Sunday, December 27, 2009

digital media production (spring 10)

in spring, i'm teaching three classes. one of them is digital media production. classes begin january 26, 2010.


digital media production
Tues & Thurs 8:30 - 10:15 am
Education 304

Professor: David Silver
Office: Kalmanovitz 141
Office Hours: Tues & Thurs 10:30 - 11:30 am & by appointment

Digital Media Production is a production course designed around creating, sharing, and collaborating with digital media. Using tools and platforms like facebook, twitter, flickr, yelp, blogs, google maps, and kiva, students will explore ideas of digital storytelling, transmedia, co-authorship, and large-scale collaboration. Readings and discussions about digital media history and culture will accompany and inform our production and participation.

Learning Goals:
1. To learn how to use digital media creatively and effectively;
2. To learn how to use digital media collectively and collaboratively;
3. To learn how to learn new tools quickly and independently; and
4. To learn about and participate within the intersections among digital media and social justice.

Required Texts/Costs:
o All readings are either a) free and online or b) will be made available for free in the library and outside my office.
o Although students will be able to complete their assignments with a free flickr account, you are encouraged, especially if interested in photography, to purchase a flickr pro account for $25.
o All students are required to make one $25 micro-loan, via kiva.org, which will be returned in full.

Calendar:

Tuesday, January 26
o Introduce ourselves, distribute syllabus, and discuss course expectations.
Thursday, January 28
o Clive Thompson, Brave New World of Digital Intimacy, New York Times Magazine, September 5, 2008.
o Rachel Dry, What Would Warhol Blog? Washington Post, August 16, 2009.
o Clay Shirky, How social media can make history, Ted Talks, June 2009.

Tuesday, February 2
o Lee and Sachi LeFever, Social Networking in Plain English, Common Craft, June 27, 2007.
o danah boyd and Nicole B. Ellison, Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1).
o Kate Miller-Heidke, Are You F*cking Kidding Me? (Facebook Song), YouTube
Thursday, February 4
o Justin Smith, Exclusive: Discussing the Future of Facebook with CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Inside Facebook, June 3, 2009.
o Stephanie Clifford, Ads Follow Web Users, and Get More Personal, New York Times, July 30, 2009.
o Lori Aratani, When Mom or Dad Asks To Be a Facebook "Friend," Washington Post, March 9, 2008.
o Kevin Bankston, Facebook's New Privacy Changes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Electronic Frontier Foundation, December 9, 2009.

Tuesday, February 9
o Demo Day: Facebook
Thursday, February 11
o Henry Jenkins, Why Heather Can Write, Technology Review, February 6, 2004.
o Samantha M. Shapiro, Revolution, Facebook-Style: Can social networking turn disaffected young Egyptians into a force for democratic change? New York Times Magazine, January 22, 2009.
o Ira Glass, On good taste ... This American Life (Video: 5:20).

Tuesday, February 16
o Lee and Sachi LeFever, Twitter in Plain English, Common Craft, March 5, 2008.
o Ben Parr, HOW TO: Retweet on Twitter, Mashable, April 16, 2009.
o Mashable, How #FollowFriday Works
o Marko, Twitter Etiquette: 7 Common Sense Rules for Twitter, Twitter Tips blog, December 20, 2009.
o Virginia Heffernan, Hashing Things Out: How Hashtags are Remaking Conversations on Twitter, New York Times Magazine, August 7, 2009
Thursday, February 18
o Steven Johnson, How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live, Time, June 5, 2009.
o Michael Wesch, An anthropological introduction to YouTube, presented at the Library of Congress, June 23, 2008 (Video: 55.33).

Tuesday, February 23
o Demo Day: Twitter
Thursday, February 25
o Noam Cohen, Refining the Twitter Explosion, New York Times, November 8, 2009.
o Stan Schroeder, How Twitter Conquered the World in 2009, Mashable, December 25, 2009.
o Adrian Higgins, We can't see the forest for the T-Mobiles, Washington Post, December 15, 2009.

Tuesday, March 2
o Lee and Sachi LeFever, Online Photo Sharing in Plain English, Common Craft, January 9, 2008.
o Virginia Heffernan, Sepia No More, New York Times Magazine, April 27, 2008.
o Michael Kimmelman, At Louvre, Many Stop to Snap but Few Stay to Focus, New York Times, August 2, 2009.
o Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio, Hungry Planet: What the World Eats, Part II, Time Magazine.
Thursday, March 4
o Noam Cohen, Use My Photo? Not Without Permission, New York Times, October 1, 2007.
o Noam Cohen, Historical Photos in Web Archives Gain Vivid New Lives, New York Times, January 18, 2009.
o Jennifer Woodard Maderazo, Flickr Changes Lives, Launches Photog Careers, MediaShift blog, August 2, 2007.
o Chris Colin, Nasty as they wanna be? Policing Flickr.com, SF Gate, September 29, 2008.

Tuesday, March 9
o Demo Day: Flickr
Thursday, March 11
o Gina Trapani, Geek to Live: Flickr Advanced User Guide, Lifehacker blog, February 15, 2006.
o Adam Ostrow, Flickr2Twitter: Flickr Enters the Twitter Stream, Mashable blog, June 30, 2009.
o Ben Parr, 5 Impressive Mashups of Twitter and Flickr, May 11, 2009.
o Try out iMapFlickr.

Tuesday, March 16: SPRING BREAK!
Thursday, March 18: SPRING BREAK!

Tuesday, March 23
o Kathleen Richards, Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0, East Bay Express, February 18, 2009.
o Deborah Gage, S.F. Yelp user faces lawsuit over review, San Francisco Chronicle, January 8, 2009.
Thursday, March 25
o Stephen Baker, Will Work for Praise: The Web's Free-Labor Economy, Business Week, December 28, 2008.
o Eric Karjaluoto, Is Tim Ferriss acting like an asshole? ideasonideas, August 11, 2009.

Tuesday, March 30
o Demo Day: Yelp
Thursday, April 1
o Stacy Schiff, Know it All: Can Wikipedia conquer expertise? The New Yorker, July 31, 2006.
o Rob Walker, Handmade 2.0, New York Times Magazine, December 16, 2007.

