Projects and Assignments related to Digital Media


The Long Tail is a concept that has gained recent popularity due in large part to the book by Chris Anderson and is frequently used to explain the emergence of a variety of new business models and cultural trends.

In brief idea behind the "The Long Tail" is that ideas/products that historically were in low demand can collectively compete for market share with the "best sellers" or blockbusters. Because of the infinite shelf space and searchability of the internet, users and consumers can have access to even the most obscure and eclectic products and interests.

For your final project you will create a "niche" website about something you are passionate about. I challenge you to develop the narrowest idea/concept/interest you can come up with into a full fledged website. We will discuss this more in class and begin brainstorming ideas.

The website must be at least 10 pages long and should be built using HTML and CSS.

You make work alone or in groups of two.



Develop a piece of propaganda and deliver it to your intended audience. For this project you will need to develop both a message and a distribution strategy. The message should involve images and text and should use at least one of the tactics indicated below. Your aim is to influence the opinions of people, rather than impartially providing information. You should design the message with your distribution strategy in mind. Think about your audience. What is the best way to reach them? You can use email, mailboxes, cell phones, walls/bulletin boards, etc., etc. You could choose to spoof a form of propaganda that you have found (please share the original with me) or you could develop your own from scratch.


Propaganda Critic

Wikipedia Propaganda page

Think Again - activist artists

German Propaganda Archive

Propaganda Re-Mix Project

Chinese Propaganda posters

Adbusters Posters

Propaganda is a specific type of message presentation directly aimed at influencing the opinions of people, rather than impartially providing information. You could view advertising as a form of propaganda whereby a company tries to convince a certain demographic to buy their product. The government and other groups use propaganda to encourage/discourage types of behavior (stop smoking, wear seatbelts, be Jewish). Perhaps the most powerful forms of propaganda come in times of war where it is used to created hatred towards a supposed enemy or to try and undermine the enemy's resolve. Propaganda uses various tactics:

Name-calling - The use of names when referring to groups or individuals (usually negative) - commie, fascist, pig, yuppy
Glittering generalities - The use of adjectives to describe in a positive way - Makes the product, event, person sound better then they are.
Euphemisms - Using language that attempts to pacify the audience in order to make an unpleasant reality more palatable. During wartime, civilian casualties are referred to as "collateral damage," and the word "liquidation" is used as a synonym for "murder."

Transfer - A device by which the propagandist carries over the authority, sanction, and prestige of something we respect and revere to something he would have us accept.
Testimonial - The use of an important person to testify to the importance of the product, event, or person even if that person may not be an expert in the matter.

Plain Folks - The use of common language "Normal Folk" to describe the product, event or person to make it seem as if its already been accepted by the masses.
Bandwagon - The use of "Everybody's doing it" so you should to.
Fear - By playing on the audience's deep-seated fears, practitioners of this technique hope to redirect attention away from the merits of a particular proposal and toward steps that can be taken to reduce the fear.