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Purdue University





My greatest passion is to create new ways of connecting real and virtual spaces. I have published books, taught courses, and developed online sites that aim to make this into a reality. My professional biography.

Class overview

Human history has been marked by dramatic social changes facilitated by communication technologies. Of these changes the most recent, known as the digital revolution, has significantly affected all our lives. The world we are living in is in great flux—new ways of communicating between friends, relatives, and co-workers are being forged, fortunes will be won and lost, and the balance of social power may shift. Your generation will be responsible for codifying a completely new way of socializing, communicating and conducting business.

The purpose of this course is to help you understand the implications of the communication revolution taking shape around us; however, the class will be concerned not only with present or future technological developments. Our conversation will be broader than that, including social, legal, moral, and intellectual concerns. In order to get you to think about the role of the professional communicator in the new digital world we will first familiarize ourselves with several basic technological principles. The second and most substantial part of the semester will be dedicated to exploring some of the most important technologies that promise to change the way we do business, learn, or play. The conversation will discuss the two most probable medium-range scenarios for the evolution of current communication technologies: the Internet seen as a computing platform and the location-aware or ambiental computing technologies. To make these ideas as tangible as possible we will also learn how to use several technologies that illustrate these trends. The practical knowledge you will acquire is indispensable for successfully completing one of the course activities: designing and implementing a website that illustrates these emerging trends. The semester will end with a series of debates about the policy, moral, and regulatory framework that rules emergent communication technologies.

Course Objectives

The class will help you understand the origin and probable immediate future trajectory of digital communication technologies. In the process you will pick up a number of skills useful in your future careers. However, the class focuses on critical and reasoned analysis of communication technologies. Following Kurt Lewin's dictum, this class proposes that there is nothing more practical than mastering the theory of any given phenomenon or process. As technologies tend to change every year, it is much more important to understand the principles and ideas that make them possible, than on focusing on tricks that in one year will be considered obsolete. Practical use and understanding are important, of course, and you will get a good chance to experiment with a number of online tools in this class. Practical knowledge, however, becomes much more effective when it is rooted in knowing how things work and why they do what they do the way they do it.

All students are expected to participate in all activities, to work independently or in teams, to strive to perfect any technical skills described in class through their own efforts, to be self-starters, to be curious, and most importantly to come to class with the readings done and ready to ask questions. The instructor will ask frequent questions during the lectures and will call on members of the class to answer them. The focus of the discussion will be the specific information found in the readings. The conversation will focus on explaining the large social and technological processes involved by the emergence of the new communication technologies.

The class will also help you pick up some valuable online research and collaborative skills. Yet, the class will help you understand how the latest technologies will impact your future professional lives in the long rather than in short run.

Upon completion of this course, each student will possess a better understanding of:

  1. the principles and ideas that empower the technologies behind the electromagnetic/digital/networking revolution
  2. the most important emerging technologies and the reasons why they might change our everyday lives
  3. some practical applications of digital and networked technologies
  4. the regulatory and policy framework surrounding communication technologies


Online readings can be found on this website, as detailed in the weekly schedule. They are typically divided into "Readings" and "Resources presented in class." The first category includes materials to be read in advance of each class meeting. The second category refers to brief, factual resources, which I will mention in class. Exam questions will refer to both of them.

Access to some of the readings is password protected. Information about accessing the readings will be distributed during recitation section sessions.

Do not share with anyone not enrolled in the class the URLs or the reading files you download on your personal computers. These are reserved only for use by Purdue students enrolled in this class.


Grades will be based on performance on the following:

  • Midterm exam: 25% of final grade (250 points)
  • Final exam: 25% of final grade (250 points)
  • Up to ten short un-announced (pop) quizzes: 15% of final grade (150 points)
  • Digital portfolio: 20% of final grade (200 points)
  • Wiki activity (study guide): 15% of final grade (150 points)

Total score for all regular class activities 1000 points

NOTE: 30 points extra credit may be credited from case to case for completing the last two wiki contributions early. These are not included in the 1000 points mentioned above.

