How wonderful it was to see and hear everyone in seminar Thursday. We are off and thesis-ing.

I enjoyed your round of introductions; the video has been linked in our Slack (the #general channel, cough cough a reason to get into Slack!). You will also find the intros from Mia Zamora’s Networked Transformation students at the University of Bergen.

These are my suggestions for things to do before Thursday’s seminar…

  • Sign into Slack. It’s not terribly complex to figure out, it’s more or less group messaging. See some of the intro information posted on this site. Greet and meet people in the #general channel. There are likely GIFS and memes flowing in the #randomchannel. Perhaps consider an interesting link in the #weblinks channel If you lost the invite link let me know.
  • Schedule a one on one meeting with me this week. Use the doodle link sen via email to schedule a block of time, 30-45 minutes max. I’m thinking of doing this regularly for the first 2 weeks, and then as you or I choose/need
  • Net Smart Reading For discussion I’d like us all to read the intro chapter from Howard Rheingold’s Net Smart book (a public version from the publisher). I encourage you (but am not requiring) to start using in your online reading/research, for your own tracking, beyond discussing via annotations, the highlight tool can useful to organize and save ideas in your own account. You may want to think of some tags you can use to organize your own annotations.

    What does the idea of being net smart and thriving online mean for you in doing your thesis research? Does it have implications for your emerging topic?

    I may suggest as well (I am trying to get you copy ASAP) his chapter 3 on Participatory Culture. As you read this, and other things, please try identifying if this were Howard’s thesis is, what his claim or question is (and how might it be researched, shown).

    As other options you may watch 10 minute interview with Howard Rheingold about the book

    and a longer one hour talk at Google

    but watch only if this idea of thriving and using networks feels of interest.

  • What’s your blog? As soon as you can, and definitely before class, please send me via email the blog you want to use for documenting your process. If you use an existing blog, please let me know what category/tag you will use, This is so we can set up a small aggregator of our work; see the posts coming in so far via — next week I will introduce a more efficient, “Net Smart” way to follow a lot of blogs and news sources.

    Again there are no assigned writings in your blog, but I’d like to see 1 to many posts per week, even short ones. Think of it more as a notebook than a publication? Just to capture ideas, possible connections as you think of them. Short posts are fine.

    Use hyperlinks whereever reasonable to help link to terms, resources, even previous ideas.

    Reading your ideas, questions is going to really help me understand your thinking. I will suggest using at least these 4 tags/categories/labels that can help network similar writings across our group:

      Topic: the shaping of your topic
      Questions: Things you are wondering, struggling with, lost on. This will help me to know when to seek others who might be able to help
      Ideas: Kind of open ended brainstorming, maybe things that might not seem directly related

    These are suggestions that I thought might help frame your blogging, feel free to add, alter, but using an organizational scheme will help in the long run.

From Thursday’s conversations you all have been doing good hard thinking about your topic, even if it does not feel well shaped, you have the seeds. There is some pressure (not right now) but over the next 6-8 weeks to solidify your topic, though out will be always being done as you write/create. Part of the honing/shaping is working to being explain it to people that do not have all the background and context.

So beyond a “Hello Thesis” introductory post in your blog, I will be asking that each of you try writing an overview and possible question/claim for your thesis. Even if you have not settled on the idea, try picking one of your ideas, and fleshing it out, trying to explain it to a reader who does not know anything of it. Just free write, it need not be an essay.

Reflecting back on my own MS thesis, it was quite easier, as my research was rather guided by my advisor’s funded research. That’s what makes an MA thesis that more challenging is you need to define it. I will suggest that as important and meaningful your work will be, in the end it’s going to be the entire process that counts more. When I opened and read some of of my old thesis, my first thought was how little it mattered on its own. But the research, the writing, the thinking, the sweating, and the succeeding in the end are the real outcomes.

In Seminar

An outline of what we likely will cover today, milage may vary 😉

  • Hellos and what’s new (why we are social, right?)
  • NetSmart Discussion aka seminar style. We will aim for brainstorming in an open Google Doc any questions we’d like to ask Howard. Include your twitter name, because the ones we decide on… you will ask! Tweet out with #resnetsem (must I say that?)
  • Tool Time Talking, reviewing… Slack, Twitter (let’s do Question of the the week 2),, Organizing a Messy Google Drive, Blogging.
  • Break Where is the coffee?
  • Writing Activity (it’s a secret now, but you will need old school analog pen and paper, at least 3 sheets of the latter).
  • Stuff For Next Week Write out your most cohesive as of now topic brief as a Gdoc. Get in the networks, blog blog blog, schedule another 1:1 talk time with me.

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