Fusing talent, technology

    UCSD students express themselves online through personal Web sites, Web logs, online publications or message forums, and use the Web to self-publish their writing, display their artwork, or simply as a place to vent.

    Some UCSD students are a part of an intercollegiate online journal called Poindexter. Poindexter is unique in that it publishes only the work of undergraduates.

    Poindexter is open to any undergraduate in any nation and currntly has editors from the United States and England. It actively recruits UCSD students for submissions through fliers, e-mail announcements and word of mouth.

    “”One of the reasons we started Poindexter in the first place was because we felt that a lot of the undergraduate work we saw floating around in our dorms, in classrooms, on the Internet and in our local campus publications was really excllent and deserved a wider audience,”” said Chris Goodmacher, a Dartmouth College junior and a founding editor of Poindexter.

    Poindexter is run and edited without a central office. Meetings are held weekly using America Online Instant Messenger, where editors decide on which submitted student works to post on the site.

    “”As a journal about ‘intercollegiate’ communication, I think it is easier for us to have communication between campuses since we’re online,”” said Tim Lee, a junior at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne. “”Having students from various universities form a dialogue, they are able to gain a broader understanding of the way others think.””

    Each week, Poindexter is updated with new submissions. The process is very much like updating a Web log, a type of online personal journal often referred to as a “”blog.””

    Many popular Web log communities are free to join and they offer the user a personal page with a limited amount of space and a template to post logs. No knowledge of Web design is required

    George Nareewong, a third year Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts major, has a personal Web site where he displays projects from his ICAM classes and displays videos and pictures that he has made.

    “”The whole site is my creation,”” said Nareewong. “”It is my way of feeling and learning the world.””

    Nareewong’s Web site has links to several friends’ sites and Web logs. One link in particular is to Stella Ly’s Web log.

    “”It is pretty fun and easy if you are interested in it,”” said Stella Ly, an Eleanor Roosevelt College junior.

    Random people as well as friends regularly comment on her messages. In a recent entry, Ly wrote, “”I don’t write in my blog for you okay? I write it for myself.””

    Cheese and Liquor is a literary journal founded by UCSD students that publishes a print edition quarterly and will go online this month. It will act as a promotion for the printed issue by giving general information and links to online literary works while giving students more options to exhibit their work.

    There are various options for online expression available to UCSD students. Academic Computing Services offers Web space to all UCSD students. Instructions on starting a personal site on a UCSD server can be found at http://www-acs.ucsd.edu by searching the keyword “”Web page.””

    A student can find his or her username and mail server through the ACS Web site. For example, a student whose ACS login name is “”htasker”” and has the mail server “”sdcc21″” will have the address http://sdcc21.ucsd.edu/~htasker.

    “”Not many students take advantage of this,”” said Collen Tuffy, a Revelle College senior and student computing assistant.

    Student computing assistants are hired by the school and are commonly known as Zebras. They wear striped shirts and can be found at the Center for Library & Instructional Computing Services and at specific times in locations listed on the ACS Web site.

    One advantage to publishing online is the wide access of the Web. However, ACS cannot support sites that become too popular and put a noticeable drag on its systems. Personal sites with thousands of hits have to be removed.

    “”As long as it is not interfering with student abilities to work, it is okay,”” Tuffy said. “”The exceptions are no businesses and nothing illegal, like copyright infringement. The school can’t tell you what to say, but there are laws dealing with slander.””

    UCSD professors also express themselves online. Professor Eileen Myles is the head of the UCSD writing department and creator of http://www.eileenmyles.com.

    “”The Web enables our freedom of speech to make art and distribute information,”” Myles said.

    Myles’ Web site has descriptions of her work and life as well as samples of already published work. According to Myles, there are downsides to what the Web offers. For her, the Web sets up a constant availability of information and contact.

    “”It gives me more information and, as a result, I feel hurried and cramped, often,”” Myles said.

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