måndag 30 november 2009

This week's readings - journalism

When you are finished with the seminar 3 assignment, this is what you should read to prepare for this week's lecture on "Participatory culture" and the seminar 4 assignment (next week):

The topic of this week's both lectures is journalism and citizen media. These are the readings:

1) Benkler (2006), "The wealth of networks"; "The trouble with mass media" (chapter 6)
3) Leetaru (2009), "New media vs. old media"
4) Gillmor (2006), "We are all reporters now" (BBC News)

- Both text 2 and 3 come from the online (peer-reviewed) journal "First Monday" which publishes scholarly papers about the Internet (internet culture, the neworked information economy etc.).

söndag 29 november 2009

Late assignments

I have told you before to send late assignments by mail to me.

I now realize that a better solution is to create a folder in Bilda where you can drop late assignments. That folder is called "Seminar 1-5 - Late assignments".

Don't forget to both include your name and the seminar number in the title of your text/file before you upload the file!

fredag 27 november 2009

Guest lecture: "media in realtime shock"

We will have our second and last guest lecture next week, on Thursday after lunch:


Axel Andén - Media in realtime shock

- How does traditional media deal with citizen journalism and the realtime information flow online?

- How can journalists work in different ways, on different platforms and with different perceptions of time?

- What are the risks with these current developments? Who is in power? Where are these changes taking us?

[Please take a moment to think about these issues. What do you imagine or expect Axel to talk about? Can you think of questions you would like to pose in advance? /Daniel]

Axel Andén is editor in chief at Medievärlden (Mediaworld) - a publication covering the media industry. Medievärlden’s owner, Swedish Newspaper Publishers' Association, decided to close the printed edition of Medievärlden and go online-only from november 2009. This decision has put the magazine, founded 1920, in a totally new situation. The lecture is based not the least on my experiences and thoughs about the relationship between traditional and online media - based on the changes that my magazine is going through right at this moment.

torsdag 26 november 2009

Thesis proposal about blogs

I wrote another thesis proposal about blogs that is accessible in Bilda, (Blogs thesis proposal.doc).

tisdag 24 november 2009

Seminar assignment 5

Seminar assignment 5 is now available in Bilda, in the same place as the other assignments.

söndag 22 november 2009

Points/grading of seminar assignments

I have read, graded and given feedback to around 1/3 of the assignments during the last two weeks. That means that around 2/3 of the class have gotten feedback on their assignments at this point but 1/3 has not.

I will make sure that everyone who has not had an assignment graded will get feedback on this week's assignment. (This is not guaranteed if you hand in the assignment late though.)

Also, I can assure you that I have found most assignments good (2 out of 3 points), but only some (few) very good (3/3). That means that this far, the majority of students have gotten 2 points for their seminar assignments + 1 point for attendance at a seminar = 3 out of 4 points possible to collect at each seminar.

lördag 21 november 2009

Participatory culture thesis proposal

I admit, I became inspired by my own lecture of a few days ago, "Participatory culture: Unleashing (and harnessing) the power of the ex-audience".

So, I wrote together a (draft) thesis proposal about participatory culture + technology, business and user behavior issues.

I have uploaded the document, "participatory culture thesis proposal.doc" to Bilda. You can read it for two different reasons:

1) Consider the document a draft and give me feedback so it could be improved (for example by leaving a comment to this blog post)
2) You want inspiration about writing a thesis, or you are more specifically interested in writing a thesis about participatory culture (please then get in touch with me by mail).

fredag 20 november 2009

Next week's readings

The readings for next week are a mixed bag of texts as the lecture and the following seminar will tackle some different "large" questions. The topic is "critique" and as we all know by now, there is very little critique or thought about the possible negative impact of Internet/social media in Benkler's book so the (relatively short chapter in the) book has been supplemented by various other (short) papers.

