Buying software

If you plan to continue in this field we all have to pay the "Adobe Tax" at some point. Since acquiring Macromedia, Adobe now develops many of the major digital media related software (graphic design, web development, animation, etc). The best deal is to buy one of their bundles of software called "Creative Suites". As students you should be eligible for educational discounts. Here are some links to places that offer these discounts - its always good to comparison shop for the latest deals:

Publishing your website or blog

There are 2 places where you will have to spend some $$$ to do this:

  1. registering a domain name - I recommend
  2. purchasing a webhosting plan - I recommend site5

If you want your own URL, the first expense is unavoidable. This involves paying a modest yearly fee to a domain registrar. The hardest part is finding a name that is available. I generally buy my domains from They have administrative tools that are easy to use, strong security and good customer service. The webhosting plan is generally billed monthly although you can usually save money by paying for 6 months or a year upfront. The cost for this has gotten quite cheap as there is lots of competition. The monthly fee includes a variety of features such as diskspace, bandwidth allowances, email accounts, databases, etc. Like anything its good to shop around and compare prices. I've been using to host many of my projects. They provide a very comprehensive set of features. So far I've had a positive experience with them. You'll also need FTP software. I like Fetch. As a student you can download a free educational license.

Exploring New York City Online

Internship Books

These are a few suggestions for books that you might read during your internship.

Concepts and Topics

Concepts, topics, and theme that relate to digital media.


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.

Technical Topics

Resource pages on technical topics

HTML - Basic Tags

What is the WWW?

What is a client server network?

client : software application running on the users computer [Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Netscape]

server : software application running on the information providers computer, handles requests from a client

←→ : the network, these are the pipes along which information flows. In order for the client to be able to communicate with the server, they must agree on a language or protocol. Web browsers usually use "hypertext transfer protocol" or "http".

A web page is a file that resides on a server.
People use client software [browser] to access a web page.

A web page contains HTML elements. These elements add structure to your content. A web browser displays the content of a web page, but not the characters that give it structure.

HTML or Hyper Text Markup Language is the language used to write web pages. An HTML file is basically a text file with various tags interspersed to control the appearance of the page. Some tags have additional attributes to further specify something about the element you are controlling. Note - XHTML documents (what we are making) must use lower case for all HTML tag and attribute names. Tags are like containers. They always are used in pairs (with a few exceptions).

CSS or cascading style sheets is a language used to describe the formatting and design of the webpage.


Basic Tags

<html></html> : Creates an HTML document.

<head></head> : Contains the title and other information that isn't displayed on the Web page itself.

<body></body> : The visible portion of the document. Only elements placed in the body get displayed in the browser window.

Header Tags:
<title></title> : Puts the name of the document in the title bar.

Body Attributes

<body bgcolor="#FFFFFF"> : Sets the background color, using name or hex value.

Link for hex color values.

<body text=?> : Sets the text color, using name or hex value.

<body link=?> : Sets the link color, using name or hex value.

<body vlink=?> : Sets the visited link color, using name or hex value.

<body alink=?> : Sets the link color while clicked, using name or hex value.

HyperLinks and Anchors
The anchor tag can connect to a document on another server anywhere on the Internet, to a document on your server, or to another part of the current document.

<a href="URL"></a> : Creates a hyperlink. URL = Universal Resource Locator = Web addresss.

relative path: URL = "hello_world.html"

absolute path: URL = ""

<a href="mailto:EMAIL"></a> : Creates a mailto link. EMAIL =

<a name="NAME"></a> : Creates a target location within a document.

<a href="#NAME"></a> : Links to that target location from elsewhere in the document.

Link to NAME="clientserver"


<img src="name"/> : Adds an image where "name" is the location of the image.

<img src="name" alt="text"/> : If the image can't be shown, the "alt" tag text is displayed instead.

<img src="name" width=? height=? /> : Sets height and width of image. Use the HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes to speed up page loading: by telling the browser the size of the image, it can leave space for the image, and display the rest of the text of the page while the image is loading. Note that using incorrect image dimensions can SLOW down page loading.

silly dog

silly dogwidth=200

silly dogheight=200

<img src="name" border=? > : Sets size of border around an image.

Basic Page Structure



<title>your page title here</title>



most of your code goes here



Best Practices - Guidelines


Essentially this means that all elements must either have closing tags or be written in a special form (as described below), and that all the elements must nest properly.

Although overlapping is technically illegal, it is widely tolerated in existing browsers.

CORRECT: nested elements.

<p>here is an emphasized <em>paragraph</em>.</p>

INCORRECT: overlapping elements

<p>here is an emphasized <em>paragraph.</p></em>

Element and attribute names must be in lower case

XHTML documents must use lower case for all HTML element and attribute names. This difference is necessary because XML is case-sensitive e.g. <li> and <LI> are different tags.

For non-empty elements, end tags are required

In older versions of HTML certain elements were permitted to omit the end tag; with the elements that followed implying closure. XHTML does not allow end tags to be omitted.

CORRECT: terminated elements

<p>here is a paragraph.</p><p>here is another paragraph.</p>

INCORRECT: unterminated elements

<p>here is a paragraph.<p>here is another paragraph.

Attribute values must always be quoted

All attribute values must be quoted, even those which appear to be numeric.

CORRECT: quoted attribute values

<td rowspan="3">

INCORRECT: unquoted attribute values

<td rowspan=3>

Empty Elements

Empty elements must either have an end tag or the start tag must end with />. For instance, <br/> or <hr></hr>.

CORRECT: terminated empty elements


INCORRECT: unterminated empty elements


Processing Basics

a series of basic processing code examples