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Week 5: How do our digital interactions shape our identities? And what’s special about group interactions?

Just to reiterate what I said at the beginning of class last night: I’ve been very impressed with most of the posts I’ve seen on the Motherblog, and I hope the quality (and quantity) of your posts will get even better as the semester progresses. If you haven’t been averaging two posts per week, consider this a gentle reminder to pick up the pace a bit before too much more time passes.

I enjoyed our class session last night, but I felt like our discussion could have focused a little more squarely on the ideas in Baym’s book, and our workshop could have been a little less scattered. I take full responsibility for both of those problems, but I hope you’ll help me as I try to make our Wednesday evenings as productive and valuable as possible. To that end, please let me know if you have any suggestions for specific workshop topics that would be useful to you as a student, a teacher, a professional, etc… As for our class discussions, I’d like to hand off the role of moderator from time to time, so next week I’ll be asking for volunteers to help lead some of our future class sessions. You might want to scan the calendar to see which week(s) pique your interest the most.

Next week, we’ll finish our second book and spend the rest of the evening helping each other make sense of our data for the Online Identity Analysis project.

To read before class:

  • Personal Connections in the Digital Age, Chapters 4–6 (pp. 72–155)
  • Genre as Social Action,” by Carolyn Miller (PDF copy also located in our class’s shared Google Drive folder)

To do before class:

  • Finish collecting data for your Online Identity Analysis project and begin to draft your analysis of the data. It’s fine if your draft is messy or even incomplete, but you should have something to say about what you’ve gathered, not just the raw data itself.
  • Upload a copy of your draft analysis to your Google Drive folder before class so you can share it with the members of your peer review group during class. (I recommend working in a Google document from the get-go, just to simplify the process.)
  • After completing the readings for class, create a list of as many different “digital genres” as you can think of. Be ready to discuss your list in class.

Bonus reading (as time and interest permit):

All of this week’s bonus articles are examples of how to analyze Twitter data. We won’t have much time to discuss them in class, but if you’re feeling stuck with your analysis, you should find some inspiration (or even methods you can cite) in these articles:

If you need advice about your Online Identity Analysis project, please come see me during office hours (T 1–4, W 9–12) or email me to set up another time to meet. I know this type of data collection and analysis is completely new for many of you, so I’m happy to talk through your project with you if you think it will help.