Assignment 2 Submissions: Difference between revisions

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Excited about all of the research on Q&A sites! Like others mentioned, may be good to team up. I agree with AlexLE that many Q&A sites are "entrenched" in specific communities. May be something to look at. Good luck! [[User:Aberg|Aberg]] 05:04, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Excited about all of the research on Q&A sites! Like others mentioned, may be good to team up. I agree with AlexLE that many Q&A sites are "entrenched" in specific communities. May be something to look at. Good luck! [[User:Aberg|Aberg]] 05:04, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Hi Brendan.  Possibly a good question to find an answer to is if the Q & A site gets a higher credibility rating in people’s eyes because it is connected to a social media platform.  I would think that social media platforms might replace more generalized Q & A sites, if they are offering a similar service, but specialized Q & A sites, such as technical or legal sites, which Luiscelli and AlexLE point out, might be hard to replace and have a community of their own, made of those specialists.[[User:Mike|Mike]] 00:03, 14 March 2012 (UTC)


Revision as of 19:03, 13 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]

Bitcoins have been an interesting trend to follow indeed. At one time I considered building a farm of my own, unfortunately it was literally impossible to find the video cards necessary to do it in bulk because the craze had reached its height. There are some interesting observations to be made here, and inspection of the available information could yield some interesting data under the right scrutiny. The main problem I see here is letting the project turn into something akin to a historical report of events. There is a broad article on the topic by Wired worth reading if you're interested. BSK342 14:19, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

I think your project sounds interesting and may provide more of an honest forum on financial discussions than a cable news pundit who likely has a vested personal interest in recommending stock. For some reason I never thought of a website in which the benefit of the consumers through interaction was actually collective monetary gain... and the norms and rules that govern this exchange will be an interesting research question to explore. How do people prevent their personal interests from interfering with neutral and helpful financial advice?--Jimmyh 17:49, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Stefan --- I'm interested in finance as well and was unaware of all these sites. Do your sites have anything in common with yahoo! finance (the largest finance site still) or google finance and so many more? I am wondering what the difference is between the large base of msg boards is and the sites. Perhaps some commentary on the difference between these new sites and the traditional finance web sites? Very interesting. Economics has been a big factor in our studies in this class --- wondering if you can extract the economic impact from your study. Brendanlong 17:53, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hey Stefan, I don't know much about finnance, but I wonder if there are any specific moral issues worth focusing on? Are people using stocktwits info to make investment decisions? If so, how does the info get vetted? David Taber 18:49, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Stefan, this subject is quite fascinating! It’s the first time I’ve heard of it, which maybe shows how out of the loop I am, but I see the potential for making a system that does not depend on those who already control the existing monetary system. For that very reason, I suggest that it might be interesting to hypothesize what their (the status quo’s) reaction might be, and what measures they might use to control or stamp out something like bitcoin. What could bitcoin users do to defend their rights? What impact might this have on international economics and law eventually? Would governments welcome it or fight it? Which kinds of governments? All of them? I think the ensuing battle might be similar to the recording industry giants and the movement to open channels for the independent producers.Mike 09:25, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

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

Hi Sab, I like your topic a lot because my project has to do also with distance education online. I’m working on the Open University case. It seems that you have a specific question that is related to the emergence of high-quality student-centric education system as a true public good, and I would say your question is good narrowed, but would be better if you work in just one of the cases of the four you mentioned—Sal Khan’s project, MITx, Harvard, and the London School of Economics. I’d like to know more about Khan’s project since we already know how the online paid degrees are in Harvard. Very interesting, good luck!Fabiancelisj 00:03, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

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 Sabrina, I think this is a great topic. Your prospectus definitely references issues under the "politics and control" umbrella which this class studies. I think if you stay on that track to study the changes you will have a great study. Brendanlong 18:00, 6 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! --YHHsiao 10:25, 5 March 2012 (UTC) 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)

Hi Sabrina - Great topic. Agreeing with a lot of folks on here about narrowing your thesis and also agree with Qdang's comments. One detail regarding the Khan academy which has videos covering Kindergarten-12th grade math, science topics including biology, chemistry, physics, and humanities on finance/history. I mention this as another idea to focus on whether you're referring to online education in general or just online higher education (college/grad school). And also decide whether to use the word "free" or not since a few examples (HES, London School of Economics) are not technically free but reasonably priced. I think if you take the "free" out of the thesis statement/question it might help to encompass all of the examples instead of sort of contradicting it. Hope that makes sense! I attached a couple links here that I thought are interesting including a blog written by an HES ALM graduate and the other has some interesting stats from an analysis/study conducted by the Department of Education. Can't wait to read it! :) [Final Thoughts About Harvard Extension] [Meta-Analysis & Review of Online Learning Studies] JennLopez 07:15, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Sabrina. This is a very interesting topic, especially given the example of Harvard Extension and MITx. I would love to read more on the differences about these two schools. Free online education is a definite step forward that will come sooner or later. Good luck.

Erzhik 16:02, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Sabrina: Excellent topic! It is interesting to me about the assortment of online programs available. I came across this article which might be of interest: --Szakuto 16:48, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

I think that you raise some important questions and I like how you will compare various forms of affordable online education. Of course I think one area to focus on more is the socioeconomic background of the potential students. We may believe that Harvard Extension School’s online program, while affordable and perhaps stronger than Kahn’s program, may be the best solution for affordable education. But many people in developing countries won’t be able to afford such education, meaning that Kahn’s program is the only way they have may advance their own education. I think that accessibility should be considered as your work through this great topic. Good job and great topic.--Jimmyh 17:49, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Sab, that is an interesting subject, dear to my heart. I think you are doing well in researching a variety of online educational sources, sampling and demonstrating the whole spectrum, it seems. Maybe a good question to ask and answer would be how those online degrees are considered by employers, universities, and other academics. I wonder if someone getting an online Masters or even Doctorate would be considered by a “first tier” university for a teaching position. It might be revealing to compare the experiences of a person who has taken both “in-class” courses and online courses. Does that person feel that one had advantages or disadvantages over the other? It will be informative for me to read your finished work. I wish you well.Mike 10:57, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: You-Hwa Hsiao
Prospectus: ACTA and the protests – a reaction to the governmental control extending into the cyber world[4]

My greatest worry for this assignment is that it could easily become more a report on current events than an empirical study. There are a lot of observations to be made here, and although those observations are in part empirical it would be much easier to talk about the the material in a purely social context. Additionally the scope of your project could benefit from focus. Any single element of the hacktivist movement could serve as a worthy focal point for this project. All of these elements could benefit from further exploration. Good luck. BSK342 14:25, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

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)

Hi Aditkowsky. Thank you for your comment. You raised a very good question: how to monitor the anti-ACTA community. My current strategy is to continue googling the term Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and comb the results to see if there’s anything worth monitoring. Now I’ve found several websites that I will follow their updates:

1. Anonymous ( the hackers’ “official” website) I will exam their evolving discourse re. ACTA vis-à-vis freedom, etc.

2. Electronic Frontier Foundation

3. Michael Geist’s blog

4. Google News

5. --> the website has been covering ACTA-related stories since two years ago.

6. More recommendations will be greatly appreciated! :)

--YHHsiao 06:21, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi You-Hwa Hsiao, I like the theme you propose and think it is narrowed to the ACTA case. You mention the question of how the ACTA galvanizes the Internet community, and that you want to follow the rest of the semester the development of this event. In this way, I would suggest your work to be more in an analytical sense than informative, developing interesting discussions and analysis with the information you will gather. Interesting topic, good luck!Fabiancelisj 00:03, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hello, I was confused by your topic at first. At the end I began to learn what the ACTA was in some of your research outline. Perhaps shed more light on the subject first and how it is working and with what cooperating nations. I am unaware of this currently. I think your study will be effective if you describe the factors going on and use some recent examples under the controversy to study the effects. Looking forward to learning more about this! Brendanlong 18:03, 6 March 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)

Hi You-Hwa, have to concur with many folks on here and say what a cool and interesting topic. I was also going to suggest the Lessig framework and agree with Aditkowsky on looking at anti-ACTA impact. Curious to see how those sites you mentioned especially Anonymous will add color to your research. If I come across any additional sites or see anything, I'll be sure to forward it along! Good luck! JennLopez 07:42, 6 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)

Hello You-Hwa. I find your topic very interesting because I am covering online piracy dilemma and I was always interested in ACTA especially after SOPA/PIPA fell through. What I might suggest is to also include how ACTA affected European nations. I remember that Poland was the one who said that they will not sign ACTA until others do. (, which pretty much put ACTA at risk of not being signed by any European Nations. Anyway, good luck with your project. I look forward to reading more about ACTA.

