Assignment 2 Submissions: Difference between revisions

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I would just reiterate what certain others have pointed out above: (i) finding a definition of "nice" may be difficult and (ii) you may benefit from tightening the scope of your work.  Otherwise, I think it looks like an outstanding area for research.
I would just reiterate what certain others have pointed out above: (i) finding a definition of "nice" may be difficult and (ii) you may benefit from tightening the scope of your work.  Otherwise, I think it looks like an outstanding area for research.
[[User:Cfleming27|Cfleming27]] 22:13, 5 March 2012 (UTC)  
[[User:Cfleming27|Cfleming27]] 22:13, 5 March 2012 (UTC)  
You certainly picked an interesting thesis! Do you plan to focus on wikipedia only, or several online communities? May be helpful to make a comparison of the social norms on various platforms. Good luck! [[User:Aberg|Aberg]] 22:41, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

<b>Name:</b> BSK342<br>
<b>Name:</b> BSK342<br>

Revision as of 17:41, 5 March 2012

Submission Instructions

This assignment is due on February 21. 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. Please remember to sign your comments!


Name: Stefan Cheplick
Prospectus: Social Finance and StockTwits [1]
Prospectus 2: Bitcoins (in development. for fun.) [2]

Name: Sab
Prospectus: Free Online High-Quality Education: The Next Revolution on Internet?[3]
--Sab 13:49, 4 March 2012 (UTC) Comments:

Hi Sabrina, I find your topic very interesting! I am curious to find out how the lack of interaction between students and teachers affect the quality of online versus offline education, and how you are going to measure it? Or if you are interested in exploring how the lack of students and teachers interaction affect the quality of education, I suggest comparing a community with interaction to one without. Best, Quynh. Qdang 22:48, 4 March 2012 (UTC) Hello, Thanks for your comments. Intercations can be measured when you have forumn, lie lectures or section, wiki. Success is measurable by the rate of drop out, the rate of success, ect. Thanks again for helping me to be more precised. --Sab 12:23, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Make sure to narrow your thesis to something you can study and argue in a quantifiable way, but this sounds like an interesting concept. How much will you be using our specific class as a source? AlexLE 01:22, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Our class is wonderful example of tools put in place to create interactivity between students and teachers. The quantitative part will be more an observation of the students community. When looking of forum, you can draw the best model that students are looking for. Therefore, I will try to find a way to quantify the criteria that students are looking for in an online education system.--Sab 12:23, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Sab. You picked a wonderful topic. I completed most of my undergraduate degree through distance education, and had experienced DL at various institutions and levels. I am glad to see someone is interested in the rich opportunities DL offers.

This prospectus covers a lot of topics. With the 10-page limit you may want to narrow down to one or two. I suggest

A. the first thing you could do is to define your subject – free online education websites (e.g. MIT OpenCourseWare, Ted Talk, etc) or DL facilitated by educational institutions (e.g. Harvard Extension School, University of London International Programmes, etc), as both serve different purposes and are operated differently.

B. Out of all the areas you wish to explore, I personally would love to read about “the economic model of free online education websites” as well as “the construction of the teacher and student interactive community”. I think the quality of education and professionalism of teachers are really institution-dependent. HES here is a leader in providing quality education and best teachers because the school obviously would not like to mess up the Harvard name *grin*. But I can imagine certain institutions may not stick to the same ideal. So I personally do not find this issue worthy of much ponderance.

As for copyright of the lectures, I think it’s an interesting issue as well. I’ve once asked Professor Allan Ryan, Harvard’s IP lawyer and the instructor of HES’ IP and Media Law courses, whether obtaining the copyright of the material we use in the DE courses is an issue. He replied that luckily , the US has a law that says using copyrighted material for educational purposes is considered fair use. So we are covered in most aspects. The relevant laws are 1) Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002, and 2) amendment to the US Copyright Law section 110(2). Hope this information helps! Yep, We have seen that in class. I wwas also suprised by the fair use for non profit education prurposes.--Sab 12:23, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestions. In fact, I plan just to observe the student community and try to make a matricial scheme that let emerge a model as intercativity, professionnalism of the teacher, free degree, non degree, tradename, etc. Then, I will try to see the issues that such model rise like copyright, economic model--Sab 12:23, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Sabrina, your project seems very interesting and I have always thought about education, degrees and online programs. I personally think that if a person wants an education he or she can do that either by means of a computer or by going to a library. On the other hand we must consider today’s job market and the requirements (degrees) to meet in order to obtain a good job. I am curious to read your findings and I would like to wish you good luck on your paper. Emanuele 11:21, 5 March 2012 (UTC) Thank you so much--Sab 12:23, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Great idea for a prospectus. Here are two of my immediate thoughts: I've often wondered if Khan Academy, for example, will someday be able to give out diplomas that employers respect? Since the release of Khan Academy I've noticed several other websites try to mimic it. Now Youtube is flooding with educational videos online(Google search results too). So, how will users of the Internet empower the best non-profit, online, community education platforms? Scheplick 14:16, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Very interesting topic and, to a degree, it somewhat overlaps with my proposed topic to study Khan Academy. As for comments, I would just echo what some others have already mentioned: try to limit the scope of your thesis. There is a lot of material to cover, and we only have so many pages. I am struggling with this myself. Cfleming27 22:13, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Sab - interesting topic. I'd second (or third) the others in narrowing your thesis. DL is a huge topic. Looking forward to reading your conclusions! Aberg 22:32, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

--YHHsiao 10:25, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: You-Hwa Hsiao
Prospectus: ACTA and the protests – a reaction to the governmental control extending into the cyber world[4]
Hi You-Hwa, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) sounds like a very interesting topic. I'm curious to hear more about how you plan to monitor the anti-ACTA community while you explore the impact of ACTA on online behavior. Have fun! Aditkowsky 19:48, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

I like your prospectus and your topic is relevant. In particular, I find it interesting that hacking and cyberattacks are viewed as a sign of protest and that this protest element has assumed nontraditional forms. I think that you are covering a lot of ground with your thesis and you may want to focus on a particular dimension of ACTA/response to ACTA. --Jimmyh 22:24, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

I really like how you're exploring some issues of online vs. physical life in your topic. I'm interested to see not just how your project develops but how your subject develops between now and the end of the course; it's such a current and evolving thing that you may get to study some really great major events related to it even in such a short span of time! AlexLE 23:06, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

I think your topic is very relevant and I look forward to reading you paper. I am very curious to learn about these common (are they?) norms and values of the people in the virtual world vs those in the physical world and what it is exactly that they are protesting against MSS 16:43, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Hello, I think your topic is very much related to the course and I will suggest the Lessig framework. I will also be interested in profiling the internet users that protest on and offline. Good luck!--Sab 18:12, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi You-Hwa, you raised many interesting questions in your prospectus. I am interested in finding out how the ACTA impact online behaviors, specifically, what are they trying to protect with the opposition? Qdang 10:52, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

