Online Communities & Crowds
Comm Studies 378
Due: October 5, 2014 (see details below)
Working together, each team should:
- Craft a written response to all of the following questions. Each response should be no more than 1-2 paragraphs long.
- Find an effective way to divide the work of completing this assignment.
- Include all team-members' names on the final version of the writeup you circulate to the class (no matter how you choose to divide your work). Also be sure to cite and/or provide links to any sources you use to write your responses.
- Submit one copy of your completed writeup via the "Discussion" space on Canvas by 2pm on Sunday, October 5. Your submission will be visible to the rest of the class.
- Read the other groups' responses to the questions prior to the following class.
- Be prepared to talk about your responses in class.
Cyberculture as Collective Action: Evaluate the following statement: "Early online communities like The WELL grew in part because they provided a valuable collective goods for their members and other visitors to the site. The collective also grew and succeeded because the Internet and "Pico Span" (the software that ran the site) made it easier for the group to increase in size without a corresponding increase in communication or coordination costs." Drawing on the first two weeks' readings, explain your assessment of the statement.
Improving Architectures of Control on the WELL The WELL experienced many problems due to the abusive behavior exhibited by users like Mandel. Create a concrete and detailed proposal that would help WELL managers avoid or mitigate such abuses. Be sure to explain whether and how your proposal calls for a change in the platform's code, a change in the community's norms, and/or some other "architecture(s) of control."
The teaching team will read all of the groups' submissions. We will evaluate them using the following criteria:
- Writing clarity Is the work clearly written, free of errors, and well organized?
- Analytical quality Does the work reflect in-depth engagement with and nuanced understanding of the reading and in-class discussions?
- Creative, original insights Does the work go beyond the perspectives articulated in the readings/lectures to offer truly original insights and creative popositions?
Please note that all discussion question writeups will be graded on a "check, check-plus, check-minus" scale. A check-plus reflects truly exceptional work along all three of the dimensions listed above. A check-minus reflects work that was completed, but was severely lacking in at least one area (and you should contact a member of the teaching team to make sure you understand where things went awry). A check falls somewhere in the middle. Incomplete or missing submissions will receive a no credit for the assignment.