Author Archives: admin

Yay! We’re in!

An email from the editors of The New Work of Composing:

Dear Cheryl et al,

We are pleased to accept your chapter as part of The New Work of Composing.  We thought it was an interesting piece that addresses a number of important issues in the field including new digital genres, and social networking and participation. We have a number of proposals that touch on these themes, so, in order to play with the notion of a “digital book,” we will be working over the next few months to build an interactive table of contents where chapters can connect in multiple ways. (Once we have a prototype of the TOC, we will send it to you.)

We thought all the parts of the chapter were interesting and potentially very valuable as we think through what teaching and digital media entail.  However, we are asking you to reconsider including the last section of the chapter.  While we found it provocative, we were not sure how clearly it related to the chapter’s other components.

Regarding our timeline, we have been in conversations with the editors of Computers and Composition Digital Press ( and are in the process of writing the prospectus, which we plan to submit for review by March 1. If the prospectus is accepted, the deadline for submitting your completed chapter to us is July 1.

Cheryl ( will be the lead responder as you develop your text, and she can give you the most detailed information about design and interface issues.  (Though you should feel free to contact Debra or Trauman as well.)

Thank you again for letting us include your work.  We look forward to collaborating with you and working together to produce an innovative and important piece of scholarship.

Debra Journet
Cheryl Ball
Ryan Trauman

So, first: Congratulations!!! Y’all did an awesome job on the proposals (they were chosen before your final projects were completed, so they only had the proposals to go on).

Second, I stayed out of the discussion on y’all’s. This is typical for editors working on stuff from people they know, etc., especially when multiple editors are involved. So Debra and Trauman decided and informed me of their decision on y’all’s piece. You’ll notice that the fourth section they mention is Andrew’s contribution, which differed in kind from the rest of the pieces. I’ve already talked to Andrew about this; his piece had merit and he’ll probably submit it somewhere else, on its own.

Third, this means that I get to work with whoever wants to work with me next semester on doing some additional revisions to the final projects from this term. (I know some of y’all are taking the class again, and so you may want to — but certainly don’t have to — take the revision on as part of your coursework, but I’m open to others who are not taking the class again to help, if anyone wants to. Just email me.)

Fourth, I’m so proud 🙂 Thanks for a great class, everyone!


MovieMaker tip in STV 408

Hey all,

Through some looong frustration in my other class, I discovered how to make the AVI files from the FlipVideo cameras import into MovieMaker. (iMovie is another story I’ll have to deal with later.)

If you’re in STV 408 working on videos and need to import an AVI file from the Flip Cameras, do the following if you’re still getting an error message when trying to import into MM:

  1. plug the camera into the computer
  2. open My Computer
  3. open the FlipVideo drive
  4. open the DCIM folder to reveal the AVI videos
  5. drag whatever AVIs you need to the desktop (or some other location you want)
  6. open MovieMaker
  7. Goto Tools>Options and choose the Compatability tab
  8. click in the check-box for the MPEG4 codec to activate it
  9. Click OK in the Tools window to close it
  10. Goto File>Import into Collections and browse for your AVI file and click OK
  11. Your AVI file should now import into MovieMaker.

Good luck!

group server space now available


You now should have access to a shared space on the student server. When you log into the student server space, there is a folder at the top called /239/ (no slashes; that just indicates that it’s a folder). Inside the /239/ folder are three sub-folders:

  1. narrative (Julie et al’s group — sorry; I didn’t know you weren’t doing a narrative anymore when I assigned the group name)
  2. impact (Jessica et al’s group)
  3. myspace (Matt et al’s group)

Y’all can upload videos there and share them among your group members. Actually, all of you (including andrew) have access to all the other group folders, so don’t screw with anybody else’s stuff — just go in and get what you need if you need it).

Also, I have the tapes Ariana was looking for — they’re in my office. I”m headed in momentarily and will put them in the 408 lab next to the instructor’s machine marked for you when you come in on Sunday.

Thanks to Amos for opening the lab for everyone, Sunday at 5pm. Call him, or me, if you need him to oepn it another time.

Finally, I’m guessing that you don’t need the external hard drives immediately since you now have shared server space, so I’ll order those for backup but will get them online (where they’re cheaper) and have them for next week.

Don’t forget your proposal revisions are due by 5pm today.


using webvpn to access student server space

As mentioned in class, here is how you use the WebVPN from home to access your mounted drive on the student server space.

(1) On your home computer, open Firefox (or another browser — but if you don’t have Firefox, you should get it.)

(2) Go to and login using your ULID and password.

(3) You will see this page, where you should type \lilt-web02 in the Browse window and click Browse (See Figure 1)

Figure 1

Figure 1

(4) The next screen will show two folder options, communications and english. Click english.

(5) Next you will see a list of ulids. Find yours and click on it. It will open your student server folder where you can download or upload whatever files you need. (See Figure 2)

Figure 2

Figure 2

Flip Videos


I downloaded all the BTS footage from the Flip Video camera and uploaded it in AVI form to the class website under Resources. Download as needed, but, yes, it’s 200+ megs of uncompressed video 🙂 I’ll hang a CD of the stuff on the outside of my office door in case anyone wants to peruse it in easier form before class.


article about y’all!

