About Me

Hello, I’m Dean Brooks. I’m a senior at NDSU with an English major and a minor in history.  I’m a non-traditional student, and returned to school in August of 2016 to finish my degree after a way-too-long hiatus.  This is my last semester before graduating.

Here’s a link to my blog.

My hobbies/interests include reading, writing, traveling, movies, donating blood to the Red Cross (I’m a gallon donor), skydiving, and screenwriting. I’ve written ten feature length scripts, and a handful of shorts. Last semester for English Capstone 467 I wrote a full-length feature screenplay accompanied by a critical analysis essay. We also had to construct an online portfolio showcasing our best work as English majors. That can be found here.

I’m actually not a huge fan of posting personal information or my identity online. I don’t have Facebook, LinkedIn, and I mainly repost things on my Twitter. I’m not fond of blogging either, for that matter. But this has not always been the case. Years ago I used to keep a number of blogs that served mainly as writing exercises. They gave me a lot of experience in writing online, generating key words for search engines, and exposure to Google Adsense. I kept a blog tracking rumors and news updates on the 2012 film Dark Knight Rises that thus far has generated over 40,000 page views since 2010. I applied the same blogging formula toward the 2011 Green Lantern movie that has gotten just over 10,000 page views thus far. I kept a small personal finance website where I wrote about different stocks I owned, and the economy in general. That blog has only had close to 3,000 page views since its inception. I also experimented with posting a blog that contained only one post about the pygmy hedgehog. Surprisingly that singularly focused blog has had over 8,000 page views. People love animals.

Before all that, I also used to have my own personal site. I wrote book reviews, anecdotal personal stories, humorous articles, and research articles. I’ve been published on College Humor, Double Viking, and Cinema Blend.

So why did I stop? Honestly, I lost interest in maintaining an online presence, and keeping up with generating content. It also became time consuming. None of my blogs ever became viral or successful enough to warrant attention beyond that of a (very) passive hobby. As social media has progressed and “matured” it’s also become more superficial and cacophonous. Advertising has become an obnoxious intrusion, making it harder and harder to find decent content. I’m something of a minimalist, and I find many of the websites now too infuriatingly busy to look at. I also came to value anonymity, an increasingly precious resource anymore.  However, I’m using this class to step outside of my comfort zone, and journey back to the world of social media and blogging.

As far as other social media experience, I’ve been using Reddit for probably about ten years. I prefer that site to many others mainly because it’s the most aesthetically pleasing way to gather news about all sorts of subjects. And the comments are fantastic (especially during football games on r/NFL). I’ve used Tumblr, Blogger, and WordPress before. I set up an Instagram years ago but never used it. Last year for my Comm 110 class we had to use YouTube to post our responses to interview questions, so I’m roughly familiar with how that functions. I enjoy listening to TED Talks on YouTube, and listen to Bill Burr’s Monday Morning podcast. Podcasting is something I’m interested in as a content format, if only because it’s basically niche radio. Years ago, when I attended Loyola University Chicago in my first stab at an undergraduate degree, I read the daily news at the college station 88.7 WLUW. Radio/podcasting also serves my anonymity interests.  I’ve been told I have a nice voice for a radio. Certainly I have a face for one. I’ve taken voice over lessons, but never used them to transition into any sort of a career. That might change in the future.

I’m excited and interested to learn more about social media in English 457. Even though I have a lot of experience with it in the past, it has changed so much since then that I’ll have to relearn a lot of what I knew before. I can be reached at dean.brooks@ndus.edu, and my Twitter handle is @deanmaxbrooks.

About–Is This Thing On?

I am an English major in my third year at NDSU. My interests are journalism, creative writing, and obscure media. Obscure media entails weird old books nobody reads, weird old movies nobody watches, and weird old comic books that nobody knows exist. I have found that obscure media can be more informative about certain people in a certain time than popular media, depending on what it is. Also, it is just fun to dig around for things. I’m currently into pulp sci-fi art, so this blog is going to be full of it.

In my free time I write fiction longhand. This gives me wrist pain if I do it for too long, but it has cleaned up my garish handwriting a bit. I mostly write short fiction. I also revise and compile forgotten, but relevant, public domain texts into pleasant e-books.
In the future I hope to work in journalism. Currently I write for the Spectrum, which I enjoy. I usually write album or book reviews, but I also write the occasional opinion article.

Unlike many people my age I can’t claim a cause that I hold dear. However, I wish I did. There are things I care about, particularly a broad collection of ideas that is probably best described as “feminist issues.” One of the things I hope to get out of this class is how to turn an amalgamation into one or two social causes that I can involve myself with and how to use social media in a constructive relationship with said ideas.

Social media remains ambiguous to me. I am not sure how to view it, or how to use it to my best benefit. I have a Facebook that I never use and that is where my social media use ends. This class may or may not be out of my comfort zone, but I look forward to it. Social media seems to be the one form of media that people nowadays consistently ingest. This means social media is now a crucial tool that I have no choice but to understand and embrace on some level. I have accepted that I am going to need to maintain somewhat of an online presence regardless of what my future career looks like. In short, I need to get in the loop.

About Me

Here’s my “About Me” page!

Guerrier Féministe

My name is Rachel Reko, and I’m a student at NDSU, finishing up my undergraduate degree in English before moving on to graduate studies. I have lived in Phoenix, Wichita, Minneapolis, Fargo, and Stillwater, OK, and will be continuing that nomadic tradition throughout the rest of my life. This lack of a permanent home growing up inspired me to find my home in literature. Now that I’m a little older, I’m not trying to find a home anymore. I’m trying to make a one, for myself and any others like me.

I hope to work in book publishing after my final graduation. I write my own works, both fiction and nonfiction. This blog lines up almost directly with my nonfiction work, which both center on feminist issues and my personal motivations for activism.

This blog focuses primarily on feminist issues, such as reproductive rights, body image, and the wage gap…

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Launching English 457, Social Media for Social Good, 2018 style.

Every time I teach this course, I try to improve my screen casting.  I’m going to try and add more text to my videos this time around, but I’m open to feedback. What would you like me to do / cover in my weekly screencast?

Perfect post recipes to be played with.

Like most recipes, this infographic on how and when to compose / post social media provides a great set of instructions that can be altered, juiced up, toned down, as needed.

Getting started by getting dark.

As I prep Electronic Communication for the 2018 spring semester, and consider all the online platforms I am asking students to use, all the time I am asking them to spend on screens rather than with people, I can’t help but wonder: just because I call the class “social media for social good,” is social media really good for my students?

Orge Castellano paints a dark but well-considered picture: “Social Media Giants are Hacking Your Brain–this is how.” Can we resist? Can we implement the tools in a way to build a house we want to live in? Let’s think about the course that way and see what happens.

Channeling Anne LaMott

I probably need to offer my students Jon Westenberg’s 3 draft limit next time I teach this course and blogging.  I also need to use Medium.  And I should probably acknowledge that Anne Lamott has offered this same advice in Shitty First Drafts.