Wednesday, May 2, 2007

No more combat blogging?

First amendment rights are already severly curtailed when you're a member of the armed forces (obviously, there is a need for wartime discretion), but now all blog posts and personal email needs to be approved by a superior officer. Wired predicts the end of military blogs as regulation has grown tighter and tighter.

Digg and Wikipedia censorship?

On May 1, the code to break the DRM system on HD-DVD was posted online. One of the first places this code was posted was on Digg and Wikipeida. Both of the websites removed the code. Digg even allegedly deleted the accounts of people who posted the code as well as people who posted on the same thread. Both Wikipedia and Digg cited cease and desist letters they had received as the reason why they pulled down the code.

Is this the ultimate form of censorship on the Internet? Many are saying that they have lost their respect for Digg and that May 1 is the day "Digg Died."

Friday, April 20, 2007

Google Maps Darfur

This is a really interesting CNN article about Google Map mapping out the atrocities of Darfur

Thursday, April 19, 2007

here here to that



final paper due date: EXTENSION

I want to give you as much time as possible to complete the final assignment and now that I know when I have to hand in your final grades, I'm happy to announce we can push back the due date for the final assignment.

The new due date is Monday, May 7th by 5pm. No late papers will be accepted. I'll be on a plane a few hours later and unreachable, so please make sure you hand in the paper by 5pm. No extensions, no exceptions.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

tomorrow's speaker: david towers

tomorrow's speaker is david towers of avenue a/razorfish. you can find his bio here or check out his website.

Vice President, Managing Director - LA

David Towers was named managing director of the Los Angeles office in October 2006. David leads the Los Angeles team and is responsible for overall client satisfaction.

Prior to joining Avenue A | Razorfish, David was vice president of e-commerce for Liz Claiborne where he led the interactive strategy across all 40+ brands of the fashion conglomerate. Before that, he was the vice president of e-commerce operations for J.Crew where he grew the online business to over $100 million. David has also held various marketing management positions at American Express and Diagnostic Research. He holds a BS from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

In our thoughts and prayers...

I hope you all will join me in taking a moment to pray for those who lost their loved ones yesterday.
I have a lot of friends that go to Virgina Tech and so far all are ok.

Another take on the EMI/apple announcement

my business partner (and USC lecturer) aram sinnreich has an article today in truthdig (bob scheer, professor at annenberg is the editor-in-chief) offering another persepctive on the EMI DRM announcement - one that has been ignored in more mainstream publications.

Monday, April 16, 2007

final paper assignment

the final paper assignment is now posted to blackboard and I've also emailed the class a copy. please let me know if you have any questions.

Friday, April 13, 2007

South Park Warcraft Episode

Here's a link to the "Make Love not Warcraft" episode of South Park we mentioned in class yesterday ... pretty funny! Enjoy!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sam Zell vs. Google

Recently Sam Zell had bought a newspaper publisher Tribune for 8.2 billion dollars. His decision was based on a logic that search engines such as Google should have to pay for the contents the newspapers paid for. Link


Marissa, can you just delete the previous two posts--I once again am a dumb ass and posted to the wrong blog. much appreciated.

the video game revolution

unfortunately, we dont have time to watch this documentary in class, but PBS produced this and it chronicles the history of the video game industry. you can watch it at your leisure.

today's speaker: Angela Wilson Gyetvan of revver

some info on today's speaker from

Angela Wilson Gyetvan is VP, Marketing and Content for Revver, the first service that allows video creators to share and monetize their work across multiple platforms: internet, mobile and broadcast. She has more than 18 years of expertise in product launches and brand-building activities for companies targeting experience-hungry and media-savvy consumers. She has held executive positions with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts,, Electronic Arts, Broderbund Software, and Napa Valley Kitchens. Accolades have included being named “Guerilla Marketer of the Year” by Brandweek, and honored as a women leader in business by the Haas School at UC Berkeley. She holds a BA from Duke University and an MBA from the College of William and Mary, and is a member of Film Independent, Step Up Women’s Network, and the Junior League of Los Angeles. She spends her free time exploring pop culture, fashion and political activism with her daughter, and collaborating on a wine blog for women called “Wine Giques.”

Thursday, April 5, 2007

supplemental assignment

since some of you have asked about ways to improve your midterm grade, I've decided to offer a supplementary assignment. It will be pass/fail and if you pass, you will bring up your midterm grade by a full letter grade. Thus, a D will be a C, a C will become a B, etc. Here are the requirements:
  • Must be 5 pages, double-spaced, typed
  • Must use proper citations (either MLA or APA)
  • Please proofread - no spelling, grammar or structural mistakes
Please find a current event that relates to the concepts discussed in class. For example, EMI dropping DRM for its online music sales on itunes, or Viacom suing Google over copyright violation, or the debate over Net Neutrality.

Write a 5 page analysis of the issues involved in the topic: Why is this significant? Who does it affect? How should competitors respond? In your opinion, if this a wise strategic move? What do you predict the outcome will be? How does it affect consumers? How will it affect the industry? Is it a positive or negative development?

Please submit your topic for approval to me by next class, Thursday April 12th and submit the paper by Thursday April 19th.

please let me know if you have any questions.

Today's Speaker: Chris Williams

CHRIS WILLIAMS, CO-FOUNDER/CEO FanLib: Chris Williams leads the FanLib team, building key business relationships, spearheading strategy and overseeing operations. His wide-ranging experience as a successful internet executive, film and television producer, and advertising sales director allow him to effectively bridge the worlds of marketing, entertainment and online media. In 1996, Williams joined upstart Yahoo! as one of its first sales and business executives. Over the next five years, he rose to the position of Director of Market Development, generating over $300-million in revenue and managing a team of over thirty people. He personally developed signature relationships and negotiated complex partnership agreements with Viacom, Disney, Barnes & Noble and others. As the media landscape has changed, Williams has channeled his unique expertise in the colliding industries of entertainment, marketing and online media by helping marketers and established entertainment companies make the most of opportunities arising from online and consumer-generated media. Williams graduated from Boston University’s College of Communications in 1993 with a BS degree in Broadcast and Film.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Threats to Freedom of Speech on the Internet

Alright, to make up for my previous plunders, here's an interesting article from about a blogger who was found in contempt of the law for refusing to release the unplublished footage of a riot that he released edited on his blog. As a result, he was jailed for 226 days. Check it out.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

ahhh sorry

sorry guys, those lincoln log posts were supposed to go to my blog. dismiss them completely.

