About PaulMuhlhauser

I'm a rhetrographical docta of English. I'll operate on words, the web, and spam. And most of the time I'm @HarlotTweets!

Social Media? Rhetoric? We got that.

We’ve rhetoricked a lot about social media, but it’s hard to locate all the rhetoricking our authors have done. So here’s a list with all our work analyzin’, criticizin’, and, pokin’ fun at social media communication practices. Below you’ll find all our pieces on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube.

Enjoy, up your social media savvy, use for a class you’re teachin’ on rhetoric, show you’re in the know and disperse and spread our work on social media through, well, social media!

FACES of Facebook

Worlds Collide! Facebook, family, and George Costanza by Amy L. Spears and Julie Driscoll93-853-1-PB

tease: Facebook, family, George Costanza and awkward communication collisions in this cool analysis and interface about negotiatin’ different Facebook publics.

 

 

gosling-meme

 

Like Me, Like Me Not by Paul Muhlhauser (@doctamuhlhauser) and Andrea Campbell (@akatecampbell)

tease: Explore the rhetoric behind “like” and the possibilities of “dislike” in this pretty darn cool interface on Facebook’s ubiquitous participation button. Includes Ryan Gosling memes!

 

 

 

Death: The End We All Have to Face(book) cover_article_215_en_USby Christine Martorana (@MaddoxChristine)

tease: This article describes the ways mourners turning to online spaces following the death of a loved one and notes the following: 1) Digital technologies are reconfiguring the permanence of death, inviting the living to recreate the deceased as a heavenly intermediary, and 2) this continued virtual existence of the deceased alongside the constant accessibility of digital technologies is opening a space for death-related egocentrism.

PINNING down Pinterest

Queer-the-Tech: Genderfucking and Anti-Consumer Activism in Social Media by Matthew A. Vetter (@MatthewVetter)

cover_article_195_en_UStease: Pinterest Activism! This essay, and the activism it introduces, demonstrates an appropriation of Pinterest, a “pinboard-style” social media network, for the purposes of subverting and exposing its typical heteronormative and pro-consumer practices.

 

Super Mom in a Box by Lindsey Harding (@linzharding)cover_article_197_en_US.png

tease: Check out how Pinterest influences identity formation in mothers who interact with the site. See how the site’s postfeminist content and interaction design create a hypermaternal identity for maternal interactors.

TWITTERING Twitter

Encomium on the Overlord by KT Torrey (@catchclaw)resize

tease: This ode to Misha Collins and his success as an activist through Twitter is just, well, fun and darn insightful.  See how Collins’ construction of a megalomaniacal Twitter persona known as the Overlord has afforded him a particular kind of disruptive ethos, one he’s used to persuade his fans to regard both “normalcy” as a social problem and acts of art and public performance as effective means of addressing that ill.

 

Pleased to Tweet You by Cate Blouke (@CateBlouke)235-2028-1-PB

tease: Before you live-tweet, ya gotta read this this article that explores the ethics and rhetoric of live-tweeting.  The piece also challenges traditional argument by arguing using Twitter!

The YOU in YouTube

The Irony of YouTube: Politicking Cool by Jessie Blackburn 36-272-1-PB

tease: The rhetoric of YouTube, celebrity, and voting is explored in this piece. This article examines one of the most intriguing pieces of online political dialogue to circulate YouTube during the last few weeks of the presidential campaign. The widely circulated YouTube video known as “5 Friends” features high-profile celebrities ironically encouraging viewers to see the act of voting as a “trendy,” even “hip” behavior. In this article, I refute the assumption that youth voters lack political stamina beyond the ballot boxes…

Ready, Set…#DefineRhetoric

Taylor Swift says it best: “Shake it off.” And she’s right. It’s time to shake off last year’s #DefineRhetoric.  Get ready B2RngLpIQAAqrSO.jpg-largewith your new definitions, and Tweet them with a #DefineRhetoric cuz “the rhetors gonna rhet rhet rhet” (Swift 10). For our fourth annual contest, we’ll award the winner some pretty sweet items: a $40 dollar gift card from Amazon.com, a brilliant validating trophy (to the right), and, well, the prestige (we imagine about 4lbs this year) that comes with being THE author of THE definition of rhetoric for the year.  So play, shake the world up, and introduce it to a new lens for understanding rhetoric.

