Sunday, January 21, 2018

Back in the saddle!

The time has come to dust off this blog and dive back into NetNarr. It's good to be back in our world, and I'm excited to see what this new semester has to offer. As I mentioned in class, this will be my third time around the block in ENG5085, "New Media Studies," then "Digital Storytelling," and now "Digital Alchemy/Networked Narratives," and each time I have learned something new and exciting about the digital world. I'm especially excited this semester about accompanying new students on their journey.

A word of advice to new students-- this may seem like a lot at first, and it may seem completely weird, but rest assured, you'll fall into the swing of things quickly. A great deal of this class involves making it what you want it to be, which is really cool! If you feel so inclined, check out older posts on this blog to see some of what I put together last year at this time. You'll see that there is nothing to be afraid of.

One of the craziest things I've learned from taking many trips down the Internet rabbit hole is that the internet knows a whole lot about me. It knows my interests, my friends, the products I like, and is able to suggest things that I will, in all likelihood, be interested in pursuing. I'm sure everyone can relate to the feeling of your skin crawling when the product you were just talking about is the first search suggestion on your phone. Or, when you Googled a product you were interested in buying, only to have it show up as an ad on every website for the rest of eternity (or, as an added bonus-- when you look up a gift idea on a shared computer and the ads ruin the surprise....gotta love the World Wide Web).

As you will learn about me this semester, I am fascinated by all things dystopian, and this idea ties in directly with the concept of an all-seeing, all-knowing government using me as a cog in the wheel of consumerism. In fact, Do Not Track reminds me greatly of my favorite books, Feed by M.T. Anderson. In this story of a futuristic Earth, all people have social network data feeds installed into their minds, and live life through the lens of constant communication and advertisements. M.T. Anderson masterfully translates the eerie feeling Google knowing your search query into an entire society, which ends up being terrifying to all involved. After watching Do Not Track, it's horrifying to see how close Feed comes to being reality.

I am so excited that we are going to talk with Brett Gaylor. Do Not Track is fascinating, and terrifying, and I look forward to hearing what he has to impart to us.

Daily Digital Alchemies-- 1/16/18 through 1/22/18:


  1. Those open participants are way ahead of me on commenting... welcome back to NetNarr. I do hope you bring more dystopian connections in; I am planning on assigning an episode of Black Mirror to watch.

    Maybe someone is that happy (Love your map)

    1. I've been told and retold to watch that series, so I will be glad if you assign it! It will force me to watch something that I am sure I will enjoy very much.