Friday, June 29, 2012

It's Not Too Late To Add Executive Severance to your 2012-2013 Syllabus!

Tweet Tweet!
Who’s there?
My random thoughts.
“My random thoughts” who?
My random thoughts that I just tweeted.

Now that we've got all that humor out of the way, I'd like to have a serious talk with my fellow educators about including Executive Severance in your 2012-2013 social/communication/media course syllabus.

Hello. I'm Robert K. Blechman.

Perhaps you've seen my video “A Model Media Ecologist” on YouTube. Maybe our paths have crossed at Media Ecology Conventions or even on the campus of your own institution where I may have taught as an adjunct professor or as a visiting lecturer.

I'm here today to talk to you about Executive Severance, my Twitter-composed comic mystery novel that is taking the media world by storm. A review in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer noted:

"Writing a novel using Twitter seems such a daunting task, and yet Blechman persevered and did it with certain panache."

Some of you may be digital natives, while others are just visiting. You stand in front of your lecture halls and seminar rooms and wonder, “What are all these “millennials” doing with their media? What are they doing in my class instead of listening to my lecture? How can I, a print-biased educator, make a connection?”

The answer is as simple as a 140-character tweet. Add Executive Severance to your next course syllabus. A noted educator has observed that: “Executive Severance, while a work of fiction, is delightfully full of references to Media Ecology, and especially to Marshall McLuhan. You don't have to be a media ecologist to love Executive Severance, or laugh at Blechman's extraordinary sense of humor, but if you are now or ever have been one, you will get a great deal of added enjoyment from your reading experience.”
That’s the long and the short of it. (And in Twitter we prefer the short.)

But let me leave you with one more thought. This complete Twitter narrative, with wonderful illustrations by California artist David Arshawsky, is part of what I expect to be a number of efforts by writers and artists to explore potential creative uses of the new social media. With send-ups of the murder mystery genre, social media conventions and cell phone behavior, Executive Severance has been called "compelling, entertaining, and shows off what can be done in the 140-character form with style and mastery."

And, for a limited time, and at no additional cost to anyone, if you do include Executive Severance in your 2012-2013 syllabus, I will come to your class and share my experiences writing a Twitter novel. For a slight additional cost I will not come.

So, my fellow educators of the world wide web, THROW OFF YOUR PRINT SHACKLES AND UNITE around Executive Severance as a core text for your 2012-2013 syllabus!

Thank you.

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