[CITASA] blogs, surveillance and stuff

danah boyd danah-asa at danah.org
Thu Oct 22 00:35:40 EDT 2009

With all due respect, I disagree.  I think that we do a disservice to  
our students when we don't help them engage with the public world.  I  
would never require blogging in a mandatory course, but I believe that  
it's completely reasonable to make public blogging a requirement of  
other courses provided that it's clearly stated up front in the  
syllabus before students make their choice.  I see this as akin to  
requiring students of ethnography classes to actually go out and talk  
to people.  (My advisor Peter used to require us to interact with  
people on the streets of Berkeley to get over our fears of talking to  
strangers in public settings.  Getting over the fear of public-ness is  
a skill and there's no place better than a classroom setting to learn  
this skill and think critically about it.)

There are indeed consequences to being in public but I think that we  
need to train students to have a public voice, especially in a media  
ecology where being public is part of everyday life for many.  Getting  
students to think critically about the issues involved in being public  
is extremely important, intellectually and practically.  Furthermore,  
getting students to engage with a particular technology is not the  
same as getting them to engage with the medium, especially when  
everything's cleaned up and pretty for the classroom.


On Oct 21, 2009, at 5:11 PM, Barry Wellman wrote:

> 1. Ted, I personally am opposed to making student blogs public. Class
> discussion should be protected space, IMHO, where students can take  
> risks,
> be controversial, without having to worry about the consequences.
> (Professors too.) We don't broadcast our lectures.
> Barry Wellman


"taken out of context, i must seem so strange" -- ani

More information about the CITAMS mailing list