Author Archives: profpignetti


A little tech humor at post-midterm:

Autocorrect Humanity (Turkle-esque)

I’ve got my Intro to Professional Communication students blogging this semester as well, with the main difference from your assignment being that they are to create their own individual blog spaces and post twice a week. The posts aren’t readings-based, but instead should:

  • focus on the issues and trends in communication/journalism/technology that you find most interesting, and
  • cultivate your voice and draws your classmates’ attention to images or articles you’ve found online

See my recent blog post about this project, which includes all the info I presented at The Teaching Professor Technology conference a couple weeks ago. I won’t say more about the work it takes on my end to evaluate 44 separate spaces, but as I do their midterm blog evals I have to say I’ve been impressed!

A few students this semester have shared this video (now at 7.8 million views!), and had I seen it before putting together the midterm exam, I would have included it on the list of supplemental resources. Give it a watch and let me know what you think:


How Social Media Is Changing The World

A cool infographic one of my Digital Humanities undergrads found that I felt was worth sharing as we close the semester!

slideshares on blogs

Here’s some food for thought regarding the many uses of blogs. In fact, I’ll probably link to these popular slideshare presentations the next time I assign the blog literacy “test post” because I think they cover a lot of ground.


I do wonder why the “11 advantages” presentation took 65 slides and the “25 styles” one took 28 slides, but the thing with slideshare is remembering that these slides were created for actual presentations and their authors chose to share them here after the fact. So maybe the 65 slides were used as background while the presenter was extemporaneously speaking to the audience about the topic at hand?

Either way, enjoy and let me know what you think!

Turkle vs. Johnson

Just in time for your midterm: “Lonely, but united: Sherry Turkle and Steven Johnson on Technology’s Pain and Promise.” 

I can’t get the video embed code to work here, but please watch that dialogue. The 10-13 minute marks are quite interesting to me in terms of the reception of Turkle’s book and how she’s been slammed for being critical of the web.

This exchange actually reminds me a lot of the Keen vs. Weinberger “Reply All” debate from July 2007 titled “The Good, the Bad, And the ‘Web 2.0,'” although that exchange is more about the useless noise vs information filtering aspects of the web rather than people’s behaviors/online addictions.

Feel free to refer to either of this exchanges in your midterm responses.

Me! Me! Me! Otherwise known as social networking


I’ve been discussing visualizations and infographics with my ENGL 335 Digital Humanities students [check out their course blog here], and I came across this. Relevant to this week’s readings and blog posts, right?


interfere with the interface

Heidi’s geek rap reminded me of this TED talk. I would have left the link as a comment there, but figured I should keep up with the vivid posts we’ve got going on!

alone together etiquette

Ever since I read Alone Together last Spring, my husband and I use Turkle’s book title to describe moments like these, especially when we’re out to eat and I’m tweeting or texting someone.

A friend of mine posted this image on Facebook with the caption, “For my bosses at work.” He works at a management consulting firm, not on a laptop campus like I do, but this led me to wonder about a committee meeting I was at a few weeks ago.

Instead of printing out documents or carrying my laptop with me, I only brought my iPhone and accessed the documents from it. While there were plenty of people at the meeting with laptops and iPads, I felt self-concious after a few minutes because I wondered if people thought I was texting or checking Facebook. For this reason, I made consistent eye contact with whomever was speaking and also kept my iPhone screen visible to anyone near me so they knew I was only looking at meeting-related documents.

Who knows, perhaps no one even noticed, but as the youngest and newest person on this committee, I had to wonder what people might be thinking. What would you have thought about a person reading from his/her phone? Do you work in places where the laptop or Ipad might be more accepted at a meeting than an iPhone or Blackberry? Or does it even matter since we know what Smartphones are capable of these days?

“it’s this thin geeky line that keeps it going”

Because I watched this video with my freshman today and because of Chris’s comment to Nate’s post, I thought it might be nice to share Jonathan Zittrain’s TED talk on some of the nicer things that happen on the web.

For more on the community ethos of Wikipedia or what Zittrain refers to as “random acts of kindness by geeky strangers,” be sure to watch Jimmy Wales’ TED talk too. Actually, while I’m link sharing, I also came across this story on the success of Wikipedia today.


via Jonathan Zittrain: The Web as random acts of kindness | Video on

Steve’s Apple

“Three Apples changed the World, one seduced Eve,one fell on Newton and the third was offered to the World,half bitten by Steve Jobs.” – BBC


RIP Steve Jobs

In Laura Gurak’s 2001 book Cyberliteracy: Navigating the Internet with Awareness, she defines “cyberliteracy” as inherent of four traits:

  • SPEED:  the Internet inspires speediness; it is one of the key features of Internet communication.  And this speed inspires certain behaviors and qualities.
  • REACH:  partner of speed and one of the axioms of communication technology.  Digitized discourse travels quickly and it also travels widely to reach thousands, even millions, quickly!
  • ANONYMITY:  sometimes you really never know who is at the other end of an electronic text.  In cyberspace, the identity behind what you see floating on the screen is not always what you imagine.
  • INTERACTIVITY:  online communications technologies allow you to talk back.  Interactivity inspires us to consider—access to the inner circle [everyone can be part of the discussion and step through the screen], capacity to talk back [form communities of common interest], a two-way presence online [the lure of an audience of millions], ecommerce and connections to the customer [ways for customers to interact with each other and with customer service], privacy [more interactive a site, the greater the potential for privacy problems]

I mention this tonight to call attention to the first two traits. The speed with which news of Steve Jobs death has spread across Twitter and Facebook is astounding. And many of the “RIP” messages and memorials exemplify the reach he and Apple products have had over the years. now looks like this:




with the following call on  “If you would like to share your thoughts, memories, and condolences, please email”

Google and already have tributes up as well, but I’m most interested in seeing what Apple does with the emails it receives. Online memorials & crisis communications are very interesting to me…I’ll write more on this as the news emerges.

Social Media Revolution

There are tons of these types of videos, see here, but I’m using this one since it’s associated with our Socialnomics author, Erik Qualman:

Mena Trott on Blogs

In the test posts in the coming weeks I look forward to hearing your opinions on blogs and hope that the use of a course blog allows us to grow as a community of writers.

To get a sense of the types of blogs I prefer to read, check out this TEDTalk. As an owner of a blog hosting service, Mena Trott has an interesting take on how she sees people using blogs to express themselves.

<for some reason the code wasn't working from the actual site, but I found the talk on YouTube.>

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