Assignment 2 Submissions

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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 name your file "wikiusername_Assignment2," where "wikiusername" is replaced with your username, to avoid overwriting someone else's assignment or causing errors in the Wiki by including forbidden characters. So if your username is "jdoe" and your file is a Word document your file should be named "jdoe_Assignment2.doc."

Upload your rough draft here: Upload file. If you have trouble finding the file you uploaded, check the list of uploaded files.

In the submissions section below please post the following information:

  • Name or pseudonym:
  • Prospectus title:
  • Link to prospectus: (add your link here)


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 5 so you have time to incorporate them, if applicable, into your project outline. Please remember to sign your comments by adding four tildes (~~~~) to the end of your contribution. This will automatically add your username and the date/time of your post. If we don't know who you are we can't give you credit for finishing this assignment!

Dear fellow classmates. Being a day, or at least half a day late, I am hoping that I can be a dollar longer by providing my reactions, feedback, thoughts, suggestions, personal insight and hopefully other help by commenting on ten of my classmates rather than the required minimum of three. I only hope this will not irritate our accomplished instruction team by overkill. As a long term civil and criminal trial and appellate lawyer I try to use the Who, What, When, Where Why and How approach and structure everything I write, so since it is hard to teach oneself, an old dog new tricks I will stay with what got me where I am (wherever that is) in this order: 1. Reaction (combined with Thoughts) 2. Personal Insight 3. Suggestions, Other Help and Feedback (combined),

Assuming we all are bound to read every other classmates comments here, I will try to refrain from being repetitive as I wade down through the list of each of you.

I do feel that I felt a lack of detail by virtually every other student, however being only a fellow student and not one of the instructors; I do admit and recognize I may have missed the point of this exercise.

Milena: Reaction (combined with Thoughts) My reaction is that I think this is a very worthy subject, that you have not been particularly detailed in your planned approach. Personal Insight My general topic is free speech and given most of my adult like I have been Constitutional and Criminal trial and appellate lawyer this subject is close to my heart. Last semester I took the Extension School’s class in Constitutional Law given by the Associate Dean and learned far more than I realized I still have to know. Fortunately, I earn an A-minus so I guess I did fairly well. You indicated you will get into some intellectual property issues such as copyright and also being well-versed in that subject as well which I still deal with almost on a daily basis and completed the school’s class in intellectual Property over the summer, I also may be able to provide some valuable suggestions. Suggestions, Other Help and Feedback (combined) I suggest you obtain a copy of the Extension School main textbook entitled Institutional Powers and Constraints by Lee Epstein and Thomas G. Walker. It can be perused quickly if you start with reviewing the table of contents.

Becca: Reaction (combined with Thoughts) This is a great subject for this assignment and I am impressed with the detail and diligence demonstrated in your prospectus. What could be more important than being concerned with the aspects of privacy given this is an online site? Personal Insight I am currently enrolled in a class here entitled “Mind, Brain, Health and Education. (MBHE).” It is taught by a team of world-class instructors with major top experts in the field visiting and offering podcasts and other helpful papers and videos. Suggestions, Other Help and Feedback (combined) I suggest you consider contacting Dr. Stephanie Peabody the director of the MBHE class who I am sure would be more than happy to give you some invaluable hints and references.

Aly: Reaction (combined with Thoughts) Your subject is in some ways similar to Becca's, and one of equal importance. I would have liked to see a more in-depth prospectus. Personal Insight I have had a lifelong problem with an eating disorder. Last year I lost 100 lbs. and one time lost 216 lbs. in only nine months after I hit 412 lbs. so I can related to anyone else’s eating disorder. It is a subject all too often overlooked as a major health problem in our society. Suggestions, Other Help and Feedback (combined) I recommend you also contact the Harvard MBHE staff as I suggested to Becca and take a close look at her excellent prospectus.

Maria: Reaction (combined with Thoughts) I was unaware of Tarngal and look forward to reading your Final Project. I do feel your paper was far too general and you too might benefit from following Becca’s model. Personal Insight I personally have some qualms with Laurence Lesing’s writings. I feel he strayed often from the point and his personal opinions were too prevalent. Suggestions, Other Help and Feedback (combined), Suggestions, Other Help and Feedback (combined) Of course I recommend you study Facebook, My Space, Twitter and You Tube which are well written about for insight.