The readings can be divided into four parts:

1) What is the impact of Internet/social media on our relationships with other people and on our (mental) health. In the words of one of the texts; is, or does Internet lead to a "sad, lonely world" or is it instead a "platform for human connection"? (Or is it both?)

a) Harmon (1998), "Researchers find sad, lonely world in cyberspace" (New York Times) - 4 pages
b) Benkler (2006), "Social ties: Networking together" (chapter 10) - 22 pages

2) What is the impact of Internet/social media on our way of thinking? Is Google making us stoopid? Are we both more well-informed about current events, but also less able to think through difficult thoughts?

a) Postman (1990), "Informing ourselves to death" (transcribed speech given at at computer conference) - 8 pages
[this paper later became a chapter in Neil Postman's book "Technopoly: The surrender of culture to technology (1993)]
b) Carr (2008), "Is Google making us stupid?" (Atlantic Monthly) - 7 pages
[this topic will be expanded in Nick Carr's book "The Shallows: What the Internet is doing to our brains" which will be published in June 2010]

3) What is the impact of Internet/social media on our social behavior, will people become more inhibited if commercial or governmental surveillance and data mining increases? Will participation and making your voice heard (i.e. democracy) decrease?

a) Lundblad (2004), "Privacy in a noise society" [pdf file] (presented at the workshop "WHOLES: A multiple view of inidividual privacy in a networked world") - 4 dense pages
[this topic is presumably a part on Lundblad's Ph.D. thesis, "Law in a noise society" [pdf file]].

4) Is the Internet/social media sustainable in the long run? Will we face global problems of energy and resource depletion during the 21st century? Or will climate change force us to pollute less, use less (fossil) energy and radically rethink our habits and our use of technology? These short texts point out some radically different possible futures for the Internet.

a) Bardi (2009), "The spike and the peak" [pdf file] (posted to The Oil Drum, an online discussion forum) - 4 pages
b) Anderson (2009), "Peak oil primer" (printer-friendly version) (posted to the Energy Bulletin website) - 8 pages
c) Greer (2009), "The end of the information age" (printer-friendly version) and "The economics of decline" (printer-friendly version) (posted to the Energy Bulltin website) - 3 + 3 pages
[these topics are presumably a part of Greer's 2008 book "The Long descent: A user's guide to the end of the industrial age"]

Greer makes a passing remark to the short story "The machine stops" (1909) by the author E. M. Forster ("A room with a view", "Howards end"). It is a haunting science fiction story of a point in the future when humanity has become totally dependent on our technologies ("Internet" and "video conferencing"?). You might consider reading this short story (fiction) when you get tired of reading all the non-fiction texts listed above.

Next week's lecture and the last individual seminar assignment (number 5) will build on the texts above.

Commented seminar 3 assignment available in Bilda

Just as I did last week, I have now uploaded a commented student text from seminar 3 ("091117 Cantu_seminar_3.doc") into Bilda (in the seminar folder). It is again a good paper with some comments by me of why I think it's a good paper. You might want to have a look at that paper and the comments.

torsdag 19 november 2009

Home exam on Tue Dec 15

After having had close to a week on "voting" at Doodle, there were two top suggestions/dates for the home exam:

Sunday December 13 - most votes for this date
Tuesday December 15 - not as many very votes, but very few objections to this date

At class today, we voted by raising hands and Tuesday was the most popular choice. So the date for the home exam in the courser will be:

Tuesday December 15 from 08.00 until Wednesday December 16 at 08.00.

Change in the schedule

We were supposed to have a guest lecturer next week but he can't come next week and will instead come the week after.

It is therefore inconvenient to have two lectures next week and only one (the guest lecture) the week after. I have therefore postponed a lecture (moved it a week).

More specifically, we will NOT have a lecture on Friday November 27. We will instead have a
lecture on Thursday December 3 from 10-12.

Please note that we will thus have TWO lectures on Thursday December 3 - an "ordinary" lecture as well as a guest lecture. Please also note the place of the extra lecture - Osquars Backe 31, third floor ("South-West Gallery", SVG). It might be a little tricky to find this lecture hall so please allot a little extra time to find it. It's in the library building - ask for help at the information desk if you can't find it.

