My Communitas Workshops at NCSU
Election information blues

Files from NCSU workshop

I finally can upload the files from my workshop. They are:
the lecture presentation that I gave, Communitas Digitas. Download communitas_nscu_prez.pdf (PDF 5.4 Mb)
the assignment sheet I passed out to the students Download communitas_digitas_assignment.pdf (PDF 56 kb)

The assignment was to:

  1. Select a digital community with various aspects of “learning” part of it. This can be a broad as “learning” about products (ex. EBay, Slashdot, iTunes) or as specific as an educational institution (ex. MIT OpenCourseware).
  2. Define the common values (i.e. charter, constitution) of the community and how they are made tangible to community members.
  3. Define the major categories of features, functions, and content on the digital platform that make manifest those values and represent the ritual behaviors of the group.
  4. Rank on a 5-point Likert scales (from Completely weakens, Partially weakens, Neutral, Partially supports, Completely supports) the extent to which the top 10-15 major features, functions, and/or content support historical consciousness, life goals, organizational structure, agency, and relationships.
  5. Visualize the communitas of the community using your scales, categories, and values.
  6. Report your findings to the group in a 15-minute presentation. Try to make your presentation capture the essence of the communitas.

I will probably give a review of the student's work this weekend. But suffice to say they produced in less than 12 hours that which would have taken weeks by others. This is the list of participating Masters of Design students and the links to the sites they analyzed using the assignment:

  • Kelly Cunningham analyzed, I Can Has Cheez Burger, I cannot explain LOLcats. You have to see them to believe them.
  • Steve Harjula analyzed Fixed Gear, to quote Steve "amateur bike porn"
  • Samyul Kim analyzed Croquet Consortium, multiplatform 2D, 3D, network
  • Marty Lane (former UIC graduate) analyzed Slow Food Charlotte, local chapter of the Slow Food Movement
  • Valentina Miosuro analyzed Children with, which is a cool site that treats diabetes as a lifestyle not just a medical condition
  • Matt Munoz analyzed, which is like slashdot for political news junkies
  • Kelly Murdoch-Kitt analyzed, which is a social networking book recommendation site. Really cool.
  • Robert Ruehlman analyzed, a music database that we were not sure counted as a community
  • Alberto Rigau analyzed Facebook, if you don't know I cannot help you. Tee hee.
  • Gretchen Rinnert analyzed Sports Shooter, the online resource for photojournalist.
  • Rebecca Tegtmeyer analyzed Our Kids, an art expression blog for parents with children with autism
  • Michele Wong Kung Fong analyzed Google Docs, which we were not sure counted as community but perhaps was only a tool for a community

They totally rocked. See what you analysis would be if you follow the assignment. Feel free to post in comments.


Marty Lane

Hi Dori,

I wanted to let you know that we have continued to build on the information from your workshop. We have designed concept maps for selected learning communities. I am continuing to work with the Slow Food movement. You can check out our concept maps as they appear on our blogs. There is more to come....

Thanks again for getting our semester started!


Alberto Rigau

Hey Dori. Thank you for coming and giving us a hand! Your Sapient model is still with me as we continue to explore the idea of online communities –both in studio and in seminar class–. I will keep you posted on these explorations… ;)

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