Steve: Reaction (combined with Thoughts) I think you made the same mistake I did if you take a look at my overly broad prospectus which I will significantly narrow down as I prepare for my Final Project. I do feel that you should have been far more specific in how you are going to approach your Final Project. Personal Insight As stated above, I feel you made the same mistake I did and tackled a subject that is too overbroad. Suggestions, Other Help and Feedback (combined) Take a look at Becca’s excellent work.

Kaley: Reaction (combined with Thoughts) I think you took on the perfect subject, but feel your prospectus is too vague and ambiguous. Personal Insight My overbroad prospectus shows my interest in this subject, but your subject is thus close to where my heart and head is. Suggestions, Other Help and Feedback (combined) I guessed you too look at Becca’s prospectus (She may have to begin paying me a PR fee, ha, ha). There are many online articles that cover free speech and cultural sensitivity and practicality that I suggest you research.

Susan: Reaction (combined with Thoughts) I am not familiar, although I feel I should be in MOOC. I look forward to reading more about it in your Final Project. I do feel you need to be more specific where you will focus. Personal Insight Given my embarrassing ignorance with the subject matter, I have no real insight to depart. Suggestions, Other Help and Feedback (combined) Here I go again recommending you look at Becca’s treatment. I think you need to prepare a detailed Checklist and attempt not to miss too many stones being uncovered. Matthew: Reaction (combined with Thoughts) I feel you have picked a great subject, but wish you had been far more specific. Personal Insight I look to Yelp, but to be honest have never been impressed, as I prefer Zagat Suggestions, Other Help and Feedback (combined), Perhaps you can set them straight. Ha, ha. But feel you need to prepare a detailed checklist to investigate the subject. Natalia: Reaction (combined with Thoughts) Like Steve and I, I think you took on too broad a subject. In fact you went even further than I did on a subject that has no boundaries Personal Insight: We both were overly broad. Suggestions, Other Help and Feedback (combined): Assuming you are going to be counseled to narrow the subject as I was. When and if you are and do, I suggest you get a copy of the text for Harvard’s Constitutional Law class that I recommended above.

Student ID# 1078942: Reaction (combined with Thoughts) I have chosen your prospectus as one that stands out, perhaps not as much as my new role model Becca’s but I still believe you did a commendable job. I still would like to see more detail however. Personal Insight This is perhaps one of the most important subjects in Cyberspace and given that China has more web users than we have people, it may be the # 1 subject relating to Internet control. Being a strong free speech advocate I look forward to your Final Project (I am assuming we all will be able to read each other’s Final Projects as we have with each other’s prospectuses. Suggestions, Other Help and Feedback (combined) As I have with other suggestions above, I think you need to lay out a detailed outline of how you will prepare for the Final Project and stick to it. Rich 13:23, 6 March 2013 (EST)

  • * * *

Interestingcomments 18:47, 24 February 2013 (EST)

Interstingcomments: I am curious if you would be able to observe blogs or online community discussions on this topic from the respective countries of study. The local citizen perspective might offer additional insight. --Dear Alice 13:54, 28 February 2013 (EST)
Interestingcomments: You might be able to find some communities talking about this subject on I think it can be a good idea to compare communities from each country to find out if they have the same opinion. Milenagrado 16:00, 28 February 2013 (EST)

Laurence Girard: This is an interesting question and I think you could start by researching specific laws that would be relevant to your question. You might also research how US internet law affects Internet freedom in South America since this is probably connected.

