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Week 3: Here Comes the Next Book

In a matter of two short weeks, we’ve polished off the first book on our reading list and established a nice framework for our class discussions throughout the rest of the semester. Thank you to Tyler and Stephen for bravely volunteering to lead our first two student-supervised discussions, and thanks to the rest of you for contributing so well to those discussions.

Next week, we’ll dive into our second book, Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody. For Tuesday, please read pages 1–80, and either read or watch Shirky’s lecture at last year’s Web 2.0 Expo. (The video and the text are almost the same, but I suggest watching the video to get a sense of Shirky’s personality and presentation style.) On Thursday, we’ll discuss pages 81–142, with Brendon kicking off our class discussion. In addition, come to class on Thursday with at least one example of collective social action on the web. These examples can be from the news or from your personal lives, and they can be either positive or negative. (In other words, I don’t expect everyone to show up with a cheerleading story about how the web has made our lives so much better; sometimes collective action on the web amounts to little more than mob rule, with disastrous consequences.)

Next Thursday is also the first Short Paper due date. If you’d like to submit a paper, please review the assignment guidelines and remember our in-class conversations about possible topics and approaches for these papers. If you have any questions about a potential topic, email me and I’ll get back to you quickly.

Once again, most of the Delicious links this week have been great. From time to time, I’ve noticed a post that seems a bit unrelated to the focus of our class. I want to keep this assignment as open as possible, but if you post a link to something that’s only tangentially related to our readings, remember to use the “Description” field to connect the link with what we’ve been discussing (or what we will discuss) in class.

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