Saturday, September 12, 2009


First things first! As soon as by the end of Tuesday ....create a blog on which to do work for this class. If you have an existing blog that you think you can dedicate mostly to the class this semester, you can use that, but bear in mind two realities:
a. your classmates will be looking in on this blog, so if it also tends to have a lot of pictures of you dressing up cats in funny outfits or wearing vomit-stained t-shirts while you wave glasses of vodka in the air, consider the implications for your in-class gravitas.
b. I need you to blogroll all the other class blogs, and that may screw up your existing blog.
This here blog is on a very old blogspot account. That's the most obvious way to go, but I really enjoy it when people use other platforms. So consider using another platform.
If you have never had a blog and do not know what to do, ask somebody you know who has a blog. Bloggers usually really like showing you how to blog.
After you get the blog started, you should put a few resources up on your blogroll.
These are not necessarily the most fun or exciting resources, but they're good place to start.
Paid Content

Hitwise's data center.
Pew: Internet

OK, you can stop now.
As soon as you have your blog in place, e-mail the URL to me at

You will do pretty much all of your work this class on your blog. I don't require final papers for a class like this. What I require is steady posting to the blog, many posts per week which, when you have done them, will prepare you to be a scintillating conversationalist at the weekly class meetings. The great thing about this system is that, on the last day of class, you're done. The bad thing about it is you really can't skip weeks, zone out, etc. Your grade is some rough mix of
50 percent how good and meaty and interesting and consistent your blog posts are.
30 percent what you bring to class meetings.
20 percent what you contribute to the seminar goal of teaching each other. (In other words, if you're reading the blogs of your fellow students, leaving comments, taking what they do and building on it, that's worth something.)
If, for some reason, you just cannot function this way and would like to help your final grade by producing some huge paper, see me, and we'll work that out.
The Flow
Every week, you will have some assigned reading -- we'll even start using books!! eventually -- and/or work to do on the 'net. You will be expected to comment on that reading on your blog, and you will also be expected to keep your eyes open for new subject matter. Check this blog on a daily basis, because sometimes I will have new leads I want you to track down. To a certain degree, you wil be reporters in this class. We'll cover stuff in real time.
Class 2 -- Sept. 21
Before we can really plunge into new media, we need a sense of where old media are. Fortunately, there's an obvious place to go. Unfortunately, it's a pig in python, in terms of what you'll have to digest.
It's this yearly study. You really have to comb through it, and, when you do, you'll have a pretty good sense of the revolution in progress. Read it and then post about what struck you. But we also need kind of a case in point to discuss. so read this very recent article too. We'll be closely analyzing it.
Class 3 -- Sept. 28
An Old Gray Lady.
I don't think we have muich choice but to use the Hartford Courant as kind of a living lab on what's happening to old media models. The assignments for this week will include reading the coverage of some of the recent problems of the newspaper and analyzing the newspaper's own website. Also, read this, as a discussion starter.
All of those assignments will be posted here on Sept. 22
Class 4 -- Oct 5
Google and Yahoo! battle to rule the world.
Google will have just rolled out Wave, so we'll follow the coverage of that. But we'll also look at how each of thes brand names has tried to become all things to all people.
Class 5 -- Oct. 12
Facebook time. FB is definitely winning its war. But we'll really pull the site apart. How does it work and what don't most 'bookers know?
Class 6 -- Oct. 19
Twitter. I hate Twitter. But you'll all have Twitter accounts, and we'll explore the ways it's being used. Same deal. We will tear the whole thing apart and see how it really works.
Class 7 --Oct. 26
Aggregators. How people use sites like Digg and Reddit. I don't especially like them. But I do like
Gabe Rivera's sites (look to the right for "see also"). And what's a Digital Native?
There are also big battles -- as we saw with the Courant -- about what an aggregator is and whether the original sources of news have any rights. Also, if we really need to devote some time specifically to blogs, this will be the week we do it.
Class 8 -- Nov. 2
Wikipedia. I actually think this is the most important class, but that's just me. There are constant battles with in Wikiworld. and in some ways it's both the most flawed and focused of all new, social (and it is social) media. We'll study a few cases involving the social life of information on Wikipedia.
And most importantly, you will all become Wikipedia contributors. and you will work on articles and blog about what that's like. It will open your eyes.
Class 9 -- Nov. 9
Crowdsourcing . Read "Here Comes Everybody" by Clay Shirky.
Class 10 -- Nov. 16
Memes and how information spready. Readings from McLuhan. Readings in Memetics.
Class 11 -- Nov. 23
Online identity. How new media shapes our psyches and our self presentation.
Class 12 -- Nov. 30
We launch our team projects. We look at future models in class.
Class 13 -- Dec. 7
We present our team projects
Class 14 -- Dec. 14
Final class. Great weeping.

Here Comes Everybody.
Say Everything. (Maybe)

1 comment:

Matt Dwyer said...

My blog platform spat out the link to Hitwise on the list above, but this address worked:

...And I suspect everyone already figured this out, but here is the address for Paid Content (which got eaten by Blogasm):

Is the Pew site really a blog??? My blog platform says it can't find a feed.