Laboratory Life: Seeking input from YOU on course design

So I’m redesigning a course I’ve taught a few times now (CMNS 253, which I’m teaching right now, too) to transform it from a lecture/tutorial format that uses an all-in-one wiki/blog/CMS (Howard Rheingold’s Social Media Classroom build of Drupal) into, well, a lecture/lab course in writing for social, mobile and pervasive media (using Mediawiki, WordPress, Twitter, Digg, and a whole ecosystem of other open-platform mobile and social media tools).

The 2 hour lectures still follow the same format, tracing the history of analog and digital communications media as told by Wade Rowland in Spirit of the Web. However, what’s new is the lab component: 1 hour following the lecture every week is a workshop in social media literacies and tools, culminating in (1) an individually written research paper in the form of a crowdsource-mediated blog post and (2) a citizen journalism exercise/team multimedia project.

I’m interested in your input, so I’ve included a draft of the syllabus below. Please comment on this post if you have any ideas or criticism. Some of it is more-or-less complete, while stuff toward the end of the thirteen weeks is a bit hazier as of now.

In particular, I’m wondering if there is room in here for things I haven’t yet included – web metrics and analytics, for one, but there are probably others. And I’m also open to suggestion as to whether the lectures should match each lab somehow in terms of theme (though I don’t think this is really warranted, as Rowland’s history stands on its own, and dramatically underlines the watershed represented by the Internet and social media in communications history.


CMNS 253 (W) J1, Spring 2010 – Draft Syllabus

Week 1 (Jan 5) Information, technology, new media, social software.

  • Read: Rowland, Prologue, Chapters 1, 2, 3. See Week 1 for details.
  • LAB: Introduction to the computer lab
    • Overview of Lab Assignments
    • Start a Blog, Get on the Wiki
    • Post a brief blog post about yourself, then post a link to it on the wiki.


Week 2 (Jan 12) The Telegraph. Theories of technology.

  • Read: Rowland, Chapters 4, 5, 6. Also, Kierkegaard’s The Present Age. See Week 2 for details.
  • LAB: Doing online research
    • Tools: Google Scholar, Google Books, EBSCO & library databases
    • Style: APA, blogging/linking conventions, attributing, Zotero, Endnote
    • How to identify and use a peer reviewed source
    • How and why to use non-peer reviewed sources
    • Choose a topic (you sill stay with this topic throughout the semester) from a list provided, OR choose one off-list by emailing me about it.
    • Exercise: find a scholarly article that is relevant to the topic you’ve chosen, post the APA-cited reference to it on your blog before next class (we will need you to read it before next class too, as you will be discussing it in next week’s lab).


Week 3 (Jan 19) The Telephone. Theories and critics of Information Society.

  • Read: Rowland, Chapters 7, 8, 9. Also, Howard Rheingold’s Disinformocracy, Rheingold’s encounter with Habermas and Kellner on Habermas. See Week 3 for details.
  • LAB: Searching and Social Bookmarking
    • Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon introduced. (We vote on which to use)
    • Search techniques (both push -twitter, friendfeed, etc. , or pull -google,yahoo,wikipedia)
    • Topic search to find a news article, blog, or other timely (academic or non-academic) source of relevance to your topic
    • Find at least 2 people who are experts on your topic who you can follow for timely topical updates
    • Create a social bookmark for the article you found. Establish a routine search for topical items. Everyday, do a news/bookmark/digg search. Also read your feeds (people, experts)


Week 4 (Jan 26) Radio. The Tetrad Protocol as a method.

Read: Rowland, Chapters 10, 11, 12. See Week 4 for details.
LAB: Microblogging (twittering), bouncing ideas around about topics.

Start a twitter account (link to it on our designated wiki page for this)
Find the people (experts) on twitter that you identified last week. Follow them and create a twitter list for your topic.
Update this list regularly, and post a link to it on the appropriate wiki page.
Tweet about something related to your topic. use a hash tag. reply to two other tweets (I will configure a twitter list for the class. You can reply to someone else in the class, or to one of your tweeps you’ve identified as a ‘knowledge broker” in your topic).