Erzhik 16:09, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

You-Hwa: you're topic seems extremely interesting and as you stated very relevant to the course. Perhaps you at some case studies as well. I came across this article in the Washington Post which might be of interest: --Szakuto 16:54, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi You-Hwa. One aspect of your investigation particularly draws my attention, and I feel it is worth focusing on. You bring out that states which are promoting ACTA have many internet user protesters who are fighting it. States are supposed to represent their citizenry, at least in democratic countries, so if there is so much protest, are the states truly representing the majority of their people. If not, who are they representing, and why? Are the protesters, perhaps, a very vocal and active minority? How can this be discerned so that the best interests of the majority are served, without infringing upon the interests of anyone? Is that what ACTA truly seeks and would result in? Is that what the hactivists truly seek?Mike 15:19, 12 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 think you would have to apply what Rob said in class: cut your project in half, then in half, and whatever is left in third. This is not to say your topic is not interesting, I think it is, but—in my opinion—the question is very broad, and I would suggest to you to choose one part of being “nice” on the Internet, for example what kind of Etiquette can you find in a specific community (like we already analyzed in the Wikipedia’s case), or in a specific bloggers’ web page. Good luck!Fabiancelisj 00:03, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

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)

Hi Harvard: what is at stake? What are your research questions ultimately trying to determine? What are the effects of the presence or absence of policies? This has parallels to the politics and control of societies this class studyies with advances in technology. Should we care about etiquette when there is a marketplace of ideas? Brendanlong 18:11, 6 March 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)

Hi Sofia, although I agree that the topic is a bit too broad or not very specific, I have to commend you on the structure of your proposal and how organized it is. Well done! Very easy to follow and great flow of connecting everything. I also agree with others that focusing on one community will help set the framework even better and perhaps doing an online survey of some kind that's super simple, to the point, and gets people thinking about your questions in a fun/cool way could be really interesting. It may be hard determining the "nice" definition but will be fun to dive into regardless and can also add a strong element to your research. Perhaps you can focus on being "nice" on social networks and take it from there. I attached a link that includes a report from the Pew Research Center on the "tone of life on social networking sites" (just published in Feb 2012) and an article on how being "nice" on social media makes a difference. On the page where you can download a PDF of the report, there are the survey questions associated with those findings. You totally don't have to go in that direction but thought it might be interesting to take a look at. Look forward to reading your paper! :) [Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project - The tone of life on social networking sites] [Being Nice on Social Media Makes a Difference] JennLopez 08:08, 6 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)

@Harvard212 I agree with @Aberg in that it would be interesting to see how different online communities differ. Personally, I find the interactions on the site Pinterest interesting. Looking forward to how you continue to develop this project. --Szakuto 17:03, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Interesting topic. I am curious to see what the nicest communities are. You have the quite the task of examining many large and elaborate communities on the Internet. I would highly recommend that you narrow it down to the two or three largest. Scheplick 14:36, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Harvard 212. (Sofia?) I agree that narrowing down the scope will make your project most effective. Nice can be relative, somewhat, so it seems to me that comparing the “norms for nice” of three or four online communities could be useful. Then you could ask some questions like why a certain norm could be nice in one community, but possibly not necessary or out of place in another, if there is any such case. Another question to explore is what can be the repercussion of not being nice, and what enforcement, if any, do communities put on such behavior. Is it effective? Does this control hamper any freedom of speech? I might ask those questions. I wish you the best on this interesting project!Mike 15:42, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: BSK342
Prospectus: Community, Architecture, and Regulation in the Something Awful Forum Space [6]
BSK342 21:30, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi BSK342, I really like your topic because part of the daily junk I find on the Internet comes from them. I know there are some very interesting forums and they have reliable information, but most of the time the information is just incomplete or not worthy to read. I only wonder how are you going to follow how members of the community engage in other spaces, because I think is quite difficult. Very interesting, good luck!Fabiancelisj 00:03, 6 March 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)

I wonder how you will be able to determine the motivation behind paying for the ability to post in the forums? Also think your results will be very interesting! I agree with Qdang about making a comparison. Good luck! Aberg 22:48, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

The key here is figure out why and how consumers value certain sites over others. Considering that free is the standard on the Internet, I am interested to know why this site is able to charge $9.99 for access and get a decent following. Maybe it is the feeling of a tight, closed, and private community that people are willing to pay for? Scheplick 14:36, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi BSK342. I’m also wondering why people are going to pay $9.99 to post on that site. I admit that I’m unfamiliar with such sites, but do understand the need people feel to belong to something, so I imagine that might have a lot to do with it. Birds of a feather flock together, and so I think different forums will attract homogenous people to themselves, price or no price. So, good question to research might be if charging a price has a positive or negative effect as far as drawing members. What is the effect? I also think, as Jimmyh commented, that some people will be filtered out by the price, but the serious participants will stay. Your project will be interesting to read! I wish you the best.Mike 16:22, 12 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)

Hi Blake, what is the role of government (I know you mention law). What is the framework of the law. Do these sites do this as a courtesy to keep customers or as a reaction to government intervention? I like your study on the effects of all these things (law, norms) as a result from the code. Brendanlong 18:14, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Blake Geno, when you say you intend to do: “I., II., III.” I would say only one of those items should be your topic. All three of them are very interesting and surely you would find substantial information. For example, I’ve read that Facebook do not really respect anonymity entirely, that when you decide to close your page they keep the information, and also their policies change very often, and this affect the users. Do we really have privacy and anonymity in Facebook? Good luck, interesting proposals.Fabiancelisj 00:03, 6 March 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)

Hi Blake - sounds like you have your work cut out for you. you may want to narrow it down to only a few sites. will you study Google+ and Google's new privacy policy? Aberg 22:59, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

An aspect of your paper I would recommend you look into is: what do these sites want to do with our data? A common idiom today is that big data is the new oil. That large companies are looking for data scientist and large data experts so that they can examine and learn about their users. How much can our data really say about us and our preferences? What is beneficial about collecting our data? Scheplick 14:41, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Blake, great topic and agree with many folks here as well to narrowing it a bit or focusing on a couple of sites. I also thought of Google+ and their new privacy policies announced last Thursday. Might be interesting to incorporate into your research. Good luck! JennLopez 22:24, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Blake. I’ve wondered some of these same things. You raise many questions, all good and in order, but even so, I too would suggest to keep in mind what Professor Rob said about ½, ½, then 1/3, in order to focus on specifics. I think it would be interesting to know if that information solicited can or does sometimes leak, as I have heard that it does, even though Google, for example, swears up and down that your personal information is kept private. Is it possible to create a truly anonymous persona for use on Facebook and forums?Mike 11:08, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Blake! Your topic stuck out to me mainly because I'm doing my report on the group Anonymous. However, after reading your prospectus, I see that you're going in a different direction than what I had imagined. My question for you, though, centers around the use of proxies, anonymizers, and international servers to allow for greater anonymity. Your topic seems pretty broad, and I wonder how much of it will cover the anonymity of users, or the sites that try to identify users. I'm also curious about the legal ramifications of the use of such identifying methods, and how this pertains to those that attempt to avoid such methods. I know this is a lot, but it seems that you are pointed in a general direction, and I hope the final report turns out great.Nthib 23:07, 13 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 think your proposal is very interesting, especially because it is addressing a topic we have covered in the course: the Fair Use in Copyright. I would say your results will be useful for this course because they promise to be a good example of what it is Fair Use. Good luck! great choice.Fabiancelisj 00:03, 6 March 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)

Hi Abby: I think this is an interesting study considering the reference to this site as one of the fastest growing sites (although on the side I didn't read the data to see how it's measured given web usage has grown exponentially and newer site's have advantages with more immediate availablility to an established larger user base of web users... (sorry) ). Is this study too similar to the Google case (meaning, why hasn't Pinterest been sued yet if it's different). I think if you bring up some good counterargument type material and anticipate any questions the reader might have your study is going to be really interesting. Thanks for telling me about Pinterest a couple weeks ago -- definitely looking forward to learning more! Brendanlong 18:23, 6 March 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)

You bring up an interesting topic especially after our "Copyright" lecture and how it affects Pinterest given that Pinterest is all about pictures. Your questions is very clear and it looks like you really know what you are doing. Good luck.

