Getting started

Image of Dr. Brian OblivionWelcome to the Summer of Oblivion, my name is Jim Groom, and I will act as your professor’s teaching assistant during the next five weeks. The mastermind behind this particular digital storytelling course is Dr. Brian O’Blivion and he will be imparting his wisdom to all of you on a regular basis at 11:30 ET Monday through Thursday via live video stream at The first, introductory session wherein he frames the theoretical implications of this course, the assignments, and whatever else catches his fancy was broadcast on June 20th at 11:30 (EDT), you can find an archive of that session here.

If, for whatever reason, you cannot watch the live sessions at the time they are live broadcasting, do not be alarmed. They will be recorded and posted to the site shortly thereafter. What’s more, there will be a post summarizing the talk and if you have an account on the ds106 site you will all receive an email with a link to the video and the summary. One quick note about Dr. O’Blivion, he can only be seen through the lens of media, he has not had any face-to-face interaction in over 27 years. Given this I will be your primary contact for any and all technical, practical, and course-related issues. Dr. O’Blivion is the philosopher king behind ds106 and will be live broadcasting his brilliance regularly via the ds106 TV station—keep in mind you will be able to live chat with him during his sessions and he will accept Skype call-ins at an appropriate time in the monologic discussion. And I do want to reiterate that you should not seek Dr. O’Blivion out, to do so would put the entire course in jeopardy.

If you are still interested head over to the “Dr. Oblivion Wants you!” page and fill out the Google form and look at the pre-course expectations and try and have as much as that done as possible before you jump in.

Now for some practical matters….

I. and blog aggregation
People have already started posting to the main aggregation site at You should all have registered for an account (or had one created for you) at this point and your blog should be syndicating any posts you have written thus far. If this is not the case please contact meas soon as possible.

II. Subscribing to ds106
One initial, and very quick way to follow the steady flow of posts coming into the ds106 site is to do one of two thing:

  • Subscribe to the RSS feed here: (if you haven’t used RSS before, see the Google Reader in Plain English video here). We will be returning to RSS shortly, so the sooner you figure it out the better.
  • The ds106 site as a daily digest email that will regularly send you an email with all the posts from the last 24 hours. This is a useful resource as well, and you can find the signup in the sidebar of the site.

Subscribing to all the posts via RSS and/or Email will be very important because a large part of your participation and grade (for credit students) will be based on substantive comments on the work of others. Please keep this in mind from the very beginning.

III. Updating your Profile and Avatar
You should not have a stock avatar on any of your profiles—the avatar will become an important way for recognizing you and your work on the various sites and it will be important that it’s updated and consistent across sites and services (i.e., Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, etc.). Also, you should know stock avatars (like stock blog themes) scream I don’t care, and you do not want to scream that in this course. Also, be sure your avatar for your profile is also updated, as is all the various fields that are relevant in your profile space. All the sites you have signed up for should be reflected in your profile.

And with all of that, the Summer of Oblivion has now officially begun!

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