Be My Friend!

Posted February 14, 2008 by Garrett Graff
Categories: Class Notes, Spring 2008

Good morning! I hope your heads have stopped spinning from Google last night—I know I threw a ton at you. We’ve just got so much to cover and so little time! I’ve put all of the links from last night (and will put all the links from future nights) at del.icio.us/mppr850class. Check out the links to your heart’s content.

This week’s topic is social networking and social media. Just as last week was entirely about Google, we’re going to spend most of this week looking at a a few of the major social networking and social media sites: MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, and del.icio.us. These are sites we’ve passed over earlier this semester briefly and now we’re going to dive into them.

I hope you enjoy Wikinomics, I think it puts together lots of the class themes and the world into which we’re moving.

For starters, dig through my files on Facebook, and make sure to read the following articles: Jeff Jarvis, Fast Company, Wharton, Mashable, CNN, and check out this tips and tools for Facebook. Does it seem like we’re coming closer to the “Google Grid”? Here’s some info on how companies are using social networking and who are the demographics. Compare who uses MySpace and Facebook? What’s different? Why? What does friendship mean online? Watch Scoble’s take on Kyte TV (you may have to install Flash) and then ask yourself: Is Robert Scoble media? What does the future for media look more like? Scoble or the Wall Street Journal?

We’ll play with Digg, Flickr and YouTube in class some, so if you’ve never used those sites, make sure to spend some time on them. Here’s some background on Digg. They are some of the leading examples of social media. Del.icio.us is a form of social media too, and here are some other examples. You asked in class for some more concrete examples, so take a look at this report on social media and public radio. And take a look at how to do effective online advocacy in social networks.

Your blogging question for the week: Do we need a Bill of Rights for the social web?

Notes: Blogging II

Posted February 12, 2008 by Garrett Graff
Categories: Class Notes, Spring 2008

Blogging Part II
February 6th, 2008

Obama’s 28 Million Online – Obama raised over 32 million in January alone, he has 170,000 new online donors.  This type of grassroots fundraising has been extremely successful; we may see traditional fundraising methods dying.  Hillary is getting her funds from big donors, and as we can see is not doing as well as Obama.  He is reaching out and receiving support from the “tail,” money is coming in organically; while Hillary is getting her support from the “head” We may see an end of big money donors.

Ex – Hart’s campaign died because the $ that they were raising was just not coming in fast enough to continue fueling the campaign. If Obama is the Democratic Candidate, it will be because of his fundraising

Barak Obama Music Video – voter generated after Hew Hampshire Primary, had 1.8 million views, this video speaks to a generation that understands the imagery used –Jesse Jackson…etc
Average online viewer is 39 years old
Average blogger is in their mid 40’s
2008 will be remembered by the way voter’s content has changed the campaign and changed the way money is being raised.  In 2004 online video didn’t exist
When we look back on this election we will see ordinary people who have had great influence outside the normal campaign infrastructure.

Challenge is that the there is no control over the content supporting a candidate, and when you tell people that they cant do something it fuels online content!

Ex –Howard Dean’s campaign –fumbled on Meet the Press, got dismissed as a candidate…but then money started coming in via his website people wanting to support him for having a different opinion.

4.  News:

There is an article in the New Yorker from October about the Long Tail and Classical music, how it has been saved online.  The onezies and twozies add up!

Data Mining – is the principle of sorting through large amounts of data and picking out relevant information.  There are companies that look at consumer data to find pockets.

Ex –the Bush campaign took this to whole new level –micro-campaigning, sending information out to a highly targeted group of individuals.

The Truth Laid Bear –how to find out if a blog is a respectable blog.  Tracks how many blogs link to a given blog.  Categories range from:
Higher Being category –has the most popular blogs
Insignificant Microbes –the least read blogs
Good example of the Long Tail: there are millions and million of blogs that never get visited or seen…in the tail.

Sitemeter – A way you can track how many people visit your blog.  You can use this to see if you go from insignificant to a higher being!

Other Blogging Platforms:  Type Pad, Moveable Type, and Blogger, which is owned by Google

5.  Non-traditional types of blogging…both relatively new movements

Micro Blogging – Twitter is an example of micro blogging, this is a site that was launched about a year ago at a tech conference.  It is cell phone based blogging.  Very much like SMS – you have 140 characters to reply with, you can blog from your cell phone, it’s easy and fast.  On twitter you can sign up and follow other friends, colleagues, etc.

