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Author Archives: mushon

Channeled my anger at Google Buzz into a post: #buzzoff

Please RT!

On February 9th Google have unvailed Google Buzz, a service that involuntarily transforms every Gmail user’s private contact list into a public social network. While Google has suffered from privacy concerns in the past, Buzz is considered by many angry users to be crossing a line. Many loyal Google users including myself have hence chosen to disable the service. I present a list of reasons why you and your contact list should do that too.

Read on (and feel free to comment) here: #BuzzOff: 10 reasons to turn Google Buzz off

A less parasitic travelog #3 & Commons Based Peer Production

Hey TDMs,

Very nice work on the second travelogue, I think many of you went through a really interesting journey and came up with some interesting treasures to show the folks back home. I also think we managed to develop a pretty good level of discussion and I hope this continues and even intensifies in the next travelogues.

Speaking of which, we will now launch the third travelogue in which we up the ante by adding a requirement – this time we will be doing some live reporting.

  • The target destination of your next travelogue will fundamentally involve current events – meaning it will focus on a story that is evolving as we speak/read/write/comment and through the process of you writing the posts. (Nadine’s Ushahidi travelogue and Harris’s Lying experiments are both great examples of that)
  • I want you to surprise us, ideally you will find a story which have had little or no coverage yet, or provide a unique perspective on an event going on right now.
  • I do want you to do your own leg (/eye/finger) work but if you want more inspiration there are a bunch of sites and services that cover trending topics in the field.
  • More examples: I had a student cover a user strike on e-bay, following the site’s change of terms and conditions. Another student has tried to research ‘Improve Everywhere’ by becoming a member. Another one researched the ‘Don’t Date Him, Girl’ site and ended up creating a big controversy there, which was actually quite revealing (she ended up actually creating the story she was covering).
  • What is New Media? I didn’t try to have us answer this question yet for a reason, but if you need some reassurance to your ideas of what falls in the scope of our research, Wikipedia provides a fair definition:

    New media is a term meant to encompass the emergence of digital, computerized, or networked information and communication technologies in the later part of the 20th century. Most technologies described as “new media” are digital, often having characteristics of being manipulated, networkable, dense, compressible, interactive and impartial.

    This means new media is more than just the websites, web-applications or the internet at large. While it’s fair to say that the web offers the widest variety of subjects within new media, it will be great if we cross to other aspects of it (mobiles, wearables, location aware, bio-computing, gaming, free and open-source software, electronics, surveillance, network cultures… so much more)

  • Do not hesitate to embed yourselves in the travelogue if it makes sense – meaning, you can be more than a spectator/anthropologist you can become a part of the environment you are exploring, maybe even change it.

For next week:

  • Choose a couple of options for a new media environment to explore through your third (more involved) travelogue. (optionally:) Post briefly soon with your vetted options so we can help you decide. (Required:) Write an introductory post to your new travel destination including your proposed mode of operation.
    * I permit working in pairs on this one, but this means the expectations from your shared travelogue will be twice as high as we would expect from you individually.
  • Post 5 comments (or more) to your fellow students posts.

Required viewing & reading:

Recommended reading:

Optional extra viewing (which Honieh can but is not required to summarize):


  • Read and watch this week’s materials
  • Summarize it for us in a nicely accessible post to be published by Sunday 4:00pm, including your takes on it.
  • Be prepared to present the material in class (prepare bullet points, even post them as a part of your post).
  • Post to del.icio.us some links that expand the discussion either about the text or about key themes in it.
  • Enjoy.

good luck!

Concluding Travelogue #2 + Free Culture / Culture for Free / OUR Media?

In next week we will conclude the second journey we started two weeks ago, each of you with her own brave path through different new media environments. We have started some very interesting journeys here, but there is still a long week ahead of us. This is what you should expect to achieve during this week:

By Friday 4pm:

  • If you got any feedback in class, summarize it in a comment on your own latest post.
  • Comments at least twice to other posts on the blog

By Monday 4pm (preferably earlier):

  • Optionally, post again some time this week with more findings (you don’t have to)
  • Publish your concluding post and try to look back at your journey and the path you’ve gone through. Try to situate your experience within this media environment and ask some questions about its own culture.
  • You should not assume the readers are familiar with your previous posts so try to make this post stand for itself.
  • Post at least another three comments on other travelogues.




