Final Project

DUE: 4/20 by 2 pm

  • Produce something that reflects on your take on the digital.
  • This is admittedly a broad topic – but, keep in mind our class discussions and the type of work you were doing (or attempting to / thinking of trying) for your semester long digital creation.
  • In other words, the I’m expecting final projects to:
    • Consider Your Project or Something Like It
    • Consider at least 2 ways we’ve approached the digital realm
    • Address the Digital’s Impact on Human Life in some Meaningful Way
      • What does it mean to be human today?
      • Where are we going?
      • Address the divide between the physical and digital (or lack there of)
        • Best Papers Will:
          • Use Projects/Spaces like yours to get the argument going
          • Reference back to Class Reading/Videos/Discussion/Projects
          • Bring in ~2 Outside Sources.


No Response needed this weeks

To Do:

  • Continue Work on Final Project
    • Also, check out a peer’s work and tell them what you like about what they are doing, and what you think they could do or what it makes you think of.
    • CC me in on this appraisal. Complete it by April 14th.
      • Julia M – Cassidy B. – Chloe K.
      • Max K. – Chris N.
      • Conner G & Xavier I. — David S.
      • Paige D – Elly J.
      • Caitlyn T — Emily C.
      • Ben L. – Jordan J.
      • Madelyn W. – Jenny C.
      • Deve W. – Josh S.
  • Digital Ethnography
    • NEW DUE DATE 4/13!
    • Someone asked how this project can be differentiated from our 1st…a rhetorical analysis of a producer. A fair and good question. Here was my answer, which I think works well –
      • A Rhetorical Analysis is like going to Walmart, studying how they sell things (their purpose) and interact with customers, and explaining it to me.
        An Ethnography is like going to Walmart, studying how the employees interact with other employees, how those employees think of/talk about customers (or outsiders), and how those employees operate in a certain hierarchy…then explaining it to me.
      • With your 3 extra days…I’d like you to add a small final section to your paper. Answer the following:
        • Could your group exist before the digital environment? Why/why not? How might it be different then?

Week 12: Honor’s Day

  • Tuesday
    • Post your response to this video
      • In – Class
        • Wasting Time on the Internet (20 minutes)
        • Discuss the Video
        • Watch & Discuss:
        • Discuss this in context of beginning.
        • Share Projects w/ each other
  • Thursday:
    • Honor’s Day

Week 10 – Recap

Gang, no homework over the weekend. Just keep working your final projects. We will dive into final project check-ins, responses, and our next project in detail Tuesday.

– Matt


  • Week 1 (Virality)


      • Ben
        • I believe that the reason something goes viral is a simple (yet complicated) combination of two factors. The first factor is that this something must make the viewers FEEL something. If something causes an emotion, people are likely to act (in this case spread the video/post/article/etc.). For example, people are apt to spread posts of people helping out homeless people (making them feel happy/hopeful), and they are also apt to spread anti-bullying posts (making them feel angry/wanting a change etc.) While this may be the only action the viewer takes, it is easy for a person to spread something on the internet that makes them feel emotion. A second factor is relevancy. Obviously, something that is relevant to most people is more apt to get shared by most people. If many people are able to relate to something, they may be more inclined to share it (assuming their fellow viewers can also relate). Something new or current or relevant, that also makes viewers feel emotion is likely to have a rapid spread in viewership and reach a large and widespread audience.

          Depending on the origin, going viral may be a success. Using the example of an anti-bullying campaign: going viral would be a success, because it would likely raise awareness and give other viewers information on how to make a difference. Going viral could also spread negative publicity, which would not be good from a business PR standpoint. An example of this could be BWW’s frying up a chicken beak, and serving it to a customer with their wings. The customer may take a picture of the order, post it to social media, and have it spread. This would be awful for BWW’s PR, but the goal of the customer may have been to get viewership, so depending on the perspective/origin/nature of the post, going viral could be positive or negative.

          In many ways I believe that viewership is the “point’ of the internet. When people post, viewership is probably the main goal. Social media users post to the direct viewership of their followers. Bloggers and writers post in hopes people read their material. The internet is a great way to express, and when people do this, they are assuming their material will be viewed.


  • Week 3 (Millenials)


      • Caitlyn
        • This generation is literally the future, and although that may sound terrifying for some, I think we have this under control. Here are some reasons why:
          1. We are the most accepting group of individuals out there. In a world of millennials, you don’t have to fear being yourself. You can expect to be supported no matter what is going on in your life. Things like coming out should happen without much thought.
          2. The world is advancing. Things that used to matter, no longer do, because they are being replaced with technology. It is not as critical to know times tables, when it is much more efficient to use a calculator. The problem with this used to be that no one carried around calculators, so knowing it off the top of your head was much more useful, but now our phones can do it for us in seconds.
          3. A lot of millennials are working to improve the environment. Even though most of us are younger than thirty and it takes many more years to cause this much destruction to the earth, we get blamed for its condition. But most of us doing things like going green, and eliminating many sources of pollution. Along with this, we are much more educated about keeping wild animals in captivity.
          4. We are against war. Many of us hope that someday fighting will not be something necessary to our country’s safety. Violence is surely not the answer, and pissing other countries off is not the best way to protect us.
          5. We are much more connected than any other generation could ever be. We don’t lose connection either. Through the internet, we are constantly making new friends and reuniting with old ones, which helps us be the social people that we are.
          And there are so many more reasons that we’re going to make the world a better place, and why I’m happy to be a millenial.


