‘Tis the season for the Raven. We have been watching our Google Analytics live as TeachersFirst’s Interactive Raven is hammered by traffic from around the world. I think it is kind of scary to think that we can “see” who is on the TeachersFirst site minute by minute (their general location and numbers).
The Raven is such a haunting poem for many reasons, not the least of which is how easily it invites parody and poor imitation. So I offer an early trick or treat. Maybe you would like to invite your students to spend some time with the Raven then try their own hands at a mimicking version related to a topic you teach. Here is a sample. (Perhaps you can suggest a title?)
Once upon a blog post reading, logged in tabs I leave, unheeding
As the world of data miners raids my unattended store.
Clicking on, I set to shopping, then to Facebook briefly hopping
As the ads that came a-popping match my shopping cart and more
‘Tis coincidence I mutter, these enticing wares galore.
Random ads and nothing more.
Bored with browsing, I try tweeting hashtagged quips and ideas fleeting
While on Tweetdeck laughing, reading others’ pithy repertoire
Twitpics, links, from folks I follow, reweeting with praises hollow
Cheer each follower I add as I send new tweets by the score.
I’m so clever — here come more!
Bravely then I take to writing, links and articles a-citing,
A post acerbic — even biting – thoughts that none have thunk before.
Proudly dream of going viral, Technorati upward spiral
Wordiness and hubris gath’ring, will my reputation score?
Saved and tweeted. Whew, I mutter, hope my Clustrmap will soar.
I’m an optimization whore?
Insecure, I check my tags. Seems my footprint ever lags
I can find no way to raise my Google reputation score.
Googling myself, I then discover that my name has yet another
Whose accomplishments surpass my tweets and blog posts written heretofore
I must press my footprint deeper in the sand upon this shore!
Oops…that tab is for an online store.
As I click to close my Facebook, ads arising flaunt a new book:
“How to make your friends share photos, posts, and ‘like’ you more”
“See your face here!” it is screaming, but I am no longer beaming
As the monster Bigfoot prints the prideful sands upon my shore.
Haunted by my online clicks and logins I must shift to something more.
Clear the cache—clean out the store!
Logging out, I clear my history, some of which is quite a mystery
Can’t believe that I have ever clicked some things in there before
Cache is gone, and Chrome restarted, my old paths no longer charted
Yet the searches of my name still yield ten thousand eighty-four
Memberships and projects linger from a past so long before
Cast in sandstone on this shore.
Far from me, a sandstone sculptor shapes my name and gives it luster
Analytics, spiders weave my life and story more and more
All I want is to go shopping, from ideas to Pinterest hopping
Without carving data fields as Google keeps a hidden score
Let my thoughts for once be fleeting as they were in years before
Quoth the Google, “Nevermore.”