Category Archives: web 2.0

Ballard Writers Collective

I recently joined the Ballard Writers Collective, and now I’m webmastering for them and doing freelance web work for local authors.

They’re a great group, led by Peggy Sturdivant, who, among other things, are exploring non-traditional forms of publishing, firing ideas in my head about how to find workarounds to the semi-broken academic model.

Many of the authors need web and new tech help. It’s easy and enjoyable for me since most of the work is WordPress related, but I forget sometimes how difficult it can be to enter the digital space, having basically been a cyborg my whole life…

Digital Media and Learning conference 2011

Last week I went to Long Beach, CA for the Digital Media and Learning conference. It was great meeting a ton of people (too many to list, sorry), sharing a room with Moses Wolfenstein and Sean Duncan, having breakfast with fellow DML Summer Institute people, getting dinner with fellow Terror Novans, and seeing demos of really cool projects (cf below). The highlight of the presentations was definitely the ignite talks–quick 5 minute talks with an auto-advancing slidedeck. One presenter couldn’t make the second ignite session, so Alex Halavais took to the stage and did an improv talk with slides he had never seen before! And it was it was hilarious, on-point, and relevant!

Fiona Barnett's photo of Fab@Home

Last year, Jeremy Hunsinger and I set up an etherpad for the conference where anyone attending could collaboratively take notes and chat about the sessions. This year, I set up the same thing with a Google doc and blasted the url to Twitter periodically. I’m disappointed in the turn-out of the gdoc use, especially given that the theme of many of the talks was about collective and collaborative/participatory production and understanding of cultural artifacts, curricula, etc. I saw many people using laptops and iPads to take notes, but those notes will forever be sequestered, not shared. 🙁

My reasoning is that together we can attend everything. There were 7 concurrent tracks. Together we could have let everyone learn about each one.

As it is, I think the few of us who used the gdoc hit about a quarter of the sessions. I think for next year I’ll suggest an official gdoc or other collaborative note-taking tool be used.

There was also some backchannel activity in an IRC which got pretty snarky. I think that’s fine and quite entertaining but I wish naysayers in that backchannel would ask questions during the sessions they had particular problems with.

Overall, the type of talk around digital media literacies and games took a step backwards, I think… or maybe just treaded water from last year. There’s two things that contributed to this I think. It seemed like this year there were many more people coming from non-profits and non-academic places, so they had to be caught up with new-to-them ideas. Additionally, there was a confluence of people from different disciplinary backgrounds, so they too needed to step back a bit to lay some foundational common language down. One example was the IRC discussion about the label “gamer” and whether someone is a “hardcore” vs. “casual” gamer. I think it was a useful discussion, and, yes, it did help me better articulate things in my head. Yet games people such as the scholars who regularly attend GLS had already covered that ground a year or two ago.

Two highlights of the talks, besides the ignite talks, for me were both in a constructive/destructive technologies panel. Dan Perkel gave a fascinating study of deviantART community-based discussion regarding the sharing of work, ownership, privacy, “safe” space, and the nature of the interwebs. Stuart Geiger gave a very entertaining and eye-opening talk about Wikipedia bots and collective response to automated procedures, touching on guidelines and policies and how they affect user behavior and participation.

Next year, DML (March 1-3) will be in San Francisco right before GDC (March 5-9), so I won’t have to choose between the two again!



Updating website theme

Trying a new theme this week… might revert or go way back to a dark/black one.

Testing out live blogging with a NookColor

I’m at the iConference this week. Also in meetings at work this week. It’s sort of worked.

Anyway, my netbook died last year so I decided to try a tablet for a while to see if it would meet my conference needs. (Rooted NookColor with a custom Android OS = cheap tablet)

Continue reading Testing out live blogging with a NookColor

Uh… I don’t *think* I’ve written about Ashton Kutcher…

I was checking out my site stats for the first time in months, since I thought maybe my post to Terra Nova got me some hits (it did but not significantly–I get about 130 hits a day).

And, man, look at my most popular pages:

Title Views
Home page 26 More stats
Deus Ex and Deus Ex: Invisible War 16 More stats
The Witcher 12 More stats
Splinter Cell vs. Hitman 2 11 More stats
Half-Life 2 mods 4 More stats
Dr. Video Games: Reflections of a PhD Graduate 3 More stats
Dissertation ready for download 3 More stats
A bunch of short game reviews 2 More stats
Communication, Coordination, and Camaraderie in WoW 2 More stats
Bike USA: July 10-20, 2000 – Wall Drug, Badlands, Kadoka, Murdo, Valentine, Norfolk, Fremont, Omaha 1 More stats

That’s from today but it’s pretty much the same top ones every day. A large portion of my site visitors are interested in Deus Ex, The Witcher, Hitman, and Splinter Cell. A part of me feels like I really ought to capitalize on that somehow…

And what’s more? Why, check out these search terms that got people to my site:

Search Views
hitman 2 9
deus ex 6
the witcher 5
half life 2 mod 3
deus ex inventory 3
deus ex 2 invisible war 2
overland maps in neverwinter nights 2
ashton kutcher naked 2
deus ex 2 inventory screen 2
colossus movie 2

Lol. I swear I don’t have a thing for Ashton Kutcher… though I guess writing this post will make my website even more relevant for that search term. :/

(Now, why did I just add ashton kutcher to my tag list?? This makes me think of GNU and other self-referential acronyms… THIS POST IS NOT ABOUT ASHTON KUTCHER! There hopefully, that’ll satisfy the google bots.)

[Edit: Oh.. it was a post on cmgp (which is now archived on my website) about ashton kutcher… lol. Yes, I can do searches on my own website, thanks. Still.. doing a google search shows that my website doesn’t appear in the first 10 pages of results. Someone’s gotta really be digging deep for those photos to try clicking on my link…]

5 BS facts about games that everyone thinks are true

Sorry, you fell for linkbait. 🙂
Check out Linkbait Generator.

But now that you’re here… maybe a new game could be to take the headline generated by Linkbait Generator and then actually write something on that topic…

So, here goes:

  1. Games are a valueless activity.
  2. Games promote violence.
  3. Games are addictive.
  4. Games drive new technologies.
  5. Games are not serious.

Actually, that was very, very easy.

Mark’s job talk: Expertise and Collaboration in Online Games

This is the job talk I gave for an interview last week at the American Institutes for Research. It only took 6 hours to figure out how to record audio, edit it, upload it, and tweak it… but… now I know how to do it! Hooray,!

wow, multitrack acapella Starlight – Francois Macre

via Urlesque:

mini game reviews… er game mini reviews.

This post is just to test Twitter Tools to make sure it auto-tweets whenever I post a new blog entry. Read the mini-reviews of games in my previous post and why I’ve decided to write them in the post before that. 🙂

Catching up on my rss feed, finally saw what the danah boyd controversy was all about…

Here’s danah’s response and Jenna’s commentary.

I said it at IR10 and SoP, and I’ll say it again. 1. Twitter is a horrible backchannel tool since it is too open, too 140 character limited, too persistent, and 2. it’s NOT a backchannel when you project it behind the speaker!!!

Personally, I think snark and irreverence is perfectly fine in a backchannel, so long as it’s also constructive, productive, informative, and on topic. I think their reactions to the content of the bc is overreactionary, but it’s all besides the point because the conference organizers shouldn’t have been broadcasting it in the first place. It’s a BACKchannel!