Jackson at The Brattle


I’m going to see another film for our class so I can compare and contrast the theater experiences for my paper.

I’ll be going tomorrow to the Brattle to see Jackson. Learn more about the film here: http://www.jacksonthefilm.com/the-film/#short-synopsis

If you want to get tickets to see the screening tomorrow, click here to head over the website for the Brattle Theater. There will be a Q&A with the film director and producer moderated by a writer from the Boston Globe.



3 Ways to Win Twitter this Semester

I decided I’d make a post about 3 tools you could use to follow the different conversations in class and be sure you are able to reply to classmates and follow #Hashtags (Conversations).


You can use Twitterfall to follow different users, lists, searches, etc. in real time. You can assign different colors to the criteria, specify geographic locations, and more. For example, you could have used this tool to monitor @StandwithCongo; #TGIM; #StandwithCongo; #whenelephantsfight; and #conflictfree all simultaneously. This way you could be engaged in the whole conversation that might be happening around our class session Friday. (This tool is is a web app)


You can even interact right from the stream or feed in real time, by hovering over the item you want to interact with and selecting to retweet, dm, reply, or etc.



TweetDeck is a social media dashboard application for management of Twitter accounts. Like other Twitter applications it interfaces with the Twitter API to allow users to send and receive tweets and view profiles. (It can be used as a web app, a Chrome app, or a desktop app.) One advantage of using a tool like TweetDeck is that you can plan and schedule you tweets in advance.



Hootsuite is for more than just Twitter, it is a social media management tool that can be used to monitor and track social media accounts across several platforms and has various tools and integrations.

However you could use the free version of Hootsuite to manage Twitter for our class as well. You could add applicable Streams for the class, the #hashtag, a list, etc. (Show Below) and see the activity in those different streams simultaneously, and be able to interact from any of them right from the one screen.




Snowden – at Kendall Square Cinema


I found the experience interesting at Kendall Square Cinema unique and interesting. I learned some people see films at this theater, just for the popcorn flavors, or brownies. They claimed you can’t find those items at an “AMC” or big blockbuster theater.

I thought the food offerings were unique and it seemed the theater wasn’t as flashy or modern as some of the new theaters offering full service.

The employee behind the counter engaged me in a long conversation about how the films shown in different theaters is determined by distributors, based on demographics. He said that two theaters in the same city cannot show the same movie at the same time. We talked for several minutes about independent vs. big blockbuster theaters. I pointed out to him that he was a major difference between the two. A larger theater would employee a larger number of employees, and most probably wouldn’t consider understanding film distribution as a necessity for there job.

One of the most interesting aspects of the film was the portrayal of the media and reports as American heros or genuinely fighting for the good. Considering Oliver Stone’s take on the media in Natural Born Killers, this seemed a much different view of how the news media delivers information.

Boston Twitter Accounts

Below, click the images. They are links to  lists of Boston Twitter accounts to follow. The first is from @mettermedia and the second is from @BostInno.

Are you already following them? Are there others you would add to this list? I’m also curious, what makes you want to follow specific accounts?

Do you prefer accounts with lots of tweets and retweets throughout the day or ones with more planned or structured content?



Independent Theater Assignment – Snowden

I was thinking of going to Kendal Square Cinema to see Snowden this Thursday for our movie assignment.

Here’s a description of the film fom KSC’s website:

Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone, who brought us Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Wall Street andJFK, tackles one of the most important and fascinating true stories of the 21st century. Snowden, the politically-charged, pulse-pounding thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, reveals the incredible untold personal story of Edward Snowden, the polarizing figure who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities by the NSA and became one of the most wanted men in the world. He is considered a hero by some, and a traitor by others. No matter which you believe, the epic story of why he did it, who he left behind, and how he pulled it off makes for one of the most compelling films of the year. Also starring Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Nicolas Cage, Tom Wilkinson and Rhys Ifans.

Anyone want to go? I’m gonna head from UMass Boston after my COMM351 Class to catch the 1:05 showing. (I have 3 or 4 extra seats in my car).

Just reach to me at @helpdesksocial

Week 3 Reading: Bauerlein: “The Internet” & “Learning to Think in a Digital World” Pgs: 26-38


  1. (“The Internet”) What is it about Digital Immigrants that keeps them from being as excited to learn a new web application or web browser “by feel” as is described starting on page 31?
  1. (“Learning to Think in a Digital World”) If “…no human being was born to read.”, as is stated on page 36, why is it harder for the brain of a Digital Native to learn to read or to dedicate the time to read, etc.? Conversely, shouldn’t the Digital Immigrant whose brain is a “reading brain”, welcome the additional work of the cognitive exploration and additional knowledge of the digital mode even more readily?”


