NOTES: Origins and Context | See Also
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Origins of this content
This article was first published on paper by Cinema Journal and then was redesigned for publication on the Internet by IJLM, in part, because Cinema Journal was not yet technically prepared to move online except in the most rudimentary ways (posting the article as a pdf). The writing was developed in 2008 as I attempted to pen concise, systematic lessons from the output and experiences of LFYT 2007.
A term embraced by a group of anticonsumer nonconformist punks, DIY was countercultural before it became a TV shopping network.

Henry Jenkins blogs: "'Do It Yourself' is too easy to assimilate back into some vague and comfortable notion of 'personal expression' or 'individual voice' that Americans can assimilate into long-standing beliefs in "rugged individualism" and 'self-reliance.' Yet, what may be radical about the DIY ethos is that learning relies on these mutual support networks, creativity is understood as a trait of communities, and expression occurs through collaboration. Given these circumstances, phrases like 'Do It Ourselves' or 'Do It Together' better capture collective enterprises within networked publics."[cit]

One of my ten founding terms for this project is producer: We need to expand the role of the artist/intellectual in society: who makes, when, what, and with which supports. This begs us to consider the difference between a politics of self-expression and that of cultural revolution.
(This article was first published at IJLM and Cinema Journal.)

DIY is new media's latest buzzword: "prosumers" mashing up the Simpsons, Jessica or Bart; YouTubers uploading streams of lonely video. Bollocks! Let's do pay mind to the buzz-cocks.

DIY is nothing new. While Web 2.0 may radically expand access and distribution of media to its erstwhile viewers, DIY was once punk, and it meant much more than friendly citizen-practitioner. "Common punk views include the DIY ethic, rejection of conformity, direct action for political change, and not selling out to mainstream interests for personal gain."[cit] Punk was Rotten and Vicious. Sincere or even Cynical contributions to the corporate machine do not a DIY ethics make. I am a professor of media studies whose work has focused upon the activist media of nonconformists.

In the fall of 2007, I decided to look more closely at YouTube. The banal videos I regularly saw there did not align with the ethics underpinning the revolutionary discourses I study, nor those heralding the new powers of online social networking. So, I taught the course Learning from YouTube about and also on the site: all class sessions and course work were posted to YouTube as videos or comments and were open to the public.

One press release later, we became the media relay we were attempting to understand. Immediately networked, to be largely mocked through the predictable anti-intellectual stance used at least annually to report on events at meetings like MLA (a scholarly paper on melancholy? and Keanu Reeves!), my students and I will have the last laugh.

We learned a great deal about how this site limits the truly revolutionary potential of the technology.