Schedule 07

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Wednesday August 22

Begin to define 'community' and to define questions

What questions? you may ask.

The point at this point is to be open to questions that you have now at the beginning of the semester about virtual communities, blogging and citizen media. That is, to ask in intelligent and more detailed ways: What is all of this? Why does it matter? and What does it mean to me and to the society in which I would like to live?

I hope our readings, discussion and even our visitors will help us not only probe those questions, but also to ask more complex versions of those and other questions.

In this case (heck, in most cases in education), questions and learning to form them are good skills to develop.

For next meeting, read "Introduction: Weblogs, Rhetoric, Community and Culture" in "Into the Blogosphere"

Monday August 27

-- Introduction to Blogs and community

Community is best defined as a network of social relations marked by mutuality and emotional bonds. - Thomas Bender. Community and Social Change in America.

A real community need not consist of people who are perpetually together; but it must consist of people, who precisely because they are comrades, have mutual access to one another and are ready for one another. Martin Buber. Paths to Utopia

OED on Community

For next meeting, read "Blogs as Virtual Communities: Identifying a Sense of Community in the Julie/Julia Project" and "Imagining the Blogosphere: An Introduction to the Imagined Community of Instant Publishing" in "Into the Blogosphere"

Ferdinand Tonnies - On Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft see also a very nice Wikipedia entry on G and G.

Wednesday August 29

-- Discuss Blogs and Communities

For next meeting, read "Blogging as Social Action: A Genre Analysis of the Weblog" and "Culture Clash: Journalism and the Communal Ethos of the Blogosphere" in "Into the Blogosphere"

Source Effects in Users' Perception of Online News Comparing Source Effects (Self, Computer, Editors, Others) on the preceptions of online news by Shyam Sundar of Penn State.

Monday September 3 - Labor Day

Wednesday September 5

Visitor - Bora Zivkovic of ScienceBlogs and community manager for Public Library of Science

Citizen Media: Fad or the Future of News? - Chapter 1 Big Picture

Saturday September 8


Locke Foundation's "Spinning the Web: Politics in the Internet Age"

8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Research Triangle Park Hilton, 4810 Old Page Road, Durham, North Carolina 27703

Price: $25

Monday September 10

Citizen Media: Fad or the Future of News? - Chapter 2 Mapping Citizen Media Models

Class Assignment for Wednesday: Look up 1 or 2 of the sites from below and post an update on their current status.

Chapter 1 Example Sites --Kelly 14:06, 12 September 2007 (EDT) is still online and very current (front page news added today). Looks similar to any other community news site -- simple nav links on the left, ads down the right. Community-wise, there's definitely a sense of user-submitted stories and photos (lots of things about local auxillary groups, recent golf outings, cute kid pics, etc), but there doesn't seem to be much community on the site. Most articles had very few comments and I did not find a forum or similar space where readers could chat or share information with each other directly. posted by Dionne

Still online but does not appear to be very active among its bloggers. Their are a lot of blogs that contain fewer than 5 comments, if any at all. The idea behind placeblogs is that they are a hyperlocal sites that contain conversation about certain places that are usually very small or sparsely populated, that do not get a lot of media attention. posted by jkd

Mostly just comment spam in the user-submitted section for a long time until, actually, Sept. 11, 2007, then some more content. Makes it look like it's not particularly active and definitely not moderated. posted by mbenaim Baristanet boasts the championship title for the #1 placeblog in America and, it seems, rightly so. Comment traffic points to moderate but active traffic (around 20-40 comments per post) for the city of Montclair, NJ. The site remains up and running, and maintains a distinctly hyperlocal target - town gossip, citizen sightings and wanted flyers are posted routinely. Alive and well.

Chi*town Daily News, an independent, online newspaper "written by and for Chicago residents," has been up and running since 2005. I was particularly interested in looking at this because I lived for some years in Chicago and can say that with only a few exceptions there isn't really all that much of a "community" feeling in general. At least not in the small-town, gossipy sense of the word. But Chicagoans are, well, Chicagoans, so I wasn't surprised to see a city-based paper attempting to bring the many diverse communities into a coherent whole. However, the paper seems primarily suited to the tastes of an upper-middle class community. It offers reader/writer blogs, podcasts, and streaming audio, and covers topics as diverse as sports, culture, and crime (which does seem to sum up Chicago rather well, but leaves me wondering...where are the architecture and politics sections?) It offers tagclouds of the top-featured topics, and sports seems to dominate. Nonetheless, the Daily News is working toward assembling corresponds from *all* the communities in Chicago and provides a combination of news regarding Chicago-wide activities and events, and extremely granular discussions of the goings-on in particular neighborhoods. Posted by Josh is also alive and well. In my opinion, this most resembled a professional online publication, akin to The New York Times,etc. This resemblance can most likely be attributed to this site's more professional layout design. Stories are subcategorized as "Government", "Housing", "Economics", etc with easily visible links at the top of the page. This shows that news is valued more than ads (compare to Though it appears this online publication primarily relies on staff writers and/or contributing journalists in lieu of free public commentary. posted by Doug is also thriving. It has many recent posts, features a helpful sidebar menu that breaks coverage down by neighborhoods or by topic (city hall, development, diversity, local business, etc.). The home page states, "Our goal is to gather stories from all of Madison's neighborhoods in one accessible place. We are training citizen journalists from across Madison to report on their own neighborhoods in a series of workshops. This fall, we will include bloggers on the site to initiate conversations about issues facing residents around the city." Right on! posted by Doug

