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Copy and Paste Literacy: Literacy Practices in the Production of a MySpace Profile
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Copy and Paste Literacy: Literacy Practices in the Production of a MySpace Profile


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  • Introduced myself Last summer… 580million, into the consciousness… For those of you who don’t know… My talk today, though… Last summer, spent a couple of months doing participant observation at a summer program at an arts and technology center. Before the class, during breaks, and after class, the teenagers in the class spent a great deal of time on MySpace. At first it was only a few of them, but as the weeks went by more and more started doing it, some of the younger participants signed up on MySpace for the first time, it became the subject of conversations. It was at this time that MySpace also seemed to enter the consciousness of the American press. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp bought the site for $580 million dollars. For much of the next eight months, it seemed like a day did not go by when there wasn’t a story about MySpace being banned in schools, about some teenager girl or boy being ensnared by an online predator, about teenagers casually posting intimate private information on the web to unknown audiences. The purpose of my talk today is not to address any of those concerns and fears. I am not in a position to judge them. Rather, I am interested in another aspect of the site: the creative construction of MySpace profiles and how it might embody significant new literacy practices.
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    • 1. Copy and Paste Literacy Literacy Practices in the Production of a MySpace Profile Dan Perkel School of Information University of California, Berkeley September 21, 2006 Title: About me:
    • 2. Outline:
      • An introduction to “design anarchy”
      • A socio-technical model of literacy
      • From coding to copy and paste
      • “ New” terms for new literacy?
    • 3. Screenshot of default profile
    • 4. Screenshot of modified profile
    • 5. What accounts?
    • 6. What accounts?
    • 7. coding in profile
    • 8. media embedded
    • 10. Perspectives on literacy
      • A technical process: reading/writing, with social “consequences”
      • An social process: ideology, power, and social practices
      • Media literacy: Access, Analyze, Evaluate, Create (skills); multimodality
      • (and there are a lot more!)
    • 11. A technosocial model
      • Literacy is: “ The convergence of a large number of genres and social niches on a common representational form.” (diSessa 2000)
    • 12. Social niche Social niche Genres Genres Representational form (diagram based on conversation with Andrea diSessa)
    • 13.
      • Code
      body {background-color:0A2D57; background-image:url(''); background-attachment: fixed; background-position:top left; background-repeat:no-repeat; border-color:0A2D57; border-width:6px ; border-style: solid; <img src=&quot;; alt=&quot;Image hosted by;> Representational form
    • 14. Screenshot of coding in profile
    • 15. Collage of media and comments
    • 16.  
    • 17. Return to: Collage of media and comments
    • 18. (dichotomy chart) Literacy with new media - socio-cultural concepts Literacy with new media - technical concepts Consumption / Production Reading / Writing
    • 19. (participation/remix replacement) Participation Remix Literacy with new media - socio-cultural concepts Literacy with new media - technical concepts
    • 20. Participation “ [Participation] leads to a conceptualization of the imagination as collectively rather than individually experienced and produced takes into account both the relationships between individuals and media and between groups engaged with media.” (Ito, forthcoming)
    • 21. Remix “ [America’s children] are discovering what previous generations of artists knew: art doesn’t emerge whole cloth from individual imaginations. Rather, art emerges through the artist’s engagement with previous cultural materials.… Even well established artists work with images and themes that already have some currency within the culture.“ (Jenkins 2006)
    • 22.  
    • 23. Sistine chapel ?
    • 24. MySpace challenges:
      • Our understanding of what it “technical” and what is “social”
      • The notions of “reading/writing” and “production/consumptions”
      • Perhaps our understanding of new literacies
    • 25.
      • Heather Horst, Andrea diSessa, Megan Finn, Mimi Ito, danah Boyd, Jessica Parker, Judd Antin, Christo Sims, Peter Lyman, the Digital Youth Research Project, and the MacArthur Foundation
      Dan has 3287 friends (Thank yous):
    • 26. Contacting Dan: [email_address]