Lincoln Logs

Once again Lady Raptastic brings up a blast from the past--Lincoln Logs! I mean who doesn't love those building blocks of life? They certainly no legos, but they were prime toys for me when I was but a wee tot (in much the same way K'NEX rocked my play world some years later). Things I liked to do while building:

1) See how tall I could make a building (and I'll be damned if that tower fell over before I wanted it to).

2) Copy the buildings on the box in their exact form (I'm a perfectionist).

3) Race a friend to see who could build the most complete structure with as many blocks as possible the fastest (I always won).

Lincoln Logs

Once again Lady Raptastic brings back a blast from the past--Lincoln Logs. I mean how great were those building blocks of life. While they were certainly no Legos, they were prime toys in my early years (much in the same way K'NEX were great a bit latter in adolescence). I always had certain days where I would "build the tallest structure I could" (and get pissed if it fell over too soon), or where I tried to copy the buildings shown on the box to a "T." However, I think I loved to play with them most when I would play with a friend and we would have contests of who could build the most complete structure using as many logs as possible the fastest. No surprise, I always won.

Monday, April 2, 2007

EMI announces DRM Free Music

read the article here

Even though the files would be higher quality, itunes will be charging more per track (1.29 instead of .99).


Sunday, April 1, 2007

Gmail goes retro or April Fools? You decide.

Today Gmail unveiled its newest feature to its free email service: free printed emails delivered right to your door (yes, your PHYSICAL door, and on REAL paper!). It is called Gmail Paper and you can check out the supposed beta version of it on gmail's page.

Anyone think that this may be another on of Google's April Fools jokes?

Friday, March 30, 2007

best of bootie - again

here is the link to the mashup album we listened to in class yesterday. the organizers also have mashups nights at clubs in LA, SF and NY periodically.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

RIAA: Worst company in the world

We talked about RIAA and its lawsuit against a 10 year old child in class today. Because of these bad moves among other things, it was voted the worst company in the world in 2007 by Consumerist's readers. In the same blog, it was noted interestingly that this is intentional as the members of RIAA (Sony-BMG, Warner Music, EMI and Universal Music) funded the efforts to keep bad reputations off their names. Link

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

perez hilton

i know this is totally last minute. sorry guys. but apparently Perez Hilton will be at USC tonight. i won't be able to go because i'm at my internship in burbank all day, but here's the info from Facebook:

Event Info Name: PEREZ HILTON
Tagline: A Night of Gossip with the Queen of All Media
Host: Program Board
Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Time: 7:00pm - 8:25pm
Location: Taper Hall 101
Contact Info Email:

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Last week lecture

Hello, I missed the class last week to attend a funeral. I'm wondering if there is anything I should be updated on? If so, please let me know. :) Thanks!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dailyshow ironic example

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Top 50 Free Programs

Here is a list of the top free downloads on the Internet. Although some of them are not web 2.0, they are free, and what could be better than that? :)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Dailyshow on Viacom Vs google

the daily show offers a succint recap of the viacom vs. google lawsuit. enjoy.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

bob remeika bio

some info on today's speaker:

Bob Remeika is a Sr. Developer and Architect at AvenueA-Razorfish, the leading interactive agency in the world. He has worked on a wide range of large scale technical implementations for companies such as Yahoo, Adidas, and Sony. His current focus is in cutting edge Web 2.0 technologies and usability design with a mind for applying engineering best practices to create highly immersive rich internet applications.

Bob Remeika has over 8 years of experience in his field.

wrong link

I realize I put the wrong link in the syllabus for today's reading (funny no one has mentioned it to me yet...). anyway, here is the proper link for the lessig article. you will be given a pop quiz on it later today. hee.

The Architecture of Innovation by Larry Lessig

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Is Myspace becoming Foxspace?

thought this article was relevant after our discussions with marco ilardi, and the boyd reading:

MySpace Restrictions Upset Some Users

I had wanted justin or phil cassens from indie911 to come speak to the class, but it looks like that may be difficult in terms of scheduling. would have been interesting to hear their take on myspace restricting the use of their widget.

what do you guys think? does this affect how you use myspace? what impact, if any, do these kinds of restrictions have on your enjoyment of myspace? do you think this is a wise strategic move on FOX's part?

speaker schedule

a quick update on upcoming speakers for the semester:

  • this week, 3/22: bob remeika, avenue a/razorfish
  • 3/29: nicole lewis, activision
  • 4/5: chris williams, fanlib
  • 4/12: angela gyetvan, revver
  • 4/19: david towers, also of avenue a/razorfish but since its an agency, bob and david work on different accounts and functions

4/26 review class is cancelled, but happy to schedule an alternative optional class that week.

Monday, March 19, 2007

1984 Apple's Macintosh Commercial

and the original apple ad. definitely watch both to appreciate the mastery of the mashup.

obama mashup article

for some reason, blogger is acting wonky and won't let me edit or revise the previous post. anyway, here is the article:

Political video smackdown

'Hillary 1984': Unauthorized Internet ad for Obama converts Apple Computer's '84 Super Bowl spot into a generational howl against Clinton's presidential bid

Vote Different

while I don't intend to persuade anyone politically, I do want to share this article on an interesting - and unauthorized - remix of the famous apple 1984 ad and a pro-obama/anti-hillary attack ad circulating online. welcome to the new political paradigm. obama ad below. original apple ad (that caused quite a stir back in 1984 below the obama ad. watch both).

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Nifty online app: Photo Editing

A friend showed me this cool application for editing photos online. It is currently in the beta stage, but it is still very cool. It is not Photoshop, but it still is amazing.

Friday, March 9, 2007

FYI: Perez Hilton Discussion CANCELLED

I just read my Annenberg events email. Turns out that the March 28 discussion with Perez Hilton has been cancelled. Aw man, I was really looking forward to it too!

Google website use tracker

I was searching around looking at Google tools, and found Google Analytics. It performs similarly to SiteTracker, but is a Google app. It also has better graphics and to view the information you just log into your Google account.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Marco's Bio

More info on today's speaker:

Marco Ilardi
SVP, Performance Marketing
Fox Interactive Media

As the Senior Vice President of Fox Interactive Media, Marco Ilardi
oversees the development of potential advertiser offerings across FIM's
network of websites. Prior to working at FIM, Marco was the Senior Vice
President and General Manager at Intermix Media where he was responsible
for the maximization of all revenue derived from Intermix web
properties. During his term at Intermix, Marco assisted in launching and many other initiatives that eventually put the company
on the map. With the runaway success of Myspace and other properties,
Intermix Media was purchased by FIM in 2005.