The final grade will be curved using the percentile method, as follows (numbers represent percent of maximum obtained class score):

98 - 100 = A+

93 - 97.9 = A

90 - 92.9 = A-

88 - 89.9 = B+

83 - 87.9 = B

80 - 82.9 = B-

78. - 79.9 = C+

73 - 77.9 = C

70 - 72.9 = C-

68 - 69.9 = D+

63 - 67.9 = D

60 - 62.9 = D-

59.9 and below = F.

Course Policies

  1. This is a collaborative class that sees students as stakeholders of their own learning process.
  2. The class relies on the assumption that all students are active participants in the learning process. All readings are supposed to be done in advance of each week or class meeting and students are expected to be able to have an informed conversation during class periods about them. Frequent questions about the class readings will be asked during the class discussions and students are expected to be able to contribute to and support a substantive discourse concerning proposed discussion topics. It is highly advisable that while reading the articles or materials assigned for weekly discussion you should take notes that: summarize the main points, define key terms, or emphasize new or unusual facts.
  3. Thus, it's worth repeating: Our conversations are not a one way street. You are in fact expected to ask questions of your own during the class period.
  4. Professional, mature classroom behavior is expected from all students. Since some of our class activities take place in a computer lab, it will be quite tempting to turn away from conversation to check your email or Facebook account. Please refrain from such behavior during the class period. Computers are to be used only at the instructor's cue and only for class related activities.  Conversations or activities that are not related to the class (chatting or creating a distracting atmosphere) are strongly discouraged. All class members are encouraged to request from any colleagues who might find themselves in noncompliance with this rule to cease the activity that disturbs the class.
  5. All work done for this course must be your original work and must be written expressly for this course.
  6. For some lectures the instructor will use powerpoint slides. Class powerpoint slides are a teaching aid, not a main content material. They help illustrate some, albeit not all, course concepts and are meant to organize the narrative flow of lectures. They should not be used instead of reading the class materials or of taking personalized notes during the lecture. All slides can change in advance of each lecture without notice.
  7. Make-up exams, incompletes, deferred grades, and late assignments are available only in cases of documented emergency situations (e.g., an official doctor's note, not an E-mail message). It is your responsibility to contact the instructor immediately to make arrangements and to provide documentation upon request.
  8. All class email correspondence for Sorin Matei is to be sent to smatei at purdue dot edu . Emails for Kelly Vibber and for Brian Britt should be sent via Blackboard Mail. Messages sent after 5 PM are typically answered the next morning. Messages sent over the weekend are answered by Monday afternoon. Messages sent during Spring break will be answered during the first week of classes after the break.
  9. If something is due during the session that you will miss, turn the assignment in early, not late.
  10. Any issues regarding grades or scores should be discussed within a week of the date the results were announced. An initial email sent to the TA should describe in a detailed narrative the main issues the student wants to discuss and any supporting evidence. The note should also request an in-office meeting to clarify the situation. It is our policy that such matters will only be settled via an in-person conversation. No grade disputes will be held after the 7 day notification period has passed.
  11. Students are expected to attend all classes and recitation section meetings. We will not take attendance, but please be advised that missing classes might lead to missing the un-announced quizzes and the recitation section activities that are essential for completing your digital portfolios.
  12. You are responsible for reading and following all class materials, including the syllabus, the study guide, and all related materials posted on this site or distributed in class. If you have questions or require clarification please stop by my office hours. In addition, it is your responsibility to assure that you have access to resources and understand how to use the technology in advance of deadlines. This information is covered during lectures and recitation sessions. If you have any questions or difficulties please contact us, we would love to help. Failure to access the system or failure to understand the technology is not an excuse for not completing the assignments. We recommend testing your accounts well in advance of the deadline and completing the assignments well before they are due. Back up all your assignments, print them out and file them, even if you are asked to post them on a server, on your CMSs, on Google docs, or on this wiki.
  13. Due to the nature of this class, some materials prepared for this class will be visible on the Internet. If you have concerns about this issue, please share them with us as soon as possible.
  14. Students who participate in the Research Participation System can apply the credit earned for ONE of the studies to this class as extra credit.

Academic Misconduct

As a student in this course, it is assumed that you have read and understood the official position of Purdue University on matters of academic misconduct (see the University Regulations booklet and other relevant on-line materials linked from it). If misconduct occurs in the context of this course, it will be handled according to the procedures specified in the University Regulations booklet.

