Blog Wrangling

I initially created the Tuesdays with Media blog for my New Media Studies Proseminar class. Bringing the assignment full circle, the professor asked that I explore the evolution of the blog and its future by crafting editorial guidelines.  I won’t bore you with the details that span from revision process to hyperlink policy, but I will take this opportunity to encourage other bloggers to perform this exercise.

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Drop Assumptions to Progress

As mentioned in my last post, I am examining an information ecology according to the process outlined in Bonnie Nardi and Vicki O’Day’s Information EcologiesThis required developing an ethnography-driven methodology that centralizes on interviews and observation. Beginning my study, I quickly learned that assumptions were limiting my understanding and approach.

Understanding how technology is used within an information ecology (or team dynamic) seems to be easier if you are an active member. I perform this process every day, and I’ve had these conversations with my coworkers. Unfortunately, my level of familiarity served as an immediate disadvantage.

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Examining Information Ecologies

Last week, I briefly referenced the book Information Ecologies by Bonnie Nardi and Vicki O’Day in relation to analyzing social media platforms. This time let’s take a broader look at how to effectively examine the use of technology to incite positive change.

Do you think that the new instant messenger program at work is more distracting than beneficial? Does your team need new software to drive better business results? Are you unsure about speaking up? Nardi and O’Day will boost your confidence.

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Proactive Approach to Social Media

I recently started reading Bonnie Nardi and Vicki O’Day’s Information Ecologies, which promotes active analysis to ensure the right technology is used in the right way to drive values and results. As noted in the headline of this blog, I am trying to apply this thinking to my every day use of technology at work, home and everywhere in between.

Rather than simply adopting to keep pace or just because, mindful consumers must first consider the purpose and potential repercussions.My last couple posts have discussed brand success on social sites like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Leading with tips for user engagement on a scattered selection of social sites now feels like I started the story in the middle.

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#TBT Cultivating Connection

Baby Brother Picture

#TBTT: Throwback Tech Tuesday

Reading The Culture of Connectivity by Jose Van Dijck, I came across an interesting quote regarding how Facebook’s Timeline format:

“Cues members to post pictures from the pre-Facebook days of their youth – a baby picture, family snapshots, school classes, old friends, college years, wedding pictures, honeymoon – and thus experience content in terms of their life’s story…Timeline caused enhanced feelings of intimacy, memory and connectedness” (55).

My Facebook identity begins the day I created my profile. I upload pictures and videos in real-time, but did not readily add media reflecting my pre-Facebook life. That is until the creation of the platform-agnostic trend Throwback Thursday.

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Convenience Culture

I was recently surfing through Amazon and could not stop thinking about how dramatically online capabilities have altered traditional shopping. You no longer have to leave the couch or ask an associate if they have more sizes in the back. You may not bring a friend, but who needs one? Algorithms pull items according to your taste and other shoppers post lengthy reviews that can reaffirm or negate your concerns.

This reminds me again of that Winston Churchill quote used by Sherry Turkle in Alone Together: “We shape buildings and then they shape us.” Computer’s reshaping of culture goes beyond shopping – it creates new consumer expectations for all brands/companies.

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New Media, New Rules

Where do we draw the line between old and new media? How does this shift impact media creation and consumption? This week I had the pleasure of trudging through some fairly technical excerpts that explore these questions and more.

First, Lev Manovich’s The Language of New Media distills blockbuster movies, glossy magazines and multimedia websites into algorithms. This reduction to numerical data references how we transitioned from printing press to Wikipedia. To pinpoint the shift from old to new, Manovich leads with a detailed but separate history of media (e.g., radio, print, film, etc.) and computer.

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Attention! Sacrificing Quality for Quantity

Let’s turn a critical eye on one of the most celebrated benefits of technology – its support of multitasking. At home and work, we leverage technology to simultaneously cross items off the ever-growing “To Do” list. The multitasking high has left me restless.

I can no longer stick to task A, I must also be working on task B and watching email. Honestly, focusing all efforts on a single task would make me feel inefficient and lazy. But it may have the opposite results.

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Profit from Nonprofit

profitfromnonprofit

Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse at DePaul University’s Facebook Page

I recently attended a career event at DePaul University, during which four nonprofit professionals shared job responsibilities and advice. Each had unique perspective, but there were consistencies in the experiences and skills needed to be successful as a nonprofit professional.

For those interested in pursuing roles in the nonprofit field, here’s a quick list:

Networking

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