  • Week 4 (Fake News)


      • Elly
        • I think fake news is a current term because of not only the popularity throughout the generations (as it is easy for everyone to understand) but because of how relevant it is. To think that something started 2 years ago and it’s still extremely relevant nearly everyday is powerful. It is an important issue because it involves Internet news medias (both social and professional platforms), TV medias, and newspaper/printed medias. Therefore, fake news has a huge audience and impacts nearly everyone interacting with these services. When a topic or claim is issued to be fake news, it is affecting all types of minds and experiences. To say it is not an important issue is avoiding the serious conversations surrounding the topic. It could be fixable if we target those fake news medias and tear them down so the wrong message is not spread or treated as the truth. That is where it becomes dangerous: lies credited as truths and masses believe in them. This issue only stresses the need for researching a topic before believing the statements.


  • Week 5 (Goldsmith Response)


      • Paige Daniel:
        • But I no longer plant myself in front of a cable-connected tv. This, I think, is an important distinction for Goldsmith to make right off the bat, and I’m glad he made it. As we have talked about, the internet has “democratized” media (not in every way, though, but enough to where things are definitely changing). I agree with Goldsmith that now we have more of a choice, and with it, a certain hint of freedom. At least, that is how I felt when my family got Netflix connected to our flatscreen tv, and then I felt even more strongly that my media and television choices were freer when we got a laptop and I could surf the internet at length in a supine position. In that simple progression from cable television to Netflix and then to Netflix (or anything else) on a laptop, everything had changed in my household. That is why Goldsmith started off with a strong argument in my mind — because it rings especially true when I consider that I can opt out almost completely from television commercials and even internet ads.
      • Cassidy Beach:
        • Although I think that most of the points that he brings up are accurate, he is too optimistic about the communication between teenagers and people in general. If you look around a restaurant, in the line at the grocery store, or even Saga (Hamilton Commons), you will likely see a group of people staring down at their devices and scrolling through Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Instead of communicating face to face with those that they are surrounded by, they are doing it through a screen. This is different from the scenario Goldsmith mentioned in the introduction, a lot of the time in this situation people are not conversing at all. While not all situations are the same, in the better amount of instances communication is slim to none.


  • Week 6 (Connected But Alone? Saving the Self in the age of the Selfie?)


    • David on Turkle:
      • I think Sherry Turkle has a lot of interesting ideas. Although her arguments and logic make sense, I think they are based on a false premise. She seems to have the idea that everyone is always glued to their device and inhibits everyone’s social interaction. If this were true, I wouldn’t have much issue with her argument. However, this premise isn’t true. Not everyone sacrifices solitude and social interaction for technological communication. I would argue that for many people, this isn’t the case. Sure, society today has definitely increased use of technology, but most people have come up with ways to balance their use of technology with real life social interaction. Although I am guilty of some of the things she mentioned, I would say I am pretty good at this balance. I use my phone and computer often, however I don’t think this is distancing myself from the natural world. Sure, I like to browse social media in class sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I won’t go out to eat with my friends on the weekend when everyone has some free time. A lot of people, myself included, have found ways to balance use of technology and social interaction.
    • Chris on the McWilliam’s:
      • McWilliams takes a similar but in my opinion stronger approach to the same question as the Ted Talk; technology is changing the way we are as a society and is it good or bad? He dives into the sense of control users have, much like the Ted Talk, and how this form of control is driving our weird way of communicating. We have ultimate control over when/where/how we communicate with others over social networks. Face to face conversation has irreversibly been changed, and it is clear in anyone under the age of 50. McWilliams also speaks of the concept of “nearness” and how this directs how we socialize; personally for me when I am having an in depth conversation I hate when the person I’m speaking with directs their attention to a phone rather than me, but I also accept that we must adapt to a changing social structure. One line I think sums up both of these cases is “We must learn to humanize digital life as actively as we’ve digitized human life.”
  • Week 7 (Positive Power of the Internet)
    • Deve:

I thought this video was rather interesting, for rather than condemning the internet, Clay Shirky looks at the positive effects of the internet. While he acknowledges that the internet is not perfect, I like that he discusses the consequences of a creative content-streaming venue such as the internet—regardless of whether they are good or bad. Shirky talks about how the internet allows for people to create anything from cat memes to creating space for human expression and freedom.

Related to this, I was curious about the effect of the internet on freedom of speech. Rather than a particular article, however, I surveyed several articles discussing the importance and lack of/abundance of free speech through the use of the internet. While freedom of speech is something still hotly debated (concerning the discernment of hate speech, what speech infringes on others beliefs, and whether anyone has the right to hinder free speech), the internet intensifies this debate. With the viral spread of information, hate speech is able to reach farther and wider than ever before—just as speech which positively influences. Because of the perception of the internet as an unbiased hub, discrimination and control by the government are all the more possible due to the blind faith others have in the internet. In this sense, the internet is dissonant and conflicting even in the perceptions that people have of it. Similarly to Shirky, I think this means that great things can come of the internet, just as mundane things can. I also think malicious things can come of the internet, and it is rather what we choose to do with the internet that matters.

Week 9 – Digital Brain, pt II (Distraction & Shame)

**NOTE: Sometime this week, likely Thursday, we will briefly go over your Digital Footprints and then introduce the new assignment***

  • Tuesday
    • Have Read Chapters 2, 3, & 4 of Wasting Time on the Internet
      • Thoughtful Response to the Reading Material Below, please:
        • Last Name is A-I
          • Read all 3 chapters, but focus your response on Chapter 2: The Walking Dead.
        • Last Name is J-M
          • Read all 3 chapters, but focus your response on Chapter 3: Our Browser History is the New Memoir.
        • Last Name is N-Z
          • Read all 3 Chapters, but focus your response on Chapter 4: Archiving is the New Folk Art.
    • In-Class
  • Thursday
    • In-Class
      • Wasting Time:
        • Find the Meanest thing you can find on the internet.
        • Respond to it.
      • Check out Ronson on Shame
        • Discuss in Class (video options potentially)
      • Address our next big project and our recap week.