Welcome, Fall 2014 students!

Please find here some notes about the first day of class and reminders for things to do by next class, Sept. 8.

We talked about the course and the course topics and showed our interest for each topic by “voting” for our own top 3 on the white board. I’m saving the image here so we can go back to it if needed later in the semester.


We introduced ourselves and found that we have a very diverse group of students from all around campus. Neat!

Finally, we talked about the initial motivation for the course – that of understanding the aspects of society that have been deeply changed by social media. The course topics are selected to illustrate this theme.

Here is the to do list for next class:

  1. Read the articles posted on Blackboard and fill out the reading notes.
  2. Fill out the worksheet with your own personal online identity management plan.
  3. Set up your blog on wordpress.com. Learn how the blog works, learn the difference between post, page, tag and category. Create the categories mentioned in the syllabus so you can easily categorize your posts later on.
  4. Set up your twitter account. Remember what we discussed about (a)nonymity. Make an informed choice.
  5. Go to the wiki page on Blackboard and paste the links to your blog and twitter account.
  6. Set up your RSS feed reader (e.g. Feedly) and subscribe to this blog and to all class members’ blogs.
  7. Follow me (@mihaela_v) and all class members on Twitter.

Optional, but highly recommended:

See older blog posts I wrote that can be useful to you in this class:

(Note how my links are done: They are from text so you don’t have to see the URL, and they work. Please follow this example when linking from your blog posts. Readers should not have to see the URLs. Also bad practice: “click here.” Provide enough meaningful information so the reader knows what is on the other side of the link. This is called information scent.)

Questions about any of this? Please ask in the comments below.


I am going through your drafts and doing my best to provide helpful feedback. I was unable to clear my days on Tuesday and Wed., so I wasn’t able to get to them until last night. At about 30-60 minutes per draft (and other meetings and things), I was hoping to be done by Sat morning, but realistically, that will probably be Sunday morning.

I believe I already moved the deadline to Wednesday of exam week, but if you need another day to write the PERFECT paper, just let me know and we can work something out.

Now, a couple of reminders and tips:

  1. Follow the outline in the slides I presented in class.
  2. Remember the Appendices – any research instruments (surveys, interview questions, observation sheets) as well as a Reflection. In the Reflection, please think a bit about your experience working on this paper. What was easy, what was difficult, but most importantly, what you learned from this experience: What skills do you feel confident you have learned/improved? Writing introductions? Organizing literature reviews? Making arguments for the need for your study? Finding references? If you were to do this again, knowing what you know now, what would you do? Do you usually write outlines and drafts? This time you did. Was that helpful? How?
  3. Writing – do remember to use your literature review to make an argument for the need for your research. At the end of each literature section, write a couple of sentences that APPLY that information to your study. Use it. Is it a stepping stone? A gap in the literature? What does it mean for your study? Then, add a TRANSITION to the next section. You will see notes about A+T in the comments on your draft, this is what it means.
  4. Discussion – from what I’ve seen so far, the Discussion sections could be stronger. There is more to Discussion than listing implications of the research. You also need to interpret and explain the results, and relate them to the literature you reviewed. Also, remember to discuss limitations.
  5. Directions for Future Research  – This is another section that is often weak. Most suggestions for future research involve more of the same: Do the same study, but make it bigger, or with different populations. That’s OK, but not as interesting as it could get. Think about it this way: Knowing what we know now from your research contribution, what would be some other, further questions to ask that would take the field deeper, farther, or to more interesting places? Think beyond “more of the same.”

Please keep an eye on the blog for further notes and updates.

Final project presentation

Posted: November 25, 2013 in Assignments

Please follow this structure for your presentation:

1.     Briefly explain the topic and its relevance
2.     State the purpose of your research and your research question
3.     Present your most important results
4.     Discuss the importance and relevance of your results – what contribution to they make to what field? Who should care about them and why?

To receive all the points for one section, make sure the content is communicated clearly and effectively.

Please make sure that:

  • The content on your slides is LARGE and visible
  • You do not cram too much text on one slide

Each student has  8 minutes for the presentation. Please be very mindful of this time limit.

The presentation is not graded. You will receive meaningful feedback instead. Please do it out of pride for your work – and also because you will lose 3 APP points if you do not. Let this be a celebration of your work rather than an evaluation.

The 20 points for the final project are broken up as follows:

Research plan: 5 points

Organized list of references for literature review: 3 points

Draft of final paper: 2 points

Final paper: 10 points



Please check out this post  and my comment on it - a fellow student’s experience with delicious. Have you tried and social bookmarking sites (Pinterest included)? How about academic social bookmarking sites? Look into them! Let the others know what you think!

missed-deadline-278x300So, you know that the final paper draft is due December 2. It would help you (and me) stay on track if you wrote a blog post with some key dates by when you want to have parts of the paper finished. Please plan your milestones and publish them on your blog!

0wned = “Getting 0wned, 0wnd, or 0wnzd means getting your arse severely beaten, either mentally, physically, emotionally or other. A word often used by those who deem themselves to be of the l33t status.”

JP Morgan Chase thought they’d do the equivalent of a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) on Twitter. It didn’t go so well.

What does this teach you about online dialogue, marketing & pr, self-organization, and online crowds? What do you take away from this story?

We could spend time on Nov. 25 capturing the main themes and ideas addressed throughout the semester. That could be a fun exercise. No readings for that day.

Or, we could discuss 1-2 topics of your choice. Below are the options that were mentioned in class. Please feel free to discuss in the comments (or Twitter), make other suggestions, etc. Anything the group decides goes. This is entirely your class. I can’t promise you I will do a great job at ANY and ALL of these topics, but I can try.