COM 429:   Digital Media & Distributed Society
Spring 2007

T/TH  12:30-1:45 p.m. | LAU 121 & various dining establishments

Professor: Brian Carroll
Office: LAU 100
Office hours:
MWF 1-3; Thurs. 2-4 | by appt. | drop-ins welcome
berry phone: 368-6944
email: bc at
on the Web:
bc's blog: Wandering Rocks

Lost your syllabus? Download another one.

Student blogroll

Research guide (download) | Common research problems (download) | Principles of Academic Honesty (download)

Note: This page will change; please refer to it frequently. Do not merely print it out the first week of class.

Assignments & Resources
Week 1
Jan. 10-12

Introductions, syllabus, key course concepts

Setting up a blog | Where to meet

Man & Machine

Read: Course outline and syllabus

Sign up for emailed headlines
Begin reading Mashable

Maybe subscribe to Wired magazine

Week 2
Jan. 15-19
Discuss research and set up Social Capital

What is "community"? How do we define it?

No class Tuesday (BC in Germany)
Class Thursday at the Bean(e)ry in Krannert

Read: Social Capital (Lin), Part I

Week 3
Jan. 22-26
T: Social Capital, Part I (quiz Tuesday on part 1)
TH: Special Guest -- Robert Swarthout,

Class Tuesday @ Moe's, 110 Shorter Avenue
Class Thursday @ Bean(e)ry

Read: Social Capital (Lin), Part I

Due Wednesday at 5pm: first blogpost (and URL to the prof.)

Week 4
Jan. 29-Feb. 2
T: Social Capital, Parts II & III (quiz)
(Jessie & Amber, co-leading discussion)
Privacy, Trust and Reputation

Class Tuesday @ Bean(e)ry
Class Thursday @ LAU 116

Read: Social Capital, Parts II & III

Surf: MTV's Laguna Beach |

Week 5
Feb. 5-9
T: Emergence (Ross & Ashley, co-leading)
Meet at Bella Roma (I'll call ahead)
Privacy, Trust and Reputation (LAU 116)
Read: Emergence (Johnson), pps 1-129; NY Times article on social networking etiquette; using blogs to counter rumor; social networking in business; Privacy reading; Warren & Brandeis on privacy (For Times articles, access through Lexis Nexis Academic)
Surf: | | | | | Crowdsourcing blog | GetaFirstLife
Due: Monday by 5 p.m., research proposals on your blogs
Week 6
Feb. 12-16
T: Emergence II (Katie & Nicole co-leading)
Meet in the Bean(e)ry
Privacy and Trust, part II (LAU 116)
Read: Emergence, pps 130-234
Due: Wednesday by 5 p.m., 2d round of research proposals on your blogs (for those I've requested)
Surf: (senior cits); Prospero Technologies; Groupee

Week 7
Feb. 19-23

T: No class
TH: The Long Tail (Liz & Amanda co-leading) >
Meet in the Gameroom in Krannert
Read: The Long Tail (Anderson), pps 1-124
eBay's Community Values
Week 8
Feb. 26-Mar. 2
T: No class (BC at Poynter Institute in Tampa)
TH: The Long Tail II (Elizabeth & Tara co-leading); Meet in the Science Building outside "classroom"

Read:The Long Tail (Anderson), pps 125-226

Week 9
Mar. 5-9
T: The Well (virtual community's beginnings); short history of The Well
TH: "Me" Media and Web 2.0 (Celia & Callie co-leading)
Read: "Me" Media, New Yorker (sent to you via email); "The Hit Factory" from Wired magazine; two Chronicle of Higher Education readings
Due: Monday by 5 p.m., 2d definition of community, posted to your blogs

Surf: | What's next in Web 2.0?

Week 10
Mar. 19-23

Meet Tuesday in LAU 116

Read: Research prism

Due: Notes/journal of MySpace exploration (TUE)

Week 11
Mar. 26-30

FaceBook (Meet in LAU 116)
Ashley's prism | Elizabeth's prism

No class Thursday (BC in Austin, Texas)

Read: Stutzman I & II for Tuesday

Surf: |

Due: Notes/journal of FaceBook exploration and "how to fix MySpace" on blogs (TUE)

Week 12
April 2-6
SecondLife (meet at Schroeder's Martha Berry, Tuesday; meet in LAU 116 on Thursday)

Read: Two short articles from the WSJ for Tuesday
Surf: Habbo Hotel | Runescape | World of Warcraft | Puzzle Pirates

Due: Notes/journal of SecondLife exploration (TUE)

Week 13
April 9-13

Research Presentations in LAU 116

Mobile social networking sites: Zannel | VelvetPuffin | Mbuzzy | Mywaves | Mobango

Tuesday: Liz | Tara | Amanda
Nicole | Amber | Celia, part 1
Weeks 14
April 16-20

Research Presentations in LAU 116

NBC Social Networking
Offline v. Online?

MySpace's choice of ads?

Tuesday: Celia, part 2 | Ross | Elizabeth | Katie
Ashley | Jessie | Callie

Week 15
April 23-27

Meet Tuesday at Schroeders
Thursday: last day of class

Tuesday: Wrapping it up | Course evals
Due Thursday: one last blog post

Links, Resources & Artifacts (search)




Research, News & Information

Fred Stutzman


Tech Crunch


Social Networks

Consumer Communities

Wikipedia's list of social networking sites

Wikipedia's list of social networking researchers

Wikipedia's list of network theory topics

questions or comments? bc at
back to top

Last Updated: March 2007

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I believe this constitutes a "fair use" of such material under Title 17, U.S.C. § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.