The Rules

  1. You’ve gotta tweet. If you don’t have a Twitter account, ya gotta make one.
  2. Tweet your brand new definition of rhetoric, your tweaked or remixed definition of rhetoric, one you’ve liked from a theorist, or even a visual or audio definition (music, infographics, & movies are accepted!).swift-rhet
  3. You can play or define as many times as ya’d like.
  4. Put the hashtag #DefineRhetoric somewhere in your definition because we find the definitions by searching for that hashtag. See Swift do it in the image on the right?

DUE DATE– September 15th 2015.

To get you started and motivated take a look at last year’s winners.

First Place — Rhetoric is the perfect kiss: the right moment, minimal tongue, while meeting the other halfway. @marijel_melo

Second Place — Rhetoric is a con artist. Crafty, always present, & never fully reveals the intention behind the action. @estee_beck

Third Place — “What is rhetoric?….The art of never finally answering that question.” John Muckelbauer via @caseyboyle

Good luck!

Let’s Get Awkward: Vloggers “A Rousing Intercourse” Take on Aporia

aporia-take-2 from Paul Muhlhauser on Vimeo.
Dear Viewers,
A Rousing Intercourse is BACK. This second episode is about aporia – using uncertainty and confusion effectively as a rhetorical strategy.

You’ll chuckle, you’ll chortle, and you’ll awkward as we examine the benefits of going off-script. Pour yourself a martini if you need to take the awkward edge off, and enjoy.

Forcebook, the Jedi, and May the #kairos be with you



If you don’t not think too deeply about being unshallow, it’ opaquely clear. And as long as you follow Jedi recommendations to “Feel. Don’t think,” you won’t force this idea beyond transparency: Star Wars’ Force is a form of social media.

Here are a few reasons to imagine the Force as Forcebook.forcebook

  1. The Force is made up of midichlorians, which are basically Wi-Fi connections. The more midichlorians you have, the more bars or the better access you have to feel the Force.
  2. The Force has a search engine. You just have to tap into the midichlorians and “search your feelings.”
  3. The Force is a network of information.
  4. The Force can allow you to predict the future. It’s sort of tells you if clickbait or triggers are working through midichlorian analytics.

And I like imagining the Force as social media. Using the Force as a trope helps me appreciate the cool of digital social media. It helps me see some of the ways the Force really sucks.

  1. Yoda the Hutt
    To use the Force, ya gotta be part of an elite club.  You either have midiclorians or you don’t. Unlike with digital social media, you can’t really join the Jedi club through research and practice unless you’ve got midichlorians. There is NO such thing as Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 10.50.14 AM
    midichlorian toothpaste for helping strengthen your Force.  Access to digital media is certainly an issue for a lot of people but tapping into the Interweb is much more accessible than being one or talking to one of the, like, thirty Jedi able to use the force and protect the galaxy.
  1. Force Bubble
    The Jedi only use one search engine – the Force.  Jedi Pariser makes a good point about digital media filter bubbles and how search engines are algorhetorical (algorithmic rhetoric) engines mediating the information we see and how users become shielded from alternative perspectives on issues: search engines game the information you see by providing results that reinforce your ideology or way of thinking rather than complicating and questioning it.  Or you may just get results for some businesses and not others – Dark Side/Sith businesses rather than Jedi run establishments. The Force, though, is even worse. It is THE only search engine in the Galaxy. There is no Duck Duck Go or Bing or even Alta Vista, which is Yahoo!. It is as if there is just Google.  There is only one bubble. And Jedi can’t even agree that they are feeling or seeing the same thing. Yoda might see something Obi-Wan doesn’t. And while it could be argued that such differences in Force use offer different or alternative perspectives, the perspectives are based on access to information. In other words, both Yoda and Obi-Wan can’t “read” the same tanner-binks“article” of the Force and compare notes or discuss the situation more completely.  At least, I could say, “Yo,Yoda, Obi-Wan. Check out this article from Harlot about how Jar Jar Binks and Stephanie Tanner are similar. It argues that this might be a reason Jar Jar was so hated by fans.  You know, because we were tired of Full House. Thoughts?”
  1. #kairos
    The Force doesn’t even let users participate very easily in a #kairos economy: that change or the difference between that regular old kairos that the Jedi utilize and what we use in social media. #kairos happens when you are always connected to your midichlorians or are always on the web when you carry your smartphone. It is the omnipresent and omnispace – it’s the always on possibility of being able to have that agency for a propitious moment in a propitious digital space.But propitiousness can’t happen as easily with one network to tap into. The Jedi just don’t have a very good network for #kairos. Jedi Rheingold Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 10.50.52 AMhelps explains #kairos’ importance: “”In previous eras, it may have been true that ‘it’s not what you know but who you know.’ Today, how you know who you know matters as much as who you know, and one of the most valuable traits a person could have in a twenty-first-century organization is a knack for knowing ‘who knows who knows what’” (From @hrheingold‘s Netsmart 24). And to amend and add to his explanation, there is also a knack for knowing when to know when to know what and where to know where to know what. I hope here and now and know is a where to know what to know when to know what.I just Dr. Seussed or Yoda, did I? At any rate, the flows of information along numerous networks are opportunities for users to create value (informational, social, and emotional) in just right spaces and just right times.  The Force limited these opportunities because of its limitations. Jedi had Forcebook.  They didn’t have Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, YouTube, or Yahoo! Pipes.

In more, other, and our words, Jedi, it’s time to “Think. Don’t feel.” Forget the Force. May the #kairos be with you.

This is an excerpt from an article I’m writing with @CateBlouke.

Tweet Yourself to a Maven



Just got back from two cool conferences: Rhetoric Society of America Conference and HarlotTweets Twitter HeaderComputers and Writing Conference. Learned a lot about rhetoric and humor from @cateblouke; rhetoric and algorithms from @johnmjones & @jaykirby1; rhetoric and reproduction from @lbdehertogh, @kristinarola, & @maseigel; and learned about Google glass from @Zombieranian  – even got to try them out, which was really cool.

By “cool” I mean the presentations were thoughtful and engaging. In other words, I thought about things I ain’t never thought before. Besides the thoughtful and engaging presentations, another cool of the conferences came from the Twitter backchannels (#RSA14 and #CWCON) for discussin’, commentin’, and quotin’ presentations. In other words, I participated in ways I ain’t never done before because of my meatspace phobia and my lack of short term memory.

Though there was a lotta cool, there was one part of the conferences that was discool, uncool, or non-cool: the Twitter backchannel was rarely incorporated into the meatspace or live discussion following the presentations. Sorta made me feel like my participation was ignored. So I’d like to propose this cool idea for future conferences, though I’m not sure if it is possible or if there is an infrastructure for it:

Social Media mavens for conference presentations

Cool proposal: Social media mavens for conference presentations.

What I mean is, I think it would be cool, in addition to having a presentation chair, to have a social media maven who monitors and participates in the Twitter backchannel of presentations.

Here’s why it’s cool –

  1. Cook meatspace phobias – A maven can help bring the virtual conversations, comments, and questions, which are real conversations, comments,and questions into discussions following presentations for those with meatspace phobias. A Twitter backchannel is inclusive for those, like me, who don’t want to face-to-face and feel Meatspace is stressfulextreme stress (especially f starting conversations or discussions) when participating in discussions following presentations. The Twitter backchannel provides access to discussion for those with such fears.
  2. Honor the social media skill set – Having a social media maven monitor the Twitter backchannel will honor social media expertise – of collecting, reading, and synthesizing ideas quickly and getting a bead, a feel, the gist of backchannel questions and comments. A maven will even be able to add this to his/her CV.
  3. Include the online audience – A maven would ensure that ideas are “voiced” from audiences attending the conference online who are following social media conversations, comments, and questions through a Twitter backchannel.
  4. Remember in the moment ­– A maven is mnemonic. A Twitter backchannel is a @twitter allows presenters to record and share a thought before forgetting the thought they thinked at the time they thinked it.pretty public recording device that helps us remember the fleeting nature of oral presentations. And a lotta times, it seems like the last presenter’s work is discussed the most because it’s remembered. During an oral presentation, an audience may forget what was said (even in the most engaging presentations) when it was said and the context of what was said when. Backchanneling lets an audience converse, comment, and question a presentation in the moment. It allows presenters to record and share a thought before forgetting the thought they thinked at the time they thinked it.
  5. Take the pressure off chairs and presenters – A maven could take the pressure off of chairs and presenters to monitor the backchannel. During a presentation, the chair and other members of panels are understandably preoccupied with their performances. They may not have time or the skill set to respond to the Twitter backchannel. Though it can be done as @jennykorn showed in her savvy inclusion of Twitter backchannel conversations, comments, and questions, I know, however, this is really tough to do and I ain’t got the ability cuz I tried when I presented and #failed.
  6. Remove the #awkward – A maven could open up dialogue and crack the conversational seal that happens following presentations during the 15 minutes of discussion. You know, that awkward pause that occurs when a chair asks, “Are there any questions?” At this point, I usually look at my phone or laptop because I feel like I’m gonna be called since the presentation format is so lecture, school like. Conversely, when I present as a chair and ask that klutzy question, it feels like an awkward forever. If there isn’t a discussion because the room is full of meatspace phones like me or there is a looooong moment before questions, I feel sorta sad. The performance becomes out of sync, and I get the feeling my ideas weren’t really worth anything. All the time I spent on my presentation was wasted.  Feedback is love even if it’s critical. Seriously.

