I’ll be teaching my blogging, social media, virtual communities course this semester only using video on the net. The syllabus is here.

We will view videos of lectures and other events pertaining to the class topics: Categories: Brainz!, Citizen Journalism and New Journalism, Cyberculture, Marketing, Remix (including legal issues), Simplicity, Social Networking research and theory, Vernacular Video and YouTube Anthropology. The viewings are presentations by some of the top experts in each area — the kinds of people, sometimes the exact same people, that whose papers and articles and books I would have had the class read in other years. We will not be viewing videos during class; we’ll be discussing the topics when f2f.

Class members will not be writing papers in response to the viewing, but instead will be producing (very lightly produced in most cases) video responses from their webcams, phones or digital cameras (such as Flips).

We will also have several guests during the course of the semester. These guests will not be lecturing but instead will be holding a question and answer session with the class over Skype. The class will have prepared for the session by having had watching a video by each speaker before hand. Among those who have agreed to visit us are: Dan Gillmor, Howard Rheingold, danah boyd, Fred Turner, Barry Wellman and in person, our Duke Law neighbor, James Boyle. The response from the potential speakers has been overwhelmingly positive. This has turned out a wonderful way for an expert to engage with students at a very low time cost and with on special preparation.

The class has not yet met, but the class members have already been helping design their course but voting on polls to determine how video intensive the course will be and on how the assignments and grades will be handled. — No, I didn’t use video for this part. I did use Doodle for the polls and email for contacting the class.

So participatory culture, vernacular video, simplicity all played a big part in the class already.