Friday, April 06, 2007

My Non-Academic Space

Probably the most revealing panel of the second full day of the PCA conference was the "Web Use" panel for the Internet Culture Group. In light of corporate aquisitiveness regarding intellectual property and brand identity, Gavin Keulks discussed the challenges of being the official administrator of the Martin Amis Web, and local SoCal gal xtine Hanson talked about anti-mass marketing websites with user-generated content that are situated in local geographies like Fallen Fruit and her own The Q&A was particularly lively, because panelists talked frankly about the complexities of balancing their academic identities with their interests as webmasters, which are still poorly understood by the academy.

Another Internet Culture panel on "Communities and Change" also dramatized how the norms of academic study may conflict with online behaviors associated with institutions of knowledge. Although W. Scott Cheney has a relatively modest 25 Facebook friends, he gave an informative presentation about the social networking site for students that addressed how policy makers and other powerful stakeholders in academia might be challenged by its online practices. There was also a thought-provoking presentation from an interdisciplinary team of Ithaca college faculty members about how religious practices and spaces could be important in the online world Second Life.

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