Twit –is the term for what you are sending –“Sent a twit”

2 Other microblogging platforms are:  Jaiku and Pownce

People use microblogging to get information in real time, while they are happening –so in minutes they can make a decision…it’s like a big corkboard.

Steve Rubel – uses Twitter all the time, his blog Micropersuasion is one we should start reading,  he basically invented online marketing.

T-logs – Tumblelog is a mishmash multimedia of blogs, it’s not text heavy, it is more image-based and video-based.  It has a traditional format of a blog.  Example of a big platform for this – Tumblr, David Karp came up with Tumbler.  Ex of a Tumbler Blog is Julia Allison’s tumbler blog.

Blogging is moving toward these 2 categories – tlogs and microblogging; we will start to see more and more of these.

WordPress is not really made for images; Tumblr is a multi-media platform first.

6.  Lecture:  Bringing blogging back around to a quasi conclusion.

Challenges – We have come to a point where mass media is splintering –for the first time we are not all reading the same news, we are choosing to get media in different ways.  Don’t underestimate the power that iphones and TVO will have on media.  The time shifting, and what this does to a culture that use to all watch TV at the same time.

You now don’t have to catch the program on TV; this is a real fundamental change in how we consume media.

There is a wealth of new voices being introduced

Jim Fallows: This is changing public discourse –there are no truths.

We are getting educated at very different levels, for example the voters for Kerry got there information through different mediums than voters for Bush.  Challenges for marketers are that people are being misinformed

Two programs that the “most educated” watch today –Colbert Report and Jon Stewart.

Journalism brought this on itself – strived to deliver both sides of the story all the time, staying neutral, not taking a position on what was write or wrong.  A fundamental avocation of a true challenge –He said vs. She said Journalism.
Who knows where the truth lies – this has given rise to blogging, finding the truth.  And media was not doing enough of this.

Today we see newspapers cutting their staffs. CBS was a world wide network – but over the course of the 90’s gave it up – Garrett argues that they’d be better off if they would have kept opening foreign bureaus instead of paying KCouric’s salary. CBS had 11 foreign bureaus –not 1 correspondent based permanently in the Muslim world.
NBC – ll countries
CNN – 26 oversees bureaus
Washington Post – has 1 reporter that covers India, 2 for China, 2 for Africa…

That is the footprint of the past, 1 reporter for every billion of people.  A lot is being missed.
Ex -1989, there were 3 networks that spent 4000 minutes on foreign news
By 2000, there were 1300 minutes -1 minute per network per night in the US
By 2005 –post 911, mid Iraq war –CBS was in the lead at 894 minutes of foreign news 2.5 minutes per night –just on this station, ABC didn’t even make 2 minutes

People are not seeing what they want, so they are going out and finding it themselves.
Warnewsradio – college students at Swarthmore – thought the news was doing a bad job of covering the war in Iraq – went out found phone directory, called Iraqi citizens – did a better job reporting on the war then mainstream media – they had no reporting background.

People are no longer content with “He Said vs. She Said” news –they want facts, want to be education and want better media.

It is easy now for people to seek out the media that they agree with – you don’t have to be confronted with media you don’t like.

With media being filtered through prisms, separate realities of how people consume the media…How as marketers do you get the consumers the real facts to be educated?

Notes: Digital Literacy 101

Posted February 12, 2008 by Garrett Graff
Categories: Class Notes, Spring 2008

Digital Literacy 101
January 30, 2008

Del.icio.us Tips
• Do not put commas after Tag entry – only a space
• Do use existing Tags when possible to eliminate 17 variations of same word
TO DO: Post 2 articles weekly with your name as one of the Tags

How to write your email so as not to get caught in spam net:
YourName (SPACE) At (SPACE) YourDomain (SPACE) Dot (SPACE) Com
i.e.: GMG at Georgetown Dot Edu

On Blogs:
#1 Rule about blogs – There Are No Rules!
• There is a right way to write a thesis paper, not so for blogs.
• If you’re not blogging for business using alter ego can be fun.
• To find your ‘natural’ voice – blog a lot. Really, a lot.
• Getting past inhibitions will differ for everyone – to get past your blog a lot.
• No rules on ‘right’ way to blog for class topics
• GG will let you know if you’re “wildly out of line.”• Be creative – YouTube is ok response to a class topic.
• Central Theme to any blog is the writer’s perspective/point.
• Hopefully blogging will make you a better communicator.

