Cultivating Your ‘Real Name’ or Not

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by stevec77

Portfolio or no portfolio? Linkedin profile? Youtube? Twitter? Facebook? Comments on blog posts from a class? What out there on the internet is associated with your real name? Have you looked?

Do some ego-surfing. Google yourself. Facebook yourself. Add keywords like “New York” “York College” “Video” “Design.” What turned up? What’s the first site that pops-up? Was it you? Was it what you’d want to show up first?

In a blog post describe what you discovered when you searched your real name. Then describe what your plans are to cultivate results that you’d like to see. You may want to have a portfolio that’s the top result and associating your real name to a WordPress install with your real name as the title would help a lot.

But you don’t necessarily have to do that. You could have your real name point to a Facebook profile that’s completely private. And that’s ok. Read Danah Boyd’s article on the ‘Tyranny of Real Name Policies.’ She has an interesting perspective on the value of pseudonymity online.

These are a few examples of portfolios out there, a couple of which are Comm Tech alumni:

Shanté Pierre (CT alumni and recent Parsons MFA candidate)
Dhruv Kumar (Recent CT alumni)
Josh Weiss (AMC staff editor)
Karen Kavett (probably my favorite portfolio site as it integrates her regular blogging/social media activities with her work samples)

It’s Alive!!!


What do you want to make that is going to take time to bring it to life? The week long creative challenge is fun for the fact that you can do a sketch, shoot a photo, create a short clip/GIF – upload it and be done. It was useful as it was revealing a bit about your taste, but it wasn’t too much of a struggle.

A semester long final project though is a fairly big commitment. It has to be of scope and scale worthy of a semester long project. There will be struggles. You will have to spend a lot of time looking at what you’ve created, and it will be looking right back at you almost saying, “I am what I am because you made me this way.”


You are a reflection of what you’re making, it is a reflection of you.

So I’d like you to spend time over the next two weeks thinking. Yes just thinking – dreaming in the daytime actually. Doing so with an intention to ruminate about what you might commit to making for your final project and why you’d chose to do so. Be prepared to at our next meeting talk to us about how and when you thought about this. Where were you? How long did you think about it? What distractions were around or not? How much time would you say your really gave yourself thinking/dreaming about it? What did you discover? About the project? About yourself possibly?

writing an essay

What’s Your Taste?

You spent week creating something everyday and posting it on this blog. You may not have actually done everyday. Why not? But regardless I believe that you revealed something about your taste in what you like to make and how you made it.

I want you to try and describe these tastes that are a part of how you might think of yourself as an artist or maker or whatever (if you hate labels). But this is not always an easy thing to do, so be willing to lean the things you made in the last week, or even in other spaces or other times. Where do think you’re work needs a little more, describe the bits you’re happy with and not so happy with.

And how are you going to make the time for yourself as Ira Glass suggests is necessary to get better at executing your taste.

Isn’t That Just Like a Rabbit?

Brings a knife to a gun fight.


I’ve been really enjoying the work you’ve all be creating this week and I thought I do a little remix of Bugs Bunny vs. Mickey Mouse. As soon as I saw DarkLordDre’s cartoon I thought of the scene from the Untouchables in which Sean Connery’s character is setup by a knife wheeling hood, only to be gunned down on his fire escape. Connery’s famous quote, “Isn’t that just like a wop? Brings a knife to a gun fight,” has been part of a regular trope in fiction:

A character comes into the scene armed with what he thinks is sufficient, only to find out he is severely outclassed weapon-wise, because he brought the entirely wrong type of weapon (usually the superior weapon is revealed after the first person has committed to a fight).

Possibly I could say the same about this week’s creative challenge. ‘Never bring a JPG to a GIF fight – or I’ll animate the crap out of you.’


Is someone to twist my arm make me do work

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Frank V.

This is a week long challenge for which you will create something everyday and present it on this blog. You can create ANYTHING, but you must document it and present it here. It can be a work in progress, a drawing, doodle, photo, design, animated GIF, audio/video recording, writing, meme, craft project, great meal, sculpture, but it has to be something you made THAT DAY. Not something you made a week, month, year ago, but today. New work can be based on old work though – remix, rework, mashup is all allowed.

And if you’re stumped, then try looking at the DS106 Assignment Repository or follow the Daily Create for a daily creative prompt. There are lots of fun stuff in the assignment repository and you can often find better assignments try sorting them by views.

Post what you’ve made and categorize it under “Creative Challenge.” Also, you must, must write a description of how and why you made what you did. And please hyperlink to sites that were an inspiration or source of remixed media.

Is This A Test?

The gall of anyone to ask who do you think you are? It’s something you’d normally associate with a parent responding to their child climbing the walls while attempting to reach the cookie jar, “Who do you think you are, Spiderman? Get down from there!”

But this is something we are forced to ask ourselves on a regular basis. What do you want to do after college? Do you have a resume ready? A linkedin? Facebook? Twitter? A portfolio of your work? The list of ways we are asked to represent ourselves and conjure an identity for others to see and assess is practically endless.

Pre-digital or more importantly pre-internet mostly who we are, was contained in spaces more confined – our peers at school, work, home; as well by the more limited means we could present a collection of work with slides and paper portfolios (I did both of these); and that awful thing that seems to still not go away – the resume.

But now we have unique access to present ourselves not as just an audience or perspective producer to big media, we can broadcast, showcase, without obstacle, other than our good habits to stay focused on the work.

So yes it is still a test, but the format has changed. The blue book, the quiz questions, the grades, even the ‘grader’, are different. Social media spaces are the new contains in which we present the questions and answers in the form of presenting ideas and seeking response. The grading happens in up votes (Reddit) or retweets and mentions. And there is no absolute arbiter, but there is consensus. So you are always wondering how am I doing? Who am I? Who?
writing the persuasive essay