Liza Potts

lpotts@msu.edu

235 Bessey Hall

FacultyWriting, Rhetoric, and American CulturesExperience ArchitectureRhetoric and WritingProfessional and Public Writing

Professor
Director of WIDE Research
Director of Graduate Studies

ORCID: 0000-0003-4207-6583

Biography

Google Scholar

Liza Potts is a professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University where she leads WIDE Research and is a co-founder of the Experience Architecture program. Her research interests include networked participatory culture, social user experience, and digital rhetoric. Her work has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and others. Liza has published three books and over 70 publications focused on disaster response, user experience, and participatory memory, as well as several digital projects from community archives to leading the Sherlockian.net team. Her professional experience includes working for technology startups, Microsoft, and design consultancies.

Research Areas
Digital Culture, Experience Architecture, Disaster Communication, Fan Studies 

Education
Ph.D. Communication and Rhetoric, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2007
M.S. Technical Communication, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2003
Graduate Certificate in Human-Computer Interaction, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2003
B.A. English, Florida Atlantic University, 1997

Research or Academic Affiliations
Leader of WIDE Research
Caretaker of Sherlockian.net
Core Faculty Digital Humanities
Past Chair of ACM’s SIGDOC

Projects


Sherlockian.net

Potts, L. (2016-Present). Managing, redesigning, maintaining, sustaining, curating, and archiving the premiere international cultural heritage website for one of the oldest fan communities in the world. Producing content for and managing multiple social media channels, including a Facebook page, Twitter feeds, and other community forums. Leading a team of students and mentoring them on appropriate best practices based on research. Conducting research on community needs, usability, and content strategy. Our numbers for 2021 include 1.9 million impressions on Google, a major positive leap in our search engine optimization. In a typical month, we have over 5,700 page views. With over 350 pages of content containing over 3,000 links, and 419 page views per month on our home page alone, this project amounts to a book-length project every year per the Dean’s office.

Participatory memory: Fandom experiences across time and space

Potts, L. with Beattie, M., Dallaire, E., Grimes, K., Turner, K. (2018). Participatory memory: Fandom experiences across time and space. Intermezzo at Enculturation digital press.

Rhetoric and experience architecture

Potts, L., Salvo, M. (2017). Rhetoric and experience architecture. Edited collection. South Carolina: Parlor Press.

Social media in disaster response: How experience architects can build for participation

Potts, L. (2014). Social media in disaster response: How experience architects can build for participation. New York, NY: Routledge.

Finding a Teaching A11y: Designing an Accessibility-Centered Pedagogy

Sonka, K., McArdle, C. Potts, L. (2021). “Finding a Teaching A11y: Designing an Accessibility-Centered Pedagogy.” IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication.

Valuing Expertise During the Pandemic

Baniya, S., Potts, L. (2021). “Valuing Expertise During the Pandemic.” Journal of Business and Technical Writing. 35 (1).

Recursive Participatory Mentoring: A New Model for Mentoring Women in the Technical Communication Workplace

Meloncon, L., Potts, L. (2020). “Recursive Participatory Mentoring: A New Model for Mentoring Women in the Technical Communication Workplace.” Technical Communication.

Values vs. Rules in Social Media Communities: How Platforms Generate Amorality on reddit and Facebook

Small, R., Trice, M., Potts, L. (2019). “Values vs. Rules in Social Media Communities: How Platforms Generate Amorality on reddit and Facebook.” In Digital Ethics: Rhetoric and Responsibility in Online Aggression, Hate Speech, and Harassment edited by Reyman and Sparby. Routledge. Winner of the 2019 Computers and Composition Distinguished Book Award.

Building Dark Patterns into Platforms: How GamerGate Perturbed Twitter’s User Experience

Trice, M., Potts, L. (2018). “Building Dark Patterns into Platforms: How GamerGate Perturbed Twitter’s User Experience.” Present Tense.

Interfaces as Rhetorical Constructions: Reddit and 4chan During the Boston Marathon Bombings

Potts, L., Harrison, A. (2013). “Interfaces as Rhetorical Constructions: Reddit and 4chan During the Boston Marathon Bombings.” Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Design of Communication. ACM SIGDOC.

Contextualizing Experience: Tracing the Relationships Between People and Technologies in the Social Web

Potts, L. & Jones, D. (2011). “Contextualizing Experience: Tracing the Relationships Between People and Technologies in the Social Web.” Journal of Business and Technical Communication. 25 (2), 338-358.

Tweeting Disaster: Hashtags Constructions and Collisions

Potts, L., Seitzinger, J., Jones, D., Harrison, A. (2011). “Tweeting Disaster: Hashtags Constructions and Collisions.” Proceedings of the 29th ACM International Conference on Design of Communication. Italy: ACM SIGDOC.

Using Actor Network Theory to Trace and Improve Multimodal Communication Design

Potts, L. (2009). “Using Actor Network Theory to Trace and Improve Multimodal Communication Design.” Technical Communication Quarterly, 18 (3), 281-301.

Awards and Honors

Courses

WRA 415: Digital Rhetoric

WRA 420: Content Strategy

WRA 870: Research Methodologies

WRA 891: Digital Research Methods

WRA 891: Statistics for Technical Communication

XA 333: Researching Experience Architecture

XA 375: Information Architecture

Study Abroad in the UK and Ireland

University News

WIDE Receives Award for Contributions to Communication Design
Published April 2, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
group of students at a table talking with a monitor behind them
The Writing, Information, and Digital Experience (WIDE) Center at Michigan State University has been selected as the 2020 Diana Award recipient presented by the Special Interest Group on Design…Read now »
A Leading Sherlock Holmes Website Finds a Home at MSU
Published July 30, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
old drawing of two men on a train
When an important online resource about the Great Detective Sherlock Holmes was looking for a new home or faced the possibility of being taken down, Liza Potts, Associate Professor of Digital…Read now »
Awards Announced for XA Outstanding Major
Published April 26, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
picture of a red brick building at MSU with cherry blossoms framing the photo
Every spring, WRAC gives the Experience Architecture Outstanding Major Award to an XA student who will be graduating. The award is granted to students who submit a resume and cover letter,…Read now »
The Dark Secrets of Social Media Dark Patterns
Published April 4, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
phone screen with social media icons on it
Tweeting praise or criticism gives you more power – and can pose a greater potential threat – than you may know, according to a Michigan State University research study led by Associate…Read now »
New Experience Architecture (XA) Major Delivers on Creating Innovative Digital Solutions
Published June 17, 2015 in College of Arts & Letters
students working on laptop together
Experience Architecture, or XA, is one “hot” and expanding MSU College of Arts & Letters major, and founding faculty members Liza Potts, Rebecca Tegtmeyer and William Hart-Davidson,…Read now »