I am interested to hear why Pinterest is considered to be so aesthetically pleasing. I would also like to hear why this look appeals to woman more than men. Or maybe it is the concept behind Pinterest. Scheplick 14:42, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Erzhik 16:17, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

The copyright aspect of Pinterest is extremely interesting- as stated above. I found this article below which might be of some use:

Abby, I like your project, and will pay attention to your research, as I am planning to open an educational site, and have concerns about the issues you list. I also wonder why it would be OK for Google images and not OK for Pinterest, so I think you picked a relevant and useful topic. You organized your thoughts well in your prospectus. Suggestion: Find out if there has been any attempt yet to sue Pinterest and what the outcome was. How have they handled related complaints, if any, and what were the complaints? Another question: Is there a clear legal definition of “transformative” and “potentially transformative”. I would think that anything is “potentially” transformative, so I am wondering if that has a more specific meaning in legal jargon. Good job!Mike 11:56, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

--Szakuto 17:53, 6 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)

Hi Jennifer, I like your proposal of analyzing online activism sites like,,, although I think you should choose one of these for your project. I also think the effectiveness of online activism has been proven, because we have seen cases like the Arab Spring, the Occupy Wall Street and the Bank of America’s decision to rescind it’s proposal, but what I like of your project is that you will explain how they were effective and how the organizations began. Very interesting, good luck!Fabiancelisj 00:03, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

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)

I am wondering if your study will examine the difference between these online sites as a change in our practice of democracy or just an extension of things that were already happening (offline clubs and organizations). Perhaps a study of data to measure participating voters since the advent of shared politicial information. Overall this is a very hot issue lately (Middle East, Russia, China) and will be interested in seeing the results of your research. Keep in mind different comparisons to offline users and participation rates on both ends. Brendanlong 18:50, 6 March 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)

I agree that it may be a good idea to also interview participants so that you can hear their perspective on participating as well as feeling like they are working towards effecting change. Good luck! Aberg 23:04, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Jennifer, interviewing Jeremy Heimans and creating video clips is an exciting approach to gather your data. I also like your idea of doing case studies, but perhaps just picking one from one site? Qdang 23:56, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Online activism is a compelling story. I've seen it come in many forums. For example, on people create petitions and disseminate them to interested users. On the other hand, there is hacktivism, where we see groups hack companies and take down websites in social protest. I think it is important for your paper to touch up on the types of activism, and maybe classify them as different forms of activism. Scheplick 14:46, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hey Jennifer, you might want to gear your analysis toward highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of on-line organizing models, rather than just seeking to prove they are effective. David Taber 19:08, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Wow, Jenn, frankly inspiring! I’m interested because it is what I hope to do through a website community that connects students, world-wide in efforts for peace. The activism might not come in the form of protest so much, though, but rather in forming community centers that help others in need and incorporate student intercultural interchange. The “status quo” group in society can also become quite reactionary towards any change, so I am wondering if there have been counter-efforts, using the internet; propaganda, if we want to call it that, to try to resist the current of change, and how the “cyber tug-o-war” played out. Is the majority able to have a louder voice than an incumbent minority? How can we be sure which is actually a majority or minority, or can this be digitally staged or faked? Anyway, you organized very well, and I learned a lot reading your prospectus. Thanks.Mike 13:41, 13 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, although you mention social networks as your primary study for the final project, you address code, architecture, human behavior, interaction, norms inside it. I couldn’t grasp what was the main question you proposed, is it about the architecture of the social networks? If so, what is the discussion you’re presenting? Good luck on narrowing.Fabiancelisj 00:03, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi JJ, this seems like a broad investigation (but you appear to have a focused plan of attack). I'd be intimidated by the broad scope but applaud you for your scope of work you want to address. This is very impressive. I wonder what the TA's feedback is for this. If you don't mind sharing I'd like to know more about this. Brendanlong 18:54, 6 March 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)

Hi JJ, fascinating and very interesting concept. I agree with many of the points/questions that Aditkowsky raised. Curious to see how it will be built out and what the interface/structure/UX will look like. However you choose to build it, what will also be interesting is supplementing the architecture and premise for constructing it with data or articles that show what is effective, why certain social networking sites are more useful/stronger than others, and how it maintains itself as a "self-governing structure" similar to wikipedia. Good luck, look forward to seeing it! JennLopez 07:34, 6 March 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 similiar 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)

You've laid out a monster of a project! Sounds fascinating. I'm also not sure what your focus/thesis is? Perhaps clarifying or narrowing your focus would be helpful. Aberg 23:08, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Just Johnny, I’m not exactly sure what your research question is. What are you trying to measure regarding social networking? Or are you trying to compare dating sites to social networking sites, such as Facebook? Perhaps you can pick two communities and compare their TOS or guidelines? Good luck! Qdang 00:48, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Johnny, if I understand right, the goal in your prospectus is to see how this online community would self govern, directed only by code, not hierarchy, at least for the most part, observing “human behavior and interaction,” as you said. That’s an interesting study on human nature and the use of freedom of choice. I agree with several above, that you might need to have some core attraction built into the site, in order to draw people, because there are already other social networks. I was also counseled to narrow down my scope, so I suggest you keep this in mind, as your project is broad. Suggestion: Deal with certain behaviors, and setting forth certain codes. Deal with how to attract people who might be inclined to want to follow those codes.Mike 14:40, 13 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.

Hi Fabian: great to see you are also looking at this. I've never seen the term "OU" so perhaps orient the reader to what this is. See my comments to other submissions regarding the Kahn. Are you looking at just the rules and community in these systems or are you also looking to document the effects of these platforms? If so, like I mentioned in the other submissions I'd look at social norms and the effects of these platforms. Very interested in this! Brendanlong 18:59, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

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)

I wonder if you could use the Univeristy of Phoneix's model as a contrasting case study. Hope this helps. Mvalerio 03:26, 6 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)

Fabian, it looks like we are studying similiar concepts. I am analyzing Khan Academy and its potential uses in developing nations for education. I would be interesting in sharing ideas as we continue with our research. Let me know if you would be interested. Cfleming27 22:43, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Fabian, It is great that you are looking into distance education. Are you going to compare standard classroom education versus distance education? Or are you going to look at the tools that facilitate distance education? Or are you going to focus on the issues of distance education, such as copyright infringement? Qdang 01:53, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Fabian. It’s great to see another DL-related project. Open University is an institution reputed for providing access to knowledge and education. I am thrilled to see that you are doing a case study on it. Your proposal looks good in general. My only comment is that you may wish to consider using Lessig’s theory (Code = Law) as an analytical framework to understand how the policies and technologies employed at OU help affect users’ experiences and communities at the institution. An institution as big as this one needs to regulate all kinds of activities to ensure everything is under control but not at the expense of the institution’s innovation and vibrance. I think the issue of politics and control relating to the institution’s DL delivery will be very relevant to this course. Looking forward to reading your paper. Good luck! :) --YHHsiao 08:16, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

HI Fabian - I've also never heard of OU, so it's good that you included some background info. I agree with the person who mentioned comparing this to online uni of phoenix and how much that institution values open learning. It seems that there are lots of questions you can analyze with this case study (as you presented). Good luck! Aberg 21:26, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Fabian. I’m also interested in distance learning, and want to include an element of it into an international students’ website which offers free material, and also offers “for pay” material, but the profits help needy students in different parts of the world. It is good that you explain about the OU, as I had heard of it, but didn’t know what it was about. It’s fascinating. I think you are on a good track in comparing it to “in classroom” university, the effectiveness and how it is measured, the acceptance or not by outside organizations of its diplomas, accreditation, and the pros and cons of taking classes in it.Mike 17:14, 13 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 Priscila, is this the question you’re proposing: can the laws for the traditional medium change the development of new one? and are you going to work on this question through the Brazilian case?Fabiancelisj 00:03, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Andre and Priscila, I also was not sure of your research question. I do understand you have stated aims to look into a few elements of these services, but what effects (if any) are you studying? A good topic however considering the tech wars going on right now in streaming video (NFLX, Verizon/Coinstar, AMZN, Comcast). Your international path will be interesting. Brendanlong 21:03, 6 March 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)

