November 14, 2005

Registering for PWR 212: Writing Fiction in the Spring

If you are interested in registering for this course, you should know that it has a pre-requirement of a GE literature course. However, I can lift that requirement so that you can take the course. Contact me if you are having a problem with that.

Posted by Alex Reid at 9:49 AM | TrackBack

November 10, 2005

I will not be available today

As I mentioned yesterday, I have come down with a little flu bug. I won't be available today. However, feel free to post or e-mail questions.

Posted by Alex Reid at 12:27 PM | TrackBack

November 5, 2005

ATTENTION: READING ASSIGNMENT

Check out this article on the Web 2.0 on the O'Reilly Network. The article discusses the substantive changes to the Internet over the last three or four years. What Tim O'Reilly describes here are the reasons this class has changed so dramatically from the first time I taught it. He touches on many of the issues we have discussed, plus much more.

And here's something to think about.... Unless you find you have a real interest, you probably won't end up in a job where web design is a primary job activity. However, it is quite likely that you will end up in a job where occassional, basic web production is done and where development of content for the web is common. Equally important though will be understanding what the web is really about, what it does culturally, what it does for its users/customers/audience, and where all this is going and why.

That's what this article is about.

Posted by Alex Reid at 10:30 AM | TrackBack

October 14, 2005

Mid-Semester Break

As I mentioned in class, there is a plan to upgrade the blogging software over break. As such, you may find the site down on Monday or Tuesday....hopefully briefly.

In addition, as some of you know, I recently moved. This means that right now I still do not have Internet access at home. As such I shall be out of contact over break.

See you on Wednesday.

Posted by Alex Reid at 1:32 PM | TrackBack

October 13, 2005

Read "The Blogger Who Loathed Me"

As you can see I've been changing our reading schedule every week. For next week check out this article by Steve Almond on Salon, titled "The Blogger Who Loathed Me."

Note: unless you have a subscription to Salon, you'll have to sit through an ad before you get to read it. Trust me, it's worth the wait. The article gives some insight into the culture of the Blogosphere, as well as what it is like in the community of struggling published authors.

Posted by Alex Reid at 1:23 PM | TrackBack

October 10, 2005

Hurrah! We are back up and running

As you've no doubt noticed, technical difficulties have had the site down for a few days. Having recently moved, I don't have internet at home (gasp!), so I wasn't able to act on it over the weekend. However, the problem has been resolved.

So blog on!

Posted by Alex Reid at 12:27 PM | TrackBack

October 5, 2005

Personal Page Assignment

Please give me a working URL for your personal page assignment.

Posted by Alex Reid at 10:34 AM | TrackBack

October 4, 2005

Link for the Long Tail

Check out Chris Anderson's Wired article on "The Long Tail." The link Ashley provides is also related and you should check it out.

Posted by Alex Reid at 1:25 PM | TrackBack

September 29, 2005

NOTE: Change in Reading Schedule

The course schedule lists Kate Hayles as next week's reading. I've decided to switch to something a little less academic. Check out Chris Anderson's Wired article on "The Long Tail."

Posted by Alex Reid at 9:51 AM | TrackBack

September 25, 2005

A model for online participation

I've been meeting with you all individually (note those who missed class last Wednesday should come by my office, OM 115, and sign up for a conference). One thing I've touched on with most of you is participation on this blog. Generally folks are a little behind on their participation. This is particularly troubling to me as I've given you a few "freebies" here in the first few weeks: a post to introduce yourself, a post just stating a link to your blog, a post for your NeoVox article, and a post, written in class, giving feedback on another person's article. Since most people are a couple posts behind, that means that many of you are posting only once a week (or less, since that would be an average).

The workload is only going to increase as the semester moves forward. So let me give you some specific guidelines for how to proceed with your THREE WEEKLY POSTS.

1. Write in response to the assigned readings. I usually post a question. You can respond/comment on that or post something else related to the reading. Try to demonstrate that you've read and understood it. If you struggled, ask some quesitons.