Sites mentioned tonight:
Slashdot – News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters.
Atrios is Duncan Black (Left)
Little Green Footballs – Charles Johnson (Right)
Matthew Yglesias at The Atlantic (Left)
My DD (Direct Democracy)
Fire Dog Lake
The Huffington Post
Technorati
Pollster
Flickr – photo sharing site
Scobleizer – Robert Scoble of Naked Conversations
Feedburner
Rocket Boom
Ask a Ninja
Webb Alert
Daily Kos – Founder is Markos Moulitsas Zúniga (Left)

Meta Data – the data about data that helps categorize data.

Think book at Library of Congress – all the pieces of data used to file that book are Meta Data.

Taxonomy – is the practice and science of classification. The Dewey Decimal System used to categorize and file books is a taxonomy. This system does not work on the web.

Folksonomy – Folksonomy is what we do when we tag our entries on Del.icio.us. (also known as collaborative tagging, social classification, social indexing, social tagging, and other names) is the practice and method of collaboratively creating and managing tags to annotate and categorize content. In contrast to traditional subject indexing, metadata is not only generated by experts but also by creators and consumers of the content. Usually, freely chosen keywords are used instead of a controlled vocabulary (Wikipedia).

Wikipedia – the geekier the topic the more reliable the info, not so for non-geek entries.

The Semantic Web – an direction the Web may take which would replace Folksonomy with Taxonomy. This could be possible topic for Omni Class later in semester.

Tags – a label (or graffiti). Big part of Web 2.0 to brings order to wildness of blogs. Technorati is driving the tag movement online, enter a tag on their site and get results. The New York Times uses tons of tags in their blogs. Every time the same tag is used it gets bigger in the ‘Tag Cloud’. Good Meta Data Tags on your blog will increase your presence on the Web.

Flickr – photo sharing site where every photo has Meta Data. Not only what you post/tag but built in data from camera or cell phone.

RSS – Really Simple Syndication – created by Dave Winer who gave it to Harvard Law School. Think press clippings or Google Alerts – RSS is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines or podcasts (Wikipedia). Sign up for RSS and never have to check favorite sites, blogs & podcasts (including Flickr!) – automatically come to you.

Google Reader – best choice for RSS feeds. A Web-based news/feed reader capable of reading Atom and RSS feeds online or offline. It was released by Google on October 7, 2005. (Wikipedia)

Feedburner – Allows weblog owners and podcasters the ability to manage their RSS feeds and track usage of their subscribers.

TO DO: Set up RSS feeds to Google Reader for the web sites listed on the syllabus:
• Jeff Jarvis’s BuzzMachine
• Steve Rubel’s MicroPersuasion
• Jay Rosen’s PressThink
TechPresident
Read/Write Web
TechCrunch
• Rebecca MacKinnon’s RConversation
BoingBoing

Who Knew? – Robert Scoble of Naked Conversations is famous for reading a ton of RSS feeds daily and synthesizing on his web site. Link to his site and connect to the world!

Google: Veni, Vidi, Vici

Posted February 7, 2008 by Garrett Graff
Categories: Spring 2008

Hope you’re all Twittering up a storm at your desks this morning. Here are the two reports I mentioned in class about news consumption and beliefs: Bush/Kerry voters (PDF) and Pew’s news consumption study.

We’re going to spend all of next week’s class looking at Google, which has become the most powerful media company the world has ever seen.  It’s so huge that the presidential candidates are beating a path to its door (as are desperate authors like myself). Your assignment for the week’s blog: Should we be afraid of Google?

As you read Battelle, think about what he means search as a database of intentions. What impact does this have for better and worse? In class next week, we’ll watch a video about Googlezon, predicting one possible future.

Make sure to also check out this Economist article, this piece by Google about why it remembers searches, some Google tips and tricks, this explanation of page rank, and this funny story of Ted Leonsis and how he seized his own page ranking.

