Dec 18 - Final Presentations

Last day of classes - presentation and discussion of final projects.

DUE: Final Take-Home Endeavor

You must work in groups of 2 or 3.

This endeavor is meant to be an integrative exercise, covering as much of the course work as possible, and also one in which you begin to come to terms with the points of view of the readings, class discussions, small group discussions, shares, websites, projects, the course as a whole, and your own reactions to them. I ask that you show your struggle to make sense of the course work and how you relate to it personally as well as intellectually. There are no right answers, and any judgments, reservations, criticisms, rejections, acceptances, celebrations, provocative questions, hesitations, insights, etc. are acceptable as long as they are backed up by careful references to sources (readings, websites, etc) and/or thoughtful reasoning.

Part 1

The Networked Public Sphere is being designed as we speak. How this occurs will govern what you can do, what you can see, what you look like and who can gain access to what. It is our responsibility to participate in envisioning this future.

Imagine: you have been provided with 10 gazillion dollars of venture capital and a crack team of engineers and computer programmers who can make anything you design.

The Challenge: design either a new web service or personal display (handheld or wearable device) that augments/enhances social interactivity.

+ What are you making, what does it do?
+ Who are you making it for - who is your audience?
+ What kind of identity information is emitted?
+ Is the display/service public, private, both?
+ How does it interact with other users - proximity, affinities?
+ What problem does it set out to address?
+ What are some related products/services - how does yours differ?

A 10-15 minute presentation in the form of Power Point or a webpage/blog. Please turn in either a copy burned to CD or a URL.

The presentation should incorporate the following:

  1. A name for your service or device (a neologism).
  2. Answers to the above questions.
  3. Use cases or scenarios that demonstrate typical user experiences.
  4. Visual designs - at least 4 visualizations that depict what the service/device/interface looks like and how it would be used

!!! your device/service does not have to work - but you need to explain how it would work.

Part 2

Respond to the following 2 questions - stating opinions is not enough, cite relevant authors in your discussion. I highly recommend that you write cooperatively with your classmates (as opposed to divvying up the questions and writing individually). Your answers will be stronger if you generate answers through discussing the various themes and issues raised by the course material.

Groups should write 3 pages per question.

  1. Sharing and participatory culture are essential concepts for this course. Explore your understanding of what these terms mean. To do this you might consider some of the various forms we explored in class (open-source, folksonomies, gift economies, blogs, the commons, SecondLife, social networks etc, etc, etc). Which concepts do you find most compelling? Do these phenomena enhance or detract from social interaction? How are our real lives (RL) merging, intersecting, blurring with our virtual lives (VL)?
  2. Yochai Benkler argues that the network allows citizens to change their relationship to the public sphere. What does he mean by this? What is the Networked Public Sphere? What is the democratizing potential (strengths and limitations) of the Internet? What is the role of freedom of expression in a democratic society?