Assignment 2 Submissions

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Distribution of Grades

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Submission Instructions

This assignment is due on February 22. Grading for this assignment is on a 5-point scale; late assignments will be docked 1 point for each day they are late (assignments submitted 4 days late or later will have a maximum grade of 1 point).

Please make sure the name of your file includes your name (example: Name_Assignment2.doc) to avoid overwriting someone else's assignment. The upload file link is to the left, under toolbox. Once you've uploaded your file, please link to it following the format below:

  • Name:
  • Prospectus title:
  • Link to prospectus: (the file you uploaded)

If you have trouble finding the file you uploaded, check the list of uploaded files.


Everyone will receive an additional participation grade for this assignment. You should read through everyone's proposals after they are uploaded and add constructive comments below the proposal on which you're commenting. Comments should be submitted by March 6 so you have time to incorporate them, if applicable, into your project outline. (Remember to sign your comments!)


Name: Gagan Panjhazari --Gpanjhazari 07:34, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus Title: The Role of Censorship Of the Internet in the Egypt and Libya
  • Link to prospectus:
  • Comment: You might want to check the article I posted on the Feb 22 assignment page that appeared in the New York Times. Might be helpful on your first topic. <<sjennings 00:48, 1 March 2011 (UTC)>>
    • Comment: Gagan, I find both of your topic choices interesting. I think the second one, regarding the ability to hold website creators responsible for their content, especially when said content could be considered treasonous, would be the best topic of the two. It is such an important question, the answer to the question will frame our national security for the future. With either topic, I look forward to reading your findings. Coreymacd 01:10, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment: Frontline, the PBS program, had an episode about the April 6 Movement in Egypt, including how it used the interent and mobile devices for organization and how it was forced to adapt when access was cut. There isn't a whole lot of detail here, but it might be a useful place to start. BrandonAndrzej 02:57, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Comment: I like the second topic. It would be interesting to see if the treason charges are somehow being used to:
  1. silence Julian Assange
  2. scare others from doing the same thing
    • Hai!...I love your idea of covering the censorship and even internet blackouts at times in Egypt and Libya along with the role that social networking and tweeps had in organizing the recent protests, and ousting of Mubarak. This is a fascinating narrative to be sure. Here are a few links about a European internet activist group that has worked to provide low tech communication aid to the protesters. I hope they might be of use to you in your research. Internet Blackouts Highlights Danger of Weak Links, Usefulness of Quick Links, | the Egyptian project page, |, the Libyan project page, and | | Global Voiceshas done an outstanding job of covering these events as well. Best of luck!Deinous 01:53, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: I agree with Deinous. Your topic is very time-appropriate and I cannot hide my excitement to read final results of the research! I believe it should be closely examined as an epitome of the Internet censorship by all of us who are taking this class. From my perspective, it seems that Egypt's Internet kill switch decision rather ignited people's movement toward democracy and protests. By the way, your prospectus includes primarily theoretical approaches to the topic. I would love to know which resources you are going to use in the course of the research. Depending on types of media, your research conclusions, I believe, can be various. Below is the article of the Economist that might be useful in your project. Good Luck! --Yu Ri 10:47, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • [The Economist: Reaching for the kill switch]
    • Comment: Hi Gagan, both your topics are interesting. According to the description of the Final Project it should be built around one of the theoretical conceptions that we study during the course.So if you think about the conceptions that may apply to your topics, it will help you to chose one of two topics proposed by you and, perhaps, to generate your questions and hypothesis around the theoretical conception as the Final Project demand. Kristina Meshkova, 5 March 2011.
    • Comment: Gagan, great subjects! You should stick with the subject that interests you most. I suppose its the first one that you wrote about, the role of social media and networking in the revolutions. This is definitely a broad subject, but that doesn't mean you should throw it out, it means you should narrow it to a point that is achievable. A suggestion would be to pick one of the countries, and one of the social networks to drill deeper into. (i.e. the role that Facebook users played in the Egyptian revolution.) Then you need to think about what you will investigate. This project is supposed to be empirical, so you should find some way of observing or surveying the users or the events. This might be in the form of friending as many of the users who were involved in a particular event on Facebook. This should be a great project for you! Smithbc 05:06, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hi Gagan,I think the same - great topics. I believe both of them are very current and it will be interesting to read your final project. It is very hard to comment your prospectus because it is apparent that you did a deep research and you are clear in what you want to research in final paper. It seems to me that first project seems to be more empirical than second one. Although it would be maybe more or less easier to find 'clear' answers for questions in second project. I do not know. When regards the topics, both of them are very current and you identified the questions very clearly. Good luck with your project...VladimirTrojak 10:43, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: I think thats remarkable. I do think your topic is a bit broad, as is mine, must a great start! This link might help as well- I wonder what role did social networks play in Egypts revolution. I know the Egyptian consulate in New York cut off web access, but you can still inquire via phone. Will they take this same route in the future?--Elishasurillo 04:40, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: This is a very serious and evolving topic that should be very fun and interesting to work on. It is very important to study the internet's effect on these countries because it could quite possibly happen to other countries. Just like the revolutionary furry spread from Egypt to Libya, it could easily spread to other countries either for the better of for the worse.--Joshuasurillo 05:07, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Saam Batmanghelidj --Saambat 10:00, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus Title: The Effect of Synthetic World Communities on Real World Societies, Economies, and Copyright law
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Hi Saam, I think your topic of synthetic or virtual worlds. I had a suggestion that you take a look at BitCoin (, this is an emerging technology that only started up a short time ago. It's a fascinating technology that deals with a new form of money (yes it can be exchanged for real money and is currently trading 1 for 1 with the US dollar). Some interesting things about it: uses public/private encryption keys, it's completely anonymous, it has great potential to circumvent certain banking regulation systems, it can be used to make real purchases, because of it's anonymity and cannot be tracked creates a security of privacy for the purchaser and seller. This also means could could be exploited by people not wanting transactions to be recorded. This technology really opens a virtual door of monetary exchange across the globe where any currency can be exchanged for BitCoins and then exchanged again into a different currency. This is just a top end look at it. It's already in use and some places accept this currency including some non-profit agencies for donation purposes. It also opens an easy way to laundry dirty money. Regards Alan Davies-Gavin--Adavies01 03:45, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hi , Saam. The topic is very interesting, but, I’m not sure that questions you want to answer will help you to develop the topic deeply and systemically: the questions are not in a strong correlation with your topic, I think they will not disclose the topic in full and from the main sides of it. You also use such phrase as “virtual property”, what do you mean by this? Is it the same as intellectual property? If yes, I think, it’s better to use the term “intellectual property”. You also pose such question as “How harmful is it for people to sell virtual items for real world monies, and to what extent is it harmful?” So you’ve already decided that it’s harmful, may be, it’s worth to give some arguments in your work why you decided it’s harmful. If you consider “the Synthetic World Communities” as the theoretical concept you want to use in the Final Project, you can try to determine the main features of this concept, then divide your hypothesis into three sphere ( society, economic and copyright law) and pose the main, in your opinion, questions in each of the spheres, regarding the theoretical basis you chose. Kristina Meshkova, 5 March 2011.
    • Comment: Saam, you've picked a fascinating topic. You've identified a rich field and topics; the challenge will actually be in narrowing it down to something observable, rather than reporting on what has already been written and explored. Pick one of the topics like virtual property trades and one of the sites like EVE Online and think through how you can observe what is happening in that cross-section. I look forward to reading this project! Smithbc 05:15, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hi Saam...Great topic. I agree with Smithbc comments. I am not sure whether we should study smething mere via reporting the book and blog. As I said, I am not sure and at this time you should have already had a feedback so you probably know better. Good luck with the project and looking forward for reading final version. VladimirTrojak 21:54, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Kimberly Nevas --KimberlyNevas 02:17, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus Title: Can the U.S. Prosecute Julian Assange?
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Hi, Kimberly. Your topic is one of the essential questions I myself also want to closely observe and look for answers. Especially, considering the global impacts of Wikileaks, the prosecution of Assange is merely not confined to the jobs of the US Justice Department. Many governments are quite eager to punish him for revealing sensitive political/diplomatic issues, which might have significantly deterred their national agenda. Nonetheless, the 1st Amendment of the US and equivalent provisions existing in each country that guarantee freedom of speech are standing in the way of this very prosecution. So the question always comes down to this: are we going to sacrifice freedom of speech for a greater cause - usually national security? Are there certain limitations that media have to comply with in publishing their articles? I would love to see how this 21th version of the Zenger Trial will turn out. Good luck! Best, Yu Ri 03:12, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: It might also be interesting to see if any other sites purporting to disclose sensitive information whether government or corporate have become more aggressive considering all the confusion about what to do with Julian Assange. Does his legal situation make these sites feel more confident regarding avoiding prosecution? <<sjennings 00:56, 1 March 2011 (UTC)>>
    • Comment: Your statement, "In this respect, Assange cannot be considered any more liable than the New York Times." is a bold one, which some might strongly disagree with, given Assange's postings and his refusal to censor, along with his use or threatened use of yet unreleased information as leverage to keep himself free. I look foward to reading your arguments regarding Assange, freedom of speech and the case law which supports your position. Coreymacd 01:15, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hi, Kimberly. The problem you decided to consider in the Prospectus is really important and actual. But I think that the question “whether the Justice Department can prosecute Assange without damaging the U.S. free press as we know it”, that you pose describing the Problem is wider than the Research question. Perhaps, it’s worth to add the question “whether the Justice Department can prosecute Assange without damaging the U.S. free press as we know it”, to your Research question as the main one. And your present research question: Are the distribution methods adopted by Wikileaks for the dissemination of thousands of pages of classified U.S. documents structured so as to arm Julian Assange and his associates with a strong defense to prosecution under U.S. law?” will help you to answer your main question. Your present research question can be also considered as a research frame, so that you can explore the distribution methods of Wikileaks to answer if they really make the obstacles for the Justice Deparment to prosecute Assange and if yes to what extend; are the distribution methods of Wikileaks the main obstacles which do not permit the Justice Department to prosecute Assange or there are the other obstacles (for ex., with respect to the features of free press)? Kristina Meshkova, 5 March, 2011.
    • Comment: Kimberly, you have the beginnings of a good project here. I am interested in what you choose to use as your methodology and what you will choose to "observe" as part of this case study. One suggestion in particular is to look at the particular statements made by the U.S. papers in regards to why they believe their approach to printing the leaks are legal and any justifications they made in regard to accepting Assange's information. Smithbc 05:34, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comments: Kimberly, that is an explosive topic! I bet you'll have lots of material! The qusetion is where did he commit the crimes if any. If in Australia, can they prosecute him? Or because they are U.S. cables, does the U.S.A. have jurisdiction? And who has the right to tell him he can or cannot post and release? The U.S.A. has to clearly stae how he broke the law. As far as I know, treason can only be a crime if commited by a citizen. Good work! --Elishasurillo 04:53, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Yes, very timely and interesting topic. One thing you might look up for precedence is the Pentagon Papers Rakundig

