Look Ma! Your Little Boy is (kinda) Famous!

Posted: September 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Self-Promotion, video, web 2.0 | No Comments »

Yesterday, I reached a milestone of sorts: My YouTube channel surpassed the 20,000 view mark. I couldn’t have done it without you (well, I suppose if I had never uploaded the content in the first place, you wouldn’t have had anything to watch, so yay me!). To celebrate this moment of Internet D-list celebrity status, I thought I’d take a moment to remind us of where it all started:


Two New “Visiting Scholars in DMAC” Profiles

Posted: September 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Rhetoric, video, web 2.0 | Tags: | No Comments »

From this past year’s Digital Media And Composition program (DMAC) comes this pair of profiles of our Visiting Scholars for the year (program participants invited to attend based upon their specific research agendas). As the two-week digital media-intensive program was wrapping up, I sat down with Melanie Yergeau (U of Michigan) and Elaine Richardson (OSU) for a brief chat, and here’s what they had to say…

How I Got Here: An Autobiographical Audit

Posted: July 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Research, Self-Promotion, video, Writing | No Comments »

The blogger as a young man...The other day, I found myself in a reflective, Benjaminian mood brought about by cleaning out my office and finding notes from an old grad school presentation that dealt with the historical contours of textual design and medium–specifically, positioning the Cixous/Calle-Gruber book Rootprints on a continuum flanked on one side by medieval manuscript culture, on the other by the emerging hypertext culture of the late 20th century. It reminded me that I had been pursuing my current interest in the connections among rhetoric, technology, and textual production for a long time; as a graduate student, this topic began taking shape before the turn of the century.

But really, my professional identity was quietly taking shape in the background for much, much longer… As I began pondering how this incubation process unfolded, I realized it reached well into my early childhood, and thus began this audit of the hobbies, interests, and external factors that led me to where I am today:

  • Getting an Atari 2600 when I was 6 years old led to a lifelong interest in gaming and computers.
  • The Commodore 64 fueled this initial fire ignited by the Atari. Even in those early days (3rd grade on), I was interested in coding in BASIC, but the machine would become a big part of my later interests in digital media production. And more gaming. And file swapping.
  • My brother and I had our own newspaper for part of a summer, which we produced in geoPublish on the C64 (we got our “scoops” by watching the evening news and interviewing our grandparents).
  • Cassette tape recorder: For a number of years, I had a wonky cassette recorder that I used to record various radio dramas (I used my action figure and stuffed animal collection for inspiration on plot points, local radio station for soundtracks, and assembled a slew of items like margarine containers and aluminum cans for sound effects).
  • QUEST: in elementary school, I was in one of those nerd programs, where we got to do special projects and what-not… I remember hand-making a series of children’s books, featuring a young rhinocerous (Li’l Rhino) and an elderly space alien (Zolly) getting into various adventures. Written, illustrated, and bound by moi. I also did a couple of “issue” brochures featuring the pair, on topics like responsible energy consumption and environmental tips. I need to dig up those gems from my childhood closet, for sure.
  • Radio-controlled car racing: this was a big hobby for about 5 years or so, and it involved a lot of technological knowledge and skills, surprisingly. How electric motors work, as well as radio frequencies, servos, batteries, etc. We used soldering irons a lot during this spell, in addition to hoes, shovels, and axes (we specialized in 1/10-scale off-road cars, so we spent a lot of time in the woods building elaborate tracks with berms, jumps, ruts, and ditches.
  • VHS Camcorder: My parents got one when I was about 10, and my brother and I used it for all sorts of movie projects. Because we didn’t have a fancy AVID video-editing bay (or iMovie, or Final Cut, etc.), we had to edit linearly, re-recording new takes on top of the bad ones. These were mostly stupid little shorts about wars, zombies, music, and skateboarding, but we experimented with incorporating some production values into them, including audio overdubs, video effects, and even title sequences that we designed on the C64 and recorded indirectly off of the monitor (I may try digitizing some of these in the near future, for kicks).
  • Skateboarding: this sport/lifestyle was in itself creative enough, but it actually led to a whole subculture that was extremely invested in graphic design, amateur filmmaking, photography, ‘zine production, music, etc. Skate culture had its own ethos and aesthetic characterized by a sense of independence, of DIY… The scene often challenged the staus quo of mainstream athletic/popular culture, oftentimes using parody in its visual designs.
  • Music: as with skateboarding, the hardcore/punk/DIY scenes that I was into contributed to my interest in guerilla-style graphic design… when I started my own band, one of the most satisfying aspects aside from composing and performing, was coming up with our own marketing materials–gig flyers, tape/album designs, web content (back in the early/mid 90s, mind you).  To this day, I’m a font junkie–not a professional designer by any stretch, but definitely an enthusiast with a fondness for sharp layouts.
  • My uncle’s printing presses: my first semi-legitimate summer job was with my uncle’s printing business, where I saw first-hand how the so-called sausage was made. He had a bunch of mid-century Heidelberg presses, which I’d oversee, re-stock, and bundle jobs. For me, this reinforced quite intimately the fact that printed texts are designed, manufactured products.
  • Newspaper biz: for about three years, I worked on the editorial (arts/entertainment reporter) and production (paste-up/layout artist) sides of the process, so I was intimately tied up in both the form and content sides of print culture. Also, I was lucky to be working at a time of technological transition, when the industry moved from tools like hot wax, x-acto blades, and acrylic rollers to Macs, Quark, and Photoshop.