Interesting topic, I hadn't thought about the impact of treaties on internet freedom. I would ensure that you more explicitly relate your topic back to the theme of control. Also, I am a little confused, are you arguing that the treaties do or do not have an impact? "The significance of this paper should be able to add to the body of research concerning Internet freedoms around the world and how treaties with the United States contributes to the advancement of internet freedoms." implies that the treaties do contribute, but your hypothesis is about how they do not. I would also include specific verbiage from the treaties in your research, and highlight how the intended purpose (internet freedom) went awry. This will be a fascinating read! Baughller 19:56, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Asmith 00:10, 25 February 2013 (EST)

Hi ASmith. i think that your work it´s a perfect oportunity in order to expose a new theory, or an alternative of the concept of Intellectual Property in the network. because if the community make their own rules, maybe, can construct new limits, exceptions etc, in this area. Natalia ´´´´
Asmith: Sounds like a perfect community to observe for this project. I would be interested to see if the diaspora community comes up with a governance model that mirrors other social networking models or if they come up with a truly unique model of their own. --Dear Alice 13:58, 1 March 2013 (EST)
Hi Asmith – Your proposal is clear and the questions you've set forth are important. In reference to your final paragraph, it may also be interesting to evaluate pros and cons surrounding centralized content control versus the lack thereof. For example, from one perspective, a collaborative online community is important because everyone is considered equal (there is a flat/circular management structure). From another perspective, however, when a primary leader (site administrative team) who controls online content is absent, decision-making processes change, i.e., when controversies or disputes arise, who addresses them? Comparing Diaspora with other collaborative communities, such as Wikipedia, is an interesting approach to analyze the pros and cons of online community management. As a conclusion, based on your findings, you may be able to set forth some important content management recommendations that highlight best practices for the Diaspora user-base. Zak Paster 11:44, 3 March 2013 (EST)

Hello Asmith: This is a very interesting topic, I am intrigued to see what model you use to best compare the benefits and the limitations of introducing this new type of platform.Interestingcomments 06:44, 5 March 2013 (EST)


It will be interesting to note if there are any major points of contention that arise with regards to where the community wants to take Diaspora which causes a significant number of its members to break off and take a separate version in a different direction. I'm not sure if the way its copyrighted will allow this but they could always start from scratch. Linux, for example, allows for the source code to be modified and distributed for commercial or non-commercial purposes by anyone and this aspect of it has resulted in several very powerful flavors emerging (Red Hat, Ubuntu, Debian, SUSE, CentOS, etc...)

I think it will also be interesting to compare the values of the community as it exists today compared to the values to the community as it grows and changes. For example, I'd guess that the community that is taking interest in Diaspora today is largely between the ages of approximately mid teens and late 20's/early 30's. I'd also venture a guess that they are fairly tech saavy. If the community continues to grow and appeal to the general population and in three to five years from now enjoys more mainstream popularity, it's probably safe to say that different decisions about what direction to take the project will emerge.

In any case, this is a great topic choice. I'm sure it will be interesting to observe and write about.

ASmith: Really intriguing topic. I have mixed feelings about the ability of a dispersed community to handle social data better than a hierarchical corporation, or to gain traction in the market, but it'll be fascinating to see what they do, and how they do it. - Rob McLain

CyberRalph 08:32, 5 March 2013 (EST)

ASmith: Very interesting topic with a clear, well-developed question. I'm sure you'll develop this more down the road, but it does seem like you'll probably be gathering very large amounts of data through the various community hubs you've identified. How will you focus your observations? Will you "observe" the community for a specific period of time or take more of a long-range perspective, considering how the community's come thus far in this stage of its development? All in all, though, really looking forward to seeing what comes out of this project! Rebekahjudson 17:01, 5 March 2013 (EST)

ASmith: I like your topic very much. You have focused well and are looking at specific aspects for the marketing effort and the effects it has. I would be cautious about inserting yourself too much into the conversations as that may slant the results. I think social media is one of the more interesting ways that companies are now communicating... and to what end does the voice of the many change how the company leans into its go forward strategy. As a Starbucks girl I'll be looking forward to your outcomes!  : )

Laurence Girard: It will certainly be an interesting project because you will get to see how a new social network grows. It will be interesting to see if people treat this social network similar to Facebook or act entirely differently!