Name: Jamil Buie

  • Prospectus Title: Profiteering via "Public Privacy" The use/misuse of your data
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Hi Jamil, For me this is a an extremely important issue, I'm glad to see you're looking at it. I have a few pointers that may help uncover some things that are currently being looked at and something that was done in the UK back in 2008. Do a search for Phorm, BT implemented it in secrecy and it caused a big uproar. Also, it appears that ComCast is looking to implement it here in the US. It deals with deep level packet inspection. Not sure how tech savvy you are, but basically it comes down to an ISP looking at each packet users are sending out over their home connection. It is suppose to be done anonymously, however, it's invasive to the nth degree. Another technology that you might want to look at is the Evercookie. This can be used by websites that a user goes to, this then gathers information about a great number of browsing files that are on a system to ID the system. In the instance that a user cleans up his/her cookies, EverCookie will still be able to quickly identify you and place certain cookies back on your computer being able to keep tabs on the user. Regards, Alan Davies-Gavin--Adavies01 03:45, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hi, Jamil. In your Prospectus, you write the following: “While most do understand that they are interacting with a third-party be it a site, search engine, or ISP they remain ignorant to how the data they’re providing is being farmed out or utilized in a commercial vein”. I can agree with you only partly: of course, we could not exclude the situations, when the data we provided are an object of unfair use, but it should be also mentioned that “the main players” of the Internet services do not ignore users, thus they stay uninformed about the way their data are used. For ex., Yahoo Privacy Policy or Google Privacy In the question: What are the common guidelines and site best practices? you use such phrase as “site best practices”, that is very subjective category, as also the question: “Are consumers truly aware?”. Perhaps, it’s better to avoid such categories in your science research. Kristina Meshkova, 5 March 2011.
    • Comment: Jamil, we have similar interests and research topics. You are looking at the broad trail of information left by a typical internet user and the ways that trail is used. I am going narrower, specifically into the information gathered by location-based services to examine the associated privacy issues and assess the average consumer's perceptions of risks. If you are interested, I'd be willing to trade notes and help each other shape up the final project. Since we are doing similar topics, I would really appreciate your comments on my prospectus as well. Best, Brian Smithbc 05:42, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Very intrigued by your topic (and somewhat regretting not pursuing it myself!). I used to work as a targeting specialist at Yahoo!, and was floored by the amount of user data we had access to. Thought I'd share an extremely thorough study the WSJ put together not long ago, which summarizes the policies and efficacy of the major players in this space. Looking forward to reading your report on this very controversial and fascinating topic. - Jessica Jsanfilippo 03:57, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Another very ineresting topic. I believe, most consumers are not aware. I was surprised when I blocked cookies and then wanted to log in to facebook. Following message occured: 'Cookies are not enabled on your browser. Please adjust this in your security preferences before continuing.'. Seems like they are not interested in someone using their service without getting access to information about me so they can get paid:)I am still not aware of all information they can easily get about me. Good luck with project.VladimirTrojak 09:03, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Uduak Patricia Okon

  • Prospectus Title: Web Pages/Blog Sites: Rights and Limitations-How free are you?
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Hi Uduak, Your prospectus is very interesting. I look forward to seeing how your project comes together. But I have some comments that I would like to share, I hope my feedback is helpful.
    • Re:
      • In general, people are entitled to share facts if they don’t breach confidentiality or depict a real situation. This would depend on how citizen bloggers support their argument about their political commentary, whether it’s positive or negative. You need to remember that politicians are public figures, so the first amendment applies differently to them. Therefore the confidential circumstances that apply to the general population do not apply to politicians since they are not entitled to the same level of privacy. And citizen bloggers don’t have to adhere to the same circumstances as journalists to the best of my knowledge (I major in journalism and work in media in NYC) (i.e. it’s considered unethical for journalists to be bias if they’re not commentary writers. Also most journalists are not allowed to put political figure signs on their lawn, bumper sticker on their car, etc they need to push their feelings aside to accurately report the truth). I think the bigger issue is whether or not non-citizen bloggers can face defamatory lawsuits if there is proof they intentionally acted with malice? Or will future non-citizens bloggers have to abide by the same guidelines as employed journalists in the blogosphere working for CNN?
      • Corporate law is an entirely different world. Because many corporations lie to promote their brand among many other issues on the internet, which is unethical to their consumers.
      • I don’t think you should look into news websites like CNN, NY Times, etc because those are explicitly run by paid journalists (whom must adhere to strict guidelines about what they report) and comments are very restricted so the same type of freedom doesn’t apply to citizen journalists because official journalists also have code of ethics and have much more at stake.
      • It's important to note that some citizen bloggers sell advertising on their blogs which might impede with how they portray a public figure on the net because they're getting paid. Formally employed journalists can't bias their stories based on relationships with advertisers because the editorial and advertising departments are seperate at news organizations.
      • You, first need to narrow your focus because there is a huge difference between local mayors and congressional candidates, and citizen and non-citizen bloggers. (i.e. I think it would be interesting if you looked at how political figures use blogging as a form of position taking in Congress and compare cases of democratic and republican candidates on an issue like healthcare reform, education, etc. And the implications blogging has on Senators or Representatives relationships with their constituents).
    • Comment: Uduak, very interesting subject. As you shape these ideas into a final project, one aspect to consider focusing on is to differentiate between a) the official "legal findings" of what bloggers can/cannot do vs. b) the unoffical "codes of conduct" being developed in the world of blogging. I think the unofficial codes would reflect the complex realities of the different types of bloggers, rather than the more simplistic legal concept of a blogger. One case to look at is the judge that was recently found to have been blogging anonymously [she thought :) ] about the case on which she herself was the sitting judge. I'll look for the URL to send you. I look forward to reading your project. Smithbc 05:54, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Yaerin Kim Quill80 02:17, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus Title: OpenCourseWare(OCW) and its Impact: Case Study of MIT’s OCW
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Hi Yaerin, I think this is a great topic. Being a part of F/OSS environment has pushed forward a number of wonderful software innovations. Scratch is an example of MIT's commitment to OCW. Scratch, though at first glance might appear comical, is actually a great tool to teach people the concepts of early stages of computer programming. I'm sure there are tons of other open source software that would interest you. I would suggest, if you have a spare computer or can run a virtual environment, downloading and running a Linux distribution like Ubuntu or Linux Mint. Then you can take a look at the rich repository of software that is completely free to install and use. Some of the software is not F/OSS, such as Adobe Reader, but the disclaimers of Left-Copied software is always clear. Anything that came from MIT would also give credit to that source even if it's been morphed. Best regards, Alan Davies-Gavin--Adavies01 03:45, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Yaerin, you've nicely narrowed down your topic to MIT OCW and assessing progress on the 3 goals. In the context of this course, it would really be interesting to narrow down even further to the third goal: the level of interaction of OCW users with the institutions that provide it. What are they and the users missing out on? We've already seen examples of digital communities developing and producing some amazing things and perhaps MIT is or should be seeking to turn OCW from content publishing into an active community. I look forward to reading about this in your project. Best, Brian Smithbc 07:28, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hi Yaerin. I think your topic is brilliantly targeted and focused on one of the distinct manifestations of peer collaboration - that is an open online course. I, myself, have greatly benefited from MIT OCW and Yale Open Course and thus look forward to see, specifically, the reasons why the participation rate of users is lingering at such low figures. Would it be too much to expect OCW to be an open education forum with lively discussions? In my opinion, the architectures of OCW and Yale Open Course are expressly posing limitations on interaction between users as there is no such place to share opinions. I am very much excited to read your final project! Best, --Yu Ri 10:57, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: William Bauser --Wnb 23:55, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus Title: Modern Web Design and Civic Engagement: Access to Information and Community Development
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: This is an interesting topic -- you have a lot of avenues to explore! Among the sites you list, some are clearly partisan while others seem more altruistic. I would be interested to learn the contrast of methods used by each type. For example, what are the membership requirements? Does the site encourage a particular philosophy? Does a certain amount of selective cocooning take place? On the other side, how can an Internet based civic community be both neutral and vital? If it is only fact based then it won't be interesting. How does is promote community discussions without advocating a position? I'm sure you'll have to narrow the focus of your chosen topic and I thought this might be an interesting distinction you could use. -Chris Sura 01:26, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hi William: Sounds like a very interesting subject. I have two comments. First, it is clear you are looking at assessing how effective internet tools are in increasing engagement in the political process, but your last statement doesn't seem to fit. It seems like you'd also like to look at how effective they are in increasing the transparency of the political process as well and you'd have to clarify how those fit together. (IMO, engagement =/= transparency.) Second, I'd be interested in hearing more about your methodology, since most of the sites you mention would likely not share their data openly (perhaps I am wrong.) All the best, Brian Smithbc 07:53, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: I think this sounds interesting, particularly as scholars are emerging to study the implications of the internet, web 2.0 and social networking on politics. I think there's going to be a lot of research into how these tools (and many of the sites you mentioned, particularly sites like or are contributing to the distribution of social capital/political capital among the population. I think your topic is timely, and interesting. My guess is that you will need to hone in on a few specific sites and some specific aspects of them in order to make solid comparisons and broad analysis. Best of luck! Acrowe 16:22, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Brian Smith Smithbc 23:47, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus Title: Location-Based Services: Implications and Awareness of Effects on Consumer Privacy
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Greetings Brian! I found your research idea very creative and the methodology you are planning to utilize seems realistically achievable, although some instruments used by government and private marketing agencies are very difficult to trace and require special software and equipment. I have a topic idea that may coincide with a notion of privacy you are investigating, so I may cite your work in my project. What I found to be inconsistent is that your methods seem to be distant on the instrumental level from your hypothetical statements, that is, it is undetermined how your method will help to prove or reject either of your hypotheses. In fact, even doctorate dissertations attempting to either reject or accept only one hypothesis. It is in quantitative sciences we test several hypothesis in order to corroborate the validity of the expression or formula, etc., but not in the research as far as academic papers suggest. In terms of your definition of location, it is unclear whether your are talking about the IP address based location or mobile device based location, if it is about mobile device only (most hosts like schools and bosses may hunt for both mobile and the laptop IP to trace their employee or a student) then you need to state so in your research and in the proposal as well. I know one thing for sure that with arrival of the wireless technology it became much more harder for Federal agents to trace hackers: it is technologically more convenient to retain privacy through the public wireless router. I think you will benefit from setting up a singular and more definite hypothetic statement that will encapsulate the entire topic. In addition, you would make the research more productive and to the point if you will add the limitations to your research so that your process will have its bottom line. Check out this research, it could be helpful or at least you can retrieve some more sources from in-context citations: Good Luck! --VladimirK 20:03, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
      • Response: Thank you, Vladimir - these are really helpful comments. I might ping you back for more details as I go through them each. Best, Brian Smithbc 07:56, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Brian, the location of a caller is also one of the key pieces of information that is used by public safety officials when responding to emergencies. There is a long history of regulation related to the use of location information in the Enhanced 9-1-1 system. I know the location services that you are talking about in your paper are based upon the GPS capabilities in mobile devices, but you may benefit from understanding the history of location as you look at some of the politics surrounding these new services. There has been some recent political maneuvering related to the location information provided by telecommunications carriers for the purpose of Enhanced 9-1-1 since many have determined, as you say in your prospectus, that location information is a marketable commodity.