Special Technologies for this Class

  1. The class readings will be distributed over the Internet, as html or pdf files. Some of them will be password protected by your career account username and password, some by the username and password you have created for this site. The username and password procedures will be detailed in class. You should not use the articles for any other purposes than those specified by this class and you should not share the password or the materials distributed through this website with anyone outside this class.
  2. The class will use email communication for making important announcements, especially related to coordinating our wiki work or other class announcement. All announcements will be sent via Blackboard. Make sure that you forward all Blackboard messages to your email. In case you joined the class late, please make sure that you contact the TAs to discuss your technology-related needs and duties.
  3. The class will use this site very frequently. Its wiki abilities will facilitate one of your assignments. Accessing the wiki requires a username and password that you will create in the first two recitation section sessions. The username should be your real name in the format First Name Last Name (eg, Sorin Matei). Using the site also involves learning how to use a specific method of formatting text and citations. In addition to helping you contribute to this site, this will help you better understand how wikis work and will come in handy when we will study Wikipedia.
  4. We will use a number of Google, Facebook, Twitter technologies. All students are expected to have a Google (gmail), Facebook, or Twitter account. These should be created as soon as possible. More instructions will be provided in class, during recitation sections. You do not need to use your own name or real identities for creating these accounts.
  5. Please make sure you do not miss any class period dedicated to tutorials. Not understanding the technology due to missing training sessions is not an excuse for not completing the assignments. If you have difficulties with using the site stop by the TA or instructor's office hours and/or arrange an appointment right away. We would love to help. Bear in mind, however, that such appointments are not intended to be a replacement for missed recitation periods, but instead will be geared toward resolving specific technical problems.
  6. A preliminary activity and assignment schedule is outlined below. This may be slightly modified during the semester according to various contingencies that might develop. Make sure you check this site often and that if you print it, you compare the print out with the online version.

Un-announced (pop) quizzes

On up to ten different dates, randomly selected and depending on class needs and time available, we will administer a brief multiple choice quiz. The quiz will last five minutes and it will start at 10:30 sharp. There will be no make up quizzes, even if you are a few minutes late. The questions will refer to the issues discussed in the readings due for that day marked with XXX in the syllabus and to those discussed in the immediately previous lectures. Quiz results and cumulative scores will be posted on Blackboard and the correct results will be announced in class right after the quiz.


The exams will be a combination of multiple-choice, true-false, and short answer/essay format items. A study guide will be prepared by the entire class, as detailed in the "Wiki activity" section. You can also propose exam topics and exam questions, or edit proposed exam questions and topics through this site. A description of this process will be provided in class. If found satisfactory, a substantial number of exam questions will be selected from those proposed by you. To qualify for being used in an exam, the question should be proposed, however, by the dates stated below.

  1. 435 Exam 1: Student proposed Exam Questions -- Propose questions no later than March 5th - CLOSED
  2. 435 Exam 2: Student proposed Exam Questions -- Propose questions no later than May 1st - CLOSED

Digital Portfolio activities

Through participation in the recitation section activities and through personal research and individual work you are expected to create a WordPress-based site, which will serve as a personal digital portfolio. The digital portfolio will include several brief papers and your CV, all of which will be created or started in class. The idea behind the portfolio is to give you some basic web content production skills and to help you put up a good looking site that can feature some of your work. You may use the site to publish other materials than the ones required in class, if you would like, but only after we grade it. The portfolio will be built over time and will be graded at two different dates. On March 20th we will grade the site/portfolio, checking if it contains:

  1. A theme found and installed by you
  2. A plugin discovered by you, installed on the site, whose features you should discuss in a blog post
  3. An RSS feed you found through independent research, listed in the sidebar
  4. Your Twitter activity listed in the sidebar as a Twitter Tools widget
  5. A widget including a "like" button to a Facebook page that you created
  6. A post about your Internet forensics activity, started in class on February 3rd. The post will link to the Google doc created in class.

These activities need to be completed by March 20th, when you should send an email to your TA. This should include the full URL of your protofolio and a statement indicating that you have completed its first part. The first part of the portfolio is 80 points (8% of the final grade). It will be graded after March 20 and the partial grade (score) for it will be posted on Blackboard.

