publishing problems and prospects
a syllabus in progress:
always the latest at:
lead by Justin Hall
Print texts for the class:The Internet stands to be an immense force in both personal and professional communications. How does it differ from other media?More than publishing, this class examines the current future of the Internet, specifically the World Wide Web, in commercial and communal, individual and institutional expression. We will consider inclusion, voice, politics, economics, ethics, education through the study of existing web sites, as well as relevant print texts.
Participants will be trained in the basics of web site design and production. Writing assignments are due most weeks, often in the form of a web page.This course will develop both critical and creative skills for evaluating and interpreting online media. Beyond examining existing examples, students synthesize the material in an ongoing web site, reflecting their conception of online expression.The first week or so will be spent developing the basic skills of online research and design.
Subsequent classes will explore particular avenues of computer mediated communication, both personal and institutional.
Weekly writings will be read and reviewed by the class. In addition, consider this syllabus tentative; additional materials to be suggested by the participants, and folks will be asked to take responsibility for leading exploration of a particular aspect of the curriculum.
- Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud
- concerning visual perception and visual narrative design
- Resisting the Virtual Life, edited by James Brook and Iain A. Boal
- a collection of essays examining computer ethics (or the lack thereof).
- Life on the Screen, Sherry Turkle
- exploring the multiple personality potential of the digital age.
- Virtual Community, Howard Rheingold
- what are the new online communities?Additional conceptual material will be drawn from the web, case studies, sites supplied by the group.Class will meet twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8.30am.
After reading and discussion, students will be expected to perform web work exploring the week's format and issues, as well as a web based final project synthesizing the breadth of online expression explored.
By the end of the term, students will have a sense of the current state and future potential of online media. The breadth of material surveyed will equip them with context otherwise lacking in random websurfings. They will be prepared to analyse and evaluate online expression, moreover, they will be equipped to implement their visions.
first class, browse the readings and discuss
second class, explore assignments and discuss
basic skills of online design
how to make a page, scan pictures, record sounds
site structure, thoughtful user-interface design. Toolbars, navigational aids.
Web Publishing Tutorial site structure
create a web page.
basic skills of online research
how to search for stuff on the sprawl
assignment:Pick a topic, area of interest and create a critical resource list for it
individual versus institutional
How level is the playing field?
Does the potential proliferation of personal expression differentiate the web from any other medium? What have folks done with this opportunity? How important, useful is personal media?
zeen scene why the web?, Justin Hall Forging Culture, Justin Hall Publishing Empowerment, Justin Hall
How have traditional mass media adapted to the medium? What is professionally transmitted?
Suck, New Media Autopsy HotWired Time Life's Pathfinder Howard Rheingold's Brainstorms
anonymous versus Foxy!
assignment:how is each compelling, useful, important?
How are sites united? Character conveyed? Cartoons versus human agents. Icons versus agents/avatars.
How can an agent guide a navigation experience? How do we react to non-human coercive characters?
Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud Characters in the Interface by Mark "Spoonman" Petrakis Abbe Don's Links Petroglyph Skim: quickly: Vividness and Source of Evaluation as Determinants of Social Responses Toward Mediated Representations of Agency, by Jonathan Steuer Sonic's Mac User Interface
Zima: Fridge Chester Cheetah: FritoLay MicroSoft: What about Bob? - who do agents represent? NetScape: Mozilla - agents aren't professional?
assignmentEnvision an agent. Apply to existing pages.
exploring interactive narrative, as well as print narrative that approaches online/nonlinearityorganzing principle time or place or character or all of the above, how to design within interactive space to encourage flow versus wandering, importance of linearity of story/time
Realms - browse this one on a fast connection Vita, Justin Hall huhebi - the extreme No Soup, Just Matzo Balls, Abbe Don
Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut Beloved, Toni Morrison Death of Salesman, Arthur Miller short story: Donald Barthleme, "Oh to London and Rome"
Abbe Don adds her sense other suggestions from Mary Dilg and one from gabby
rashoman pulp fiction
Nonlinear Narrative Styles, by Michael St. Hippolyte
assignment:write or adapt a story for nonlinear narrative
how does personal truth transmit online? does this come across any better than music videos? questions of linearity, professionalism, honesty/anonymity, privacy, use. Also, where does one person's site end and their life begin? - some mushier than others.
