To what degree is this class a swarm? I don't think we're there yet, but by the end of the term, we might be.
There are lot ways to think about this. One is to say that news (and news is just the spread of new information) has become a conversation, instead of a top-down instruction model. Civilities has tried hard to explore this question of whether pooling information deomcratically leads to a different place, but I get the feeling his site is kind of turning into a spore. I mean, I don't think he was able to get a lot of cooperation for a site that was, fundamentally, about the study of cooperation. Also, a lot of his links are busted because the sites went dead. I want to teach an hour or so of one of our classes about dead blogs. What happens when the blogger decides to pack it in? I bet Aldon has some poignant examples of and thoughts about that. Also, a long time ago, somebody brought up pamphleteers, so while I think of it here is somebody making that connection.