Rich 00:45, 25 February 2013 (EST)

Rich: Of the three case studies that you're considering, the FreeSpeechDebate at the University of Oxford seems to be the most appropriate because it specifically addresses the thrust of your research. Examining judicial opinions weighing all arguments and The Open Net Initiative at the Berkman Center both seem to be too ambitious in scope.JW 20:33, 26 February 2013 (EST)
HI RICH: Is an interesting topic, i think that you can make an introduction, about what is the meaning of "free speech", because, at the end, this is a relative concept, that depends, precisely, of the cultural context. Natalia. '

Hello Rich: I think as Natalia suggested defining your definition of free speech is critical to gain a greater understanding of the argument you will make within the parameters of the paper. Within different cultures this can be defined in many different ways and once you establish this it will be an easier journey to state and prove your case.Interestingcomments 06:44, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Rich - I agree that this is a fascinating topic but feel that using so many other people as a lens in which to interpret, you will be limited by the page restriction, and also may run the risk of summarizing other works and not actually coming up with something novel that is uniquely your view and opinion. Otherwise, I think it would be interesting and can't wait to read! Phildade 12:33, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Laurence Girard: I think that it would be particularly interesting to think about specific instances on the Internet where free speech should not be allowed. There are very few cases in which free speech is not allowed so I urge you to think about this for your project.

AaronEttl 13:11, 25 February 2013 (EST)

I think focusing on the consequence these search engines have on the users, rather than the websites in the search results, is unique and will be really fascinating to look at. Although you did narrow down the specific community you would look at -- the SEO community -- I think you will need to narrow it down further, perhaps to a specific website or set of websites serving a larger online community.
One thing you didn't mention in your prospectus was how you would go about researching the SEO community. I think finding a specific community would be beneficial here as well -- it would give you a better idea as to what specific research methods you could employ. Once you have a more specific community I think everything else will fall into place.
BeccaLuberoff 17:51, 3 March 2013 (EST)

Aaron: I think you pose many questions in your prospectus that would each individually be enough for a ten page paper. To narrow your feild of research i think it might be interesting to observe and stdy what goes into a successful kickstarter fund and derive from that observation conclusions about what the operations guide of kickstarter influences the kinds of funs that do well. "For Kickstarter, how does the level of regulation affect the integrity of those projects and is there any bias in the type of projects seen? " I think if you flip this around and look at the question from the bottom-up rather than the top-down you may have a more successful research question. All my best. Alybarbour 04:36, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Aaron - I think you picked two great companies to look at because they are both inherently relevant and interesting! Only thing that you may want to consider is that it could be difficult to compare / contrast with page constraint in a meaningful way because they are not only both very different sites (fundraising site that is selling future products) and ad-hoc social video network, but also have very different policies (kickstarter being heavily marketed, including placement of projects and inclusion of certain projects in email updates, while letting others have to market for themselves - and my understanding of Chat Roulette is that it isn't moderated at all - but i haven't used). You may be more successful in comparing similar sites with different policies or different sites with similar policies... that way you can isolate a variable and attribute changes to it. With multiple floating variables, it will be tough to do in 10-12 minutes. Otherwise sounds fascinating and I can't wait to read! Phildade 12:44, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Laurence Girard: This will be an interesting project and I am eager to see your results because I have used both of these websites in the past. It would also be interesting to see how these websites handle under the age of 18 using their websites. This is something I urge you to think about for chat roulette. Is there really a way for someone to verify that a user is 18? People can just lie clearly and say they are 18 even if they are not 18.

  • Pseudonym: Hgaylor
  • Prospectus:“Access for Open and Secure Communication”
An In-depth analysis of government’s role in the Global Collaborative Data Network.
Hunter: I like the idea of investigating the government’s role in controlling access. However, I found the explanation of your research paper’s quarry regarding the investigation of the ability to shut the system down in states of emergencies a bit confusing. All in all, I look forward to seeing how you develop your prospectus even further. AaronEttl 14:21, 2 March 2013 (EST)
Hunter, your idea is magnificent. I enjoy your paradox. The thing I notice best about your proposal is that you are using your own ideas, when you could always plagiarize unintentionally. Johnathan Merkwan 19:27, 3 March 2013 (EST)
Hi Hunter,
The idea of "digging" in to find out the real and factual government approach on this matter is great. I think you have alot of great material to work with and you are moving in the right direction. I would just advise you to order your ideas in a clearer way so that your reader doesn't get lost. Great idea! GregB23 15:29, 4 March 2013 (EST)
Hi Hunter, i think that this theme is a little too wide, so, in order to be more specific, you can take one of the liberties than can be affect by governments control, and analyze that. Natalia. ´´´´