  1. I am sort of the “Technology Help Desk” for a majority of my friends, and especially my family. My parents call me regularly for help and assistance with his technology. I’m a bit older than what I think is considered a “Digital Native” but my father was very much interested in providing us with technology and resources growing up. We had an Atari 2600, a Commodore PET computer, and other devices and gadgets, (like Xerox typewriters that had floppy drives and small monitors with memory.)

All that to say that early on in my childhood and throughout my growing up, I was constantly experiencing the “learning by feel” described in our text. We would acquire most of our technology second or third hand and often without instructions, or any prior experience with these devices or the software and tools required to operate them.

So, because of this it always surprises me that even though my father was encouraging us and driving us to learn technology and to embrace these changes, he himself resisted them with fervor. To this day he refuses to have a cell phone, and despite being fascinated with my mother’s tablet, continues to use his old Windows desktop machine.

Recently my parents called me because they needed to sign a rental agreement. (They rent the house we were raised in to my younger brother and his family.) My father told my mother he was sure there was a way to sign the form without printing it, signing it by hand and scanning it. My mother was lost and called me.

I had “digitally signed” documents in the past using Docusign, but I had never created one before. After 30 minutes of walking my mom through how to start a Google Hangout, (she tries really hard, but it seems like she gets quickly frustrated by UI that she’s unfamiliar with), I was finally able to see her screen and walk her through how to add a signature to the document.

When we had finished she said, “You have so much knowledge, it is really surprising.” I laughed and told her that I had never done that before and I just clicked around the site till I figure it out. I added that whenever I get stuck, I just Google “How do I…” and most often find the answer easily.

My father is a reader. My mother is a reader. They both have extensive knowledge in what interests them and both have read most of their lives for pleasure and for knowledge. I’m not sure what it is about their “reading brain” that doesn’t allow them to see the benefits of the digital mode.

It makes me wonder if my helping them, rather than making them “finding their own way” has been what has limited their ability to learn this sort of cognitive exploration. I’m not sure what causes generations to stop their learning and exploring at a certain point in time.

For example, I look at my own experience. As much as I love and use technology, apps, social media, and digital communication. It’s a struggle for me to understand and want to use messenger apps like Whats App, or “disappearing media” apps like Snapchat. There’s a difference in the type of connection that is made on these apps vs. Twitter or Facebook, that is one to one focused. There’s a gap for me there that I didn’t purposely create and even though I have a Snapchat account and try and explore and use it, I’m not sure I “get it”.

Reading: Shirky: “Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations” Pgs: Chapter 1

Question(s): The end of page 17 and beginning of page 18 define what Evan did as: “What he did was to work out a message framed in big enough terms to inspire interest, yet achievable enough to inspire confidence. (This sweet spot is what Eric Raymond, the theorist of open source software, calls “a plausible promise.”)” What does a plausible promise mean? How is it displayed in Evan’s story or other examples?

The end of page 21 and beginning of page 22 states “…we are living in the middle of a remarkable increase

in our ability to share, to cooperate with one another, and to take collective action, all outside the framework of traditional institutions and organizations.” Then, the chapter ends with the words, “These changes will transform the world everywhere groups of people come together to accomplish something, which is to say everywhere.”

Was this book written before or after crowdfunding? How does crowdfunding play into what is being described here?


The Plausible Promise is summed up by https://civicactions.com/blog/intro-to-the-plausible-promise-tool/ in this way: “(It) is the personal value that individuals get from joining a movement.” Reddit was founded in 2005 and since has 234 million active users (http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/reddit-stats/). Facebook was founded in 2004 and has 1.71 billion active users (http://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/) just two examples that show these mediums that allow individuals to inspire interest and confidence have grown exponentially faster than other mediums of the past.

It is displayed in this story because Evan was able to quickly and easily inspire saying, “I need Help” and then the help he needed was attainable, to the people hearing the message, through the very medium they were receiving the message through. If he had send out a penned letter via snail mail, the immediacy of action would not have existed. Even if someone were inspired to help, the effort they would have needed to make in order to Help would have been far greater. Adding the simplicity of “opening a new browser tab” and typing into search engine, as you are reading Evan’s site certainly added to the ease of entry to joining this cause.

From Freedman and Nutting we learn that Kickstarter launched in 2009 and since has hosted 256,000 campaigns. http://www.freedman-chicago.com/ec4i/History-of-Crowdfunding.pdf

Building from there we see the emergence of sites like GoFundMe who focus on donation based crowd funding. This idea that individuals can join a cause and get both the social value (earning a social badge or posting to social media accounts), in addition to the personal value.

I’m interested to see if and how “gamification” grows, and apps like Swarm (formerly Foursquare) or Untappd continue to find ways to turn users every day activities into “a game” and how that will impact the intersection of “the personal value that individuals get from joining a movement.” and social ranking.