Week 5 (Feb 2) Radio as an Industry.

  • Read: Rowland, Chapters 13, 14, 15. See Week 5 for details.
  • LAB: Blogging.
    • Post a blog as a first draft for your Major Research paper, based on your research thus far. Include your two sources (at least one academic) found thus far. Be sure to cite in APA (including a references cited list) and link/attribute appropriately.
    • Comment constructively on 2 other students’ blog posts about social media.
  • Assignment: Major Research Paper draft


Week 6 (Feb 9) Television (and review of previous weeks).

  • Read: Rowland, Chapters 16, 17, 18. See Week 6 for details.
  • LAB: Collaborating on a Wiki
    • team forming, idea clustering (based on topics chosen) (teams will also work together on the video assignment later)
    • discuss and differentiate your ideas. identify your unique contribution (we can’t all write about “Facebook and surveillance”, for example – if more than one person is writing about something – try to work together to differentiate your individual topics)
  • Due: Major Research Paper draft. Give it to a partner for formal peer review.


Week 7 (Feb 23) Midterm exam

No reading assigned this week. No lecture/lab this week. 2 hour in class exam. See Week 7 for details.

Week 8 (March 2) Pre-history and history of computers

  • Read: Rowland, Chapters 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23. See Week 8 for details.
  • LAB: Exploring & Coordinating Online Syndication: RSS & APIs
  • Due: Major Research Paper draft – formal peer review – use form for review, communicate review privately to original writer (ccd to me).


Week 9 (March 9) Microchips, computers, and the Internet

  • Read: Rowland, Chapters 24, 25, 26, 27, 28. See Week 9 for details.
  • LAB: Exploring multimedia sources
  • Due: Major Research Paper (final draft). Post as a document (Word, Open Office, something that permits me to comment and edit) to your blog. Revise based on peer feedback.


Week 10 (March 16) Search, Social Media and the Real-Time Web

  • Read: Rowland, Chapters 29, 30, 31 and 32, and Jenkins’ “If it Doesn’t Spread It’s Dead” (part one). See Week 10 for details.
  • LAB: Mobilizing your social media
    • What’s in your phone/laptop?
    • Using SMS and MMS with social media
    • Using cameras, streaming media
    • Using location apps
    • Using the field: making use of free wi-fi, 3G, Bluetooth to communicate live (laptop or cel phone)
  • Assignment: for the final multimedia assignment, decide on a topic based on your teams’ individual research. Can you combine your topics or just use one (or two) of your individual studies to springboard into a multimedia project? Remember that you will decide on a local event (or create your own) that is useful to your research topic – a conference, barcamp, public event, political protest, or flashmob. Preferable to use one that’s already happening.


Week 11 (March 30) Copyright and its Digital Discontents

  • Read: Oswald’s “Plunderphonics”, Doctorow’s “The DRM Sausage Factory” and DeBeer’s “Respect and Reality are Keys to Reform” See Week 11 for details.
  • FIELD EXERCISE: Citizen Journalism and/or Flash Mob. We will cover a live event, or create one of our own and cover it, in teams we formed back in Week 6. we will decide on the location ahead of time, so the timing might not sync with lab time. in that case, we’ll cover the event (on a weekend or evening only that we decide as a team, or as a class if we all do the same thing, but regardless it will have to be something that happens in wek 10 or 11 in order to have enough time to edit footage down. I will compile an event calendar of things accessible via skytrain or bus that will be suitable), and instead use this time in the lab for editing/scripting as needed by the various teams of 5. post your footage to the wiki, blogs, and make it creative commons.
  • Assignment: In teams, and using the wiki, script/design your video or multimedia project. Remember that as we’re doing this around a live event, you need to decide what kinds of footage you’re likely to need:
    • interviews – with whom, and using what questions? script your interviews ahead of time, get model release forms and informed consent forms signed first, on location
    • b-roll – establishing shots, ambient footage. looks good behind voice-overs, can be used for montage, etc.
    • event footage. when we get closer to the event, spec out the setting for: lighting, probable noise, angles, probably sites where the action will be, where the audience will be, where signage is, etc.


