- To develop the theoretical and methodological skills necessary for producing rigorous research on new and emerging media.
- To become familiar with the new media research tools and to develop a critical approach to the use and misuse of these technologies.
- To develop hands on experience and understanding of the current cultural changes in media production and consumption.
- To adopt ‘power-user’ skills.
- To be able to critique the present and somewhat predict the future on new media.
This course meets once a week in person but takes place constantly through the week on the class blog. Classroom time consists of both assessment of student research and discussion of the weekly readings. Assignments are being given weekly and deadlines are set for both classtime and through the week (to be submitted on the blog).
The central focus of this course will be a set of field trips into new media environments and the creation of travelogues. Each topic is pursued over a three-week period. Upon completion of one topic a new topic is selected and the cycle repeats itself. The travelogues will be published in the form of a collaborative blog. The blog will serve both as a research tool and as a way to document the process and results of the field trips.
Discussion of research findings of the last week, engaging criticism and feedback posted on the blog by the students and the instructor. Over the course of the semester a collection of travelogues will accumulate based on the student work. These will remain online as public documents, accessible both to other students as well as the general public.
Each week the students will be assigned material revolving around the weekly theme. The weekly list would consist of required and recommended items. These items can be articles book segments and blog posts, they might also be audio and video presentations or other audiovisual content. Once through the semester each student would be required to summarize the assigned reading (both required and recommended) two days in advance of class, analyze the ideas expressed and engage them through the summary blog post. All students will be required to read the summary and comment on it towards the discussion in class lead by the assigned student.
Another focus of this course will be the toolbox – a growing collection of new media tools we will examine, use and critique in a format of a lab. Students will choose their tools based on this critical examination and will introduce new tools to the class to expand and advance our toolbox.
All students are required to attend class and complete all assigned reading. Students are required to both post their own research blog posts and comment on other students work. Deadlines are rigid and posting late would not be appreciated.
New media travelogues:
Four different travels into new media lands are required. Each constructed of several blog posts. Each travelogue must include a set of blog posts aggregating and analyzing information from multiple sources and arriving at a critical conclusion. The posts may include text, audio, or visual material or reference other material on the web. Each post must be published as a blog post, and therefore will be subject to public viewing and possible response.
Due to time and attention concerns, not all travelogues will be discussed in class every week. Students would choose the travelogues they would like to discuss in class, based on the comments they have made on the blog, and so more discussion provoking blog posts will win more student attention. We will try to assess what makes a post attractive and provoking and how to improve the blogging style based on that experience.
The New Media Embed Program
Towards the end of the semester we will work collaboratively on assembling a set of rules that will define guidelines for research into New Media environments.
New Media Traveler’s Log #1: 10%
New Media Traveler’s Log #2: 15%
New Media Traveler’s Log #3: 15%
New Media Traveler’s Log #4: 15%
New Media Embed Program: 10%
Class and blog participation: 25%
reading discussion lead: 10%
(No) Required Books
The readings in the class will be assigned by the students themselves while a recommended reading list will be provided for every class.
Our schedule will be flexible and is bound to change based on the class’s activity. The following id a framework we will refer to but by no means is this the exact class schedule.
Class 1 – Course Introduction
Toolbox: Wordpress, Social bookmarking service, rss aggregator
Content: How does the internet work?
Context: screening of Adam Curtis’ The Trap: Whatever Happened to our Dream of Freedom (part 1 of 3)
Assignment: Travelogue-I: The Trap.
Class 2 – The Public Sphere and The Blogosphere
Sep 22th – Led by Alison
Brooke, Clive and Ethan at Aspen / Brooke Gladstone, Clive Thompson and Ethan Zuckerman [from 'On The Media']
The death of the news / By Gary Kamiya
Bloggers vs. Journalists is Over / Jay Rosen
Critique: Travelogue-II roundup
Experiment: A week without Google
Class 3 Identity as Property and Panopticon 2.0
Sep 29th – Led by Rivka
Critique: A Week without Google, Travelogue II
Case study: Google Search, Gmail, Google Adsense, Google Adwords Happening
Class 4 – Social Software, Publics and Communities
Oct 6th – Led by Craig
Required reading for next week:
- Dana Boyd: Social Network Sites: Public, Private, or What? (available as audio as well on the same link)
- Clay Shirky: Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (Event Video/Audio)
Recommended Reading for next week:
Critique: Travelogue-II – final
Case study: del.icio.us, MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter
Toolbox: Open CMS Drupal, Joomla, Plone, Upgrade International
Class 5 – Our Media?
Oct 13th – Led by Elissa
Critique: Travelogue-III roundup
Case study:YouTube, Blip, Internet Archive, OurMedia, Bittorrent, The Pirate Bay
Toolbox: Where and how should we be hosting our videos online? How does podcasting work?