I love the comparative aspect of the proposal. I am very interested in learning how Brazil's legal structure might enable or limit the use of online video, especially realtive to US regulations. Cfleming27 22:43, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi André and Priscila, I think it’s interesting that you are comparing Brazilian digital TV and online video. Perhaps you can compare Brazilian digital TV to one of the online video sites such as YouTube? Qdang 03:57, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

It's a really interesting topic, especially now because of the non stop competition in online video business and how it changes TV in US and it would be interesting to see how it changes TV in emerging markets such as Brazil. I would like to see the legal aspecs of online video in Brazil as well as how it compares to US's. Erzhik 16:28, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

I think it's great that you've taken this outside of the US. Maybe you could also mention why certain videos from TV, etc (even from the UK) can't be streamed in the US due to copyright issues. Good luck! Aberg 21:26, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Andre and Priscila. I agree that it is informative for us all to learn how this subject is playing out in places outside the U.S. I lived in Brazil for 2 years in the 70’s and at that time some things were quite modern and others were not. Maybe you could compare the troubles Youtube has at times with copyright infringement complaints, with the equivalent of such, if any, in Brazil. How do the copyright laws compare with the U.S.? Will the effect of this shift of media usage in Brazil be different from the effect in the U.S., possibly because the culture is different?Mike 17:43, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Alexis Ditkowsky
Prospectus title: Pinterest
Prospectus: Final Project Prospectus

Hi Alexis, I saw the Pinterest page and found it very interesting! You pose some very interesting topics in your proposal: the role of women in…?, “off-brand” style of Pinterest, and Pinterest’s norms, but I encourage you to choose one of them because for me still wasn’t clear which is your main question. Good luck with your project.Fabiancelisj 00:03, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

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

Hi Alexis: I was previously just told of Pinterest and am even more fascinated given your mention of the majority of women users. Have you spoke with Abby yet? I think you two may have a common research focus on this. I love your mention of social norms on this and think your study's outline has a great approach. Brendanlong 19:06, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

@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)

Hi Alexis, great topic. I reacted the same way when I read that 80% of the Pinterest users are women, wow. Very interested to see how your "board" takes shape and weaves in themes from the class or more specifically with marginalized communities interacting with technology. Also really cool that Louiscelli brought up the MDG's, I agree that tying in how the site could be a tool to assist with notions of empowerment for women could be interesting. Looking forward to reading it! JennLopez 08:32, 6 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)

I think this is an excellent topic and I would love to learn more about it as it relates closely to my work. I work with the MDGs and helping traditionally excluded populations (women and the poor) reach those goals. If you look into the literature on adolescent girls, secondary education and economic growth, you might find some interesting information on how this could be applied. Cfleming27 22:43, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Alexis, I think it is interesting that most of Pinterest users are women, and I also noticed that postings on Facebook regarding Pinterest pins have increased recently. I am now interested to try it out, since recently I have been collecting beautiful images and saving them directly into my desktop. Perhaps you can compare Pinterest to Google Images or Yahoo! Images, to examine why Pinterest is becoming so popular? Is it bookmarking, sharing and commentaries that makes it more popular and convenient than Google Images or Yahoo! Images? Qdang 04:16, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Alexis. What a lovely site! I played around a bit on the site. It is very interesting. Makes me wonder how one could incorporate the site into other social media to expand the possibilities of expression and interaction.

I pondered over the argument that women are still a marginalised community in the online space. Could it be that the cyberspace also reflects the division in the brick-and-mortar space in general? However, James Harris, our fellow classmate, argues in his final project that the Internet bridges the geographical gap in many aspects (he refers specifically to politics). By the same token, the Internet should be able to transcend gender division as well. But it does not look like the case. I am struck by the fact that only 15% of the Wikipedia contributors are women. This is definitely something worth looking into.

I will be looking forward to your online experiment with Pinterest. You already have a list of interesting and relevant questions to start with. With all the information from observing the female-dominant site, you may wish to come up with a hypothesis that explains the phenomenon. I am looking forward to your hypothesis. Good luck!

Great topic :) Really interested to read what you come up with about why women choose Pinterest over other sites. I personally like the site a lot and think it helps to organize your thoughts. Here is a cool article: Men are from Google+, Women are from Pinterest. You could draw a comparison between the two. Also, according to the article, most of Pinterest's UK users are men. Good luck! Aberg 21:26, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Alexis. I think your differentiation between a community and a collection of individuals is valid and interesting. It would seem that the community would imply interaction, so I am curious how you will interact with other Pinterest members. Your methodology of “pushing the envelope” in respect to norms is an innovative one in order to find out what the norms really are. Congratulations. Is there a way to find out how much interaction and intercommunication actually occurs amongst Pinterest users? In respect to your interest toward technology and marginalized communities, I also suggest checking MDG’s. I just took the course on International and Comparative Education with Professor Reimers, and MDG’s and internet usage came up a lot. I think you might find some examples there. I wish you great success! We have similar goals.Mike 18:40, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Alexix! Your prospectus intrigues me. I am not familiar with Pinterest, but from the information you provided, it seems as though it is an incredible tool. I'm curious to know in which direction you plan on taking this prospectus. You mentioned that women make up 80% of Pinterest users, however you also noted that women are a very small minority of contributors to other sites. Are you going to be exploring this unequal dichotomy more, or is your topic going to be based upon the use of Pinterest and its incorporation to other sites? If you do focus on the dichotomy of inequality, will you also be exploring or analyzing the computer usage habit of men and women, including their amount of time online, in relation to the activities they participate while online? I as because if I assume that the average time online for both men and women is equal, or near equal, then the discrepancy of unequal interaction would have to be qualified. But if your focus is on the use of Pinterest and its integration into other forms of online communication, I'm afraid that my lack of knowledge of Pinterest can't help you. Nonetheless, I hope the research goes well, and I look forward to reading your final report.Nthib 23:09, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

--YHHsiao 09:58, 6 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 Jimmy. First off I must thank you for bringing this extremely interesting topic to everyone’s attention. I must admit that as a foreigner, I had to look up Howard Dean to get an overview of who he is and how his Internet campaign had generated record high interest and income. For those who are unfamiliar with the issue (like yours truly), this site gives a general overview of the news event Jimmy refers to.

I agree with you wholeheartedly that the Internet has transcended the geographical division in many aspects. I am particularly interested to hear how the Internet alters the entire political landscape and what the evidences are. It seems what you are arguing that the social media are more than another medium of communication, but rather something that plays a transformative role in the realm of politics. This transformative role seems to be linked to its capability of creating populist sentiments ( when you mentioned SOPA). I’d love to see how you will develop and support these arguments. My topic is the popular response to the ACTA (please see above) and somewhat related to your argument. I am sure we can discuss further about the linkage between the Internet and social movements as we go along. Please keep all of us updated!