Week 12 (April 6) The Mobile Web and Pervasive Computing

  • Read: Castells et al, The Mobile Communication Society (Chapters 6 and 7). See Week 12 for details.
  • LAB: editing, remixing, mashing
  • Assignment: Edit your video or multimedia project.


Week 13 (April 13) Student Video Presentation Day

  • No assigned readings. See Week 13 for details.
  • Hand in video/multimedia project via this wiki the night before (April 12), and bring a hard copy to class as a backup.
  • Screening of student multimedia projects in Lecture.

What 2009 Wireless Market Forecasts Lead Me To Think

OK, so I’m reading this thing in RCR, trying to suss out whether I should stay on a career path in the mobile/wireless industry, and, reading past the sway from optimism to skepticism about its future, I come to this sentence: “There is only one Internet and its users do not accept boundaries imposed by devices or networks.”

I wonder how much these industry reports cost. This insight is not terribly difficult to surmise. Or maybe I should hit Berg up for a job? Or Jupiter? Pew? I’m well-versed in SPSS, too, people! 😉

But I’m becoming less certain whether I’m giving too much away for free here, or if other folks are making money by lifting what’s being made freely available. Not just me, but all over blogs and twits. In a time of economic uncertainty, is it prudent that we marginal bloggers who work hard as amateur analysts tighten our lips until the chequebook makes its appearance?

I also wonder if any of this is related to the spike in plagiarism in university studies of late? Maybe the blogosphere is now training folks to indulge in and tolerate taking credit for other people’s work? Maybe we’re graduating more students who think nothing of buying fake degrees, buying off profs for better grades (I know of one instance where this was proffered but refused), or simply buying papers to pass their classes (I see this every semester I teach)? In an era of such blatant disregard for academic honesty, what’s a little copy/paste in one term paper, anyway? I mean, tenured profs famously get away with it, not to mention Prime Ministers. With a major “credit crunch” lie being perpetrated, bilking American taxpayers out of (potentially) trillions, it would seem that lying is the way of the world.

Given this environment of all-around deceit, who am I to call it? Just some cranky PhD student trying to figure out how to pay down a student loan while raising a child…

OK. Forget Berg, and forget Pew. Now I’m seriously thinking of ditching this blog to become a children’s entertainer…The Wiggles are amazingly financially solvent, make children all around the world happy, and represent very positive male role models – they sing, dance, wear bright colours, and make friends with all sorts of animals that also sing. A dream job, if you ask me!

