I’ve just wrapped the second week of the Fall 2017 teaching semester, and I’m still in the warm glow of new students, new classes, new ideas. My Writing for Digital Media students had to complete and hand in questionnaires about their digital media habits, and I thought it was only fair I play along and answer the questions myself.
This ended up actually being a revelatory exercise for me — I discovered some trends and surprised myself with a few answers, too!
What are your favorite places to visit on the web, and why?
Mostly, I visit places to read the newest in excellent creative writing online. A few favorite sites are Literary Hub, Catapult, Buzzfeed Reader, Guernica, The Rumpus. Also, Pottermore.
Who are your favorite people on the web, and why?
The people I find myself migrating to over and over again online are writers and activists. And writers who have a strong activist voice. Those aren’t even really different categories. Roxane Gay’s tumblr and Twitter feeds are excellent. Celeste Ng is a stellar writer and tweets a lot about activism and resistance. Ijeoma Oluo. Ashley C. Ford. DeRay McKesson.
What are your favorite apps?
The apps I have the most fun using, or that I find the most clever, are definitely Instagram, Goodreads (the only way I keep track of the literally hundreds of books I want to read at any given time), Audible (how I listen to some of those books), Pocket (how I save all the hundreds of essays I want to read), and YogaStudio (make your own yoga sequences!).
What apps or software do you use most often?
Thinking about the difference between apps I use a lot and apps I really LIKE was really surprising (in how little overlap there was): definitely Google Drive / Docs, where I store all my teaching materials so I can run class from my iPad; Gmail, of course; lately I check the What to Expect app every day so I can remember how pregnant I am; plus I play iPad games like Jeopardy, Two Dots, and the NYT crossword app! On my computer, I pretty much just use Chrome and Word and iTunes.
Do you own a laptop, tablet, and / or smartphone? What platforms (Apple, Android, etc.)?
I have an iPhone (5s baby; I always buy old tech), an iPad which is basically attached to me, and an iMac. In my office at school, I have a Dell PC courtesy of Pitt.
What kinds of experiences do you have with digital composition (blogs, social media, wiki contributions, programming)?
I’ve built several websites and blogs, pretty much all using WordPress: one for my writing (here), one for my teaching, and one for each of the two digital writing classes I teach. Plus, I have my social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But actually i have a long history there; I was on Facebook before it was public, way back in 2003. Before that, yeah I was on MySpace. Before that, I totally had a LiveJournal.
What kinds of experience do you have with digital multimedia composition?
I’ve done basic photo stuff with my iPhone and Instagram; I’ve also created some flyers and posters using Photoshop, and infographic syllabi using Piktochart. I’ve played around in iMovie, and edited an audio essay once using GarageBand.
Do you play any video games? Which ones are your favorite and why? Which platforms do you use?
I have a PlayStation 3 (seriously, I always buy at least one generation back with tech). I love open-world fantasy / adventure quest games. My very favorite is Skyrim, and Oblivion. I will play anything the Elder Scrolls puts out. I got pretty into Fallout 3. I also LOVED old PC quest / adventure games. My favorite was this gem King’s Quest III, which they are remaking for PlayStation, but I much prefer the old clunky pixelated version from my youth.