Monday, December 18, 2006

Virtual Casebook

As The Stingy Scholar demonstrates, media such as the internet mobilizes individuals and groups to easily distribute not just information and knowledge, but information about knowledge, and knowledge about information.

The Virtual Casebook (VCB) is a format developed to trace the use of "tactical media" in specific instances or across a particular area of social life. It is designed to use aspects specific to internet-based publishing (such as wide dissemination, interactivity, ease of access and posting, and ability to handle multiple forms of media) to explore an issue or topic from several different perspectives.

The first VCB prototype, titled 9/11 and after, explores the events of 11 September 2001. Using a well-designed and creative interface, the viewer can navigate through a series of essays, integrated links, and resources for further research. The VCB does not report, critique, or analyse the events of 11 September, but rather seeks to give attention and explore the "almost instantaneous proliferation of small and ephemeral media" that blossomed inside (and to an extent, outside) New York city, in the media, and on the internet. As opposed to attaching solely sentimental value to such images as the one above, the VCB seeks to unite and explore the actual physical instance of expression (the flower and the statue), the virtual representation of that instance (in this case a photograph), the context in which it exists (NYC post 11 September and hereisnewyork).

Besides providing interesting and refreshing perspectives, this VCB is also a great resource to explore the plethora of internet-based reporting, film, television, and other media regarding 11 September. The site promises new VCBs in the future, possibly exploring topics such as HIV/AIDS and human rights, which would provide a great resource for researchers.


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