A new type of lecture – short and participatory

The brief:
On Tuesday August 3 a twitter lecture on the four proposed/actual changes to the law which are changing the media landscape, marketing and freedom of expression in South Africa.
The lecture will be tweeted using our traditional #smed10 hashtag.
The items are:
1. Proposed media tribunal (Paper to be presented to the ANC’s national general council meeting in September, 2010)
2. The Protection of Information Bill
3. The ICASA Amendment Bill
4. The Consumer’s Protection Act
The process
Prior to the event:
Real all the newspaper articles and editorials on these acts that you are able to find online. (Each student must read at least 2 articles per act). Please print out the articles that you have sourced – with full references.
Prepare at least 4 questions – Minimum 1 per act as to what you believe are the benefits as well as the dangers of the acts to the citizens of South Africa (Joe Public).
On WebCT: Take the Media landscape survey one: This is not a test, it is a benchmark measure of what you know about each bill. Doing it will get you marks, not how well you do. (Michelle – you got that I hope).
(I need it for the research).

On the day: At 19h00: I will begin to post tweets outlining the details of the acts/proposed amendments. There will be approximately 30 posts. At 19h30: PT/Students are to post their tweets – under the following guidelines.
• Used the hashtag
• One act or topic per tweet (KISS principle).
• Post prepared tweets first
• You will also need to ask questions of other people’s posts.
• You may flame – but you may not be rude.
• Twitter is a public forum
I have invited a couple of people to add their voices to the tweets. For example, the DA, Paul Jacobson (cyberlawyer), and Matt Visser (Moderator) etc. I will invite more.
At 20h30: We (the whole class will stop tweeting on this issue) however we may respond to @mentions of D direct messages.
On Thursday August 9: The class will retake the survey on webct. I trust that the result will be remarkable and show learning has taken place.
Marks will be awarded on participation – number of knowledgeable tweets – of approximately 100 characters or more. (Short enough to retweet without having to abbreviate.
Marks will be taken away for tweets, which do not add value (Really, wow, imagine that… are all banned)
Marks will be awarded for RT by people outside the class. (Yes, no doubt you will all get a little help from your friends).
Please feel free to comment on this post.


Wacky ‘Flaming’ Wednesday

Duration:  Wednesday only – February 17, 2009

This is a twitter assignment.  It is actually a flaming competition (old Net style).

Please use the hash tag for all your competition entries (#smed10) so that I am able to find all the tweets.

Remember Chapter 1 of the Cluetrain Manifesto:

The Internet became a place where people could talk to other people without constraint.  Without filters or censorship or official sanction — and perhaps most significantly, without advertising. Another, noncommercial culture began forming across this out-of the-way collection of computer networks. Long before graphical user interfaces made the scene, the scene was populated by plain old boring ASCII: green phosphor text scrolling up screens at the glacial pace afforded by early modems. So where was the attraction in that?  The attraction was in speech, however mediated . . .

Consider that these early denizens of the Net were, for the most part, young, brash, untrained in the intricate dance of corporate politics, and highly knowledgeable of their craft. In the prized and noble older sense of the term, they were hackers, and proud of it.

Many, in their own assessment if not that of others, were net. Gods — high priests of an arcane art very few even knew existed. When disagreements arose over serious matters— the correct use of quotation marks, say — they would join in battle like Old Norse


“Jim, you are a complete idiot. Your code is so brain-damaged it won’t even compile. Read a book, moron.”

Today, we tend to think of “flaming” as a handful of people vociferously insulting each other online. A certain sense of finesse has largely been lost. In the olden days, a good flame war could go on for weeks or months, with hot invective flying around like

Rhetorical shrapnel. It was high art, high entertainment. Though tempers flared hot and professional bridges were sometimes irreparably burned, ultimately it was a game — a participatory sport in which the audience awarded points for felicitous disparagements, particularly well-worded putdowns, inspired squelches.  It was not a game, however, for the meek of heart. These engagements could be fierce.  Even trying to separate the contestants could bring down a hail of sharp-tongued derision. Theories were floated and defended with extreme energy and enthusiasm, if not always with logical rigor. Opinions tended to run high on any given topic. Say you’d posted about your dog. And, look, you got a response! “Jim, you are a complete idiot.  Your dog is so brain-damaged it won’t even hunt…”

If you’d happened to see the first version of the comment to Jim, you might grin at the second. If not, your mileage might vary. But the point is not to extol flame wars, as amusing as some could be. Instead, it is to suggest a particular set of values that began to emerge in what linguists might call a well-bounded speech community.

On the Net, you said what you meant and had better be ready to explain your position and how you’d arrived at it. Mouthing platitudes guaranteed that you would be challenged. Nothing was accepted at face value, or taken for granted. Everything was subject to question, revision, re-implementation, parody — whether it was an algorithm, a political philosophy or, God help you, an advertisement.

Now here are the rules:

  1. You must start with a quote – but you may not use the any of the big books – the Bible, the Torah or the Koran.  (This is not a religious war / jihad).
  2. Then trawl for the hash tag #smed10 and find someone else’s quotation to insult while insulting the person as well – it must be directed @name of person.
  3. Insult as many people as you can – both directly or insult someone else’s insult.
  4. Your remarks must be clear, easily understood and must be clever or sharp witted.
  5. You may not swear at the person or insult their mother, father, religion, or family (No HATE speech please) – we can now insult each other without being RACIST.  Right.
  6. You are responsible for you own comments, even if this is an assignment.
  7. The person with the cleverest, funniest remarks will win a prize – I am working on it.  Winner to be announced next week.
  8. Remember it is not about the number of insults but about the wit of the insults.  And the insult potential of your original quotation.
  9. Have fun and remember to remain friends.
  10. You could write a blog post about the experience – perhaps pick your own winners.

