Writing (and Reading) for the Internet. Larry Press [email protected] 13th CSU Symposium on University Teaching CSU, San Bernadino. Context – part of an IT literacy course Module design and user interface Examples from the writing modules. Two-minute history of computer/IT literacy.
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Module design and user interface
Examples from the writing modules
Kurtz studied under John Tukey at Princeton, has been professor of math, computer science and Computer Information Systems and computer center director at Dartmouth.
Kemeney worked on the Manhattan Project, was Einstein’s mathematics assistant as a student, and was Professor of mathematics and President of Dartmouth College.
The skills and concepts needed for success as a student and after graduation as a professional and a citizen.
Many of the relevant concepts and most of the skills have changed as IT platforms have changed.
Application development (IT) literacy
Batch processing and time sharing
Services used for writing assignments (IT) literacy
Content creation data types (IT) literacy
Modules (IT) literacy
Writing module status today (IT) literacy
Prototype user interface (IT) literacy
Link to writing modules
When hiring, Jason Fried, founder of 37 Signals, a leading Internet software company looks for good writers:
“Probably the most important thing, and probably one of the surprises, is you have to work with people who are good writers.”
“Everybody has to be a good writer.”
Undergrads write more and better Internet software company looks for good writers:
Stanford five year study on undergraduate writing, more information
Is this is your brain on … Internet software company looks for good writers:
Know your reader Internet software company looks for good writers:Question: How do people read short documents on the Internet?
Answer: quickly and superficially, focusing on the top and left sides of the screen.
Three types of writing are common on the Internet:
Some blog posts on writing for the Internet:
“I would not have made this so long except that I do not have the leisure to make it shorter,” Pascal, letter, 1656.
Question every sentence in a short document – why did you include it? Is it necessary? Can you shorten it? How does it sound when read aloud? Did you let it cool off? Have someone else read it?
Would you like to have lunch today?
> Would you like to have lunch today?
Yes, what time and where?
> Yes, what time and where?
How about noon at Felippe’s?
Noon is great --- where is Felippe’s?
> Noon is great --- where is Felippe’s?
Near Union station --- here is a link:
Great -- I will meet you there at noon.
In a few years, men will be able to communicate more effectively through a machine than face to face.
What will on-line interactive communities be like? ... They will be communities not of common location, but of common interest.
Licklider and Taylor, The Computer as a Communication Device, 1968
A synchronous, collaborative writing example effectively through a machine than face to face.
Google Docs: A love letter (1m 36s)
Crowdsourcing, strangers collaborate on a video effectively through a machine than face to face.
How it was made
Can one communicate emotion across a network? effectively through a machine than face to face.
Hole in space
Always on effectively through a machine than face to face.
Video, Russian coup attempt, 1991
Doug Englebart, computer augmented meeting
MySQL -- a distributed organization effectively through a machine than face to face.
MySQL CEO Marten Mickos:
70% of employees work from home
This calls for a different management style than a pre-Internet company, but Mickos is clearly pleased with the increased productivity and flexibility.
Complete talk at the 2007 Ubuntu Conference
Wiki page functions effectively through a machine than face to face.
Wikipedia article on the heavy metal umlaut
March 2010 effectively through a machine than face to face.
Jon Udell’s video on the evolution of the page effectively through a machine than face to face.