Archive for October, 2011


Class 3: Online Communities. Who are we?

October 26, 2011


This week’s class opened with a talk on academic writing. The three main types of writing – descriptive, reflective and critical – were explained. While some writing will inevitably fall into the first two categories it is the third that is most important. Critical writing in an academic context must be based on informed opinion and must reference appropriate texts, such as those appearing in books, journals, newspapers and selected websites. It is very important that you give references for your sources and don’t run the risk of plagiarism, even by accident. The school recommends the Chicago Style for referencing. You are expected to write the posts to your blogs in an academic style from now on. You can also demonstrate your critical thinking by commenting on other blogs and encouraging others to comment on yours. Try to encourage lively critical debate on your blog.

The class discussion about online communities looked at the Deviant Art and Krishna De sites in particular. Each is quite distinct: Deviant Art, a loose community of artists, was described as being a useful platform for promotion and sales but could be irritating due to the many members interested solely in promoting their egos while the Krishna De site was seen as a more controlled and specific space for those with an interest in business and marketing. This led to a discussion about ‘rules of engagement’ and etiquette, conventions and regulations that may govern how communities function. Comparisons were made with real life communities and groups and also with Facebook, Linked In and Second Life. Facebook’s policy of accepting accounts only in real names (as opposed to pseudonyms) and the implications for retaining your data resources in the case of a breach was considered.

A reminder was given that the week four assessment of the blogs would be carried out this week. All activities from classes 1, 2 and 3 should be completed by Friday 28th October. The writing activity given below should be posted to your blog by 12 noon on Wednesday next 3rd November.


1. Post an article, written in academic style, to your blog discussing the importance of etiquette, convention and regulation in online communities. Write a minimum of 500 words.

2. READING: This paper from US lawyer Greg Lastowka “User Generated Content and Virtual Worlds” sets out the legalities around protecting content in no uncertain terms.

3. READING: Top ten rules for writing a critical blog by a blogging GP.


Class 2: Personal Branding. Who am I?

October 19, 2011


We welcomed some new participants to the class this week and there is still a little settling in as we all familiarize ourselves with the environment. There was feedback that the sound quality was not so good which may have made it difficult to hear all the content. We will see if this can be rectified for next week and it would be useful to get feedback on the Facebook group.

The discussion on personal branding ranged over questions such as what does it mean? and why do it? ignited by the recommended reading. We talked about the difference between personal and professional branding for your own online presence and the importance of digital and media literacy. Social networks such as Facebook, twitter, linked in, google plus etc were considered and the importance of establishing trust emphasized. We concluded the discussion by introducing the Consumer > Prosumer > Produser paradigm posited by Bruns.


The assessment requirements were explained. Each participant will be assessed on their blog. You must post to it at least once a week and you must also write the required posts given in the ‘Activities for next week’s class’ section of each Class Summary here. The blogs will be assessed in weeks 4, 8 and 12 of the module to ensure that you don’t have too much work to do at the end.


1. Working in your groups, go outsidethe class group into the wider SL community, make contact with at least two people relevant to your interests (could be more). Write a blog post about your experience and articulate the value of these contacts with an explanation of why you contacted to them.

2. Look at ATypI Facebook page, student blog, professional blog, artists’ community site

3. READING: “From Prosumer to Produser: Understanding User-Led Content Creation” by Prof Axel Bruns (Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland Institute of Technology) who explains his theory of user-led collaborative content creation.

4. Write a post in your blog discussing the ideas proposed by Dr Bruns in his lecture.


Class 1: How can you broaden your skills?

October 13, 2011


We asked all participants to complete the profile for their Second Life avatar and their webcourses profile. Once you have done this your avatar will receive L$300 to spend at your discretion. This will give you a sense of how the SL economy works and you can try to earn additional funds if you wish. Don’t blow it all at once – you will need at least $50 for project work later in the module.

Join the Facebook group for the module also. If you haven’t already been invited then add Accuppa Tae and Locks Aichi as friends and we will send you an invitation. Facebook will be used to alert you to any changes to classes and so on. If you have any questions you can post them to the group which has been limited to module participants.

You will need to spend some time exploring Second Life outside of class time. Get to know some of the residents and find interesting places to visit. We meet in Virtual Dublin so this week we had a walk through the city after class and visited the Blarney Stone pub to meet some of the locals.

Most classes will be discursive and we expect you all to participate. A reading will be set in advance to inform the discussion so it is important to familiarise yourself with it and prepare in advance.


1. Set up your personal blog for this module. Use blogger, wordpress or any other popular blogging tool. You will be posting to this every week during the module and will be assessed on it throughout the semester. Post a link to your blog on the Facebook group wall.

2. Create your first blog post by writing about your expectations for this module outlining what you hope to get from it and how you think you can contribute. (You will be asked to reflect on this post towards the end of the module so give it some thought now.)

3. As a group go out and explore Second Life. Find at least 5 locations that are interesting for one reason or another.

4. Make a second post to your blog describing your experiences and review the 5 locations.

5. Visit your colleagues’ blogs and make some constructive comments.

6. READING: Article on personal branding from The Irish Times Innovation Magazine, August 2011.

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