Hi James. Very interesting. I forgot about Howard Dean's momentum that had big roots in internet collaboration. Great point there. You might also want to reference Obama (I'm sure you will) for his "huge list" he had amassed. Hope is also doing a similar study on the effects of technology platforms like twitter that politicians used to connect to their constituents. I think your scope of work is well defined and it's outline provides an easy map for the reader to follow. Looking forward to your results! Brendanlong 21:06, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

P.S. I agree with Fabiancelisj that since you are covering a lot of grounds, a case study of the former Vermont Governor will adequately address the issues you bring up. But I am not sure if you are going for a case study or a general theory-oriented research paper? It is probably something worth thinking about before you start. :)

Hi James: Again- great topic. It would be interesting to compare marketing techniques between previous presidents. I agree with the previous comments that perhaps you should narrow down your topic a bit. A particular case study would be extremely interesting- perhaps focus primarily on Howard Dean. --Szakuto 19:08, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi James - Awesome topic! Do you plan to examine these movements as a participant or only as an observer? Perhaps you could try to look at how campaigns use of social media platforms and the net in general has affected those who don't have easy access to the Internet? Good luck and can't wait to read your final paper! Aberg 21:41, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

--YHHsiao 06:52, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi James, I think your work will be unique because you’re addressing the internet in the political field. I personally suggest to dismiss some parts of your proposal and focus on the question you’re proposing of how social media does create the empowerment and populist energy, and you can do it with the good example of the former Vermong Governor. Through this example you can answer the questions you propose of the quick spread of information, the strategies of campains, and the flexibility of politicians due to this phenomenon. Good luck, very interesting field!Fabiancelisj 00:16, 6 March 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)

Very cool topic. You may want to look into some of the background on the White House's social media initiative that was launched some time ago as well as some of the background on how members of the congress and senate have been using social media. I know alot of them have scrambled to set up social media teams to capitalize on the new media. It might be interesting to compare those who failed to use it wisely and those whe thrive with it. Some of those characteristics could be applied to campaign funding. Cfleming27 22:43, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi James, Interesting topic! Just as a suggestion, perhaps you can use a SOPA case study to illustrate your point or describe how a politician used YouTube in his/her campaign. Qdang 13:22, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi James, I think your topic is great. I am doing something similar with Twitter - using this tool as a way for politicians to reach constituents. Since it is an election year - are there any campaigns you would be interested in following to use as a case study? I also like the idea of analyzing how Howard Dean's campaign (as mentioned above) to help illustrate your thesis. --Hds5 18:51, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

James, it sounds like you really know where you are going with your project, and mention many specifics you want to investigate and demonstrate. That sounds very concrete and that you are off to a good start, but I agree with others that you might consider narrowing down how many questions you tackle. Maybe you could also explain about your methodology of how to examine the questions you propose to answer. Will you just look online? Are there people involved in the politicians’ staffs that you can call, email, or interview? Can you give examples of how specific politicians have been swayed by public feedback on the internet? That might be informative. It’s a relevant topic. It will be interesting to read.Mike 19:13, 13 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, I saw the webpage, very interesting and funny! It seems you have a narrowed work to work in, because you propose to main questions to develop in your investigation : freedom of expression, and norms within the site. When you mention this is a good example of a very successful mix of controlled format and elite members of a website to control the power, I’d like to know what are your thoughts, do you agree? Is this essential to run a website like this? Good luck, interesting website!Fabiancelisj 00:16, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Alex, this prospectus has hints of another plan I read regarding blogging and fame (will add the user after I go back to see which one it is). Your focus seems to be on the social norms and rules that govern this site. That is interesting considering users haved a perceived freedom to submit, although the editors are paid so there is some control here that is not communitarily (? really) enforced. Perhaps you can find some critisicms of this way of governance to something that would be otherwise thought of as an open community. Also looking forward to incorporating some funny lists! Great insight to look at rules at play and the effects. Good luck! Brendanlong 21:11, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

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)

Thanks for making me aware of I had not come across it before. I can't help it, but I agree with Aditkowsky's idea of submitting a cracked article format. Cfleming27 22:43, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Alex, I will definitely checkout! I suggest reading the community guidelines to see what topics are allowed. I am also interested in finding out the motivating factor behind posting to this forum versus another forum. Qdang 17:49, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Alex - just checked out the site and it looks really cool. Wondering how one becomes an editor (or are they included in the 'elite users' category?)? Good luck! Aberg 21:41, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Alex. Hmm, an interesting site. It reminds me of Ripley’s Believe it or Not in some ways, so I would think it attracts interest. Your project is narrow enough and focused enough, so I think you will do well on the paper. I too, think like the others above that making your project interactive would be a good learning experience on how this particular community works. I suppose you would be the “elite member” or editor, but it gets the point across. In order to study the dynamic of a community which allows freedom, but under quite specific controls, it might be interesting to see if the site has changed much or at all due to new input since its beginnings.Mike 19:45, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Jeff Kimble
Prospectus title: Internet E-Commerce
Prospectus: [9]
JeffKimble 14:25, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Jeff, your project remembers me the phrase “buyers who bought this also bought this,” and the story of the author that became famous because of the long tail phenomenon. I think from the six questions you propose, number one encloses all of the other and it’s your starting point. Good luck with your project!Fabiancelisj 00:16, 6 March 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

Hi Jeff, nice outline. I've made a couple other comments on some other prospectuses that it's very interesting for some of these studies to look at the economic effects. These studies are always interesting to me and your research might be able to be used as some sort of indicator / measuring stick for where we are headed. Perhaps a strong reference to would be smart to incporate as well as the politics of their clashes with various states. Overall this will be an interesting project. Brendanlong 20:57, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

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)

Hi Jeff, I think it is interesting that you are looking into ecommerce and the impact on consumer habits. I think that determining the impact of customer reviews on trends is a good approach. I also interested in learning about the psychological factors as well, specifically addiction. Perhaps you can choose a case study to make your argument for this? Qdang 18:00, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Jeff - At the end you mention addiction to online shopping. There are people who are addicted to shopping and e-commerce has exacerbated that. Also, compulsive shopping is another issue. This may be out of your focus, but you could also mention how the employees at Amazon's warehouses work in bad conditions. Good luck! Aberg 22:22, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Jeff! I find your proposal very relevant and interesting. I buy text books online at, and now that I’m used to that, it would seem strange and expensive to buy any other way, so I see that psychologically, one becomes accustomed. My daughter lives in Beijing and buys everything on, a Chinese equivalent of ebay. It’s becoming the norm over here. I think you ask good questions about how this new way of buying affects individuals in their daily habits and even psychologically, as you brought out about addictions; also about how it affects society, the tax system, and the traditional “brick and mortar” stores. It must be difficult for stores with such high overhead to compete with online stores which don’t need to pay for such a facility or maybe so many employees. I would be curious to know how widespread this trend is, geographically, demographically, and how all-inclusive it is as to the products one can buy. Maybe these are some questions to examine.Mike 20:08, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Louis Celli
Prospectus title: e-commerce Taxation
Prospectus:The Future of e-commerce Taxation

Hi Louis, I was glad to see you chose taxation as your topic as well. We have some different approaches, but if you're interested in joining forces, we may be able to give broader coverage for the topic as a team. Internet taxation is a HUGE subject. For example, we might focus on jurisdictional/ constitutional struggles within e-commerce taxation. My suggestion is to narrow the focus and provide a more in depth analysis on that focus because the topic could literally fill volumes. Let me know if you're interested, but no hard feelings if not. Good luck! -Daniel Perry [dperry 6 March] 2012 (UTC)

Hi Louis, your topic is interesting since it deals with taxation across states, I just would say you have to choose less questions from the list you’re proposing in order to have a more specific theme to work on during your research. It’s also valuable that you want to propose an e-commerce tax structure for all the states, but how are you going to measure the impacts and its viability? Good luck with your project!Fabiancelisj 00:16, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

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)

Hi Louis - sounds like a big project! I think you may have some challenges when trying to come up with a tax that everyone can live with. Perhaps you could look at how the EU taxes online goods and draw a comparison. I think they don't apply VAT on goods below a certain amount, like 30 euro. Good luck! Aberg 22:22, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Luis, you have prepared your prospectus quite well, I think. It looks like it is ready to present as a bill in congress. It’s well organized and thorough. Good work! Although an actual bill would need to cover every aspect of the subject, I suppose, I wonder if for this assignment, it might be expedient to cover less aspects. I agree that it could be useful to research and compare how other countries have handled this taxation, as Aberg suggested, just above me here. Our professor in International and Comparative Education, Fernando Reimers, often said “we don’t need to reinvent the wheel” when there is a good one right over there. At least we can draw good ideas from it. Anyway, I am impressed by how organized and thought out your prospectus is.Mike 20:43, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

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

Hi Emanuel, your topic is very interesting, I assume you will research those laws that go in favor, or at least don’t prevent these terrorist organizations of continuing their activities. It would be interesting to know what legislation acts due to the foreign nature of these organizations. Good luck with your project!Fabiancelisj 00:16, 6 March 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)

