In class this week, we focused on tools (open architecture and Web 2.0 applications) and culture (of participation, collective intelligence, etc.)—these two facets of convergence that are driving the internet we know today. Think of this part of the course as scaffolding work: once we understand how the Web works, at a conceptual level, then we can begin to figure out best strategies for doing journalism in this new context. It’s about speaking the language of the Web—and that requires some fundamentals up front.
So, our next step is to investigate what this convergence/digital culture means for (1) communities, social action, and information-sharing at a broad society level; and (2) for journalism in particular. In other words, how do these changes in tools and culture play out in the media realm in which you’re going to operate?
Clay Shirky’s book Here Comes Everybody is perhaps the best book to answer that question. For Tuesday, read chapters 1-5 and come ready to discuss the key principles and how they apply to media/journalism. In the meantime, in lieu of a comment here on the blog in response to this reading, I’d like you to experiment with doing your response in another forum—on your own personal Tumblr or Posterous blog.
Yes, this leads us to this weekend’s social media assignment. It’s pretty simple:
1. Sign up for Posterous and learn how to use it (hint: it’s dead-easy blogging). Create some content (photos, text, whatever suits your interests), and otherwise just try to get the hang of it. Perhaps just think of it as a public diary, and try posting at least once a day for 3-4 days. Play around with different forms, with links, etc.
2. Ditto for Tumblr, which has a slightly different structure but offers some similar easy-to-post options and other ways to incorporate flows from elsewhere (like your Twitter feed). Guides like this might also help. The key here is just to become familiar with both blogging options.
3. IMPORTANT: Of your posts on either blog, make at least one in response to the Shirky reading, just like you normally would have done so here on this blog.
4. Then, in the comments section here (below), please drop a line that includes links to your Posterous and Tumblr sites so we can see each other’s work.
Finally, keep up with your RSS readings as you go … in fact, I would encourage you to take cool items you find via RSS and integrate them into your blogging streams, if you can … OK, have a great weekend!