebrate Carrie’s blog project. Who would have imagined someone could write about wolves for 9 weeks in a digital writing course?! But Carrie’s post also reminds us that digital activism isn’t the only kind of activism–even though it’s what we see most often. Mission:Wolf, the group Carrie describes, travels the country talking about wolves. Certainly, they’re aided by their web presence, but face-to-face contact is important to their mission. It’s easy in our digital age to think we can accomplish everything online, but Carrie’s post is a nice reminder that sometimes we have to go out and do good work IRL.

It’s been a pleasure to read your blogs this quarter. I’ve learned so much from all of you, and I’m grateful for your good humor, your critical thinking, and your willingness to share your ideas.


Clicktivism Case Studies

1. #thePowerofMakeup
2. #BringBackOurGirls
3. the Archibald Project
4. the Teal Pumpkin Project
5. #hearthiswell

Research your assigned advocacy project by looking for it on various social media sites and searching for it on the web. You will report your findings to the class, answering the following questions.

  1. What’s the purpose of your movement? Who is the audience? What action is the audience supposed to take?
  2. What digital projects were created? How successful were they at spreading and WHY? (Use Jenkins and “Six Things.”
  3. Is this movement activism? Does it have the potential to make a difference? If so, how?

Best Blogs Assignment

It’s time for me to assess the quality of your blogs, and I want your help!

Write a blog post that links to your two strongest posts and two strongest comments and provide an explanation for each one that explains why it represents your best work.

  • How does it meet the assignment objectives outlined in the “About Blogging” document on Moodle?
  • How does it fulfill the qualities of a successful blog entry or successful comment outlined in the “About Blogging” document on Moodle?
  • How does it meet the criteria outlined on the rubric on Moodle?

Post this final entry by Thursday or Friday, depending on your group. Looking forward to revisiting your best work!

Blog 7 POW

I’m featuring two blogs this week that both add to the conversations we had about spreadable media and showcase other good blogging practices.

The first POW is Zach’s post, “A Rose-Hulman Student Does Research on Clickbait. What He Discovers Will Leave You Speechless!” For a traditional post, it might seem like a long title, but for this post it’s perfect! It mocks his topic in a fun way that drew a lot of attention to his post this week. Titles are important! Zach also did a great job of linking us to a lot of interesting media–a video, an article, and an infographic.

The second POW is Josh’s post, “Living Life in the Fast Lane.” I chose Josh’s post because he answers a question I didn’t even know I had! (And the question that Kyle raised, too.) How long do viral fads last? The answer is about 2-3 days, and Josh helps us understand why:

Viral media, as we now know is engineered to be popular and encourage viewers to share, but it seems people get quickly bored and throw out what they’ve seen for the next latest and greatest thing. One could argue that there is a direct connection to the more shares something gets the more likely it is to die off quicker.

Basically, as soon as something gets shared a lot, the emotional impact and the “cool” factor wear off.

The question we’ll be asking tomorrow is how do some viral trends–like the Ice Bucket Challenge–remain cool. (Pun totally intended.)

Planning Your Advocacy Project

Post the answers to the following questions to a new page (titled Advocacy Project) on your blog by noon on Wednesday, and I will respond to your ideas. If you’re part of a group, you can create a single post. Just make sure you list all group members.

  1. Write a few sentences describing the purpose of your project, including the specific audience and the action you want that audience to take.
  2. What specifically do you plan to create/submit for your final project? How does that digital project fit the purpose/audience/action that you described above?
  3. What’s your specific plan for making your project spread? Where will you post it? Why? What kinds of existing people, groups, events, etc. can help you spread your project or get it noticed?
  4. What questions do you have for me? How can I help you as you create your project?

Trending Analysis Peer Review

Comment on your partner’s link, answering the following questions:

  1. After reading the Storify, what are your 2-3 main takeaways about the Twitter stream that the writer analyzed? Where could those points be made clearer, either through topic sentences or in the thesis?
  2. How well do the chosen Tweets support the arguments? Which examples need more explanation from the writer? Which points need more examples?
  3. What concepts from class (Turkle; Jenkins; “Six Things;” etc.) would you add to this Storify? Where would you add them? (Be specific in naming terms, concepts, or examples.)
  4. Look at the list of questions provided on the assignment sheet. What topics seem to be missing that could add meaning to this Storify?

Digital Advocacy Project

Think of this project as a final exam—your chance to show off what you’ve learned in the course. You have created a blog, memes, an infographic, various social media products, and a short video. You have considered yourself as a digital writer as well as why others go online and what motivates them to write, share, and act once they’re there. You know how to write, create, edit, remix, and design in digital environments. Now, it’s time to put all of that theory and practice together and create spreadable media of your own.

Draw on your studies and performances so far to produce a spreadable advocacy piece on the topic and in the digital medium of your choice. We’ll talk about what constitutes advocacy in class, but in general, you’ll want to consider a specific issue that is important to you and a specific action that you want a specific audience to take. After you’ve given some thought to the action you’d like to encourage in your audience, the other key part is to choose an appropriate medium for your work and the strategies you will use to make your message spreadable.

You will be given the opportunity to justify your choices to me in a one-page (single-spaced) Project Rationale memo, so your choices need to be deliberate and based on our course readings and discussions. Your memo should include description of and justifications for 1.) your topic, audience, and action 2.) your choice of medium and content and 3.) the choices you made, based on course concepts, that will make your project spreadable.

The range for this project is wide open: a short video, a podcast, a photo essay, a meme, a performance (flash mob, anyone?!) that you record and distribute…you’re only limited by your imagination. I will work with you to determine an appropriate length/amount/etc. for your project.

You may choose to do this assignment individually, in pairs, or in groups of three. But, the bigger the group, the bigger the project must be. You will need to justify the size of your group to me. Each project will receive one grade.

This assignment, worth 20% of your grade, will be assessed using the rubric found on Moodle. You will share your work with your classmates in a Digital Advocacy Fair on 11/12 and 11/13. Submit your final project and evidence of its spreadability on your blog. Submit a hardcopy of your project rationale.