Archive for the ‘AudioAssignments351’ Category


Taking Back Spam

Monday, June 25th, 2012
I Hate Spam
The Daily Crete 166 – Take a picture of something that makes you sick

I connected one of my Daily Creates with an audio assignment here. Partly to save time, but mostly because I had a hard time remembering something that makes me sick. Because I was working on Audio Assignment 351, I thought I could take a screenshot of the spam I was reading and post it as a photo. A good idea, except that the screenshot didn’t look very nice, so I decided to edit it using Pic Monkey. Then I got carried away a little.

And here is the recording:

Bonus track – Reverend Connor Strikes Again

Spamming is a sin
I couldn’t resist this. It only came yesterday, otherwise I would have used that one. It somehow tricked my Spam Guard. Maybe Google now thinks I love spam?

Marc as SPAM

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

The Assignment: Looking through the great list of ds106 audio assignments, I was drawn to Taking Back Spam. We are supposed to read a piece of spam aloud either trying to make sense of it or rendering it even more absurd with the one caveat that we own it.

The Process: The piece of spam I selected was from left as a reply to a comment by Alan on my Flippin’ Out post from last month. The spam comment, quoted in full below, was striking in that it includes ideas and names of people that are related to the sort of stuff that Alan writes about and the EdTEch scene in which he operates. Doing this assignment has led me to wonder how and why such spam is generated and what the creators hope to accomplish in spreading it. The entire comment, with spruced up syntax and grammar, appears after the jump:

It’s not that open education must be free – it ought to be just open.The Open Course that Alec teaches is not free – students at Regina University pay tuition that supports the institution, helps pay Alec’s salary, heat the buildings etc. They are paying for that sanctioned education that you describe. They are paying for a proximity to Alec that we dont get as the openly participating audience. But he teaches his course openly, so others can not only learn but also contribute to his paying student’s learning experience.I think David Wiley has written well about this; its not quite binary- open versus closed – its a spectrum of practice.

After I cleaned up the text a bit in FocusWriter, I read it aloud into the SoundCloud app on my iPhone and then uploaded it to SoundCloud. Though I’m told from time to time that my voice has a distinctive timbre, I lack the skill or confidence to speak as a character or imitate other voices. I did give it a try in this reading though I don’t think my Welsh accent is very authentic. I was trying for an over-the-top Burtonian vibe in this assignment.

The poster image at the top of the post was done for fun. The idea of using Mark as Spam as a title came the moment I decided to do the assignment. In thinking about a Mark or Marc to use in an image, my first thought was Marlon Brando as Marc Anthony in Julias Caesar. But when Google image search presented Dick and Liz at the banquet, the choice of image became a no-brainer.  I also thought about using the original bass player from Van Halen until I realized his Christian name is Michael and not Marc.

The Story: It seems like each day this blog receives a dozen or so pieces of comment spam (I’ve disabled comments on all posts more than one month old or it would be a far higher total). The ratio of spam comments to legitimate comments is on the order of 25:1 and I believe I’m using a WordPress plugin that is supposed to address this. I continually wonder what is gained by this practice.

Though I’m not at all satisfied with my Richard Burton imitation in this reading, I am inspired to learn how to do other voices. Any level of success I’m able to reach in that endeavor will all be attributed to, of all things, a piece of comment of spam. Isn’t the internet neat.