Welcome to the Digital CrossRhodes — the intersection of Vincent Rhodes' academic, artistic & professional lives.

PhD Qualifying Exam Question 5

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Note: A draft of my questions for my PhD qualifying exam is due 09/24/10 for feedback from my Dissertation Seminar professor and peers. I will then submit them to my dissertation chair for more critique before submitting my final questions10/01/10 . I’ll be writing answers to these questions 10/15/10 – 10/18/10. Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome as I continue to polish, rewrite, panic… Well, you get the point. Please feel free to comment.

Question 5: Contributing to the Field

As colleges and universities expand their online learning options and offerings, fostering online community becomes increasingly important to prevent distance student attrition and promote more effective learning outcomes. Recognizing that a social media tool can enhance a sense of online classroom community (Potts, Gossett & Rhodes, 2010), identify best practices for integrating social media into the course design and briefly discuss some of the advantages of using it.  Be sure to situate your answer in a brief review of the scholarship that supports social media in online education. [revised 09/27/10]


Moderation or Presentation? Using Twitter Backchannel for More Effective Conference Presentations

Friday, May 21st, 2010

CW 2010 Presentation (West Lafayette, IN) | May 22, 2010 • 10:15-11:30 a.m. | Panel F6


Old Dominion University


Ubiquitous Wi-Fi access via portable computers and mobile devices has given rise to Twitter conference revolts. One casualty: the “sage on the stage” presentation model. C&W 2009 digital backchannel participants witnessed this during the #cw09happening. Analyzing this keynote address via Actor-Network Theory reveals critical considerations for better engaging audience members.


Tweetagogy: Building Community in 140 Characters or Less

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

ATTW 2010 Presentation (Louisville, KY) | March 17, 2010 • 4-5:15 p.m.


Old Dominion UniversityCeME Lab • #CeME


The concept of online classroom community has become more important as universities begin to deal with concerns regarding distance learning students’ potential experience of isolation and disconnectedness. This case study seeks to empirically validate the existence of such an online community in the Summer Doctoral Institute at Old Dominion University and determine whether Twitter functions as an effective facilitator of that community.


SNS: Definition, History, & Scholarship

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Since Chvonne will have presented some background on danah boyd, I’ll focus on Nicole Ellison in this entry. Ellison is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media at Michigan State University. He primary interest is how new information and  technologies shape social processes. She has published extensively and you can see an incomplete list of those works on her research page. Ellison has a blog and she also recently won a grant to study the role of social network sites in facilitating collaborative processes.

Ellison and boyd define social network sites as “web-based services that allow individuals to: (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system” (211). The authors choose the term “network” over “networking” because they choose to place emphasis on the network itself as opposed to the ability to meet strangers. According to boyd and Ellison, the rise of social network sites reflect a shift in the organization of online communities. Rather than communities organized along topical hierarchies, social networks are orgnized on personal or “egocentric” networks.

In their historical review of the development of social network sites, the authors note a few key observations:

  1. Research suggests SNS tend to support pre-existing social networks.
  2. There is sometimes a disconnect between privacy concerns and actual online behavior with participants expressing varying levels of trust for different sites.

[NOTE: This summary/post is incomplete.]


Peering into Disaster with Liza Potts

Sunday, November 8th, 2009
Liza Potts, Old Dominion Uniersity

Liza Potts, Old Dominion Uniersity

Okay, so this is a little odd. We’ve been doing brief bios for the authors we’ve been reading throughout the semester. But, in this case, you all know the author. She’s our professor. In any event, here are some of the usual details: She’s clearly on Twitter, we’ve seen her Academia.edu page, and we’ve visited her LinkedIn account. You can see a link of selected publications on her ODU faculty page. Potts earned her undergraduate degree from Florida Atlantic University and her Masters and PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

In Peering into Disaster: Social Softawre Use from the Indian Ocean Earthquake to the Mumbai Bombings, Potts defines social software as “any Internet-based networked system that provides a space for people to come together, share and exchange information, and build community, however temporary it may be.” She notes that interactions studied occurred across a variety of platforms/services including LiveJournal, BBC News, Craigslist, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and blogs.

Potts uses Actor-Network Theory (ANT) as a critical framework for evaluating interactions via these social networks. In her 2008 article Diagramming with actor network theory: A method for modeling holistic experience, she explains:

ANT suggests that we examine human and non-human actors equally, giving neither priority [7]. Thus people and technology are regarded as equal agents of action. According to ANT, actors are constantly in motion, creating and leaving networks and associations with other actors. Rather than pigeonhole these associations, ANT seeks to observe these traces and let the actors instruct the designer as to what the connections might mean (np).

You can review more about ANT on Wikipedia. Bruno Latour’s Reassembling the Social is an excellent resource for more in-depth study of ANT.




Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

So, as part of our class exploration of social media tools, we dove in to Academia.edu. I created my profile as required. It was pretty straightforward. I was reminded as I perused lists to determine my research interests that different disciplines claim the territory we are studying. At some point, I should probably go back and review the lists more closely. My first reaction was to look for the category “English” since that’s the department I’m in, but it didn’t really offers the sub-categories/areas of interest I was looking for. I didn’t add a CV at this time because, frankly, I don’t have an academic CV. I have a resume… but this isn’t LinkedIn and I’m not sure what I have is appropriate for this venue since it is more focused on industry rather than academic endeavors. I enjoyed logging a few of the books I’ve read as part of Masters and PhD studies And, I enjoyed the department diagram.

One thing I’m not really sure I have the hang of is the KEYWORDS feature. I see it Dave’s and Liza’s pages, but I’m not sure how to make it active for mine. I searched for help, but didn’t really find what I was looking for. It’s possible I wasn’t using the right terms… or that the info I’m looking for wasn’t easily accessible. I ran a few Google searches for my name, but the football player of the same name from Baylor still ranks more highly than me (first two hits; no surprise there). My Facebook page comes in third, my Twitter page 5th, LinkedIn profile 8th, class blog 9th, and then various excerpts from news reports on Zoom Info that date from my stint as Communications Manager at Norfolk Public Schools rank 10th on the search. (That’s just the first page. Ironically, my portfolio site and Academia.edu listings didn’t appear until the third page of Google results.) [Side Note: It occurs to me, in light of our discussions of the Panopticon and participatory surveillance, that I’ve just connected quite a few “digital identity” dots for someone with this post. Oh well!]

In any event, I thought the site was fairly easy to use. I also can see how it would be helpful for academics looking to make connections. It’s clearly geared for a specific community (for example, there are no categories for administrators in higher ed) and it appears it can be pretty successful in serving that niche. With that said, I’m not sure how much I’ll use it. Perhaps I have social media fatigue, but I find I barely update my Facebook status anymore. I rarely have used LinkedIn. I tweet most regularly (but that could be because I have to use it for class). I’m just not sure I want to invest the time to update so many sites. I guess we’ll have to see…


Virtual Panopticon?

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

Meet Anders Albrechtslund

Anders Albrechtslund

Anders Albrechtslund

Our exploration of issues surrounding privacy and control relative to social media continues with Anders Albrechtslund’s First Monday article Online Social Networking as Participatory Surveillance. On his website, Albrechtslund identifies his research interests as:

Persuasive design, persuasive technology, blogging, social networking, social software, web 2.0, surveillance studies, philosophy of technology, philosophy of science, computer ethics, trusted computing, values in design, human-computer interaction, interaction design, science technology society studies (STS), artificial intelligence (AI), electronic patient records (EPR).

He currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Psychology at Aalborg University in Denmark. He received his PhD in Information Studies in 2008 from Aalborg University, his MA in Philosophy in 2003 from the University of Southern Denmark, and his BA in Philosophy in 1999 from the University of Odense in Denmark. His dissertation, In the Eyes of the Beholder: Introducing participation and ethics to surveillance, posits the concept of “participatory surveillance.” An English summary of his dissertation is available online. Albrechtslund has published and presented extensively and can be found on Twitter (@Albrechtslund), LinkedIn, and Facebook. (Given his take on participatory surveillance and online identity construction, I thought it appropriate to include these links.)



All A-Twitter

Saturday, September 26th, 2009
Susan C. Herring, Professor of Information Science at Indiana University Bloomington

Susan C. Herring, Professor of Information Science at Indiana University Bloomington

In Beyond Microblogging: Conversation and Collaboration via Twitter, Courtenay Honeycutt and Susan C. Herring examine how Twitter is used (particularly English-language tweets) and conjecture about the potential of using Twitter for collaborative endeavors. They seek to answer five research questions:

  1. What is the breakdown of the language of tweets across time periods, and to what extent is the @ sign used in tweets in different languages?
  2. How do instances of the @ sign function in English tweets?
  3. What do people twitter about, and does it vary for tweets with and without the @sign?
  4. To what extent do English @ messages that are directed to others receive responses, either with or without @ signs?
  5. How long, and how coherent, are interactive exchanges , and to what extent do they make use of the @ sign?

Author Background

Herring received her MA and PhD in Linguistics from UC Berkley and has served as a past editor of the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication and as current editor of Language@Internet. She is a Professor of Information Science at Indiana University Bloomington and has published extensively. In case you are interested in following her, Herring has a Twitter account.

Courtenay Honeycutt received her MA in Speech Communication from Penn State and is a PhD candidate at Indiana University Bloomington. Honeycutt also has published several articles. (Note: Honeycutt did not include a photo on her bio page or CV. The only image I found of her is a “social” snapshot so I elected not to post it.)