readingI am Julie..., Julie Petersen and autobio, Patrick Sean Farley
Walter Miller's Home Page and Carl
Autobio, Justin Hall and Justin's Life, Justin Clouse - how much is too much? coherent/followable?
surf on a fast connection:
thespot, Virtual Dorm, Ferndale - compelling? interactive?
other people, Yahoo: Diaries versus Yahoo: Episodic Web Series
assignment:share a few stories of your own.
how are the visual arts being transmitted? what is lost, what is cool?
how is visual art segmented/integrated from the whole site?
authenticity/originality of digital reproduction?
arthole webmuseum otis/sito Pixel Theater HotWired:Renaissance - Gallery Art on the Net Virtual Gallery Eye Candy - further links
assignment:pick some of your art, or a friends, make a web gallery.
what is the potential? what are the drawbacks?
Swarthmore Math Forum The students of Leon James NetDay '96 Teaching Technology, Howard Rheingold Syllabi Showcase, Tim Burke Williams, Amherst and Swarthmore Willams Students and Swarthmore Students hoffman and novak Swarthmore Web Vision, Justin Hall af am rel
assignment:take one of your other classes, or a class of your own design, and put the materials online.
What is appropriate, conductive, compromising? Marketplace of ideas? A good thing? Something else?
exchanging privacy for infotainment?
Hot 100 WebSites The Medium is the Market, Howard Rheingold interviews Donna Hoffman The Future of Internet Commerce, Dr. Marvin Sirbu Suck New Media Autopsy Idea Futures Digital Cash, I am not my habits, Kickin' it Freestyle, Justin Hall FreeRide and Juno c-net's DREAM (Delivery of Real-Time Enhanced Advertising Messages) DigiCash, Inc. and First Virtual Hotwired Coin
Build a model for appropriate online solicitation or Explore the propriety of pecuniary publishing
integrating the voiceless
who is being left off? and who are we to say? what would they want with the internet anyway? isn't this electronic colonialism?
would non-white non-male non-techno saturated folk find this a meaningful way to communicate?
Plugged In Buffy Sainte-Marie: Native Americans on the Net, Howard Rheingold Using Computers in Low-Income Schools, Howard Rheingold Rainbow Net Latino Link, NetNoir Community Connections Stop Prisoner Rape, Inc., Kensington Welfare Rights Union
assignment:decide if this is a worthwhile enterprise
find a pocket of online presence of the otherwise disenfranchised
design a means of wiring the unwired
create a proof of concept for a site to share the wealth
Information and discussion - do they enhance democracy? In an electronic arena? Can there be too much free speech? What is the government's role?
Virtual Community, Howard Rheingold Universal Access to E-Mail, Rand Corporation Utopian Promises - Net Realities, Critical Arts Ensemble Communication is Political, Howard Rheingold Your Voices Count, Howard Rheingold Non-Intrusive Community Content Control, Brian Behlendorf California State Government Online Voter's Telecommunications Watch Book of Ideas
how are we reproducing life online? should we? can we? How does the web medium encourage/hinder community?
Life on the Screen, Sheri Turkle Will the Web Evolve Communities?, Are Virtual Communities Harmful?, Virtual Communities Get Real, Howard Rheingold Virtual Worlds Resources MUD/Muse/Moo info and MUD resource collection LambdaMOO: Social Cafe the Well three newsgroups of students choice
assignment:write an exploration:
what is cool/cold about life online
where does online space/computer creation fail? is it intangible, or rectifyable?
Resisting the Virtual Life, James Brook and Iain A. Boal get a life. Computer-mediated communication and college student development
what is for you lacking in the online experience design a scenario or artistic creation that bridges the gap, approaches the problem, the undefineable.
No test, a final project, on the web. Pick a topic from one of the last few weeks, or something to suits you and the group, and build a web site that reflects your vision.
Howard Rheingold's Tomorrow
Critical Art Ensemble
Lewis Mumford's "The Myth of The Machine"
Joseph Weizenbaum's "Computer Power and Human Reason"
Justin's Internet Evangelism
HTML Writers Guild
"Age of the Techno-Toddlers" by Mark Slouka. It was in the 8/13 /95 edition of the SD Union Tribune.