Tuesday, April 6
o Scott Rosenberg, Putting Everything Out There [Justin Hall] from Say Everything.
Thursday, April 8
o Tom Coates, (Weblogs and) The Mass Amateurisation of (Nearly) Everything... plasticbag.org, September 3, 2003.
o Doree Shafrir, Would You Take a Tumblr With This Man? New York Observer, January 15, 2008.

Tuesday, April 13
o Christian Kreutz, Maptivism: Maps for activism, transparency and engagement, Crisscrossed blog, September 14, 2009.
o Christian Kreutz, 6 innovative grassroot mashups for transparency, Crisscrossed blog, May 5, 2008.
Thursday, April 15
o Mark S. Luckie, 7 Unique and innovative maps, 10,000 Words blog, October 21, 2009.
o David Sasaki, Maps for Social Change and Community Involvement, Idea Lab blog, April 24, 2009.
o Rex Sorgatz, A Data Point on Every Block: An Interview with Adrian Holovaty, Fimoculous, February 14, 2008.
o Try out Green Maps.

Tuesday, April 20
o Demo Day: Google Maps
Thursday, April 22:
o Collaboration Workshop

Tuesday, April 27
o Henry Jenkins, "Searching for the Oragami Unicorn: The Matrix and Transmedia Storytelling," in Convergence Culture, pp. 95-134.
Thursday, April 29
o The Extended Reality of Cross-Media Storytelling, Power to the Pixel, February 4, 2009.
o Why So Serious? Marketing Overview
o Welcome to a World Without Oil
o Stefanie Olsen, Provocative politics in virtual games, CNET News, March 28, 2007.

Tuesday, May 4
o Alice Rawsthorn, Winning Ways of Making a Better World, New York Times, August 30, 2009.
o Frontline/World, Uganda - A Little Goes a Long Way, PBS, October 31, 2006.
o Martin Plaut, Internet loans swing towards US, BBC News, June 10, 2009.
o Erick Schonfeld, Four Years After Founding, Kiva Hits $100 Million In Microloans, TechCrunch, November 1, 2009.
Thursday, May 6
o Demo Day: kiva

Tuesday, May 11
o Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?The Atlantic, July/August 2008.
o David Carr, The Fall and Rise of Media, New York Times, November 29, 2009.
Thursday, May 13
o To be determined.

This class has no final exam.

Grading:
20% - Reading quizzes and in-class assignments
20% - Class and online participation
20% - Demo Days
20% - Projects
20% - Final Project

If you are concerned about your grade, you can request a meeting with me anytime during the semester.

Rulez:
1. Read all assigned readings and view all assigned videos prior to class.
2. In class, listen to and learn from everyone.
3. No late work accepted.
4. If you have no new work on Demo Day, do not come to class.
5. Publish work under your own name.
6. Starting January 28, no drinking out of non-reusable containers in class. Be creative with your thirst-quenching solutions.

Friday, December 18, 2009

graduation day

at this year's graduation ceremony, USF's school of business and professional studies gave craig newmark, founder of craigslist, an honorary degree. i had the pleasure of introducing him.


my remarks looked something like this:

Back in 2007, there was a guy named Sean who owned a home in San Francisco. A nice home, near Chinatown, with one problem: the attic. The attic was full of rats. Based on a tip he received from a hardware store, Sean filled the attic with peanut butter-flavored cubes of poison. The idea was that the rats would eat the cubes, become extremely thirsty, and scuttle out of the house. The rats did indeed eat the cubes, but instead of getting thirsty and leaving for a drink, they died. Now Sean’s attic was full of dead, stinky rats. So Sean did what millions of other people do - he posted to Craigslist. In exchange for ridding his attic of dead rats, he offered 5000 CDs from his personal music collection.

I find this story fascinating for three reasons. First, it is amazing that a significant transaction - dead rats for 5000 CDs - can take place without a single dollar bill exchanged. No cash register was needed. No paypal. No shopping mall.

Second, this simple exchange requires a complex trust between two people. It requires civility. It requires human beings treating human beings like human beings.

The third reason I love this story has nothing to do with Sean, or the rats, or the 5000 CDs. It’s about what happens when many, many people use Craigslist. Craigslist was started as a hobby by Craig Newmark in early 1995. Today, more than 35 million viewers in 55 countries use Craigslist. Now, when people use Craigslist, they seldom pay for classified ads, and when people don’t pay for classified ads, it is difficult for newspapers, at least in the United States, to exist. In this way, and in many other ways, Craigslist is what we in media studies call a disruptive technology. Craigslist is a game changer. It disrupts the existing order.

In this way, Craig Newmark and Craigslist are quite similar to USF. After all, the motto of USF is not "Educating minds and hearts to make a lot of money." Nor is the motto of USF "Educating minds and hearts to maintain the status quo." The motto of USF is "Educating minds and hearts to change the world." Change the world. Be disruptive.

Today, we honor Craig Newmark, the entrepreneur who founded Craigslist. The University of San Francisco is proud to honor Craig for his success at directing technology to promote "a common good that transcends the interests of particular individuals or groups." The University does, therefore, confer upon Craig Newmark the degree of Doctor of Humane letters, honoris causa, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereunto. Given this eighteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand and nine, and of the University, the hundredth and fifty-fourth, in San Francisco, California.


to the graduating class of 2009 - congratulations and may you be disruptive.

Friday, December 11, 2009

the herb garden

the herb garden in the front yard is beginning to take shape.


