QotW11: COM125 Study Wiki Reopened!

April 11, 2007

COM125 Study Guide (Wiki)

[Original photo by Mariani Chen]

Remember the COM125 study wiki?
A few of you have asked to reopen it for the final exam (glad you like it!) so I’ve done it by adding pages to include include the new weekly topics we’ve covered since the mid-term exam.

While the final exam will cover everything after the mid-term, do note that a lot of topics overlap previous content, so don’t be surprised to see questions that test your knowledge on creative commons and gift economies (e.g. Intellectual Property in Games), as well as online identities which occurs in everything we covered so far (e.g. privacy, online communities).

You talk too much… so what do I do?
Once again, instead of a blog assignment this week, you’ll be building an exam study guide together as a class. Read carefully:

  1. Go to com125.wikispaces.com
  2. If you haven’t, sign-up for an account using your real name (requires my approval).
  3. Once logged in, explore the topics for the exam.
  4. Add and/or Edit key definitions and possible questions for class.
  5. Check back often as others may build on what you’ve contributed (Use the Wiki’s RSS feed).
  6. Drop a comment here with your wikispaces username and a description of what you added to earn credits.
  7. DEADLINE: This Sunday, 5pm

Can I do either QotW11 or Bonus Mission #3? Can do both?!?
You may perform either one or both assignments. You will be graded accordingly Mr. Kiasu (e.g. both assignment = 6 pts total).

Learning Objective
Ironically (or intentionally) , by contributing to this wiki, you’ll be practicing what you’ve learnt on gift economies, creative commons and online identity. It is hoped that you’ll not only benefit for your exam, but experience what it would be like to be a contributor to larger public wikis such as Wikipedia.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments. Students are encouraged to help answer each other’s questions. 🙂


Bonus Mission 3: COM125 Idol Contest!

April 11, 2007

COM125 Idol Contest
[Original cassette photo by Rune T]

Are you ready to sing!?!
A private contest on Singshot.com has been arranged for the COM125 class. You’ll be competing on SingShot.com where you’ll rate each other in terms of singing ability. The contest is scheduled to end on 17th April, to which the winners will be determined by the online community (including yourselves).

Great, so where do I start?

  1. Sign up with Singshot.com
  2. Tag each recording you want to enter with “com125idol”.
  3. Submit as many entries as you wish.
  4. Rate your fellow classmates’ submissions.
  5. Embed your recording on your blog to publicize it (sell it baby!)

On April 17th, the winners will be determined by user ratings.

Whatever… what will I win?
Sing your heart out as each contestants stand to win 3 extra credits. Winners will be worshiped by the entire class.

Learning Objective
This contest is for you to experience concepts of user generated content, crowdsourcing, unique entertainment forms, and online community interactions (e.g. populism).

Look here for contest details…

Happy Singing and Good Luck!


QotW10: Wanna Play for Credits?

April 2, 2007

Are games simply forms of entertainment, or can they be much more?

As fair warning, I had you guys start early since this will take a while. Here’s the Question of the Week (QotW), which is more like a series of tasks:

  1. Haven’t already done so? Register an account with Second Life
  2. Get familiar with Second Life (SL) via our computer labs, or via the downloadable client for your laptop (Mac/Windows).
  3. Complete the Orientation Island to understand the controls for Second Life.
  4. Add yourself to our SL group: At the lower menu, click on Search > Groups tab > enter “COM125” and join in.
  5. Personalize your avatar as much as possible by editing appearance and finding clothes you like. Search via in-world for “freebies” (there are tons of freebie places), or check out this neat SL shopping blog (freebies category). If you have real money to burn into Linden dollars, check out Wired: Second Life Must-Have Stuff.
  6. Go sightseeing in Second Life, preferably together with your classmate. (e.g. Look for web-based guides such as SLSingapore.com, Wired’s Travel Guide to Second Life or NMC’s SL Tips & Tricks).
  7. Take screenshots of your avatar at your most favorite place in Second Life.
  8. Blog about it under the title “QotW10:_____”
  9. First, publish your screenshots and write captions under them.
  10. Second, write about your avatar (SL name, likeness to your real-self, by gender, clothing, etc)
  11. Third, write about the place you’ve chosen (Explore! Don’t be lame and pick something common).
  12. Optional: Use the built-in SLurl generator to share a direct teleport link to that location.

Bonus Mission #2 (worth 3 extra credits)

  1. Based on the readings below, argue: Why is Second Life not a game?
  2. Support your argument by giving an example of how virtual worlds, such as Second Life, could be used beyond mere entertainment (plenty of real-world examples if you look hard enough).
  3. Make a concise argument in 500 words or more (proper written English), supported with at least two APA-style citations.
  4. Start the title of your blog post as “Bonus Mission #2: _____”
  5. Drop a comment here with a permalink to your blog post.

Deadline
8th April, Sunday, 9am (special time!)
Warning: Late work will not be graded

Required
Why should we take games seriously?
World of Warcraft: Is It a Game?
Virtually dead in Iraq

Optional
A Rape in Cyberspace
Synthetic statehood and the right to assemble
Second Life: CopyBot causes widespread protests…
Video: Building a Flying-V Guitar in Second Life (by Ivan and Kevin)

Unreal Estate and Virtual Capitalisms
The Unreal Estate Boom
Pitfalls of Virtual Property (PDF)
Video: Chinese Gold Farmers in MMORPGs (Ge Jin, PhD candidate @ UCSD)
Ogre to Slay? Outsource It to Chinese

Optional
Anda’s Game (short story)


QotW9: What’s Citizen Journalism? (w/ extra credit)

March 28, 2007

STOMP slippers

Journalists, Bloggers, Whistleblowers and so much more!