Here is a short explanation of how location is determined in Enhanced 9-1-1. If you were to need to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency, when your call is answered at the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) a software application retrieves information about your location from the Automatic Location Information (ALI) database. The ALI database – there are actually over 3,000 ALI databases in the US, but from a local jurisdiction only one is important - that is/are maintained on behalf of the government by various on-contract third parties. How information about your location gets populated in that database depends upon the device originating your call. For a traditional wired phone, the phone company is responsible to update your location when your phone is installed.

When you are calling from a mobile phone, there are actually two ways that your location is determined. One is GPS, but many mobile devices today still either don’t have GPS chips or the users don’t turn the GPS on for reasons that range from prolonging battery life to a belief that they are protecting their privacy (something that you may next see is an illusion). One way wireless location is determined is by the triangulation of two or more cell towers. A mobile phone is almost always in communication with two or more towers and an estimate can be made of your location by measuring distance as a function of signal strength. The other way is to integrate the GPS chip. For Enhanced 9-1-1, this actually turns out not to be as straight forward as one might think. This is because the GPS information is carried in the data channel of a phone. For many phones it isn’t possible to have both a concurrent voice call and a data transmission. This means that in order to retrieve the GPS data, the PSAP needs to disconnect the caller. Not the best situation in an emergency. The FCC’s Wireless 911 Rules currently specify that the phone carrier is required to be able to locate you within, “50 to 300 meters depending upon the type of location technology used.”

There is also a separate system for determining the location of a caller who is using a VoIP device (as in Skype) and another process for determining the location of a caller from within an enterprise organizations (such as a PBX extension).

Hope you find this of use. Let me know if I may clear up and points or answer any additional questions. --Gclinch 01:55, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Yu Ri Jeong -- Yu Ri 22:22, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus Title: How manifestations of collective intelligence vary in different cultures and societies: Study on Naver Knowledge iN of South Korea in comparison with Wikipedia.
  • Link to Prospectus:
    • Comment: This is a really interesting topic! I hadn't known that South Korea had so strongly resisted the dominance of Wikipedia. I am curious, even if you do not include these questions in your paper, to hear what you think is unique about South Korea that it managed to create its own version of Wikipedia. Was it simply a question of timing, or is there something about South Korean Internet culture that allowed it to rally around its own creation. I also wonder what this means for Wikipedia. As a result of the lack of participation by South Korean Internet users, does Wikipedia suffer from a gap in information about South Korean culture, politics or society? I think the paper you have laid out in your prospectus is very thorough and complete, but I would love to hear your thoughts on these questions separately as you continue your research! Mcforelle 19:39, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Dear Mcforelle, thank you for your kind words on my prospectus. I believe that the user-friendly manner of NKIN is encouraging Koreans to prefer it over Wikipedia. To elaborate, NKIN offers such an environment that participants can just write down their ideas without having to give much thought about the impacts of their posts. It is not that they have no responsibility in writing down articles; but they want to give information or advice as they do to their friends and family. The system of Wikipedia requires some duties such as learning of new Wiki codes. I believe that these factors are alienating Koreans from using Wiki. Furthermore, the under-activated usage rate of Korean Wiki is discouraging people to use it. --Yu Ri 03:44, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hi Yuri! I think your research would reveal some very interesting points about the difference between the Korean Naver website and Wikipedia. If I may suggest, it would be interesting to analyze the difference in user demographic between the two websites. This would assist your analysis for Question #3. Also, since Naver seems to be a for-profit organization, it would be interesting to analyze how profitable NKin has been and contrast it to the non-profit model of Wikipedia. Quill80 22:07, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Yaerin, thank you for your kind comments. Your suggestions include very important points which I might have ignored had it been not you! Truly, the demographic analysis of two websites and the comparison of them in terms of for-profit and non-profit will reveal some of the interesting characteristics of these open knowledge forums. Thank you! --Yu Ri 03:44, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Yu Ri: This is a solid proposal for the project. I like how you've used the course themes as your areas of investigation and how you've narrowed down to two communities that you will compare, and even further to a set of articles with common subjects across the two communities. The only area of concern might be that your subject areas are pretty large in and of themselves (architectural elements, social norms & governance, membership, limits on expression, and national law.) If you can do all of those, then that's great, but you might think of narrowing to a smaller set. Otherwise, this proposal seems strong. Have fun! Brian Smithbc 08:07, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hi Smith. Thank you for spending your time in reading my prospectus. I absolutely agree with your concern. I wish to nail down the topic further, but am still not certain which theme to focus on as all the aspects matter most. I will keep you informed if I narrow down to the very specific topic! Thank you! --Yu Ri 03:44, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: La Keisha Landrum llandrum 21:48, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus Title: Building a Sustainable News Org
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Hi La Keisha, It's good to see you're approaching this hot topic. I think most Americans are rather clueless about the current demise of the media or at least they are clueless as to why the media has been in a state of disintegration over the past 30 years. The newspaper companies came to late to the Internet forum and due to their lack of response they lost the "first-to-line" efforts in advertising & classified revenues. Aggregators and bloggers have only worsened the situation for major media, not to mention giants like Google and Craigslist drawing away advertising dollars. Still, a more important aspect is that experienced journalists need to continue to be supported in doing investigative reporting. Looking at detail as to how the different models of moving forward and the benefits might be speculative at this point, but we have seen some success stories in new ways to successfully report on current events. Regards, Alan Davies-Gavin--Adavies01 03:45, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hello La Kiesha! This is a very interesting and important topic for the future well being of journalism. According to your prospectus, it seems that you are interested in the profit aspect of the emergence of new internet-based journalism. If this is the case, it would be helpful if you can offer comparison in income for the aforementioned journalist. In other words, how much did these journalist as an employee of a traditional publisher and how much are they making now with their innovative website? Also, it would be interesting to know who is willing to patron these professional journalists. I think the lecture slides from March 1 would be very helpful as well. Good luck!Quill80 22:34, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hi La Keisha, Bravo for taking on this topic. I like the fact that you are exploring success stories in online journalism. While journalism is undergoing fundamental changes, I think this is not just a doomsday scenario that dictates journalism will disappear. The newspaper existed for so long because, I believe, there is strong consumer demand for quality information. Just because the business model for supplying news is undergoing transformation doesn't mean that that demand is gone. My hypothesis is what we discussed in our last class: that the newspaper is being disaggregated and all the components will find their places as the changes shake out. There will be a place for classified ads, opinion articles, local fluff pieces, national news, international news, and yes, even, high-quality investigative reporting! It's just that they won't all be delivered by the same company, in the same vehicle, nor with the same business model anymore. As a side note for a case study check out the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. I'm not sure how successful it has been, but their story might be interesting to you in that they closed down their print publication and went entirely online with a shrunken staff. Best, Brian Smithbc 08:30, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Enjoyed reading your prospectus! Just read an article in The Guardian that seems to resonate very well with your proposed topic. It highlights the business model Huffington Post created whereby a good portion of their content is via free contributions, and the ensuing backlash amongst some writers circles who feel they are under/uncompensated. Also, I noticed you touch on the concept of 'content farming,' and thought I'd reiterate an example I brought up in class, Demand Media. It is the poster child for content farming in the media industry, so might be worth a glance. Good luck and hope this is helpful! - Jessica Jsanfilippo 18:55, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: I really enjoy the topic of your proposal. I think it's a timely and meaningful investigation. I think in comparing what makes these online media outlets successful, it is important to create a measure of which are and which are not successful. There are Nielsen ratings for websites, but I don't recall where to find them... and I believe Alexa does a web index ranking as well. It is probably worthwhile to be sure that the parallels you're drawing are across the most successful models. Many blogs that are popular are not lucrative business models, and as you seem poised to compare your results with the decline in financially-stable, traditional media, this will be an important distinction. It seems like a great jumping off point! Good luck! Acrowe 16:34, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Jillian York Jyork 21:48, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus Title: Understanding "Lesbanon": Lebanon's Online Lesbian Community
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Hi Jillian. I found your approach to the project very interesting: based on your prospectus, it seems that you are studying an online society as a mirror to look into the real world. Your idea of examining the ways that homosexuality is expressed on the Internet would offer a glimpse to the country's customs and legal regulations is truly brilliant. I will look forward to seeing what kind of role the Internet is playing in Lebanon society for freedom of speech - especially for that of lesbians. Best, Yu Ri --Yu Ri 03:29, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hey Jillian, I think this is such a great paper topic. I love how secretive communities can still operate out in the public through using the internet. The value of anonymity in this case seems like it must be very high, especially if there are governmental pressures keeping women from coming out. I had no idea that "Lesbanon" existed but it really does make perfect sense. Maybe if there are other communites out there like this, you could make a broader statement on the nature of coming out on the internet despite oppressive governments and societal norms. Otherwise, I think your question is quite reigned in and manageable in scope. I look forward to reading this paper when you're finished. Saambat 18:42, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Jillian, this is a clever topic. I think in America, we often take for granted what the Civil Rights Movement did for communities beyond racial and sexual orientation lines--it really impacted our cultural norm mindset. The internet is not only release but power for those in disadvantaged or secretive communities the world over--especially when you are looking at two groups under different governments: the Lebanese and the diaspora. I am curious to read more. Myra 19:22, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: I am sorry if I am posting belated remarks but it seems that your topic, along with many other topics related to this type of mental state, overlooks the origins of the same sex attraction for males, that is, pederasty, which by nature can affect the mind set of the near situated females. It is widely argued in the world, may be not in the entire U.S., that the same sex attraction among men is not a genetic phenomenon, but rather it is the bodily stigma imposed either during the childhood or during the adultery. In the majority of cases, I refer to the child molestation cases with a few exceptions, neither adult nor a child is able to recall the first same sex sexual experience, which decisively suggests on the unconscious intercourse under the influence of a sedative and/or somnolent substance. In the scholarly papers similar to this, you may find the old and new findings that can explain both the political and biological causes of mental and physical attraction in the same sex: It is no doubt that the nature has produced hermaphrodites, but their amount is nothing in comparison to what America or Lebanon has. Hence, it is not the nature that produces majority of them. Overall, you have very intelligent approach to tackle the puzzle of how homosexuals are created in a society with many religious denominations like Lebanon and the U.S.. As far as I know, it is a scientific fact that in order to have stigma a body should have most of its sensitive erogenous zones irritated. The next piece of the puzzle: by coincidence, the amount of child molestation cases among Jehova Witnesses exceeds the amount of all sexual scandals among Catholic, Muslim, and Orthodox religions. So, here is the Bingo - the amount of religious sects which are striving to get your trust and intimacy and visit you at home and may be have a "drink" or "dinner" with you is equally proportional to the amount of homosexuals in the society. So, the taboo is coming from the kind of common sense I mentioned above; unfortunately or may be fortunately for many Jews in Lebanon, not everyone is able to crunch this trust game puzzle in reality right away. May be your project will help to make this devastating syndrome that originates from the terrible crime disappear from any society. --VladimirK 06:10, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Caroline McLoughlin Camcloughlin 21:44, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus title: Privacy and Society
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comments: Caroline, I, too, was interested in writing a paper more inclined to policy arguments and Rebekah counseled me against it. I got the impression we are supposed to be more observant of communities and how they interact and work. If this is true, you might lean your paper more towards observing whether privacy policies are adequately disclosed on sites in the US and how they are different on Canadian sites. Is this difference due to the contrasting privacy legal frameworks in the two countries? Do participants react differently?This might also help narrow your topic which seems like alot of material to cover. All this being said, I find your topic very interesting and think it might be great to present it in something like a PowerPoint format. Would be the great beginnings of a law review article if you are a lawyer.[[sjennings 21:18, 27 February 2011 (UTC)]]
    • Comment: Hi Caroline, we are interested in the same privacy subjects. Similar to Sjennings feedback, I tried to make mine more about observing a community, specifically consumers using location-based services, and less about policy. If you've got the understanding already to get into issues and policy, though, then it sounds like a great project. As I mentioned to Jamil Buie above, if you are interested, I'd be willing to trade notes and help each other shape up the final project. Since we are doing similar topics, I would really appreciate your comments on my prospectus as well. Best, Brian Smithbc 05:39, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Name:Anthony Crowe Acrowe