(click on the image for a larger view)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

retiring RCCS

in fall 1994, i began grad school in american studies at the university of maryland, researching and teaching about a new and obscure technology called the internet.

it was a perfect time and place to study new media. at maryland, i was able to work with and learn from john caughey, debra deruyver, katie king, bob kolker, myron lounsbury, ed martini, jo paoletti, kelly quinn, jason rhody, ben shneiderman, mary corbin sies, martha nell smith, donald snyder, and ellen yu borkowski. it was awesome.

what wasn't awesome was the larger academic community, or lack thereof. in those days, one would be lucky to find a single panel on "cyberspace" or the "world wide web" at an academic conference or to find a single article in an academic journal. these were the old days - before conferences like digital arts and culture (or DAC, first held in 1998) or the association of internet researchers (or AoIR, first held in 2000), before internet clusters like the berkman center for internet and society (established in 1998) or the oxford internet institute (established in 2001). back then, academic interest in the internet was building, but an academic community was hard to find.

in fall 1996, i enrolled in an independent study with myron lounsbury. the goal of the independent study was to build a web site which in turn would help foster a community, an online community, that would connect scholars and students interested in studying the internet. i began by collecting relevant course syllabi and conference calls - the two key ingredients for any emerging field of study - and posted them on the web site. i called the site the resource center for cyberculture studies, or RCCS, and launched it on december 8, 1996.


a few months later, i received a review copy of wayne rash, jr.'s politics on the nets: wiring the political process. i found the book interesting, wrote a review of it, and in july 1997 published the review on RCCS. the idea behind RCCS reviews was simple: review books about contemporary media and culture from any and all disciplinary persuasions. i decided RCCS would review books because, first, books often contain interesting, well-developed ideas and arguments, something a new field of study needs and thrives on, and, second, books, unlike web sites which began to multiple and remix at an alarming rate by 1997, are finite in number. the book reviews quickly became the heart of RCCS.

a month later, fellow maryland grad student will winton's review of gary g. gach's writers.net: every writer's essential guide to online resources and opportunities generated a new feature: the author response. shortly after publishing winton's review, i received an email from gach who was excited to see his book reviewed but eager to explain his side of the story. i invited the author to write a response, he did, and the author response was born. when it worked well, the book review + author response fostered a rich and ripe dialogue - a conversation between reviewer and reviewed.



in 1998, a new feature appeared: multiple reviews of a single book. having received a new batch of books in need of reviewers, i distributed a call for reviewers to various lists. when multiple scholars asked to review richard lanham's the electronic word: democracy, technology and the arts, i asked the publisher for an extra review copy. they said yes, i assigned the book to two reviewers, and the multiple reviews feature was born. later, RCCS would routinely feature two, three, four, and even five reviews of a single book. coupled with an author response, these multiple reviews offer multiple perspectives into a complex topic.


from the start, the book reviews and author responses were free and publicly accessible. they were also written by a range of scholars - from graduate students in their first years to full professors in their last years - representing all kinds of fields and disciplines within the arts, humanities, social sciences, and science and technology. refusing a single disciplinary orientation, RCCS included them all.

on december 1, 2009, i published the last (and excellent!) set of RCCS book reviews and author responses. although there will be no more new reviews and responses, the existing ones will remain online as a free and publicly accessible archive.

it's been a nice run. for help along the way: a big and long-lasting thanks to my maryland peeps who helped launch RCCS; a big, big thanks to john klockner and alex fedosov who helped host and configure RCCS; and a massive thanks to nectarine group who helped redesign RCCS.

but most of all, thanks to the hundreds of reviewers who contributed their time, labor, and good ideas to RCCS and to the readers who took the time to read a review or two.

new (and last) set of reviews in cyberculture studies (december 09)

each month, RCCS Reviews pumps out free, full-length reviews of books about contemporary media and culture. this month, RCCS Reviews features 10 reviews of 8 books with 4 author responses. books of the month for december 2009 are:


Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary
Author: N. Katherine Hayles
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press, 2008
Review 1: Pramod K. Nayar
Review 2: Luis Amate Perez
Author Response: N. Katherine Hayles

Global Capital, Local Culture: Transnational Media Corporations in China
Author: Anthony Y.H. Fung
Publisher: Peter Lang, 2008
Review 1: Hanna Cho
Author Response: Anthony Y.H. Fung

Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination
Author: Matthew G. Kirschenbaum
Publisher: MIT Press, 2008
Review 1: Viola Lasmana
Review 2: Jentery Sayers
Author Response: Matthew Kirschenbaum

Scholarship in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet
Author: Christine L. Borgman
Publisher: MIT Press, 2007
Review 1: Denise N. Rall

Signs of Life: Bio Art and Beyond
Editor: Eduardo Kac
Publisher: MIT Press, 2006
Review 1: Yazan Haddad

Small Tech: The Culture of Digital Tools
Editor: Byron Hawek, David M. Rieder, Ollie Oviedo
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press, 2008
Review 1: Brenda Berkelaar

Technology in a Multicultural and Global Society
Editor: May Thorseth, Charles Ess
Publisher: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 2005
Review 1: Delia D. Dumitrica
Author Response: Charles Ess and May Thorseth

Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software
Author: Christopher M. Kelty
Publisher: Duke University Press, 2008
Review 1: Tim Jordan

enjoy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

learning to look and listen

this semester's digital media production class, or #DMP09, has been among the most creative and collaborative i've ever taught. the combination of easy-to-use social media like twitter, flickr, and facebook with the creativity and curiosity of the students has made for a prolific semester. but between my making media mantra - "create, collaborate, share!" i bark to my students, "now do it again! and again! and again!" - i took extra steps this semester to encourage them to simply look and listen.

over the course of the semester, we've taken campus field trips to spots with spectacular views. first, with help from twitter, we met in kalmanavitz 499, overlooking main campus, where many of us began looking at our campus for the first time.



later in the semester, we hiked up lone mountain and met in the president's conference room, a room with a gorgeous view of the city and the bay.



and yesterday we climbed the steps of st. ignatius church, all the way to the bell tower, to get new perspectives of the campus and city we call home.




i'm immensely proud of DMP09 students' abilities to create, collaborate, and share. i'm equally proud of their growing abilities to look and listen.