You-Hwa, I appreciate your prospectus. It is indeed interesting in how some hacker groups are protesting by attacking websites. I think the term for these people is Hacktivists? Not sure. In regards to your paper, I am incredibly interested in how the hacker groups develop their Hacktivsim. What is their management structure? Where do they organize? How does someone become a member? Scheplick 14:04, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Very cool topic. I too am very intrigued by the whole community of hacker groups that protest by attacking websites. My only comment is that I had a difficult time truly understanding what you will be measuring when you speak of online life and virtual life. It would seem like each would have infinite things to measure, and it might be beneficial to define a short list so that the universe of things measured is well defined. Cfleming27 22:13, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Very relevant topic. Seems like you will have a lot of research. How exactly do you intend to study or measure this? Good luck! Aberg 22:36, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Qdang 10:52, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Harvard212
Prospectus: Being Nice and Free Speech on the Internet[5]
Harvard212 16:34 EST, 21 February 2012
Hi @Harvard212, I'd love to hear more about the community you plan to study. It sounds like you've lined up a good framework for starting your review and it's now a matter of narrowing down the scope. Good luck! Aditkowsky 19:41, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Agreed, this is certainly an interesting concept (what does "nice" mean? what are its implications? is it universal?) and I'll be interested to see how you narrow it down to a controlled topic for study. Be careful not to give yourself too much; tons of background research is great but its real value often comes when you can focus it on something very specific AlexLE 23:16, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Dear Sofia, I like your project very much but I too feel that it might be a bit too extensive. My suggestion would be to focus more on a single or few specific parts and then it will definitely be a great paper. Emanuele 11:21, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Your project is ambitious and deals with philosophical/sociological questions regarding the expansive internet and how norms can benefit the entire community. While I am not sure if a general set of norms can be established with millions of users from across the world with their own agendas and online needs, obviously Wikipedia would be a good example of norms being established and these norms are established within the websites themselves. Are you focusing more on norms or norms "as set by law"? How do norms of one website vary with another similar website based on the needs of the consumer? Good start. --Jimmyh 22:30, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Interesting topic. Very curious to see if you are able to find an universal meaning of "nice". I do hope you have found someone to work in a group with, as this seems like a very extensive topic and corresponding reasearch. Good luck! MSS 17:10, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Harvard212, Interesting topic, but to narrow it down, I suggest choosing an online community, such as Wikipedia, and see how the "be nice" rule plays out. Qdang 11:15, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

I would just reiterate what certain others have pointed out above: (i) finding a definition of "nice" may be difficult and (ii) you may benefit from tightening the scope of your work. Otherwise, I think it looks like an outstanding area for research. Cfleming27 22:13, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

You certainly picked an interesting thesis! Do you plan to focus on wikipedia only, or several online communities? May be helpful to make a comparison of the social norms on various platforms. Good luck! Aberg 22:41, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: BSK342
Prospectus: Community, Architecture, and Regulation in the Something Awful Forum Space [6]
BSK342 21:30, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Cool topic. I'm particularly interested in what you observe/learn about people's willingness to pay for additional services. So often websites/applications/businesses struggle with how to monetize a good idea - perhaps your research will shed some light on this for managers of online communities. Good luck! Aditkowsky 19:57, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

I think your project sounds interesting and you are asking many questions that applies to all types of forums and online social behavior. Although I am not familiar with the Something Awful forums, I agree with Aditkowsky that it is interesting that the site does charge a subscription fee to post comments. This could be an interesting point of departure. Is the quality of the content stronger if people are paying for access? Does the subscription fee filter out those who may not be as serious about the forum? Good work. --Jimmyh 22:40, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

I definitely remember SA as a site I visited a lot when I was younger, I'm really looking forward to hearing what it has evolved into during the past years! The focus on how sites manage to monetize themselves is a very good one, and one that always seems to be such a make or break moment. I feel like SA is a place that tends to cater towards younger and more internet savvy viewers/members... how does that affect the process of attempting to gain profit off of it? Are they more likely to pay to support something they care about, or are they less likely than an older person with less internet experience who is used to paying for everything? Have fun! AlexLE 23:25, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Interesting topic. There are many of these sites which have proliferated content across the WWW. Although, I see it in trends. Goregallery was one of these sites, then it was worth1000, something awful, and so on. I think that users get a laugh out of it. It used to be emails, then it was myspace, facebook, and so on and so forth. Perhaps there is something more human in needing to share these laughs based in norms? Just Johnny 03:49, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

I am also particularly interested on the monetary part of your research questions. Will quality be better when paid for? Will people feel even more connected to the forum when they pay for it (us vs them?) Would it be the same if they made it free or the amount to be paid at the discretion of the user (the article of Chris Anderson,"the Long Tail" see class readings for February 14, 2012 might be useful.MSS 17:10, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi BSK342, I think you made an interesting proposal. I am interested in finding out why people would pay for this forum. Perhaps it is the "privilege" people buy for $9.99? I think your approach of observing how the policies and guidelines play out in practice is good. I suggest that you pick another forum (one without a privilege fee) to compare it with. Qdang 11:39, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

I am very interested in your topic, but struggled with two items: valuation and monetization. It was unclear to me how you might value the content in order to set the price. It was then unclear to me how that content may be monetized. I think it may just have been because it is such a short space to cover all these details. Good luck with the project. Cfleming27 22:13, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Blake Geno
Prospectus: Anonymity, Privacy and Evolving Tools [7]
BlakeGeno 20:58, 21 February 2012 (UTC) Comments:
Hi Blake, in thinking about your project, it might be interesting to select a few sites using facebook connect and evaluate how this option can impact user privacy and anonymity. It seems like this could sync up with the themes you discuss in your prospectus while also narrowing the scope. Good luck! Aditkowsky 20:03, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Hello Blake. Your project does pose some significant questions as to the types of data that sites like Facebook collect and what that information is used for. You can define the goal of collecting information into two categories; positive (improving the user experience) and negative (selling the information for marketing purposes). Great research question. Hopefully you will be able to focus on more specific dimension of this important. --Jimmyh 22:48, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm interested in how exactly you are going to go about this. It could be really neat to create a whole persona with the relevant info that a website wants and then try and link it across a large number of sites that demand a log in/personal info/etc. AlexLE 23:25, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Blake, Very interesting topic! Facebook was recently the focus of CNBC 60 min., and lights were shed on the topics you are discussing in our paper, especially the targeted adversising. In the show, I remember someone saying that FB advertising was an entirely different ballgame, as people on Facebook are not travelling from A to B but like to stay on the FB page and thus "want" to be distracted by advertising, whereas advertising in a traditional way aims on how to advertise for people who are going from one website to another and are not looking for distraction. I think that this would be very intersting for your project. If you google Facebook, CNBC and 60 min, you will probably find the show. Also, this article I just read on Forbes by Kashmir Hill, called "Facebook user unwittingly becomes sex lube pitchman thanks to sponsored stories", dated Feb 28, 2012, may interest you. MSS 17:28, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Blake, your prospectus is thought-provoking and as a Facebook user I would be very interested in your findings. I do however feel that it could get a bit complicated for what concerns the appropriate research but keep up with the good work. Good luck! Emanuele 11:21, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi BlakeGeno, your prospectus contains many interesting and ambitious questions. As a suggestion, you can narrow it down by asking what effect does user identification have on the end user? Does the requirement of user identification prevent spamming and abusive comments? I am interested in finding out how you are going to answer this. Qdang 12:05, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Timely topic. Given the recent news on Facebook and Google and their collection of data, this is sure to be a rapidly growing area of research. If you haven't already considered it, I would be interested in learning about data collection by an entity like Facebook or Google and the relationship with tethered devices. How far does this information gathering extend without our even knowing it? Cfleming27 22:13, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Abby Bergman
Prospectus Title: Pinterest: Visually Arrested
Link to Prospectus: [8]
Aberg 19:55, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi Abby, I applaud you for finding something meaty to explore with Pinterest. I'm curious as to how you will monitor instances of reported infringement on the site. Perhaps you could figure out which companies complain the most and then intentionally post their images so you can experience Pinterest's process for addressing potential infringement firsthand? (Maybe run that by one of the lawyers in class first....) Have fun! Aditkowsky 20:11, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