Marco's presentation

hey everyone - just want to let you know today's speaker is Marco Ilardi of Myspace. He has a ppt presentation to accompany his talk. I've posted it to the blackboard site in case you want to download it and have it on your laptop for class. Its called "monetizing online communities." I'll be posting today's lecture slides shortly as well.

see you all in class.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Dell considers big change: offering Linux

Linux users are finally getting to the big guys ... (click on logo for full article)

PC maker says it received more than 100,000 customer requests for Linux and may offer it as a Windows alternative.

Monday, March 5, 2007

FAQ@A presents Perez Hilton

Mark your calendars! I was readingmy weekly emails from Annenberg about the events taking place at the comm school. Perez Hilton will be coming on Wed, March 28 for a discussion with Larry Gross. And there will be free lunch too! Check it out below:

Wednesday, March 28

FAQ@A presents Perez Hilton: An Insider's Take on Celebrity Culture, Blogging, and Gays in Hollywood
Join communication school director Larry Gross for a discussion with Perez Hilton about celebrity gossip, blogging, and gay visibility in Hollywood. >From the organizers: "Hilton's gossiping has generated nearly 5 million visits in a day. He feeds the celebrity gossip addiction for those who crave salacious details, compromising photos, and biting commentary about Hollywood's most famous celebrities. Hilton also uses his blog to discuss gay and lesbian issues, and to advocate for a number of causes." This event is sponsored by Friends and Queers at Annenberg. Lunch will be served.
12:00 pm. Annenberg Room 207.

Friday, March 2, 2007

blogumentary and more privacy links

since the projector overheated and we didnt get to watch the last 10 min of the blogumentary, I thought I'd send you the link to the google video.

also, here is the link to the guardian article that includes every disturbing search query by the wronged husband we discussed in class today.

and last, here is the link to the claritas PRIZM data that allows you to cluster psychographic groups by zip code. enjoy.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

privacy: a couple of related articles

just wanted to share a few articles that are relevant to today's class lecture and discussion:
are these simply alarmist, mainstream media reaction to the common availability of personal information? does this represent the democratization of personal information? are you concerned about your privacy online?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Scripps Networks Launches New Online Network

Scripps has the intention of launching an online network for the building industry. It incorporates building tips, new product information, and insider information on trends. The network introduces "the virtual trade" and "contractor stories" aspects that makes it possible for its memebers to recieve first hand testimonies and experiences. "Contractor Stories" allow the HGTVPro visitors to sit in on refreshingly open roundtable conversations among contractors. Unrehearsed and unscripted." It is reported that the online community creates an atmosphere for builders, allowing them to learn from each other's experiences. Additionally, each of the video segements offered on the network are hosted by professional contractors."While it is a site for pros by pros, it still allows prosumers to 'peek over the fence' and better understand their builder's world."

iPhone teaser ad

for those of you that watched the Oscars on sunday- did you see the teaser add for Apple's iPhone?
i thought it as brilliant- simple, fun, and a great concept. it seems as if licensing the clips from the major studios will pave the way for new multimedia content that will be featured on the iPhone.

shuffling speakers

tomorrow we were supposed to have marco ilardi of myspace speak at the class. marco can no longer make it tomorrow but will be coming in to speak next week - march 8th. I had planned to show a documentary on blogging that day so I'm going to switch that. tomorrow the second half of the class we'll watch blogumentary. and lest you think that means you have permission to leave during the break, I'll be taking attendance at the end of class.

Microsoft vs. Playstation

Online gaming was met with many objections. However, with the recent flow of online gamers, it is obvious that this market creates enormous potential to advance the experience of gaming. It is reported that communicating with freinds and strangers, and creating an identity for yourself is core to the online gaming scene. Some players maintain a reputation of "invinsible" in the online gaming community, and players from different countries are able to link up with thier favorite gaming buddies in the US. This behavior is common with game such as "Call of Duty" and "Madden." With the sucsess of online gaming experienced by Microsoft, Playstation 3 was determined to rival its competitor with the release of the system. Many gamers say that playstation's online capabiliteis with plastation 2 were "patchy." Among many of the extreme gamers, suspicions have been raised with the efficiency of playstations ability to provide a compatible network for its users. Consequently, 3 out of 5 gamers prefer Microsoft's online gaming community vs. that of Playstation.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Myspace clip!

I thought that this clip tied in well to how people create their identities on myspace...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

MySpace Postcards

My friend dirrected me to the site On this site you can make postcards/commentcards to post on myspace pages. You can search for any type of postcard you want from cute to flirt or everyday. The pictures move also. Pretty cool... check it out.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


As I am not familiar with Friendster at all, I was not fully sure what the Danah Boyd article meant when it referred to "fakesters." Simple put they are people who make fake accounts that aren't really who they are or sometimes even people at all (they may take on objects, abstract nouns, historical moments or people etc.). Here is a pretty substansive article by Lessley Anderson in the San Fransisco Weekly that does a good job of explaining what fakesters are and how they have changed and influenced friendster (paying special attention to how Friendster CEO Jonathan Abrams objects to them.)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Gmail opens its doors

As of Feb. 14, gmail is now open to everyone who wants an account. Since its start in 2004, users had to be "invited" to start an account by current users. A week after deploying open access to Asia and South America, Google announced the dropping of the invitation only requirement. Log on to to get yours.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Half never used telephone?? Really??

I found it hard to believe when Marrisa said that half of the world population have never used a telephone. So I looked it up in the internet and I found that it's actually true. From _the_world_old.html, it said that Thomas Homer-Dixon made a speech when he said in 2001 that "...half the people on the planet have never made a phone call." Tatang Razak of Indonesia told the UN's committee on the Information "After all, most of the poeple in the world have never made a phone call...", in speech from April of this year. I don't really know who these people are. However, it's still really hard to believe! How can that be? We have over 6 billions people. From, there are 6,689,114,878 (and still counting) people in the world! It's just really hard to believe that over 3 billion people have never made or received calls.

Did anyone else enjoy Rebecca Woolf?

I don't know about anyone else, but I really enjoyed listening to Rebecca Woolf in class today. She was so interesting and friendly, and I really enjoyed listening to her opinion of virtual communities. I think one of the reasons she was so enjoyable, at least for me, was because she was much younger than usual guest speakers in classes. She's relatively close to our age, therefore it was easier for her to relate to the audience. Lots of times when I listen to guest speakers who are at least a decade older, the lecture tends to seem more formal and stiff. But Rebecca seemed very friendly and informal. (Plus not to mention that what she does on is very admirable.)

