February 19th, 2009

IDES 322: Instructables

Alex Gilbert

Up to this point our goal has been to get everyone familiar with the core tools of web citizenship and to communicate some shared understanding of how these tools are affecting our society. So far, so good, right? Our tumblr is humming with content from around the class, most of you have begun to customize your blogs and connect through your various accounts. We will continue to spend some time going over these tools, particularly in refining the designs and themes of your blogs.

Hopefully last week's video got some of you thinking about what happens to all of this content that you are creating and publishing on the web. Even though he gave the talk in the video last year, it remains a hugely relevant topic. (One perfect example: Lessig will be speaking next week on the issue brought up by Shepard Fairey's HOPE poster.) Our next assignment is a project through which you should be able to see some practical applications of what Lawrence Lessig is talking about.

Instructables is a website that allows users to share DIY projects with each other and the rest of the world. By creating and sharing these how-tos, users are able to engage in the robust community of the Instructables site while developing valuable content for their online presence. Many of you are already creating projects that would make perfect instructables, so we're going to spend the next two weeks putting your work out there for others to enjoy. There's a bit of extra good timing in this project: if you make a really exceptional project with a green twist to it, you could win a laser cutter.

No readings this week! Week 4 CREATE:
  • Decide on the project you'd like to turn into an instructable. You will spend this week preparing the sketches and prototype for your project.
  • We want to read your thoughts on other Instructables and on the inspiration for the project you choose to develop. Post these thoughts on your own blog with a link back to this post.
Alex Gilbert

Check out another article
February 16th, 2009