Monthly Archives: September 2011

Com 140 Midterm Assignment (aka paper 3)

The third paper is also your midterm. Instead of being out of 50 points like paper 1 and 2, it’ll be out of 100 points.

Please download the assignment HERE.  The paper MUST BE TYPED. 12 point font, normal margins double-spacing max. Again, no page limit, but be sure to answer all the questions. Do not hestitate to ask me questions, as this isn’t an assignment you should put off. E-mail or comment right here.

The biggest “trick” with this paper is using your resources. Use the library, especially since you can do everything online, including chatting with a librarian. Use easybib with help for citing your article. Proofread and spell check your paper.



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Fake journalism gone too far?

The Onion seems to have gone a step too far in it’s “reporting,” causing police involvement. The reporting and tweets issued by the paper caused this statement

“It has come to our attention that recent twitter feeds are reporting false information concerning current conditions at the U.S. Capitol,” Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, a U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman said in a statement, “Conditions at the U.S. Capitol are currently normal. There is no credibility to these stories or the twitter feeds. The U.S. Capitol Police are currently investigating the reporting.”

(Above quote taken from ABC news.)

After reading the issues for today, anyone have any thoughts?


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Oh Facebook, part 2

It never ends! Has anyone already switched over to the new format? Any thoughts? I don’t dare do it without first checking my privacy settings. But I have a sneaking feeling this won’t be well received. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it feels like facebook  changed the look of our profile pages fairly recently. And how many times has our news feed been changed? I still don’t feel like I’m seeing as many posts as I used to, and certainly not as quickly as I used to, because it’ll show up in the ticker box first and then later in the feed.

Will facebook lose its users?


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Oh Facebook….

Some of us were talking about Facebook’s wonderful changes (note: sarcasm) before class.  Well now here’s the explanation for those changes, complete with the purpose of that little ticker in the right hand corner of your page.

Connect this with the status update I’ve seen quite a bit today (below) and I think it’s safe to say users aren’t entirely happy.

“Please do me a favor and move your mouse over my name here, wait for the box to load and then move your mouse over the “Subscribe” link. Then uncheck the “Comments and Likes”. I would really rather that my comments on friends and families posts not be made public, Thank You! Then re-post this if you don’t want your every single move posted on the right side in the “Ticker Box” for everyone to see! I’ll do everyone who likes or comments. Thank you!”

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COM 140: PLANS for next class

Sorry for any confusion about class today. I had an urgent matter to attend to, which is finally settled. So here’s the deal for next week:

Bring your question that you did for this week’s reading (on issues 7 and 8). Please refresh yourself quickly before class on the topics so that you remember what we’re talking about.  We will talk about those two issues next week, so I want you to remember what you read so we can have a good conversation.

Give paper 2 a shot. The information for paper 2 can be found by clicking  here. If you get it done, I will take it next class, however I will give you until 9/29 to get the paper done. However, keep in mind that on 9/29 we have 4 issues to cover, which is a lot of reading, so if you want to spread your work out, get the paper done before then.

The paper isn’t too hard. You need to read the links first, it will help you a great deal. Then go play the game. There are instructions on how to play login to play the game–follow them. When you play, you might want to try it a couple times to see if you get different results. I’ve played it a few times to see if I could be a perfect score. Then write about your experiences. What worked, what didn’t, what was easy or frustrating, etc. How long did you play for….details. Details seemed to be missing from some people’s first papers, details are important.

Give it a shot and let me know if you have questions!


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Com 140: Diffusion Theory and Paper 2.

FIRST read this from Wikipedia and this which covers the profiles of different adopters. Have 2 questions/comments from the reading.

For paper 2, due next class, play the game and write-up (TYPED, 12 point font, no weird spacing–I won’t grade it otherwise) what you did, how successful you were and what your thoughts were. It should be about 2-3 pages. Have fun!!


Ok, I’m assuming you read what diffusion of innovation is (the links on the website) before you played the game. Did you? If not STOP PLAYING. Go read first.

An innovation is something new. Like back when the internet, or cell phones, were new, the companies had to get people to adopt their technology, get them to use it, want to use it (and then increases their sales)
In the game you are a change agent–that’s the person who gets you to adopt a new technology. For example, it was my uncle that convinced my parents to buy a computer and get online, so he was the change agent. In the game you want them to adopt/use “peer tutoring”. So you have to persuade the teachers to use this “new” thing.

Consider what you might run into if you tried to get someone (anyone) to do something new: they might adopt to it right away b/c they like being the person doing the new cool thing (early adopters) or they might hold off, wait til the new thing has been tried and tested and is going to be around (middle-late adopters) or they might be totally resistant and not want to do the new thing (or buy the new thing) at all.

So while you’re playing the game pay attention to what happens–can you convince people to adopt peer tutoring? What did you do (describe the process to me) Were you successful? Why or why not? Does the game accurate convey the diffusion process as described in the reading? How long did it take for you to get the teachers to adopt?

While your playing you can also think about how this might be used in “real life”.  Every time you persuade someone to do something, you’re essentially persuading them to adopt that something: be it an idea, an object, a concept, etc.


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Issue 1: Are American Values Shaped by the Mass Media?

If you find you weren’t able to talk about something regarding this issue tonight in class, please leave your thoughts in the comments.

Some key questions to consider:

  • How do we define American Values, or American Culture? What exactly does this mean? What contradictions exist in our definitions of American values/culture?
  • What does it mean to have “choice”?
  • Does neutrality exist and should we expect it of key social institutions?
  • What makes humans, humans? (Fun fact: BBC America’s Being Human actually plays at this question in a supernatural light.)
  • If Carey is right and values aren’t shaped by mass media, where do they come from? What role does media play?

You may also elect to leave comments on digital fatigue here. Honestly I think I’m more than just digitally fatigued, more like an all around fatigue!

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