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Pro Tip – Blogging ain’t art, or rocket science

Pro Tip – Blogging ain’t art, or rocket science

Leslie forwarded me (via Captain Capitalism) this course description at the University of Maryland:

ENGL488B – Topics in Advanced Writing: Writing for the Blogosphere: Prehistory, Theory, Practice

This course will offer students an immersion in blogging as a writing practice and as a social/literary genre with deep, multiple roots in cultural history.

STOP RIGHT THERE !!!! (note to students, ALL CAPS and multiple ! means it’s important)

Blogging is not literary and has no roots. Trust me, I know.

Our broad goal will be to explore what blogs are, what they do – culturally, politically, literarily – and what they can teach us about reading, writing, and social networking in the twenty-first century. Our work will pivot back and forth between formal study of the genre and its history and the daily discipline of designing, building, and maintaining a publicly accessible multimedia text.

“a publicly accessible multimedia text”? You mean like the internets?

Thus, the course requires both a willingness to experiment with the production of new media forms and an ability to think critically about them.

Oh, we can criticize. This course should be easy.

It will call upon your creativity and your analytical skill, your sense of intellectual play and your curiosity about how media shift – the increasing prevalence of post-print literary and cultural forms – has and has not changed communication and everyday life.

“post-print literary and cultural forms” — so that means we can just copy what other people do, right?

You will spend a lot of time on the Internet for this course ….

Now you have gone too far. I refuse to spend a lot of time on the internet.

[For related Teacher’s guide — note that I just dropped a bunch of text with just a few dots to show where. That’s called “massaging the text” in the business, and allows you to turn any text into anything you want it to be.]

We will reflect on issues of style and persona, on the norms and practices that define the blogosphere, and on the freedom and responsibility that accompany the possibility of publishing without the print culture filters of editors and other gatekeepers.

No filters? I can do that.


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Nailed it!

Would this be for those who find the barista coursework too taxing?

TrooperJohnSmith | April 6, 2013 at 9:16 am

It’s an attempt by the academic and media elites to “channel” blogging into something of their creation, to destroy it as they have the Fourth Estate.

…and on the freedom and responsibility that accompany the possibility of publishing without the print culture filters of editors and other gatekeepers.

In other words, right wingers like the Professor should just shut up, and get off the interweb.

Georgewarburton | April 6, 2013 at 9:34 am

Nothing to do with blogging but everything to with the march of progress.
Long before the space shuttle, rockets were used for various purposes by people who understood Newton’s third law (even if they died long before he was heard of).
In the 20th century the Nazis used them to bomb London and the Soviets used them to fry dogs. The story of Laika is not a happy one.
In common with both and with all subsequent flights, there is the need to calculate fuel consumption, trajectory, dietary requirements (but not for Laika), waste disposal storage facility dimensions, etc.
The first calculations were done before the second war and have been done every year since.
For your average rocket scientist this is all pretty mundane stuff. To them, rocket science isn’t rocket science.
Keep up the good work.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Georgewarburton. | April 6, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    You can mock the dog but Laika did better than many space travellers .eg The Challenger crew.

    Even today it would be a better idea to send a dog to the space station than a teacher. At least the dog would be good company.

    If I were on board the space station I would definitely prefer to have a dog sent up than a teacher.

    Besides Laika has monuments on earth.

      Georgewarburton in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | April 6, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      I did not mock the dog. Rather, I mocked (or tried to mock) the Soviets. I am surprised you didn’t get that. It isn’t rocket science.

        BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Georgewarburton. | April 7, 2013 at 12:28 am

        Why do you mock the USSR space effort?

        All early program’s had faults. But USSR put its money on MIr & the Us went for the Shuttles.
        When the Shuttles were grounded it was MIR that not only stood up but used as the International Space Platform & used Soviet space transport rockets which incidentally only catered for 5′ 8″ astronauts.

        Both program’s taught new things but the Russians had all the data for long term space in habitation .& subsequent gravity rehab.

        Laika ended up on the winning team

          BannedbytheGuardian in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | April 7, 2013 at 12:38 am

          The 5’8″ astronaut height max put a stop to American careers. It is nor rocket science to train up the lightest most compact astronauts . What were you thinking?

          You laugh at the dog , they laughed long & hard at your astronauts unable to fit in the capsule.

radiofreeca | April 6, 2013 at 9:56 am

“think critically…” well I would suspect that anybody that had to take a course on how to blog can’t do that. Because if they did, they wouldn’t need the course.

This course description is hilarious.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to radiofreeca. | April 6, 2013 at 11:36 am

    In the spirit of full disclosure and truth in advertising, the course description should include:

    “The person who takes this course will be guaranteed an easy 4.0 to pad their GPA, as well as three class hours a week to text, sleep, daydream or sober-up. The only trade-off is that you must at least attempt to feign interest in a long-winded, full-tenured professor or, more likely a cynical, angry TA, who will bloviate and expound upon the esoterica of something that he/she is as disinterested in as you are.

    “The only course requirement will be to create a web-located page that will at least pass the most rudimentary scrutiny as to what constitutes a blog. You may actually pour your angst, ennui and anger onto its pages, only to have your fragile egos bruised when no one but your poor, aggrieved, long-suffering parents read it and tell you that if you stay in college another year, the money faucet will be shut off.

    “Meets Tue-Thu 230-400 in Wankershire Hall; Lab Monday night 800-830.”

Get your money for nothing, and your chicks for free. Somebody is getting paid to offer this course.

casualobserver | April 6, 2013 at 1:51 pm

My real question is who benefits from this class? Is there an “Internet” or “Blogging” degree? Perhaps this is associated with some other ‘social science’ program?? It reminds me of my college era, where in studying for an engineering degree I was required to take what was called “humanistic-social electives.” Many took first and second year sociology or psychology classes. Most referred to them as “Duh” courses, because what was learned was pretty much obvious to most students who interacted with ‘human life forms’, as we joked. This was obvious even to nerdy engineers!! Easy A’s.

Likewise, this course is a meaningless placeholder, created to enrich the academy and give easy A’s to participants who have ever sat in front of a keyboard and screen. Surely it’s courses like this that prove how broken the higher education system is, yes?

I am amazed.

Next thing you know, they will be offering courses in commenting on blogs.

Imagine! not just someday earning doctorate in blogging but also a scientific degree in Blog Commenting!!! BSBC anyone?