Dearest loving readers, the time has come for the Highest Monkey to say adieu. After an entire semester’s worth of blogging, PLSC 277 is officially disbanding for summer break and so is our blog. It has been an incredible experience and we’ve enjoyed talking about media, politics and everything in between. As a way to say goodbye, I’ve decided to do a quick, quick recap of what has happened on and off the blog between now and January.
The Highest Monkey ran for 89 days, over which there were 123 posts. Of these posts, 76 were on National News (when we were unsure what to call our posts, we called them National News), 18 were Election News, 18 were categorized as Food for Thought (though there were actually many more Food for Thought posts than just 18), 20 were International News and 12 were on Local News. Our most tagged words were Facebook (17 times) and Twitter (15) – and we thought we were talking about politics (11) and the new media (7)! There were also 192 comments (and 712 spam, thank you Internet) and 279 tweets.
The blog was just one branch of what was an incredible semester of debating the central issues in the new media. In addition to it, there were also 14 class discussions, 4 guests and 1 delicious meal. The class discussions were where we got the inspiration and the foundation for our blogposts. If we didn’t know what the experts like Eli Pariser, Cass Sunstein and Beth Noveck (whom we met!) were saying, our blog posts would not have been grounded in any of the current discussions already surrounding politics and the new media. Class enabled us to comment intelligently on the new media debate, which in turn led us to want to comment more because well… we thought we knew what we were talking about (regardless of whether our readers agreed). Through class we also met amazing speakers like Alan Murray of the WSJ, Ben Berkowitz of SeeClickFix and Paul Bass of the New Haven Independent, which allowed us to access the points of view of people involved in different practical aspects of both politics and media.
Among all parts of the course, the blog was one of the most important though because it was where we came to debrief on what we had discussed and where we took the liberty to introduce topics of our own choosing to the discussion. Here we debated what it meant to have Beth Noveck and Ben Berkowitz essentially tell us, in one class, both the reasons why widespread cooperation (or wiki government) works and does not work at the national level. That said, we also debated many other things. As was explained in our welcome post, written by none other than yours truly, the Highest Monkey was intended to be a blog covering the intersection of the new media and politics. While we have achieved that, there have been posts about many other things, including but not limited to: Google glasses, Texts with Hillary Tumblr and odd comparisons between Apple and Madonna. The blog gained a life of its own and everyone took turns at posting the cool stuff they found out about online, as long as it marginally related to #media, #journalism, the #internet or #politics. Instead of detracting from the blog’s mission, this actually served to enhance it and to encourage us (the students) to write more, more often and to think about these issues on a day to day basis, in and outside of the classroom.
So what can I say? Its been quite the ride. If you’ve read us, thank you – we appreciate your audience (but seriously, is there anyone out there outside of the fifteen of us? If so, please show yourself by commenting on this blogpost).
- This lovely shot was taken at the meal