Multimodal Publishing (October 4)

To Do This Week

Read: Hyper and Deep Attention: The Generational Divide in Cognitive Modes, by N. Katherine Hayles*

*This is a scholarly text and a bit dated, but it is clear on the issues of attention in reading multimodal texts. Hayles is also a key scholar in the field of digital media.

blog prompt: Reflecting on the Hayles’s essay on Hyper and Deep Attention, what is “screen reading” to you? Are multimedia, hyperlinks, interactivity and sharing essential parts of the way we use texts today? Or are they distractions that take us away from the deep immersive experience that we get from traditional books? How have your reading and writing habits changed with the web and mobile devices? And, as a university student asked to read many kinds of texts for classes, discuss your ideas for specific features of digital books that would be most helpful to you in engaging with knowledge and ideas. Quote from the essay.

Class Notes

  1. EPUB issues  (grade now 15%)
  2. Final projects (25%)
  3. Grades by Wed…
  4. Hayles reading – Attention and Distraction
  5. multimodal books – examples
  6. Vectors and Scalar > Pathfinders
  7. native and web apps
  8. journalism, integrated media 
  9. online learning as publishing
  10. podcasts/videoblogs/newsletters
  11. hybrid publishing

Multimodal Texts

Discuss Hayles reading. Hyper and Deep Attention
What do we want from digital books?
What do we want from digital publishing?
How do we learn?

Advertising distractions:  
Removing ad distractions: Instapaper
Good distractions for deep reading: 

Pry, by Tender Claws


Design for Attention and Distraction

  • create good distraction (?)
  • capture attention
  • hold attention thru small distractions:
    DTC 101

multimedia journals:

multimedia essays:

fiction and poetry:

digital collage texts

web-styled print publishing

Multimodal Publication (small groups): 20%
DUE NOV 8th (5 weeks)

For the Multimodal Project, you will be working in groups of 3-5 students. As a publishing team, you are to come up with a web-based publishing project that uses different media (text, image, video, animation, audio, interactive media, etc) to express, address and/or educate about a single topic. The topic could be a “how to” explanation or demonstration of skills, a collection of works of digital fiction or art that share a theme, a multimedia exploration of a moment or period of history, or an engaging resource of information around a topic. The final publication must…

  • Involve the collaborative efforts of each student in the group, with planned editing workflows and responsibilities
  • Address design issues around Hyper and Deep attention of readers
  • Design should include a designed cover of the “book” as well as media as illustration and/or interactive demonstrations of ideas
  • Take care in the quality, clarity and accessibility of text, media and web design
  • Be presented in a designed web interface
  • Have an about page with the roles of each student, date and other publishing information
  • Be promoted through DTC Slack channels with engaging multimodal messaging



Brainstorm Topics…

Gather into small groups (3-5) – brainstorm ideas

Web Dev and Design
Copy Editor
Video/Audio (?)
Social Media Promotion

Download Multimodal HTML Template – ZIP
overview of code


Instructions for uploading your projects to a server using an FTP (file transfer protocol) client:

  1. Download an ftp client. These are free: Cyberduck or Filezilla
  2. “Open Connection”
  3. Enter the following info:
    username: first initial + last name + the year (’15”), all in lowercase, no spaces or symbols (so, “Sam Jones” would be “sjones15″)
    password: last 4 digits of student ID
  4. If successful, you should be in your personal server directory that has the same name as your username. Now you can either drag the folder and files in that directory or use the “action” menu to “upload”
  5. Please upload folders with your project name. Lowercase with no spaces!
  6. Inside the folder, make sure that your default/home page for the project is “index.html.” The server will automatically load files named index.html.
  7. Now check how everything looks live, at the absolute URL that looks something like this:
  8. If you cannot see images, make sure that your file names and calls to access those files are all lowercase. Servers are case-sensitive!
  9. Post that URL in a blog post

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