Well, I'm not sure anyone else has done so elsewhere in the course wiki, but I thought I'd get started on this here. Since I know someone who went to St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, I checked out and am happy to report the site is thriving! It's well organized, with several sidebar categories, feature sections, nice graphics, and current posts. The site has a professional look and is more complex than a basic blog format. I noticed in the footer that " is a project of Northfield Citizens Online." In the latest post from 9/9, one line proudly reminds readers: "Remember, is citizen journalism!" posted by Kelly

At OlyBlog, 'We are the Media' and it's Captain Underpants Family Night at the Library. The site is still up and running, and is organized very much like a blog with multiple authors. To contribute, you register for an account, post your news as a blog item and it's moderated for promotion to the front page. A few citizen journalists take video at local meetings or protests and upload it, and then you have others (like the local library) that realize it's a good way to get their events in front of the community.

Wednesday September 12

Citizen Media: Fad or the Future of News? - Chapter 3 Creating Content

Monday September 17 -- SILS 75th Anniversary

Wednesday September 19

Sarnoff, Metcalf, and Reed: The Secrets to Social Network Growth

Reed's Law

Carrboro Citizen

Carrboro Commons

Citizen Media: Fad or the Future of News? - Chapter 4 Building Interest

Monday September 24

Citizen Media: Fad or the Future of News? - Chapter 5 Making Money

Wednesday September 26

Citizen Media: Fad or the Future of News? - Chapter 6 Defining Success

Monday October 1

Making Money with Blogs - Henry Copeland of

Granovetter, Mark S. Strength of Weak Ties. Available from JSTOR this link or The American Journal of Sociology © 1973 The University of Chicago Press.

Phil Meyer asks that you also read these two brief pieces for Wednesday's class:

Climate Change: Get Over Objectivity, Newspapers


Saul Friedman: How The Truth May be Told by the MSM

Wednesday October 3

Phil Meyer on Newspaper Next and The Vanishing Newspaper

For our next classs, read Internet and Everyday Life - the Forward, Preface and Part 1

Monday October 8

Internet and Everyday Life - Chapter 6 Doing Research

Wednesday October 10

Internet and Everyday Life - Chapter 10 Capitalizing on the Net

Monday October 15

Internet and Everyday Life - Chapter 12 The Not So Global Village of Netville

Wednesday October 17 -- Fall Break. Jones in Kansas

Internet and Everyday Life - Chapter 13 Email, Gender and Personal Relationships

Monday October 22

Internet and Everyday Life - Chapter 14 Belonging in Geographic, Ethnic and Internet Spaces

Wednesday October 24

Online Communities, Designing Usability, Supporting Sociability (1 -- 4)

Monday October 29

Online Communities, Designing Usability, Supporting Sociability (5 -- 6)

Wednesday October 31

Online Communities, Designing Usability, Supporting Sociability (7 -- 9)

Monday November 5

Social Capital: Theory and Research - Forward and 1 Building a Network Theory of Social Capital (Lin)

Wednesday November 7

Social Capital: Theory and Research - 2 Structural Holes versus Network Closure as Social Capital(Burt)

Monday November 12

Social Capital: Theory and Research - 10 Network Capital in a Multilevel World: Getting Support from Personal Communities (Wellman)

Wednesday November 14

We will discuss "Social Capital: Theory and Research - 10 Network Capital in a Multilevel World: Getting Support from Personal Communities (Wellman)"

Monday November 19

No class - Paul out of town.

Wednesday November 21 -- Thanksgiving Holiday

Monday November 26 - Class Presentations


Dionne -- [1]

Wednesday November 28 - Class Presentations




Monday December 3 - Class Presentations

Kelly - Indiebride Forums: [2]

Joselynn - Economic Roundtable: [3]

Lori - An Oral Community Living in Text

Wednesday December 5 -- Last Class

Instructor: Paul Jones | 213 Manning Hall | | 919-360-7740 | AIM, gTalk, Gizmo, Skype, FaceBook: smalljones

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