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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!