Welcome to the course blog for ICS 691: Social Computing, for Spring 2011. If you haven't already reviewed the syllabus, please do so now to get a sense of how this online course will be structured and paced:
However, don't get too attached to the reading list, as some readings will likely change as we progress. This is the second time this course has been offered in this format, and though much of the syllabus may look similar, all of the assignments will be different. While your blogs and comments should of course address the guidelines in each session's assignments, you are encouraged to express and analyze any tangential or topical issues you find interesting--these usually are the seeds of the best final projects.
For now however, let's dive in with the guidelines for Session 1:
Session 1, Week 1 (Mon Jan 10-Sun Jan 16)
1) Create a blog specifically for this course, and post a link to it as a comment to this post as soon as you can. Please post under a handle or pseudonym, and use the same one consistently throughout the course. Email me individually so I can link your blog handle with your real name.
2) Choose and set up an aggregator to follow this blog and those of the other students, so you can be notified of updates on a single page. If you're not familiar with these tools, here's a gentle overview: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_feed
3) Complete the Session 1 readings
4) By 11:59pm Sun Jan 16, post on your blog your response to the following:
The shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the 19 other people injured or killed on Jan 8, 2011, is being reported with many references to the role of social media, in terms of what motivated the tragedy and people's reactions to it. Find one of these references (include a link) and analyze, evaluate and apply what you feel are relevant concepts from at least four of the six required Session 1 readings to the role of social media in this story. You may post links to more than one news story to illustrate concepts from different readings if you like, but be sure your post is substantive enough to demonstrate your understanding of the relevant concepts from the papers you cite. Conclude by providing a brief definition of social computing, and comment on its potential power as a motivating force for positive and negative social phenomena.
Session 1, Week 2 (Mon Jan 17-Sun Jan 23)
1) Subscribe to the other students' blogs
2) Read as many posts as you like, but comment substantively on at least five.
3) Respond to comments on your blog, and those of other students, as appropriate. I'll be jumping in too, though I may not comment on every post every week.
4) Toward the end of the session, skim the other students' blogs and see if you can identify any common characteristics of the most informative and engaging posts, and those which generated the most lively/interesting comment threads. Use these characteristics as a set of guidelines for all your future posts.
Okay, that should be enough to get you started. Please post any questions about the course as a comment to this blog so all students can view them, and always feel free to make technical suggestions about good blog hosts, readers and other tools to make our communication easier.