Some WordPress things [EMMSu18]

Right now, this is just a placeholder to allow some commenting, but more to come later I hope.


…and the livin’ is…

Another summer is upon us, and once again I’m offering my Elements of Media Making course.  We always struggle with how to manage summer enrollment here: we can’t seem to figure out the secret sauce that will balance student and faculty interest with the financials of it all.  But I do have some students interested, so we’re sallying forth!

One feature of the course is a focus on networked writing – thinking about how to write for a networked audience – so you may see an uptick in my postings here over the next couple of months. Maybe I’ll see you around. 🙂



Now starting my 14th year teaching media studies and production at Austin College. 🙂

If you’re looking for links to course materials for the courses I’m teaching this fall – a freshman seminar on dystopian media, digital video production, and screenwriting, you can find links to those over on the Fall 2017 Courses page.

If you’re wondering what the status of the digital pedagogy initiative at Austin College is, you can find all kinds of resources over at the AC Digital Pedagogy companion site: check those out while we deliberate a bit about which directions to take the initiative in next.

Or if you need to contact me, drop me a line by email (find it on the AC directory), Twitter (@bboessen), or in the comments below. 🙂

EMM: #vizlit and False Advertising

Preparing for today’s class in my Elements of Media Making summer course, I’m reminded of one very useful skill those trained in visual literacy can employ daily: spotting misleading and/or false advertising.

Here’s a nice roll-up of some hilarious and sad attempts to mislead us. I especially like Especially sad is the kiddie pool:

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 11.09.56 AM


Keep your eyes peeled for such chicanery.

Blogging and First-Person

I just responded to a question from a student about whether she is allowed to use first-person syntax (like “I appreciated Plato’s argument” as opposed to “One can appreciate Plato’s argument” or “Plato’s argument is appreciated by some”).  I’d like to share the text of my reply here in case others outside that class who read this blog are wondering the same thing. [I’ve edited it lightly.]

Short answer: yes, you may use first person in your blogging. 🙂

Longer answer: I’m not personally a proponent of a blanket rejection of first person.  I don’t find it necessary to convey a formal tone (I’ve known many people in my life who speak very formally while still using it).  Further, I find that when third person is used poorly, which I see fairly often among student work generally, it undermines the air of professionalism that was its goal in the first place.
Beyond that, though, while there are plenty of contexts where strict third-person address is appropriate, a blog is almost never one of them; it goes against the very idea of a blog to try to write only in the third person. Your blog is your home on the web, you own domain both literally and figuratively. (Yes, some of that is undermined a bit because we’re using the .com version of WordPress, which is technically “owned” by the company and not you.  But it’s more akin to renting an apartment than crashing on someone’s couch, which was a key facet of Woolf’s original argument.)
So you should feel very comfortable making it your own both in terms of how it looks and what you link to there and in terms of how you choose to address your audience there. Might there be social consequences to your perceived character if you write in an overly casual or flippant way? Perhaps, with some of your audience.  But you will learn that as you go, instead of my telling you how you must write or speak.
So use first-person as you see fit, and keep your eyes open to how shapes others’ reactions to your work and your own reactions to theirs.