Class 6 – Commons Based Peer Production and Open Source
Oct 20th – Led by Franklin
- Watch: The Wealth of Networks – A presentation by Yochai Benkler.
- Read: Excerpts from The Success of Open Source – by Steven Weber
- Commons-based Peer Production and Virtue* – by Yochai Benkler * Helen Nissenbaum
- Property and the Problem of Open Source – by Steven Weber (the extension of the excerpts above, so no need to read both)
Critique: Travelogue-III – final
Toolbox: Open Source, Version Control, Linux
Class 7 The cult of Wikipedia
Oct 27th – Led by Gabe
Critique: Travelogue-IV – roundup
Toolbox: Wikipedia, Wikiality, MediaWiki
Class 8 – The Internet of Thing
Nov 3rd – Led by Camille & Anu
Dan Hill, The City As A Platform
Required Reading: Brian Holmes – Drifting Through the Grid: Psychogeography and Imperial Infrastructure
Case study: Smart phones, RFID, GPS, Metrocard
Class 9 – Interface as a conflict of Ideologies
Nov 10th – Led by H-Man & Jason
- Social networking, new governing By ANDREW RASIEJ & MICAH L. SIFRY
- ShiftSpace introduction video By Mushon Zer-Aviv
- Mushon Zer-Aviv, Interface as a Conflict of Ideologies
Class 10 – Representation, Simulation, Fun & filthy rich media
Nov 17th – Led by Harlo
SIMULATION 101: Simulation versus Representation / Gonzalo Frasca
Recommended Listening & viewing:
The Core of Fun – Presentation at Etech / Raph Koster
Class 11 – Network Theory
Nov 24th – Led by Sava
- Networks – The Science-Spanning Disciplines / Anna Nagurneymake sure to follow her presentation slides too
- Part 1 of The Principle of Notworking Geert Lovink: Multitude, Network and Culture (up to page 11)
- Review of The Exploit: A Theory of Networks (2 reviews + 1 response)
Critique: Travelogue-IV – final
Toolbox: Napster, Bittorrent, Azureus, Tor
Assignment: New Media Embed Program
Class 12 – The Singularity, Transhumanism & Biomedia
Dec 1st – Led by Lauren
- Review of Eugene Thacker’s Biomedia / Nicholas Ruiz III
- Decoding the Future with Genomics / Juan Enriquez
- Futurist Ray Kurzweil Pulls Out All the Stops (and Pills) to Live to Witness the Singularity / Gary Wolf
Critique: The New Media Embed Program
Assignment: New Media Embed Program
Class 13 – E-ducation
Dec 7th – Led by Melissa
- The Impending Demise of the University by Don Tapscott
- MyUniversity.com? Personalized Education and Personalized News by Cass Sunstein
- My University.com, My Government.com: Is the Internet Really a Blessing for Democracy? presentation by Cass Sunstein
Class 14 – The Digital Divide and the Postnational Web
Dec 15th – Led by Sara
Nicolas Negroponte, Participation Revolution: OLPC presentation at PopRech 2005:
- Nicolas Negroponte, “Interview with Riz Khan” Al-Jazeera October 2007
- Give me rice, but give me a laptop too / Bill Thompson
- Dvorak – Thompson, OLPC critique / Tom Carter weblog
Frost, Catherine Internet Galaxy Meets Postnational Constellation: Prospects for Political Solidarity After the Internet (a pdf will be emailed to you, please do not share.)
Critique: The New Media Embed Program / final conclusions
Case study: Savetheinternet.com, OLPC, Global Voices Online, Toot
*Optional Extra – Governance 2.0
- UsNow – A film project about the power of mass collaboration, government and the internet
- The Fog Machine – Iran, Social Media and the Rise of Genetically Modified Grassroots Organizations By JACK Z. BRATICH
- Aneesh Chopra, Tim O’Reilly, “A Conversation with Aneesh Chopra“
A – Excellent. Student exhibits exemplary creativity through research and critical analysis. Research and writing is lucid and engaging with zero mistakes.
B – Good. References to the course material are well-selected and topical. Critical analysis is present, but largely rehearsed from class lecture and discussion. Student’s style is clear and has very few mistakes.
C – Satisfactory. References to the course material are well-selected and topical, but student performs little or no historical or critical analysis. Problems exist in student’s work. Work consists mostly of underdeveloped ideas, off-topic sources or examples, inappropriate research, or anecdotes.
D – Unsatisfactory. Student does not engage with the material and no historical or critical analysis is present. Substantial problems exist in student’s work.
F – Fail. Student does not submit work, or work is below unsatisfactory level.