Simply Google puts all of the various parts of Google on a single page—it’s an impressive representation—and Scoble, whom we discussed last night and the author of NC, says there’s DOG afoot! Could Google end up owning the internet? Could sites like del.icio.us do search better? Yahoo!, the perennial also-ran in search, has been expanding too, although as you probably saw Microsoft may end up owning Google. Will Google kill Wikipedia? Will it own the wireless arena? Google today encompasses some huge brands, like Blogger we mentioned last night and YouTube, so here’s some YouTube history for you. Here’s a Google cheat sheet.

GoogleEarth and GoogleMaps are incredible products, putting resources that in our lifetimes once belonged only to the wealthiest and most advanced governments in the hands of anyone. Here’s some fun stuff about them. Have you looked for your house in GoogleMap? I know if you go to my address, you can see my car sitting in the driveway.

Want some alternatives to Google? Try this resource for 100 other search engines or use Googlonymous. Why do alternatives matter? Because it turns out that what you find depends very much on where you search!

Also, try to send me an email this week about how class is going for you. I’ve thrown a lot at you in the last two weeks—do you feel like you understand the material? Are we covering too much in class? Too little? Am I talking too much? What do you need from me to be able to do better and learn more? I want to make sure that you all are equipped at the end of the class to navigate the digital world and so if we need to spend another week on blogging, online communication and PR tips, etc., we certainly can do that.

Note Takers

Posted February 6, 2008 by Garrett Graff
Categories: Spring 2008

Congratulations! You’ve been selected to be one of MPPR850’s prestigious group of class note takers. Here’s the run-down:

Blogging, Part II (Feb. 6): Colleen

Google (Feb. 13): Ursula

Social Media I (Feb. 20): Najja

Social Media II (Feb 27): Diana

MMOGs (March 12): Lisa

Wikipedia (March 19): Afgan

OmniClass (March 26): Kristen

Overseas (April 2): Anne

War.com (April 9): Lilyanne

Politics I (April 16): Areej

Politics II (April 23): Gregg

Alternates: Sheriece, Rosie, Jenny, and Justin.

Not currently scheduled: Paul, Rebecca, Alan, Elizabeth, Jill, and Amber

Blogging 101, Part I

Posted January 31, 2008 by Garrett Graff
Categories: Spring 2008

First some links from last night: Metadata and tags, folks and tax, RSS (more) and Technorati. Here’s a good Seth Godin blog post on Bobcasting too. You should load Seth’s blog into your RSS reader if you haven’t already. He writes one of the best marketing blogs out there.

Also, for next week’s class I want you to watch some vlogs (video blogs) and listen to some podcasts. Here are the links to TWiT, Rocketboom, Webb Alert, and Ask a Ninja. Feel free to explore and see some other vlogs and podcasts.

If you have iTunes on your computer, the best place to find podcasts is in the iTunes store. You can download individual podcasts or subscribe. You can get a ton of your favorite NPR shows (This American Life, Day by Day, Diane Rehm, etc.), listen to speeches, and even download the Sunday talk shows, among the many professional podcasts. More fun, though, are the random podcasts.

For your blog entry this week, talk some about your reaction to Chris Anderson’s idea of The Long Tail and whether you’ve found yourself exploring new areas in the internet’s long tail. Also, write a paragraph about exploring podcasts and what you chose to listen to.

Next week in class, we’ll be talking more about what makes a good blog and some of the various formats blogs have taken. Here are the blogging tips from last week’s class that I didn’t post, as well as some other tips here, here, and here.

Lastly, I think I’m still missing blogs from Sheriece, Lilyanne, Justin, and Diana. Please email me with your blogs as soon as you can.

Notes from Class 2

Posted January 30, 2008 by Garrett Graff
Categories: Class Notes, Spring 2008

Thanks to Shari for tackling the first week of notes.