“Social Media Maven” may not be the coolest word for the addition I am proposing to presentation formats, but the idea has some cool, right?

Laugh, cry, & identify with readymade rhetoric in episode 1: valediction

Dear Viewers, A Rousing Intercourse is a vlog that comments on everyday rhetorical practices. This first episode is about readymade rhetoric and valediction. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll identify with that frustrating aspect of our digital lives: email valediction. Enjoy our humorous take on email valediction as well as our suggestions for changing valediction to better fit with our current cultural moment. Warmest Regards, A Rousing Intercourse

Play #DefineRhetoric & win pounds of prestige

Rhetors, Technorhetors, Rhetotechnos, and Compositionists,

It’s that time again.  Our Define Rhetoric competition has begun. Help us add to the almost three million different definitions of rhetoric we’ve found. Help us flavor the world with new perspectives on what rhetoric is, isn’t, and does, doesn’t. Come up with THE best definition of rhetoric for 2013 and you’ll win a sweet trophy, a gift certificate to Amazon.com, and, well, between 10-20 pounds of prestige.

To play:

  1. You’ve gotta tweet. If you don’t have a Twitter account, ya gotta make one.
  2. Tweet your brand new definition of rhetoric, your tweaked or remixed definition of rhetoric, one you’ve liked from a theorist, or even a visual or audio definition. You can play or define as many times as ya’d like.
  3. Put the hashtag #DefineRhetoric somewhere in your definition because we find the definitions using that hashtag.
  4. DUE DATE– September 15th 2013.

We encourage you to have fun and play with what rhetoric can mean. Be your own Plato, Aristotle, Aspasia. Be your own Burke, Richards, Perelman. Be your own Villanueva, Glenn, Lanham. And in the spirit of givin’ cred where cred is due, we ask you to try to cite your sources as best ya can when ya tweak or remix or quote a definition.

Here are a few we’ve gotten so far.  Check out how last year’s champ @RhetRock is already defending his title:

  • #definerhetoric Rhetoric is how your persuade yourself that you can get ONE MORE DAY out of that empty tube of toothpaste.
    by @RhetRock

And, if ya getta chance, follow us on Twitter (@HarlotTweets) for competition updates and tweets that will make your wildest dreams come true!

Good luck and good rhetoricking!

Sweet Trophy!
Sweet trophy
#DefineRhetoric Champion 2012
Rhetoric is a bag of Halloween candy, sometimes you get the good stuff and sometimes you get apples with razor blades.
by @TheOriginalRock (now @RhetRock)

Water Snake is related to Water Fish.

I present Common Sense from Chet Tiffany. Common sense-you know, sound judgment, prudence, or wisdom. Try reading it aloud because it’s fun and sort of flows poetically. And then think about “common sense” and how a lotta times it depends on audience and values to be common and/or sense. I like Chet, but his/her sense ain’t really common…to me. What I mean is I imagine Chet Tiffany is like me and suffered a lot with regards to “common sense.” What I mean is “common sense” is a big assumption that’s rarely common and not always the only sense.

My dad often asked me if I had “common sense” or would strongly suggest I use my “common sense.”  It got me worried about what he meant and I felt like I was under common-sense surveillance a lot. Before acting I would think, “is this common sense?” or “would this be common sense?” An audience of Dad meant I’d rarely get it right or be common sensical.

Anyway here are some examples of “common” and “uncommon” sense that are in no way like Chet’s. I don’t know how to imitate his artistry.

