Blog post 4: Privacy in a digital world

Two articles and one video are assigned this week. Find them in the Course Schedule and on Ares.

After reading the two articles and watching the complete video (and making notes, as always), your task is to apply what you read to the privacy policy of a website or web service that you have used more than once. This might be any kind of social media site — it might also be a shopping site or another kind of online service.

This assignment will probably be more meaningful if you select a site or service that you really like or depend on. In other words, investigate a privacy policy that really, truly applies to YOU, yourself! Continue reading

TED Talk by Wael Ghonim

This is the video I mentioned in class, in which Wael Ghonim discusses how the Internet must change to support social change in the world. Wael was mentioned in the Week 3 readings as the well-known creator of the Facebook page “We Are All Khaled Said,” which helped to unite Egyptians in a mass protest during the Arab Spring in 2011. Thanks to Osama for this link!

An added note: In an article I like very much, scholar Merlyna Lim expands on the “We Are All Khaled Said” example:

Previous movements in Egypt “had already created a basis for a mass political action. Indeed the story of Khaled Said can also be read as a culmination of the longstanding online campaign against torture waged on blogs such as Wael Abbas’s Egyptian Awareness, Nael Atef’s Torture in Egypt, and Bloggers Against Torture. However, the critical new important element introduced by the “We are all Khaled Said” movement was a strong symbolic representation, an iconic figure to fight against the authorities” (Lim, 2012, p. 241; boldface added).

Think carefully before you claim that one blog or one hashtag started a movement! There is often a long history of activism before the spark that lit the fire.

Blog post 3: A Twitter experience

This assignment is very different. You will need to start working on it as soon as you can!

You should start at least five days before you write the post, which is due Monday, Sept. 19, at 9 a.m.

Read the two assigned articles for the week before you start writing your blog post. Each article is quite different from the other.

THERE ARE FIVE (5) STEPS TO FOLLOW.

All steps are required for this assignment. Do all five steps below. Step 5 tells you what to include in your post.

STEP 1: Create a new account at Twitter, or use one you already have. You MUST use your own Twitter account for this!

Read or scan the Terms of Service (feel free to comment on any parts that impress you favorably or unfavorably, but that’s NOT required).

STEP 2: IMPORTANT! Choose at least 10 NEW people to FOLLOW. Make sure each of them is tweeting regularly (check their timeline before you follow them!). These 10 new people must NOT be friends of yours. You can choose any type of person, but NOT people you know in real life. NOTE: Follow individual people, NOT BRANDS or COMPANIES. Continue reading

My Storify for my presentation

As part of your topic presentation grade, you will create a Storify so that others in the class can easily access your resources. Here is mine:

https://storify.com/macloo/internet-and-democracy-2016

NOTE: If you viewed my Storify on Monday morning, it’s possible you saw an earlier draft version that was incomplete. It has been fixed.

Pay close attention to two things:

  1. The value added by my carefully selected resources. It took many hours to find these. They were not the first thing in Google. For every resource included in my presentation, I probably read or viewed 10 others and rejected them.
  2. The outline format in my Storify. It’s not my whole presentation. It’s not my Powerpoint. But there is enough to jog your memory so that you can find a resource that you saw during my presentation. It includes my five points. It’s designed to be useful. Your Storify should too.

In order to create your Storify, you should first watch this how-to video.

Blog post 2: Protests and activism

Two articles are assigned this week. Read both articles. Find them in the Course Schedule and on Ares.

After reading the two articles (and making notes, as always), you will think about these two questions: (1) How do activists or protest movements use social media? (2) How do other actors (such as governments, or companies that control social media tools and apps) interfere with the online/mobile efforts of activists or protest movements? There are examples in the articles.

Content of the post: Using at least two specific points taken from the Youmans article and at least two specific points taken from the Valenzuela article, discuss goals that an activist group or protest movement can possibly achieve by using social media, AND how each of those goals might be thwarted by outside forces.  Continue reading

Student blogs and posts

Every student’s blog is now listed in the sidebar of this blog. If you’re viewing this on a phone, the list is below the posts. Scroll to see the list. On a larger screen, look on the right-hand side.