The online schedule has been updated and is available here.

Seminar assignment 4

Seminar assignment 4 is now available in Bilda, in the same place as the other assignments.

Do note that the assignment is formulated based on input from one of the seminar groups yesterday. This is an example of one of the reasons why I prefer to publish the assignment around the time I give the lecture on which the seminar is based (that is, today) - rather than futher in advance. I understand you instead want the assignment further in advance and will take that into consideration for the fifth and final seminar assignment that will be handed out next week.

onsdag 18 november 2009

Group assignment info

I hope I managed to reproduce all information about groups and members correct in the previous blog posts. If not, leave a comment here. If you take the class but can not find your name in the lists below, plese leave a comment here.

The task itself is available in Bilda.

Any questions that you think are of interest to other students/groups should preferably be posted here.

Group assignment - Seminar Group 3

For the last seminar, you will do a group assignment. These are the members of groups 1-6 (from seminar group 3):

Group 1
Anthony B
Håkan F
Michelle M
Nina Sarah S

Group 2
Robin C
Carl G
Yi X

Group 3
Alexander F
Tora J
Per N
Adit R

Group 4
Michael BG
Alexej C
Jae Won J
Karl L

Group 5
Celeste CA
Erik N
John R
Joakim Å

Group 6
Andreas B
Alejandra FDVYR
Axel F
Markus M

Group assignment - Seminar Group 2

For the last seminar, you will do a group assignment. These are the members of groups 11-14 (from seminar group 2):

Group 11
Tung L
Linda D
Alibina M
Teresa R
Katarina E

Group 12
Isa E
Quifeng P
Muhammad SG
Sabine T
Roberto HM

Group 13
Nataliia D
Ida J
Muhammad K
Wei Z
Erik Gustav J

Group 14
John H
Yashar M
Simone V
Neda K
Yige X

Group assignment - Seminar Group 1

For the last seminar, you will do a group assignment. These are the members of groups 7-10 (from seminar group 1):

Group 7
Adam G
Sergej K
Yi L
Yuanyuan Z

Group 8
Xing G
Magnus H
Ahmed R
John D

Group 9
Mingli C
Liting D
Anna H

Group 10
Samir F
Christian K
Rui L
Xuan Z

måndag 16 november 2009

How to use this blog - an example

I got a question by mail this afternoon. A student who had been to last week's lecture and had read the text (I'm not sure if this refers to the assignment, the course readings or both) still did not understand exactly what was expected when it came to the assignment.

I have two problems with this question:

1) I'm not sure what is unclear about the instructions. I think, or at least hoped that I had managed to explain adequately what was expected in the assignment text. It's difficult for me to know if also other students have had the same problem as noone else has asked this question and I'm thus not sure exactly what is unclear about the task. Still, I made an attempt to explain again/in another way:

What I'm looking for in the assignment is the connection between "technical characteristics" of networks (lecture 3) and "social effects" of those technical characteristics. I think both Benkler and Shirky do a good job of making that connection, thereby giving concrete examples of how it's done. One example is Shirky's text where he explains the mathematical function/characteristics of power laws and then shows how these can explain why some blogs have an audience that is 100 times larger than other blogs despite not being 100 times "better", or perhaps not neccessarily being better at all in terms of quality content.

So my first question is if other students think the assignment was unclear and if so, in what way? Please answer by commenting to this blog post.

2). There are at least 58 students taking this course (more if someone is still not allocated to a seminar group). And 58 pair of eyes see more/better than one (mine). So, if you have a question like this, the place to pose it is right here, in this blog. You can choose to leave a comment to the "seminar 3 assignment" blog post (from Nov 12) or just grab the last blog text (posted earlier today) - or why not in both places - and see what happens. By posting your question in public, you invite other students to become peers in a process of social production of information and knowledge.