Social Media and the Digital Disruption – Blogging 101

Overview

1. Setting up a blog
2. Buying a domain name
3. Using our blogs
4. Using Del.icio.us

Important Website Information

1. Our Del.icio.us site is

Del.icio.us/mppr850

2. Always tag out your Del.icio.us links with your name or you will not get class credit.

Due Next Week

1. The first reading blog on Naked Conversations
2. Two Del.icio.us links
3. Read Chapters 10-13 in Naked Conversations
4. You DO NOT have to read Essential Blogging

A Quick Word from Garrett

There is work involved in the class and if you do it you’ll do fine. The workload will be manageable. Let Prof. Graff know if you’re not having fun. Each week a new member of the class will take notes. Email the notes to Prof. Graff and he will post it on the blog. Thursdays there will be a blog from Prof. Graff and notes recapping the class. Make sure that you have the corrected syllabus. If there is an email aside from Georgetown one let Prof. Graff know. Firefox is a really great browser and you really should be using it.

The Cluetrain Manifesto in a nutshell

Be yourself online. It seems simple enough but at the time of its conception it was seen as upending an entire industry.

Business, marketing, pr and advertising have thought about the market backwards. It’s about the people who are buying or using your product not about the company selling it. They felt that they didn’t need us but we needed them. In actuality it’s the reverse since it’s about the consumers and the products that they require. Companies must be willing to talk and share. Transparency is important between consumers and industry. Throughout the class this will be a running theme.

Jay Rosen NYU prof. and the founder of the press think blog. One of the biggest differences between mainstream media and “we the media” is the difference that web 2.0 comes out of the “gift economy” rather than the market economy (p 29 of We the Media). Content sharers think of what they do as a gift to the larger community. When people give them attention that is a gift that they are getting back from the community, (their thank you note). Since there is so much information out there if someone pays attention to what you have to say it’s a gift of attention. To keep someone coming back your site you must do what is necessary to keep the trust. In turn you expect the community to hold up their end of the bargain by not misrepresenting itself

The web is not for micromanaging.

It is a raw and crazy wide open playing field. If you try to micromanage you won’t have much luck. People want to feel like they’re talking to the guy in charge not the one that was handed the task of talking to the public or the press. It’s a huge shift in the former way of thinking.

Definition of Blog

These started out as web blogs. It started in the early 90s by Justin Hall who was attending Swarthmore at the time. He is considered the first blogger. A Blog is a casual journal or diary published on the web in reverse chronological order. There are lots of variations

Moblogging is blogging from a celli phone
Microblogging is short blogs no more than 160 characters (the limit of a cell phone text message)
Vlogging is video blogging
Technorati a search engine for blogs says it tracks 112 million blogs

Open diary was the first to incorporate reader commentary.

2001 and 2002 is when blogging really exploded. 2002 is when blogging first erupted onto media when Trent Lott made alleged racists comments involving Strom Thurman.

Daily Kos founded by Markos Moulitsas Zuniga has grown to be the largest blog on representing the left wing. Its daily readership is 664,000 per day roughly equal to the weekday circulation of the New York Post. Only (very roughly) 2000 blogs get more than 1000 visits a day. Very few blogs get meaningful traffic but the blogs at the top have a huge readership. Not the same amount as the evening news or American Idol numbers but still large numbers.

What you might see on a blog

You can use a permalink to reach a specific post on the blog. People can write mini blogs inside of the main blog. A blog roll gives other blogs that you recommend. The best blogs will begin to look like the best media sites and visa versa. The lines are blurring every day.

How to set up your blog

1. Go to WordPress.com
2. Hit the sign up now button
3. Create a user name and password
4. Go to create a blog
5, On the next page set your blog domain, which will appear at the top of your blog. You will not be able to change your blog domain name so get it right to first time. The other information can be changed. When you’re done setting up your blog you can start posting. Just go to your blog by typing in

1. Go to (Your domain name).wordpress.com
2. Click on site admin. on the lower right hand side of the page
3. Click on write a post
4. You can select a topic for your post by creating one on the right hand side of the page
5. You can create a link by double clicking on a word and pressing the link button, spell check and such. Just check out the buttons on the top. Underneath you’ll see that you can upload files.
6. If you go to dashboard and then posts you can change or delete your posts.
7. To get the correct time of day for your posts go to options and type in -5 for time.

Purchasing a domain name

1. Go to godaddy.com
2. Pick a domain name that isn’t in use
3. Do not put down your real email or you will get junk email. You can use Garrett’s fake email if you’d like. Use a fake address as well. Try to cycle through without paying extra money. They’ll be lots of options to toss your dollars away.

