#reverb10, Day 6: Make

Today’s prompt:

Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

What’s the last thing I made? Why, thank you for asking!

The last thing I made was a website. A couple of them, in fact. I made them using WordPress, CommentPress, some CSS magic, and a whole lot of writing by Yours Truly.

The first was the relaunch of The Anxiety of Obsolescence: The American Novel in the Age of Television, which site now hosts the full text of my first book in discussable format.

Just at the end of last week, however, I launched “Infinite Summer: Reading in the Social Network”, which is serving up the draft of an article that’s bound for a collection of essays on the legacy of David Foster Wallace.

I’m actively seeking feedback on that draft, so pop by and leave any thoughts you might have.

What do I want to make next? Isn’t that just the question. I’ve made it roughly to the end of the first half of my sabbatical and have managed to clear out most of the things that were on my to-do list when it started. There are a few things lingering there, most notably some projects for MediaCommons that I need developer help with, but what’s ahead for me — what I have already cleared out the time for, astonishingly enough — is precisely figuring out what I want to make next. I have the vague sense that the Infinite Summer essay is part of a larger project on reading and writing in networked environments, but I’m not yet sure of the details. By May, I’d like to have a better sense of what that larger thing will be, and a bunch of the research toward it under my belt.

And I’m starting that this morning! Wish me luck. (And go comment on “Infinite Summer!)


  1. So here’s the thing, which I trust you will find interesting rather than offensive in some way…. 🙂 I only skimmed your “Infinite Summer” article because it’s not entirely in my wheelhouse but I’m always interested in what you have to say. But I read every single one of those 43 comments that people have left, using that as the starting point for reading your text more closely. Kind of like reading all the footnotes before reading a text, and then going back to read the text itself with all its context. Or being fully immersed in epitexts (because one could easily argue that the structure/interface of this text itself is an authorial epitext) but never the text itself.

    I don’t really have a point here…

  2. I do find that interesting! I’m curious what that experience was like, whether it led you into some parts of the article or steered you away from others… It seems very much of a piece with the kinds of questions I’m thinking about with respect to new social reading practices.

    Either that or — hey, what’s that in my hand? A hammer? What you said must be a nail! 🙂

  3. I’ll have to think about it more and say something about it more than a no-coffee-fueled comment (or IS THAT THE POINT?! [i kid]). Probably do the experiment again, too. Or I could be a nail for your hammer — that’s ok too.

  4. Don’t put too much time or energy into this, seriously. I’m just at one of those points where everything someone says to me seems to connect to the issues I’m thinking about, which is making me start to wonder if there are really connections there or if it’s just me being a little single-tracked. If it occurs to you that there’s something I should think about there, I’d love to hear it; otherwise, you’ve got other fish to fry!

  5. Well, considering 20 minutes of glancing at things made me connect things to c19 reading groups and c20 French lit theory, I think maybe it would be useful for me to thing more about it. 🙂

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