  • Prospectus title: Tagging and Metadata on the Internet and in New Media
  • Link to prospectus:
  • Comments:
    • Comment: I like that you've identified another means of content organization for study. I feel like tagging is going to be a rich topic, not only because of the ways people use it, but because of how it defines or redefines website architectures. I don't really know much about tags beyond their most obvious uses (and frankly, on in Twitter), so I am curious to see what kind of social rules you discover in your research. The only thing I might suggest is that, given the richness of your topic, that you not worry about studying superusers too deeply. I feel like a thorough study of tagging on the three main sites you've identified, which are pretty major sites, in addition to the other examples you'll be incorporating, will be more than enough data and analysis for a great paper. Unless perhaps I'm not understanding the particular lens through which you'll be approaching the superuser question? Mcforelle 19:49, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: I think this is a really fascinating and relatively untouched subject; I'm curious to learn the myriad ways tagging is used, both for public sharing and for semi-private sharing (e.g., cleverly devised tags that only a particular group is aware of) -- but I agree with the above commenter in that I'm not sure how the question of superusers fits in here; I think you might be better off narrowing the subject just to the question of tagging.Jyork 16:16, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Vladimir Kruglyak --VladimirK 21:13, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus title: A Transparency of the U.S. Government in the Socio-Cyber Environment
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Vladimir, thank you for your resources. I have been reading your prospectus and found your approach as interesting as ambitious. To investigate wether the U.S. Government maintains Constitutional transparency and accountability for the tax money expenditures using e-government resources, that is a very well focused research and I can tell you are passionate about the topic, which makes the reading even more interesting. However, when you talk about conspiracy relating it with the internet resources, I have to disagree. I think power and conspiracy are long-time friends, governments have faced every kind of suspicions since they exist, but the importance of digital resources when it comes to spreading these suspicions cannot be denied, and that is why I think your research will face very interesting issues to deal with, as investigating the origin of "conspiracies" from a social point of view. Do you think the Internet is a cause or a consequence? I think about WikiLeaks, for example. The Internet had nothing to do with the origin of the cables, but made them become a "popular" topic, blurring the "secret" component of International Politics. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? We are talking about serious crimes becoming nearly gossip (we could talk further about a Spanish journalist murdered in Iraq and how Spanish and American Governments made a deal to make it look like an accident: that's on WikiLeaks). But now it looks like nothing happened. Amazon was selling the cables for Kindle, Julian Assange is to be extradited to Sweden in a week and I highly doubt any of the "accused" by, or thanks to, WikiLeaks, is to face trial. When you say that I am adressing a brave category of people ready to risk their lives for the "right cause", that is exactly the interesting thing about this. Why would someone get into trouble for nothing? However, it calls my attention that you take for granted that their cause is the right one. I see in your statement that you look pretty convinced about conspiracies when it comes to very sensitive and historic topics. You assume the defense of one group, don't you doubt that the cause may not always be the right one? I find your statement so determined that it becomes intriguing to me (it is really hard to me to be sure about something), I will be following your work with interest to get a better understanding of your point of view. In the meantime, I hope to receive more suggestions or resources you may find interesting to check out about this topic. Lorena Abuín. --lorenabuin 21:17, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: I see a potential flaw in your methodology, and find it potentially invasive of a web surfer's privacy. Collecting data by sniffing packets is rather dubious for your uses and can be construed as an abuse of networking tools. Trying to parse the IP addresses into geographical locations through a Whois database may be difficult to and inaccurate if users are using proxy based anonymizers such as Tor or i2p. It is for this reason, among others, that many people chose to use anonymizers when they surf. Deinous 04:15, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
    • Answer: There is no flaw, it is rather your misunderstanding of the software functionality: 1) collecting data of the visiting traffic by IP from a domain is not a crime and often the consent is given by the owner of a domain; 2) WhoIs database traces the domain's information from the server such as registration expiration date and the contact information of the domain's owner. In addition, there is a way to detect the Tor user and toss those IP out from the sample. In my survey, I will target users with average knowledge who do not use anonymous proxy services or encrypted networking channels.
      • Vlaidmir: Thank you all for the creative comments addressed toward my prospectus, although the assignment says to add constructive suggestions which can help an author to improve his project. I think it is little bit unfair to help others reconstruct their idea and receive nothing in return. I guess that is all I can get from the general public. If however, someone in this course really knows about the internet traffic analysis, you are welcome to suggest substantial changes. --VladimirK 20:05, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Vladimir, I apologize if I said anything to upset or discouraged you in any way. I meant my comment to be constructive in raising an ethical question to your research methodology in regards to the privacy of web surfers. U can certainly observe and aggregate traffic through packet sniffing network tools, but I would not be so trusting in precise geographical locations of the IP addresses for the reasons that I mentioned. However, with a large enough sample you could perhaps get a general feel for regional traffic. | Etherealis a popular easy to use modern analysis tool with good documentation, and may serve your purposes. Again, I meant no disrespect and look forward to your project evolving.Deinous 21:30, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Name:Corey MacDonald Coreymacd 20:28, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus title: Fringe Forums for the Under-represented
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comments: Wow! This is a great prospectus, I feel like these kinds of sites are the perfect places to be asking these questions. So many of the conversations we've had in class have centered around how to best facilitate legal social interactions. I'm excited to read your analysis of how semi-legal and illegal topics are handled by users, administrators and legal bodies on these forums. I'd be curious to see if legal action had ever been taken against the users of these sites, or whether the information posted on them had ever been used in legal action against someone else, like as evidence or tips on possible illegal goings-on? Are there any specific government agencies that track activity on these kinds of sites? Are any extra precautions taken to protect the anonymity of contributors? Mcforelle 20:34, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comments: Hi Corey this is a interesting topic, the existence of sites like Erowid and “the chemical underground” highlight how (especially the US) government are losing the battle to control drug information. A “non-event” that may be of interest to you is the DEA making Microgram public in 2003. Microgram was a law enforcement restricted newsletter aimed at forensic chemists and its release made very little impact on the “chemical underground” due to the wealth of information on illicit drugs that was already available.

