From PhD comics - yes, there is actually a website devoted to these

A reminder to work on our drafts ha ha

Academese - the things we mean when we say...


Digimobsters Marion Walton, Muya Koloko, Anja Venter & Nicola Pallitt will be presenting their work as part of a Games Panel for an SA Media conference, SACOMM taking place 30 Aug – 1 Sep 2011 in Pretoria.

The conference theme? The past is present: Communication and its malcontents “To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward”- Margaret Fairless Barber”. So we’ll be helping local scholars to look forward and recognize games as a local phenomena that deserves more SA interest and scholarship. We’re game, are you?

For more info, see: Game Studies goes South: Games Panel for SA Media conference




Okay, so lately we’ve been focusing on writing. At the moment we’re doing peer editing reviews of one another’s work. For those who would like to see some of our resources, see the links below. They are from a writer’s workshop for South African Multimodality in Education (SAME) attended by Nicola Pallitt and Marion Walton. These resources were compiled by Arlene Archer and Lucia Thesen, academic literacies and writing gurus.

Abstract exercise – how to write a great abstract, helps as a reflective exercise too:)

Peer editing – a checklist of various criteria to consult when peer doing editing.

Silke left to go back to Holland last month. We had a wonderful farewell party at Radebe’s B&B in Langa. We wish Silke all the best for her MA thesis and the future:) She can be sure we’ll come knocking for the couch one day when we come to Holland… hopefully not all at the same time, poor Silke. If you would like to watch videos made by Silke’s Ikamva Youth teens, check out their YouTube Channel.

Calling all youth, education and technology researchers:

Calling all Digimob SA members:

Thats All Folks,

From the "Finds and Features" blog written by Ruth, a twenty-something archaeologist currently reading for a PhD and based in London.

Marian wishes to share this with us:) It is some wisdom posted by Jodie Martin, a PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide, on slideshare (click if you want to see the real thing with all the graphics and links to comics).

Here are the basics:

You don’t need to know everything before you start.
Plan ahead for Ethics Committee submission – but don’t be scared.
Small is beautiful.
Get to know your rights and ask for them* (*You have a right to a lockable filing cabinet, but not a giant lockable filing cabinet. Sorry.)
You will get there.
Community, community, community!  (Community includes blog and twitter)

Not yet done with us, Jodie adds a few more slides saying “Some not-so-serious (yet useful) information”

Don’t let your participants choose their own code names.
Don’t let your desk become a fire hazard:  don’t borrow every book or print every article.  (The photograph for this point is called: Hiding in your book fortress won’t save you nerdy.)
We are all a little fragile about our research at first.
And there is more to come…  “Some not-s0-serious (yet useful) websites”  with a warning “Reading this entire archive can be hazardous to your research.  Proceed with caution and use only in moderation.”
And there is still more… “The best thing you can check out to make everyone’s life less coma inducing!”

‘YOU SUCK AT POWERPOINT:   5 shocking design mistakes you need to avoid.  (

I know what I am going to do now.  Read a few comics and look at the “you suck at powerpoint” slideshow.

Thanks for this Jodie.  (To which she replied on Twitter: “@marianpike Thanks! I’m happy to share & hope to put more presentations up, PhD permitting. Good luck with your studies.”

We had a bit of venue trouble today. We saw lovely tea cups and things all laid out and thought we were very special until we were told that there was a selection committee meeting going on. Sorry for that DigiMobbers:( TB Davie Room will be available to us every Thursday except 5 & 12 May and then I will keep you posted regarding the second half of the year.

Today Muya presented his proposal defence “The meaning of video game violence for SA children”. He is interested in the meanings that children under 16 attach to video game violence, how they define it in relation to real violence and how their definitions differ from that of the Film and Publications Board and their  parents. (More detailed blog post by Muya to follow.)


Sunday Edition: Bunny Foo Foo Adventures

Next meeting: This week Bonnie will be sharing her theoretical framework, Thabisa still has something to present for us and if there is time, Nicci will present an overview of her data and plans for possible chapters.