Friday, October 30, 2009

new reviews in cyberculture studies (november 2009)

each month, RCCS Reviews pumps out free, full-length reviews of books about contemporary media and culture. this month, RCCS Reviews features 13 reviews of 9 books with 5 author responses! books of the month for november 2009 are:


Ambivalence Towards Convergence: Digitalisation and Media Change
Editors: Tanja Storsul, Dagny Stuedahl
Publisher: Nordicom, 2007
Review 1: Fiona Martin

Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage
Author: Axel Bruns
Publisher: Peter Lang, 2008
Review 1: Verena Laschinger
Review 2: Alan Razee
Review 3: Erin Stark
Author Response: Axel Bruns

Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times
Editor: Megan Boler
Publisher: MIT Press, 2008
Review 1: J. Patrick Biddix
Review 2: Mary K. Bryson
Author Response: Megan Boler

Displacing Place: Mobile Communication in the Twenty-First Century
Editor: Sharon Kleinman
Publisher: Peter Lang, 2007
Review 1: Kevin Douglas Kuswa
Review 2: Katheryn Wright
Author Response: Sharon Kleinman

Literatures in the Digital Era: Theory and Praxis
Editors: Amelia Sanz, Dolores Romero
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007
Review 1: Sara Humphreys

Making Digital Cultures: Access, Interactivity and Authenticity
Author: Martin Hand
Publisher: Ashgate, 2008
Review 1: Jen Ross
Author Response: Martin Hand

Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930-1970
Author: Christophe Lécuyer
Publisher: MIT Press, 2005
Review 1: Judith Otto

Moving Cultures: Mobile Communications in Everyday Life
Authors: André H. Caron, Letizia Caronia
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2007
Review 1: Erin Jonasson
Author Response: Letizia Caronia and André H. Caron

New Tech, New Ties: How Mobile Communication Is Reshaping Social Cohesion
Author: Rich Ling
Publisher: MIT Press, 2008
Review 1: Kathrin Kissau

enjoy. there's one more month's worth where that came from.

Friday, October 23, 2009

tuesday's homework

as discussed in class yesterday, tuesday's homework for digital media production is as follows:

READ: Gabriel Cohen's You Talkin’ to Me? New York's Brash, Boisterous Blogosphere; Malia Wollan, The Big Draw of a GPS Run; and Rex Sorgatz's A Data Point on Every Block: An Interview with Adrian Holovaty.

LEARN: google maps. this part of the assignment is optional: you have the option to learn google maps now or later.

LOG OFF: a) visit one place, restaurant, park, bar, store, water fountain, lake, cafe, bookstore, bus line, church, alley, or any other thing or place in the city of san francisco; b) soak it in; and c) collect, compile, and create a flickr set that includes the following information:


(be sure to tag your photos dmp09mapproject)

have a nice weekend.

Friday, October 16, 2009

yelp homework assignment

yelp homework for digital media production

1. create a profile on yelp. using your full, real name is optional.

2. write a yelp review about something or someone in san francisco.

3. when thinking about what makes a good review, consider reading some yelp reviews to get a sense of the style, tone, and flavor.

4. once you have posted your yelp review, tweet it. be sure to include a link from your tweet to your review. your tweet is due no later than monday night.

5. this assignment is not very demanding. therefore, do it really well.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

new reviews in cyberculture studies (october 2009)

each month, RCCS Reviews pumps out free, full-length reviews of books about contemporary media and culture. this month, RCCS Reviews features 8 reviews of 5 books with 3 author responses!

books of the month for october 2009 are:


20 Questions About Youth & the Media
Editor: Sharon R. Mazzarella
Publisher: Peter Lang, 2007
Review 1: Molly Swiger

Cyborgs and Barbie Dolls: Feminism, Popular Culture and the Posthuman Body
Author: Kim Toffoletti
Publisher: I.B. Tauris, 2007
Review 1: M. Beatrice Bittarello
Review 2: Birgit Pretzsch
Review 3: Nicholas Yanes
Author Response: Kim Toffoletti

Instant Identity: Adolescent Girls and the World of Instant Messaging
Author: Shayla Thiel Stern
Publisher: Peter Lang, 2007
Review 1: Andrea J. Baker
Author Response: Shayla Thiel Stern

Knowledge as a Commons: From Theory to Practice
Editor: Charlotte Hess, Elinor Ostrom
Publisher: MIT Press, 2007
Review 1: Colette Wanless-Sobel
Author Response: Elinor Ostrom and Charlotte Hess

Queer Girls and Popular Culture: Reading, Resisting, and Creating Media
Author: Susan Driver
Publisher: Peter Lang, 2007
Review 1: Lisa Justine Hernández
Review 2: Alison Miller-Slade

enjoy. there's a wee bit more where that came from.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

flickr assignment

flickr assignment for digital media production

1. by now, all of you have a flickr account. you know how to create sets and tag photos in flickr.

2. visit keri smith's everything i've consumed today. spend some time with it. consider sharing it with a friend, roommate, or classmate and having a conversation about it.

3. for one whole day (or 24 hours), photograph everything you consume. upload your photos to flickr, create a set, provocatively title the set, and strategically tag the photos. use as few or as many photos as necessary to tell a compelling and comprehensive story about your one day's worth of consumption.

4. in doing this assignment, be responsible and exercise good judgement with what you do and do not document. keep it real, but also keep it smart.

5. once your flickr set is finished, thick tweet it, making sure to include a link in your tweet to your flickr set.

6. on tuesday, october 6, demo your flickr set in class. during your demo, encourage, listen for, and receive suggestions on how to make your flickr set even better. it is your responsibility to solicit feedback. if you have no new work to demo, do not come to class.

7. in a one page, single-spaced essay turned in at the beginning of class on thursday, october 8, discuss your project, making sure to address two topics: a) what you learned about your own consumption behaviors from doing this project; and b) how you changed, altered, or otherwise improved your project as a direct result of what one or more of your classmates said during demo day. failure to alter your project and discuss this alteration in your essay will set your grade back considerably. no late work accepted.

Monday, September 14, 2009

twitter assignment

twitter assignment for digital media production

1. if you have not yet joined twitter, join twitter.

2. create a profile. use your real name. make your profile public.

3. find and follow all members of digital media production class.

4. search for and follow all people mentioned in all of our previous readings. this includes people who wrote the articles, people mentioned in the articles, people who made the videos, and people featured in the videos. you are free, of course, to unfollow any or all of these people, but only after first following them for a few days and reading through portions of their archive.

5. keep in mind that we will be using twitter extensively and in many different ways throughout the semester. the goal of this assignment is to get all of us up and running and connected with one another.

6. reply to at least one tweet.

7. post at least one RT.

8. post at least one #followfriday.

9. on tuesday, we will discuss in class the difference between thin and thick tweets. post at least one thick tweet. make it good.

