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
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
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"
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
Citizen Media: Fad or the Future of News? - Chapter 1 Big Picture
Saturday September 8
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Research Triangle Park Hilton, 4810 Old Page Road, Durham, North Carolina 27703
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
WestportNow.com --Kelly 14:06, 12 September 2007 (EDT)
WestportNow.com 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.
Placeblogger.com 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.
MyTown.DailyCamera.com 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.
Baristanet.com 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.
VoiceofSanDiego.org Posted by Josh
http://voiceofsandiego.org/ 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 FreeNewMexican.com). Though it appears this online publication primarily relies on staff writers and/or contributing journalists in lieu of free public commentary.
MadisonCommons.org posted by Doug
MadisonCommons.org 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!
Northfield.org 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 northfield.org 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 "Northfield.org is a project of Northfield Citizens Online." In the latest post from 9/9, one line proudly reminds readers: "Remember, Northfield.org is citizen journalism!"
OlyBlog.net 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
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
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:
Wednesday October 3
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 -- 
Wednesday November 28 - Class Presentations
Monday December 3 - Class Presentations
Kelly - Indiebride Forums: 
Joselynn - Economic Roundtable: