Here is a detailed summary from a student.

The main points I would like you to remember are the democratizing potential of social tagging and folksonomies. Since labeling and classifying can have a foundational impact on how we relate to the world, it is very important that more people have access to creating structure and organizing the world. The world according to Dewey looks very different than the worlds according to a Buddhist monk, for example. Now we can, in theory, have access to both worldviews. In practice, issues of access, of cultural domination, of being unable to see outside the constraints of the mainstream worldview, threaten the democratizing promise of social tagging.

I also recommend you read Intertwingled by Peter Morville, or at least the second chapter.

Week 13 class plan

Posted: November 18, 2014 in Announcements

December 1 is entirely up to you. We can do anything you want. If you wish, please begin a discussion in the comments below or on twitter.

Week 12 class plan

Posted: November 18, 2014 in Announcements

On November 24, you will  give presentations about the “dark side” of social media and all of the things we have discussed in class so far. The presentations will all be online, we will not be in class. I will send a link to an online conference by email.

Make sure you have a strong Internet connection and a headset with microphone for the Web conference.

Please use online communication tools to organize the presentations. Please do not rush to a decision like last time. Begin by brainstorming topics, then ranking them, then selecting what you want to do. Feel free to use any tools: Twitter, Google Docs, etc.

Keep the presentations informative but also entertaining. Do mention your sources and do educate us about something we don’t already know. But, you do not need to work on this presentation as much as you would on the final paper.

Please ask questions about the presentations in the comments below, or use them as you wish to organize and coordinate.


Here are my expectations of a GOOD presentation. A good presentation…

  • is clear and well organized. Has a clear main point and take-away that comes through clearly
  • communicates to the audience how it is organized
  • is informative and maybe even entertaining; it addresses the topic in some depth.
  • is well-informed by a variety of sources, not all scholarly sources.
  • establishes and maintains credibility by stating the sources of the information presented, throughout the presentation
  • uses carefully prepared slides, not a collection of bullet points
  • has smooth transitions between topics and speakers
  • is delivered clearly and fluently
  • is delivered within established time limits

It is up to the group to decide how many presentation to give, and whether to make them team or individual. It is up to the group to divide the available time among presentations. The presentations need not all be the same length, but they do need to fit in the 6-9 time slot. Allow time for two 10 minute breaks, some buffer for technical difficulties (15 min), and time for questions and discussion.

Week 10 class plan

Posted: November 6, 2014 in Announcements
Tags: ,

Since I won’t be in class for next class, here is the plan we agreed upon:

Each student will browse a number of journals and conference proceedings from 2014 and identify 2 articles they want to read. The 2 articles must be outside the student’s main area of interest.

Then, each student will blog reading notes about the 2 articles before class time. The reading notes will be detailed enough to help others understand the article, but will still be concise. Make this an exercise in the art of effective explanation of scholarly research.

Then, during class time, all students will read and comment upon each other’s blog posts.

After class, please write a reflection where you preserve your takeaways. You might want to record:

  • ideas you learned about that you want to remember
  • articles you might want to read in the future
  • ideas you might want to look into in the future

Please find below a list of publication outlets where you are likely to find research on social media. Browse their tables of contents for the current year and pick 2 articles. Of course, you will need to get the full text through the libraries’ site.

This list is not exclusive, it’s just what I could think of off the top of my head, but I am missing many other ACM conferences that  publish social media research. As you come across more, please list them in the comments below.

We spent class taking a close look at the readings – an exercise that, I heard on Twitter, some students found very helpful. Is that so? Please let me know how it worked for you.

Please try to remember:

  • the definition of self-organizing
  • classifications and patterns about online collective action
  • the organizing power of a hashtag
  • methods for studying online self-organizing using social media data
  • implications of self-organizing for shifting power relations in society

What are your specific takeaways from class?

We began class by clarifying the differences among: Wisdom of Crowds, Crowdsourcing, Open sourcing, and Collective Intelligence.

We then took sides and represented the pros and cons of crowdsourcing for workers and requestors. I would like to crowdsource this blog post, so please post in the comments the links to your small presentation, and the main argument that you think represents the point of view you worked on.

Week 7 Class notes: Trust

Posted: October 21, 2014 in Class notes

We started class with a review of what we’ve learned so far – and a reminder to read each other’s blogs, including this one and to continue diving into Twitter and trying to get the most out of it.

After Alex’s visit, we worked with the readings on trust.

Specifically, we identified the story line behind the 4 readings: We know a lot about online trust in the Web 1.0 era. Social media has an influence on social trust, which is related to social capital and to civic and political participation. The sharing economy is the next step, and it opens up a whole new world/can of worms re: trust.

We then worked on identifying the specific arguments and phrases authors use to position their work in the “garden” of existing research. I hope you learned from that, continue to pay attention to that as you read, and use the techniques in your own writing.