Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The companion blog - the conversation moves online

As I mentioned during the course introduction, there is a "companion blog" called "Social Media Technologies" (you can see the link in the upper right corner of this blog). Do note that that blog is up and running and that we are building on the contributions of earlier classes who have taken this course.

You have all just received an invitation to become contributors (writers) to that blog. I sent the invitation to the KTH addresses of all students who presented themselves at seminar 2 earlier this week (do note: sometimes these invitations get stuck in spam filters if you forward your KTH mail). Not only have you received an invitation, I actually expect you to contribute (some) during the course and (as I told you during the course introduction), you will get some credit for it ("Active participation online - 5% of the examination on the course).

During today's lecture I talked about social media being an enabler, making it possible to be heard even without owning a printing press or a television channel. Your chances to make your voice heard during the seminars is OK but not great (1 teacher and 12+ students meet for 90 minutes/week). Some of you will take the opportunity, but others' voices will be heard less frequently at the seminars.

What "active participation online" means in practical terms is thus that you have to make (at least) three contributions to the online conversation on the companion blog throughout the course. This will make the companion blog a rather lively online space. What then can you contribute with, and what are the requirements?

You can typically contribute with:
- A blog post with some information or tips about social media stuff; for example events happening in Stockholm or elsewhere, newspaper/magazine/blog articles about social media, a summary of interesting companies or services (with links) etc. The blog is our collective eyes and ears keeping track of social media-related news and events during this period. The new Facebook data center in northern Sweden that was mentioned at today's lecture is an example of "breaking news" in on the social media scene.
- A blog post with a summary, analysis, critique or just thoughts that were initiated by a lecture or a guest lecture in the course.
- A blog post with a summary, analysis, critique or just thoughts that were initiated by course literature (for example Barlow's text about the independence of cyberspace or Benkler's TEDtalk)
- A comment on someone else's blog post.

We will not specify how long your contribution should be in terms of number or words etc. The important criteria is that your contribution should add value. "I agree", "me too" or "the lecture was great" does not add value. A great contribution could be a reworked (shortened, linked-up) text about the core idea in a seminar assignment of yours.


  1. There is some alert from googlechrome about the blogpage being infected by some virus from the page of; is it only with me, or is there somebody else that gets this same message?

  2. I don't get that message and haven't even hear about the phenomenon of a blog being infected by a virus. However, I think you should go for a more recent blog post and re-post you comment. This blog post was published quite some time ago and I suspect I am one of the few who subscribe to the comments feed of this blog. I guess most people just keep track of the latest blog posts...