10. in no more than a one-page single-spaced essay, discuss why you created your profile the way you did, introduce one person you follow, and explain why you find her/him interesting.

rules: a) on tuesday, september 22, be prepared to demo your work. demo whatever you wish to demo but be sure to include a discussion of your profile, one person you follow, and one thick tweet. if you have no work to demo, do not come to class; and b) your one page paper is due in class on thursday, september 24. no late work accepted.

hints: if you are an experienced twitter user, use this assignment and class to up your skills. if you have not yet used twitter, give it a chance before declaring it silly. finally, read and follow all the directions included in this assignment.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

facebook assignment

facebook assignment for digital media production

1. design a new or redesign an already existing facebook group. you may belong to the group but the group may not be about you.

2. when designing and creating your facebook group, seek and receive feedback from other people. consider talking to people who you think would join such a group; consider talking to the skeptics. seek and speak with more than a few people but not too many. above all, listen to what they say.

3. after carefully considering your feedback and paying special attention to the elements of social network sites discussed in Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship, create your facebook group.

4. once you have created your facebook group, design an outreach strategy that results in people (or "fans") joining your group. your goal with respect to fans may be size, niche, geographic diversity, or anything else - but you must have a goal and you must design an outreach strategy to meet that goal.

5. in no more than a one-page single-spaced essay, explain your facebook group, your goal, your outreach strategy, and the outcomes.

rules: a) on tuesday, september 8, be prepared to demo your work. if you have no work to demo, do not come to class; and b) your one page paper is due in class on thursday, september 10. no late work accepted.

hints: a) you are allowed to create a gag/joke group but i highly advise against it. instead, you should work on/with a group that actually means something to you; and b) the most important element of this project is learning to listen to other people.

new reviews in cyberculture studies (september 2009)

each month, RCCS Reviews pumps out free, full-length reviews of books about contemporary media and culture. this month, RCCS Reviews features 14 reviews of 7 books with 5 author responses!

books of the month for september 2009 are:


Digital Citizenship: The Internet, Society, and Participation
Authors: Karen Mossberger, Caroline J. Tolbert, Ramona S. McNeal
Publisher: MIT Press, 2008
Review 1: Carlos Nunes Silva

Digital Culture, Play and Identity: A World of Warcraft Reader
Editors: Hilde G Corneliussen, Jill Walker Rettberg
Publisher: MIT Press, 2008
Review 1: Shira Chess
Review 2: Jordan Patrick Lieser
Review 3: Christopher A. Paul
Author Response: Hilde G. Corneliussen and Jill Walker Rettberg

Ham Radio's Technical Culture
Author: Kristen Haring
Publisher: MIT Press, 2006
Review 1: Mark D. Johns
Review 2: Amanda R. Keeler
Author Response: Kristen Haring

iSpy: Surveillance and Power in the Interactive Era
Author: Mark Andrejevic
Publisher: University Press of Kansas, 2007
Review 1: Jacob Kramer-Duffield
Review 2: W. Benjamin Myers
Review 3: Hiesun Cecilia Suhr
Review 4: A. Freya Thimsen
Author Response: Mark Andrejevic

Online Social Support: The Interplay of Social Networks and Computer-Mediated Communication
Author: Antonina Bambina
Publisher: Cambria Press, 2007
Review 1: Willem de Koster
Review 2: Fred Stutzman
Author Response: Antonina Bambina

Surviving the New Economy
Editors: John Amman, Tris Carpenter, Gina Neff
Publisher: Paradigm Publishers, 2007
Review 1: Maria Rosales-Sequeiros
Author Response: John Amman, Tris Carpenter, and Gina Neff

Theorizing Digital Cultural Heritage: A Critical Discourse
Editors: Fiona Cameron, Sarah Kenderdine
Publisher: MIT Press, 2007
Review 1: Jennifer Way

enjoy. there's a wee bit more where that came from.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

first day of class

yesterday in digital media production, instead of printing out 13 copies of my 6-page syllabus, i copied the URL, pasted it 13 times, and printed it out on bright green paper. then i cut the piece of paper into fortune cookie-like strips and handed them out to students in class.


using colored markers and a whiteboard, my students recorded their experience (or lack thereof) with the 7 digital platforms we'll be using this semester: facebook, twitter, flickr, yelp, blogs, google maps, and kiva.


and once again i included what i'm now calling the green and golden rule (USF's school colors!) - green because it's more sustainable and golden because it saves my students and me money.


despite the room we were assigned (on a scale of 1-5 our room's technology level is, literally, 0 - and this is for a class on digital media production), i have high hopes for this class and the 13 students in it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

digital media production (fall 09)

this fall, i'm teaching a special topics course called digital media production. classes begin tuesday, august 25.


digital media production
Tues & Thurs 10:30 - 12:15
Professional Studies 227

Professor: David Silver
Office: Kalmanovitz 141
Office Hours: Tues & Thurs 9 - 10 am & by appointment

Digital Media Production is a special topics course designed around creating, sharing, and collaborating with digital media. Students will make digital media using facebook, twitter, flickr, yelp, blogs, google maps, transmedia, and kiva. Readings and discussions about digital media history and culture will accompany and inform our production and participation.

Learning Goals:
1. To learn how to use digital media creatively and effectively;
2. To learn how to use digital media collectively and collaboratively;
3. To learn how to learn new tools quickly and independently;
4. To learn about digital media history and culture; and
5. To experiment with the intersections among digital media and social justice.

Required Texts/Costs:
o Jessica Abel and Ira Glass, Radio: An Illustrated Guide (Chicago: WBEZ, 2008) - $5 (includes shipping)
o flickr pro account, $25
o One loan, via kiva.org, which will be returned in full.

Calendar:

Week 1: Introductions
Tuesday, August 25
o Introduce ourselves, distribute syllabus, and discuss course expectations.
Thursday, August 27
o Clive Thompson, Brave New World of Digital Intimacy, New York Times Magazine, September 5, 2008.
o Rachel Dry, What Would Warhol Blog? Washington Post, August 16, 2009.
o Clay Shirky, How social media can make history, Ted Talks, June 2009.

