The Anonymity Project (Video Preview)

After the 94 articles activity I reported about here 2 weeks ago, my research team (“students”) began crafting their research proposals.  These were then aggregated into one collaborative proposal showing how each project is related to the others.  In the meantime, they have also been learning the language of video; gathering clips, pictures, and techniques for demonstrating their proposals in compelling ways.  Most of them had never edited video before, and yet here we are just 4 weeks into the semester and they have already mastered the basics and created some interesting work.  The video below is simply some of the best of their 16 “trailers” mashed together to give you a glimpse into the project we hope to create throughout the rest of this semester.  We call the project: “The Fight for Significance in the Age of the Microcelebrity: Anonymity, Anonymous, Smart Mobs, Mad Mobs, Bot Mobs and the Great American Poets”

All the students are actively blogging about their projects.  You are welcome to follow along at our research hub.


Associate professor of cultural anthropology. Ed Traceur. Hacker. Car-free.

16 Responses

  1. Dan Donahoo says:

    Continue the fine work Digital Anthropologists of Spring 2009. There are many people watching. Off to watch more of your individual trailers….

  2. Great project… i think your work is inspirational!

  3. Rick Ladd says:

    As always, Professor, you are doing some very interesting . . . actually fascinating stuff that resonates with so many of us paying attention to how our world is changing. Makes me wish I was a full-time student and not smack in the middle of the changes as they’re affecting industry and commerce.

    Regardless, your work has helped me understand what we’re facing in my industry and how I can affect the direction we will go in if we expect to remain relevant. Thanks.

  4. yewenyi says:

    you guys just rock! :-)

  5. Just watched the Anthropology of Youtube on Youtube and was fascinated! I’m an Anthropology student in Australia, and have been thinking of doing my thesis on how the internet has influenced either cultures or friendships (i’m not quite sure yet, got so many ideas swimming through my head). I had gotten to the point of wondering if that was a pointless idea, but after looking at what you and your students are doing, am reinspired. Wish they offered a subject of the like at my university :)

  6. Ed Webb says:

    Amazing stuff. One question: the closing quote of the video – grammatically it should be “none of us is as connected as all of us” rather than “none of us are as connected as all of us”, I think – is that a deliberate choice (to produce cognitive dissonance in the grammatically-atuned/anal) or an accident?

  7. Prof Wesch says:

    It’s a play off the Anonymous slogan: “none of us are as cruel as all of us.”

  8. Amazing work!

    Very cool hearing myself being quoted by one of my students who is then quoted by one of your students.

    Minute 1:50 has

    “A communication system that creates a space for unrestrained conversation, fixes that conversation into a semi-permanent historical record, and allows non-commercial cultural production to flourish.”

    The Empire of Mind (2005, pp 96 — 97),

    “A communication system that creates a space for unrestrained conversation, fixes that conversation into a semi-permanent historical record, and allows non-commercial cultural production to flourish can hardly be equated with a stable environment for the identity of the élite.”

    Just shows how connected we all are!

    You and your students are setting the standard for excellence in collaborative Internet research. I am filled with Web 2.0 envy.

    Do anthropologists sleep or just twitter all night long?

    Dr. Strangelove

  9. Djudje says:

    Incredible video! It’s as artistic as it is expository. Dr. Wesch you continue to keep your finger on the pulse of technological change and it’s impact on our many cultures.

  10. Michael says:

    My thoughts are anonymous if i don’t write them.

  11. Heather says:

    Fascinating! I can’t wait to see what comes of this project. i just wish I would have been able to take your class while I was at K-State.

  12. Claudia Pearson says:

    Your students might want to read Feed.

    From Publisher’s Weekly: “In this chilling novel, Anderson (Burger Wuss; Thirsty) imagines a society dominated by the feed [of] a next-generation Internet/television hybrid that is directly hardwired into the brain.”

  13. If you circulate a publication then you want to know what your readers think and how they interact with your printed Digital publication. Unfortunately, print surveys for these publications are costly, time consuming and very rarely are they a 100% sampling of your audience.

  14. Becky Roth says:

    Hey everyone! I don’t know if proud is the right word, but I am continuously impressed by the work pumped out by the digital ethnography working group and proud of being dig eth alumni, proud of what the program has become, and inspired by the participants and ideas coming out of it. I cannot wait to bring On-Site Research Associates to the classroom, we are thrilled to see the face of cutting edge digital ethnography, even if that face is anonymous. Put on your Guy Fawkes masks, we will see you soon! (BY the way, i’m posting to you from the road in a totally networked RV on highway 1 on the coast of California heading to Malibu. and that is pretty sweet. its very windy and curvy, but we bolted the desk down. :) )

  15. Very cool. I wish my professors would have had us do something like this. Half the learning comes from the class mates.

    You might also consider looking into the Zipadi platform.

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