I think you raise some important questions in regards to copyright laws and Fair Use. Your questions are relevant and you have a good thesis question. I checked out for the first time now and I think the Fair Use argument is validated. Good job with the prospectus! --Jimmyh 22:55, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

This seems like a really well thought out project; you know exactly the frame you want to look at this through and I think you'll come up with some very relevant conclusions. Studying a site that is still on its way up will definitely give you a chance to keep this going and check your theories against what happens with Pinterest over the next year or two! Good luck! AlexLE 23:46, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Interesting! Your topic, questions and overall frame are very clear. Very curious about the outcome, I would think the hosting aspect is the sting. Good luck! MSS 17:42, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Abby, recently Pinterest is popping up everywhere. I think you have a good focus by exploring the possibility for copyright infringement. Your methodology, comparing Pinterest and Google Images, and investigating Pinterest's policy on using copyrighted material and the court's opinion in Perfect 10 vs Google case, is well planned out . Good job on your proposal! Qdang 18:41, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Interesting line of research on a site that is clearly extremely hot right now. I am impressed with your level of focus this early on in the process (review of cases, case study comparisons). Good luck with this project. Cfleming27 22:13, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Jennifer Lopez
Prospectus title: The New Era of Online Activism
Prospectus: Final Project Prospectus
JennLopez 21:38, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Comments: Hi Jennifer, I'm very much looking forward to seeing your video interviews once they come together. In additional to the perspectives of founders, I'm also interested to hear more from the participants in the campaigns you study. Perhaps you could reach out to community members as well. Good luck! Aditkowsky 20:18, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Interviews is a neat way to go about this project and this is an issue that always bothers me; just how much does power or activism on the internet translate to real impacts on people's lives? Be careful to research without being biased though; as much as I generally agree with you that online activism is real-world effective, there may be some instances where it wasn't, and that could be just as interesting! AlexLE 23:46, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Your topic is very relevant with the current affairs of United States and the world. I think it is safe to conclude that online protest movements are making a serious impact on political and social issues. As you continue your research, I would focus on how online protest movements are effective. I think your reference to Benkler's work is a good step in that direction. I think you should also explore the notion of empowerment and whether online protest sites may foster personal empowerment in the same and different ways as more traditional protest movements. What mechanisms were the same and different with the SOPA, Susan Komen and Bank of America online movements? --Jimmyh 23:06, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Interesting! Looking forward to see the video's! I second the idea of Aditkowsky with regard to the views of actual participants and also if these differ from the views of the founders. Good luck! MSS 17:50, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Very interesting line of research and something that I believe is highly relevant to the real world. I would be interested in learning about what has led to the success of certain online movements and what has led to the failure of others. If you were able to boil down a set of common characteristics to successful movements, that would be impressive. Cfleming27 22:13, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Just Johnny
Prospectus: Assignmnt 2 The Social Network
A social network will be constructed for the course. Feel free to contact, as this may be a possible group project. Just Johnny 21:48, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi @Just Johnny, I'm intrigued by your idea for creating a social network. You write that "code will be the law which dictates behavior within the site". I'd love to hear more about the underlying concept and specific vision for the site and how you plan to restrict choice and behavior through code. Also, what is the appeal of your site vs. the numerous other social networking sites and forums available to users? What is your value proposition? Looking forward to seeing how your site evolves over the rest of the semester. Aditkowsky 20:25, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

You certainly are undertaking an ambitious project and I think your conclusions can be fascinating. I agree with a few points/questions made by Aditkowsky. From what I gather, you would like to create a Wikipedia-esque social network in which the content/services are generated by the users in a dynamic environment. You also mentioned that a screening process may be required to preserve the integrity of the site. Is this site intended to be a study or actually lead to a practical site that people would want to join? If so, I would imagine that some core service or services may need to be created to attract and motivate users to contribute to the site (i.e. Wikipedia and information). Good luck on this very ambitious concept. --Jimmyh 23:15, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

As the others have mentioned, wow! Very difficult and ambitious project, I'll definitely be following it closely. As Jimmyh mentioned, are you shooting for a broader appeal or do you think you will need to tweak your concept to focus heavily on one area in order to carve out a niche for yourself? AlexLE 23:46, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Very ambitious and interesting indeed! It is however not really clear to me what it is what your aiming for directly, as the focus seems pretty broad. Very curious to see how this project will turn out. Good luck with narrowing it down. MSS 19:00, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

My comments are simialr to those above: first, very impresseive. Second, I had a tough time understanding the specific focus of the project. I think it sounds very interesting and I look forward to seeing how it all comes together. Cfleming27 22:13, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Fabian Celis J
Prospectus title: The Role of the Internet in Distance Education: The Open University Case
Prospectus: Final Project Prospectus
Fabiancelisj 19:09, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi Fabian, studying distance learning in the Internet age seems like a great topic - and very appropriate - for this class. One aspect that I'd like to hear more about is the creation of a classroom community despite geography. You might even consider using our class as a test case. For example, I attend class in person but for the past two weeks, I've been using Adobe Connect to participate in the robust discussion that's happening among students who are primarily not in the classroom. In a hybrid class like ours, how do you break down the wall that separates "distance" and "in-person" students to create a more cohesive community? What architecture, systems, and culture do you need to make it work? Aditkowsky 20:34, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

I know you are attending this class (whether online or in person) but is there a chance you could also take the time to really dig into OU? It would be interesting to see the different ways people that use it view it as a resource; clearly everyone does not approach it with the same background, goals, or skills AlexLE 23:46, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Distance education is a great aspect of how the internet has changed how we learn as individuals. I took my first live online course last semester using a program called Elluminate and I would check out how these types of interfaces can change the entire process of how classes (particularly discussion-based classes) are taught and how students can interact with other individuals from across the whole country and the entire world. A comparison of how unique methodologies specific to online education improves the entire classroom experience when compared to traditional in-classroom methods would be a good approach. Great subject and good luck with your work.

