Moving into Week Eleven

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Welcome to Week Eleven of DI202. This week, Leah will be leading a conversation about subcultures online (Tuesday night) and having a (not optional!) workshop for your digital community projects.

Subcultures

Before class on Tuesday, 4/3, please be sure to read or view the following:

  Community Projects

You should have your research for your community project well underway, and you should be blogging about it at least once a week. I expect these posts to be more than just saying “I spent more time on XYZ site, and I’m really enjoying what I’m finding.” If you’re not sure what to be researching and writing about, review the assignment details, particularly the list of reflective questions. I expect these posts to be substantive, informative, engaging — and USE PICTURES!!

On Thursday of this week, I’ll be leading a workshop on the digital story portion of your project. Remember, you can do the project that is outlined on the assignment page or you can pick your own story idea. I expect you to let me know this week (in your community project blog post) which direction you intend to go for your digital story.

A Note about Grades

I’ve completed the 10-week pass on grades. Blogging and participation for this period is graded, as are your digital identity projects. If you’ve completed your topic or technology investigation, you will also have a grade for that. If you have any questions or concerns about your grade, talk to me ASAP.

The lesser of two evils

I’ve gotten myself into a boat load of trouble and I’ve made a break for the spaceship-stop (think a Greyhound station, but with more pneumatic things that go beep and such). I’ve got a handful of stolen cash and I need to book it for another planet. Which one, which one? Anarres or Urras? Let’s make a fast decision based on what we know:

On Urras, I’ll be treated as a second class citizen at best, and at worst, considered as a sexual object to be acquired and dismissed at will. I won’t be able to study or hold any kind of intellectual position, because of my ‘inferior’ brain. Of course, I’d only have to deal with those circumstances for about a week; after that long, I’d be in prison because I’d have snapped and beaten half the men to death with my cast iron skillet. Not the optimal scenario.

Alright, Anarres it is. But wait. Anarres is a barren wasteland with limited resources and, despite its community-based living environment, a sort of ‘tyrrany by the majority.’ I don’t really mind my neighbours looking down on me if I decide to do work other than what’s request of me, but being criticized or even called out on pursuing personal interests instead of working to support the group would bother me. I don’t play well with others.

So what should I? Go to Urras and study in secret? Go to Anarres and become a member of a slightly oppressive commune?

I’d probably pick Anarres, truth be told. I would not be able to handle being singled out and excluded on the basis of my gender expression or sex. (If, however, I knew I could get away with passing as male on Urras, I’d total bro it out; unfortunately, my body type would make it difficult to pass. I’m no Mulan.)

If I’m going to miserable, I might as well go to the place where men and women are allowed to be equally miserable.

Of course, I’m giving up what could be a life of luxury, finery, and decadence on the principal and moral of equality, but I’d rather than a free bird than live in a golden cage.

 

Leah Yegneswaran

 

Preparing for your subject interviews

Your final digital identity project is due the Tuesday after spring break (this includes the digital story as well as a brief 5-10 minute presentation). In preparation for this, you’ll want to do your interview with your subject in the next week or so. As you prepare for your interview, here some advice about how to go about completing it.

There are basically three interview formats that you could use:

  • Email your subject with a list of questions for them to answer. You may wish to follow-up in subsequent messages if you feel like you still have questions after they answer your initial round.
  • Conduct a voice interview. For this you could use the phone (and take notes) or use Skype and, if you like, record your call. One advantage to a Skype recording is that you could include parts of the audio in your digital story.
  • Conduct a video interview. For this you could use Skype and, if you like, record your call (audio and/or video). Again, this could give you material for your story.

If you decide to use Skype and record your class, here are some resources you might find helpful:

PC Skype Calls

  • Pamela is a PC program that lets you record the audio and video of a Skype call. There are three versions:
    • Basic (Free): 5 minutes of video allowed; 15 minutes of audio allowed.
    • Call Recorder (Free/License for $25.91): 5/unlimited of video; 15/unlimited of audio. (Licensing opens up the “unlimited” option).
    • Professional (30 day free demo/License for $32.41): unlimited audio; unlimited video. NOTE: There are NO functional limitations on the 30-day demo. This is probably your best bet!
  • MP3 Skype Recorder is a PC program that allows you to record Skype audio. It is totally free and there are no recording limitations.

Mac Skype Calls

  • WireTap Studio: This Mac-only program allows you to record, edit, and export all audio from a Skype call. It costs $69, but there is a free trial! (Some people have noted that it doesn’t work well on the latest version of the Mac OS)
  • eCamm Call Recorder: This program is also Mac-only and it allows you to record audio and video of Skype calls. It costs $19.95 but there is a free demo BUT it prints a watermark/message over the video. Bummer.
  •  If you have the latest version of Quicktime Player (10.0) allows you to record audio and video from an application like Skype. You’ll wan to select Built-In Microphone to capture the audio of you and your subject talking.

Two important things to keep in mind:

  • The quality of your audio and video will depend entirely on your and your subject’s internet connection. I recommend getting on a wired connection on your end, if at all possible.
  • PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE TEST this before you go live with your subject. You don’t want to waste their time if you discover you have difficulties.

If you come across any other tools or tutorials, share them below!