the greatest hits: year three, may 2011-april 2012

My 300th post! It’s one day before the third anniversary and I’m counting down my greatest hits and some of my most memorable posts. I’ve already posted on year one and year two. Today, it’s year three: may 2011-april 2012.

greatest hits

1. oh bother: fitness ads for women/ october 2011/ 201 hits
2. oh bother! the today show takes on gender-neutral parenting/ May 27, 2011/ 178 hits
3. On privilege/ November 30, 2011/ 123 hits
4. What does it mean to engage? Part One/ August 22, 2011/ 108 hits
5.  I was 7 in 1981/ December 19, 2011/ 105 hits
6. oh bother! or, don’t bother? mansplaining and whitesplaining, the gene marks edition/ December 16, 2011/ 99 hits

some favorite posts

1. More Twitter Hatin’ and Conflatin’/ May 28. 2011
I had a lot of fun writing this post. It signals a turn on this blog to (even) more writing and thinking about twitter, troublemaking and ethics. This post served as a foundation for a paper proposal on twitter and ethics that was eventually published earlier this year.

2. Troublemaking? Is there an app for that?/ July 25, 2011
Last summer I came up with the idea of developing a troublemaking app, or at least hacking/troubling other apps–that is, using the apps in ways that they aren’t intended to be using for virtuous troublemaking goals. I love this project and hope to get back to it soon. Ha!

3. Who Cares? I Do/ August 1, 2011
This post describes yet another research/thinking/creating project that I’m interested in. It links troublemaking, feminist ethics of care, virtue ethics, Foucault,  self-help literature and blogs/social media. Linking these all together is a key way I’m thinking (and hope to writing soon) about social media, trouble and ethics. I like my description of how I’ve been shaped by self-help literature and ideas (via my dad):

Self-help books and products (smartphone apps, websites, etc) are promoted as ways to care for your Self. In some ways, I was raised on self-help speak. Not by my mom; she liked to tell family stories and talk about literature, American history and art. But by my dad. An ordained Lutheran pastor with an MBA (and a PhD in church history with a dissertation on Finnish radicals, unions and copper mining in the upper peninsula of Michigan–what an interesting mix, huh?), he didn’t just read self-help books (a couple favorites: The Power of Positive ThinkingChicken Soup for the SoulDon’t Sweat the Small Stuff) he used their slogans to shape our family traditions. Every Christmas he would ask us to go around the table and answer: What 3 things did you accomplish this year? What 3 things do you want to accomplish in the upcoming year? I must confess that I liked this tradition, which ended a few years before my mom died, even as I dislike self-help books and their simplistic, business-oriented frameworks. I am not interested in using self-help logic (framework/language) in my articulation of troublemaking as a form of (self)care. However, I do need to come to terms with how self-help literature has shaped my thinking by engaging with it directly. Plus, I like making trouble for self-help (by disrupting it, playing with it, uprooting it) because I see its production of easy, soundbite answers that encourage us to stop thinking and just start doing as having seriously harmful effects for critical and creative thinking, feeling and engaging.

4. Live-tweeting halloween (the movie) with @room34 (STA)/ November 2, 2011
So much fun! A yearly tradition, perhaps?

There are so many more I could add here. One thing that I noticed as I scrolled through my 300 posts over 3 years is that I was a lot more playful with this blog in year one. I wrote a lot more about pop culture and tracking various representations of trouble. Why is that? Do I want to go back to that particular version of playfulness? Much of year two was focused on dealing with my mom’s death and with my struggles to keep enjoying teaching. In year three, my playfulness turned into experiments on other forms of social media, like Smartphone Apps, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, Vimeo and Storify. What will I do in year 4? I wonder…