Posts Tagged ‘internet culture’

Next week is dedicated to Internet culture. Please prepare brief presentations that can help others understand a small aspect of Internet culture. First, read my post about Internet culture to get an idea of what I’m talking about.

  1. Pick a part of Internet culture you are familiar with. If you’ve never heard of Reddit, you probably won’t be able to get a real feel for it in a week. Make sure you have some first-hand experience with the topic.
  2. Use references to back up your presentation. For this one, the I Can Has Cheezburger network might be a valid source. But this doesn’t mean you should avoid scholarly research like the plague, either. 😉
  3. Don’t try to cover everything. Provide a brief orientation. For example:
    • what is this thing you call LOLcats?
    • what are the main landmarks in LOLcat culture? we can has a bit of history?
    • what are some of the main values or shared meanings in LOLcat culture?
    • what mistakes should you avoid so you’re not immediately labeled as a n00b? What is a n00b anyway???
    • show pictures
    • keep in mind the class screen is small, so make everything BIG
    • ONE idea per slide, please

Overall, Internet culture is irreverent, and it tries to be free, non-hierarchical, humorous. So, don’t take yourself too seriously with this presentation. It’s OK to have some fun, but don’t be offensive.

You can use any social media you wish to coordinate topics. Your grade will include the quality of the presentation and the coordination work. You need to work in a team. If you do not participate in social media coordination until the day before, the class has the right to leave you out, and you lose presentation points.

A good place to start would be to brainstorm topics: LOLcats, 4chan, rickrolling, Leet (1337), or cultures associated with a specific medium – e.g. Tumbler, Vine, or Instagram.

See below a brilliant presentation on YouTube culture (no, I do not expect you to pull together a feat of cultural anthropology in a week):

Please remember to write a blog post reflecting on the experience of preparing, delivering, listening and commenting about the Internet culture presentation. I will assign your grades for this presentation after I’ve read your reflection.

Please reflect on the following three topics:

  1. collaboration – What was the collaboration experience like this time? What worked well, what did not? What could you have done differently? What do you wish others had done differently?
  2. Internet culture – The presentations helped you get a glance into some aspects of Internet culture. How is knowing about Internet culture relevant to you and your scholarly work? How is this information useful to you? Make it yours.
  3. backchannel – Reflect on the experience of having a live backchannel during the presentations. What was it like for you as an audience member? What was it like for you as a presenter? Did it enhance the experience of the presentations or distract from it? If both, how so? When would you use a backchannel and when not? What research questions do you have about backchannels?

Many conferences use backchannels. It is important to be familiar with this experience. It will help you connect with many people on Twitter at conferences. In my experience, there have been times when the backchannel was more interesting than the presentation! 🙂

Also, please remember to:

Questions? Comments? Other thoughts? Please let me know, or at least let me know you’ve read this post by rating, liking, disliking, etc.

Here are some thoughts to help you as you’re preparing your Internet culture presentation:

Culture is, essentially, shared meanings.

Some group of people share the meaning that a woman dressed like this is a bride:


Some group of people share the meaning that a woman dressed like this is a bride:


As a shared set of meanings, culture translates into opinions, attitudes, values, expected behaviors, social norms, and behaviors. But these are all intangible. How can you infer what values and attitudes are when you cannot see them? We infer them from behaviors and artifacts (objects produced and used by that culture). So, lolcats are artifacts of Internet culture. What are the values, attitudes, and types of behaviors underlying lolcats – in addition to a healthy appreciation for cats, of course? >’.'<

Now, objects (artifacts) play an important role because they are the product of culture, but they help influence and create it at the same time. Even more so with social media sites. They are the product of Internet culture, but their use creates Internet culture (we should talk about structuration theory soon). So, of course they are important – but they are not all there is to talk about when you describe culture. When you describe culture, try to focus on these shared meanings, values, norms, and behaviors.

You are again in charge of class next week, Sept. 22. The purpose is to create and deliver presentations about Internet culture.

I suggest taking the following steps:

  1. Brainstorm topics (make sure you understand what does and does not belong. Hints: lolcats, rickrolling, 4chan do belong). Include me in this part of your work.
  2. Select, assign, organize topics
  3. Prepare presentations
  4. Deliver presentations

You can use any social media tools you want. Please try to stay away from email and meeting face-to-face.

Please PARTICIPATE – monitor your messages on Twitter, engage with others. If you only remember to check about this the day before, class members may opt to leave you out.

These presentations should be informative and fun – but not offensive.

The entire experience is graded out of 4 points and includes both the collaboration process and the end result.

Please let me know as soon as possible if I can have 20 minutes of class time to show you Radian 6. If not, I will record a demo and post it online.