Hello Hunter: The broad scope of you paper may make it difficult to cover all the avenues in 8-10 pages. I think you should consider making this a thesis topic. There is a lot of areas and directions you can really go which would make it very thorough. It sounds very interesting and I am looking forward to seeing your paper progress. Good Luck.Interestingcomments 06:44, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Laurence Girard: I think that it would be particularly interesting for you to not just focus on the US, but to compare and contrast other countries such as Egypt and China for this project. What do yo uthink?

--Dear Alice 17:50, 25 February 2013 (EST)

Dear Alice: I like the commercial aspect of your project. You don't mention this in your prospectus, so I'm wondering how is Starbucks driving traffic to the internal site? How are they driving it to their Facebook page? Are there rewards for the consumer if they post on either one? Do the rewards differ? How? Is there a dedicated group or person watching traffic on the internal page? What about the Facebook page? If yes, are they the same group? Will you be able to say something about the resources Starbucks allocates and if/how that has an impact on the response on either? Will you be monitoring for deleted posts? Finally, you aren't including Twitter in your project. Is there a reason?Raven 17:48, 1 March 2013 (EST)
Dear Alice: I think this is a great starting point for a research paper, and I love the idea of looking at Starbucks, since it is such a huge corporation. However, I think your hypotheses are too easily proved. I think you could go much further with your topic if you think about questions after answering your initial questions...for instance, say posts/comments are regulated differently. Some questions to consider could be, shy would Starbucks spend more/less time managing comments on one site than another? Is there a pattern to how Starbucks regulates comments/posts on their different social media websites? What are the consequences of managing comments differently between websites? Does the user body have anything to do with how Starbucks regulates comments?…etc.

BeccaLuberoff 18:36, 3 March 2013 (EST)

Dear Alice: Like @Raven, I love the commercial aspect of the paper! and Also, agree with Becca in that the Hypothesis would be too evident. I'm pretty sure we can all agree that the idea page gets more response then facebook, without doing any research. If it turns out that our assumption is wrong, then you definitely have something! Maybe you could look at the threshold of types of comments that elicit response or get removed. Or potentially find another company that has idea and facebook and see how the level of moderation or responsiveness differs. Overall, I think it's a great idea! Phildade 13:03, 5 March 2013 (EST)
@Phildade + @ Becca, wouldn't the cost/benefit be interesting? Although the website might get more responses in the aggregate, adding the costs of managing and maintaining that portion of the Starbucks website might make the Facebook response (assuming it is smaller, but still robust) much more attractive? Possibly that information wouldn't be worth as much to Starbucks, a company with a large marketing budget, but it might be interesting to a much smaller company, especially one with high visibility but no actual revenue stream, or a revenue stream that doesn't allow for a large marketing budget and a team to monitor a website? And wouldn't Facebook find this info important?

Raven 13:13, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Alice: It seems a given that Starbucks would police its own social media site more vigorously than it would a Facebook page. Will you investigate the Starbuck's terms of service for the site, maybe in comparison to Facebook's terms of service? Are Starbucks terms more restrictive? Rob McLain

Alice: I like your topic very much. You have focused well and are looking at specific aspects for the marketing effort and the effects it has. I would be cautious about inserting yourself too much into the conversations as that may slant the results. I think social media is one of the more interesting ways that companies are now communicating... and to what end does the voice of the many change how the company leans into its go forward strategy. As a Starbucks girl I'll be looking forward to your outcomes!  : ) Caroline 17:22, 5 March 2013 (EST) Caroline

Laurence Girard: Good choice! One question I have is why you choose to only focus on Starbucks? Why not focus on multiple companies and compare the policies that multiple companies have regarding your chosen topic?

