Digital Dialogs 3

Since I first used Storify after a conference in 2013, I’ve come to think of it as an efficient tool for digitally archiving ephemeral conversations. The practice of live tweeting at conference panels has amplified the reach of what might otherwise be fleeting remarks, but the live tweets themselves are also a re-inscription of presenters’ (and questioners’) remarks, a re-inscription that often revises and even extends them. Storify allows me to both collect and collage these conversations, as in the artifact I submit for my third Digital Dialog, #l05: Mutha Werk. I submit this under the category “Race & ethnicity in the digital age.”

This panel, featuring Dr. Ersula Ore and respondent Gwendolyn Pough, took place Saturday morning at CCCC 2015 in Tampa, Florida. My travel plans put me in the Tampa airport when #l05 took place, but Twitter allowed me to join the audience digitally. Dr. Ore’s presentation, “Reflections from an Academic Jaywalker,” connected her research on race, citizenship, and violence with her authority as a woman of color at the university, and with her encounter with an Arizona State University police officer, and her subsequent violent arrest. In addition to live tweets from the session (and my own tweets from the Tampa airport), I used Storify to go beyond simple recording, annotating the conversation by adding links to bystander videos of Dr. Ore’s arrest, and to the ASU PD’s transcript of the officer’s dash cam video–artifacts that themselves would not exist, or be subject to so wide a circulation, without digital technologies. Like the cell phones that enabled bystanders to record and circulate video, Twitter and Storify extend the network of witnesses, or we might say they widen the audience. Not being able to be present at the session didn’t mean I had to miss what got said, nor did I have to miss the powerful affective experience of bearing witness to Dr. Ore’s remarks. (For a related discussion of in-person, virtual, and hybrid conference attendance, see Mala Bali’s and Rebecca Hogue’s column in Hybrid Pedagogy.) Here’s one of my tweets appealing to the conference-goers to show Dr. Ore our solidarity:


Live tweeters from the sessions even drew in a bigger in-person crowd:

The more I’ve used Storify, the more I’ve come to understand its audience and impact as going beyond the viewers who may come to it immediately, through their presence in a session or at at event, or through notifications on Twitter (if they were quoted in the Storify) or even circulation among Facebook friends (#l05: Mutha Werk has 190 views as of April 2015): the Storifies I’ve made of special events say something about me, my interests, and my connection to a community of scholars–so I’ve added a link to Storify profile & projects to my home page as a way of inviting visitors to get to know my point of view a bit better.