Simulacre.ca Aggregation Poll

Not one to miss an opportunity to shamelessly promote my own nascent aggregation site (nor to miss demoing out-of-the-box modules of Drupal simultaneously), I bring you a poll in which you can vote to help determine the balance of content for said aggregation site. So if you’re curious about bands, then vote for bands. If you want info about tech and mobile news, then vote for that, etc. It’s totally unscientific, but I promise I’ll take the votes into consideration (though I must, in the interest of dispassionate judgment, triangulate this voter data with hard stats like Pageviews and visits as against keywords, as against categories, and so forth. & free mp3 nokia ringtones,1100 free nokia ringtones tracfone,free nokia ringtonescash until payday loanadvance? cash loan online payday ?payday loan cash advance loanadvance america cashadvance advance america cashadvance cash loan online,cash advance loan online,advance cash fast loan onlinefirst american cash advance1000 advance cash no fax,cash advance no fax required,advance cash fax no1000 advance cash faxing no,no faxing savings account cash advance,advance cash faxing nono fax cash advance,advance cash fax no payday,advance cash fax georgia nocash til payday advance,payday cash advance,advance cash payday ringtoneadvance cash settlement,advance cash chicago settlement,pre settlement cash advanceloan oneclickcash paydaydueces wild video pokerjacks or better video pokerplay free online slots game,free on line slots game,slots gamefree online video pokerplay bingo onlinefree online slots game,free slots,free download slotsblackjack softwarevideo poker gamesvideo poker machinesplay roulette online888 black jackplay casino roulette,casino roulette,casino roulette downloadlearn to play crapsblackjack card gameonline casino promotioncasino great online game,online casino game,casino download gambling game onlinegambling casino online bonusinternet casino craps,internet casino software,internet casinocasino gambling,online casino gambling site,free online casino gamblingcasino link online suggestfree casino card gameplay free slots gamebest internet casinoplaying video pokerfree online casino craps,free craps,free online crapsbest craps gamecasino video pokerfree internet casinoplay black jack,black jack money play,black jack online playrules of crapsdownload casino gamedownload casino game,free casino game on line,casino gamegame casino online slots,online slots,online slots gamefree online casino gambling,online casino gambling,online casino online gamblingcasino free slots download,free no download casino,casino downloadno deposit bonus online casino,no deposit casino bonus,free no deposit sign up bonus casino if there’s an uproar I might be inclined to add things to the ballot (“more pictures”, “more video”, yada yada yada…).

Up In Ur Transient Droopal. With Announcements.

I’ve finally taken the plunge into Drupal on the label/company page. I haven’t had much need for a main company URL or site, so I’m going to use it as a ‘social media’ (is there such thing as an ‘antisocial’ medium?) sandbox – essentially an experiment in multiple feed aggregation and integration of mobile generated media. I’ll be adding modules over time, and also likely changing the design on a regular basis, when the mood strikes me.

MUSE3, public displays, NV08 & Fusion recap

MUSE3 CMNS planning whiteboardI’m chin-deep in MUSE3 planning (excuse the outdated site at them thar preceding link – that’s part of what I’m working on), gearing up for our Showcase Proposal Forum this Friday (check back on Friday morning with that link for the webcast), adjusting my Web 2 specs after all the Northern Voice interaction last weekend, reading about commercial applications** for live public displays, listening back and forth between Bob Dylan, M.I.A. and Wire, trying to think when I’ll get time to get back at the comps.

**Akoo International sees much commercial potential in growing its mVenue network of interactive public displays. This is quite similar to MUSE3’s plans, with the caveat that we are also looking to create live public displays as just that – public digital space, not more sites for strictly commercial exchanges to happen in public**

Northern Voice was, as usual, great for chatting and renewing/starting acquaintanceships that make sense in the fuzzy, biz/social tech scene in Vancouver – which is more and more resembling an indie music scene, just with more computers in it. The content was more engrossing for me than last year, esp Alan Levine’s 50 Ways to Tell a Web 2.0 Story. While I shouldn’t complain (I did have a slot to present my research [PDF download], after all, for which I’m very grateful and honoured to be selected!) there were times in a few sessions when I felt a bit out-barked. The emphasis on adhocracy in the structure of some sessions tends to make shouting out of turn the way to be heard. More than once this happened, and I imagine others in attendance (who might’ve had valuable comments to make) may have also felt left out of some discussions. Anyway, that’s my .02 cents on how to improve the loose moose dimension of NV (can I get a mod please!), which in every other regard was fun, lively and highly informative.

I also made some interesting contacts after presenting on my mobile research last week at New Media BC’s Fusion Digital Venture Forum, which was a great prelude to NV. Thanks to Kelly, Adam and the rest at NMBC for putting me on the bill at the last minute, and to the audience for tolerating my wiggy tech.

Northern Voice 2008 Day Two – accreted notes

13:30-14:10

Alan Levine. cogdogblog. voicethread. the internet is really big.

Lost in Vancouver

really hilar cinderella story told through PPT.

http://cogdogroo.wikispaces.com/StoryTools

jumpcut=imovie in a web browser

googlemaps api with Flickr, blabberize.com

———

14:15-15:00 –

Kris Krüg and Alex Waterhouse Hayward. “The Other Side of Two Dimensions”

lots of pictures. thinking in 3D is what we do with digital photography and not with analog?

