We are all immersed in a digital world where we seamlessly interact with our friends and colleagues via our online devices. Each of us generates a massive amount of data that is utilized by technology companies and governmental organizations to improve products, enhance our daily lives, and maintain security (though I recognize the method of the latter is controversial). I teach a History of Digital Culture course at the University of Connecticut, that aims to challenge students to identify questions and develop foundational knowledge as to how and why this data is required, as opposed to mindlessly sharing personal details with every single application and product that they buy. The free flow of information is another topic we cover in-depth, as we explore the founding principals of the World Wide Web, and also investigate the ‘hacker’ culture that played a pivotal role in bringing digital to the everyday person.
As part of the course students are required to maintain a Tumblr blog, and share two posts each week throughout the semester. The goal of this assignment is to create an opportunity for students to recognize current issues that connect to the topics we discuss in class. My hope is that each student will take some ownership of this assignment and slowly focus attention toward topics that are most relevant to their concentration, or areas of interest. It’s possible this can happen, while staying within the subject area of our digital culture. For example, if I’m a student interested in Digital Media Marketing, then I might be particularly attentive to free and open access to the World Wide Web, and better appreciate how the free flow of personal data can be utilized for business marketing applications.
Perhaps the best way to stay immersed in issues impacting our digital culture is to sign up for a Feedly account and subscribe to a bunch of different news feeds. Below I’ve shared my top 10 sites for news on our digital culture. I’ve selected a variety of credible sources in order to offer different perspectives and focus. For example, the Business Insider
For those of you who want to stay in the loop of issues within our digital culture then I suggest signing up for a Feedly account and subscribing to the following generic websites, before branching out into more specified content.