It appears you and Sab have similar topics. They both touch the distance education aspect. You should look at the two comments I've left Sab for additional feedback. I also have my cents to chime in regards to your paper. My first thought about open universities was to think of open communities on the Internet. So, wikipedia comes to mind. It would be interesting if there are any similarities or parallels in the development of an open university and an open encyclopedia. For one, both need dedicated users who are willing to operate, and care for their open platform. So my main suggestion here is to look at other open communities for similarities, and differences. Scheplick 14:23, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

--Jimmyh 23:27, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Great topic, very current. I agree with Jimmyh that a comparison to traditional class room education would be very interesting. Looking forward to see how this turns out. MSS 02:07, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: André Pase and Priscila Lollo
Prospectus title: When two worlds collide, digital TV and online video in an age of transformation
Research Focus: online video x tv
Prospectus: Assignment 2
Andrepase 20:17, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi André and Priscilla, I'm looking forward to learning more about how the Brazilian government and Brazilian companies and users are adapting to the changes in video delivery systems. I'm curious to hear more about the framework you plan to use for exploring the topic and I was also wondering if there is a specific community that you plan to follow. Since much of the class' focus seems to be on US and European examples, I think the Brazilian focus will be very interesting. Good luck! Aditkowsky 20:43, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Agreed with Alexis, having this focus outside of the general scope of the class will be a great resource for all of us as far as a fresh perspective and (probably) some interesting takes on the same issues that we haven't considered! I'll be curious to see how the flow of information and law and etc. go back and forth in Brazil and this Brazilian online space. AlexLE 23:46, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

I am really fond of your dual country approach too! Maybe for a community you can use You Tube users vs a Brazilian equivalent (if any)? MSS 02:07, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Your topic certainly has wide applications to how we view television in the modern age and legal discussions will certainly abound as a result. While I sense that you are examining the laws and market dynamics of the Brazilian model, I think you may want to hone in on a particular aspect of law as it relates to online television. Does a particular legal or governing aspect of the Brazilian model properly address piracy? How does the market shape the governance of online television? --Jimmyh 19:20, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Interesting topic. A lot of media experts are trying to make sense of the convergence between digital TV and online video. Though really no one knows where it is headed. I personally recommend you look at some blog posts from Albert Wegner, a venture capitalist for Union Square Ventures. He thinks that television advertisements will get crushed almost exactly the same way print advertisements have suffered. Another thing I would consider looking into is the community building and social networking aspect behind digital video. For example, YouTube and Vimeo have rich interfaces where users can create their own television network, interact with their audience in real-time, and seamlessly collaborate with other users like them. Scheplick 14:30, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Alexis Ditkowsky
Prospectus title: Pinterest
Prospectus: Final Project Prospectus
Hi Alexis, I would like to offer two sources which may be useful to supplement your research. The first, the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), are a list of 8 goals adopted by the United Nations in an effort to eradicate poverty by the year 2015. Several of the goals involve online access for poor countries, and one goal specifically addresses gender equality. Millennium Goals Main Site And the second source, Taking IT Global, is rich in content and will provide a wealth of information and resource material. Good luck with your project, it looks interesting and informative.Louiscelli

@Louiscelli Thanks so much! I will check these out. Aditkowsky 20:47, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

That's fascinating that 80% of Pinterest users are women; do you think that this gender ratio will become more balanced as pinterest gains public fame/acceptance? I'd love to see how far you can push "off brand" uses of the site since I am always very interested in the (often incredibly clever or useful) ways in which sites end up providing something totally outside their original concept. Good luck! AlexLE 23:46, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Alexis, great topic! As for sites for marginalized communities by and for (mostly) women, maybe "gardenmoms" is also an interesting community to explore. It is a parenting resource website, where parents (mostly moms) ask questions to one another and exchange information. I am a member myself and think it may be right up your alley. Good luck! MSS 03:27, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Pinterest does sound powerful from my limited familiarity with the website and I think your approach toward examining social norms should lead to interesting conclusions.What social norms you are focusing on? You mentioned the discrepancies between males and females in internet usage. Is this a particular norm that you will be focusing on? What feature are you examining in the "community versus collection of individuals" norm? Sounds like an interesting topic and good luck!--Jimmyh 19:20, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Dear Alexis, sounds like a great project and already from your prospectus I have learned things that I wasn’t aware of. I agree with Louis on his suggestion of looking at the UN and their info. Good luck on your project! Emanuele 11:21, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

It is great that you are exploring Pinterest. It has gotten a ton of media publicity over the last few weeks. It is incredible that 80% of its users are female without ever openly saying it is a site for one gender or the other. What does this say about the community around Pinterest? The design, aesthetics, and layout? I ask myself if there will someday be the "Pinterest model" where a female specific website should look and function a certain way. Scheplick 14:39, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: James Harris
Prospectus title: The Internet and “Bridging the Gap” in Politics
Prospectus: Prospectus
--Jimmyh 22:28, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi James, I love the concept, I’m just a little fuzzy on the thesis. Is the main focus going to concentrate on the elected-official/constituent relationship, or the paradigm shift of political campaign support? Louiscelli

Hi James, this is a great topic not only because of the timing but also because online campaigning and fundraising have had four years to evolve since the Dean and Obama campaigns in 2007/2008. One aspect you might decide to hone in on is the relationship of politicians to their constituents on their social networking sites. For example, Sarah Palin has been known to ban commenters who disagree with her viewpoint and Anthony Weiner used twitter to send provocative messages to his followers. Those are two high-profile ways of engaging or disengaging with followers but it might be interesting to look at a politician or two who actively foster an online community and respond thoughtfully and collaboratively to criticism vs. politicians who use social media as a one-way communications street. Have fun! Aditkowsky 22:42, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Taking the idea of evolution of online fundraising and campaigning, and their effects, even farther, I was reading today that one of the Republican party leadership's major reasons for supporting SuperPACs (besides the obvious) is that they felt it evened the playing field against Obama moneywise. Even though he too obviously benefits from major donations to his SuperPACs, some Republican strategists explained that the gap between his ability to raise millions in small increments and the ability of any Repub. candidate to try and do the same was just far too large to overcome. So, Citizen's United is also in some ways related to this topic! AlexLE 23:54, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Great topic! As for different marketing on FB, please see my comments on Blakes prospectus above. I also very interested to see how the quick spread of information influences the political process, as this is indeed a (relative) novum, especially in politics. MSS 04:03, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Alex Lloyd-Evans
Prospectus Title: Social Structure's on the Writer's Forums of
Research Focus: Cracked
Prospectus: Final Project Prospectus
Hi Alex, Is this line correct – “free to enter forum”? I don’t understand what that means. This looks like it will be an interesting project. I wonder if the editors will be surprised by your findings, or possibly take issue with your conclusion, depending on the outcome. I am really looking forward to reading your paper.Louiscelli