Michaelekeane 18:20, 25 February 2013 (EST)

Hi Keane, interesting assignment. I think it would be easier if you define the kind of content control you want to study by looking at how it is implemented (by law, for example) instead of looking at the purpose that explains it’s put into effect. I think it might be hard to find out certainly what intention does the subject has to exercise some kind of control, but you could for sure see how these controls are being implemented. --Maria 10:45, 3 March 2013 (EST)
Hi Michael,
I believe that your idea for this assignment fulfills the essence of it. I think you should define for this prospectus what type of content control you will focus your analysis on. You might also include what reactions the members have to the various forms of censorship.GregB23 15:34, 4 March 2013 (EST)
You’ve chosen a very interesting topic that most of us have probably considered at some point. It’s often difficult to know where to draw the line when making policy decisions of this sort – to create a system that handles edge cases judiciously – and some people clearly aren’t even trying to create a fair system. I wonder what you can generalize from a case study like this. In short, how much variance do you think there is in the forms that censorship takes in web communities? It seems that there are powerful conventions and practical limitations with regards to how content control is done, such that many of the same features keep reappearing again and again.
At the end of your final paragraph, you say that removing entire discussions is a highly effective approach to content control. Would you mind elaborating on this? What standard of effectiveness are you using? Is something that merely keeps the community silent effective, or something that keeps it happy? What makes banning members sometimes less effective in comparison?
Julian 19:39, 4 March 2013 (EST)

Laurence Girard: This is a good topic and I think you should talk about what rights users should have in terms of free speech and administrators (sometimes unjustfully) banning people from a community. Should site owners have total control or should their be limits on what administrators can do because of freedom of speech?

Daniel Cameron Morris comments: Natalia, Your topic is very interesting, like mine (please comment!) quite broad and could as a suggestion focus completely on one case study that you think most illustrates and answers your hypothesis. I saw that you gave three, just curious as to is there one that is the overarching example for national and internatinal jurisprudence, or does this fall more into the realm of international governing bodies... or decided by national standards? Ultimately are you asking, is freedom of speech or protection of ideas more important on the internet? I like how you tie in that curbing freedom of expression starts to curb human rights, but that some regulation is necessary in civilization. A suggestion is to offer a framework that can be used interactively, involving a way for future bodies looking at legislation on intellectual property and freedom of speech and benchmarks for them to judge whether a law or regulation is infringes on human rights, or is necessary for to preserve civilization. Daniel Cameron Morris 20:33, 3 March 2013 (EST)
Kaley Sweeney comments: Hi Natalia, I agree with Daniel that your paper can use more focus. The topic of intellectual property is exceptionally broad and can encompass an enormous number of cases, law, international interpretation, etc. It might be helpful to narrow down on one or two case studies that particularly peak your interest that you feel make a major statement for the future of IP and confirm your hypotheses. Perhaps you can also focus on one of your three questions, as there are many discussion points buried within each, within the context of one particular country. Intellectual property is interesting to explore, particularly as the changing nature of social sharing is entirely shifting the concept. If you can hone in on one refined idea, I think you can find yourself developing some fascinating ideas and predictions.
Kaley Sweeney 20:41, 4 March 2013 (EST)
Michael Keane comments: This is certainly an interesting topic and you definitely have plenty to work with. I see the others mentioned that you might need more focus but I assume you've already intended to do once your project unfolds and begins to take shape. I too have a broad topic (censorship) but I am limiting its use to one particular website. Good luck with your work and I would be interested in reading the final paper.Michaelekeane 11:58, 5 March 2013 (EST)
Aly Barbour comments: I'm afraid I must ring in with the crowd on this. I'm very curious as to how you will decide to go about observing this question in terms of a specific community. What can be learned about intellectual property rights and infromation from observing a group which disseminates information? One example, and i wish it were still active, is Oink a music sharing community geared towards spreading rare and hard to find eps. With such a sight it'd be interesting to view how the owners of the material, small bands, microlabels handle the spread of information. In the music scene the rapid ability to share music illegally has meant that a lot of bands get heard by a magnitude larger an audience. Or perhaps observing a site where people share photos and see what lengths people go to in order to maintain their ownership over an image ( watermarks etc.. who owns memes, do the owners of angry cat own the rights to the angry cat meme?) etc etc. can't wait to see what you do! All my best. Alybarbour 14:56, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Laurence Girard: I suggest that you check out the digital mellenium copyright act and also check out companies like Associated Content (now Yahoo voices!) and Demand Media Studios for this assignment! -Laurence Girard....also think about bloggers who may copy other people's material!