Note that you can see the title of each student’s introductory post. That title is a link to the post. This is important because each week when you write the title on your blog post, the title will appear here, and the title needs to follow the “slug” rules in the assignment for that week. For example, this week the rules are:

SLUG: The TITLE of your blog post about these articles must begin with the words “Internet and democracy.” This will make it easy for me (and other students in your class) to identify this first graded post in your blog! DO NOT use blog or post or 1 in the title.

By using the exact first words as per the instructions, we can all see whether your most recent post is the post for the newest assignment.

Blog post 1: This is your assignment

Before you can begin writing your first blog post, you need to do two other things:

  1. Set up a new blog for this course. Read the instructions. There is a Friday deadline here.
  2. Read all of the assigned readings for the week. Two articles are assigned this week (Week 2). Find Week 2 on the Course Schedule, and you’ll see the names of the authors of the two articles there. Then go to the Ares Course Reserves and download the two PDF files. Read how to access the course readings.

Requirements (such as length) for all of your weekly blog posts are found in Required Work. Be sure to read the section under the heading “Weekly blog posts.”

Your deadline for publishing Blog post 1 is Monday, Aug. 29, at 9 a.m.

You must follow the instructions below, and then simply publish the post to your own WordPress.com blog. Continue reading

Week 1: Starting your blog – 2016

To complete the assignment that is due on Monday morning, Aug. 29, you will first need to set up a new blog at WordPress.com.

If you already have a blog, DO NOT use that one. You must set up a NEW blog to be used only for this course.

Follow this Quick Start Guide. Or, if you need more help, use the more detailed Get Started guide. Choose the FREE plan. No need to pay.

Make sure you WRITE and SAVE both your username and password for WordPress.com. If you forget your username, you will lose your blog.

NOTE: In Step 2, “Find a custom address,” go to the bottom and select “No thanks.” DO NOT PAY.

If you already have a WordPress.com site, simply log in at WordPress.com and create a new blog using the same account. Do that here.

Required work:

  1. After you have created your NEW blog, please write and publish a new post in it that briefly introduces you. What are you studying at UF, why are you taking this course, what’s your hometown, etc. Be sure to include your real first and last name so I can see who you are! The post can be quite short, e.g. 100 words.
  2. Please give the post an intelligent title.
  3. Check your blog site (blogname.wordpress.com) to make sure the new post is visible.
  4. After you complete steps 1–3, copy the complete URL of your blog from the Web browser address bar and paste it into a comment on THIS post (which you are reading right now).
  5. Add a photo of your face (large face) and your full name to your WordPress.com account. Do it here.

Complete this task list before midnight on Friday, Aug. 26, so that you have ample time to complete the OTHER work that is due on Monday at 9 a.m.

Note: Don’t worry if you do not see your comment appear below immediately after you post it. I have to approve it before it appears, which means I need to see a little notice that WordPress sends to my email. As I am not staring at my email every minute of the day, it might take some time before your comment appears here.

First week: How to access the course readings

I’m happy to announce that all the articles for this semester are available now in ARES Course Reserves (see link at right).

PLEASE NOTE that to get access to the articles, in most cases you MUST be logged into the UF VPN.

Find out HOW TO INSTALL THE UF VPN client. Or save time and simply download the UF VPN client installer. (The UF library has some additional information about the UF VPN.)

If you have any trouble with the VPN, contact the UF Computing Help Desk.

Most articles have a convenient link that says “View this item.” In most cases, this link will take you to a page that shows only the abstract for the article. On that same page, you can find a link to download the PDF of the complete article.

In all cases, you will have FREE access to the PDF file, or to a Web page containing the article. You do NOT need to pay for ANY articles (but you must be logged in with the VPN to get this free access).

This site has been updated for Fall 2016

Gator

Hello! If you’re looking for answers to questions about this course, see the About page. Everything here has been updated, including the reading list and the Syllabus. For a week-by-week outline of topics, see the Course Schedule.

There are no pre-reqs for this course. It is for grad students only. Grad students from outside the College of Journalism and Communications are welcome.