@Louiscelli I was trying to express that it is a closed forum in that you need an invite to enter, but that the invite is freely given as long as you bother to ask for it; thus it is a "free to enter" forum but not a totally open one. I just phrased it terribly awkwardly. AlexLE 23:54, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Alex, unsolicited suggestion here but it would be really funny if your final project was formatted like a Cracked article and you gave the class an opportunity to post comments before the final submission. Then you could pull together a final version and comment on the process as it relates back to Cracked. Good luck! Aditkowsky 22:48, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Alex, great topic, very curious to see what your outcomes will be, especially on the question who decides and (maybe even more) on what grounds and how static vs dynamics plays a role in that aspect. I second Alexis' idea of a Cracked article format. Good luck!MSS 03:56, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Hello Alex, you have an interesting challenge with your empirical research project since the answers to your research questions will require you to be actively involved in the whole article submission process. Do you plan on approaching the website in a similar way that the class approached the Wikipedia assignment? Good luck!--Jimmyh 22:24, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Alex, your project seems very fun and interesting. I wasn’t aware of before reading your prospectus. I would definitely suggest looking at the 1st amendment of the constitution but because of the complexity of the subject you could also consider looking at specific Supreme Court decisions. Good luck! Emanuele 11:21, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Jeff Kimble
Prospectus title: Internet E-Commerce
Prospectus: [9]
JeffKimble 14:25, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi Jeff, While I am sure there will be plenty of studies that address this, it will be nice to see the data synthesized, analyzed, and compacted into a short paper. You certainly will have lots of data to pour through. I will be particularly interested in some of your research as it will complement my project as well. Good luck, and if I run across any statistics that may be beneficial to your research, I’ll be sure to forward it along.Louiscelli

Be careful not to get too broad with your data collection and lose sight of a focus, but this sounds really neat. One interesting aspect might be considering age. Aditkowsky's comment about the difference between perception and reality with online markets and community rings true to me, and I think the fact that I'm 22 has a lot to do with that. My parents are 65 and no force on Earth could convince them to use an online market over a brick and mortar one if there was any conceivable chance that the good existed in both formats. Anyway, enjoy! I'm looking forward to reading your results. AlexLE 21:41, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Jeff, one thing you might consider exploring is how some people feel that e-commerce signals the end of a community even though many e-commerce sites actually promote a sense of community (e.g. etsy) and bring people together in spite of their geographical differences. This Slate article and the flurry of comments might be interesting for you to check out, although it doesn't focus on the online community angle. Cheers! Aditkowsky 22:59, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

You have a great topic and I like your approach. From what I can tell, you are dealing with a variety of discussion topics. From a personal standpoint, I would recommend focusing on how online shopping has changed consumer behavior. This direct can provide great insight into how these online sites market themselves. Good topic and good luck! --Jimmyh 19:20, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Louis Celli
Prospectus title: e-commerce Taxation
Prospectus:The Future of e-commerce Taxation
Hi Louis, your project sounds really interesting - I'm looking forward to seeing how your research comes together and what your final recommendations are. The scope does seem a bit daunting, though. Perhaps you could focus in on the impact to sellers and buyers, for example, and on the changed transaction experience for users. Good luck! Aditkowsky 23:10, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

This sounds very ambitious and interesting, not to mention extremely relevant. The flat tax concept sounds workable and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing your results; I also selfishly hope you really delve into the legal/historical precedents for all of this quite a lot, since I love history and I feel like that's an area that could bear quite a lot of original thought. AlexLE 21:41, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Hello Louis, I really like your topic a lot. I think it is great that you are actually doing research to reach an potential taxation solution/recommendation, which I assume will form the basis of your argument. Good work!--Jimmyh 19:20, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Louis your project seems very interesting and it will be definitely exploring a very problematic world. I was just curious of one aspect, and I hope I didn’t get this wrong but you are trying to develop a tax system for all of the 50 states correct? And if so, my feelings are that it could be a bit complicated to have all 50 states agree on one tax rate. Do you think this will be a major issue or it can easily be overcome? Also, you probably have thought of this already since you mentioned constitutional aspects but I just thought of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 while first reading your prospectus. Anyways it sounds really interesting and I will have great pleasure in reading it once it will be completed. Good luck! Emanuele 11:21, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Emanuele Dominici
Prospectus title: Terrorist Websites
Prospectus: Final Project Prospectus
Emanuele 16:06, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Emanuele, This is going to be an exciting paper indeed. This is a whopper and you might have trouble containing it to 10 pages. The First Amendment question might be a great place to start, then begin to wind in the Patriot act, while comparing it to the Espionage act of 1917. I can’t wait to read this paper, good luck!Louiscelli

Hi Emanuele, very interesting topic. I'm trying to remember the show I listened to over the summer about infiltrating online forums that are used for recruiting new members. The story also touched on the use of video games for recruitment. I'll send the link once I remember what the show is.... Good luck! Aditkowsky 23:26, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Wow, I wish I'd had this idea/had the sort of expertise and background you do to do it justice. I'm curious about how you'll make distinctions between "terrorist websites" that exist with the specific purpose of encouraging/recruiting to/supporting terrorism and simply anti-U.S. or very pro-militant Islam. The line is so blurry as to barely exist in most cases, which is obviously where the gov't runs into so much trouble in these types of efforts. Really looking forward to this one. AlexLE 21:41, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Hello Emanuele, You are engaging into a very difficult and complex element of the internet. The American-born cleric who was recently killed in Yemen heavily relied on the internet to communicate with terrorists and many of the foiled terrorist attempts are linked to him. I think he would be a good starting point in your research. Good luck. --Jimmyh 19:20, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Thanks everyone for your precious advice and nice comments, I will definitely take into consideration your comments and I do realize that I have to narrow it down a bit. Thanks again!Emanuele 11:21, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Julia Brav
Prospectus title: Ask MetaFilter
Prospectus: Prospectus
Jlynnping 17:41, 21 February 2012 (UTC)Jlynnping