Here’s a link to an article that might be useful/interesting Ltconnell 20:36, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Richard (Rick) Kundiger --Rakundig 19:38, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus title: The Role of Bittorrent in the Internet Society
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: This is a great example of "code is law." You have a very powerful tool (the bittorrent protocol) which can be used for both good an illicit purposes. Your investigation of the different interests for and against its deployment should provide an excellent case study. Does a company or government have more of a right than an individual to control the protocols in use? Are those opposed to the protocol trying to protect the greater good of the Internet or their own financial interests? -Chris Sura 01:53, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hi Rick, I also like this topic. One thing you could really expand upon is the use of P2P (point to point) connections has also drivin forward such technologies as Skype. This type of technology was also never intended to be used for illicit purposes, but then again the Internet was never designed to be used in many of the ways it is used today. VoIP actually breaks the TCP/IP model where packets were never intended to be treated in such a timely fashion. Another item is that it was used by WikiLeaks to keep Assange a bit more safe, which could be interpreted both good and bad. It's also amazing that the record industry had enough lobby power to take down some of the most famous P2P services. There's also the aspect that businesses deal with a very real threat of employees using bittorrent technologies. The executive that installs a P2P client and accidentally shares out his entire drive has been a very real issue for companies to combat. Further, then end use that also does something simular can share very personal information such as passport and bank account details with the world. Hope my comments have given you some help in this area of interest. Regards, Alan Davies-Gavin--Adavies01 03:45, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Mary Van Gils

  • Prospectus title: Yelp Case Study - Freedom of Expression
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Wanted to make you aware as you investigate the external restriciton on freedom of expression regarding the Yelp site that there are also types of businesses which are regulated by state law as to how they may respond to reviews/complaints on sites like Yelp. If you look at my prospectus, you will note insurance companies are one of those types of businesses.[[sjennings 15:53, 3 March 2011 (UTC)]]
    • Comment: Hi Mary - This is a fascinating subject - the tension between freedom to express opinions and libel as well as the possible manipulations. Your decision to use Yelp forums as a focal point is also a good idea. What is not clear to me what exactly you will be observing about the forums. It would be great to not only observe instances of the tension points, but also to find instances where free expression has been limited by external sources (not sure if you'll be able to get access to this if it's happened.) I really look forward to reading your project. Best, Brian Smithbc 06:04, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: I think Yelp makes a really interesting case study for freedom of expression, but, as mentioned above, Yelp doesn't exactly seem ripe for external limiting of free expression (in the forums at least; reviews are a separate issue), rather, I would venture to guess that the vast majority of limiting speech on the site is in the interest of the TOS. Nevertheless, I think there's a fascinating question here, and plenty of existing evidence, particularly to the question of reviews/slander.Jyork 16:19, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Susan Jennings [[sjennings 15:46, 22 February 2011 (UTC)]]

  • Prospectus title: Annuity Companies' Social Media Communities
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comments: Hi Susan, your subject area appears well-defined and methodology seems systematic. In addition to surveying the companies' online activities, I would really encourage you to speak to the compliance person or even a marketing person in those companies to see how their efforts are going. [You might find the marketing person easier to reach out to :) and get a response.] Additionally, is there any way to bring in the actual federal regulators in order to get their perspective on how new social media plays in their framework for regulation? It would be interesting to see if and how they are adapting to the new technologies. Have fun! Brian Smithbc 07:24, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Alan Davies-Gavin & Alex Solomon

  • Prospectus title: Architecture of Sites eHarmony and contributions of membership data and effects on security and privacy.
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Alan and Alex, I think your topic is fascinating and I wanted to chip in my 2 cents which might help your research. Considering the different natures of sites that ultimately sell the same product, I would consider looking at how the two compete in response to one another. By this I mean, is Match doing something that eHarmony isn, and therefore, is eHarmony a bit jealous and trying to get into their market? I know that eHarmony lauched their more casual spinoff "" which is meant to steal people away from Match. Is Jazzed a suggestion that privacy isn't all that important to frustrated singles? I think that there are also rather large differences in target audience between the two competitors, with eHarmony focusing on a bit older, more conservative crowd while Match goes for the "single and ready to mingle."Also, perhaps look at each companies approach to user profile creation over time, have they changed at all and in what ways? This looks like it'll be an exciting project, I'm looking forward to what you find! (Lewtak 21:31, 1 March 2011 (UTC))
      • Response: Thanks Tym. I like your observations and I think they may well contribute to our research and final content. It's a good perspective that you bring to light. Alan --Adavies01 03:49, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Kristina Meshkova

  • Prospectus title: A music sharing site - Grooveshark, Soundcloud, MySpace.
  • Link to prospectus:
  • Comment: Hey Kristina, I think we have some similar ambitions in regards to our final project. Let's chat tonight if you have any interest in potentially working together Alex Bryan 14:31, 1 March 2011.
    • Comment: Hello Kristina, I found your project very interesting and I am looking forward to see it evolve. I am particularly interested in how and why the streaming content services are so territory-limited, beyond of copyright, and how long will this model survive. In Europe we can use Spotify but instead there is no access to Pandora or Grooveshark, and vice versa. Same happens with Netflix or Hulu. However, Spotify is said to be preparing its expansion to the USA and some people talk about pression groups beyond record labels. I think it could be interesting to explore if there are some inter-continental lobbying activities or corporative deals regarding this issues. Best,lorenabuin 12:00, 6 March 2011.

Name:Vladimir Trojak-- VladimirTrojak 20:01, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus title: Are different language groups consistent in what topics are permitted and what is removed?
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comments: Hello Vladimir, Your proposal is intriguing and I am looking forward to see how it evolves. I did have a question about why do you think that all the Wikipedia policies should be the same in all the language communities? Thanks. --SCL 03:06, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for your comment. I hope it will turn in the way I expect:)I believe that in general they shoudl be the same, such as 'neutral point of view', 'verifiability'. Although there may be differences in other policies because of different laws, such as topics you can speak about. You have any suggestions?Thanks.VladimirTrojak 18:11, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Faye Ryding FMRR 23:59, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus title: Trolls and vandals on
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comments: Hello Faye, I read your prospectus but had the following thought. What if the person belives they are in the right? Does that make them still a vandal? And can you outline excatly what recourses one can take against such offenders? What authority can someone make a complaint to? That last question brings us to a much bigger, more complex one. Who has the soveriegn rights over the web? The government? A trade federation? Or individual users? --Elishasurillo 04:46, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Facebook recently launched an "anti-troll" algorithm that reduces troll comments by ~50%. Perhaps has implemented a similar algorithm too, and a comparison could be made. Deinous 20:04, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Alex Bryan 16:59, 21 February 2011

  • Prospectus title: Groooveshark music application
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comments: Hi, Alex. Sorry that didn't answer you earlier. Will be glad to discuss an opportunity to work together on the Final project. Let's discuss it next week in a chat room or via email. This is my email for the course: Kristina Meshkova, 5 March 2011.
    • Comment: Hello, Alex. I am very interested in the legal aspect of streaming content services. Have you considered to study this issue from a global point of view regarding a potential Grooveshark expansion? As I stated below Kristina's project, I think both of your prospects are very interesting, I will be following them. Good luck lorenabuin 12:06, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Robert Cunningham

  • Prospectus title: The Archive Team
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Hi Robert! Interesting subject, you've narrowed down nicely on one particular group and your areas of interest should cover nicely what the group is and does nicely. Also, your methods seem achievable and will allow you to experience the group, not just observe it (one of the core challenges for many of the projects, including mine.) The one counsel I would give is to go back to the course material we've been discussing to tie the Archive Team back into the course themes. As examples, you could look at the incentive system for contributors, the group hierarchy and governance for control and decision-making, the architecture of the online tools they use, or the merging of offline and online worlds. Have fun! Smithbc 07:13, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Joshuasurillo

  • Prospectus title: The effect of government transparency websites- Wikileaks
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Joshua, I am very much looking forward to your final product. Your position (or what I am assuming your postion to be) comes across very loud and clear in your prospectus. I wonder if you will reach an opinion as to where to draw the line on "free speech," or if no line should be drawn? My reading of your position if you were to define it today is that free speech must be protected at all costs and no limits are appropriate, at least that is the feeling I am left with from your prospectus. If wikileaks posted the location or identity of our undercover operatives in Iraq or elsewhere, would you support that? If not, what else would you feel would be "going to far?" I look forward to reading more from you. Coreymacd 01:25, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: I will try to convey a more balanced and neutral argument in my final paper. I will weigh both sides of the argument and shed light on both. Hopefully, I will be able to come to a consensus. I would not support a decision by Wikileaks to disclose the location or identity of our undercover operatives in Iraq, but I do not believe it is our place to stop them. I believe the government should not be going after Wikileaks but they should be finding and prosecuting the actual leak; not the whistle blowing agency.--Joshuasurillo 01:32, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Susan Lemont

  • Prospectus title: Why do people cultivate large online networks?
  • Link to prospectus:
  • Comments:
    • Comment: Unfortunately beyond the stated scope of your project (and not practical to include), but it would be interesting to see how your findings compare to similar surveys of Youtube users (who frequently seek comments, ratings, and channel subscriptions) and members of various online forums which award rankings, custom titles, "reputation", and other benefits to prominent posters based on peer imput. Good luck with this topic. (P.S. Also, it might be interesting try and determine what percentages of Facebook 'friends' of these users are A) people they know in real life vs. those relationships which are strictly online-only and B) what proportion of real life contacts were made prior to 'friending' vs. those which were made as a result of meeting virtually via facebook.) BrandonAndrzej 04:34, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hi Susan, your research question is so basic that I am surprised no one else chose a topic towards this issue, since it is the basis of the new big business, social media. From an anthropological point of view, I find it very interesting and not enough explored, focusing the research into motivations: not what or when people share or live online, but why do they do it. Besides, I find your methodology very well planned and practical, although I have some doubts about the sincerity when it comes to explaining to someone you don't know why you have more than 200 friends. I will be following your work with interest, good luck! lorenabuin 11:53, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
      • Response: Thank you everyone for your insightful comments. I have changed my project and the new prospectus follows:

Name: Susan Lemont --SCL 20:23, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus title: What conditions are conducive to successful commons based peer production?
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comments: Hi Susan. I like the way you tie the course readings into your project and your "test" of the theoretical writings on a real-life subject. So much of what we study is based on the success stories but we often can learn more from the failures. It will be interesting to know whether some of Benckler's or Zittrain's critical success factors were missing or whether they were all there and the project did not succeed for other reasons. I look forward to reading more about this in your projects. Best, Brian Smithbc 07:39, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Chris Sura -Chris Sura 03:13, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus title: The Java Community Process: How Does It Really Work?
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Admittedly, I knew nothing of JCP prior to reading your prospectus, but it's a pretty intriguing process. It does make us wonder who is really behind our machines, as most consumers of technology only see (and care about) the surface. I wish you luck in obtaining your inside info, and I look forward to seeing how it comes along! Myra 23:24, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Ed Arboleda Earboleda 04:42, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus title: Are there collective benefits for copyright owners, copyright infringers, and the general community; if copyright infringement is not enforced under specific circumstances on social media sites?
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comments: Hi Ed, I certainly believe that in specific instances that there can be collective benefits for infringers and owners of copyright. One example is the pirating of the UK run of the TV series Battlestar Gallactica in Australia in October 2004. When the show aired in Australia in January 2005 the ratings exceeded expectations due to “sampling” and word of mouth. Here’s a link to an article with more information Ltconnell 20:49, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Elisha Surillo

  • Prospectus title: The Tea Party and Internet Freedom
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: I'm confused. This link does not seem to take me to the correct prospectus? Elisha, could you update this to make sure I can access yours?
    • Comment: Hai to the comment above: Elisha and I uploaded with the same file names so they are stacked alphabetically. My file is one that I would like to remove actually but do not know how, but in the meantime, Elisha's file is the second link. Sorry for any confusion. Deinous 02:33, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: I don't believe the tea party is just confined to the older generation. I believe it to be a stronger movement that will soon grip the masses. By having such a strong presence on the internet this movment will propell itself forward. I believe this is just the begining of many other grassroots campains and parties.--Joshuasurillo 04:34, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
      • Response: Sorry I would change the name but I don't know how. Sorry for the confusion! --Elishasurillo 04:48, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Brandon A. Ceranowicz - BrandonAndrzej 08:29, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Name: Lorena Abuín

  • Prospectus title: Contribution to prosecuted online activities (Anonymous, BitTorrent, WikiLeaks)
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: I noticed that there is a lot of crossover between our topics. We are both addressing hacker communities, but from differing angles. I have acquired quite a bit of information about Anonymous and have listed the resources on my tentative reference page located just below here. Feel free to look and use anything from that list that may help you in your project. Also, the Anonymous page found in Wikipedia is quite good in understanding what the Anonymous phenomenon is. They are free agents often acting independently of each other and unaffiliated with one another under the umbrella name Anonymous. In other words, Anonymous is a concept more than an identifiable specific group. I also noticed you have listed pastebin as a resource. It is my suggestion to be careful with that, and try to find where that document was published. It could simply be the rantings of teenager enamored with the publicity of their antics and activity. The questionable authenticity of that write pad entry to me is found in the signature at the bottom. It should read: We are Anonymous/We are legion/We do not forgive/We do not forget/Expect us-always. Lastly, keep in mind that not all Anonymous hacktivity is criminal, that is just the part that gets sensationalized. There are many other cyber-activism efforts that take place under the name of Anonymous that are not criminal. Good luck, and I look forward to watching your project develope! -----=:) Deinous 23:28, 23 February 2011 (UTC) for the #datalove
    • Comment: I found that some of your research objectives coincide with mine. I can assure you that people do use what is called "hacktivism" to oppose the lies and conspiracies of the U.S. Government. If you take a alone you would be surprised how some of the secret documents happen to be available on line. For instance, the loan by the Wall Street Banks to finance Adolf Hitler's Army is not a secret nowadays because of the "hacktivism", although the fact and the document has been kept in secret from the Government of Soviet Union for decades. The role of the Jews in the mass murder of millions is proven with facts on the Holocaust denial web sites. I guess the major drive that motivates people to use their skill in the "wrong way" is to oppose the lie that is bigger in size and thus controls the legacy tools such as Media and Congress. Even children in New York City know that the twin towers were demolished by the "uniformed criminals" employed as the federal agents. Check out the list of literature on my prospectus and is just one out of dozens web sites. The U.S Government had no reason to deploy troops anywhere at the cost of the taxpayers' dollars. Do you think other citizens do not realize this? They do, but they join others in this giant lie and say that it is a war on terror, and they say this at Law Schools, through the public media, and post it online. These people are indifferent and coward because they lie to themselves and the so called prosecuted activities is the only way to reveal the truth. In your research you are therefore addressing a brave category of people who are ready to risk their lives for the simple yet amazingly right cause - to reveal the corrupted syndicate of greedy liars who oppresses people with their tyrannic power and ability to prosecute. If you are not afraid to cooperate on this project in front of the university staff, then take a look at my proposal and let me know what do you think. I may give you a couple of additional sources and suggestions, but if you do not want to be involved in this type of a project, I will totally understand. Best! --VladimirK 10:29, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hai. Thanks for your response. I just thought that I would add that it is very important make the distinction between hackers and crackers. Unfortunately the media has not made this distinction clear and has tainted the meaning of the term hacker. In a nutshell, hackers create things and crackers break things. Most hackers look down upon crackers and dismiss them as technological bugs. Most hackers I know are not pleased with the criminal antics done in the name of Anonymous. It is true that collaborative write pads are in common use because of the ease to collaborate live together at once. Pastebin happens to not be one used for documents all that much though. It is mainly used to send larger pieces of text into chat protocols such as IRC without flooding the channel. Write pads such as and are more common to use for group documents since the url is not made public and searchable, and is kept private among the group working on it. Also, an interesting comment about hacktivism made to me by a French hacker with whom I am in contact with simply and broadly described hacktivism as using technology to impact society. I think we must be careful, myself included, when we talk about cracker v. hackers. A classic document among hackers written and maintained by Eric Raymond, "How to Become a Hacker" describes the difference quite well. Deinous 03:11, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hi Lorena. I think this is a great topic and I agree that you and Deinous seem to have a strong intersection of ideas. I think the comments I made under Deinous' posting are applicable here as well. It's good to see this topic having such strong discussion. Regards, Alan Davies-Gavin--Adavies01 04:06, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
      • Response: Hi, Alan, thanks a lot for your interest! I can't find your comments below deinous' prospect, and I would really like to check them. lorenabuin 12:12, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: I too went in search of Allen's comments and were unable to find them :( Deinous 18:32, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Margaret Tolerton deinous

  • Prospectus title: Jailbreaking appliance based gadgets and game consoles: the legal and generative implications
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Margaret, thanks a lot for your offering. I could really use some inside information about this topic. About your suggestion, I chose pastebin as a reference looking for a way to begin my research. You are right when you say that accuracy is not guaranteed when it comes to this source, but my main objective is to test the general perception of internet community about "hacktivism", I want to read about it in forums, press articles comments... See what normal people think about this. Of course, not every "hacktivist" action is a ciber-crime, but I am particularly interested in motivations that lead people to engage in certain projects that could be prosecuted depending on the country, as uploading copyrighted contents. I am sure we could find a lot of profit-driven actions, but I want to get deeper in personal motivations, since there are many so-called "cyber-crimes" that have nothing to do with obtaining a profit, at least a tangible one. When reading your prospectus, I came up with something very interesting: "Happy to help others who are not as advanced?". I think solidarity plays a huge role of hacktivism communities, empowered by the feeling of being passionate about some topic. I guess the desire to share sprouts from passion, but I think that the need of feeling part of a community is also very important, especially when it comes to very well defined criminals such as sex offenders and very sensitive content uploaders, communities widely persecuted but, however, still huge. While my prospectus adopts a more anthropological point of view, I see yours as an inside work with very valuable information about hacktivism running. I look forward to see how your research evolves and to learn more about these communities from a privileged point of view. Please don't hesitate to make any suggestion you may consider, I am sure it will be very helpful for my research. Lorena Abuín. --lorenabuin 21:00, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: LOL, I don't know how privileged my point of view is. I am more or less just another nerd with a computer on Friday and Saturday nights. In recent weeks I have come to feel as though the people of Telecomix have accepted me as one of their own though, as I have done a little public relations, fact checking, and some translations. Telecomix is very open about their work, and does not engage in illegal actions. Being mostly European, they lobby against, or for, various cyber laws to their respective Parliaments. What I meant though by my comment "happy too help others who are not as advanced" is that it is common for someone to ask a question of a technological nature and usually others jump in and help to solve the problem. For example, my switch over to Linux, I have been having quite a time configuring a few of my drivers, and getting used to working from a command line with unix syntax, and several people who know how to fix the problems will jump in and start coaching with many lulz along the way.Deinous 03:45, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hello there. I am delighted and in part surprised to see a topic of this type. By type I mean it is heavily technological mission to retrieve a piece of real information from the community of real hackers. Not all software engineers employed by the government are able to intervene communication among the community of real hackers. You may however, catch a few portals where "I can do this, I can do that" type of conversations take place, but whether they really have done something interesting and indeed reveal their ideology is a big speculation. For this course, I believe, you need to change your frequency, sort of speak, and listen not for the hacking communities themselves, but for the actions they have already done. Actions speak lauder than words, as you may know. You you need to listen to the anti-thesis, that is, the counter part of the hacking group. In this country, among various subsequent agencies that keep control of all networks, the NSA sources will probably be the most beneficial to you, although I am not 100 percent sure about this. It is difficult to find something that is available to the public. Recall the scandal with pornographic downloads by the employees of the Trade Commission; this is just one out of million examples of the internet traffic control by the Feds. It is therefore the Feds who are on the opposite side of the argument with the hackers. By considering both ideology of the hackers and a counter-premise by the Feds you will have a full and comprehensive picture for your project. In short, I am proposing to search not only within the hackers community, which may only seem as community of hackers and give you a bogus information, but also find reports, chronicles, and cases exposed by the Feds. It may ultimately appear that it is the Feds who are vandals and trolls and who violate privacy and steal the tax money of the citizens. At least this is what my prospectus's sources can prove, but take a look at National Security Agency [1] web site. In the meantime, I will keep checking on your project and will try to give you more clues because your topic coincides with mine in many regards. --VladimirK 06:14, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
      • Response: Thank you for your response and comments. I will certainly take them into consideration. However, I feel that my views toward hacking are much broader than the criminality of a few, and that there should be more emphasis in part on the difference between hacking and cracking. I am one that still holds the traditional meaning of a hacker as one that is adept with the computer and often generates new creative uses for what is in front of them. As a result I am watching my topic shift a bit and focusing perhaps more on the difficulty that researchers have with the DMCA preventing them from publishing in full their findings, and the law of fair use. Over this past year we have watched the jailbreaking of an iPhone of iPad for the use of external software not approved by Apple go from being an illegal act to being justified as fair use. Although it will nullify any warranty of your gadget. Currently we are watching this same debate occur over the jailbreaking of the Sony PS3 to run Linux and homebrewed games. I am one that supports the fair use argument in that if you are clever enough to make your gadgetry do fun and interesting things beyond the uses that they are intended, then you should be able to do it--especially if you have no intention on using pirated software or make profit of any sort from it. As for an original angle, I am still waffling a bit, and welcome any further comments.====:) Deinous 17:36, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hi Margaret, Given your change in perspective of your project you may wish to explore the discussion of Tivoization (if you have note already considered such). The question of, “Should manufacturers of hardware have the right to limit the use of software on their machines when that software included elements covered under versions of the GNU license?” seems a related and interesting debate. --Gclinch 16:54, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
      • Response: Guy, thank you so much for your wonderfully concise thesis question! Sometimes it just takes the right little tweak to bring scattered thoughts together, and pondering the legal parameters of an open source kernel wrapped in a proprietary shell is a question I would very much like to spend some time on. Thanks again. Deinous 19:50, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Margaret, I am very glad you found my suggestion helpful. I look forward to your final output. It’s a really intriguing topic. Thanks for checking out web.alive (comment below). I didn’t play any role in developing it (wish I were that bright). My colleague Arn Hyndman is the chief architect.