Did anyone else enjoy Rebecca Woolf today? Just curious. :)

next week's speaker: lockhart steele

just confirmed next week's speaker: lockhart steele. and yes, that IS his real name. Lock is the founder and publisher of the Curbed empire as well as the general manager of Gawker Media, which includes Gawker, Defamer, Wonkette, Fleshbot (NSFW) and others.

Source of USC trivia

This is an amazing website about everything you wanted to know about all the public artworks on campus. Just in case you were curious or wanted to impress your friends with cool trivia.

Reminder: rebecca woolf

just a reminder - today's speaker is rebecca woolf of girls gone child and babble. rebecca was mentioned in last week's Time magazine and she posted a response on her blog. she'll be discussing this dust-up on the issue of our intersecting private and public spheres, as well as her experiences writing the blog, getting a book deal and hosting chats for the starlight foundation. see you all later.

LA to get free wifi

Downtown Long Beach has it. Culver City has. Now it looks like all of LA will have it too - by 2009. Villaraigosa plans to install municipal wifi across LA: "Such a project, covering 498 square miles of the sprawling city, would be a massive undertaking, costing somewhere around $54-$62 million." Of course, the day the mayor made this announcement, Houston decided to one up us, and announced a plan for 600 sq miles of free wifi.

Its not clear yet if LA's free wifi will be as "free" as Culver City's - which installed filtering software to prevent illegal downloads and surfing porn. The software can also prevent all peer to peer traffic, even the legal exchange of content. (but its unclear if that has ever been activated).

what do you guys think? does this amount to goverment censorship or protection? does it defeat the purpose of free wifi or enhance it?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day everyone, including those anti-valentine's people too. lol

The Evolution of Dance

If anyone read any of the blog posts in response to Virginia Heffernan's article for why "The Evolution of Dance" became so popular on youtube, you would have noticed that many people countered her argument by saying that the reason it became so popular is because once it became number 1, it continued to stay at the position by the very nature of the fact that it was put on the "most popular" list. This inherently draws more people to it. While I agree with Heffernan's point that music is a very universal language, many of the blog's counterarguments made a good point. One person compared it to the "Most Photographed Barn in the US" effect as described in Don DeDillo's White Noise. Here is an excerpt of what DeDillo wrote. Essentially, the effect is that people cause the perpetual popularity of something not because they like it or even understand it, but because they want to be a part of that "popular experience."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New online community

A new online community has emerged that promises to give educators around the world an opportunity to collaborate and share curricula in hopes of expanding the educational options available to schools. Called Curriki, the resource pairs the benefits of social networking with the freedom of open technologies to create an organic, constantly evolving online repository of free resources for teachers and students.
Thanks to the internet and the evolution of web-based software programs in schools, however, many of those geographic barriers no longer exist. Now, a new online community has emerged that promises to democratize the process of curriculum development, giving educators the ability to tailor instructional content to the needs of their students, wherever they are, free of charge.
Dubbed the "Wikipedia of curriculum" by its creators, the online community known as Curriki -- accessible at -- aims to provide a place online where educators from anywhere in the world can post curricula and lesson plans for review and use by fellow classroom teachers.

Coca Cola Commercial

If anyone was interested in that GTA coke commercial we discussed in class, I found out the production company that animated/created it is called Nexus Productions. It is based out of London and they do some other pretty cool stuff too--check out the website.

Toyota's Scion parks in Second Life

Toyota launched two new cars simultaneously; one in the real world and one in the virtual world.

This can also be related to last week's class where the guest speaker was taking about "point-of-reception" marketing, and Toyota is marketing to those who have not necessarily considered the Toyota brand. Who knows, their point of greatest receptivity might be through Second Life.

A MySpace for Mom and Dad

I found this article regarding a new website that is targeting parents who will be able to digitally connect with other members of their families. I figured this article is perfect for our class since we give a lot of attention to the social network scene.

P.S. Feel free to tell your parents about the new site!!

René Magritte

Currently at LACMA museum on Wilshire and Fairfax, there's an exhibition of a renown surrealist artist, René Magritte, who painted the famous painting "The Son of Man" (posted here). The exhibition features 68 works by Magritte and an equal number by 31 contemporary artists, including Marcel Broodthaers, Vija Celmins, Robert Gober, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein and Ed Ruscha. It will be held from November 19, 2006 – March 4, 2007. Unfortunately, you will have to pay for the admission ticket: For student (with ID) the ticket cost $14 on weekdays and $17 on weekends. The price after 5pm is $12 on weekdays and $15 on weekends.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Virtual world meets real world

My friend showed me this YouTube video, and I could not believe it. It didn't seem like it could be real because there was just no way someone would cut their hair like that on their wedding day. Anyway, according to US Weekly, the bride was not a bride at all but a waitress who got paid to act in this video. Jodi Behan, 22, did the video to get a few extra bucks, and now, over 3 million views later, is recieving calls for roles in the real world. Who knew that a waitress could gain fame and opportunity through a YouTube video!
(I couldn't figure out how to post the video so here is the link.)

Tragic News

I am reluctant to say that Michael Jackson may be signing a contract that will make him "just another attraction in Vegas." I, for one, am devistated. Although his career may have faltered a tad with the latest accusations of child molestation, I feel he is not a "B" caliber artist- He's the greatest entertainer to walk this planet. Contrary to my beliefs, he has chosen to walk the Vegas strip with such artists as Toni Braxton, Cher, etc. I have to say, becoming a recurring act for Vegas would be detrimental to his career. Afterall, Michael Jackson is known for his exclusive celebrity quality (an interview with the guy is noted as a primetime event); now anyone with a twenty dollar ticket can watch him perform- I'm pissed people!

watching all the oscar movies - now

far be it for me to advocate illegal downloading, or encouraging piracy, but just as an fyi: boingboing points us to this site, that allows you to download all of this year's oscar-nominated movies:
OscarTorrents is an audacious new site from The Pirate Bay: a search-engine for torrents of this year's Oscar nominees.
from the site itself:
OscarTorrents is the Oscars as it should be -- everyone can download the year's nominations using the popular BitTorrent service, watch the movies, then use our rating system to choose their favourites. Why restrict the voting to a few bought-off jurors when the whole world can have their say?

midterm assignment

Comm 321 Midterm Paper Assignment
Due Date: March 8, 2007 by end of class

Relationships and CMC
Your paper must be based on the assigned readings on these topics. You should also include additional sources, but to satisfy the assignment your paper must clearly demonstrate that you have read and integrated the specific assigned material into your approach to the topic. The primary criterion for grading the paper will be how well you have used the reading materials to answer the questions posed.

