Archive for January, 2012

Das Maverick

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Professor Gardner Campbell a self-proclaimed maverick calls  our attention to a pressing matter. The Internet. For  most of us, we use the Internet to passively check-in on friends’ statuses and the LOL cats.  However, Campbell uses it as a tool of innovation, and he  asks for us to ‘create and connect our own personal cyber infrastructures” too. The Internet is our tool to begin to engage and learn with new communities of people and ideas. He demands of us that we use the Internet to innovate, create, and communicate. It sounds awesome. However, I question, what does it mean to create our own Internet identities?

By creating our own corner in the information super-highway, we are also given the opportunity to create who we are. Eula Biss, author of Nobody Knows Your Name and other awesome essays, challenges our notion of identity claiming “you must define [it] so that it does not define you.”

From this perspective,  can we also change our identity?  If we are tired of that odd caricature of ourselves that dances in front of us, then we can recreate ourselves!  We can be our own defined selves thru the Internet. Oh the possibilities.

At some level, we all do this all the time when we engage with the Internet. For example, do you always use your real birthday on the innocuous website or survey? Is your username actually your legal name? Is my name really MC? …NNahh dawg (Bonus Round: would I say this in real life?)

This freedom is empowering, invigorating and scary. Yet, do we risk losing something? Do we threaten authentic connection and communication with others that Campbell idealizes so much? Or do we begin a more real experience?

 

 

Slowly, Slowly I Embrace the Internet

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

I like to keep the Internet at a distance. I like to watch it at a safe distance and hope my ‘fight-or-flight’ instincts do not start to kick in. However, this semester I sought to change this behavior.

So, I enrolled in Digital Storytelling  (DS106) with instructor Jim Groom for my final semester of undergrad. I expected to learn a few tips and tricks about blogging and that’s about it. Honestly, I was expecting an easy ‘A’. What I did not expect was being left on an Internet island of doom with a domain name and no map.

Now, I am in the driver seat with a steep learning curve ahead. In the last week I was able to successfully connect my domain name (mc-guirk.us) with a webhost, installed WordPress (most proud of that one), and successfully installed a WordPress theme. Easy.

Not easy: learning why the next day it all disappeared. Network caching is a horrible, horrible thing, but my to-do list is slowly getting accomplished.

To Do:

1. Install Akismet API key, check.

2. Subscribe to Comments, check.

3. Install Titter Tools, check but still working on it too.

4. Get JetPack, check, still need to learn more about what it does.

Currently, I’m working on the sites look, how to customize its font, and where my blog posts go (don’t judge). In short, Jim Groom, fellow ds106 pioneers and my parents, I look forward to embracing this new challenge and seriously would love any tips you can throw my direction.