Oh, and obviously my lifelong interest in reading/writing has greatly informed my professional trajectory, but I won’t belabor that point…

“Assessing Remix Assignments” included in KAIROS PraxisWiki

Posted: January 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Free Culture/IP, Research, Self-Promotion, Teaching, video | No Comments »

As part of the latest issue of Kairos, the PraxisWiki is highlighting presentations from last year’s E-WAVE Pedagogy poster sessions, held at CCCC in Atlanta. My own piece, “Assessing Remix Assignments: Audio/video and Fair Use,” is part of the mix, and serves as a teaser for a longer publication that’s currently in development on the hairy topic of assessing multimodal composing.

STUDY: Cell Phone Usage Patterns

Posted: August 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: mobile, Research, Rhetoric, video, Writing | No Comments »

So, Nielsen apparently tracks things other than your television and radio preferences.  For those of you in my readership interested in mobile technology (increasingly, a truly robust multimodal  environment combining aural, alphabetic, visual, and even haptic modes of communication), take a look at this latest report, which tracks usage patterns across various demographic slices (age, race, gender, region, etc.).  Here’s the texting breakdown by age:


[New Video] Visiting Scholars in DMAC: Christine Tulley

Posted: March 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Rhetoric, video | No Comments »

Fans of the series, take note: the latest installment of the Visiting Scholars in DMAC series is up on Youtube, and this one showcases University of Findlay’s Christine Tulley. Lots of smart, practical advice here, so give it a gander, won’t you? Also of note, Tulley will be giving her Visiting Scholar lecture, “Multimodal Composition and Classical Rhetoric,” on Monday, April 19, starting at 3:30pm in Denney 311.



[Yeah, I know; one day when I have time I'll actually dig around in the back end and fix the broken embed code thingy.]

New Visiting Scholars in DMAC video

Posted: July 6th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Rhetoric, video, Writing | No Comments »

Hear ye, hear ye! fans of the “Visiting Scholars in Digital Media and Composition” series, take note: a new video is in the works, this one featuring none other than computers and writing (dare I say?) legend Hugh Burns.  To tide you over, here’s a trailer for your viewing pleasure:

Visiting Scholars in DMAC: The Interviews: REBOOT: The Trailer

ANNOUNCEMENT: Digital Union’s Digital Storytelling Contest

Posted: January 23rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Rhetoric, Uncategorized, video | No Comments »

[Forwarding release to potentially interested readers.--ed.]

Tell Us A Story

It’s amateur time at the Digital Union!

Have something to say? Pull out your videocameras, crank up your audio recorders, and create a 2 minute piece for the Digital Union’s Tell Us A Story contest. Open to faculty, staff, students, kids, community members, seniors, out-of-towners, and more – this is your opportunity to create a short and snappy piece about anything you’d like. There is a catch; each submitted project must:

1.    Be less than 2 minutes long
2.    Include the sound of water
3.    Include the phrase, “In the last 4 years I never”

No experience or equipment necessary. Stop by the Digital Union to learn how you can check out video and audio recorders for this project. Winning pieces will be aired online and at the Wexner Center for the Arts on February 18th. All pieces must be submitted to the Digital Union by 5 pm on Thursday, February 12th.

Email digitalunion@osu.edu if you have questions. Please forward freely.

So I Got Married This Weekend…

Posted: October 2nd, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Editorial, video, web 2.0 | No Comments »

…And thanks to everyone for their well wishes and congratulations—we had a wonderful time, and I hope those in attendance did as well.  But that is not the express point of this post, dear readers.  To take a bit of a tangent, I was amused to see the extent to which the event was digitally “lifestreamed” in various ways.  Let me count some of them:

  •  Real-time facebook photo uploads!
  •  Tweets! and more Tweets!
  •  Several iPhones present, snapping away all the while!
  •  A digital photobooth, complete with feather boa!
  •  A Flip Mini video camera, passed around the crowd!
  •  Various and sundry other digital cameras, of both the still and moving-picture varieties!

Of course, the event itself had a very old-world, low-tech aesthetic: the reception was in a rustic barn, the ceremony was held outdoors, and we hired a bluegrass band (Faces Made for Radio). The incongruity tickles me, is all.  Apparently, we and our geeked-out guests are inextricably linked to our gadgets, and in this case, I think it has really enhanced the experience.  Way to go, technology…

wedding twitter, facebook

So You’re Scared to Teach Video Composing…

Posted: July 23rd, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Free Culture/IP, Open Source, Teaching, video | No Comments »

…in large part because you know that your students’ tendency to incorporate “found” components (be they audio, images, or video) might open them up for some sort of copyright liabilities, plus you just don’t have the time or energy or inclination to police all of that stuff on your own. And if they ended up on YouTube and got in trouble for pilfering content, well, you just couldn’t live with the guilt of it all. But what if all of this anxiety kept your students from creating some *really* thought-provoking pieces that creatively re-worked existing material? And just what constitutes Fair Use anymore these days? Too many unanswered questions. Xanax, unfortunately, is not the answer.

Well, fear not: the Center for Social Media, a program out of American University’s School of Communication, recently released a helpful guide covering just those issues. “Fair Use and Online Video” offers a whole slew of resources, from white papers on best practices, links to other fair use documentation, and even a video that breaks it all down for us. This is definitely worth bookmarking. After visiting and arming yourself with this newfound knowledge, the worries will subside.




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