Perhaps someone else will explain it to you - problem solved! Or perhaps someone else will confess to having the same problem. If several persons have the same problem and start to discuss it, it will be easier for me to remedy the problem and give additional, better instructions that can be of use for all students, not just the one student who posed the question when I go online and see the discussion.

That's how you should use this blog! All questions that might be of public interest should be posted here - not sent to me by e-mail. Sending private mail to me is sooo 20th century - a perfect example the industrial information economy with me as an information processor bottleneck. Posting the question to this blog is the 21st century habits we all should strive to acquire - everyone can see it and everyone can chip in and comment/answer it!

I mentioned this at the first lecture but it is a message well worth repeating here! Hopefully we can learn about social media also by doing social media here...

This/next weeks readings

When you are finished with the seminar 3 assignment, this is what you should read to prepare for this week's lecture on "Participatory culture" and the seminar 4 assignment (next week):

1) Benkler (2006), "The wealth of networks"; "Autonomy, Information and the law" (chapter 5)
2) Benkler (2006), "The wealth of networks"; "A culture both plastic and critical", (chapter 8)
3) Jenkins (2006), "Convergence culture"; "Quentin Tarantino's Star Wars? Grassroots creativity meets the media industry" (Chapter 5)

- Of the two chapters in Benkler, chapter 5 is clearly the less interesting, especially the parts where you notice that Benkler is a legal scholar. You can read those parts more cursorily
- I know some media technology students own the Jenkins book from a previous course. An alternative to this text from 2006 is a "previous" version of this text, "Quentin Tarantino's Star Wars? Digital cinema, media convergence and participatory culture" (2003). I glanced through this text and presume it's similar enough. I downloaded the text from Jenkins homepage and have uploaded it to Bilda. It is accessbile in the seminar folder and is called "091125 Seminar 4 Jenkins.pdf". You can also read the paper online at Google books (pages 281-310).

When NOT to have the home exam

Your preferences for the exam are pretty even and shifts whenever a few more participants cast their votes. At the moment, these are popular dates:
- Sun 13 (16 votes)
- Thu 17 (15 votes)
- Thu 10 & Mon 14 (13 votes)

As some of you have left messages about when you DON'T want the exam (becuase you have another exam), I have created another Doodle document where you can vote for when you do NOT what the exam. Please choose a maximum of two dates when it would be very inconvenient for you to have the exam. I won't publish the link to the survey here, but everyone who is registered for the course has gotten a mail through Bilda with this info + the link.

fredag 13 november 2009

Vote on best day(s) for the home exam

The exam runs from 08.00 in the morning until 08.00 the next day (24 hours). I don't want to post the link to the Doodle survey here since it is a public forum and I have instead sent a mail to you trough Bilda. It should thus reach everybody who is (formally) registered for the course and noone who is not registered for the course.

I'll keep the survey open for at least a week. Make your voice heard (and try out the Doodle tool) - or increase the chance that the resulting date will be sub-optimal for you.

PS. This is not "direct democracy", but rather "representative democracy". You vote for what is best for you and I take your opinions into consideration before I take a decision (that is, I won't feel bound about a date that 15 persons prefer if there are two other dates that 14 persons prefer)...


torsdag 12 november 2009

Seminar assignment 3

Seminar assignment 3 is now available in Bilda. Do note that I have also uploaded a student text from seminar 2 (HoyosMorales_seminar_2.doc) into Bilda (in the seminar folder). It is a good paper and I have also left some comments on why I think it is good inside the paper. You might want to have a look at that paper and the comments.

See you next week.

onsdag 11 november 2009

Handing in late assignments

Please hand in late assignments by mailing them to me (.doc och .pdf files - thank you). It is not possible to upload assignments to Bilda after the deadline (19 hours before your seminar).

Please don't upload a late seminar assignment to another semianar group (that will meet the day after your seminar group). This creates some administrative problems for me (and I will still notice that it's both in wrong place and late).