  • Go through the materials
  • Summarize it for us in a nicely accessible post to be published by Sunday 4pm, ideally running some threads between them.
  • Be prepared to present the articles in class.
  • Post to del.icio.us some links that expand the discussion either about the text or about key themes in it.
  • Enjoy.

Travelogue #2 and Going Social

you can go back to using Google now*

Travelogue 2, week 2:

Here goes:

  • Ask a question:
    In the next 36 hours (before 6am Thursday morning) publish a post with your main question as a title and a one paragraph description in the content.
  • By next class time post at least once (more) to the blog reporting from the new media environment you are researching. Please be sure to write and format your posts in a way that would make it accessible to scan through before reading or would make it inviting enough for the rest of the students to read and hopefully comment. Use images, titles, block-quotes, links, video embeds, audio or whatever you think would help you get your message across and might make your post more appealing to read and provoking to discuss. Foster the discussion on your post and try to learn from it. After describing your environment first, you now go further in, trying to challenge your own preconceptions about it. Do not hesitate to change your initial focus if through the process you discover a much more interesting story on your way to your initial travelogue destination. (No conclusions are necessary yet)
  • Comment on at least 3 posts (at least).

Remember: You are welcomed to post and comment whenever, it will be up to your strategic decision, depending on your reading of the blog’s dynamics (with the obvious goal of having your posts and comments contribute to a live discussion on the blog and in class)

Weekly Topic: Networked Groups and Social Networks

Required reading

Recommended Reading

  • Clay Shirky: “Sharing Anchors Community” from Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations
    (I will lend the book to Elizabeth, but recommend you all try to read it, it’s a realy great book).


  • Read the articles and watch the video
  • Summarize it for us in a nicely accessible post to be published by Sunday at 4:00pm, ideally running some threads between them.
  • Be prepared to present the articles in class
  • Post to del.icio.us some links that expand the discussion either about the text or about key themes in it.
  • Enjoy.

A Week Without Google

Hi Mom,

I am sorry but I won’t be using my Gmail this week. It’s for class… an experiment. Don’t ask…
Anyway, until next Tuesday please email me at yourson@some-other-obscure-email-service.com

I promiss it is not personal, I still love you and dad. But I have to do this.
I hope you can understand and will still love me even after a week without Google.

Your son,

For Next Week (until Feb 2nd):

Experiment: A week without Google

In the coming week starting from the end of this class we will attempt to make it through a whole week without using any Google service. Not Google Search, not Gmail, not Google Talk, not Google Video, not Google Docs, not Google Maps, not Google Earth, not Google News, not Google Groups, not Youtube, not Google Video, not Blogger, not Picasa, not Google Calendar, not Google Checkout, not iGoogle, not Google Translate,not Google Voice, not Google Chrome, not Google Wave, not Google Sidewiki, if you have an Android phone, you are not allowed to use Google services with it, talk and text only… you get the point. (for a partial list of what you are not allowed to use, go here… while you still can…)

It’s not going to be easy and hence we will not attempt to create an unfeasible challenge. We will keep a promise to each other to follow some rules:

  1. Whenever we are passively exposed to Google content (an embedded Google video, map, and so on…) we post that link to delicious.com (this is how to post to delicious.com) using the tags ‘tdmcc’, ‘weekwithoutgoogle’ and ‘ambushed’ (+whatever else you want to include)
  2. Whenever we break and use a Google service, we report about it to the blog, as a comment on this post.
  3. If we totally break altogether, we write a post about it as soon as we decide to pull out, summarizing the experience.

