Virtual Communities/Social Media

Virtual Communities/Social Media


Pick a contemporary medium (broadly defined) other than television, preferably one you use or encounter on a regular basis. First, introduce what this medium is and explain how it is used, drawing from your own experiences. Next, compare this medium to other media that are used, were used, or could be used for similar purposes, discussing what is similar and what is different. Finally, drawing from Williams, make one claim that is technologically determinist about this newer medium, then make an opposing claim supporting a more symptomatic view. Which claim would Williams find more compelling, and why?

Some notes: Each section should take about a third of the space in your essay. You should not need to do any outside research for this assignment, other than thinking about your own experiences and reflecting on the course readings. You should draw a quote or two from the course readings, as appropriate. You do not need to cite any references, but you should use page numbers when quoting. The word limit is 450-550 words and it is strict, as conciseness is part of the assignment. Use a word processor or to count your words.



Required reading:

Shapin, Steven. 2007. “What Else Is New?” The New Yorker, May 14.

Lessig, Lawrence. 2006. Code 2.0. p. 120-128.
The Buggles. 1979.

“Video Killed the Radio Star.”

Required reading:
Henkin, David. 2006. The Postal Age. p. 15-34, 148-158
Reagle, Joseph. 2011. Good Faith Collaboration: The Culture of 1, ch 4.
Arcade Fire. 2010. “The Wilderness Downtown / We Used to Wait” .



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