Seminar in Composition A blog for Annette Vee's section of Pitt's SC


the Keyboard MIGHT Make an Okay Companion

Assignment: Texting?
the Ansel Adams of Polaroids
A Connected World?

RE: Decline in Communication Skills?
RE: Facebook: procrastination or helpful?
RE: Limits of Technology

Blogging is for bored housewives and Julia Child-wannabes who somehow end up with a book and movie deal, right? It might be hard to believe, but I never really identified with either classification, so why on earth would I post on a blog? That question, as it turns out, has multiple answers.

First and foremost, I post on a blog because it’s a requirement for this class. When we were first told that blogging would be a significant portion of the class, I was highly disappointed. Not only did I have to learn how to post to a website, but I had to find topics of conversation relevant to a class on technology and culture? The whole idea seemed like far too much work for a required class. Throughout the semester, though, I have realized through class discussions about the importance of web communication and through questions posed by other students that almost any current event or topic can be related to technology and that exposure to different methods of communication highlights the benefits and shortcomings of every method of communication.

One thing I really liked about the blog was how we’ve related the topics discussed on the blog to class materials and discussions, and vice versa. Shortly after class focused on the technological and political revolts in Egypt, there were several questions on the blog that provided more information and asked questions that probed deeper into the why of the revolts, something I’ve never really focused on much before as a science major. There were also instances of the opposite, such as the whole Rebecca Black issue, when we debated “YouTube famous” versus “real famous” the class after someone posted the infamous “Friday” video. I like to think the questions I asked provided material that was just as thought provoking for my classmates, because I chose off-the-wall news like a Polaroid photograph collection or really relevant subjects like a college professor who is choosing to teach his students to compose text messages and emails rather than research papers. If I have to post on a blog, I might as well make it interesting.

I also post on a blog because I like hearing my classmates’ thoughts on topics I find really interesting. The theme of all of the questions I’ve posed is very unusual modes of technology or unusual ways that technology has influenced culture, and I really like hearing other people’s thoughts on such unusual topics because they aren’t issues that have been discussed enough for people to form habitual answers. I think my questions about teaching composition via text messages really challenged my classmates to think about what constitutes a good English composition – well written but arduous research papers or concise but information-laden emails? It goes against everything I’ve been taught in English classes to consider a text message or a Twitter post as good composition, but if that’s the world we live in, why not teach students how to effectively communicate their messages in the media available? My own communication skills have definitely improved as a result of blog-posting; I really like asking questions and presenting information for others to think about, but I need to work still on my responses. Having to work with only a few topics to choose from is still frustrating when none of the ones available sound in any way interesting.

While I still don’t believe that I’ll make a habit out of blog posting, this class has changed my ideas of who posts on a blog. I may never get my fifteen minutes of culinary fame this way, but as least I know that I have the ability to challenge the norm and get people thinking in a medium that can really reach thousands.

Posted by SrInAStrangeLand

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