My interest in new media grew from media classes I audited with the Marshall McLuhan Program on Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto during 2003-2005. Derrick de Kerckhove, Mark Federman, and Twyla Gibson were teachers that have encouraged and inspired me to question the effects of media on society, organizations and individuals. Reading Marshall McLuhan and Harold Innis expanded my previously naive notions of what media can be and drew me into a fascination with its role as transformers of culture and society.
It was with those evenings of trudging snow-covered roads across Bay Street to the Coach House where Marshall McLuhan himself inspired other minds to think about these questions that started me on the path of blogging. Media had moved human societies from Gutenberg's 15th century re-ordering of our senses from oral and tactile to our present modern predominance of visual and distant, hence 'reasonable/reasoning', critical perspective. It was at that coach house that I was awakened to an awareness of the electric, internet-induced sense of immersive experience most of us let ourselves into unnoticed.
That year, 2003, the class required blogging was exciting. There were thought-provoking researches on social media such as Danah Boyd's and Ann Galloway's. There was the great triumph of how blogging won a round in politics with Howard Dean's campaign only to be let down by the nature of politics that wasn't ready yet for this new kind of democracy. The dotcom bubble burst was a necessary dampener on the euphoria that normally accompanies new playgrounds as engrossing as the world wide web had become. I witnessed blogs come and go. Our class blog died as soon as the class concluded but I kept on blogging even if it was a bit hard to "speak" to only oneself. I liked the outered introspection, no-need to apologize navel gazing it allowed me.
It was also during this time that I was fortunate to meet with Juan Luis Saurez who became a good family friend. He adopted my husband, Cuauhtémoc, and myself into his fantastic (and complex) world of 16th century Baroque. I was thrilled that JL and Fernando Sanchez created cvltvre.com and feel honored to be invited to be a part of this beta version.
It is with this spirit of honor that I would like to give feedback about cvltvre.com's structure, its strengths and weakness, what can be improved on... from my humble perspective. little experience with blogging, and impressions acquired from net surfing.
I would like to invite other members to join this discussion because I feel that while this site's greatest offer is content, clarifying what we want from this site, where we think it can go, and fine tuning its structure will help towards its growth and move from beta to a public launch that can give us an exceptional new media tool supporting the social network of people in love with cultures, languages, the Baroque, complexity, all those strange and exciting concepts growing out of the University of Western Ontario, Department of Modern Languages' unique group of thinkers and their extended reach.