Here’s the Question of the Week (QotW):

  1. Explore The Straits Times’ STOMP.com.sg
  2. Based on the readings below, is STOMP an ideal form of citizen journalism for Singapore?
  3. Regardless of your response, how would you improve it?
  4. Make a concise argument in 500 words or more (proper written English), supported with at least two APA-style citations.
  5. Start the title of your blog post as “QotW9: _____”
  6. Drop a comment here with a permalink to your blog post.
  7. *Selected posts will be shared with Jennifer Lewis, Editor of STOMP.

Here’s the Extra-Credit (BONUS MISSION):

  1. Contribute news to STOMP via SMS or MMS at 75557, or via email 75557@stomp.com.sg
  2. If your contribution appears on the site, publish a link to it in the comments below (mark it “BONUS MISSION”)
  3. Extra-credit will only be given if your news gets accepted.

Deadline
31st March, Saturday, 5pm
Warning: Late work will not be graded

Required
• “We the Media” Chapters 1, 3, 9 (Web / PDF)
Note: The Web version has the whole book on the same page.

Optional
• We the Media (remaining chapters)
• Nieman Reports: The Future Is Here, But Do News Media Companies See It? (Web summary / PDF report)
• “How Technology is changing the Media” at Berkman Center for Internet and Society (Google Video)
New York Times: All the World’s a Story (19th March, 2007): Assignment Zero, a new online journalism experiment,  combines reporting efforts of readers to tell the world a story (a crowdsourcing example).


Building a Singaporean Political Blogger Directory

March 27, 2007

Singapore Elections Map

Most of you have adopted a local political blogger in your previous assignment. For those who haven’t, you can still find one. We’re going to help the general public access political discussions online by creating a directory of local political bloggers. Here’s what we’re doing in class:

  1. Go to this Google Spreadsheet…
  2. From your QotW8 blog assignments (or recent find), add your information in the appropriate fields.
  3. This Singapore Political Blogger Directory will shared to all.

Congratulations, you’ve just made the Internet useful again!


QotW8: Adopt a local politician…

March 20, 2007

Stephen Colbert Ice Cream

How has the advent of the Internet changed politics? Can the Internet truly create democracy? Why isn’t there Internet election voting? Why does Stephen Colbert get to have his own ice-cream while I don’t?

Here’s the Question of the Week (QotW):

  1. Adopt either a Singapore politician who blogs or a local blogger who discusses politics.
  2. In a cohesive manner, share the following about your adopted blog (where possible):
    1. Blog’s Title and URL
    2. Blogger’s Name (or Pseudonym)
    3. Blogger’s Occupation (politician or citizen blogger)
    4. Blog’s Date of Birth (look for the first post)
    5. Technorati Rank (see explanation)
  3. Discuss the tone of this blog (e.g. highlight key conversations, readers’ comments, etc).
  4. After doing all this, turn to “Does the Internet create Democracy?” (2002) by Alinta Thornton, and ask yourself: Do blogs allow for greater democracy in Singapore?
  5. Make a concise argument in 500 words or more (proper written English), supported with at least two APA-style citations.
  6. Start the title of your blog post as “QotW8: _____”
  7. Drop a comment here with a permalink to your blog post.
  8. *Optional: Drop a comment on your adopted blog so they can learn about your post.

Deadline
24th March, Saturday, 5pm
(Warning: Late work will not be graded)

Required
• “Does the Internet create Democracy?” (2002) by Alinta Thornton (Web Site / Microsoft Word download)
The politics of Singapore’s new media in 2006 (Dec 31, 2006) by Gerald Giam

Optional
• The Big Gamble on Electronic Voting (Web version / Print version)
The Internet and State Control in Authoritarian Regimes: China, Cuba, and the Counterrevolution
Click the vote
Tank Man Roundtable discussion
In YouTube Clips, a Political Edge


QotW7: Online Communities

March 13, 2007

twitter

What is community? Can community emerge from online interaction? What are the implication of the internet for traditional communities? This week, we’ll be discussing the concept of computer-mediated community.

Here’s the Question of the Week (QotW):

  1. Join Twitter.com
  2. Explore it, setup your profile (pseudonyms if you want privacy), add your classmates (and myself if you wish) as friends, then start some conversations going.
  3. After using Twitter through the web, instant messaging or your phone (SMS), would you consider Twitter an online community? If not, what is it?
  4. To argue your case, use key concepts from the required readings Virtual Communities: Abort, Retry, Failure?” by Fernback and Thompson (1995) and/or “Net Surfers don’t ride alone” by Wellman and Gulia (1996).
  5. Make a concise argument in 500 words or more (proper written English), supported with at least three APA-style citations.
  6. Start the title of your blog post as “QotW7: _____”
  7. Drop a comment here with a permalink to your blog post.

Deadline
17th March, Saturday, 5pm
(Warning: Late work will not be graded)

Required
• “Virtual Communities: Abort, Retry, Failure?” by Fernback and Thompson (1995)
• “Net Surfers don’t ride alone” by Wellman and Gulia (1996)

Optional Readings
• “Friends, Friendsters, and Top 8: Writing community into being on social network sites” by Danah Boyd (2006)
• “Wikipedia: Reputation management