Second position paperĀ #mco494

Since I already posted them, I figured I might as well give you an extra day to think over the questions for your second position paper. Remember, it’s due via Blackboard before class next Thursday.

See you then!

Wiki assignment posted #mco494

Just a heads up: we’ll be talking about it in class, but I’ve posted the details of the wiki assignment, with links to the relevant screencasts to help you get started.

Spring 2011 changes

Students considering registering for this course in Spring 2011 should keep in mind that there will be a few changes made next semester.

Since the enrollment cap has been raised to 200, the class will necessarily be less writing-intensive. There will be a midterm and a final exam, and no research paper or applied project. The course will still require participation in a variety of social media platforms, but the format of the exercises will change to scale more effectively for such a large class.

The general principles of the class will remain the same, although the readings will be subject to change as new developments emerge, or as I decide to emphasize different aspects of each area studied.

Feel free to ask any questions about the course in the comments below.

Visual media assignment

For those of you who weren’t in class Thursday, the current assignment is twofold:

  1. Share a photo via Twitter using Twitpic or another service (for help, see the screencasts on the Week 7 Resources page);
  2. Sign up for an account at (which now requires a Yahoo account as well). Email me to let me know your yahoo address or Flickr account name, and I will invite you to the class group. Once you’ve joined the group, you need to:
    • upload a photo to your account;
    • add the appropriate tags;
    • share it with the class group.

Since technical difficulties kept me from getting this information out sooner, you have until this Thursday (October 14) to complete this assignment.

Some outstanding Tumblr business

The following weeks are still undersubscribed: Week 6 (right now!), Week 14 (Thanksgiving week).

Below the cut are some outstanding problems regarding students who have not signed up for Tumblr, joined the class blog (or whom I can’t identify), or have signed up for an incorrect number of weeks. Make sure to check for your name and leave a comment for any corrections or updates. Continue reading


Time’s running out: make sure you sign up for your four weeks of blogging before class tomorrow. Everyone should have received an invitation to the Tumblr blog; let me know if you have not received yours. As mentioned on Twitter, I’ve corrected the numbers for this assignment. Now, each week must have no fewer than 16 and no more than 25 people signed up to post.

Each week, you will have until Friday to send your post to the queue. (You can also write a post ahead of time and schedule it to publish during your assigned week, as described in the screencasts.)

If you haven’t selected your book for the book analysis assignment yet, remember that you must do so before class tomorrow. Otherwise, I will choose the book for you and notify you of your assigned text. Don’t make me do the picking!


I’ve added some screencasts to walk you through posting on Tumblr; they’re available at the bottom of the Resources page for last week. These will help you as you start making your first posts. Even if you’re familiar with Tumblr, you should watch these, since I explain specific things I want you to do for this assignment. Also see my first post to our class Tumblr, which offers a few tips and clarifications.

By the way, those of you who signed up for the first week of posting: you’re on! You have until Friday to send your post to the queue.

Also remember that you need to choose your book for the book analysis/midterm before class on Tuesday, and let me know your selection in the comments on the assignment post.

Tumblr assignment

Since the blogging assignment is about to begin, all MCO494 students need to sign up for an account at Tumblr. Once you have an account, indicate your member name in the comments on this post, and I will invite you to join our Class Tumblr.

This is going to be fun!

Reading to prepare for the film

Two articles published this week make great preparatory reading for this week’s viewing of The Social Network (even for those unable to attend).

The New Yorker profiled Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the protagonist of the film. Vanity Fair has also profiled Sean Parker, who had a key role in the early days of Facebook (and Napster, back in the day), and who is played in the movie by Justin Timberlake.

I recommend both pieces, and am adding them to next week’s required readings, so why not get a head start?


Remember, your mission is to find an example of each of the five categories of legal issues we discussed in class today. Feel free to tweet and share links about your discoveries (and to discuss them on Twitter), but most of all, remember to bring them with you to class next Tuesday.

As a reminder, the categories are:

  • Defamation (and libel in particular)
  • Copyright and intellectual property
  • Employers and free speech
  • International legal issues
  • Misrepresentation and other misdeeds