This Sh$t Cray: I Need Your Help

This is not about the 2011 song by Kanye West and Jay-Z and their romantic trip to Paris, but I figured the use of an increasingly popular lyric from the song would result in more people clicking on this. I really need your help, because my sh$t is reasonably “cray” this week.

One of the fascinating things about communication is we study the abstract and socially constructed nature of words, so we have an excuse to use words that might be seen as taboo by other disciplines (i.e. sh$t) because we can say we are merely demonstrating the abstract nature of language. For an example see this scholarly article [pdf], called “ShitText”, by Dr. Joshua Gunn.

Sh$t could also refer to the final stage of my graduate capstone project (this blog); the stage that decides whether or not my committee believes this fourteen-month project has been good enough to allow me to earn a master’s degree in a few weeks. I don’t want you to assume I think this whole experience has been sh$t, in the negative sense of the word. It’s actually been amazing, and I plan to keep this going as long as I have new sh$t to write about.

But I’m just bullsh$ting, here’s how you can help me to finish this project in two ways :).


Provide some general feedback about this website as a whole by commenting on the bottom of the “Wanted: Feedback” page. Please, please, if you have anything to say about the website as a whole and have read a few of my posts, tell me something about it, because this sh$t is real. I need feedback from audience members (you), so that I can analyze what people think about the website as I reflect on the past fourteen months.


When I present this project to my amazing committee next Monday, I will be using six specific blog posts as examples of everything I will talk about. Three of these posts were selected because they are the most popular based on view counts, and the other three were selected because they were among my favorites. If you’ve read one of them in the past, please go back and skim over it and then add a comment to the bottom of the post, responding to it in someway. If you have not read any of them (they’re not bad), please read at least one of them and comment somehow. Again, all sh$t is hitting the fan for me next week, in the academic sense, so the more comments I have as I prepare for this presentation this week, the better. Thank you in advance, for keeping sh$t real.


 Why Newspapers are Still Worthwhile (August, 2011) : Why, in this age of digital media,  are newspapers still a worthy investment of your time? Three reasons for why they are still worthwhile are suggested: increased concentration, nostalgia, and higher quality of writing.

Internet Literacy: The Solution to the Digital Divide? (June, 2011) : An increased focus on teaching Internet literacy to the public is advocated for, because it could help to alleviate problems associated with the digital divide.

The Virtual Public Sphere (April, 2011) : A brief summary of Public Sphere theory as perceived by Jürgen Habermas is presented, followed by discussion of how the Internet is creating a virtual public sphere.


American Media Portrayals of the Israeli-Palestenian Conflict: Analyzed Through a Spielberg Film (July, 2011) :  American media is criticized for biased coverage of the long-lasting conflict, and a Steven Spielberg film (Munich) is used as a positive exemplar of different portrayals of the conflict.

Getting a Second Opinion From News Sources (September, 2011) : Using conclusions of an extensive mass media study about international news coverage of the Darfur genocide in the early 2000s, the impact national interest has on how a media organization chooses to cover a news story is investigated. A recommendation is made that to get the most accurate news, one must check as many sources, from as many countries, as possible.

D(r)eactivating Facebook: Taking Back Control (October, 2011) : Results of an individual experiment with deactivating Facebook are shared. Journal entries during the Facebook-away time are explored, assumptions are made about why certain feelings existed, an attachment to psychological theory is added, and future implications are discussed.

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About Igor Ristić

Student, enjoys traveling.
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