possible texts for “writing for electronic communities”

Last December or January I posted a note to Facebook listing possible texts for my upcoming gradurate course, Information Arcgitecture, asking friends for comments and suggestions. I got great feedback, but because I am no longer using Facebook, I decided to try the same here.

Writing for Electronic Communities meets once a week for 3 hours. The title is wonderfully broad. Last semester we considered

the relationship among writing, electronic environments, and communities, as well as their multiple interpretations, particularly in terms of new media technologies. It is significant to note that though we will be looking at technology, not all technologies—past and present—exist among electronic environments. Rather, the electronic environments we will consider will be on and off line, and will cover range of spaces: books, web sites, movies, advertising, to name a few. We will explore how writing has impacted and has been impacted by these electronic environments, and how communities have emerged from and within them as a result.

The required text list reflected these goals and provided me with an opportunity to teach texts that I continue to be influenced by (such as Wenger’s Communities of Practice, Fleck’s Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact, and Syverson’s The Wealth of Reality: An Ecology of Composition) as well as read books that had been on my to-read list for a while. The class was excellent, but there was an obvious lack of texts that discussed Web 2.0, copyright, and finance.

This semester I would like the course to consider how literacy is changing as a result of new media technologies and address last semester’s deficiencies. I also want the texts to be less theory-heavy, a bit shorter in length, and provide a greater opportunity for students to evaluate the electronic writing spaces they will be using in the class (namely, Twitter, blogging, netvibes, diigo, and some others). Update 8/13/09 Here is what I have in mind so far: Here are my final selections:

Final Selections
Brooke, C. (2009). Lingua Fracta: Toward a Rhetoric of New Media. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
Hayles, N.K. (2008). Electronic literature: New horizons for the literary. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.
Jenkins, H. (2009). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (free)
Rettberg, J.W. (2008). Blogging. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Vaidhyanathan, S. (2003). Copyrights and copywrongs: The rise of intellectual property and how it threatens creativity. New York: NYU Press.
Selber, S. (2004). Multiliteracies for the Digital Age. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.
Various. Web 2.0 packet including V. Bush, T. Berner’s Lee, S. Turkle, J. Dibbell, K. Kelly, C. Thompson, T. O’Reilly, L. Lessig, B. Wolff, First Monday issue on Web 2.0 (free)
Tryon, C. (2009). Reinventing Cinema: Movies in the Age of Media Convergence. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Wasik, B. (2009). And Then There’s This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture. New York, NY: Viking Adult.

Definitely Requiring (updated 28 July 2009, 9:17am)
Anderson, C. (2009). Free: The Future of a Radical Price. New York: Hyperion. (free)
Brooke, C. (2009). Lingua Fracta: Toward a Rhetoric of New Media. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
Hayles, N.K. (2008). Electronic literature: New horizons for the literary. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.
Jenkins, H. (2009). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (free)
Rettberg, J.W. (2008). Blogging. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Rosenberg, S. (2009). Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It’s Becoming, and Why It Matters. New York: Crown. (free but trouble downloading)
Vaidhyanathan, S. (2003). Copyrights and copywrongs: The rise of intellectual property and how it threatens creativity. New York: NYU Press.
Various. Web 2.0 packet including V. Bush, T. Berner’s Lee, S. Turkle, J. Dibbell, K. Kelly, C. Thompson, T. O’Reilly, L. Lessig, B. Wolff, First Monday issue on Web 2.0 (free)

Need to Choose Between these Two or Maybe Use Both
Selber, S. (2004). Multiliteracies for the Digital Age. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.
Kress, G. (2003). Literacy in the New Media Age. New York: Routledge.

Need to Choose Between these Two, as well
Kevorkian, M. (2006). Color monitors: The black face of technology in America. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. (best discussion of last semester came with this book)
Tyron, C. (2009). Reinventing Cinema: Movies in the Age of Media Convergence. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Still Considering and Really Want to Inclue it but not Sure of it Fits
DeVoss, D.N., McKee, H.A., and Selfe, R. (2009). Technological Ecologies and Sustainability. Computers and Composition Digital Press. http://ccdigitalpress.org (free)
Miller, R. (2005). Writing at the End of the World. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh University Press.

Still Considering but Leaning Against
Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. New York: NYU Press.
Lessig, L. (2005). Free culture: The nature and future of creativity. New York, NY: Penguin.
Bolter, J.D. (1999). Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print. 2nd edition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Rosenberg, S. (2009). Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It’s Becoming, and Why It Matters. New York: Crown. (free but trouble downloading)

Used Last Semester, Not Using This Semester
Johnson-Eilola, J. (2005). Datacloud: Toward a new theory of online work. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
Kress, G. & van Leeuwan, T. (2001). Multimodal discourse: The modes and media of contemporary communication. London: Hodder Arnold.
Landow, G.P. (2006). Hypertext 3.0: Critical theory and new media in an era of globalization. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
McLuhan, M. (2004). Understanding me: Lectures and interviews. Boston: MIT Press.
Neilson, J. & Loranger, H. (2006). Prioritizing Web Usability. Berkeley: New Riders Press.
Tufte, E. (2006). The cognitive style of PowerPoint: Pitching out corrupts within (Rev. ed.). Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press. (pamphlet)
Wenger, E. (1999). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Syverson, P. (1999). The wealth of reality: An ecology of composition. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.
Fleck, L. (1981). Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

I welcome comments on my selections and other texts that you think might be worth conidering. I’m especially interested in ideas on the texts in the categories where texts on similar topics are being weighed. Thanks for your help!

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5 Responses to possible texts for “writing for electronic communities”

  1. Vim says:

    Why are you off Facebook? (As you probably know, I have never been on it). Is it the new default privacy settings, or something else, if you don’t mind my asking?

  2. Chuck says:

    If you’re focusing primarily on *writing* or composing online, then the chapters from my book on blogging and/or YouTube might be enough (and would, presumably) qualify as fair use. Not that I don’t want you to encourage students to buy my book.

    But this is a great list & gives me even more to read in the next few months.

  3. Chuck says:

    By the way, I read into Rosenberg’s book, and so far, I’ve found it a little superficial. There is some great history, but I wish he had done a little more with it. I found Jill’s book to be really useful though and enjoyed teaching a chapter of it in my grad course.

  4. Bill says:

    Hey Vim. Yes, back in April when Facebook changed their TOS I decided that I had had enough. In the end it came down to the question of whether or not I trusted Zuckerberg with all of my information and data. I decided that I didn’t. Also, I found Twitter to be a much more engaging space for me in terms of making contacts, discussing ideas about teaching and research, and meeting new people in the field. It has really broadened my community of people out there who are interested in the intersections of new media, teaching, and research. I still have a Facebook account for teaching purposes and I pop in every now and again. But, I don’t add much information and I removed all but my profile pic.

  5. Bill says:

    Chuck, thanks for the comments. I have heard similar things about Rosenberg’s book, so i will definitely go with Jill’s. I have requested an exam copy of your book and I hope it will get here in time because if I don’t use it in the grad class, I think parts of it will work in my undergrad course where we use the Flip Video cameras and talk quite a bit about YouTube.

    Thanks!

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