Monday, September 16, 2013

Purpose of this blog

This post is a proposal for my digital literacies project.

 I have chosen to study the Facebook group, "Sowerby and Luff's Fully Optimised Social Media Network." This Facebook group is a gathering ground for the fans of British comedy duo Brian Luff and Georgina Sowerby. Luff and Sowerby perform comedic news parody podcasts and perform live comedy. The group has a current roster of 904 global members, with less than a quarter of the members participating in active discussion. Ascertaining the ages and genders of the members of this group is difficult, due in part to the increased privacy measures enacted by Facebook for their patrons. 

Brian Luff and Georgina Sowerby
The general interest would seem to be comedy and especially unusual news stories. These stories encompassed strange happenings in the world and are often centered around animals: in the past they have covered stories such as Panda Porn (pornographic films created by a Chinese zoo to increase the libido of Pandas). These humorous and odd articles often create a lot of discussion in the Facebook group. It will be my endeavor over the course of this project to examine the interplay between the Facebook Group and the Podcast (Brian and Georgina's Fat Chance) and see the relationship between the post in the Facebook Group and the Podcast: do the post in the Facebook group simply reply to the podcast or create new discourse that is incorporated into the podcast. 

As a long time fan of Sowerby and Luff, though I have somewhat drifted away from their projects, and someone who used to occasionally participate in their show, their group interests me because at the surface level it seems like a microcosm of Facebook: the group participants seem to post the same type of items, links, photos, videos, to the group that one would expect to see on their newsfeed, only they deal specifically with bizarre items and happenings. Sowerby and Luff's group is an interesting phenomenon because it takes the idea of comical news stories and shares it with a global audience. 

There website is:

You can download their podcast from iTunes here:


Shanna Allen said...

I think this is a great idea to study! I’ve never heard of the group but it sounds amazing and I’d love to check it out. Although, I wonder how difficult that would be because of the privacy settings you mentioned? I think you could certainly look at this in terms of digital literacies/multiliteracies because of the fact that the group is on Facebook, but also because it uses podcasts as a form of literacy as well. I was thinking of your project when I read the reading from Lankshear and Knobel for class today, specifically the section that discusses Michael Goldhaber. The Merchant article might also be helpful, particularly the section on user participation as identity.

I do have an idea about the site, but I feel like I might need a better understanding. What kind of political stories do they parody? You say unusual, but unusual in what sense? What kind of like comedy do they perform? I remember you saying in class that they are a British group (I love their names by the way, very British!), so are the stories from their area of the UK, the country as a whole, or outside the UK as well?

I think some narrowing is definitely necessary. I wonder if you could look at the progression of one particular podcast and how it is received by the group’s members? Or would that be too narrow? Or perhaps you could somehow look at the connection between the parodies, live comedy, and Facebook? Although I’m not really sure exactly how you could do the latter. I’m just trying to think of something that would possibly narrow your focus a little bit.

I would love to check out this group! I really like the idea!


Earnest Inquiry said...

Interesting. I've never heard of the comedy duo, but it's interesting the way that communities can develop around such specialized subjects. The plurality of lifeworlds that has come with the internet is baffling. How do you think this affects us outside of the internet? Do you think the ability to branch out to different communities, to divide ourselves between so many things and have this amount of information coming from so many different places with varying degrees of ethos and truth is helping us?

I also wonder about the cultural backgrounds of most of the community's members. What is the mix of British and American members? how many are actually outside of the West? I know this isn't exactly helping you to narrow your focus, but questions are always good to have at the ready. And these are just things that I would (and have, I suppose) ask you.

LaVon Marie said...


I like that you mention that this particular group is like a microcosm of Facebook. I think that with such a small group of people actually participating, it may allow you a larger picture then what some of us will obtain by just looking at a small group within Facebook.

It is unfortunate that you can not be sure of the demographic information, as I can see how this would help you obtain a clearer picture of the participants identity outside of this group. I am confused as to what exactly you will be observing and analyzing? I am guessing how the participants use different media to present their unique interests and how it shapes their online discourse?

I guess I am not sure exactly what it is you will be doing, but as I have discovered within my own chosen group, articulating what is your goal is sometimes hard until you have time to observe in greater detail what is exactly happening.

I look forward to reading what you discover and what direction and focus you will find as you begin to observe.

LaVon Marie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LaVon Marie said...

Ugh, I did not express what I was thinking very well. I am so tired this morning, forgive me. What I was trying to say is that I understand that what exactly our goals are with this observation is sometimes hard to really articulate and is difficult until we really begin to dig in, participate, receive feedback and have material to analyze. I am sure that as I read what you discover, I will better understand what it is you are trying to accomplish. I hope I explained this a little better