Hi Emanuele, Very interesting prospectus. I'm assuming we can only protect sites that advocate terrorism that are hosted on U.S. servers and don't really go after foreign ones. I'm surprised we actually have many terrorist websites on u.s. servers (even though I don't question our freedom to do so under 1st amendment). Perhaps you will cover how many of these domestic sites are in existence. You raise lots of privacy issues for someone who "dares" to operate one and make the government suspicious. Looking forward to your report Brendanlong 20:54, 6 March 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)

Hi Emanuele - fascinating topic. Looks like you're stepping into 1st amendment territory. The US is very adamant about free speech and I doubt censoring of these sites (like the FBI guy mentioned) would happen. A comparison between US laws and French laws regarding terrorist websites may be interesting, too. Good luck! Aberg 22:22, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Emanuele. You have a very challenging topic and it will be quite interesting to read about. I’m certainly not an expert, but U.S. law is sometimes an enigma to me. I was brought up in the U.S., but have lived all over the world, so naturally I compare. I’m trying to justify how sites like that can be legally protected, yet I know people who have been sued or lost jobs for even mentioning God or the Bible as teachers in a classroom. My common sense tells me something has gone wrong, but I realize that legal technicalities can be complex to work through, and the end result can be quite different from the original spirit of the law that was enacted. Anyway, the point is law and the internet. I agree that you will need to delve into the First Amendment and possibly check some Supreme Court rulings which have dealt with cases similar to what you mention. I also agree with Aberg, above, that a comparison to other countries' laws on the subject might be helpful.Mike 21:25, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

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

Hi Julia, Great topic! (also doing Q&A study). The feedback I received centered around some of my broad aims, and I feel you did a great job zeroing in the community structure and rules regarding the MODS and the effect they have on the platform. Great job doing that. I received feedback to focus in on a particular aspect and I feel your prospectus is very close to what my revision may end up like. I'll be looking at wiki answers and yahoo answers. We can chat offline about our respective projects if you are interested. Good luck! Brendanlong 20:42, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Julia, I think your project will be interesting, and as for Brendan Long’s proposal about Q&A sites, I’d like to know more about the level of reliability of the answers one can find in this type of sites, and also who decides if the information is right or wrong. I’m not familiar with Q&A sites so I’m sure your project will help me to understand their structure better and how they function. Good luck!Fabiancelisj 00:16, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

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)

Very cool topic. Interested to learn more about the driving force behind the site. Perhaps you could compare it to Quora which also has moderators that aren't too big brother-esque. good luck! Aberg 22:22, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Julia. I think you did well in picking one specific site and choosing to interact in one specific way, making a “human relations” post. It should be easy to zero in on the moderators’ behaviors to experience first hand how they work. I am interested to see how this site allows freedom, but it is moderated to maintain the “prosocial” atmosphere. I do think that moderation is necessary to achieve this, and would like to hear more details or examples of how they avoid the “big brother-esque” feeling.Mike 21:42, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Samantha Zakuto
Prospectus title: Managing a Flexible Work/Life Balance: Legal Ramifications of Facebook
Prospectus: Prospectus

Hi Samantha, your topic is very interesting, of course offense is evident in the cases you gave as examples, but your question of why one employee was fired and the other not is the starting point of your investigation. As for the prohibition in Missouri of having contact between teachers and students, it seems unfair and this would not prevent ruinning the reputation of others, so the results of your investigation abouth the legislation applied in these cases promess to be interesting. Good Luck!Fabiancelisj 00:16, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

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)

Hi Samantha, Great examples of two cases that had seemingly similar circumstances with different outcomes. I think using these two examples in your introduction is a great way to raise the legal issue of this! Lots of great questions that could be in play: state/federal law, additional past cases, discussion on future legislation and social effects of these laws (chilling effects)? Very interesting! Brendanlong 20:36, 6 March 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)

Hi Samantha, Great topic. After reading your prospectus it got me thinking about the federal government work environment. It may be interesting to do an analysis of the government agencies. You could compare which agencies (DOD, DHS, etc.) take action against employees? As a government employee I have worked in a few different agencies and "online rules" vary from each office. Just something to think about when trying to find an interesting environment to investigate. Good luck and I look forward to reading your final paper! --Hds5 18:59, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Awesome choice. I think that even if employers can't legally use this information against employees, they still may hold prejudices against employees or retaliate in other ways. Maybe that is something to consider, also. Good luck! Aberg 22:22, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Good topic Samantha, and very relevant to life today. I think you do well in pointing out that it is not enough to just be within one’s legal rights, because the end result might still be unpleasant. People will still judge, which I think, is understandable in some cases, but how can laws draw a line of distinction between when it is right to judge, and when not? The internet makes a lot of interaction more public than it was in times past, and so, it seems that laws need to take this into account. It might be interesting and important to compare if legislation has made any changes to adapt to the new realities of internet.Mike 22:12, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Samantha! After reading your prospectus I'm very interested in your final report. I'm curious to know how you will address the legal ramifications, as you had indicated, in relation to the private sector. From what I understand, the private sector does not guarantee employment and civil liberties in the same manner as what is assumed. I hope that you'll address this issue too, as well as the issue of the repercussions of the use of freedom of expression in libel suits, especially when it is directed toward employers, employees, and in various other work related ways. I look forward to reading your final report.Nthib 23:07, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Nicholas Thibodeau
Prospectus title: Anonymous
Prospectus: [10]
Nthib 17:59, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Nicholas, your topic is very interesting, although there are limited resources of information of anonymous, as you mention. As I have understood, anyone can be part of anonymous, that’s what it is so difficult to identify their structure and how they function, but perhaps the more interesting part of your investigation would be why have they been successful in some cases. Good luck in your project!Fabiancelisj 00:16, 6 March 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)

Hi Nicholas, Of all the prospectuses I've read I felt yours is among the best in terms of simplicity, relevance to our class and framework/outline plan. I feel you have made a great first step with how you will study a group on the web, what rules they play by, who the community is, and what are their politics of control (or the effect on them from outside politics and control, etc). Great --- looking forward to this! Brendanlong 20:32, 6 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)

Ah, the famous Anonymous. It seems that nothing goes by today without some activity from Anonymous. I am not really sure if you can get more information about them from the media and without getting in touch with them, but if you can somehow get the information from them personally or by getting some information that is unavailable anywhere online, it would be really cool. I suspect 4chan would be the best place to start looking. Good luck, can't wait to hear more about Anonymous from your project. Erzhik 16:28, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

I think now you may be able to get more info on anonymous given the recent arrests. May be helpful to compare/contrast anonymous with the wikileaks movement. Good luck! Aberg 22:22, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Nicholas, you pick a very interesting subject which relates very much to our course. I also would like to know how they organize and if it is just a sense of social justice which motivates them. I think it is wise to research what they say about themselves, as you state that you will do. Those who have been attacked by them will certainly have a strong and probably biased opinion. I would like to understand if many of them know each other, or if they have different levels, for security’s sake, as some secret society’s do. How can they communicate to decide what a target should be and who or what body of them decides?Mike 22:49, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Quynh Dang
Prospectus title: Yahoo! Answers
Prospectus: Prospectus
Qdang 18:14, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Quynh Dang, the Q&A sites are a new topic for me, so I hope throughout your project I’ll became more familiar with them. As for the Julia’s project and Brendan Long’s project, which are also addressing this topic like yours, I’d like to know how do they manage the level of reliability of the answers. I also would like to see the results of your investigation, especially the part of the incentives they give to promote the participation of more people. Good luck!Fabiancelisj 00:16, 6 March 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)

Hi Quynh, I see you are also doing a study on Q&A. My focus was leaning towards the convergence of social media and Q&A (which can already be seen with Wiki answers). We can chat more offline about our common research questions and where we stray. Brendanlong 20:28, 6 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)

Even though I don't know anything about Yahoo Answers, it would be interesting to see how they operate and learn more about it. I personally do not understand how the best answer is chose, why is it chosen in terms of criteria and if there is anything in return to participation on yahoo answers!. Good luck. Erzhik 16:32, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