Between March 20 and May 1st you will continue the construction of your digital portfolio, adding to it:

  1. A post that compares the social media buzz of two celebrities or brands, started in class on March 30th
  2. A PAGE (not post) containing your resume, which should include specific information as explained in class on April 6th
  3. A post analyzing the editorial activity of a specific Wikipedia topic, started in class on April 20th

The second part of your portfolio is 120 points (12% of your final grade). The last date to add the last three posts to the portfolios is May 1st. You should send an email to your TA by that date, indicating again the full URL of your protofolio and the fact that this is the final version. THIS IS YOUR DELIVERY PROOF. Failure to send an email including the URL will result in a diminished grade for your portfolio. Final grades for the digital portfolio, which will be the sum of the scores for the two parts, will be posted on Blackboard during finals week.

Wiki activity


The class will emphasize the role of openness, mass collaboration, and peer production in shaping today's communication technologies. To help you better understand the importance of these processes you are invited to participate in a class project that will harness the capabilities of a representative collaborative technology, namely a wiki platform. Specifically, you are invited to co-write with your colleagues and with help from the instructors the study guide for this class. The study guide will consist of weekly summaries of the readings and of the lectures written collaboratively by the entire class. (Look for the Study Guide.... link in each weekly section of the schedule of classes.) Dr. Matei or the TAs will seed each entry with some content, which you are expected to enrich with text, images and links throughout the course of the semester, as detailed below. The study guides are meant to provide entry points to the readings. They are not to be used instead of reading the readings required by this course.


You are invited to contribute to the study guide relevant knowledge about communication technologies that you have gained through reading the class texts or other sources and from attending the class lectures. The information should summarize and point to specific knowledge encapsulated in the readings. It should be written in a neutral and informative manner. Specifically, you are invited to contribute new or edit existing information in/to 5 different study guide entries (weekly topics). You are expected to contribute at least 3 times before MARCH 28, NOON and two times after Spring Break. Contributions that count for the first half of the semester should be 1000 characters long, those that count for the second half of the semester should be 1500 characters each, posted to two different study guides.

Monitoring your progress and grading

The wiki exercise relies on self monitoring. The summary table found on each page indicates who are the most proficient contributors and how much they have contributed in Gross and Net terms (Gross=contributions to all page versions; Net=contribution to the present version of the page). Numbers in parentheses indicate number of characters contributed. Numbers outside parentheses indicate words.

Your grade will be derived from the numbers in the GROSS column in the upper right corner of each page and from the quality of your individual contributions. If your name is not on the list, it means that you have contributed less than the top 10 contributors. In this case, you can check your contributions by clicking your name in the upper left corner of the page, then clicking again the "contributions" link on your user page. To review the wording of your previous contributions use the History tab and the instructions provided in class.

New information should be well written, clear, and correctly formatted. If something does not look good on the page, fix it using this tutorial Help:Editing. Mangled formatting can affect your grade.

Editing means significantly rewording and rewriting the sentences. Please do NOT compose your contributions/edits merely to meet the minimum requirements. Write as much, or as little, to sufficiently convey what you wanted to contribute/alter (which, of course, does meet stated minimum requirements).

What to contribute

It is entirely up to you what you decide to contribute to the study guide. You can, for example, spruce up the prose and fix the grammar by adding appropriate wording and transition sentences. Or, you can provide a brief description of a device of technology only briefly discussed in class. Or, you can provide a definition for a legal or policy issue and add some links. You can illustrate the functioning of a law or principle with an example. Or, you can link to other resources on the web or insert graphics.

Ideally, however, you should focus on the elements that you consider the most important or those we spent most of the time on during class discussions.


To ensure that you contribute to the wiki activity throughout the entire course of the semester, you are expected to contribute at least 3 times by MARCH 28, NOON and at least 2 times) between March 12 and April 25. Between Jan 10 and March 28 you can only contribute to entries covered in class during the first part of the semester (pre-Spring Break). Between March 12 and April 25 NOON you can only contribute to entries covered that period. In other words, on April 25 you cannot contribute to any pre-Spring Break entries. On the other hand, due to the extended deadline, you can contribute to entries from the first part of the semester until March 28. To encourage early contributions and to prevent stampedes, those that finish the contributions for the entire semester before April 15, NOON get 30 points extra credit. UPDATE: If you finish by April 15 and if you send immediately after that an email to your TA, announcing that you have finished all your 5 contributions, your wiki assignment will be graded among the first ones.