Hi Julia, I really like how interactive your project is and how participating in the community is an important part of your research methodology. While moderation and desire for quality are two reasons why people might choose Ask MeFi over other sites, I'd be curious to hear more about how you find the quality and depth of responses on the site. For example, while other Q&A sites might be more of a free-for-all, are there times when quantity is of greater benefit than tightly proscribed quality? Good luck! Aditkowsky 01:40, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Interesting, I'm still not convinced that I'd be willing to pay the $5 when it's so easy to get info from other sources on the web, especially if you know how to look. I like how involved in one community your project is (mine is similar in that I'm really trying to get a feel for a specific site and a specific group). I'm interested to hear more about how their process works! AlexLE 21:41, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Your paper sounds fairly broad at this point. I think it is interesting how the website moderators are actively involved with the content of the website and how they interact or dictate the social norms would be interesting. Good luck.--Jimmyh 19:20, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Ah Metafilter is interesting. As its competitors in Yahoo Answers, Google Answers, Facebook, and Quora. MetaFilter fascinates me, however, because it does have the same venture capital funding or silicon valley press like the competitors I've listed above. How has it managed to keep its community intact? What is driving the content and hits on Google? I'll be interested to see why and how the MetaFilter community is better structured than its rivals. Scheplick 14:43, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Samantha Zakuto
Prospectus title: Managing a Flexible Work/Life Balance: Legal Ramifications of Facebook
Prospectus: Prospectus
Hi Samantha, this is a really interesting topic and there are numerous directions you could take it. If you're interested in honing in on the relationship between offline and online behavior and speech, I can send over a bunch of readings about student free speech in schools. Additionally, the boundary between online/in school is still hotly debated - the Supreme Court recently refused to hear appeals related to online attacks against school officials and students (Huffington Post). Good luck! Aditkowsky 02:00, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Interesting idea that is sadly relevant to my life and I suspect many others in the class. I don't really like having a Facebook and I police it pretty carefully, but it's also the only way I have of contacting the vast majority of people who are my Facebook friends. I'm especially interested on the ways in which the location you access a site from (home vs. school or work) can impact how liable you are for punishment. That is a very interesting and muddy intersection of internet life and brick and mortar life. Good luck! AlexLE 21:57, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Your topic is very interesting and pertinent to many issues we face today. I think that there is a battle between free speech and the effects of that free speech in the professional sphere. Even though, say, a school teacher does have the constitutional freedom to write some bigoted post on his or her Facebook page, the effects of that speech can be pronounced on that person's school. In a number of cases, teachers are either suspended or dismissed for Facebook comments in which there are two sides; those who say that he is simply exercising free speech and those who believe that no one of that opinion should be teaching children. Interesting topic.--Jimmyh 22:24, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Nicholas Thibodeau
Prospectus title: Anonymous
Prospectus: [10]
Nthib 17:59, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi Nicholas, I'm looking forward to learning more about Anonymous in your final report. While this may lead you to murky legal waters, it would be cool if you could find a way to engage with the community in some way, or at least explore the process of how one becomes a part of Anonymous. Here's what came up first when I Googled "how do you join anonymous": The Hacker News. It's very Matrix-y. Have fun! Aditkowsky 02:08, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Absolutely something I want to learn more about, looking forward to this. If you find a way to contact them (or research this otherwise but not sure how you would) I'm very curious about the number of people versus the actions performed by Anonymous. Is it a broad based group? Is it just a few key individuals who do the most high-profile things, simply supported by a large group that agrees with those actions? etc. Good luck finding them! AlexLE 21:57, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Hello Nicholas. Your topic sounds challenging since there doesn't seem to be a spokesman representing this movement or public statements. You will also be exploring how the "political protest" intersects with online technology. Are there other hacker groups like Anonymous? Are their tactics the same or different than Anonymous? Good luck with your research. --Jimmyh 22:56, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Quynh Dang
Prospectus title: Yahoo! Answers
Prospectus: Prospectus
Qdang 18:14, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi Quynh, two things come to mind when reading your prospectus. 1) What's the value to you of having more points, particularly since there isn't a chat function and the users are anonymous? 2) You might want to connect with Julia Brav, who is evaluating Ask MetaFilter. Perhaps you could develop some sort of collaboration? Good luck! Aditkowsky 02:13, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Definitely talk to Julia Brav, you have an interesting opposite to her project's subject in some ways, especially with what behaviors are encouraged within the site. I assume that simply by getting so much information, sheer mass filters out the worst effects of a totally open system... but maybe not? The point system seems like an equal motivator to both useful and spammy and unhelpful activities, so I'll be curious what your conclusions are about how that plays out in actuality. Good luck with your research! AlexLE 01:01, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Hello Quynh. I think Yahoo! Answers is an interesting site that I have participated in. One of the problems with Yahoo! Answers (which I do not find with other sites such as Wikipedia) is that the validity of the answers provided is based on the number of answers submitted (as well as the rating system which you described). I have participated in Yahoo Answers in the past and often receive 2-3 answers at the most, which doesn't make me feel confident that I am getting the right answer. I think a fascinating point of focus is the "competitive" element of the scoring. Do gaining points and achieving different levels encourage better answers or cause competitive respondents to provide less accurate answers for the mere aspiration of gaining points? Good luck with your project. --Jimmyh 22:56, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Christopher Mejo
Prospectus title: Building a New Online Community in Drupal
Prospectus: Prospectus
chrism 18:40, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi Christopher, I'm curious to hear more about how you plan to attract readers and community members to your site. What's the value proposition? Do people want financial and investment advice from their peers? Who is your target audience and what sites are they currently engaging with and how are they engaging with them? Developing your own site and attracting users in the next two months is quite an undertaking - maybe there's a way to explore the issues you raise in your prospectus by looking at existing forums for where people discuss finance? I can't say I go to this kind of site myself but Finance 3.0 came up during a Google search as did this article 50 Awesome Social Networks for Finance Geeks. Good luck! Aditkowsky 02:22, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Agreed @Aditkowsky, I'll be interested to see what approach you take towards building up site membership. You may want to find a more specific niche that you notice is going unfulfilled on some of the main financial websites. I'm also interested that you're intentionally using advertising from day 1- it'd be great if you could find some way to get feedback from site viewers on how that affects their feelings about the site as a whole. AlexLE 21:57, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Your project sounds very challenging and will require a detailed understanding of programming which I assume you have. As I understand it, the niche of the site will be economics/investment. I would be interested in knowing whether governance techniques for other sites will be the same for an investment basics site. One can only assume that the nature of governance (and the personal information provided) will be different between a financial site and say a video game or online game site (perhaps not).--Jimmyh 22:56, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Brendan Long
Prospectus title: Question & Answer Website Services and the Impact of Social Media
Brendanlong 19:47, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Brendan, Cool idea. I’m not on facebook, so I wasn’t aware that there was a separate section for answer seekers. I use dedicated Q & A sites quite a bit. The one’s that make me register before looking at them, I usually pass by. Mostly, I use sites dedicated to Android programming, other IT community sites, specific auto repair questions, and one legal questions site. On two occasions, I paid a small fee for “good” answers on The sites I have found to be credible and useful are; avvo (A V V O - looks like a W when they are close together).com for legal questions, (this is the site where I agreed to “donate” a token fee for a correct answer), for some of my Android questions, (again for Android), and (yep, again for Android stuff). It’s been my experience that experts tend to collect in likeminded online communities. I’m not sure what social network sites offer, but I think that intrinsically technical question seekers might need to go outside of the general social network platform in search of community sites dedicated to the specific topic. It will be a really interesting study – I’m looking forward to seeing your results. Best of luck. Louiscelli

Hi Brendan, Julia Brav and Quynh Dang are also looking at aspects of Q&A sites - it might be fun to try to find a way to work with them. In terms of your prospectus, I'm most intrigued by how successful Q&A is on social networking sites. What are the benefits and challenges? And how much is success dependent on your personal ability to engage your friends/contacts/followers vs. a larger community's engagement with a dedicated Q&A site? Aditkowsky 02:29, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

It seems one like one major thing that the Q and A sites have going for them is that they've managed to entrench themselves in certain communities already; fans of certain types of video games know the best sites, engineers know the best sites for that, etc. It'll be interesting to see what you find with social media sites and how they are going to try and balance their broad appeal with an attempt to create very specifically useful Q and A sections. Good luck! AlexLE 01:01, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

So your main goal is to examine how social media can influence the popularity (and authenticity) of Q & A sites? I would imagine that social media can be viewed as a means for advertising or popularizing Q & A sites. Would your focus be on how users of a Q & A site may choose to popularize that site through their Facebook or twitter accounts? One interesting point may be to examine the behavior of users who choose to popularize Q & A sites through social media. Do they feel that a certain answer is significant that everyone should know? Is a certain type of answer or topic the reason why they would likely integrate social media? --Jimmyh 22:56, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Hope Solomon
Prospectus title: Communicating with Constituents through Twitter
Prospectus: Prospectus

