The Media Show
As an associate video producer at EdLab, the new media skunkworks at the Teachers College library, I pitched my idea for a user-driven media literacy show on YouTube. The result was The Media Show, the adventures of two puppet sisters who ditch school to hide out in an ad agency closet and play with the media. In 2010, The Media Show was a finalist in the Media That Matters social-issues film festival, receiving an award for exemplary fair use and garnering accolades for its use of humor and puppets. In 2010, I successfully ran a Kickstarter fundraiser for the show, Having wrapped up production at EdLab, The Media Show is now seeking a new home.
The Gumbaby Project
Gumbaby.com is a space to exhibit examples of confused conversations among Internet users — for example, teenagers who plaintively asked for help with their lisps in the comment thread of a blogger who had posted about the programming language LISP. Some of these examples were also used in my dissertation. One hope was that the blog would itself attract more confused commenters, who could then be contacted to participate in further research. Some threads have, in fact, seen some confusion.
Past projects, with process documentation
Dissertation (wiki version)
I wrote my entire dissertation on a wiki. Despite the public, exploitable nature of wikis, the page saw very little outside interference — and almost no constructive participation from anyone else, including my committee, who knew it was there (one of them built the wiki I was writing on). The version currently up online is not the final print version which will appear in the library, but it is a late version which is more or less equivalent, content-wise. The fact that it was written on a wiki means that a history of all revisions is also available, as well as early bibliography and working notes.
Media Show Case Study
This case study serves as documentation of the production of The Media Show’s first two pilot years, but also as curriculum material for teachers and learners tackling media literacy, video production, and “viral video.” Includes coverage of a demo class taught with The Media Show at a Brooklyn high school.
Page Rank Popular
I started a Tumblr to keep track of instances where the PageRank mechanism, which bumps up pages’ ranking based on who links to them and how many links they have, appears to exhibit a kind of majority rule on a phrase’s meaning which could potentially leave a lot of searchers out in the cold. For example, is “lisp” a programming language, or a speech impediment? Like the Gumbaby Project, this is also closely related to my dissertation.
Off The Hook
I was an intermittent a panelist on Off The Hook, WBAI’s weekly program on digital rights, privacy, security, and hacking.
Planned, planted, and coordinated distribution of seedlings and heirloom seeds to the Teachers College community as part of one of EdLab’s efforts to re-think what kinds of “information” (in this case, genetic information) a library lends out.
Second Life Orientation research
While working at Second Life, I was tasked with improving orientation to cut down falloff among new users. I ran some data and helped develop a new Orientation Island. My writeup of best practices for orientation is still online here.
My master’s thesis was a comparison of the video game play habits of low-socioeconomic status (SES) and high-SES high school students. Findings suggested that research on youth and gaming needed to consider the disparities between the groups. Academic research at the time had not covered sports games, which were very popular with low-SES students, while it over-focused on online role-playing games, which were predominantly played by high-SES males. High school girls, in general, made every effort to hide their gaming practices from the researcher. A summary of some of these themes appears in Andrews, G. (2008). Gameplay, Gender, and Socioeconomic Status in Two American High Schools. E-Learning. 5 (2).
Developed a game design for a publisher who wanted a Nintendo DS game about horses. Gameplay included authentic activities based on real world equine sports — roping, jumping, gymkhana, etc. Sadly, this belongs on the “Unfinished Projects” page; development of the game was scotched by the appearance of three other pony games on the market that year.
One Hundred Unfinished Projects
A meditation on creative, revolutionary, and other projects which never came to fruition. Begun in 2003 in response to Lynda Barry’s One! Hundred! Demons! project, this site is the graveyard and memorial of 56 unfinished projects, mine and other people’s, which haunted my life between undergrad and graduate school, when I was trying to make it as a freelance writer. It’s more about artistic process than it is about the projects and their unfinishedness.
Some of the projects have since been completed! One of the things I’ve learned is that my personal project timescale can be very slow-boil when I have other work to do; that doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned them. My quilt now covers my bed in the winter. The Crip Walk project morphed into my dissertation, and the DDR article informed other research. And The Real American Girls series and parts of Plutonium 133 became The Media Show.
HOPE (Hackers On Planet Earth) Conference
I have been a speaker at HOPE for the past few conferences (having been a con-goer since 2002), and was an organizer and member of the speaker selection committee in 2010 at The Next HOPE. I also organized The Next HOPE’s two 8bit concerts. I’m on the speaker committee again for HOPE 9, which will be held in 2012.
I’ve been an active commenter on 8 bit music sites since about 2008. I keep busy on the subway by playing with the trackers LSDJ, Nanoloop, and TrippyH, and have recently started to post my own arrangements, hopefully moving on to songs I’ve written myself.
I continue to hope that my contributions to the LOLTheorists LiveJournal community will be favorably considered when I apply for tenure.