We will also try to support each other in the process by:

  1. If you use Gmail, please make sure to set a forward on your email to another email service (either on or offline). Please do that as the first thing you do after this class, and not later than 8am tomorrow morning.
  2. Every time you are about to use Google, and find a way around it, try to propose the alternative to the class by tagging the alternative with the tags ‘tdmcc’, ‘weekwithoutgoogle’ and ‘dodged’.
  3. Share tactics on the blog. Work together to try to make it.
  4. Previous classes found the use of this Firefox plugin useful, so if you find you just can’t trust yourself use it to block any Google domain. In the options add the following urls:

    (am I missing anything?)(I know I am)

This is trust based only, but those of us who will manage to take this challenge on and make it through the week will win the class’s medal of honor.

Good luck!
(we’re going to need it)

Into Travelogue #2 / Privacy, Google & Panopticon 2.0

Travelogue #2, first week:

Come up with a subject for your second log–your own free-formed New Media Travelogue.

  • This time you will research a media environment of your choosing. It can be a web service you use, a cellphone application, a media phenomena you are familiar with (telephony hacking, or Google Bombing for example), a social networking site, a media art movement, a mailing list, an audiovisual music scene you’re involved with, whatever happened with Obama’s Blackberry? Is Google pulling out of China? What is the anthropology of LOL Cats? whatever, it’s up to you.
  • You will develop a networked research, consisting of a thread running through different parts of your chosen environment. You will have to develop your own process of travel and navigation on one hand and log and report on the other.
  • This Travlogue will continue for 3 weeks

By Sunday 4pm:

Write one short post introducing your desired ‘travel destination’. You can suggest more than one idea and have us help you choose on the comments and in class.

By class time:

Comment on at least 3 other posts, ideally giving feedback and reference to more info on your fellow student’s subject of research.
Feel free to explore and surprise yourselves (and us).

Class Topic: Privacy, Google & Panopticon 2.0


Follow the rules for the class challenge – A week without Google

Required Reading/Listening:

  • Dan’s summary + at least one comment 

Recommended Reading:

  • This Week In Google 25: The People’s Republic of Google (mins: 02:00-53:36)

Further optional reading (Dan, you don’t have to summarize this one):


  • Read the articles and listen to the audio segments
  • Summarize it for us in a nicely accessible post to be published by Sunday 4pm, ideally running some threads between them.
  • Be prepared to present the articles in class
  • Post to del.icio.us some links that expand the discussion either about the text or about key themes in it.
  • Enjoy.

Remember! You’re not allowed to Google it! ;)

First Travelogue: The Trap & New Media

Next week we will start our first journal series. Please follow these instructions:

  1. Watch Adam Curtis’s The Trap: What Happened To Our Dream Of Freedom
  2. Each choose one topic that stood out, intrigued, irritated, disturbed or made you tick in any way and try to discover the discourse around it through research and expand it through your own commentary.
  3. Write at least one posts to the class blog before Sunday, 4pm. Make sure to include references and links where needed and to expose the discussion in an enticing post that would make the rest of the class interested enough to discuss it.
  4. Choose at least three of the posts published by other students in the class and comment on them (in the post’s comments section).
  5. Be prepared to present the posts you chose to react to next week to the class.
  6. Additionally: Write a short comment to the Trap post about how do you see the relevancy of the trap to the new media discourse.

Required material:

Suggested Material:


  • Read the two articles and listen to the On The Media segment
  • Summarize it for us in a nicely accessible post to be published by Sunday 4pm
  • Be prepared to present the article in class
  • Post to del.icio.us some links that expand the discussion either about the text or about key themes in it.
  • Enjoy.

See you all next week.

The Trap / Adam Curtis

A BBC documentary series by Adam Curtis. More about it from Wikipedia.

I have embedded all the files here in the blog but in case you have a problem watching or prefer the option to watch it in full-screen, I have also uploaded it to my server, where you can download it as a Quicktime video.

Part I:

Read More »

Hi Class!

To start I would ask you to register to the blog through the top right link. After you register, I’ll be able to add you as authors in the blog. You can always sign in and out with your username and password and go to the admin interface using the links at the top right of the page. and as you will soon see, this is where all the action is going to take place…