Hds5 14:22, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi Hope, this is a great topic and I look forward to following your research for the rest of the semester. It might be helpful to identify different kinds of twitter "engagement" and make an attempt at quantifying them. For example, how many @ replies are there vs. general status updates? Is there some way to evaluate the "quality" of the tweets? Do the politicians make use of hashtags and, if so, to what effect? It might also be interesting to note the number of followers at the start and end of the project. And finally, by the end of the project, do you have any best practices for politicians for how to engage their community and get (or at least seem like you're getting) things done? Have fun! Aditkowsky 02:38, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Great idea- how will you deal with the fact that many politicians Twitter feeds are at least partially actually managed by a series of pr experts/interns who follow set instructions for the material they post? I obviously don't know if this is true for the specific ones you mentioned, but it would be an interesting extra layer where the format of the site actually creates a false sense of closeness for subscribers. AlexLE 01:01, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Great topic!Is Twitter more a tool for the politicians to advertise themselves rather than an interactive tool between constituent and politician? Is there solid evidence that Twitter really has initiated change (constituent protest on Twitter leads to reforms by politician)? I look forward to reading your paper. --Jimmyh 22:56, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

I can say from experience, Twitter has been the most beneficial platform to me. I have made invaluable connections, found work, and interacted with some interesting people. I've often thought about Twitter's community and communication guidelines. Why are they so effective? What drives the tweet traffic on Twitter? I concluded that it is powerful and effective because it is completely open. There are no walls to stop anyone from interacting or sharing information with anyone else. It is the first entirely open communication platform. I am writing my prospectus on StockTwits, which is an app similar to Twitter. We should talk if you would like to field an interesting discussion. Scheplick 14:51, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Yerzhan Temirbulatov
Prospectus title: Endless war on piracy
Prospectus: Prospectus

Erzhik 20:42, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi Yerzhan, I'm very interested in the discussion of Russian torrent sites, particularly since so much of the class discussion is geared toward the US. I'd love to see a comparison between a site like Megaupload and the leading Russian torrent sites, and I'd also love to learn more about emergence of Tribler and its potential impact on file sharing. Good luck! Aditkowsky 02:47, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Your topic certainly is relevant to the course discussion. I am not sure if it will be too challenging to analyze the effects of the megaupload closure since the arrests occurred not too long ago (maybe I'm underestimating the dynamic quality of the internet). Good luck with your work. --Jimmyh 22:56, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Interesting extension of the discussions we've had in class, I'll be interested to see how good the statistics you can find are. Is this the sort of thing where the given statistics are totally trustworthy? AlexLE 01:01, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Tara Baechel
Prospectus title: The Internet, Adoption and the Privacy of Minors
Prospectus: Prospectus

User:TBaechel 21:25, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi Tara, I think you raise really interesting questions about whether the release of private information online helps or hinders adoption agencies' marketing efforts. I might suggest that instead using fundraising websites set up by parents as a complement to your main research topic, you could look to forums/discussion boards that include potential and current adoptive parents. What can you learn about their preferences from monitoring those communities? What might adoption agencies learn that could affect the way they communicate with parents pursuing adoption? Good luck! Aditkowsky 02:56, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Your topic is powerful. My brother adopted two children many years ago and he never had this wealth of information on perspective children. I think that moral issues may arise (as you mentioned) regarding the type and amount of information released concerning these children, both in the adoption process and many years later when these children are part of the internet public record. Hopefully you will be able to find more focus as you continue your research. --Jimmyh 22:56, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Very interesting, and the point about this information coming back to haunt the children later in their life is a very strong one that hadn't occurred to me. Do you think that the lack of information, while better for the children, may actually deter potential parents to some degree? I know adoption is something that people generally are very committed to if they are considering it, but would a lack of information actually hinder the ability of some sites/groups to draw in possible adoptive parents? AlexLE 01:01, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Tara, from your prospectus, your project seems very interesting but also very difficult. I have some knowledge even though limited of the minors world and legal issues. I worked in the DA’s Office Domestic Violence Unit and I personally encountered many problems regarding information and minors. Because of this, I am very eager to read your final project once it is completed. Good luck! Emanuele 11:21, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Manuel Valerio
Prospectus title: Internet, fame and speed to Market
Prospectus: [11]

Mvalerio 21:38, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi Manuel, in addition to the ideas you raise in your prospectus, I'd be interested in hear more about the specific role of an online community (or communities) in propelling a person or product to prominence. What quality of the community and what actions taken by the users contributed to the outcome? Good luck! Aditkowsky 16:04, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Dear Manuel, I did not really get your research question. What answer are you planning to give? How do you plan to sue Lessig framework. I am unsure about the claim that it is really new and the role of internet. I will maybe also see the connection with other media such as tv shows. Best of luck!!!--Sab 15:16, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Your topic is interesting and I too have wondered how the internet has sped up fame for a particular star. You seem to be focusing on blogging, which may pose complications since there are many other online avenues that can contribute to the rise of a popular musician or actor. To separate blogs from youtube, review sites and music sites may be challenging. Are you focusing on the collective blogsphere of amateur individuals, or professional blogs written by well-known bloggers?--Jimmyh 22:56, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

One interesting aspect of this is whether the "fame" produced by an internet-fueled sudden rise to stardom is as permanent as fame that came through more traditional channels would be. Look at the Lana Del Rey pushback with her terrible performance on SNL; since then she has done much better on Letterman, but her album has been regarded critically as pretty average, and that sudden internet fame may end up disappearing as quickly as it came. Blogs are very focused in the moment, especially pop-culture ones. Is that really conducive to creating long-lasting success? I'm really looking forward to reading this one. AlexLE 01:22, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Marjolein Siegenthaler
Prospectus name:
MSS 22:13, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi Marjolein, I think looking at the rules and norms for airbnb is a great topic. You might consider looking at as a point of comparison since the culture explicitly values the connection between hosts and guests. Good luck! Aditkowsky 16:13, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Dear Marjolein, I am personally interested in your subject because few days ago a friend of mine told me to put my vocational house on it. Regarding, your question, I will also check what kind of policy do airbnb put in place to refrain such behavior, like credit card number given to the police, check of the identity, etc? And how does this comply with the protection of privacy? I like the idea of Adi to compare policy with other similar websites. Best of luck.--Sab 14:42, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Great research questions, this seems like a nightmare of potential legal problems that could be tied up across different national systems. What if they went back to their country before you realized they damaged your home? How do you even get at them? But at the same time, it seems like the site would be wise to totally protect itself from any liability, and function only as an intermediary, with no guarantee. If they could be found responsible for damages they'd be doomed, and very open to possible scamming too. Neat project. AlexLE 01:22, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Marjolein, I thought I'd send you a link to coverage on AirBNB from Gawker (, stemming from the singular incident described in your prospectus. These reports have an overwhelming negative (and arguably libelous) slant (but that's Gawker for you). I hope that these might be useful in your investigation.Jlynnping 16:25, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Hello Marjolein, Your topic certainly touches upon some general legal arguments that may apply to any media outlet in which there is a transaction of some sort. If you look at newspapers that have “want ads” and postings, an argument could be made that the newspaper is in some way liable since there was a payment for the want ad to be published. Your questions on how the site regulates the type of information provided, and whether that regulation diminishes or increases the chances that arrangements not working out, should lead to interesting avenues of thought. I would consider examining policies on two different fronts; how the regulation of information attracts users, and how the regulation of information increases the likelihood of transactions working out.--Jimmyh 17:59, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