Rebekahjudson 21:09, 25 February 2013 (EST)

Rebekahjudson: Fascinating, I had not heard of this. Do users of Weird Twitter self-identify using that label? How do participants signal they are contributing to Weird Twitter rather than just making a joke or nonsensical post on Twitter? To the untrained eye, it doesn't seem like there's much community going on here - but maybe that's the point. I very curious to know how, without a centralized "Weird Twitter" aggregate or some other means to look for Weird Twitter posts (save the map you mentioned), a community of "Weird Twitters" can exist and interact with one another. Look forward to hearing more about this. Asmith 15:52, 27 February 2013 (EST)
Rabekah- Your proposal sounds like an interesting subject. Is this group something that you have taken part in, or is your statement “Critique from Within” to be interpreted that Weird Twitter is critiquing Twitter or the Twitter community from within? It looks like you have a good outline and a method that will lead you to interesting material. I am wondering how this relates to censorship or control. Does the tweeting of Weird Twitter have any sort of influence on the broader Twitter community? Do members of a group in Twitter influence one another in a way that has some sort of an influence on the group as a whole?Tessa May 20:07, 4 March 2013 (EST)
Rebekah, this is an interesting online community - one I hadn't previously been familiar with, but fascinating to learn about. My main thought while reading this is the longevity of this community. Google Analytics has shown the search rate for "Weird Twitter" drop dramatically in the past month. I wonder if the loose group of individuals may be fluid in their terminology, and therefore be a bit difficult to track down. On that note, well done selecting several twitter users from the start to monitor. I imagine if they are consistent in their "Weird Twitter" tweets, you will also find yourself becoming familiar with the online community that extends beyond these users. My second thought would be the impact this community - fluid as it may be - has on the wider twitter community. If they are not operating under a single hashtag, how do new users find them? How do they distinguish themselves?
Kaley Sweeney 20:41, 4 March 2013 (EST)
Rebekah, I love this topic! I've been a fan of horse_ebooks and Riff Raff, but was unaware of any umbrella term under which they belonged.
Though both personalities tweet in this poetical anarchist fashion, disregarding traditional language conventions, I would never associate them together because of their vastly motivations. Riff Raff wants fame and fortune. Horse_ebooks wants to be invisible. However, according to the Chicago Reader's Weird Twitter map, Riff Raff and Horse_ebooks hold similarly prominent positons in spite of their real life differences. The concept of "Weird Twitter" is completely reader-defined, and I think requires exploration of the population who appreciates these aliases and associates them with one another, perhaps in contrast to Weird Twitter author's real motivations. One last thing is to explore is how Twitter's architecture (i.e. the 150 character confines) have altered how we think to use language and enable/prevent "weird Twitter." Here are some relevant articles about Horse_ebooks and Riff Raff:
Jax 21:07, 4 March 2013 (EST)

I love the idea of how you are analyzing a community that is critiquing a larger popular community. I wonder if it is worthwhile to look into the culture: similarities and differences between the two and analyze it from there (major themes etc). It may be tricky to code themes because of time frames, or timing, so be careful! Also, be sure to include why core members are core members, and why they are the ones you are watching out for. I would also be careful in defining what are considered norms on Twitter and Weird Twitter. APhan 17:28, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Laurence Girard: Good topic and one thing I would suggest is that you compare this structure to the structure of a typical forum with threads and categories etc. Are there any similarities that you might be able to map in a neat diagram?