In the CASNews (ISU’s College of Arts and Sciences weekly newsletter), y’all are featured! (Even tho I sent them names of folks who weren’t pictured — Katie, Nick, Vince, Steve, and Kenton — they didn’t publish those names. Sorry!)

But, still, yay for us for getting some publicity for your work!


high-quality video CFPs

[argh, there is nothing like losing 20 minutes worth of posting because you accidentally hit the wrong button. grumble grumble…. here’s take 2.]

Due: 4:30pm Monday, October 13.

What: High-quality version of revised video CFP. High quality = exported for best playback on computer (MovieMaker) or DVD/CD quality (iMovie), or similar wording. The goal is to give me a BIG copy, not a small, super-compressed copy.

How: three options

  1. upload MOV or WMV to your student server space (see instructions on Resource page) and email me your URL
  2. make an appt with me by Sunday 4pm to meet with me sometime on Monday to hand me your flash drive with your video on it
  3. drop off a CD or DVD to the english dept office by 4:30 Monday. They’ll put it in my mailbox.

I’ll make a single DVD and take these to play at the conference. Below is the feedback from peer-reviewers. The first reviewer is a Watson attendee, the second is not, so take your audience feedback into consideration when revising. You’ll have to match up URLs to actual people, sorry.

  • I thought this was pretty effective, but as it remains analog/physical throughout, it does lose some of the effect of the challenge of working between/with two ‘media,’ if such a simple term can cover the difference. I’m thinking of Michael Wesch’s really impressive “A Vision of Students Today” and how effective the mix of media is in that video.
  • I really liked. (As a nonspecialist) I think that the combination of new technology and old technology was especially poignant. At one point about 2/3 in, the music sounded like it was looped and got distracting. I love Dylan so it was reminiscent of the classic video for “Subterranean Homesick Blues” without being a copy.

  • Effective introduction, but the interview at the end seems to close elements of the conversation, at least to me, by giving an opinion. Also, the typing effect is supportive of the message in the early part of the video, but I think near the end it becomes more tiring than dynamic. Going back to the nameless PowerPoint scholarship (I can hunt this down if desired; I really need to build a reference database instead of relying on my already failing memory!), I’m wondering if the animation at that point supports the message.

  • I’m reminded of Michael Wesch’s work with this one (and I should be, since it’s part of it). I really dug it and found it to be effective. It could be complicated, of course, but anything could be and it might lose effectiveness. I think that maybe the visual balance of the URL might be improved, but that’s probably more a personal thing (I’d rather logically balance by organizational units than justify it as a text block and I don’t think http:// is necessary these days for URLs in videos).
  • was very interesting visually, but the music was a bit too choppy and the use of “Imagine” after writing the word “Imagine” on the screen was just too predictable.

  • I don’t know about the use of The Matrix to support these questions, but I’m probably just being finicky (a professional antagonism that developed while I worked in information security and had to endure endless comparisons between my work and the Matrix). I think the film might, instead of engendering new questions, confirm existing expectations of the work of new media studies because of the very expected man vs. machine structure of the film and its place in culture. Putting that aside, my concerns are that the text is too small and that, like the others, the typing effect works early on but then gets in the way of the information later on. Also, the sound on the Matrix clip could use a boost.

  • I love the opening and I love the first question (and its use of Sex and the City, which at 32 I absolutely know), but the second question and the Dead Poet’s Society clip loses the focus on composition (and the changes) and starts entering into the types of questions that Ray Kurzweil ponders. While these are some fascinating questions, I don’t know if it matches the focus that I see in the first question and in the other CFPs I’ve seen so far.
  • typo: “If technology make humans obsolete…” From an English major even….

  • Effective introduction, but the exploding graphics may be a bit too much, a bit too focused on  ‘I can do this with text’ rather than the function of the CFP. Much of the scholarship on animation and PowerPoint covers my concerns on this (sorry, I don’t have names right now).
  • was OK, but it felt more like a public service announcement warning me of the dangers of teenage computer abuse. Maybe I just don’t like being attacked by yellow letters on a black background.

  • I like the concept on this one quite a bit as the pure analog format seems to fit the function. It’s direct, to the point, and I think the music is an especially good choice (like the format, it’s not expected). However, I think some of those pieces of paper need to be re-written (traditional is fairly hard to read and the web address is illegible, at least to me – I struggled to recognize the URL of my own school!). I liked the playing around with moving things to and from the camera, which I think could work in the same way that effective text animation works.

  • On the video side, maybe a bit too heavy on the textual animation (especially when the words “How will the idea of writing change?” flew past), but otherwise the question of what is composition might take a bit from the other videos that included texting and other, less omnipresent technology (rather than the computer as word processor, which is pretty set in my mind).
  • The last one was good, too, except that the web addresses were unreadable (blue letters against blue sky).


  • All in all, some awesome, really impressive work. I hope some of this feedback is useful, and I hope the tone of this email doesn’t strike you as too unprofessional. If it does, my apologies.
  • Overall, I enjoyed seeing what your students are doing. Keep up the good work. Of course, I teach my Intro Linguistics students that 99% of all writing throughout human history is to fuel the economy and that is the specific reason that it was invented 5500 years ago or so. I wonder how that fits into the notion of “New Media” and “composition”?