The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Date: 8/22/2009

Time off the blog explained

I started this blog in August 2004. At the time, I made a commitment to post an entry per day no matter how brief and I kept that commitment for several years — I did give myself time off for weekends and I did post multiple posts per day in some cases.

In the past two years, I’ve been slowing down on my posts to once a week. Twitter, which you see on the left hand side of the blog, picked up the traffic for short comments. Delicious, which is also on the left side bar, picked up the interesting links traffic. keeps my itunes listening current. Facebook mostly picks up tweets as its status updates but it’s there too.

I claimed that Twitter Ate My Blog! but it is more complicated than that. The interlacing of my social communication meant that different special tools (twitter, delicious, picked up a lot of what the most general tool (the blog) was doing — and better they have become part of the blog itself instead of separate disparate entities.

Over the past three weeks, when there was blog silence, there was plenty going on. We were on a long for us vacation on the Left Coast and then moving our son into his new school, NC School of Science and Math, but the blog as still active — even though no new articles were being posted — thanks to Twitter and others.

Almost five years into the blog, it’s now updated more often with more information than ever before even when I’m off, I’m on. Scary in a way, but also reflective of the why we all work and play these days.

No readings, no writings, all video

I’ll be teaching my blogging, social media, virtual communities course this semester only using video on the net. The syllabus is here.

We will view videos of lectures and other events pertaining to the class topics: Categories: Brainz!, Citizen Journalism and New Journalism, Cyberculture, Marketing, Remix (including legal issues), Simplicity, Social Networking research and theory, Vernacular Video and YouTube Anthropology. The viewings are presentations by some of the top experts in each area — the kinds of people, sometimes the exact same people, that whose papers and articles and books I would have had the class read in other years. We will not be viewing videos during class; we’ll be discussing the topics when f2f.

Class members will not be writing papers in response to the viewing, but instead will be producing (very lightly produced in most cases) video responses from their webcams, phones or digital cameras (such as Flips).

We will also have several guests during the course of the semester. These guests will not be lecturing but instead will be holding a question and answer session with the class over Skype. The class will have prepared for the session by having had watching a video by each speaker before hand. Among those who have agreed to visit us are: Dan Gillmor, Howard Rheingold, danah boyd, Fred Turner, Barry Wellman and in person, our Duke Law neighbor, James Boyle. The response from the potential speakers has been overwhelmingly positive. This has turned out a wonderful way for an expert to engage with students at a very low time cost and with on special preparation.

The class has not yet met, but the class members have already been helping design their course but voting on polls to determine how video intensive the course will be and on how the assignments and grades will be handled. — No, I didn’t use video for this part. I did use Doodle for the polls and email for contacting the class.

So participatory culture, vernacular video, simplicity all played a big part in the class already.

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