Caveat regarding the quality of the study guide entries

The entries will be as good or as bad as you make them. This means that each and every contribution counts. Do not rush the job. Do not be vague. Check the details. And when you read the entries in preparation for your exams check the authenticity and validity of any claim you find unclear or mistaken. Given the changing nature of the study guide, it is extremely important that you use the study guide for what its name indicates: a tool for further learning, not a final learning deliverable.

Acceptable materials to be used in the study guide

You should privilege as sources of information the class readings. That is, you should cite and refer to the class readings as much as possible. Use outside materials only if the entry has already covered the class readings.

As mentioned in the next section (Rules regarding using or uploading...), DO NOT USE WIKIPEDIA as a primary source of information. You should also keep in mind that the tone of your contributions should be neutral and should reflect the fact that the entries are reference materials. Stay away from phrases such as "I believe" or "I think". Use direct, neutral, expository phrases. Be precise and use appropriate language. Mention all relevant details. Cite materials using the style you were taught in class and specified in the help file. Create internal links (to other entries) as often as you mention topics covered by our study guide. Use external links (to web materials) or graphic illustrations as much as needed.

Rules regarding using or uploading on this site content created by other people and found on the web

Do not cut and paste information from random web pages, from Wikipedia or from print materials. Wikipedia cannot be cited as a primary source. The proper manner of handling Wikipedia entries is detailed in the document titled How_to_use_wikipedia. The gist of that document is that Wikipedia is to be treated as a springboard for research, as a search engine and not as a primary information authority.

All your contributions should be your own and written specifically for this course. Please refer to this document to avoid situations that might indicate plagiarism.

If you upload a picture on the site, make sure that the image is in the public domain or is available for use for non-commercial purposes. It is preferable that you use the FLICKR collection of CC (creative commons) pictures. A picture is worth 100 characters of text.

If you cannot find anything on the FLICKR site, try the Creative Commons Search Engine for images. Only if these two resources did not work for you should you go to the web to identify and use images and visual materials. However, you should only choose materials that do not infringe other people's copyright. How can you tell is an image is OK to use or not? A set of guidelines is provided in class and are restated here:

  1. Most pictures posted on sites that end with .gov are in the public domain and can be used without permission.
  2. Most pictures posted on .edu sites are probably OK to use but you need to ask the owner of the page or the webmaster if it is ok to do so.
  3. Most pictures on sites that are covered by GNU or CC copyright agreements are OK to use, but make sure you familiarize yourself with these licensing formulas. It is always safe to ask the owner of the content if it is OK to use it on our site.
  4. Most pictures on Flickr are OK to use as long as they are CC. If they are not CC, do not use the picture.
  5. Most pictures on .com, .org., .net, .info, and countries' tld sites (top-level domain; i.e., those that end with .uk, .jp, .fr, etc.) are probably copyrighted. Do not use them unless you get written permission from the owner of the picture (not of the site) that it is OK to do so. Even then you should do this sparingly because you never know who you are talking to.
  6. Most pictures from Wikipedia or Wikicommons are OK to use, but check the status of the picture first by clicking on it.
  7. All pictures you find through Google Images or other search engines are to be checked against this list of rules.
  8. For all pictures you need to provide the author and the copyright status (e.g., used by permission, creative common license, etc.) which should be included both on the picture page and each time you use the picture (details here).

Everything you contribute should be in compliance with the Purdue honesty code and with the class policies.

Throughout the process, keep in mind that the study guide is supposed to be a continuous process of collaboration which will spread over the course of the entire semester. Thus, each contribution should be seen as a building block on which others will build. It is not an end in itself, but a means toward an end.

Editing process

The editing process, including details about using the wiki platform and its editorial conventions, will be demonstrated in class a few times, especially during Recitation Section Sessisons. Make sure you do not miss any of these classes. If you have any difficulties using the system, please stop by your TA office hours.

NOTE: The site allows you to add YouTube clips. Make sure you follow the instructions provided in the Help file.

Adverse Weather Course Cancelations

In the event of a major campus emergency, course requirements, deadlines and grading percentages are subject to changes that may be necessitated by a revised semester calendar or other circumstances. Any relevant announcement will be posted on this page or will be broadcast via email.