I will keep you posted (pun).  May the best wit win

“Weak, Marian, Weak.  You need help, no actually you are passed help. There is no hope.”

Topics for 2010

Each week for the next 35 weeks, you must write a(one) blog on one of these topics, listed below and one blog on your own topic as well. (100 words minimum per blog).  Your blog can be any genre – but it must be coherent and have some sort of structure.   You may write more blogs of your own if you wish. 

You must comment on all your team’s blogs during the week.  You must submit a mark for each the blogs that you comment on.  Pay attention it works like this:  Write 2 blogs per week.  Read and comment on 6 blogs per week.  Mark 6 blogs submit the marks to me. (Out of 10:  Give reasons for the mark).    Tip:  You must stay updated and I will mark different blogs in different weeks.

1. Designer PR?

2. Two people come out of a building and into a story.

3. If I were the boss?

4. What is the colour of the wind?

5. Fish falling from the sky.

6. We are afraid of the wrong things.

7. We are what we do.

8. How do you step from the top of a 100-foot pole?

9. No all who wander are lost.

10.  The sound of one hand clapping.

11.  It is a poor idea to lie to yourself.

12.  Wedding cake-in-the-middle-of- the road.

13.  It is better to practice a little than talk a lot.

14.  Feelings follow behaviour.

15.  Try a cliche

16.  Our greatest strengths are our greatest weaknesses.

17.  Every day is a good day.

18.  The elephant in the room.

19.  Write a list: the 10 most unexpected consequences of being online.

20.  What motivates me?

21.  List your top 200 achievements.

22.  “Rock journalism is people who can’t write interviewing people who can’t talk for people who can’t read” (Frank Zappa) – Comment

23.  A skill set called leadership.

24.  Andy Warhol said, “In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes.” You can’t choose the 15 minutes but why would you be world famous?

25.  How hard is it to follow instructions?

26.  Have you figured out the second head fake?

27.  “Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when you only have one idea” (Alain).

28.  You cannot chase two rabbits at the same time.

29.  Conventional is a good fallback position isn’t it?

30.  My big fat BIG dream.

31.  Write your bucket list / 100 things to do before you die?

32.  Why I have conversations?

33.  My favourite Cat in the Hat book is [fill in the title]; because…

34.  Watch this space.

35.  The last lecture.

Photographic respect

A link sent by ProBlogger over the use of photographs on blogs and other applications from Skelliewag.

Skelliewag is a blog about “planning, creating and growing the online projects you’re obsessed with. If you have big ideas that keep you awake at night (in a good way), this is written for you.”  Based in Melbourne, Australia Skellie defines herself on Twitter as Bio Writer, works at Envato, and procrastination guru.  But she has very useful and wonderful advice about using photographs from the web – how to do it,  HONESTLY,  without INFRINGING other people’s rights.

Read it at http://www.skelliewag.org/a-complete-guide-to-finding-and-using-incredible-flickr-images-162.htm



  1. Designer PR?
  2. SA Bands suck?
  3. If I were the boss…
  4. What is the colour of the wind? 27/3
  5. We are afraid of the wrong things. 3/4
  6. We are what we do.  10/4
  7. How do you step from the top of a 100-foot pole? 24/4
  8. No all who wander are lost.  1/5
  9. It is a poor idea to lie to yourself.  8/5
  10. It is better to practice a little than talk a lot. 15/5
  11. Feelings follow behaviour.  22/5
  12. Our greatest strengths are our greatest weaknesses.  29/5
  13. Every day is a good day. 5/6
  14. Write a list:  10 most unexpected consequences of being online. 20/7
  15. “Bunch of animals” is one comment on CPUT strikes in August.  What is yours? 09/08
  16. Personal autonomy  – how far does it extend?  07/09
  17. What motivates me …  14/09
  18. “Rock journalism is people who can’t write interviewing people who can’t talk for people who can’t read” (Frank Zappa) – Comment 21/09
  19. Andy Warhol said, “In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes”  – You can’t choose the 15 minutes but why would you be world famous. 05/10
  20. “Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when you only have one idea” (Alain).  12/10
  21. Conventional is a good fallback position 19/10
  22. Watch this space. 26/10

Remember your own topic each week as well.  Now is the time to make your blog your own.


Twitter :  Add your blog address to your twitter profile – it will make you so much easier to find.

Tweet by Melissa Atree: “WTF is Twitter?” http://www.5fm.co.za/djs/Poppy/blog/to-tweet-or-not-to-tweet-wtf-is-twitter-anyway – My #5FM post this week #GlobalExpress – send it to peeps you’re trying to get onto twitter :). Check this out via a web. It is also posted on Blackboard Learning Systems.
Also read The Times (SA) article “How Tweet it is” also posted on Blacboard Learning Systems for those who DON’T read newspapers.

Topic: SA Bands suck?

Opinion piece:

  • Your opinion of South African bands.
  • The title is intended to be controversial – please make sure you make it a question and not a statement.
  • Post the opinion on your blog – the one that you have created using your name.
  • DO NOT CREATE A BLOG WITH THIS AS A TITLE.  If you have already delete it.

General standards: Not less than 200 words, not more than 400 words.  Due:  February 20, 2009.  (20 marks).  Two comments on two different classmates blogs – only the first two comments posted count per blog.  (20 marks).