Your comment about, “test driving it among a group of ppl,” got me thinking. If we wished to, we could use the tool for a virtual study group. Would you be interested? Do you think others would be? It could be a great environment for classmates to meet and discuss the coursework.

Also, anyone who is working as a group in developing their project can use it to collaborate virtually. There are virtual white boards, web browsers that appear to be mounted on walls, desktop application sharing portals and other tools. I’ll be glad to meet folks in the environment and show how to use the tools. --Gclinch 23:06, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

      • Response: Guy, I think using web.alive as a platform for a study group is a great idea. Perhaps you can make an announcement in class this week. Deinous 00:59, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Guy Clinch -- Gclinch 13:22, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • To my Classmates: As of March 20 I have changed the title and subject of my finalk project proposal. --Gclinch 01:28, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
  • It has occurred to me that in order to give me feedback on my proposal you may need to experience the web.alive environment. Please feel free to click on the following link and explore.

I look forward to reading your ideas. Thank you. --Gclinch 19:24, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

    • Comment: Hai Guy! I recently checked out web.alive and thought on first impression it was a nice sleek, useful, and intuitive application. Very well designed indeed. Were you one of the developers? I'm afraid that at this time I cannot offer much in the way of constructive criticism without test driving it among a group of ppl, but I do see it as a wonderful tool for distance business communication. Deinous 18:32, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Syed Yasir Shirazi [User: syedshirazi]

  • Prospectus title: Online Group Buying - Newly Emerging Business Model or Fad?
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Syed, this is a really interesting topic, but I am concerned that it may be too broad. I feel like a question like yours would more likely take up a book than a paper to be completed over a single semestre! Perhaps you could look into a specific group-buying site rather than the concept as a whole, like Groupon or LivingSocial. It might even be interesting to compare the two. Or, are there sites in which users decide which company they want to solicit such coupons from, rather than having the site itself decide? Just some ideas to help you get this topic down to something manageable. Does this help at all? Mcforelle 21:05, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
      • Response: Hi Michelle - Thanks for the feedback. I was actually planning to do a comparative study between a daily deal website (Groupon) versus a more traditional online retailer (Amazon or ebay) to see which model is more sustainable in terms of driving traffic and providing value. But your comments about 'websites that allow users to decide which company they want to solicit coupons from' has got me thinking now. Project is currently in Work-in-Process mode.Will keep everyone posted. Thanks - Yasir ~~syedshirazi 22:14, 06 March 2011

Name: Jessica Sanfilippo - Jsanfilippo 16:03, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus title: Transparency and Participation in Crowd Funding
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Hi Jessica,I think crowd funding is a fascinating topic, and there seem to be various types of crowd funding as you point out. Micro Loans and sites such as are also wonderful examples of crowd funding. I am probably over reaching, but I noticed that Syed Yasir A. Shirazi has a prospectus on Group Buying, and wonder if the two can be connected somehow? What if materials needed for a funded project on for instance, could be purchased through or a similar site? Regardless, I am looking forward to your findings around Crowd Funding (especially in the creative space).
    • Comment: Hi Jessica: is another website which would be of interest to you. You might want to take a look at it for ideas related to crowd-funding. Also, let me know if you would be interested in sharing thoughts regarding the final research project.My email id is Thanks - Yasir ~~syedshirazi 21:24, 06 March 2011

Name: Adriana Faria Torii [drifaria] and Anna Christiana Marinho C. Machado [(Anna 17:03, 22 February 2011 (UTC))]

  • Prospectus title: Analysis of E-Government Practices in Brazil
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Hi Adriana and Anna - E-governance in an emerging country like Brazil is an attention-grabbing subject. As you have mentioned in your prospectus, in terms of audience, Brazil is amongst the top ten countries in the world (I think they have recently moved up to #5 in terms of total internet users). But that said, the overall internet penetration is pretty low (I think it is close to only 40% of the entire Brazilian population).

The G2C part of your project should provide an interesting analysis since concepts like e-voting work the best when the internet usage amongst citizenry is high. Brazil does not have uniformly high internet penetration across the entire county. Maybe you can differentiate the G2C aspect and compare between urban and rural populations because there will be different results (I believe) for effectiveness of such an ‘e-system’ amongst the 2 geographic segments. Also, you can include some analysis on mechanisms for ‘fraud detection’ for e-voting and e-tax filing processes. Thoughts on this link might be of interest to you: Looking forward to reading your final paper. ~~syedshirazi 21:21, 03 March 2011 (UTC)

    • Comment: Hi, I believe you should also compare other countries E- Government practices to Brazil's. It might be interesting to see if there are any other governments polices similar to Brazil's. There might be a government with similar statistics, and by comparing them you might see another variable that might be affecting Brazil. --Joshuasurillo 04:57, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Laura Connell Ltconnell 18:15, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Envisional - Technical report: An Estimate of Infringing Use of the Internet
Hope you find this helpful --Gclinch 03:47, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

    • Comment: Hi Laura, glad to see this topic on the list. It's a tough topic as it could be looked at as requiring a world government organization to pass law enacting the crack down on stolen DRM'ed materials. At the same time there seems to be evidence that this type of activity does not hit the bottom line of Hollywood and other world producers of content. Manufacturers of CD and DVD technology has traditionally tried to work with the "Hollywoods" of the world only to be thwarted by the hacker. There seems to be a balance in the mix where the manufactures can create some hurdles for the most common user and at the same time not create a situation where users are not able to access valid content (such as putting in a DVD from Japan in a US DVD player and not being able to play the content). I think we're moving more and more toward online content like Netflix where the content is more controlled and the physical media is going away. Streaming content has some inherent properties that cannot be easily overcome, further, as long as the browser being used to support a new type of encryption technology, companies can make changes to security on the web server side when hackers have found an exploit. It's a very interesting topic, but I think any laws created would be done by people that do not fully understand the technology and also the laws have great potential to be outdated in a short amount of time if not written with enough foresight. Having said that, there has been a great deal of reduction in some types of sharing due to cases against people that have pirated DRM'ed media and also have had big impacts on many sites that traditionally have been an excellent source for finding pirated material. Regards, Alan Davies-Gavin--Adavies01 03:45, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Alokika Singh Singh singh 19:32, 22 February 2011 (UTC)User:Singhsingh

  • Prospectus title: Online Political Activism in India
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Hi Alokika: I think your topic is very interesting. You can also draw a comparative line between roles of leading social/political leaders in India versus the role of ordinary internet users when it comes to acting as the leading force behind online social/political debate in India? A lot of times, it has been seen that individuals who don’t follow any hierarchy kick-off such bold campaigns. (Take the example of what happened in Egypt over the last six months. The online movement was sparked by ordinary folks and not any leading social or political figure). I am curious to know whether the online ‘Pink Chaddi’ campaign was initiated by general users or spearheaded by a leading social organization in India. I suspect the former. So it will be interesting to see how the online debate has evolved in India. Looking forward to reading your final analysis.~~syedshirazi 20:36, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Name: Don Hussey Donaldphussey 19:47, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus title: Online Crowd-Sourcing of Starbucks Product Development
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Don, this is a really ambitious project. I think it's a great idea for you to use your professional position to get your foot in the door with some of the people at Starbucks; I hope it works! My only concern with this project is that you are only focusing on the corporate side of this venture. Is there any way you can include information from participants or contributors to this site? Is there any way on this site that users can interact with each other, or is it a one-way interaction between contributors and Starbucks? ~~mcforelle 18:39, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Don, I also agree with mcforelle in that you should involve the contributors into your work. For example, if you look at those in support of Starbucks minis (lol) you can ask them if they seriously feel more loyalty to the company based on their contributions--even if they never see their ideas come to fruition? Or do they merely want to be a part of the Starbucks online community? Or do they want bragging rights? Also, it might be interesting to briefly compare the Starbucks strategy--seeing the consumer/contributor as the catalyst of a new product--versus, say, the recent Dominos Pizza strategy--viewing the consumer/contributor as the rater of a finished product. This might allow you to connect the measurable (business performance) with the non-measurable (customer feedback)--the latter which now can be more accurately measured because of social media and online communities. All in all, I think you have great potential with this topic! Myra 20:16, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

    • Comment: Re: methodology, Social Mention is a free tool you can use to track sentiment/mentions/posts related to Starbucks in various social spheres. Might be worth checking out as the mystarbucksidea project takes off, in order to see how this shapes their metrics! - Jessica Jsanfilippo 03:19, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Tym Lewtak lewtak 21:31, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus title: User Generated Sites: Defining Superusers and Their Monetization
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Tymoteusz, I find you topic very interesting.