In terms of community devlopment, AirBnb is an interesting case. Like the people mentioned above, a single incident where a AirBnb user trashes another AirBnb user's apartment can break the entire community. What is worth looking into here is the fragility behind the AirBnb community. In addition, what are the steps AirBnb is taking to support that fragility? I'm also curious to hear what your opinion is on AirBnb and hotels. Would you rather use AirBnb or a hotel? Why? What is AirBnb doing with its community and users that is worse or better than a hotel? Scheplick 14:54, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Gregorian Hawke
Prospectus name:
Hi Gregorian, I love your Minecraft story and I think it would be very interesting to focus in on this community. Maybe you could look specifically at your own relationship with the members of your sub-community and the ways in which you built trust through gaming together. Have fun! Aditkowsky 16:19, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Gregor, Your idea and the way you connect the “small talk” and the trust that can come up from it is interesting. Some features of the some community seem to increase the trust between the users. I will be very interested in the result of your study. And if, except yourself, other users have similar experiences to share. I never did! Good luck --Sab 14:57, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Hey Gregorian, I think the idea of looking at the internet as a forum for non-monetary, trust-based material exchanges is a good one. It would be great if there was one community you could look at where those exchanges have succeeded and failed, or where there are formal or informal criteria for when a level of trust has been established to allow a transaction to take place. David Taber 19:34, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Great anecdote from Minecraft! You may want to come up with a very simple survey to measure "trust," ie. a number scale from 1 to 10 and they rate how much they would trust a stranger in real life, in Minecraft, on a gaming forum, etc. Might help you to quantify answers a little better. I know this will be a fun one to read! AlexLE 01:22, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

I like the psychological/behavioral aspect of your topic. I think that internet users in online communities may develop a sense of trust in much the same way that all of us do in our everyday lives; we develop trust by interacting with someone continuously. However I think that trust in today’s digital age is weighed against the potential misuses of that trust (i.e. fraud, identity theft). Of course trust is also built on common interests and can be augmented by exchanging advice that leads to a more rewarding product or discussion. Your topic is a bit broad but I think you can find some interesting conclusions about trust and how the internet has shaped that trust.--Jimmyh 17:59, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Mike Brant
Prospectus Title: Children for Peace/Youth for Peace Online Community
Mike 22:35, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi Mike, you raise some interesting points in your prospectus. I wonder about some of the challenges of using an online platform for engagement with kids (at least in the US, there are lots of rules governing communications to children under the age of 13) and about how you might connect with kids/youth who have limited or no access to the Internet. Perhaps your research will help address some of those issues. Good luck! Aditkowsky 16:41, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Mike, if I have well understood your objective is to create a community of children willing peace and acting in different way for it. Your research question is about the online norms to regulate this community? As a consequence, I would rather stick on this and see the censorship issues and also investigate on how to deal with kids rather than go to see the success of peace teaching in the world which is a totally different and hard subject? Best of luck!! By the way, no website yet about this project?--Sab 14:20, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Mike, if there is another website you know of that is focused on fostering international dialogue amongst youth, you might want to just focus on that one community? David Taber 19:20, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

It seems to me that a site that children could actually access and participate in would need to have stronger regulation than just "golden rule" and the basic Wikipedia sort of social contract, as successful as it has been. This may be my bit more pessimistic view of human nature online, but I think that it is hard to market a site related to youth and children if they can't participate much on it, and hard to market a site children can participate in without pretty clear and strong protections for them... I'll be interested to see what you conclude. AlexLE 01:22, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

While I consider your goal of a peace-oriented website to be a valiant effort, I am not sure if you can regulate “negative” material that almost certainly will abound if users are left to contribute to the materials, which in turn could lead to political problems. I am just not sure how you could regulate the recognition of problems if the goal of the website is to find a peaceful solution to those problems (perhaps it is just the political scientist in me). UNCESCO, is, if I’m not mistaken, a United Nations organization, and therefore likely works with the various other UN groups on their specific goals. You are dealing with an interesting political issue as it relates to online forums and good luck with your research. --Jimmyh 17:59, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: David Taber
Prospectus: Coffee Shop vs. Grocery Store: Where and how local news is discussed on the web [12]
David Taber 16:15, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
I could have sworn I uploaded this on Tuesday, but it appears I forgot to hit submit. Sorry!

Hi David, I really like your concept and I think it also touches on the issue of fair use we read about this week. It might also be interesting to note how much of the original article is reposted and how much additional commentary Universal Hub makes on the article. I've found that commentors can often be negligent when it comes to reading the original source so you might want to take that into consideration when evaluating the differences in comments. Good luck! Aditkowsky 16:41, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Dear David, I thing you have found there a real way to compare 2 comparable materials and will have great and maybe unexpected results. What will be interesting is if you find comments from a common commentator to see the difference in the speech depending on the website. I would also link your comparison to the difference in the tons adopted by both websites that can influence the content of the comments left. Best of luck! --Sab 14:05, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

What a great way to be able to study the effect of the form information is presented in, nice idea. My instinct is that certain people will heavily trust one or the other more, even if the same info is given in both. I'm also interested in how certain info (say a very serious and depressing story) would be altered in order to fit into both? How does that work, if a particular story doesn't really feel natural to appear on the Hub site? AlexLE 01:22, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Carl Fleming
Prospectus Title: Khan Academy
Cfleming27 18:17, 28 February 2012 (UTC) Comments
I am very amazed to discover your prospectus as it is very similar to mine. Regarding your first question I am wondering if the success of the Academy lies on the architecture, your answer will be very interesting to me, or if it lies on the way Kahn taught the subject. My feeling is that the second option is the right one. As for your second question, this article and especially the comments associated to it can help you to get some answer. As for me, Kahn Academy is a wonderful free supplement to traditional offline education but does not reach the objective targeted. This is, as Gates says, a first step to the Revolution. I like your research questions but I am losing some logical links with the methodology used. Why not focusing on the use of the Academy in the traditional education space in California, and check the result of the evaluation, if any, on “impoverished” students. Same for “Critique of the Academy”, I do not see the link. I would rather focus on the constructivism, the interactivity and the quality of the teaching (cf. the article).

--Sab 13:49, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Interesting question, I'm glad so many people are focusing on education from a variety of different angles. I feel like some very relevant conclusions could be drawn from compiling the 5 or so different reports that look at the intersections of internet and education. Good luck! AlexLE 01:22, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Carl, I was really excited to see that you're focusing on Khan Academy (I learned about it only recently, and I've since become semi-addicted to doing practice questions). I think a comparative study of the Academy's architecture vs. that of traditional education methods could yield very interesting results. I'd also be curious to hear your thoughts on user-coaches (that is, how any user can theoretically provide coaching in addition to Sal Khan's coaching videos), and how you think that adds or detracts (or both) from the Academy's overarching mission.Jlynnping 16:14, 5 March 2012 (UTC)