Kris: what are we losing?

Walter Benjamin is sadly not present (e.g., these same arguments were leveled at photography when it emerged, versus painting). the debates runneth under?

———-

15:30-16:00

Susie Gardner – widgets

gawd the wi-fi sux.

slick Dilbert widget.

yeah I’m done buggering around with my prez (many fuzzy pics due to compression needs – some content revised from Nokia presentation last Fall, but much more added in).

Last.fm widgets. How to put it in blogger.

etsy – building widgets. you can sell things

librarything.

polls and surveys. polldaddy.com. thisnext.com

Northern Voice 2008 – accreted notes

SkylightsRough notes from today’s conference…

13:30-14:00: An afternoon discussion with a Vancouver City Planner, a rep from mag.no.lia, some guy from Portland, and many others.
the challenges for cities=adopting social media for public participation initiatives.

how do people get something back? more than just “thanks for coming”. stewardship is important. but how do we get people unplugged and back in the community, actively participating.

Irwin: it’s a conservative time, politically. lockdown mentality within city staff and bureaucracy.

___________

laptop labyrinth14:00-14:30 – TransitCamp: sign the letter. translink is not open. we want open data.

______

14:30-15:00

http://mobile.shoeco.biz. How do people learn on mobiles? Awesome. Low turnout, however.

shoeco is a fictional shoe store mobsite. how would such a propietor learn how to use it? using wordpress with mobiles. it works.

simple wordpress widget.where can I d/l it?

lappy room onlymy post didn’t work.

interfaces are “brutal”

how do we condense knowledge into mobile-sized pieces? that’s what he’s seeking to solve here. – how would i do that “while i’m driving along”?

——–

15:30-16:00: Megan Cole’s Social Media

couldn’t hear anything, froze almost to death

——-

freezing to death

Chris Heurer and Roland Tanglao on mobile blogging

mobile blogging=video, audio, multimedia blogging

what tool is appropriate for what circumstance?

I asked: why the candid sharing of media? why not work with a script? Roland thinks it’s a difference btw old/new paradigms. I’m not so sure.

publicity/privacy issues act as a mediating membrane of sorts.

Irwin

Scott & Roland

Kate in Terminal

Interesting Textures

I bring this in from my LJ – which is sadly even more out-of-use than this blog.

Dupobs got sampled for a PSA for a local noise show that apparently never plays our music. Cool! Listen to it here. It’s clearly “Introducing Le Barf Ball“, from our Shindig show last Autumn.

The new A Spectre Is Haunting Europe LP Embers is almost almost done. Just 4 more songs need vocals added to them, and then it’s mixdown time. I so want to share, but have vowed to myself not until it’s finished. I can’t believe it’s been almost two years in the making.

On that note, we’re still fixated on the donation model of record releasing, even in this post-In Rainbows era. So if you want vinyl, you’ll have to donate to the label’s paypal account using the button below. Otherwise, it will be available for free download anyway. That’s inescapable. But no CD, barring a massive petition from the people.


I will say this: baby Isabel will be featured somewhere on it. It’s amazing what a 7.5 month old girl can do with her pipes. Wow.

The PhD – the comprehensive exams

So I’m diving straight into my comprehensives now. I’m building lists and checking them twice (and more). While building these reading lists is in many ways a very personal journey, I’ve decided to blog about the process so that I might get feedback from unexpected locales, harnessing the “wisdom of crowds” (while simultaneously, in both comp areas, critiquing how such “wisdom” is in fact problematic). I also hope that documenting the process can help others through it. I won’t be posting my full notes (who’d read them?), but I will share my definitional essays, my questions and answers, and an account of process along the way. I’ve written up preliminary préces of my two exam areas below.