I've looked at Yahoo Answers a few time, but I haven't found very accurate answers. Maybe this is due to the anonymity. Sites like Quora or even Reddit seem better equipped for this, perhaps due to moderating? Good luck! Aberg 22:22, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Quynh. I tried Yahoo! Answers a few times, but did not feel very secure about the answers I got. Your research about the site already reveals to me why. Their system does not guarantee right answers if there is no monitor. I think you method of trying it out on yourself is good, to see how you feel, if it motivates you to give correct answers. I think the final important question is one you bring up: Do the methods used to draw participants effective towards insuring high quality answers? It is good to compare with those investigating other similar sites.Mike 23:16, 13 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, sorry if my question is trivial but what do you mean by saying that you will have to contemplate several non-democratic values to make sure your website runs smoothly? And also I’m curious if you’re creating this website to answer the questions of your project about freedom of expression and reputation of the website. Good luck with your website and final project!Fabiancelisj 00:16, 6 March 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)

Hi Chris, I'm not really sure what Drupal CS is. Perhaps an introduction to what this is would give me a better idea with where you are going with your research. I do see the link to it at the bottom, but think you may confuse the reader if you don't orient them outright. I'll follow-up and see what your framework develops into. Looking forward to learning about another new platform! Brendanlong 20:26, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Chris - quite the undertaking! I personally tend to stay away from sites with Ads, so it will be interesting to see how that aspect affects your users. Looking forward to reading more about this! Aberg 22:22, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Chris. I can understand what you mean by not being so democratic. Julia refers to the need for moderators in the MetaFilter site, which control it enough to ensure a “prosocial” atmosphere. Maybe you can employ some similar system. Anyway, although your site might allow for comments, it is an information site, and so, maybe its main characteristic does not have to be its democracy. I agree with Aditowski that two months is a short time to build up a membership so that you can experience what might happen with your new website, so you might take that into account. I admire that you want to try, but the time factor is important. If your main point is to see how freedom of speech can work or not work on such a site, you might consider observing an already existing site. You know your abilities, so this is just an observation. I’ll be looking forward to seeing your project.Mike 23:40, 13 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, since you mention you will provide a timeline and historical content of the Q&A sites and social media, and also a comparison of them and impact of the social media on them, I would suggest your work to be more focused on the analysis of the information you find. This means that although the overview of Q&A is necessary for your work, we already know more or less the social media, and I like to read about your question of Q&A functions within these sites, which is a topic totally new, at least for me. Good luck, very interesting!Fabiancelisj 00:16, 6 March 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)

Excited about all of the research on Q&A sites! Like others mentioned, may be good to team up. I agree with AlexLE that many Q&A sites are "entrenched" in specific communities. May be something to look at. Good luck! Aberg 05:04, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Brendan. Possibly a good question to find an answer to is if the Q & A site gets a higher credibility rating in people’s eyes because it is connected to a social media platform. I would think that social media platforms might replace more generalized Q & A sites, if they are offering a similar service, but specialized Q & A sites, such as technical or legal sites, which Luiscelli and AlexLE point out, might be hard to replace and have a community of their own, made of those specialists.Mike 00:03, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

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

Hds5 14:22, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Hope Solomon, it seems that architecture and norms used on twitter have favored the political leaders in their campaigns. I wonder if there’s any limitation to its usage for political purposes, and if so you include them in your project. Good luck!Fabiancelisj 00:16, 6 March 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)

I think this is a great idea. I think the investigation into your research questions will answer questions I have -- meaning I don't much suggestion for the framework of your study --- just that I'm interested in what results you find. The only *I* would do (but not telling you to do) is to compare the usage of twitter in D.C. to other big cities? Good luck! Brendanlong 20:23, 6 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)

Hi Hope - very cool! I think Twitter is the culprit here. I too wonder how twitter updates by PR instead of the politician will affect your study? Looking forward to hearing what you find out. Good luck! Aberg 05:11, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments! These have been really helpful as I try to narrow down my focus a bit more. --Hds5 19:00, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Hope! I like your topic, and I'm curious to learn more. From what you've indicated, the use of Twitter is widespread in the city, but I'm wondering how effective it is. In your research and report, will you be analyzing the reads of those tweets or the retweets of them? Furthermore, will you be reporting on various competitors to Twitter such as Facebook or Linkedin? I look forward to reading your final report.Nthib 23:06, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

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

Erzhik 20:42, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Yerzhan, I think your second question is the center of your investigation, because you can investigate what were the effects of the shutting down of Megaupload. As for the question of SOPA/PIPA and ACTA role in the online copyright piracy, I would say this would not be certainly defined in the near future, at least in the next weeks—just my opinion. Good luck!, interesting project.Fabiancelisj 00:16, 6 March 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)

Hi Yerzhan, Coming from someone who feels their argument was too broad I feel you have a great focus of study with this. It is straightforward, a hot current issue and I feel you have set yourself up to do the research to investigate your questions. I am looking forward to the effects of these sites (is it a constant cat and mouse game) or do the crackdowns represent preventative medicine that discourages further spread. Maybe including hacker attacks post big crackdowns? Looking forward to this Brendanlong 19:57, 6 March 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)

Very well crafted proposal and specific research questions (compared to mine which is still a bit broad). This is a great extension of our classwork and I think the comparative nature of it will be very valuable. Cfleming27 22:52, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Great prospectus. Russian torrent sites are prevalent and I think your research is worthwhile. Good luck! Aberg 05:04, 7 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, your proposal is very interesting and I’d like to know who was the actor that promoted this change you have noted in this website. In the second part you propose, I’d like to know what are the reasons of the people who adopt a child when they do not have the resources to support the adoption costs. Is there any kind of abuse they have detected and they decide to help these children? Good luck with your project!Fabiancelisj 00:24, 6 March 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)

Hi Tara, I agree with Aditkowsky. What are the effects of privacy information on the process? Is this the largest site or just a site of interest? Perhaps include a basic summary of the leading groups before exploring the specific rules and framework of this site and then diving into your privacy questions. Brendanlong 19:55, 6 March 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)

Fascinating stuff. I too wonder if potential adopters would be discouraged by a lack of information on adoptees? May be something worth considering. Good luck, looks like it will be very interesting! Aberg 05:11, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Interesting topic. Definitely two fields that I know very little about, but would love to learn more. I look forward to reading your final project. Cfleming27 22:52, 6 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, I think indeed this phenomenon of being relatively unknown to an overnight sensation is very interesting. It reminds me the Youtube phenomenon, which you can also take a look at, in which a random video becomes famous and the producer receives a call with a great amount of money for advertisement. But I didn’t grasp the essence of the question you will work on, is it what influences this rapid change? Good luck!, interesting idea.Fabiancelisj 00:24, 6 March 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)

Hi Manuel, I think your prospectus is interesting. The word "fame" is interesting because I was thinking similar thoughts in terms of data: what is the effect and time response from posting to users read to popularity. There are lots of factors at play such as establishing popularity when running your own site versus participating on a popular site by having a popular comment. I do see the difference there. Let me know if you need additional feedback about what I mean. Good luck ! Brendanlong 19:42, 6 March 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)

Along with the characteristics of a community that help propel a video to "fame," I would also be interested in commonalities among "famous" videos. Is there a certain formula for getting one's video to catch on? Cfleming27 22:52, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Manuel - do you plan to focus only on blogging? it may be worthwhile to compare how fame is achieved in the blogosphere vs YT. Good luck! Aberg 05:04, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Marjolein Siegenthaler
Prospectus name:
MSS 22:13, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Marjolein, your project seems interesting, especially when regarding the vandalism question. When reading the case you presented, I remembered the several cases of vandalism that have taken place through Facebook. But thinking deeply, I think in the facebook cases it’s the user’s fault, because he was who agreed to have appointments with unknown people, and in the case of the user would have to prove that it was actually the website’s fault because of the information exchange limitation. Good luck!Fabiancelisj 00:24, 6 March 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)

Hi Marjolein, I think this study could be interesting if you use the site as a model for the study of law and responsibilities these sites and similar ones have to the safety of it's users. Other services come to mind especially craigslist (craigslist killer and staged robberies) and facebook (similar tragedies). Is the answer already there? Meaning, is there anything up for debate or do further legal questions loom on the horizon. Perhaps exploring any pending cases on this site or similar community exchange sites can lead to more answers. Good luck! Brendanlong 19:38, 6 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)

