I <3 Consumerism

I <3 Consumerism

Well, I have been sucked into the UMW Blogs vortex. The first week or so just thrills me to no end, people start coming out of the woodwork, and I have fun commenting, reading, and getting a sense of what’s in store. it also makes me marvel just how much cool stuff is happening all around campus, and the syndication framework really bring that into sharp focus (but more on this in technical detail in my next post).

So, I have met with almost twenty faculty during the first week of classes alone about UMW Blogs, and this project seems to really be generating some serious interest and excitement. The utility and imaginative power of such a framework is becoming more and more apparent, or at least I think it is (but don’t trust me). I spoke with five different classes about the system this week, and had four workshops on UMW Blogs for faculty—all of which had very healthy attendance.

So, this post is not so much about the consumerism behind RSS feeds and UMW Blogs, but rather one particular class I talked with this week. American Studies professor Krystyn Moon is teaching a course on Consumerism this semester, and she had a brilliant idea for using blogs for their studies: have the students collaborate on a shopping blog, not unlike Gizmodo or Cool Hunting or Uncrate, wherein they can examine and inhabit a contemporary form like blogs for mediating consumption. So, I gave them an overview of UMW Blogs on Wednesday, but started the discussion talking about the Internet Archive, and all the amazing resources that lay in wait for them. As I tried to navigate to archive.org to give them a quick sampling, the network began to choke on campus (and choked it did for most of the first week). So, I thought my moment to get them hooked came and went.

But, but, but, but, this weekend I figured why do I need to be there to show them what’s there? They all have blogs now, and they all feed into professor Moon’s class blog, so why not just post the quick possibilities of the Internet Archive on the course blog? That would be easy enough, and it provides me the possibility of sharing resources centrally for any specific class without being their necessarily. Blogging for classes as a form of support/presentation? I love that!

Anyway, here is my post to the class on Industrial films dealing with Consumerism at the Internet Archive’s Prelinger Archive:

As I mentioned on Wednesday, the Internet Archive’s Prelinger Archive may prove a really rich source for you over the semester.

Check out the videos under the consumerism tag on the Prelinger Archive tag cloud.

Note: The videos may take a minute or so to load.

There is “In the Suburbs,” a 1957 advertising sales promo film extolling 1950s suburbanites as citizens and consumers.

Download In the Suburbs

Here is a reel of classic 50s and 60s television commercials.

Download Television Commercials 1950s-1960s

Or the two part series “Consumers Want to Know” from 1960.

Download Consumers Want to Know, Part 1

Or even the strangely bizarre and gendered “Consuming Women” (1967).

Download Consuming Women

Or this 1955 gem “A Word to the Wives” about two women who trick their husbands into buying a new kitchen.

Download A Word to the Wives

Anyway, enjoy the Archive.

Jim

How much to you love it that the Prelinger Archive has a tag cloud now?

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One Response to I <3 Consumerism

  1. Shannon says:

    I still can’t get over the awesome stuff that archive.org has, it just rocks so hardcore.

    There is something about those 1950s films that extoll the virtues of suburban living and consumerism and I can’t get enough of it.

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