Please consult this document to learn more about the Purdue University adverse weather policies. The gist of this policy is that you need to consult this page and to send your TAs or Dr. Matei email, if you need clarifications.


Vital Dates

February 10 Installation / configuration of your website

February 24 Adding mashup tools and extensions to your site

March 2 - Recitation Sections Meet at Burton Morgan Building - bring a pair of headphones

MARCH 28 NOON - UPDATE Deadline to contribute first three entries to the study guide

March 8 - Midterm

March 20 MIDNIGHT - First part of the digital portfolio due - send email including portfolio URL to TAs

April 15 NOON - Deadline to get 30 points extra credit for posting both contributions to the study guide. UPDATE: If you finish by April 15 and if you send immediately after that an email to your TA, announcing that you have finished all your 5 contributions, your wiki assignment will be graded among the first ones.

April 25 NOON - Deadline to contribute to the study guide

May 1 NOON - Final version of Digital Portfolio due including last three posts - send email including portfolio URL to TAs

May 3 - Final exam, BRNG 2280 10:30-12:20


  • If you have any questions about the class or about the syllabus email the TAs first, especially if the question is about a practical project.

Class Schedule and readings


1/10-12 Introductions

Recitation Section Activities

Signing up for Visible Effort

Signing up for Facebook, Twitter and Google accounts (in case you do not have one)

Tutorial on media and content use on Visible Effort and on your future sites

Sandbox for training your Wiki editing skills

1/17-19 Communication Technologies, From Firegrams to the Electromagnetic Revolution



From Firegrams to the Electromagnetic Radiation

Optional Websites:

Recitation Section Activities

Finish technological training

Practical Activity - How does a simple electromagnetic device work

Brian's Sections Activities Extra Materials

Study Guide

Study Guide Entry Electromagnetic Revolution

1/24 - 26 The Digital Revolution


Guest speaker Julia Taylor

Optional - reading suggested by Julia Taylor about AI


The Digital Revolution Slideshow

Julia Taylor's talk about Watson

More resources

Recitation Section Activities

In class exercise - converting from decimal to binary numbers, discuss course readings

Study Guide

Modern Marvels - Computers

Watch this video and refer to it in our study guide for the digital revolution.

Study guide

Study Guide Digital Revolution

1/31 - 2/2 The Internet as a Network of Networks


The Internet and its origins

TCP IP - What it is, how it works:

Here are the direct links to the definitions embedded in the slides Protocol, Internet Protocol, Packet, HTML, Server, Client

Search for other definitions at


More optional resources

Recitation Section Activities

Internet forensics skills. After class presentation of and Infosniper and other tools, research a domain name of a corporate brand or entertainment celebrity and figure out:

  1. the name of the domain name and a link to the search for it
  2. who owns the domain name,
  3. the physical address of the registrant with a Google maps link for that address,
  4. when was the domain registered, when in expires,
  5. what is the IP address of the computer that hosts the server, and
  6. where is the server located physically (city and place and link to infosniper page that shows the location).

Summarize this information in a Google document. This should be later linked to a blog post, published on your Wordpress site. Instructions will be provided by TAs, in class. The summary should include an introduction as to why you chose the specific domain name and needs to conclude with some personal thoughts about what have you learned from the process of finding people and IP addresses using the tools mentioned above. use tutorial slideshow

Example of completed tutorial... NOTE: Do not simply replace the links with your own and leave everything else the same. This needs to reflect your own thinking...

Share the Google Doc with the TA, made it editable, and keep in private mode.

Study Guide

Study Guide Entry Networks

2/7-9 The Internet as an E2E medium



Should the Internet be neutral?


Recitation Section Activities

Checking your Purdue web space. Using a Purdue computer lab navigate to My documents. Check to see if you have a folder inside named "www".

If you do not have such a folder, you need to enable your web space. Follow these Instructions

If you have a www folder, check available space on your account. You need at least 50MB of free space of the 500MB allocated.