Weeks 2-3: Social Media and Facebook
Tuesday, September 1
o Lee and Sachi LeFever, Social Networking in Plain English, Common Craft, June 27, 2007.
o danah boyd and Nicole B. Ellison, Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1).
o Kate Miller-Heidke, Are You F*cking Kidding Me? (Facebook Song), YouTube
Thursday, September 3
o Amanda Lenhart, Adults and Social Network Websites, Pew Internet and American Life Project, January 14, 2009.
o Justin Smith, Exclusive: Discussing the Future of Facebook with CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Inside Facebook, June 3, 2009.
o Stephanie Clifford, Ads Follow Web Users, and Get More Personal, New York Times, July 30, 2009.
o Chadwick Matlin, Facebook Cornering Market on E-Friends: Fight to Own Social Media Heats Up, Washington Post, August 16, 2009.

Tuesday, September 8
o Demo Day: Facebook
Thursday, September 10
o David Gauntlett, Participation culture, creativity, and social change, YouTube, November 12, 2008.
o Due: Facebook Project

Weeks 4-5: Identity, Community, and Twitter
Tuesday, September 15
o Lee and Sachi LeFever, Twitter in Plain English, Common Craft, March 5, 2008.
o Sherry Turkle, Can You Hear Me Now? Forbes, May 5, 2007.
o Ben Parr, HOW TO: Retweet on Twitter, Mashable, April 16, 2009.
o Mashable, How #FollowFriday Works
o Virginia Heffernan, Hashing Things Out: How Hashtags are Remaking Conversations on Twitter, New York Times Magazine, August 7, 2009
Thursday, September 17
o Corey Flintoff, Gaza Conflict Plays Out Online Through Social Media, NPR.org, January 6, 2009.
o Evgeny Morozov, Think Again: Twitter, Foreign Policy, August 6, 2009.
o Steven Johnson, How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live, Time, June 5, 2009.

Tuesday, September 22
o Demo Day: Twitter
Thursday, September 24
o Tim Lemke, Athletes open up in Twitter arena, Washington Times, May 26, 2009.
o Rick Maese, With Twitter's Arrival, NFL Loses Control of Image Game, Washington Post, August 2, 2009.
o Jennifer Van Grove, Michael Vick Signs with Eagles: NFL Players Tweet Reactions, Mashable, August 13, 2009.
o Jay Fienberg, I'd really wish someone with a muted trumpet would walk by right now and play something dusky.
o Due: Twitter Project

Weeks 6-7: Images, Public/Private, and Flickr
Tuesday, September 29
o Lee and Sachi LeFever, Online Photo Sharing in Plain English, Common Craft, January 9, 2008.
o Virginia Heffernan, Sepia No More, New York Times Magazine, April 27, 2008.
o Michael Kimmelman, At Louvre, Many Stop to Snap but Few Stay to Focus, New York Times, August 2, 2009.
o Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio, Hungry Planet: What the World Eats, Part II, Time Magazine.
Thursday, October 1
o Ira Glass, On good taste ... This American Life (Video: 5:20).
o Amparo Lasén and Edgar Gómez-Cruz, Digital Photography and Picture Sharing: Redefining the Public/Private Divide, Knowledge, Technology & Policy, August 2009

Tuesday, October 6
o Demo Day: Flickr
Thursday, October 8
o Noam Cohen, Historical Photos in Web Archives Gain Vivid New Lives, New York Times, January 18, 2009.
o Eugenio Tisselli, "thinkflickrthink": a case study on strategic tagging, 2009.
o Due: Flickr Project

Weeks 8-9: Free/User-Generated/Exploited Labor and Yelp
Tuesday, October 13:
o No Class (Fall Break)
Thursday, October 15
o Stacy Schiff, Know it All: Can Wikipedia conquer expertise? The New Yorker, July 31, 2006.
o Stephen Baker, Will Work for Praise: The Web's Free-Labor Economy, Business Week, December 28, 2008.
o Eric Karjaluoto, Is Tim Ferriss acting like an asshole? ideasonideas, August 11, 2009.

Tuesday, October 20
o Demo Day: Yelp
Thursday, October 22
o Rob Walker, Handmade 2.0, New York Times Magazine, December 16, 2007.
o Kathleen Richards, Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0, East Bay Express, February 18, 2009.
o Deborah Gage, S.F. Yelp user faces lawsuit over review, San Francisco Chronicle, January 8, 2009.
o Due: Yelp Project

Weeks 10-11: Words, Images, Video, Sound, Links, and Blogs
Tuesday, October 27
o Tom Coates, (Weblogs and) The Mass Amateurisation of (Nearly) Everything... plasticbag.org, September 3, 2003.
o Andrew Sullivan, Why I Blog, The Atlantic, November 2008.
o Paul Boutin, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004, Wired, November 2008.
Thursday, October 29.
o Michael Wesch, An anthropological introduction to YouTube, presented at the Library of Congress, June 23, 2008 (Video: 55.33).

Tuesday, November 3
o Demo Day: Blogs
Thursday, November 5
o Scott Rosenberg, Putting Everything Out There [Justin Hall] from Say Everything.

Weeks 12-13: Place, Movement, and Google Maps
Tuesday, November 10
o Spend a significant amount of time exploring: Oakland Crimespotting, Hillary Rodham Clinton in Africa, PhillyHistory, Fallen Fruit
Thursday, November 12
o Gabriel Cohen, You Talkin’ to Me? New York's Brash, Boisterous Blogosphere, New York Times, January 9, 2009.
o Malia Wollan, The Big Draw of a GPS Run, New York Times, August 19, 2009.
o Rex Sorgatz, A Data Point on Every Block: An Interview with Adrian Holovaty, Fimoculous, February 14, 2008.

Tuesday, November 17
o Demo Day: Google Maps
Thursday, November 19
o Due: Google Maps Project

Weeks 14-15: Digital Storytelling, New Literacies, and Transmedia
Tuesday, November 24
o Jessica Abel and Ira Glass, Radio: An Illustrated Guide (Chicago: WBEZ, 2008)
o Henry Jenkins, Why Heather Can Write, Technology Review, February 6, 2004.
o The Extended Reality of Cross-Media Storytelling, Power to the Pixel, February 4, 2009.
Thursday, November 26:
o No Class (Thanksgiving)

Tuesday, December 1
o Demo Day: Transmedia
Thursday, December 3
o Demo Day: Transmedia

Week 16: Giving, Getting Back, and Kiva
Tues, December 8
o Demo Day: Kiva

This class has no final exam.

