Week 13: Writing Mechanics Intensive

*NOTE: My bad, I put this post up really late. I apologize! Thank you, John, for nudging me, and thanks, Claudia, for stepping in with help.

Today we had an intensive writing-mechanics session — something we probably should do more!

I'd like everyone to apply the same close reading to their own blog posts. Do it on paper, not on the screen.

Next week, Alex will be here for a Drupal extravaganza. Soon you'll all be building like crazy, and the BECA community will live!

One more blog post. 750 words, any topic, and beautifully clean of mechanics errors. Especially the ones on the handout. Seriously, if you're not using it by now, I don't know what to do with you!


Week 12: Net Neutrality

Thanks for a good discussion yesterday!

Check out the Neighborhood Empowerment Network (the city project you're all coming to talk about next Wednesday!). They've got an online TV show on Veoh (hosted by Daniel Homsey, the guy in charge of the project, whom you'll meet on Wed.), and two big conferences coming up in June and October — major opportunities for BECA people!

***Also: Please make sure you're checking whatever e-mail address SFSU has for you; I'm using the class mass-mailing list to send details about the meeting at City Hall.

Meanwhile, don't forget to keep up on the Net Neutrality news. Media Alliance has already posted new updates about the Stanford meeting on Thursday.

  1. Print out the Writing Mechanics Handout and read it THOROUGHLY.
  2. Print out your last 2 blog posts (the Net Neutrality post and the last regular post) and proofread them THOROUGHLY, using the handout.
  3. Correct mechanics errors in your blog posts (all of them since 2/24) online.
  4. Bring the handout and the printouts of the 2 posts with corrections to class.


Week 11: Build, build, build

Today Alex is going to help us get this BECA Online Community underway — huzzah!

I've built a demo front page, just so we have something to look at and tinker with. We still have to sort out some things, including:
  • What can be part of a semi-official (class-produced) site, and what needs to be "off the books". Possible problems include: commerce, creative work that contains copyrighted material, and professor/course reviews.
  • How will the site be maintained and administered, and by whom?
  • Which parts of the site will be read-only/password access/adminstrator-only access?
We're going to be having some interesting guest speakers in the next few weeks, so this week's homework includes some preparatory reading and writing on the topic of net neutrality. It's a contentious topic, so I'm looking forward to hearing some well researched, thoughtful argument on both sides!

  1. Read "Neutrality 101/FAQ" by Internet4Everyone and "Net Neutrality is a Civil Rights Issue" by Jeff Perlstein of Media Alliance.
  2. Write a blog post about how the net-neutrality issue affects you in different ways: as an individual, as a student, as a San Francisco/Bay Area resident, as an American, as a global citizen, as a human being (or any other category you'd like to write about). This might not fit in with your blog's overall topic, but consider it a special post. You'll need to do some research and discuss/include links to at least 2 sources in favor of net neutrality and at least 2 sources against. Write at least 750 words. This post will count for twice as much as your other posts in the next round of grading.
  3. Proofread and edit your blog posts dated after 2/24. I'll be grading the entire chunk starting on 4/17, and I expect every post to be written at a college level of English. Please use the Writing Mechanics handout, my office hours and the BECA Writing Lab for assistance.


Week 10: Preliminary Community Mapping

Today we talked about the community-building ideas you posted on the Class Wiki and began a preliminary blueprint of what it might look like.

Next week, Adam Greenfield will come to class to talk about his experience building the BECA Digital Lounge site and getting our grad students communing online. Also, Alex Kessinger will be here to answer questions and get suggestions about what we'd like to build. I'm going to construct a very rudimentary demo front-page based on the discussion today, just so we have something to start with next week. But remember it's all still wide open — so keep thinking about your "wish list"!

  1. Write a blog post (at least 500 words, 3 links, 1 image/sound/video).
  2. Leave thoughtful, engaged, discussion-furthering comments on the next 5 blogs (pick up where you left off last time).
  3. On today's Class Blog entry, leave a comment proposing a creative interactive-media project that you'd be interested in doing (in addition to contributing to the BECA online community). This can be something that we've covered in class (blog, interactive fiction, wiki) or something we haven't done; if there's anything you found inspiring or that you'd like to have a try at, let me know what it is!