Pic from - a very interesting blog by a SA community media practitioner! Sure you will love it too:)

Today Silke gave us a presentation on youth, mobile phones and civic engagement through participatory media production, her Masters thesis topic. Silke started off by telling us that she had felt blocked (which inspired the previous post, as I have also been feeling the block lately) before a coffee date with a friend who works for the UN who inspired her after requesting that she teach an online class on mobile media. Silke said she learnt a lot from talking, a vital reminder to all of us for the week: sometimes it’s good to talk more and read less:)  

Silke will blog about her presentation and findings so far in a follow-up post. We had interesting discussions about rights and public voice. It seemed the NGO was more worried about infringing music rights through online videos than about protecting the students’ identities. We spoke about how a channel does not equal a voice – such as the example of the homosexual girl who wanted to do a digital story on corrective rape. Making her identity public online could make her a target within her community, which also led us to talking about silencing and a consideration of which voices are silenced in the township. As researchers, we cannot assume that our participants have the same freedom of voice (or even access to the channels to make their voices public).  We discussed the rules of speaking within a community: what can you say, who draws the line and whose interests are served in the end?

Next meeting: Thursday 17 March (Muya and Thabisa to present, Bonnie presents the week after)

Thanks to Herman Lategan for the following tips on writer’s block:)

  • Writer’s Block is simply a cognitive distortion based on unfounded fear of failure and being caught out as incompetent. It’s in your own mind, a self-constructed inhibitor of productivity. You constructed it, you can deconstruct it. Remember, simply feeling that you’re not a good writer, doesn’t reflect the reality. Feelings aren’t facts.
  • Perfectionism is a killer. No piece of writing, or any piece of art, or music, photograph, film or play, can be perfect. Nothing in life is perfect. Don’t get it right, get it written. Once it’s written, you can re-write and edit. A famous editor once said: “I don’t want it perfect, I want it Monday.” With other words, get it done, stick to a deadline and stop fretting. PS. This doesn’t apply to getting the facts right. Facts, spelling, grammar should be triple checked.
  • Facebook, Twitter, Email and Internet surfing are the enemies of time. Remember: Planning to write isn’t writing. Doris Lessing said: “At some point I must stop talking about writing and just do it. Those ideal conditions: Solitude, time, money, freedom from care, would never happen.”
  • Don’t compare yourself to other writers. You’ll suffer from self-inflicted performance anxiety and you’ll freeze. By all means, learn from others, but develop your own voice. Nobody can write the way YOU can write, because nobody like you exists. Remember, metaphorically, you might not be able to bake a cake, but you might be able to make a great fridge-cake.
  • Play around with words, have fun, invent new ways of painting pictures with words and telling riveting stories. Athol Fugard once wrote: “Free yourself from labour and use more delight.”
  • Reject rejection. Reject your inner critic, or the Hitler on your shoulder that tells you you’re incompetent. Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. You don’t need other people’s approval to be successful. By all means learn from criticism, but don’t be immobilised and crushed by it. Ban your internal and external critics.
  • “The art of writing is rewriting.” Margaret Atwood.
  • Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.
  • Finally, writers must be as disciplined as athletes, and repeated binge usage of alcohol or drugs impair the creative process. This isn’t moralising: Simple facts. And like an athlete, the more you practice, the luckier you’ll get.

I thought you may find this intersting - DigiMob Australia is a mobile repairs company. See:

What an interesting meeting! We had a variety of discussions about what we’re up to at the moment. Muya is nearly done with his proposal and has to present a defence – we will be there, just let us know when and where you want us:) Anja shared her interesting experience at the Bellville library where librarians are all for equality: youngsters can play games for their 45 minutes and are not kicked off the computers because older people want to look for jobs, everyone is entitled to their time and the activities they choose to pursue. This was quite a contrast to the eCentres in the West Coast I visited with Marion and Araba Sey, where people were not allowed to use social networking sites. Silke also did library interviews and discussed how the permissions required to do research in SA is vastly different to Germany where it’s all about having a signed authoritative letter with a department stamp or letterhead. Silke says that the interpersonal is valued a lot more here – personal contact and politeness – rather than having authoritative documents. Travis had an interesting experience with high school art students using Diigo: they subverted the affordances of uploading profile pics by using pics of mucho men as a classroom joke to make it look like their male teacher was interested in men. Nicola (me) shared that she had been helping out as a research assistant on a national youth survey. Marian spoke about blogging and Bonnie is very happy to have a framework for analysing mathematics tutoring interactions via MXit. Thabisa, newest member of the digimobbers, mentioned that she may do her PhD thesis on digital literacies, but is currently interested in Cape Access in Knysna. What a busy mob we’ve been!

Itinerary for this coming week: Thabisa will do a 1-page proposal OR discuss her Masters work; Silke will talk about her latest paper and Muya is going to prepare a mock defence as practice for the real deal.

The week after: Bonnie to discuss her theoretical framework, any other volunteers?