  1. Common sense: Turn off the air conditioner in your car to get more power—it’s common sense. Value=speed
    Uncommon sense: Use air conditioner and feel cool and get less power—it’s common sense. Value=comfort
  2. Common sense: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it—it’s common sense.
    Value=money
    Uncommon sense: It ain’t broke, but it ain’t pretty. So I’m gonna fix it—it’s common sense.  Value=visual aesthetics
  3. Common sense: If there’s snow on the ground wear your shoes to class—it’s common sense. Value=comfort
    Uncommon sense: If there’s snow on the ground don’t wear your shoes to class—it’s common sense. Value=coolness…I mean fashionable in reckless behavior.
  4. Common sense: If a chicken doesn’t fit into a microwave to be defrosted, rig the microwave so it’ll operate with the door open—it’s common sense.
    Value=problem solving to make squares pegs fit round holes.
    Uncommon sense: If a chicken doesn’t fit into a microwave to be defrosted, defrost it in the sink with warm water—it’s common sense.
    Value=problem solving to try a different mode. Thanks for some of the great examples, Mary Bendel-Simso!

Water Snake is related to Water Fish.

It’s common sense people!

Hungry Man Chicken Dinner and Love

Okay, this is half-baked, baked-half, and most likely under theorized but then, again, I’m shorting, so I think it’s okay.

Cluck-cluck.

It’s really just a parallel I’ve noticed between rhetoric and conditioning (the non-hair follicular kind). There’s a trope called metonymy and in rhetoric it means that you are making an association between things through their contiguity (Burbules, 1997).  So, for instance, say you’re advertising for a Hungry Man chicken dinner and you want that dinner to be associated with something abstract like “love.”  You could make an advertisement where you surround that chicken dinner with metonymic images of “love” (e.g. hearts, puppies, and Ted Nugent). And if you repeat this imagery enough “love” might rub off enough from the images on to a Hungry Man chicken dinner to remind a lot of people about “love.” Eating a Hungry Man chicken dinner might become a metonym for “love.” Instead of “I heart you” we might say, “I Hungry Man chicken dinner you.”

Conditioning (that behavioral kind) seems to be doing something similar, don’t it? Say you have a chicken that you want to train to cluck when it sees an image of “love” (i.e. if it sees hearts, puppies, or Ted Nugent). What you’d do is shape the behavior.  You’d have a cue (e.g. the pictures). And you’d have a reinforcement (e.g. a treat like a piece of bread or a Hungry Man!). Then you’d have the behavior you wanted (i.e. a cluck when the chicken sees the pictures).  Every time there is a cluck when an appropriate picture is shown, you’d provide a treat.  You’d do this until you associated clucking with the pictures and the treat so much so that once the chicken sees the picture, she doesn’t even need the treat.  It’s automatic. Seeing those pictures results in a cluck without the treat.  In a sense, the chicken is part of a metonymical move.  What I mean is, the imagery is associated with “love.”

Rhetors do similar things. Instead of food, they associate an image with other images to make an association and make that association automatic. Conditioning and metonymying aint’ exactly alike but, then again, they ain’t exactly different. I was thinkin’ that maybe what rhetors do should be called “metonymic conditioning.”  Whatcha think?

Watch this vid on Conditioning Chickens

Last thing and I swear it’s funny!  A Prof. of Psych told me about something her dad did when he was a college student. In a class of his, the students conducted a conditioning experiment on their teacher (teacher wasn’t in on the experiment).  Every time the teacher stood in a certain part of the room, the class would participate in discussion.  Everywhere else, there was no discussion.  From my understanding, it worked and the teacher began spending a lot of time in that part of the room. The teacher got Hungry Manned!

Chet Tiffany – Genre Trendsetter

What you are about to read is a ________________about a lot of things. I don’t know what it is. In fact, “I” think this piece reads sort of like the experience of walking through those parking lot markets where acrylic mink blankets with the likes of Bieber, pit bulls, Pink Floyd and, of course, unicorns are being sold. It’s corny with a hint of cheese and alotta kitsch.

Click to enlarge!

 

I don’t agree much with the content, but, man, Chet Tiffany is writing in a way I’ve never seen. What is it exactly? What “is” this style? What would you call it? What genres are being mixed?

My friend, Vanessa, discovered Chet Tiffany in the Giant Nickel classifieds newspaper. Thank you, Vanessa, for recognizing something many of us have never thought we wanted to see before. And, Chet Tiffany, thank you for deciding to publish your work.