Setting up your CMS Detailed instructions with screenshots

Start by creating a mysql database and a password for it at

Download Wordpress at to www folders. Unzip. Rename 435.

go to

Use career account username for database name. Username should be, again, career account username. Password should be MySql password you set up at the previous step. Use for localhost address. use wp_435 for prefix

Choose and install a new theme...
More help for using Wordpress - help at

Although this is not a required textbook, I strongly encourage you to buy WordPress for Dummies. It can be bought as an electronic textbook with immediate delivery. If you prefer the print version, check this edition out. It contains a ton of good advice and can be used as a reference material for the rest of the semester.

Extra resource

In case you want to use the skills learned in this class in another context, here is an Installation tutorial provided by Wordpress.

Wordpress publishing tutorial for non-Purdue, self hosted accounts

Study Guide

Study Guide Entry Edge 2 Edge

2/14 2/16 The Dark side of E2E (end to end) networks


Jonathan Zittrain, The Future of the Internet and how to stop it,

Chapter 2 - The Battle of the Networks (skim read to understand the next chapter)

and especially

Chapter 3 - Cybersecurity and the Generative Dilemma XXX (focus on the "generative dilemma aspects of the chapter" )

Marck Bowden, The Enemy Within, Atlantic Monthly, June 2010 XXX

Dark side of E2E slides - at the end of the 4th section

Extra Resource

Check your computer for Conficker infection.

Study Guide

The dark side of E2E


Work on posting and adding information, settings

More work on publishing with Wordpress - theme and plugin architecture

Link Internet forensics document previously created as a Google Doc on a post published on your site.

2/21-23 Web 2.0: The Internet as a platform

What is the relationship between social media and Web 2.0 and which technologies make them both possible?


Mashups produce a Creativity Culture, as defined by Clay Shirky (fragments from his books) XXX


Web 2.0 Slides

Extra Resources (optional)

Another way to look at core Web 2.0 concepts

Famous business wiki sites 

example of API call through a URL

Recitation Section Activities

Wordpress as an illustration of the web as a platform idea

Study Guide

Study Guide from E2E to Web 2.0

2/28 - 3/01 Web 3.0 - Making the Computer Truly Personal: Augmented and Location Aware Technologies


Extra resources

What is augmented reality

Augmented Reality in Switzerland

Augmented Reality as a Game

Augmented Reality as a way of reading books

Ambiental Devices: The $150 ORB

Wikitude - see in action Wikitude AR in your car

Google Goggles

Corning Glass Vision

Recitation Section Activities

Discovery Park Augmented Reality tour. Bring a pair of headphones. All sections will meet at

Burton Morgan in Discovery Park

Discovery Park Tour Materials - Brochure and Map

Study Guide

Study Guide Entry Augmented Reality, Location Aware Services, and Smart sensors

3/6-8 Review and Midterm

Study sections will meet on Friday. Topics: Digital Portfolio catch up clinic, Wiki work review.

3/13-15 Spring Break

3/20-22 The First Amendment and US Domestic Internet Regulation


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Guest speaker lecture cancelled... Regular class session.

Sites listed in the Powerpoint slides:

Recitation Section Activities

Wiki and social media activities

Study Guide

Study Guide Entry 1st Amendment

3/27-29 International Regulatory framework



ICANN and International Freedom of Expression Slides

Optional Sites

More about the new ICANN gTLD initiative

Recitation Section Activities

Social media monitoring exerecise.


After the recitation section introduction to various social media monitoring tools, write a blog post in which you describe how two comparable brands (Coke vs. Pepsi) or celebrities (Jennifer Lopez vs. Brittney Spears) compare in terms of social media buzz. Comparison should be done using Klout, Google Search Trends, and Twazzup.

Explain the differences between the two personalities/brands along the metrics offered for each of the tools.

For Klout, provide the Klout score for the two brands/celebrities and explain what the Klout score means in general and in this particular situation, making reference to this document.

For Google Trends, provide the ratio for the 2012 search trends for the two brands celebrities and the link to the search you performed for them (example J Lo vs B Spears ). The ratio is the result of dividing the larger estimated number for one celebrity/brand over the lower one. For J Lo and B Spears, this would be about 2 in favor of J Lo.

For Twazzup, provide the TPH score for each celebrity. Explain what TPH means and how does this reflect on each celebrity or brand. Also identify the name of the person most important in influencing people about each celebrity or brand, as well as the Twitter handle and number of followers of this influencer. (NOTE: This is the person identified in the lower left panel. Do not confound this with the handle or number of followers of your brand or celebrity).