Paper Length: 6-8 pages
References: Minimum of eight articles.

Assignment: Drawing upon your personal experiences (your blog, your social network profile, your “wild card” community, and even your email interaction), please examine how computer-mediated communication contributes to the formation and maintenance of relationships. What is different about relationships formed and maintained through CMC, as compared to face-to-face, and what is the same? In what ways is our ability to express ourselves constrained or expanded through virtual communication? How have the communities you participate in contributed to the process of identity formation? What constitutes a successful virtual community and what failures have you recognized? Use concrete examples from your experiences on Blogger, Myspace and Facebook, SecondLife, Youtube, Wikipedia, etc.

In addition to the assigned readings, feel free to also use the articles and books below as the source material for your paper. You may also search for additional relevant sources though Lexis-Nexis, the USC library, and the E-Resources available through USC’s library (

Baker, P. (2001). Moral panic and alternative identity construction in usenet. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication [On-line], 7 (1). Available:

Birnie, S. A., & Horvath, P. (2002). Psychological predictors of Internet social communication. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication [On-line], 7 (4). Available:

Boneva, K., Kraut, R., & Frolich, D. (2001). Using e-mail for personal relationships. The difference gender makes. Available:

Flanagin, A., Tiaamornwong, V., O'Connor, J., & Seibold, D. (2002). Computer-mediated group work: The interaction of member sex and anonymity. Communication Research, Vol 29(1), 66-93. Available:

Krikorian, D.H., Lee, J-S., Chock, T.M., & Harms, C. (2000). Isn't that spatial?: Distance and communication in a 2-D virtual environment. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication [On-line], 5 (4). Available:

Knox, D., Daniels, V., Sturdivant, L., Susman, M. E. (2001). College student use of the Internet for mate selection. College Student Journal, 35 (1), 158-160. Available:

McKenna, K. Y. A., Green, A. S., & Gleason, M. E. J. (2002). Relationship formation on the Internet: What's the big attraction? Journal of Social Issues, Vol 58(1), Spr 2002, 9-31. Available:

Parks, M.R., & Floyd, K. (1996). Making friends in cyberspace. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication [On-line], 1 (4). Available:

Putnam, R.D. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Touchstone.

Walther, J., Slovacek, C., & Tidwell, L. (2001). Is a picture worth a thousand words?: Photographic images in long-term and short-term computer-mediated communication. Communication Research, Vol 28(1), 105-134. Available:

Wellman, B., et al. 2001. Does the Internet increase, decrease, or supplement social capital? Social networks, participation, and community commitment. American Behavioral Scientist 45(November):437-456.

Another piece on the digital divide

this ran last week on NPR. give it a listen and let's discuss. what impact do you think dropping prices for new technologies has on the digital divide? is this the most important factor in the divide or simply one among several?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Youtube Scandal

Recently, youtube users posted a video containing x rated images of a Brazilian model, Daniela Cicarelli. Daniela sued sued youtube "after a video of her apparently having sex in shallow water on a beach with her boyfriend (a well-known soccer player) was posted to the site." She is sueing the site for 116,000 dollars each day the video is accessible to viewers on youtube. It is stated that some copies have been taken of the site, but viewers continue to repost the videos. In a third lawsuit, the the model requested that the site be shutdown as long as the video is available to users. In the final settlement, youtube was ordered to remove all content that promoted racism and/or child pornography as well.

For more info and pictures visit:

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Displacement Theory

In response to the lecture on the displacement theory, I have come across some related information. Moreover, one of the stipulations stated that there was a cut-off where media use will begin to displace other useful activities. This is called the thresh hold effect. Its states that onces a viewer goes beyond ten hours per week of viewing media content, the dispalcement theory can then be applied. Only after ten hours or more will other useful activities be displaced. After ten hours, media use is no longer considered to be a substitute for down time. However, it seems that this measure was randomly assigned. More directly, even two hours of vieweing media content can and will displace other activities. They go further to describe what qualifies as a useful activity, yet even thinking or meditation is useful. The stipulations of this theory seem very objective.

Friday, February 9, 2007

"Caught on Tape" 20/20 (on now!)

I realize this is short notice, but in case any of you are spending the evening at home tonight, you might want to turn to ABC to check out 20/20 (it started at 9pm, and I believe is on until 11pm). The focus is on the internet and it's home to "the viral revolution" (discussion covers almost everything from the influence of YouTube to Perez Hilton).

Here's the link to the 20/20 page which includes a few clips and such on the subject:
"Caught on Tape"

Cell phone spam

Thought this relates to our talk in yesterday's class. Draws a good distinction between cell phone spam and mobile marketing

Get outta my phone!

Spammers are getting crafty - they're sending text messages to your cell phone. But Fortune's Julie Schlosser is fighting back.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

additional reading for week 6

from time to time, I will augment/revise the syllabus. I'd like to add another reading for next week's class. please read, in addition to the assigned readings already on the syllabus, Effective use: A community informatics strategy beyond the Digital Divide by Michael Gurstein.

Recommended, but not required, is this article from the UN Chronicle: Digital Divide into Digital Opportunities.

pushing midterms back

midterms will now be due march 8th, rather than feb 22nd. I will hand out the midterm assignment this weekend via email and on the blog. we can discuss your questions online and in the next class.

administrative stuff

just a reminder, nick desai of juice wireless will be our guest speaker today.

Additionally, I unfortunately have to cancel our April 26th class. that was supposed to be our conclusion and review class. if you feel you need a review class in order to work on your final papers, I'm happy to schedule a supplementary class, or try to conduct the class online.

see you all later today.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

If you eat as much as I do...

For those of you who didn't already know about these, here are two fantastic websites that deliver from several restaurants around 'SC (including CPK, In-n-out, Bistango, and a lottttt more)!


I messed up the link, sorry. Here is an actual link to the beginners guide to geocaching.


I just posted this in my blog by accident so excuse the repetition, but if anyone was interested in the concept of geocaching brought up in Derek Powazek's article "Getting Real: Virtual Communities that Break the Fourth Wall," here is a pretty good beginners guide to what geocaching is all about realeased by the official geocaching website. The concept seems pretty interesting as it basically is one big worldwide scavenger hunt prompted by posting tracking coordinates on the internet. You can limit the areas of where you want to track to stay within areas near you or expand globally. If I had a GPS reciever I would partake in the fun. (I did register with the site so if anyone has GPS in their car let me know.)

