Wearables Lesson Plan: Yelp

Reinhard Mueller

Lesson Plans

This is a picture of the Yelp logo with a symbolic scale in the background indicating the lawsuits against Yelp. The picture is mostly in red, the scale in the background is in black. The letters and the Yelp logo are mostly in white.

Yelp is a virtual marketplace that has been shaping our spatial orientation for many years, since it was founded in 2004 and has increasingly expanded worldwide since 2009. Despite its vast impact on our daily life, its digital rhetoric has hardly been researched and is usually taken for granted without further critical awareness. In a 2013 survey, the Boston Consulting Group found that only 15% of 4,800 interviewed small business knew that they had a free Yelp profile and that

Lesson Plan: Advanced Piktochart

Reinhard Mueller

Lesson Plans

This image depicts the Piktochart logo, which is a big capital "P." It is followed by the word "Piktochart," where the letters "Pikto" are in bold print. Under "Piktochart," it says "make information beautiful."

Over the last “decades a revolution has taken place in the area of communication”: a revolution that has “dislodged written language from its centrality which it has held […] in public communication.” Gunther Kress observes that in this foundational shift towards more diverse modes of communication, visual media have gained most prominently in “many areas of public communication.” Despite this prominence, Kress agued already in 2000 that “the implications of this shift have not in any sense begun to be

The Rhetoric of the Digital Marketplace: Yelp

Reinhard Mueller

Locative Media, Social Media, Tools

yelp logo

We all did it. We all used Yelp. If you want to find out, if this Italian restaurant is in fact a good choice for Valentine’s day, Yelp has an answer. Or if you are in a new city and don’t really know which bar or coffee shop to go to, Yelp knows! Or even when you are looking for a hotel or dentist in another country, Yelp reviewers have already been there and offer advice. Today, Yelp has become

Reading in the Digital Age: Audiobooks by Librivox

Reinhard Mueller

Multimodal Writing, Pedagogy

This image shows eight books of different colors in a row (as if on a bookshelve) next to each other. They are embraced by headphones. The background is white.

Tired eyes from pushing through your reading list? Planning a road trip? Or just trying to cram some productive time into your commute? Long reading lists of classic texts might appear long and daunting. But for over 11 years, Librivox has made our lives easier by providing a digital platform for free audiobooks — perhaps not the latest thriller (try your local library!), but maybe including something from your comprehensive exam list or next semester’s syllabus. Started in 2005 by

Lesson Plan: Data, Privacy and Identity on Facebook

Reinhard Mueller

Devices, Lesson Plans, Pedagogy

In “Information Revelation and Internet Privacy Concerns on Social Network Sites: A Case Study of Facebook” (2009), Alyson Young and Anabel Quan-Haase argued that “despite concerns raised about the disclosure of personal information on social network sites, research has demonstrated that users continue to disclose personal information.” In recent years, Facebook has expanded greatly — both in user numbers and in their range of applications, especially those available for mobile technologies. Used on wearable devices like smartphones and smart watches,

Scandals and the Digital Code in the Presidential Race

Reinhard Mueller

Multimodal Writing, Social Media

Commentators have identified the campaign leading up to today’s presidential election as unlike any that have come before, asking questions like — has this election been shaped by debates about personality rather than political content? Has it been more about moral scandals than past campaigns? Are labels such as “abuser,” “criminal,” “hater,” and “devil” part of a rational discourse between professional politicians? But there’s something else novel about this campaign: digital media such as Twitter and Facebook have never played

Audio: Avital Ronell’s Digital Traces

Reinhard Mueller

Blog Post

This is a picture of Avital Ronell in a speaking gesture with her right arm, spreading her four fingers and holding a blue pen with her thumb. She is standing in fron of two computer screens. Behind here is a dark wall. She is looking into the camera and is wearing black rectangular glasses. She has red lipstick and a red ribbon in her her. Her hair is mainly black, and she wears a black jacket with a white-red blouse.

With new digital forms of communication, we face new forms of writing, new forms of signs and texts, of producing always new kinds of what Jacques Derrida calls “traces” in our world. The human being is no longer a spirited entity that produces sublime speech, but we are products of manifold traces that in turn leave a myriad of traces behind. How, then, does technology change our ways of communicating, our ways of thinking, our ways of existing? Does humanity