You need to write your post in a narrative format, explain what the numbers mean, where you go got them, and the appropriate links. Include a justification for your choice of brands/celebrities, how are they comparable, and in what other way would you use this type of knowledge/skill in your future work.

NOTE: Make sure that you used in each search or tool the exact same names or phrases. If you use Jennifer Lopez, do not use J LO, etc.

Study Guide

Study Guide Entry Regulation

4/3-5 Privacy


Privacy Defined xxx


US Privacy Act of 1974 in its own words and some more recent intiatives READ AFTER THE EPIC DOCUMENTxxx

Is privacy policy obsolete?

Safe Harbor Principles

Also, review the PATRIOT act readings and mentions discussed during our regulation week


Privacy Policies in the US and Europe


Tools you can use to defend your electronic privacy What to do if your personal data is stolen or misused Corporate Self-regulation and Privacy

Recitation Section Activities

Discussion of technologies that might infringe upon or defend your privacy: cookies, web bugs, Tor and (see slides for details).

Introduction to how to create an online resume as a WordPress page (not post). Resume page link should feature clearly in the sidebar to be graded properly. Each resume should include Name, Contact information (optional), Education, Positions held, Other relevant information. Format using Header levesl, bullet points. Optional: You may use Wordpress WP Resume Plugin.

Study Guide

Study Guide Entry Privacy

4/10-12 Copyright. Should P2P music sharing be legal or not? Copyright issues at Purdue



Copyright Slides

Optional links

Recitation Section Discussion Session

Prepare for a class discussion starting from these topics. Documents presented in this section need to be studied before class.

  • Have you downloaded a music MP3 file recently? In view of the slides would you argue that your practice is "fair use"? Why? (Think about the four criteria for determining if a copyright infringement occurred and also read this NYTimes Debate on Fair Use.)
  • Some people say that music sharing of "ripped" mp3s has stimulated the sales of legal music. This chart show the evolution of total music industry revenue from all sources (Itunes, CDs, radio, etc). What you notice? Did music sharing stimulate the sales of legal music?
  • If you are a frequent downloader, how do you explain your behavior? What legal and moral justification do you have for it?
  • If you are a frequent uploader, how do you explain your behavior?
  • Some people say that downloading is the product of high CD prices. Let us look at the numbers:
  • This document, also issued by RIAA, explains that the "real" (adjusted for inflation) cd price has been going down for the past decades. What conclusions do you draw after analyzing the this document?
  • In the picture below CNN explains the cost of a CD. And this is how Rolling Stone explains the same thing (making the point that CDs can be cheaper). Read both materials and be prepared to discuss their arguments in class.
  • Suppose CDs go the way of the dodo. What business models would you propose so that the music would keep coming?

Some legal music sites you would like to know about

Study Guide

Study Guide Entry Copyright

4/17-19 Internet Openness and Free Software


Optional - spillover of the collaborative spirit


What Open Source Gave Us?



Optional Resources

Recitation Section Activity

How to find who changed what and how on Wikipedia.=

Think about a topic that you might be interested in. Search it on Wikipedia. Write a brief report (at the very least 300 words long) in a narrative format (no bullet points, please) on your blog about it detailing:

  • What is the topic about, why you found it interesting, why is it significant in general
  • provide link to the version of the topic you consulted (that is, the permalink with oldid in it. See example
  • The total number of edits
  • What percentage of total edits was contributed by the top 5 editors
  • Who are the top 5 editors, including their names, bios, and places where they live as presented on their Wikipedia user pages, if they have any.
  • Date the topic was started
  • Who has made the most recent changes and when (Username and date, time)
  • What have you learned from this exercise in a paragraph at least 100 words long.

This is part of your final digital portfolio grade. Should be done no later than April 29.

Study Guide

Study Guide Entry Copyleft and Wikis

4/24 - 26 How will mass collaboration, peer production and group interaction influence your careers as communication professionals?



Recitation Section Activities

Digital Portfolio Work

Study Guide

Study Guide Entry Social Media in Communication

4/26 Conclusions and Final Examination/Projects Review

Final Media Monitoring Blog Post Due April 29

Final Exam

May 3rd BRNG 2280 10:30 - 12:20