Steve Jobs and DRM

this will have many interesting implications for the music industry now that the largest online music retailer supports having restriction free music.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

social music sites

since so many of you are fans of pandora, I thought you might enjoy this article that provides an overview of social music sites.

speaking of which, I found it on digg, a social news site.

Monday, February 5, 2007

all the super bowl ads

marketingvox provides a handy roundup of all the places you can watch the super bowl ads online.

so, what's your favorite? overall, I'd say they were pretty disappointing.

my favorite isn't exactly new - in ran in theaters last summer and has been all over youtube for months now, but I just love it - the coca-cola video game ad. not only does it subvert Grand Theft Auto's unrelenting violence and grittiness celeverly, but it also draws from and further's coke's brand attributes. It continues the coke tradition from its Vietnam-era "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" (yes, that song was originally a coke advertisement, and no, I dont really remember it when it first ran on TV). its been such a long time since coke was making great ads. I'm glad they are again.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Doritos Commercials

Here is the link to the Doritos commercials we were talking about in class. The top five "fan-generated" commercials are on the Doritos website. Each finalist has already won $10,000 and a trip to the Superbowl in Miami this year.

Friday, February 2, 2007

The Long Tail

If anyone was interested in what Jason Calacanis was saying about wikipedia, you should definitely check out the book The Long Tail. Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, wrote it and he describes the current culture we are living ("the long tail" of culture) in which niche markets and interests are growing at exponential rate due mostly in part to the internet. There is an entire chapter which looks at wikipedia as a case study and describes how it is a fairly accurate source of information built entirely my "amateur" internet users. The book is very relevant to yesterday's discussion and to our class as a whole in general.

100% of p.i.n.k.'s profits are donated to breast cancer research...

In October of 2005 my mom opened a boutique in Hermosa Beach where 100% of the profits are donated to a breast cancer research foundation she started. Pretty cool, huh? Anyways, we have an online website now so check it out! We carry a lot of cute stuff including stuff by Nicole Miller, Catherine Malandrino, Paige Premium Denim, Cynthia Steffe, Rachel Pally, Walter, Hanky get the point :) It's called p.i.n.k. standing for "People Inspiring New Knowledge". Check it out at!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Meebo mentioned today in class

I just signed up for a Meebo account. It is a very clever little idea for web-based IM clients. It also allows websites to have an IM client on their webpage so that visitors can chat with them live.

Colbert on Blogs:

"Ted Hitler"

I ran across this clip and thought it was a nice complement to our discussion about blogging and democracy - and it even outs those "attack bloggers" who would seek to reveal incriminating information about Colbert's dark past...

Meeting planning online with Diarized

A friend suggested this as a way to get people together for a meeting or other event. The free service allows you to set up the meeting and details and then invite people. Then, based on availability, it suggests what times are best overall. It even sends messages to those who can't make it apologizing!

Second Life Celebrities

i found this article in today about celebrities in the world of Second Life

Dot-Coms Getting Smart About SuperBowl Advertisments...Moving to YouTube

From's The Browser. A cool little blurb about dot-coms putting their SuperBowl ads directly on YouTube and promoting them through blogs and online social networks.

The Browser:
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Superbowl ads ditch the Superbowl for YouTube

Colbert Report - Wikilobbying

after it was brought up last week in class, thought you might enjoy colbert's take on microsoft's attempt to edit wikipedia.

and for an academic take on "the wisdom of crowds" you might want to check out James Surowiecki's book with that title.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Jason Calacanis and the other 24...

Here is the article that Marissa was talking about, it features our next public speaker Jason Calacanis (number 23). I thought it was pretty interesting that Perez happens to be number 2! Whats happening to the world....

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Senate Course Guide

I remember we talked about the website, "Senate Course Guide" in class. It's really good for checking reviews on professors at USC before signing up for a class. Here's the website in case some of you guys had never heard of it:

Not all the professors are listed on this website, so lots of times I'll use as a back-up site too.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Moving Away from Hardware?

An interesting article from on open source information storage -- a move away from hardware toward a more mobile information storage/access.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Revolution OS - Trailer

couldn't post the documentary from google video, but youtube (also owned by google) lets me post the trailer.

streaming movies

for some reason, google video doesn't seem to recognize me as a blogger user, despite the fact ITS THE SAME COMPANY. incompatibility sucks. so I can't post Revolution OS directly on the blog, but you can find it here, in case you want to listen to the dulcet, scandinavian-inflected tones of Linus Torvalds to lull you to sleep.

I also want to point you guys to an article in today's nytimes on netflix's new entry into the semi-crowded streaming video space. best thing about the netflix service: if you're already a subscriber, its there. no additional fees. other best part: your usage is metered by time, not per movie:
But the huge, mind-bending, game-changing advantage of this model is that you can channel-surf movies just the way you channel-surf TV. You can watch 15 minutes of “Single White Female,” decide you’re more in the mood for a documentary, and switch over to “Super Size Me.” When a buddy tells you that “Twister” is lame except for the climactic final sequence, you can fast-forward right to that part. You can watch the beginning of “Gladiator” tonight, and watch the rest of it a month later, without having to re-rent it or pay late fees.
worst part: its streaming instead of downloaded, which means you have to be connected to the Internet to watch. not a problem if you're lying in bed at home, but much less convenient if you're on a plane.

what do you think? do you think this will be the "killer app" that will lead to the death of the DVD? would you use it? why or why not? what affect do you think this will have on the movie business? positive? negative? neutral?

More speakers and info on today's class

Another newly confirmed speaker: Rebecca Woolf, will be joining our class on Feb 15th. Rebecca writes the populars blogs Girl's Gone Child and Straight from the Bottle on Rebecca has written a book based on Girl's Gone Child that will be published by Seal Press in early 2008. Additionally, Rebecca is a chathost on the community site Starbright World for chronically ill teens.

Yesterday Forbes released it's first annual Top 25 Web Celebs and next week's speaker, Jason Calacanis, comes in at number 23 on the list.

