Readings and assignments are subject to change. Please always check the online syllabus.

CS 4472/6470: Design of Online Communities

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Date Topic Readings & Online Sites
1/14 Introduction  
1/19 Community: Face to Face and Online Reading: Optional:
  • asb book, Intro and Chapter One: "Are online 'communities' really communities?" (on Canvas)
Online Site:  
1/21 Third Places Reading:
  • The Great Good Place by Ray Oldenburg, chapters one and two. (in book store)
  • Video: How to Live in a City - 1964 by William Whyte (18 minutes)
Online Site: Due:
1/26 Research Methods Reading: Optional Reading: Online Site: Due:
  • Optional: Post an idea for an online site that you think is worth discussing in class on the discussion on Canvas. Pick one not already on the syllabus. Is there something interesting about the site's design? Describe why briefly (a sentence or a short paragraph).
1/28 Research Ethics Reading: For further reference: Online Site: Due:
  • Obtain ethics certification via the online course, if you do not already have certification. (Group 2 Social / Behavioral Research Investigators and Key Personnel - Basic Course)
Please do not miss this class. If you do miss this lecture, you must watch a video of class and meet with the TA.
2/2 Ethics Continued:
Disguising Subjects in Published Accounts
Reading: Online Site:
  • (link on Canvas)
Please do not miss this class. If you do miss this lecture, you must watch a video of class and meet with the TA.

2/4 Design Factors Reading:
  • Finding One's Own Space in Cyberspace, by Amy Bruckman
  • “Giving a little ‘ayyy, I feel ya’ to someone’s personal post”: Performing Support on Social Media by Danielle Lottridge et. al.
  • Nine Principles of Community Design by Amy Jo Kim

  • Online Site: Due:
    2/9 Theory of Identity Reading:
    • The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, by Erving Goffman. Pages 1-58, intro & most of chapter 1.
      Please select a quote from Goffman that you think is interesting and put it on the discussion thread on Canvas. Pick one that no one else has picked yet. You will read your quote to the class, and explain why you picked it.
    2/11 Identity Online Reading: Online Sites: Due:
    2/16 Gender Online Reading: Online Sites:
    2/18 Anonymity Reading: Optional, for further reading: Online site (app for Android or iOS; please borrow a friend's phone if necessary):
    Warning: adult content. Due:
    2/23 Sociotechnical Systems and the Politics of Artifacts Reading:
    • Do Artifacts Have Politics? by Langdon Winner. (in The Whale and The Reactor)
    • Code v2.0 by Lawrence Lessig. Chapters 3 & 7. (Available free online, but you may wish to buy it anyway.)
    Online Site: Due:
    2/25 Managing Bad Online Behavior Reading: Optional further reading:
    3/2 Business Models are Everything Reading: To do:
    • Figure out what the business model of your project site is.
    • See if you can figure out how well they are doing financially. ("Can't tell" is a fine answer, if the info isn't public.)
    • Come to class prepared to briefly summarize this as a team, for the class.
    3/4 Social Roles Reading: Online Site: Due:
    3/9 Qualitative Data Analysis Reading:
    3/11 Collaboration and Crowdsourcing Reading: Due:
    3/16 Midterm break--no class  
    3/18 Wikipedia and the Nature of "Truth" Reading: Optional further reading: Online Sites:
    • Everything2 (Pick an article and compare it to Wikipedia on the same topic.)
    3/23 Knowledge Building Reading: Due:
    3/25 Online Privacy Reading: Optional, for further reading: Online Site:
    • Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on Privacy (browse)
    • Read the privacy policy of one online site you use. List your site on the thread on Canvas, making sure no one else in the class has picked your site. Come to class prepared to discuss the policy.
    I'll give my short talk on how to give a short talk.
    3/30 Guest Lecturer: Michael Swenson, Discord Reading: Online site:
    4/1 Citizen Science
    Reading: Online Sites:
    4/6 Community Study Presentations Due:
    4/8 No Class TAs online to chat about design ideas (optional).
    4/13 Presentations, Continued  
    4/15 Guest lecture: Andrés Monroy-Hernández from Snap Inc. (No reflection.)
    Online Site:
    • Snapchat
    4/20 Design Presentations Due:
    4/22 Design Presentations, continued  
    4/27 Looking Forwards Reading:
    • asb book, Chapter Eight: "How can we help the internet bring out the best in us all?"
    As your "reading reflection," in addition to reflecting on the book chapter, please submit one to two pages on how you think online communities, social media, and the internet, will be different ten years from now. Come to class prepared to discuss your predictions.

    Readings and assignments are subject to change.

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