Good morning everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed the first class last night—we’ve got a lot to cover this semester but if you ever feel like we’re moving too quickly or you want to spend more time on a certain unit, please let me know.
First off, a correction: Jill pointed out last night that I had the dates for classes wrong on the syllabus. Oops! Here’s a corrected syllabus with the right dates and weeks on it. For each class, you’re responsible for doing the readings assigned under the class title by class time. Each Thursday morning, I’ll post some additional background, reading, and notes here for the following class as well. Please get in the habit of reading this blog on a regular basis since important announcements will appear here as well. The syllabus is also posted as a PDF off to the right here in the blog roll, so if you’re ever out and about and want to it, just come here.
As general background, I wanted to provide you with some readings on the history of the internet. You don’t “have” to know these, but I’d encourage you to at least page through them (as ugly as they may be) and familiarize yourself with the background. Vannevar Bush’s essay “As We May Think” became the founding essay of the internet idea. We’ll cover this very briefly in class next week.
Remember your assignments for next week:
* Create a Facebook profile and “Friend Me.” You can search for me or click on this link to my profile (then click on “Add Garrett as a Friend”). We’ll get to Facebook later in the class in more depth but if you want to know what you’re getting yourself in for, read these articles: Wikipedia, Fast Company’s profile of the founder, Jeff Jarvis’s column, Fortune’s take, and Mashable’s company profile. And stay in touch with the latest on Facebook’s own blog.
* Create a LinkedIn profile and “Connect” with me (find my profile then click on “Add Garrett to My Network”). You may have to enter my email address. Use the Georgetown address on the syllabus. For background, LinkedIn is a more business-oriented social networking site and will be particularly useful for thos who are more PR-oriented as it is increasingly heavily used in the industry. Here’s some background: Guy Kawasaki’s take (you don’t know him yet, but another pioneer), some general background, and someone who didn’t like LinkedIn.
* Figure out a domain name for your blog. If you want to check whether your idea has already been taken, go to GoDaddy.com and enter in the domain you want to purchase—you can choose any ending available, from .com to .tv to .us to .org, etc.
As for the reading for next week, concentrate on the Cluetrain Manifesto and We the Media. I’d encourage you all to email me if you have questions during the reading. Dan Gillmor is a great thinker, one of the real pioneers of this new media world, and I think you’ll find We the Media very engaging and exciting. In future weeks I’ll try to post some questions to help guide your blogging, but for this week just think about this questions/thoughts:
* The Cluetrain Manifesto may seem a bit dated today but the sentiments and ideas expressed in 2000 when it first came out where mind-blowing.
* As for We the Media, some questions: What’s the impact of the changes Gillmor lays out? How does this affect your job and your life? What’s the appeal of citizen journalism? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the traditional media and of citizen journalism? How do you use media in the course of a week today? How much of what you read is traditional media versus something like Gawker or Pink is the New Blog?
Anyway, enough for one week—welcome to the wide wild world of the web! See you next Wednesday at 7:30 in the School of Continuing Studies at 3307 M St. NW. Don’t forget a laptop and a credit card.