Hi Marjolien - cool topic, I have a few friends who use Airbnb all the time. Especially here in NY it's quite popular and also agree re: the concept of using the site vs a hotel. I found a random blog post regarding the site and whether it's legal or not. [Is Airbnb a Good Idea or Bad Idea?] JennLopez 22:42, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Marjolein- I literally was talking about Airbnb with a friend who recently started using their services when I came across your prospectus. Very interesting idea for I had not known about it till about an hour ago. He stated that they now have an insurance policy (around $50k) for such incidences. I wonder what they do to suppress some of the bad press, as any business would. I also wonder what type of personality and what circumstances would drive someone to let strangers into their homes. Hope this helps. Mvalerio 02:58, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Great topic and research questions. I use airbnb a lot and am yet to have a bad experience. I've also read recently that airbnb stepped up security and updated their policies. Good luck! Aberg 05:04, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Studying rules and norms for this is an excellent idea. I have nothing to add except that you did a great job of crafting some very precise research questions. I am sure they will lead you in the right direction for a great project. Cfleming27 22:52, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Gregorian Hawke
Prospectus name:

Gregorian, love the topic, since I love the gaming community. You may consider stabilizing/ balancing the results with a focused cross section of communities. I don't mean to let it get out of hand, as a focused paper is good, but there may be some differences worth evaluating as reference. Best of luck -Daniel Perry [dperry] 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Gregorian, wow your case really surprised me, I think you probably had been for a while in this community to receive this computer parts, isn’t it? As for your proposal, I wonder how will you measure the level of trust between members of a community. I’m also interested in your results of which environment is more likely to have trust among its members, because it seems that in the videogame environment the level of trust is high after some time. Good luck, very interesting proposal!Fabiancelisj 00:24, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Gregorian, I am wondering if you need to draw any parralels to other sites of similar gaming nature or if your focus on this one site will be an adequate study (not to critisize --- these are merely questions since I'm unaware of the fellow's feedback). Whatever your revision is I think the study of trust itself is interesting when documenting any online community especially this one. Good luck! Brendanlong 19:34, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

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)

I also think a survey to measure trust is a good idea. Sounds interesting. Good luck! Aberg 04:54, 7 March 2012 (UTC) Hi Gregorian- I wonder if any analogies can be made between those that give unknown graduates money to pay down their student loans. There have been cases where a graduate sets up a website and random people donate untold amounts to help someone they don't know out. I wonder if the same underlying phenomenom exists between your idea and this trusting of the money to actually go to where it was intended. I suppose with donation idea there is no feedback besides a possible thank you email. Hope this helps. Mvalerio 03:07, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

This is certainly a very unqiue proposal. I know very little about the community, but my initial reaction was similiar to one or two commenters above: it may be best to focus on a subset of the large community and see how trust is gained at that level. Cfleming27 22:52, 6 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, congrats, more than a project for our class you’re developing a project to promote peace in the world. I think the main question you’re trying to answer is how the other organizations have reached the international spectrum, so once you have understood how they did it, you can start implementing the results in your own project. Good luck with this project!, and hope you can take to the international step.Fabiancelisj 00:24, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Mike, I'm impressed by this study because I was so intimidated at the prospect of myself having to dive into this study. My first thoughts were that there are so many factors at play when talking about world peace BUT many of the things we study such as architecture and social norms are the forces that are in constant play where this is concerned. In addition to that it is certainly a study of "politics and control" so I think your study could be very relevant. The intimidating factor is the sheer amount of data and politics to sort through, especially considering all the different types of culture involved and the introduction of technology. Recent events in the Middle East may give clues. Brendanlong 18:44, 6 March 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)

I love this proposal and the concept of bringing youth around the world together to promote peace. I would like to stay in touch as you develop your research as I work in the development field and focus children. I am looking for ways to bring technology to them for educational as well as social capital purposes. Cfleming27 22:52, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Very interesting topic. Looking forward to reading about how you're able to regulate childrens' activities on the site. Good luck! Aberg 04:54, 7 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 think your topic is very interesting in the sense that this is a unique environment for local participation, ulike the Globe. By the way, why do you prefer “local” instead of “hyperlocal,” I personally like more hyperlocal because it gives a far more local sentiment than the Globe, which apparently is local but it covers foreign affairs. I think your results on the structure comparison will be very interesting. Good luck with your project!Fabiancelisj 00:24, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi David, I wonder if your prospectus is making assumptions about the results of your research and if you will write your research to conclude with your assumptions. It sounds like you prefer universal hub (or no)? Perhaps a more neutral approach to determining what effects each site has and what types of users your find before reporting results? Brendanlong 18:39, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

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)

Hello David. Good job with your focus and I think you raise some interesting questions involving both the blog-type dissemination of information (Universal Hub) with straight news reporting. Certainly the tone of the writer (neutral versus commentary) and the internet environment (moderated versus unmoderated) can alter how a piece of news is perceived by the consumer. With regards to the commentary-laden journalism, this question applies to a variety of cable news networks like Fox News that have introduced political commentary into what should otherwise be considered headline news reporting. But you raise interesting questions about how the consumers can “interact” with the news and therefore the extent of that freedom to interact with the news may alter how they perceive the news. Good job and I look forward to reading your paper.--Jimmyh 17:38, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi David: This is a very interesting prospective on a common debate.It will be interesting to see how previous comments on the Hub influence future stories. --Szakuto 18:44, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi David - good job on your thesis. I think the comparison is a great idea. Aberg 04:54, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Interesting topic (and even more interesting title). I think your analysis of the structure will be quite valuable. Similar to Jimmy's comment above, I am interested in what may be simple interaction versus commentary and how that may shape the actual news being delivered. Cfleming27 22:52, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Name: Carl Fleming
Prospectus Title: Khan Academy
Cfleming27 18:17, 28 February 2012 (UTC) Comments

Hi Carl, I find your topic very interesting in part because I’m also interested in distance education. I’m working on the Open University case, but I’m anxious about your results of the Khan’s Academy. Sab is also working on this topic, but she has four topics: Khan’s Academy, MITx, London School of Economics, and Harvard Distance Education. Since we already know how the paying distance education works, I’m interested in your topic because it is totally free and it will probably be a competition in the education field in the near future. Good luck, very interesting topic!Fabiancelisj 00:24, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Carl, I also find the topic fascinating due to my interest in online/distance education and simply for the history of how Khan Academy got started where Sal (up until recently, correct me if I'm wrong) had been making the videos from home. What would be a cool angle to the research is once you come up with your set of questions is to take it a step further by interviewing those who have used the site extensively, who have had great success with it/or not, or to somehow contact Sal himself and ask to do a phone interview. I know that might sound crazy or too bold, but you never know what may come of it. I attached a link to his TED talk in March 2011 here, you might have already seen it but still interesting to review. Excited to see how it shapes up. :) [Salman Khan TED: Let's Use Video to Reinvent Education] JennLopez 08:56, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

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)

Hello Carl. You raise some interesting questions as to how the online education system would be created and communicated to the consumer, particularly in the norms/motivation for the site to “control” what curriculum is formed. Although this is largely unrelated to your thesis topic, I think a point of consideration that you may want to include in your conclusion is that much of the developing world do not own computers, let alone enjoy basic human rights such as potable water and shelter. The online education community may have boundaries and can be limitless. But online education for poor countries is only useful if those countries are making efforts to provide computers (public or private) to the people that would benefit the most from such an education. --Jimmyh 17:38, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Carl: Great topic- looking forward to reading your final paper. Focusing on how the site influences impoverished countries is extremely interesting. The previous comment about most developing countries not owning computers is certainly a valid point. It would be interesting to analyze which countries are represented on the site. --Szakuto 18:05, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hey Carl: great topic --- I was excited to see when I saw the first submission regarding the Kahn Academy up top. What about social norms? They might be a good area of interest to focus in on as well (results for third world versus stigma of non traditional degrees and how they intersect). I like your focused approach --- many topics have gotten "broad" comments (including mine) so I think you have a great start. Brendanlong 18:34, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Carl - interesting topic! well done. I'm looking forward to reading what those who focus on Khan Academy come up with. I agree with others that it may be good to analyze the represented countries and pinpoint the under or unrepresented ones. Good luck! Aberg 04:54, 7 March 2012 (UTC)