Blog post 7: Foreign policy and the Internet

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), your task is to find an opinion column or editorial (Op-Ed) or analysis at a news website that you can use as a case for your discussion of the two articles. For example, a case might concern the U.S. reaction to censorship of free speech on the Internet in another country. (That is just one example. Your case does NOT need to include censorship.)

Both of the assigned articles discuss U.S. foreign policy and the Internet. Each article is really about a distinct aspect of U.S. policy regarding use of the Internet and other nations. You need to read both articles carefully before you will understand this distinction. Make sure you can state clearly — in one or two sentences — what each assigned article is really about, in a way that makes obvious the difference between them. Continue reading

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Blog post 6: Viral online media

Three articles are assigned this week. One is very short and NOT academic! It comes fromBuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti — so read it. Find all of the articles in the Course Schedule and the two journal articles on Ares.

Step 1. Read all three assigned articles (and make notes, as always).

Step 2. Find a case in which a media item “went viral” online. It can be any kind of media (video or any other). It can be commercial, advertising, news, p.r., or personal. Some things (often videos) go viral by accident. Other cases might be part of a deliberate campaign. However — NOT ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE. We all know that one. Also, NOT KONY 2012. That is also very well known. Continue reading

Blog post 5: Algorithms and their consequences

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

Content of the post: There are three parts. Complete all three in your post.

Part 1: How would you explain algorithms to a young child, around 8 years old, so that she could understand them? Do not quote or copy any definitions from anywhere. Use your own words and write out this explanation. Continue reading

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

Blog post 3: A Twitter experience

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

You should start five days before you write the post, which is due Monday, Sept. 11, at 9 a.m. You may start the required work before you read the articles. START with Step 1 below.

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

Blog post 2: Online activists and hate groups

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

Follow the instructions below. This week’s post is not the same as last week’s post.

After reading the two articles (and making notes, as always), you will think about these two questions: (1) What are the various goals for which activists, protest movements, and/or hate groups use online and/or social media? (2) How can other actors (such as governments, law enforcement, or the companies that control web tools and platforms) interfere with the online/mobile efforts of activists, protest movements, and/or hate groups? 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 Holt article, discuss goals that an activist group or protest movement can possibly achieve by using online or social media, AND how each of those goals might be thwarted by outside forces.  Continue reading

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. 28, 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 – 2017

To complete the assignment that is due on Monday morning, Aug. 28, 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. 25, 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.

An example of a Storify made for this class

DO NOT POST YOUR STORIFY link on this post. Read the instructions in Required Work, under “Topic presentation.”

You can embed a Storify into a blog post, but here I just gave you a link instead to save space on our course blog home page. :)

Week 3: Social Media and Social Activism

That is an excellent example, made by a student. Notice how he inserted very helpful and well-written text above each link (or a closely related set of links) so that the Storify makes sense to us. The point is NOT to write your whole presentation — just to provide all the resources with a little bit of context attached to each one.

Put an introduction at the top and a conclusion at the end.

Making a Storify should not take too long, because you will already have all your links, as shown in class.

Please use this Storify as a model for your own. Do not build your Storify until AFTER you give your topic presentation in class.

More about the Storify requirement on Required Work, under “Topic presentation.”

NOTE: You would do well to notice that this student’s presentation was completely different from Ananya’s, even though they used the same two articles. If you entertained any ideas about using a student’s presentation resources from last year, please remember the PENALTY for academic dishonesty in this course.

Example of a Storify (follow-up to topic presentation)

(Update: Sept. 11) You will be able to find all the Storifys made by all the students in this course here:

http://storify.com/macloo/storifys-from-mmc-6612-fall-2012

Yesterday I gave the topic presentation in class. Today I made a Storify that gives you links to everything I showed in class — and the videos are embedded too.

http://sfy.co/h7eu

You can embed a Storify into a blog post, but here I just gave you a link instead to save space on our course blog home page. 🙂

Making this Storify took me about one hour from start to finish. Of course I already had all my links, because I had to show them in class yesterday.

I tried to write just enough above each linked item or video to show how it made sense in the presentation. The point was not to write my whole presentation — just to provide all the resources with a little bit of context attached to EACH ONE.

I also put an introduction at the top and a conclusion at the end. You should too.

Please use this Storify as a model for your own. Do not build your Storify until AFTER you give your topic presentation in class.