Handling in your assignments late will have consequences, but it is still much better to hand it in late than to not hand it in at all.

tisdag 10 november 2009

Guest lecture: "social software – actors, motives and effects"

Here is some info about the Friday (Nov 13 at 13-15 in lecture hall Q34) guest lecture:


Håkan Selg - Social software – actors, motives and effects

A discussion of

· social software, its origins and driving forces

· the dynamics of the interplay between technology-communication tools-popular culture

· the impact on attitudes and values inherent in the industrial society

· the challenges from a business perspective

[Please take a moment to think about these issues. What do you imagine or expect Håkan to talk about? Can you think of questions you would like to pose in advance? /Daniel]

Håkan Selg is a Senior Research Scientist at Swedish IT-User Centre, Uppsala University. Long experience as analyst in the field of applied sciences, particularly in the diffusion, use and impacts of new technologies. After the millennium, focus has been on Internet technologies, patterns of usage and impact on established organisations.

måndag 9 november 2009

This/next weeks readings

I'm sure you have been quite busy with the seminar 2 assignment up until now.

When you are finished with the assignment, this is what you should read to prepare for this week's (first) lecture and the seminar 3 assignment (next week):

- Benkler (2006), "Emergence of the Networked Public Sphere", (chapter 7 in Benkler (2006), "The wealth of networks")
- Ramos (200X), "Linked: The new science of networks" (short introduction to network theory through the review of the book "Linked" by Barabási (2002)).

Quite a lot to read (it just so happened that the relevant Benkler chapter is 60 pages long) - but still less to read than last week.

Don't forget that we have a second lecture this week. It's a guest lecture and I will get back with more information about it soon.

fredag 6 november 2009

Invitation to contribute to socialmediatechnologies blog

I have sent invitations to everyone to become a contributor (co-author) of the blog Social Media Technologies. I would like you all to contribute with tips and links to things that you know about or come across that are interesting and relevant to the course and the topic of Social Media Technologies - just like Robin did this morning when he linked to an interesting documentary about virtual worlds.

I harvested your KTH mail addresses from Bilda and I sent the invitation to everyone who has chosen a seminar group.

Do note that you need a Google account to be able to accept the invitation and contribute to the blog. It's possible to accept the invitation and tie it to another mail address (if you already have a Google account not connected to your KTH mail address).

torsdag 5 november 2009

Seminar assignment 2

Seminar assignment 2 is available in Bilda. Please read the instructions carefully, use the "Seminar assignment template" (available in Bilda) and upload the assignment to Bilda (under "contents/seminar2")

Do note that there are three "drop boxes" for your assignments in Bilda depending on if you belong to group 1, 2 or 3.

Please also note that there is a deadline for the assignment 19 hours before your seminar group will meet. If you belong to group 2 (seminar on Tuesday Nov 10 at 10-12), then your deadline is Monday at 15.00. This is as late as possible before the seminar for me to still have a chance to look at your texts before we meet.

For next week's seminar:
- Read the instructions "091104 Seminar 1 assignment" (available in Bilda)
- Download and use the "Seminar assignment template" (available in Bilda)
- Write the assignment using the template
- Upload the assignment to Bilda (under "contents/seminar 1") before the seminar

Information about exam, grading

Information about the DM2578 exam and grading is now available here.

måndag 2 november 2009

Web-accessible schedule

The updated schedule is on the web. Hopefully there will be no more changes to the schedule from now on.

söndag 1 november 2009

Info for those taking DM2553 - Media production

Christer Lie has our schedule now. If he schedules more activities in the DM2553 course after week 46 (mid-November), these should hopefully not create any problems for our course. If there are problems, please get in touch with him - not me!

As to the following two weeks, lecture 2 (Thu Nov 5) and lecture 3 (Wed Nov 11) will collide with activities (labs) in DM2553. Christer will get in touch with Adi and Mak (?) who lead the DM2553 labs and see how/if this problem can be solved.

If nothing else, they will at least be aware of these two collisions. Christer also mentioned that the labs activities were group work - perhaps you other group members can cover/help you out if you can't participate in the last two hours of these day-long labs...?

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