Blog Prompts, Weeks of 9/21 and 9/28

(Revised Prompts for Group B, Week of 9/28)

Experiential Post, Group B

Search the web and find an infographic or visualization that draws on qualitative or quantitative data. Choose one piece of data or information that is conveyed in the infographic, and research its origins as a piece of knowledge.

Try to get as close to the original source of information as possible, even if the data you find conflicts with the data that is depicted in the visual. Wikipedia may be an immediate source of information for the infographic, for example, but it’s unlikely to be the site of primary research of that data.

Report briefly on how the knowledge contained in the piece of data or information was originally obtained, and describe the process you went through to find that original source. Using analysis of the process you went through to find the source and comparison of the meaning of the data in its different contexts, make an argument that assesses the reliability of the infographic/visualization at hand and offer a framework for assessing the reliability of infographics/visualizations in general. To what extent should we trust them?

Make use of the affordances of the web throughout your blog post—include links to the source of the infographic, the original source, and perhaps to other sources you encountered on the way.

Reading-Response Post, Group B

Our main reading this week is a profile of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, from 2010. A lot has happened in regards to leaks and surveillance since 2010, of course: your reading-response post should give the class a sense of some of those developments.

Find an Assange/Wikileaks-related resource from 2013 or 2014—an editorial, a video, a film, a profile, a blog post, an interesting news item, etc. Post a link to the resource and an image of it. Offer a capsule summary of the resource and describe its relevance to the profile of Assange we will read for Wednesday. Then, make an argument about the extent to which Wikileaks reads differently in our culture in 2014 compared to 2010.


(Original Prompts for Group A, Week of 9/21)

Experiential Post, Group A

Search the web and find an infographic or visualization that interests you. After you’ve spent a bit of time thinking about the visual rhetoric of the image at hand, track down at least one of its sources.

Include an image of and link to the infographic in question at the beginning of your post. In your post, analyze the different ways that data and information have been conveyed in the original source and in the infographic or visualization—what does each artifact do that the other couldn’t? What value does the infographic or visualization add? Be sure to include links to the original source and to the infographic/visualization.

Reading-Response Post, Group A

Track down one of the sources of textual evidence in the reading at hand—the documents on the web or in print from which the author is drawing. For example, Pariser cites Eric Schmidt as saying, “The next step of search is doing this automatically,”—how would you find the original document from which this quote is drawn? Once you have found the original document, analyze the purpose of the quotation in its original context and its new context in the reading. How did the original author/speaker of the quote intend the sentence/paraphrase? How does the author of our reading alter its meaning and use it in a new way? Be sure to include links to and citations for the original source material.

One thought on “Blog Prompts, Weeks of 9/21 and 9/28”

  1. In an email, one student asks me to “better explain the reading response post prompt.”

    What I’m looking for in the post is basically:

    1. A link to a more recent essay or other resource about Julian Assange;
    2. A brief paraphrase of the argument or implications of that resource; and
    3. An argument about the extent to which the picture of Assange/Wikileaks painted by the more recent resource is different from the one painted in the assigned article.

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