Grading:
20% - Reading quizzes and in-class assignments
20% - Class and online participation
20% - Demo Days
40% - Projects

If you are concerned about your grade, you can request a meeting with me anytime during the semester.

Rulez:
1. Read all assigned readings prior to class.
2. In class, listen to and learn from everyone.
3. No late work accepted.
4. If you have no new work on Demo Day, do not come to class.
5. Publish work under your own name.
6. Starting August 27, no drinking out of non-reusable containers in class. Be creative with your thirst-quenching solutions.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

designing a syllabus (steps 6-9) - abridged

alas, my ambitious 9-part how to design a syllabus is not going to be completed ... this semester. with luck, i'll return to it next semester. or maybe i'll do it every semester until i get it right. but, for now, with classes starting tuesday, family in town, and spending the last splinters of summer celebrating siena's six-week old milestone, it's just not gonna happen.

but for those curious, here's steps 6-9, abridged!

step 6: grades! too many students obsess over them, nearly all professors hate them, and most classes seem to need them.

step 7: rules! i've seen syllabi with pages of rules, i've seen (and designed) syllabi with a few sentences of rules. my rule of thumb on rules: class rules should be brief enough to fill a tweet. if a rule can't be explained in 140 characters or less, pare it down to make it more digestible.

step 8: course description! now that you've done it all - basic info, course calendar, learning goals, course readings, assignments, grades, and rules - you are finally in a position to actually know what your course is all about. in a concise paragraph, describe your course, paying special attention to be clear, and stick it on the top (directly after "basic info") of your syllabus. you are now nearly finished with your syllabus. congratulations!

step 9: give it away! why hoard a syllabus? why keep it on your computer desktop or walled behind blackboard? make your syllabus public and accessible for free - give it away. let other people - professors, students, graduate students - access it, use it, tweak it. if you think your syllabus is good, give it away so that other professors and teachers can make their courses that much better. if you think your syllabus isn't so good, give it away so that other professors and teachers and students can offer you feedback on it. just give it away.


with luck, one day i'll return to this exercise, maybe recruit others to help me, and try to draft an extensive 9-part series on how to design a syllabus. but for now, with summer beginning to set and with my own syllabus screaming for attention, i'll have to let it go, put it to a temporary rest, and give it away.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

designing a syllabus (step 5 of 9) - assignments

(confession/disclaimer/warning: five and a half weeks into parenting, i am quickly becoming aware of what a beyond full-time job it is. how do people have more than one child? these days, time, which i used to hunt and gather efficiently and in abundance, is hard to come by. i mention this to say that the once-noble nine-part syllabus-building series has lately, by necessity, suffered from a lack of attention. as such, these posts in pixels hardly match my best ideas and intentions in my head.)

now that you have collected and compiled your course readings, you are ready for assignments.

in a perfect world, students (and professors) would come to class fully prepared and wildly curious, seeking knowledge not grades, fostering community not competition. and although this sometimes happens, it's all to rare. enter assignments.

assignments come in all forms and sizes. there's reading assignments to encourage students to do the readings, making subsequent class discussions more interesting and participatory. there's homework assignments that require students to take what they learn in class and apply it outside of class. there's major assignments that require students to wrestle with class themes and topics and synthesize them into the form of tests, papers, and projects. and there's extra credit assignments, little nuggets that reward (or pamper?) students for taking the course topic a few steps farther.

once you have your assignments, add them to your syllabus, save the document, shut down your computer, and celebrate your progress.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

designing a syllabus (step 4 of 9) - readings

creating a good course reading list is the most difficult, most time-consuming, and most arduous part of designing a syllabus. it is also, i think, the most important.

good readings engage and inspire students and professors. good readings encourage students and professors to attend class and participate in class discussions. good readings make students and professors curious. good readings make students and professors want to learn more.

naturally there's not a single way to put together a set of course readings but here's a few tips that have helped me along the way.

1. collect and compile potential readings all year round. face it: most syllabi are created the weekend before classes begin. instead of designing your reading list under duress, do it all year around. the next time you read something that relates to a course you teach or want to teach, place the reading in a folder devoted to your course. for online readings, consider opening a delicious account and start a tag for each class. for example, throughout the year, when i come across a relevant reading for my digital media production class, i save it to delicious and tag it "dmp." when i'm ready to put together my syllabus i have a year's worth of relevant readings to chose from.


2. use year-end evaluations to get student feedback - positive and negative - about readings. at my university, professors are allowed, if not encouraged, to add their own questions to the more standard evaluation forms. each semester, i ask my students: "which reading or readings was your favorite?" and "which reading or readings was your least favorite?" each semester, nearly without fail, one or two readings are mentioned by the majority of students as their favorites and least favorites. favorite readings are nearly always included in the next version of the class while least favorite readings are often (yet not always) ditched.

3. assign different kinds of readings. if so few of us read academic journal articles, why do we inflict them upon our students? although i do not oppose including an academic article or two in my syllabi, i'm certainly not going to overwhelm my students with articles designed for a small - and shrinking - audience. instead, my landscape for potential readings includes popular books, popular magazines, and (once) popular newspapers.

4. assign different formats of readings. i love words on printed pages but i'm aware that good readings come in many forms. in my courses, "readings" come from printed media like books, journals, magazines, and newspapers, but also come from radio, film, television, and - increasingly and especially - the internet. i routinely assign brief and not-so-brief ted talks to my students and find that they engage in the video's ideas as smartly, if not more smartly, as they would have with a print-source.

5. look for and select free readings when possible. many of us have been talking about a time when all the readings we want to assign would be online, accessible for free. for many fields, especially my own field of media studies, that time is now. last year's version of digital media production was comprised entirely of free, online readings. it worked.


