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Great session. Informative, thought provoking, and even emotional.

It’s Not Just Piracy, Porn, Pedophilia, or Power; Or, How the Internet
Saved My Family

Marc C. Santos, University of South Florida

Touching and informative mix of personal and academic where he talks about how social media use saved is daughter’s life. Nice to see good stories of how the internet can helps and isn’t just bad, addictive, or mundane. His verbal presentation mixed with a visual presentation of pictures of his young daughter. His story has been covered by a variety of internet news and traditional media sources and almost got on Oprah. They had never felt alone because of the internet and social media. Traditional media consumed them, social media supported.

  • What is new are the tools for validation and affirmation
  • calls for a “rhetoric of cooperation”

What We Talk About When We Talk About Talking: Ethos and Argumentation
in a Virtual Community

Quinn Warnick, Iowa State University

Three definitions of ethos:

  • Isocrates: Character, “weight of man’s life”
  • Aristotle: What the speakers says, not the character before speaking, Hyde ethos as artistic
  • Halloran: People gathering in a public space sharing experience and ideas—have virtues most value by the culture to and for which one speaks

Looks at MetaFilter and MetaTalk posts. Etiquette and policy posts generated by far the greatest numbers of comments and longer responses.

Moderators make 5% of comments in MetaTalk, less than 0.5% in other areas.

Did a survey of MetaFilter. One question asked which member they thought had the highest levels of credibility and asked why. The moderators all were at or near the tops. Many gave them credibility because they are the mods and are the final arbitrators, but some also feel they have also proven themselves over time.

Why some people earned/developed ethos:

  • rhetorical skills
  • domain specific expertise
  • offline relationships
  • remain calm/evenhanded
  • align w/ respondent’s world view
  • post a lot

What we teachers should consider—the “So What?”

  • Let community hash out issues, teachers should not moderate
  • Provide a back alley to allow people to work through issues and “talk about talking”

Good discussion after, including the suggesting we stop differentially online/virtual communities and just call them communities. Also, don’t forget the lurkers, they can be active members of the community.

Something to say?