Project 1

Project 1: Par­tic­i­pa­tion & Dig­i­tal Rhetoric—media-analysis web­text

25 points; 1000 words + multimedia


Web­texts: “screen-based schol­arly arti­cles that use dig­i­tal media to enact the authors’ argu­ment.” (Cheryl Ball)

Chal­lenge:  Use objects of study (net­work media cul­ture) to update/redefine dig­i­tal rhetoric in terms of Par­tic­i­pa­tory Cul­ture and Pub­lic Pedagogy


 1) Doc­u­ment and ana­lyze example/s of dig­i­tal cul­ture from your obser­va­tions and expe­ri­ence, out­side class and in group project.


2) Going beyond sim­ple descrip­tion, pro­pose new under­stand­ing in terms of media plat­form, social prac­tices, cul­tural forms and/or “insti­tu­tion” in net­worked media ecol­ogy:
— for instance, pub­lic ped­a­gogy; update to lit­er­ate rhetor­i­cal cat­e­gory; new con­cepts or applications.



Overview & Goals

This for­mal project presents an analy­sis about tech­nol­ogy and dig­i­tal cul­ture, with the goal of (re)considering or re-defining net­work rhetoric by draw­ing upon your obser­va­tions and first-hand expe­ri­ence, apply­ing advanced con­tent knowl­edge.
Imag­in­ing an online read­er­ship, the main objec­tive is to pro­pose and sup­port an ana­lytic the­sis (insights) about net­work rhetoric con­cern­ing recent devel­op­ments in media and social prac­tices: most effec­tively, by sup­port­ing crit­i­cal obser­va­tions with effec­tive descrip­tions and con­crete exam­ples, extend­ing mas­tery of writ­ing conventions.

Imag­ined Audi­ence (rhetor­i­cal sit­u­a­tion): aca­d­e­mic as well as read­ers of (online) cul­ture writ­ing– both of whom are rel­a­tively famil­iar with cur­rent techno-media developments.

Instruc­tions & Para­me­ters (guide)
  • Pri­mar­ily: present insights from your analy­sis and expe­ri­en­tial reflec­tion (first-hand obser­va­tions) about par­tic­i­pa­tory cul­ture and net­work rhetoric (media ecology).

    • Dis­cuss crit­i­cal points, sup­ported with spe­cific exam­ples; arrange dis­cus­sion topically.

    • Pro­pose new under­stand­ing about the con­nec­tion of our key top­ics, reflect­ing media-studies per­spec­tive: dig­i­tal cul­ture, media (tech­nol­ogy and net­work plat­form/s), social practices/activities. (Review your ideas from “warm-up” activ­i­ties, Exer­cises 1 & 2)

    • The main gen­eral top­ics, as we’ve dis­cussed are Dig­i­tal Media, Par­tic­i­pa­tory Cul­ture, Pub­lic Ped­a­gogy, Net­work Rhetoric. Your the­sis should be an ana­lytic insight about any one or more of these top­ics: for instance, cre­ativ­ity & expres­sion; aes­thetic prac­tices and social activ­i­ties (includ­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion); roles, con­cern­ing audi­ence (beyond “pro­duc­ers and con­sumers”); dis­course com­mu­ni­ties and insti­tu­tions (“outside/between” offi­cial ones).

  • Use spe­cial­ized dis­course of topic, while engag­ing with new mate­r­ial at sophis­ti­cated lev­els reflect­ing acquired con­tent knowledge.

    • Rel­e­vant terms/concepts (5 min­i­mum) from assigned read­ings (2 min­i­mum) and class discussions

    • Beyond sim­ply using terms, incor­po­rate the con­cepts and the mate­r­ial stud­ied toward your pur­pose, imag­in­ing you are join­ing the “crit­i­cal con­ver­sa­tion” about this topic.
    • Pro­pose and use a new/innovative term (e.g. cat­e­gory) for dig­i­tal rhetoric that you invent/update.

  • Cre­ate com­pelling and effi­cient text for imag­ined read­ers by using a vari­ety of writ­ing styles

    • Com­bine mul­ti­ple modes, delib­er­ately used, such as crit­i­cal points, descrip­tive lan­guage, per­ti­nent exam­ples (lim­ited), and per­sonal discourse

      • Note: once again, this is not strictly descrip­tion of process
        (avoid/rephrase; gen­er­ate ideas before com­pos­ing project)


    • Apply dig­i­tal rhetoric under­stand­ing and skills, com­pos­ing for online audi­ence:
      hyper­text (web­site) arrange­ment, with orga­ni­za­tion, links, mul­ti­ple media (see design guide)

  • Apply tech­niques of effec­tive com­po­si­tion, mod­eled specif­i­cally from exam­ple texts

    • use sev­eral spe­cific exam­ples of plat­forms, media, tech­nol­ogy, and cul­ture forms;

    • illus­trat­ing your crit­i­cal insights, using mul­ti­ple media (as webtext);

    • doc­u­ment­ing — or per­haps “sim­u­lat­ing” — new par­tic­i­pant roles & activities


  • Con­clude (sec­tion?) with pro­posal and/or pre­dic­tion, spec­u­lat­ing and con­nect­ing key top­ics:
    for instance, appli­ca­tion (new types of com­pos­ing?); devel­op­ments of cul­ture related to cur­rent social activ­i­ties and net­work behav­iors; “audi­ence” role newly under­stood as “par­tic­i­pants”; poten­tial or impli­ca­tions for com­mu­ni­ca­tion (expres­sion?), pur­poses, com­mu­nity (outside/between offi­cial insti­tu­tions?), identity?



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