This week we don't have a speaker, but after lecture and discussion we will be viewing the documentary Revolution OS, a look at the open source software movement and an illuminating look at the economies of online cooperation.

see you later.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Investing through Social Networks

I heard about this on a Podcast (I can't remember the name) and this site is basically an Investing version of a Social Network Site. People basically share their investment recommendations with other members of the site. The goal of this company is to help people invest better by having access to relevant information without having to spend hours searching for it. I though this was an interesting approach to online communities. Check it out!

Monday, January 22, 2007

confirmed speaker: jason calacanis

just got confirmation that jason calacanis will be speaking at our feb 1 class. he is currently the 'entrepreneur in residence' at Sequoia Capital (a venture capital firm) and was the founder of Weblogs, Inc. (now owned by AOL).
For those of you having a hard time deciding what your "wild card" community will be, this site may be helpful in leading you towards a community of interest. I've also added it to the "useful links" section on the right.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Music Genome Project

I discovered this site last year and its basically a music search engine/ radio service where users can type in a band name and search for similar bands. The program is interesting in that it identifies patterns in music for the band you're searching and matches it to similar patterns others. Its great for discovering new music.


PS3 vs. Wii

a bit of fun - mocks both the apple ads and the playstation 3

Funny article on "blog slapping"

this is the first time I've heard the term "blog slapping" - I doubt it will put an end to rude behavior but its interesting to think about how technology sometimes blurs the line between the public and private spheres. its also an account of how technology can be put to some very creepy uses.

Is online community a real community?

unfortunately, we didn't have enough time yesterday to discuss the presentation before jessica arrived.

I'm wondering what your thoughts - how do you define community? is it possible to create the emotional bonds online that are necessary to call a group a 'community'? is it better than offline? worse? do we need to re-define what we mean by community?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

DIY convention - free for college students

I occassionally speak at conferences on topics related to digital media, technology and culture. I have one coming up that I'm particularly excited about - the seventh DIY convention. (DIY stands for Do It Yourself) and the conference focuses on DIY media such as blogging, podcasts, music, publishing and entertainment. I'll be speaking on a panel on blogging on sat feb 10th.

you are under no obligation to attend this festival, but it IS free to college students, if this is something that interests you:
High school and college students with valid ID will be admitted free to the panel portion of the event if they RSVP with full name, address and contact information to by Feb. 1, 2007.
I know you all have a lot of classwork, some of you hold jobs, etc so again, let me reiterate - this is entirely voluntary and does not impact your class grade. just thought some of you might find it interesting.

Two good stories in Wired today

first, How Yahoo Blew It. A great recap on how yahoo tried to cobble together a competitor to google but was hamstrung by corporate inefficiencies, turf wars and a lack of a clear strategic vision.

second, Why Joost Is Good for TV - this is a project founded by the same guys who invented Kazaa and Skype. Next up for them is TV - they're getting a ton of buzz lately and I'm participating in the beta test. will let you know more about that as it progresses.

tomorrow's guest speaker

tomorrow's guest is Jessica Morgan, of Go Fug Yourself and Television Without Pity, as well as New York mag and an upcoming book.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Gadgets as Tyrants

Interesting op-ed in the nytimes today on gadget incompatibility and the consumer electronics industry's attempts to limit consumer freedom - how you use technology, your ability to copy and distribute content, and how consumers find ways around ever-tightening restrictions.

thoughts? opinions? what does 'digital freedom' mean to you? have you found ways around a device or technologies intended use?


since we mentioned them in class, links to two great mashups: Brokeback to the Future and Shining. Enjoy.

brokeback to the future

Monday, January 15, 2007

Best of Bootie 2006

every once in a while, I'll direct you guys towards some interesting mashup or remixed content - and I hope you will do the same.

today's link: Best of Bootie 2006. I think my current favorite is the Lady Sovereign/Eurythmics mashup. what's yours?

Friday, January 12, 2007

new speaker confirmation

nick desai, ceo and founder of Juice Wireless will be joining us on feb 8th to discuss mobile content and mobile marketing.

how do you guys feel about an evening lecture?

before you say 'no way' consider this - I've asked perez hilton to come speak to the class but he's only able to do it in the evening. if I can secure a room for us, would you guys be interested in a supplementary lecture by perez? I realize it may be difficult to organize everyone's schedule so this would be voluntary. if there's enough interest, I'll organize the lecture.

leave your thoughts in the comments.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Confirmed speakers

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Welcome to COMM 321: Communication in the Virtual Group

Hey folks, welcome to the blog for USC Annenberg's Comm 321 class: Communication in the Virtual Group. We'll be using this blog to comment on the readings and class discussions throughout the semester. To kick things off, here's a copy of the syllabus:

Marissa Gluck
Office: TBA
2:30-3:30 Thurs and by appointment

I prefer not to post my email or phone number online, but will provide this to you in class.

Course Description:
A globe-spanning web of computer networks offers millions of users the opportunity to exchange electronic mail, transfer files, search databases and retrieve information from remote libraries, take part in real-time conferences, run software on distant computers, buy products in online marketplaces, view images from galleries and museums, and participate in discussion groups on topics from autism education to yacht design. The growth of the Internet has been explosive in recent years. The number of users on these networks has been growing at a staggering pace.

The convergence of computer and communication technologies is becoming a social convergence as well. The global reach of the Internet not only facilitates communication among members of existing distributed groups and teams, but perhaps more importantly it provides a medium for the formation and cultivation of new relationships through virtually instantaneous access to thousands of potential contacts with compatible interests and spheres of expertise.

COMM 321 is designed to acquaint undergraduate students in ASC with the fundamentals of developing and distributing content for this rapidly growing medium, primarily as participants in social networking, blogs, and online video-sharing sites. Students will also consider the uses and gratifications of the Web, how such issues as commercialization, privacy, and the digital divide influence Web content, and how the Web contributes to the formation and maintenance of interpersonal relationships.

The course will meet in ASC230. All units in the Lab are connected to USCnet, providing full access to the scf, library resources, and the Internet. Students who have not yet activated their email accounts should go here ( to do so. To learn about the steps required to set up a web page at USC, go here ( These procedures will be reviewed in class to make sure that everyone has a working email account and basic web page.

Components of the Course Grade:

  1. In-class participation: 25%
  2. Online participation in a virtual community: 25%
  3. Mid-term Paper: 25%
  4. Final Term Paper: 25%

Academic Integrity Policy
School of Communication is committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and ethical support. It endorses and acts on the school policies and procedures detailed in the SCampus section titled: "University Student Conduct Code." See especially Appendix A: "Academic Dishonesty Sanction Guidelines." The policies, procedures, and guidelines will be assiduously upheld. They protect your rights, as well as those of the faculty. It is particularly important that you are aware of and avoid plagiarism, cheating on exams, fabricating data for a project, submitting the same paper to more than one professor, or submitting a paper authored by anyone but yourself. In the 321 class plagiarism is also defined as submitting a web site copied from someone else. If you have questions about any of these matters, confer with the instructor.