There are lots of places to purchase domain names. You can be sued in whatever country your domain is registered. So you might want to stick with the U.S. You can purchase your own name for safety. For safety you might also want to get .com, .net and .org of your domain name. Next week we’ll attach our blogs to our domains.

IP is internet protocol. Every computer has a different IP address and every website is portrayed by a series of numbers. The lettered blog doesn’t really exist it’s on a server somewhere and you forward the letters to a registered set of numbers.

Del.icio.us

Del.icio.us lets you share links with other people and categorize them by yourself. By using tags you can go back to these sites when you’d like to in the future.

To post

1. Go to Del.icio.us/mppr850
2. The user name is
MPPR850
3. The password is
SCS202
4. Hit post and Add the url and describe it in notes make sure to add your name and key words to find it again. When you’re done hit the save button.

How To Forward A Domain

Posted January 23, 2008 by Garrett Graff
Categories: Spring 2008

Several of you asked tonight about forwarding your domain name, which we didn’t get to in the chaos of setting up the blogs. Here’s how to get yourself going. Gather the following pieces of information before you begin: Your blog’s address on WordPress (should be http://yourblognamehere.wordpress.com), your customer ID for GoDaddy.com, and the name of the domain you bought in class last week.

Then begin:

(1) Login to your account at GoDaddy.com.

(2) Go the the “Domain” menu in the upper left, click on it, then select from the drop-down menu “My Domains.”

(3) Check the box next to your domain name and then on the toolbar above select the green arrow that says “Forward.”

(4) Under the “Fowarding” menu, select “Enabled” and then enter your WordPress address in the “Forward To” field (make sure to include the http:// part), and select “302 Moved Temporarily.” Click OK.

(5) Click OK on the next screen.

(6) Congratulations, you’re all done.

Make sure to email me with the address of your blog so the rest of the class and I can start following along. Next class we’ll cover blogging tips and how to write a good blog.

If you’re utterly lost, don’t worry. We can troubleshoot in class next week if people have problems.

Welcome to the Wild World Web

Posted January 23, 2008 by Garrett Graff
Categories: Spring 2008

Congratulations to everyone tonight for setting up a blog! You’re all journalists now, believe it or not. That’s all it took.I know I threw an incredible amount of information at all of you in a short period of time (and we had lots more we didn’t get to) and I promise that future weeks won’t be so intense. We’ll cover most of the content that I skipped tonight next week in class as we focus more on the craft of blogging.

For next week, you have a boatload to do:

1) Email me the link to your blog so I can start reading and can add you to the class blogroll so you can start reading each other. A reminder that each week’s blog posts are “due” by 10 p.m. on Tuesday the day before class to give me time to read them and choose some points for in-class discussion.

2) You’ll find in the column to the left, by the blogroll, the link to the class del.icio.us feed as well as some Georgetown resources. Make sure you start reading some blogs this week and start posting items—almost anything could be relevant on the del.icio.us feed, from news articles to YouTube videos to favorite podcasts. And don’t forget to to tag items with your name so you get credit for them. You can go either to the website to post or you can install the browser buttons. I recommend the latter and, as I said earlier night, I also recommend switching to Firefox as your browser if you don’t currently use it.

3) Read Scoble—he has some great background on the web and blogging. Skip the Doctorow reading for this week.

4) Get blogging! Read that post on blogging tips and the related articles that I posted in the del.icio.us feed and then take your new blog out for a spin and kick the tires a bit. I expect a lot of this is going to be difficult at first, so feel free to ask lots of questions via email or give a call. Next week we’ll spend a lot of the class on blogging tips, voice, tone, and what makes a good blog entry, and Scoble has tons of tips too. Also keep thinking back to Gillmor and the Cluetrain Manifesto, which along with the “Long Tail” (we’ll get to that soon) will be the three foundational texts of the class.

I promise that future weeks won’t include as much reading but we have to cover these important texts to establish the base on which to build the rest of the semester. As we used as a rallying cry on the Dean campaign, “To the blogs!”

(P.S. As you’re reading about blogs here and there over the coming week, think about what I purposefully did wrong in this entry that’s a blogging no-no. A bonus point next week to whomever can figure it out.)

D-Day and H-Hour

Posted January 17, 2008 by Garrett Graff
Categories: Uncategorized

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.