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April 11, 2007
Lecture: You use it to collaborate (peer production)
Key concepts: peer production, collective/consensus filtering
Examples: Wikipedia, Wikiality, Wikilobbying
Example Games/Simulations: SimCity, Sugarscape, Schilling's model of self-segregation:
QuickTime movies from lecture: part one ("houses" seek two neighbors of the same color), part two ("houses" seek one neighbor of the same color)
Password Protected [Get Password Help])
Class Reader: Digital Maoism
Lanier, J. (2006, May 30). Digital Maoism Edge. Password Protected Online Full-Text (PDF) [Get Password Help]
Textbook: portions of 6: Radio
Read ONLY pp. 162-166 (from "Technology: Inside Your Radio" to the next red heading) AND pp. 174-177 (from "Media Literacy: The Impact of the Airwaves" to the end of the chapter) in Chapter 6, Radio, from Media Now.
Key concepts: copyright, piracy
Textbook: portions of 5: Recorded Music
Read ONLY pp. 128-135 (from "Digital Recording" to "Industry: The Suits") AND pp. 141-147 (from "Media Literacy: Who Controls the Music?" to the end of the chapter) in Chapter 5, Recorded Music from Media Now.
Assignment: WIKI / BLOG POST: I am a Wikipedian
In the commentary "Digital Maoism," Lanier argues that collective authorship is ineffective when faced with controversial topics, and that collective filtering is biased toward sensational topics. In this assignment, you are to go undercover as a wikipedian (someone who participates in a Wikipedia-related project) to assess these claims. You will register as a wikipedia user, contribute to collectively authoring two articles, then assess Lanier's claims.
Part I: Create an Account. Create an account on Wikipedia if you do not already have one. IMPORTANT: Post your wikipedia username in your blog entry so that readers can review your contributions. (TIP: You can examine anyone's contributions to wikipedia if you know their username by adding it to the end of the URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/ )
Part II: Edit/Create an Article of Your Choice. Edit an article in Wikipedia (or create one) about a topic, event, concept, or person (or anything else) that you have personal knowledge about. Do not spread misinformation. Try your best to make a constructive contribution to the collective project.
Part III: Edit an Article with the Rest of the Class. Create or edit the article on the assigned film "The Tailenders." The article should be located here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tailenders. (At the beginning of this assignment, this URL points to a blank article.)
Part IV: Assess Lanier's Claims. Write a blog post that assesses one or more of Lanier's claims about collectives and collaboratives. What evidence did you discover that indicated to you that he is right or wrong? Make reference to examples from Wikipedia. You must refer to one of the articles you worked on in this post. Please also cite at least one passage from Lanier in your write-up.
- You must post your wikipedia username to receive credit for this blog post.
- You must contribute something to two articles to receive credit for this blog post.
- You may agree or disagree with Lanier, but you must support your view with examples and evidence.
- It may help you in this assignment if you try to participate in a variety of topics on Wikipedia, or at least look at them (e.g., both controversial and non-controversial topics).
- The Documentation for contributors at Wikipedia may be helpful if you get stuck.
Post an answer of at least 250 words to your blog. DEADLINE: 11 a.m. -- one hour before class begins.
This is the Web site for SPCM 199, Communication Technology and Society, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.