Academic Accommodation based on Disability
Any student requesting academic accommodation based on a disability is required to register with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Please be sure the letter is delivered to the instructor as early in the semester as possible. DSP is located in STU 301 and is open
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The phone number for DSP is (213) 740-0776."

Outline of the 15 course meetings

Week 1: Introduction
Jan 11, 2007
1. A Short History of the Internet by Bruce Sterling
2. Finding One's Own Space in Cyberspace by Amy Bruckman

Week 2: Virtual Communities: Introduction
Jan 18, 2007

  • This week we will broadly review how to define community, examine the unique attributes of virtual communities, and review some of the social experiments taking place online.

1. Communities in Cyberspace by Peter Kollock and Marc Smith

2. A Slice of Life in my Virtual Community by Howard Rheingold
3. Virtual Communities: Abort, Retry, Failure? By Jan Fernback & Brad Thompson

Week 3: Virtual Communities: Rules and Regulation
Jan 25, 2007

  • This week we will examine how virtual communities work and evolve, and what are their limitations.
1. The Economies of Online Cooperation: Gifts and Public Goods in Cyberspace by Peter Kollock
2. TBA

Week 4: Virtual Identity: Race, Class and Gender
Feb 1, 2007

  • This week we will examine how users formulate and experiment with identity and self-perception online, and some of the pitfalls virtual communities encounter.

1. Gender Swapping on the Internet by Amy Bruckman
2. Self Without Body: Textual Self-Representation in an Electronic Community by Mark Giese
3. How Women and Men Use the Internet: Women are catching up to men in most measures of online life by Deborah Fallows (download pdf)

Week 5: Breaking the Fourth Wall: When Real and Virtual Communities Collide
Feb 8, 2007

  • This week we will examine how virtual and physical communities intersect, and how users deal with loss and grief on the Internet.

1. Getting real: Virtual communities that break the fourth wall by Derek M. Powazek
2. Searching for Barry Goldstein: Virtual Community -- Real Loss by Leonard Grossman
3. Community Participation and Internet Use after September 11: Complementarity in Channel Consumption
4. The Internet’s Growing Role in Life’s Major Moments by John Horrigan, Lee Rainie (download pdf)

Week 6: The Digital Divide
Feb 15, 2007

  • This week we will take a look at how social, educational, racial and cultural inequalities manifest themselves online. We will also focus on what, if anything, can be done to address these inequalities, on both a local and global scale.

1. Digital Divisions: There are clear differences among those with broadband connections, dial-up connections, and no connections at all to the internet by Susannah Fox (download pdf)
2. The Breakthrough of That Dance Video, the Future of YouTube and the Wisdom of Google by Virginia Heffernan

Week 7: The New Social Networks
Feb 22, 2007

  • This week we will address the growth of social networks, what constitutes a successful network, and why some fail where others have succeeded.
  • Midterm paper due

1. Friendster lost steam. Is MySpace just a fad? By Danah Boyd
2. Addendum: Friendster lost steam. Is MySpace just a fad? By Danah Boyd
3. Copy and Paste Literacy: Literacy Practices in the Production of a Myspace Profile by Dan Perkel

Week 8: The Privacy Paradox
March 1, 2007

  • This week we will take a look at some of the burgeoning privacy issues engendered by the rise of social networks, and the intersection of the private and public spheres.

1. A Privacy Paradox: Social Networking in the
United States by Susan B. Barnes
2. Imagined Communities: Awareness, Information Sharing and Privacy on the Facebook by Alessandro Acquisti and Ralph Gross

Week 9: Networks, power and politics
March 8, 2007

  • This week we will inspect how the Internet influences political processes, how powerful is the blogosphere in affecting political change and how can we measure its strength?

1. The new blogocracy by Danah Boyd
2. The Power and Politics of Blogs by Daniel Drezner
3. Social Media and the Networked Public Sphere by Ulises Ali Mejias
4. How can we measure the influence of the Blogosphere? by Kathy E. Gill

Week 10: Open Source and Web 2.0
March 22, 2007

  • This week we will attempt to define innovation online. Is it simply technological invention or is it dependent upon the collective knowledge and contributions of networks? How does copyright encourage or stifle innovation?

1. The Architecture of Innovation
2. What Is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software by Tim O’Reilly

Week 11: Copyright, Piracy and Distribution
March 29, 2007

  • This week we will address the issue of piracy and copyright in entertainment industry. How does the industry protect itself? What can be done to curtail piracy? How do consumers resist and react to the industries’ attempts to enforce copyright protections?

1. Courtney Love does the math by Courtney Love
2. Innovating Copyright by Larry Lessig
3. Second Life Will Save Copyright by Jennifer Granick,72143-0.html

Week 12: Remixing, Mashups and Participatory Culture
April 5, 2007

  • This week we will take a look at mashups and remixed cultural artifacts and examine their function as forms of aesthetic dissent. We will use mashups and remixes to understand how the traditional producer-consumer power dynamic is currently being subverted and used by consumers to react against tightening control over intellectual property.

1. Mash it up! Hearing a new musical form as an aesthetic resistance movement by
Aram Sinnreich
2. TBA

Week 13: Video Games
April 12, 2007

  • This week we will look at one of the fastest growing sectors of the entertainment industry: video games. In this class we will examine the role of video games not just as an economic commodity, but also as a cultural commodity with a unique social dynamic that is changing the way we tell stories, they way we interact with each other, and the ways in which we understand the world.

1. The Day the Grid Disappeared by Mark Wallace
2. TBA

Week 14: Advertising and Marketing, E-commerce
April 19, 2007

  • This week we will address two of the primary revenue models for the Internet: advertising and e-commerce. We will discuss how online advertising differs, if at all, from traditional advertising models, what are some of the advantages and disadvantages to advertising online, and what the future of online advertising holds. This week we will also examine ecommerce. We will attempt to understand how virtual communities intersect with online commerce, how they can help or hurt a brand, and some of the most prevalent commerce models.

1. TBA
2. TBA

Week 15: Conclusion and Review
April 26, 2007

  • Today, we will spend some time reviewing the semester’s lectures and reading assignments, in preparation for the final paper.
  • No readings