6. finally, please don't assign the same readings over and over and over again. when we assign the same readings each semester, we get lazy. we get bored - and boring. when we're bored, our students are bored. and when everyone's bored, no one learns.

the best advice i received on this matter was from jeff paris, a popular professor of philosophy at USF. at a teaching workshop conducted for new faculty in 2006, jeff suggested - i'm paraphrasing - that we never teach the same class. once we feel comfortable with a class, jeff said, once we know what it's about and what to assign, kill it. ditch it. or give it away.

and begin designing a new one.

once you have your reading list, add it to your syllabus, save the document, shut down your computer, and celebrate your progress.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

designing a course syllabus (step 3 of 9) - learning goals

if you boil down a syllabus to its most core ingredient you are left with its learning goals.

on the first day of classes, learning goals signal to students what they can and should expect to learn from your course. on the last day of classes, learning goals help students assess what they did or should have learned from your course.

although your learning goals will take up a relatively small space of real estate on your syllabus, they should take up a large chunk of your thinking. think hard about what you are trying to accomplish in your course and work even harder to articulate these goals in clear and comprehensible terms. if you have taught the course before, look back on older versions of the syllabus and assess whether or not the learning goals are still relevant. if you have not taught the course before, look at your colleagues' syllabi and think about which, if any, of the learning goals you would like to continue, replace, and extend.

try to craft learning goals that engage students who enroll in your course with significant knowledge of the topic and students who arrive with zero experience - and, perhaps, zero interest - in the topic. in general, consider including 3-5 learning goals in your syllabus.

so, for example, here are the learning goals for digital media production, a course i am teaching this fall:


once finished, add the learning goals to your syllabus, save the document, shut down your computer, and celebrate your progress.

Monday, August 03, 2009

designing a course syllabus (step 2 of 9) - course calendar

the second step of designing a course syllabus is to create the course calendar.

find and download an academic calendar for your college or university. for example, here is USF's 2008-2011 academic calendar. you can usually find your academic calendar by visiting your college/university's web page and searching for "academic calendar."

type in all days that your course meets. consult your academic calendar and note which days are vacation days - thanksgiving, spring break, etc.

at this point, your course calendar will look something like this:


once complete, stare a while at your course calendar. get a sense of its temporal nature. appreciate the months that your course occupies. become familiar with how many weeks your course lasts, locate the half-way point of the course, and dream about the final weeks of the course.

then, save your document, shut down your computer, and celebrate your progress.

designing a course syllabus (step 1 of 9) - basic info

open up a word document, text file, web page, or any other platform you plan to build your syllabus on.

at the top of the document, type a) the title of your course; b) the days and times when it meets; and c) the building and room number where it meets.

skip a line and then type: a) your name; b) your office; and c) your office hours. if you don't have an office, list your email address, phone number, or preferred mode for students to contact you. also, because most students have busy schedules and because many of them find any excuse to avoid office hours, it's a good idea to add "and by appointment" to your regular office hours.

your now-started syllabus should look something like this:


you are now finished with step 1 of designing your course syllabus. save your document, shut down your computer, and celebrate your progress!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

new reviews in cyberculture studies (august 2009)

each month, RCCS Reviews pumps out free, full-length reviews of books about contemporary media and culture. this month, RCCS Reviews features 9 reviews of 4 books with 3 author responses! books of the month for august 2009 are:


Playing the Past: History and Nostalgia in Video Games
Editors: Zach Whalen, Laurie N. Taylor
Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press, 2008
Review 1: Carly A. Kocurek
Author Response: Zach Whalen

The Internet in the Arab World: Egypt and Beyond
Author: Rasha A. Abdulla
Publisher: Peter Lang, 2007
Review 1: Antonio A. Garcia
Review 2: Laurence Raw
Review 3: Natasha Ritsma
Author Response: Rasha A. Abdulla

The Pleasures of Computer Gaming: Essays on Cultural History, Theory and Aesthetics
Editors: Melanie Swalwell, Jason Wilson
Publisher: McFarland, 2008
Review 1: Dave Jones
Review 2: Alex Meredith
Author Response: Melanie Swalwell

Zero Comments: Blogging and Critical Internet Culture
Author: Geert Lovink
Publisher: Routledge, 2008
Review 1: Liz Ellcessor
Review 2: Tricia M. Farwell
Review 3: Madeline Yonker

enjoy. there's a little bit more where that came from.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

a more green classroom

last year, in my three courses - intro to media studies, digital media production, and eating san francisco - i included the following rule:

No drinking out of non-reusable containers. Be creative with your thirst-quenching solutions.

at first, a few students grumbled and complained but within a week or so, students got the hang of it. students began bringing to class beautiful, multicolored, reusable bottles filled with homemade tea and canteens filled with coffee they brewed themselves or bought at the campus cafe. substituting glass bottles filled with delicious - and free - california tap water for plastic bottles of water and soda, we saved a ton of money over the course of the semester. but best of all, we all became a bit more mindful of our daily actions and the need for all of us, individually and collectively, to change our behaviors and change them quickly.


as i begin to think about my fall course, i'm curious to hear other strategies for a more green classroom. i'm also curious to hear from students - both those who have taken my courses and those who haven't - about what they think about such rules.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

team siena

last saturday, july 11th, our daughter siena malia was born. both the baby and the mama are healthy and beautiful.

now, so much is happening - so much to learn, so much to do, so much to take in - and all my instincts point forward. but for a moment i want to look backwards, briefly and humbly, and thank team siena, a collection of people, nearly all women, who helped us get to where we are now.

before siena's birth, sarah and i gained both knowledge and confidence by workshops sponsored by UCSF's women's health resource center and UCSF's osher center for integrative medicine. we learned a lot about labor - and life - from nancy bardacke's mindful birthing program and a lot about breastfeeding from sabrina rascon's breastfeeding workshop.

siena was born at UCSF's children hospital, where she - and we - received constant care and attention from nurses, midwives, and lactation consultants like aislinn bishop, karen "fabulous" cullen, sabrina miller, therese moran, sarah norse, dawn reidy, and melanie vose.


jini washburn, sarah's mom and my mother-in-law, was a huge part of team siena. jini was there throughout the delivery, offering encouragement, massages, support, and love. thanks jini.


kathy woo was our doula. kathy is a force of nature. at every twist and turn, kathy offered superhuman support. a week after the delivery, i'm still trying to figure out how kathy did the things she did. thank you kathy.

sharon wiener was our midwife. sharon was there during the first trimester, the second trimester, and the third trimester, and, miraculously, was at the hospital during the delivery. when sharon spoke, sarah listened. when sharon said push, sarah pushed. and when sharon said "let's have your baby," we had our baby. thank you sharon, again and again.

thank you team siena.