Area 1. Science and Technology Studies. This will involve SCOT, ANT and other critical theories, but it will also dovetail through Philosophy of Technology (I’m thinking Heidegger through Marcuse and Feenberg, and also including Ellul and others, perhaps a few off the beaten track – we’ll see). I want to ask questions through this literature about the relationship of technology, power and social organization/social change. There are also some intriguing connections with Area 2 (below) via Hennion/Latour (their work on culture industries), and, according to one of my advisors, Habermas’ Public Sphere as well as Lazarsfeld.

Area 2. Culture Industries/Sociology of (The) Art(s). Starting with Hesmondhalgh’s (2002) synthesis of political economy of media studies with cultural studies and other approaches to the sociology of art, I plan to broaden this area out to include American and Continental approaches to the study of cultural/creative industries. This will likely include a range of approaches, including Bourdieu (various), Becker (various), and DeNora’s more recent work, but this area is still under development. There are important connections to literature on occupations (Balfe, Latouche) organizational studies (Throsby, Sacco, Menger), and of course The Frankfurts. Essentially, as I told one of my advisors this morning, I want to survey the body of work that theorizes culture industries, without limiting myself to a particular tradition (as approaches vary broadly). Keep in mind that I wish to keep this area current, as well, and as such I will need to make room for Eglash’s (and others’) work on appropriation, as well as Jenkins’ (and others’) work on fan culture. Sprawling enough? It makes sense to me.

My advisors, colleagues and friends (as well as the “social web” hoi polloi) can feel free to jump in any time. Like you have any time.

Tapes and Tapes

The A List

The image above depicts the “A List”: tapes that are clearly labelled and known to have original music on them. There are 100 more on the “B List”, which are mislabelled but suspected to contain original works (e.g., they were recorded atop prior recordings on the blank tapes, but never properly re-labelled). There are yet 200 more tapes which are not labelled at all, and many of which might not even be mine.

For those just tuning in, this is the beginning of a massive personal digital archiving project I’m undertaking, and which I’m promising to blog about as much as I can. The oldest tape I’ve found so far is from 1987, but I’m certain there are older ones lurking in a box somewhere.

I’ve come up against a few boggles already, in deciding how to prioritize things. First, multiple media. I’ve got floppy disks with writing on them (yes, even the big “floppy” floppy disks – which contain early university papers and oodles of lyrics, poems, and fiction). I’ve got Hi-8 tapes with all manner of film school and ethnographic projects from my undergrad on them, including, probably some early music videos and short films I’ve made along the way. I’ve got VHS tapes of band performances (though I’m missing some very crucial ones of List Of Mrs Arson that I’m mourning the loss of). Then there’s old CDRs that need ripping, and then the tapes and tapes and tapes. I’m prioritizing tapes because they contain the most valued material (the music), and are the most fragile due to their age (20+ years).

Then there is the problem of how to blog this process. I don’t have much interest in putting everything up online, and doing so would be untenable. I need to build a narrative, which can obfuscate as much history as it can illuminate.

And this brings me to a consideration of the scope of the project, which augments my perplexion even further. Some projects I was only slightly involved in – do I include those and thereby prioritize the biographical dimensions of this endeavor? How will former collaborators respond to my requests to make everything public, noncommercial, attribution only, sharealike, copyleft? How will these considerations limit the project? And should I just ignore these concerns altogether and let the chips fall where they may?

And then there are the questions of destiny, of purpose. Why do this, besides my impulse to restore and save the historical record, however personal and idiosyncratic that history is? Who cares? And what if the music bores people to death?

Finally, there are practical concerns – the tedium of scanning homemade cover art, the hopes that I can locate everything, and that it’s all still salvageable (and PS – for those in the know and who do care, Yummibrain has indeed survived the full 19 years since it was recorded), and whether I have the stamina to carry it through, while exposing some very personal (and perhaps embarrassing) stories in my musical learning process since I was a child.

Lots at stake in such a thing. And I haven’t even mentioned the notion that some of it (hopefully) might get remixed by someone. Anyway, it’ll be a couple weeks before the uploading starts, as there’s much planning to do.