      I am wondering as a product of your research if you will study the proportion of individuals who are super users compared to commercial organizations using these tools. That is, in respect to commercial organizations using the various tools, how important is the individual? Over time, is the place of the individual becoming more or less important? I would suspect that part of this equation depends upon the rate at which people are able to monetize their involvement as much as how commercial organizations are co-opting the modalities. Is there a constant influx of new blood or will the ability of individuals to monetize their involvement decrease over time?

      It may be fascinating to see is this is an indication of a generative system over the long run or something that may peak and decline. Good luck! --Gclinch 03:26, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

      • Response: Gclinch, Thanks for all of your input! I initially didn't think to so much as include corporations, but taking a second glance at the subject you're right. I would be foolish to not look at motivations for companies and individuals alike to join sites as super-users. If I can find historical data on users from these sites, I'd like to especially take a look at whether it was individuals who joined first and became super-users, or if corporations jumped onto the "ball game" with individuals following. I suspect the latter isn't true, but I will try to distinguish between companies that joined these sites early on versus already popular companies that grew their earlier existent popularity. (Lewtak 21:20, 1 March 2011 (UTC))
    • Comment: One thing that is very interesting about internet communities is the ability of certain super users to arise. You will find it in all communities from IRC to blogs to forums to games and so on. Normally these are the folks to spend 60+ hours a week on their system (might want to look up references on hours as it relates to superusers) and this is their exposure to the "outside" world. There are different kinds of super users as well. There are the mentors who want to help the community evolve and guide users in the right direction, gently correct them when they are wrong, and are just generally helpful. There are also the dictatorial power mongers who will ban, delete, disparage, etc... anything they don't like, no matter how small the violation or mistake may be. There are many super user personalities in between as well. These individuals do it because they want to do it, not because of pay. Sites that can entice a user community to police itself significantly reduces their overhead costs and still, normally, maintains a good site with good content and a happy user community. Unless, of course, they select a powerMAD person to be the superuser in which case everyone will eventually get upset and move to greener pastures. Rakundig

Name: Denise Reed---dreed07 21:40, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus title: A comparative study of user behavior on Chinese social networking sites with that of United States social networkers
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Fascinating subject! I think that the differences between Chinese and USA based social networking sites is an area ripe for exploration, and one that could potentially shed a lot of light on the effects of government censorship on online communities. Some thoughts: differences in user behavior may be due to many different factors, including site architecture, demographics, and cultural influences. It would be worthwhile to explore the demographic differeces (such as age, socio-economic status, and geographic location) between different sites offering similar services in and outside of China. Furthermore, I wonder if it would be possible to obtain information on the behavior of Chinsese nationals using facebook prior to that site being banned in the PRC, and to compare it to that of non-Chinese nationals? Also, you might look into the social networking habits of users in Hong Kong, where Facebook and simmilar sites (IIRC) remain unblocked. Are their any social networking sites specifically targeted toward the Hong Kong community, and how do such sites differ from those in the rest of China? Finally, I notice that your links seem to be primarily in English. Direct access to Chinese social networking sites, and their users, in their native language would, I imagine, be extremely valuable to this project. BrandonAndrzej 03:57, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: I would love to see how your research will bloom at the end of the course. I am from South Korea but I have spent a considerable amount of time in China as my family runs business there. I usually stay in Beijing at least for a month every year and am naturally exposed to the Internet culture of China. As it is widely known, access to Facebook is blocked in the country and sometimes - I am not certain about the cause - access to Google is denied, which practically separates me from my online networks. You prospectus seems to cover general contrasting characteristics of two countries' different social networks. Since the filtering level of these countries varies, setting clear standards for comparing subjects, I think, might be quite crucial. From your project, selecting a proper social network website which can be considered as Facebook of the US would be an essence. Please let me know if you need any help with that.

--Yu Ri 03:27, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Michelle Forelle mcforelle 21:56, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Prospectus title: Online Video-Making Groups: Community, Copyright, Collaboration and Commercialism
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Michelle, I have never heard of Vimeo (this is where the Geico man asks me if I live in a cave), but I think you are onto something very interesting here. Perhaps when you tap the frequent contributors of the site, you can ask them why they post their videos on Vimeo instead YouTube, and if for a time, they did switch over to YouTube, and why? It looks like Vimeo started about a year before YouTube. Where did they share their videos before, or did they not? At the onset, Vimeo seems like a more serious bunch than Youtube, but let's see what you discover! Myra 21:03, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Thought this was a very interesting and challenging research topic. I work in the digital advertising space, and video has always been a tough nut to crack for clients. They are drawn to the "sight, sound and motion" element that made TV advertising so successful, but clearly the digital space opens possibilities for an entirely new set of formats beyond the :30 sec TV spot. I have used Vimeo for one of my client's campaigns, and it was the community-oriented nature of its architecture that made it particularly compelling. So, I'll be very curious to read your completed report! Also thought I'd share a helpful resource that summarizes the online video landscape (it's slightly dated, but you might find their case studies to be useful to your cross-analysis): eMarketer. Good luck! - Jessica Jsanfilippo 01:29, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: I think this is a very interesting topic and i cannot wait till it is completed. There are so many other video sharing websites besides Youtube. Like Myra said, Vimeo seems to be for more serious users. Also they tend to target a specific group of fellow professionals. I wish I had chosen this topic. Good luck! --Joshuasurillo 04:26, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Myra Garza Myra

  • Prospectus title: Preparing and Accommodating Millenials in the Workforce: Use of Social Media in Two Career Coaching Businesses
  • Link to prospectus:
    • Comment: Myra, this is a really interesting topic! I feel like this is exactly as narrow a case study as the professors were asking for. I'm jealous that you were able to identify such an relevant topic, lol! I look forward especially to reading the background research for this paper, as it is my understanding that minority youth are disproportionally represented on sites like Twitter; I'm eager to find out whether that rumor is true, and if so, what it means for the way these youth interact with and influence the hiring process. I'm also interested in hearing how these companies help steer the social use of the social media into the practical, career-building use. I'm curious to see if you find that the conclusions you are specific to urban youth or whether such tactics in career counseling are also applicable to suburban and rural kids too. Great prospectus, I really look forward to reading your paper! mcforelle 18:02, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: I, too, think this is going to be a very interesting paper. There is such a need in the corporate community for young people who can help older executives use social media both within the organization for employees and outside the organization for the public and consumers. I would be interested in what the career objectives are for the clients of these two organizations. Are they interested in using their social media skills as part of their job requirements or are they looking for careers in various non-related fields? <<sjennings 01:05, 1 March 2011 (UTC)>>
    • Comment: Great topic, as I am sure many of us see on a daily basis the generational differences at work, and the need to involve and "catch" the millenial generation. I wonder if the two organizations will provide you with data on their success, and outreach numbers in the community? I look forward to seeing how this plays out. Coreymacd 01:35, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Hi Myra - The influence of social media on both the job search process and in the workplace itself is a very powerful topic! If I am interpreting your prospectus correctly, it seems that your primary concern is with how, in practice, the two case study sites prepare Millenials for the proper use of social media in their job search/and work environments? If so, it might be interesting to connect with Human Resources representatives, to get a pulse on how their employee/recruitment policies have evolved due to the emergence of these new communication tools. In theory, I think there should likely be some alignment between the advice from the two websites and what HR is practicing. Separately, you also raise a very compelling distinction, which is that these businesses serve the needs of minority groups. I wonder if this may warrant its own stand-alone investigation. This way, you can truly dedicate your research towards how the workplace and job search process is shifting (and hopefully closing the gap) for minorities, as exemplified by the social media practices and guidelines from your 2 case study sites. In any case, this is indeed a substantial topic, so I look forward to seeing which direction you take it! - Jessica Jsanfilippo
      • Response: Everyone--thanks so much for feedback! I actually am an HR professional myself, and I can tell you that a lot of HR and business literature out there encourages the bridging of generations at work--particularly with the use of technology. Easier said than done! So, I already have an interest in the broad topic and am hoping the two organizations will be willing to share their experiences teaching social media tactics to youth (for career purposes) and offer some insight on the specific needs of minority youth. I actually met the owner of CC4Kidz at a conference a few weeks ago, and after searching for similar organizations, I discovered The Youth Career Coach Inc. As Jessica indicated above, this topic will require some more narrowing down. Thanks! Myra 22:50, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: Jose Uscanga

When you ask, “Is free press necessary for democracy?” many of us would say, obviously yes. Reading your prospectus though makes me wonder, “what do we mean today by a free press.” Does phenomenon such as Mexican citizens taking, “on the civic responsibility of alerting other citizens by providing detailed and unfiltered information,” redefine what we mean when we use the term press? I’ll be looking forward to reading your conclusions. I’d also be interested to learn if you think there is something unique about Mexican culture that compels people to get involved. It seems to me that these citizen journalists are taking huge risks. Even less than the professional journalists, there would seem to be no safety net. After all isn’t it easy for the drug cartels to find out who is issuing the alerts. Is it a demographic trend, is it youth driven or does it span the population? Is it something unique about the way Mexican people relate to one another that makes people get involved? Thanks for taking on such an interesting and challenging topic. --Gclinch 02:57, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Name: karishma Goenka--Karishma goenka 09:27, 8 April 2011 (UTC)