2. Post on a topic germane to class, something happening currently. News about blogging or copyright or emerging technologies or privacy. You can write about online culture. Yes, it might mean going out there and looking around, but I'd like to see you do that. Check out the feed in the left column here. It's providing SCI/TECH news from Wired, BBC, and NY Times. It's a place to start.

3. Comment on one of your classmates posts on this blog. Yes, I want you to read one another's posts and respond to them. The idea here is that we are trying to create a community of writers dealing with the subject of "cyberspace."

Let me give you a little, standard mathematical formula we go by in higher education. We estimate two hours of work outside of class for each our in class (lab doesn't count). So you should be doing six hours of work, plus the three hours of classtime on Tues and Thursday. I figure you'll spend around two hours doing reading, four hours working on web projects, and the three hours of classtime doing blog posts (that's for both your personal blog and the course blog). On top of that we have the two hours of lab where we are trying to learn more about web design.

Posted by Alex Reid at 7:15 PM | TrackBack

September 13, 2005

My availablity today

I am dealing with a minor plumbing emergency and waiting for the plumber's arrival. I have cancelled office hours but I expect to be available between 1:15 and 2:30 in G-17. However I may be a little late or need to leave a little early.

However none of that should interfere with your work plans for today. Please e-mail me if you need to.

Posted by Alex Reid at 11:12 AM | TrackBack

September 6, 2005

Find Lessig's book

You can google Free Culture and Lessig, and it will appear.

Or you can go to this site.

Posted by Alex Reid at 2:26 PM | TrackBack

September 1, 2005

Completing this Week's Tutorials

In order to complete this week's tutorials you need to download files from the author's website (see pg 25 in the Dreamweaver text for directions).

In order to do this you will need to unzip or unstuff the files (depending on whether you are on a PC or a Mac). However, you will not be able to do this on a computer in a lab (they are too woried about people installing software). As such, you may need to download the files at home, unzip them and then bring them to the lab to work on them.

Alternately you can come to class on Tuesday and get the files from me.

Posted by Alex Reid at 2:28 PM | TrackBack

August 31, 2005

In today's class...

The blog is finally back up this morning and I've been racing to get it set up for class. I've loaded all your names in so that you can log in, and I've been putting some finishing touches on the layout.

So here is what we will be up to this morning:

1. Getting you into this blog and getting your first post.
2. Setting up your web space on the Cortland server.
3. Setting up your Blogger account and getting you started on that.
4. Introducing you to del.icio.us and flickr (two other popular web applications)
5. Introducing you to the concepts of RSS (or Feeds) and Podcasting
6. Getting started on learning Dreamweaver.

Posted by Alex Reid at 9:53 AM | TrackBack

August 10, 2005

Website Update

Since this is being read, it goes without saying that the course website is coming together, with nearly three weeks to go before the semester begins...amazing. OK, there are a few things missing yet. I'm still working on the initial tutorials. They are my first attempt at screencasting, and I'm interested in seeing how they will work out.

I'm also still giving thought to the course readings. Relying on the web to provide readings for the course is obviously risky, but it strikes me as necessary as well. Of course, some foundational material will also need to be employed, along with the latest news and commentary available online.

This just in. It's hot in Cortland! Can anyone really be expected to type and sweat at the same time?

Anyway, I've two main hopes for this course. I don't expect students to become expert, or even proficient, web designers. However, I do hope the course will give them an introduction to web design and the confidence to realize they can become proficient or expert if they choose.

My second hope is that students will come to see the value in having an online life. Of course I don't want them to become "addicted" to the internet. However, there's plenty of room for a more healthy use of networked communication, just as there might be "healthy" amounts of phone usage, television viewing, or reading and writing print. Specifically, I'd like to see students use the opportunities of blogging, podcasting, and the like to develop an identity for themselves in an online community, just as they might use academic writing to establish an academic identity in their classes or other pop cultural and local discourses to establish an identity among their friends and peers.

Posted by Alex Reid at 3:39 PM