Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Interactive What Now!?
Posted by Sam at 11:59 PM | tags: ,

Despite my complaints, I wholeheartedly enjoy life as a graduate student in my particular program of study... which is called Interactive Communications... which is exactly what I tell people when I'm asked what it is that I study... which is typically reciprocated with a furrowed brow, a frown, and a slowly nodding head that nods, not in acquiescence, but more as a means of signifying that the inquirer is busily processing what I have told them and is outputting a total cumulation of data resembling the quantity zilch. Wait for it. It's inevitable. Ready? Here it comes: "So... what exactly is Interactive Communications?" they say. "Well, it's a whole bunch of internet stuff," I reply, hopefully satisfying/confusing them to the point where we can smoothly transition the line of conversation into something a bit more palatable... like the weather or Paris Hilton... which coincidentally, are similarly obnoxious. Oftentimes however, my vague answer just doesn't cut it and my conversational sparring partner wants more. It is at this precise point that I find myself wishing I had chosen to study something a bit more cut and dry, like math. "What do you study?" someone might ask. "Math," I would reply. "Oh. Isn't that nice for you," they would say without hint of any further interest in their voice. And I'd be off the hook.

But no, Interactive Communications isn't easy to explain. And honestly, quoting the brochure isn't much help either:

"The Quinnipiac University School of Communications' Master's of Science program in Interactive Communications is based on the study of interactive media content and the practical techniques of creating, distributing and managing information and ideas for interactive news, strategic communications, entertainment and information services. Through a balance of courses in theory, criticism, and content development, students learn how to understand, plan and create non-linear content in several forms and to think strategically across media platforms."

Yeah. That's not as concise as it ought to be. So, without pushing this entry any further, let's take a moment to define what it is that I spend every iota of free time wrapping my brain around:

Interactive communications is... well, it's a whole bunch of internet stuff.

I hope that helps.

Comments: 2 | Post a Comment | Permalink

Okay okay... so essentially, I'm learning about interactive spaces. But it's more than that. It's about understanding and developing the layers of interactivity in social software systems... what works within those constructs and why. It is about the internet, it's about blogging, it's about wikis... it's about pushing this relatively new medium in unexpected directions. It's about the limitless potential of information interaction. It's about the future.

(And also, to a somewhat lesser degree, yet not insignificant by any means, it's about skipping out on the real world for just that much longer. God, I love being a grad student.)

But truly, I do feel passionately about my program. It's an exciting time to be studying such exciting things.

Comment By Sam on November 09, 2006 12:03 AM

As a member of the very same program, I have to agree with your enthusiasm. I've really gotten into the program, too.

As for explaining it to other people... after they glaze over, I usually resort to my old standby, which I've been using for years:

I work with computers.

Comment By Chrysanthemum on November 29, 2006 7:56 AM

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Sam Who!?
Sam is an amazing and humble guy. Once, he rushed into a burning building, up six flights of stairs to save a kitten from certain death. He speaks eight languages, has mastered three varieties of martial arts, is a wine expert, and is a pulitzer prize winning author. Sam is an international heart-throb who prefers a quiet evening at home knitting afghans for the homeless, to the go-go, glitz and glamor of the party scene. I think the day he won the silver medal for ballroom dancing at the 98 olympics was the happiest of his life. Pretty impressive for a guy who never finished the 8th grade. - Carrie, 04
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