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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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    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.”

    Valerie | April 6, 2013 at 10:03 am

    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?

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