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Welcome to Digital Identities.

This site will serve as our course hub for WRT 426. Everything you want to know about this course will be found here.

Week 14 Quick Hits

Cathy Davidson, “What Google and NY Times’ Tom Friedman Get Right about the Purpose of Higher Education

“The most important thing anyone can do in college is think deeply, profoundly, and strategically about why you are there–and what you want to take away from the most diverse, intense, rich learning opportunities you will ever be given the time to embrace. “

Alice Marwick, “In Defense of Getting Personal on Twitter

“Pretending that we don’t have enthusiasms and obsessions outside of our research areas—even ones that are trivial or aggressively “feminine”—is disingenuous at best. While some people may suggest that the easy solution is to abstain from social media, the Internet is, like it or not, an essential part of public participation and communication.”


Quick Hits, Week 7

Matt Asay, “Why Every Tech Company Needs an English Major

“Now that I run marketing for a software startup, the need for strong communicators is obvious to me. Blindingly so. But I still find the English majors among us don’t make nearly enough of their writing skills. Just as GitHub is the new résumé for engineers, so, too, should social media and blogs be the résumé for would-be marketers. If you can write, show it. “

Matt Steel, “Why I left Facebook

A good example of how sometimes the best social media strategy is to not use a particular platform.

Quick Hits, Week 6


John Udell, It’s Time to Engineer Some Filter Failure

Udell argues that our social media platforms, because they’re interested in tailoring content to us, have the side-effect of narrowing our worldviews, only exposing us to ideas that we already like or agree with.

Jason Fagone, The Construction of a Twitter Aesthetic

The New Yorker takes a look at @NeinQuarterly, and how it led its author to a different writing style. A nice example of how genre and medium affect the ways we write and put ideas together.

Week 5, Quick Hits

Digital Professionalism

(These are notes from a workshop on social media presence for graduate students, but many of the tips are relevant for anyone)

Moneyball at Work: They’ve Discovered What Really Makes A Great Employee

(The title isn’t great, but this is a really nice read about the importance of online presence. Read all the way through to see some of the kind of things that employers are increasingly looking for, like adaptability, social intelligence, friendliness, etc.)


Week 3, Quick Hits

A couple of stories that I want to talk about tonight:

University of Illinois

After Being Denied A Snow Day, University Of Illinois Students Respond With Racism And Sexism

Ridiculous Number Of Illinois Students Sign Petition To Cancel Classes Because It’s Cold


Justine Sacco

Lessons from Justine Sacco’s Tweet Heard ‘Round the World


Finally, a great, “old” essay by Robin Sloan, “Stock and Flow

First week’s assignments

Welcome to the course site!

I’ll be posting weekly assignments to the site to a page you can access via the “Assignments” link above. The Assignments page also contains additional detail about the major projects in the course. Please also note that some of the readings will be located under Resources — those readings are password-protected and that password is not the same as the one you set for your account. Check your email from me for the Resources password.

Here’s a quick shortcut for you: Weekly Assignments

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