Joshywonder: It might be difficult to study the now archived site as many of the posts/pages are not good links. In your research question you proposed to measure the anonymous users' "reactions when this privacy was stripped away" - will this be entirely interpreted/extrapolated from posts made on the site? Mattyh 15:57, 2 March 2013 (EST)
Joshywonder: I think you have a fabulous idea and have sources that have interested you on this topic. I wonder if you are interested in discussing the difference between Canadian English versus either the United States English or "Official English" as it may be. Johnathan Merkwan 19:13, 3 March 2013 (EST)
Joshywonder: This is a very interesting case that you site. Was there a public response to this incident? Did the individual who brought the suit suffer in reputation either from the content of the site or from the attention given to the lawsuit? Is the site something that you personally took part in? Do you think that anonymous posters or posters using pseudonyms make a valuable contribution to discussion in public internet forums? It looks like you have developed your method and you have plenty of interesting information to choose from. I think that an important factor in your write-up will be to narrow your presentation to the details you think will best inform your audience of the issues at stake and best illuminate the specific case as a study subject. Tessa May 20:38, 4 March 2013 (EST)

Joshywonder: I am very fascinated with your topic, but am curious about the idea of whether or not it is important the users are all from Canada and if the anonymous users are from there? I also wonder, if this may be of importance to your project: If the power of the courts and laws are aligned with what is happening online? What I mean is, what legal tests are there used to determine what is deemed private and so forth, and if they are aligned with peoples online experiences? APhan 17:28, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Laurence Girard: I think that the main thing you are going to want to consider here is defamation of character vs. freedom of speech. Shouldn't people be allowed to say what they want about other people the same way we are allowed to say what we want about politicians as long as it is true to some extent??

Matthew: You and RobMcLain have proposed the same research questions about Yelp. Maybe you can collaborate?JW 22:04, 26 February 2013 (EST)
Matthew, your writing is very scientific; and I applaud you for this. The reader can be left skeptical and that is a matter of definition. Keep up the good work. Johnathan Merkwan 19:27, 3 March 2013 (EST)
Matthew: Wonderful topic, I think you’ll have a lot of fun with this research topic. Although you have wonderful sources, I was wondering to know how you will gather the data, and do you think that Yelp will be able to provide you with clarification of removed posts? Censorship plays an important role within this topic; will you use any interesting cases to defend your paper? user777 18:38, 4 March 2013 (EST)
Matthew: Working together sounds like a great idea. Shoot me an email and let's talk about it - mclain@fas dot harvard dot edu

Laurence Girard: might investigate whether this would fall under the realm of false advertising.

Matthew: Agree w/ Jonathan, you have a very clear-cut and concise approach to your topic and research. Excellent job narrowing focus and coming up with a means to test it. My only feedback would be around the volume of businesses you are testing - I would suggest testing upwards of 10 (of each - 10 advertising, 10 not) to ensure that your results yield a conclusive result. Unless you've already done a proof of concept and know that 5 apiece will suffice. Baughller 19:30, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Milenagrado 21:34, 25 February 2013 (EST)

Milena: I think the idea of contacting the users through Twitter, Facebook, and Duolingo’s blog is a good resource to provide some context as to the structure of the site. I also feel that it would be helpful if you could find out how the policies have changed in the past as a result of previous laws. AaronEttl 14:36, 2 March 2013 (EST)
Hi Milena, what an interesting topic. Duolingo reminds me of a wikipedia of sorts in the ways it relates to copyrighted information. As crowdsourced information has grown in the past few years, I imagine you may also find similar information on how copyright is addressed in recent case studies. Another question to ask would be how users can ensure the translation is accurate? If you delve into the terms & conditions, you may also wish to see how Duolingo holds users accountable and verify the information is indeed an accurate representation of the initial intent. There are many concepts to delve into here, but I think you have done a very nice job of boiling it down to the main concerns the site may encounter moving forward.Kaley Sweeney 20:41, 4 March 2013 (EST)
Dear Milena Grado, I found your paper proposal quite interesting. I haven’t heard about Duolingo, however I have few questions: What about the translation [if] being out of context? What about sentence structure? Culture/ How precise is the translation? If so, what kind of copy rights will this serve gather, in order to protect the translation services? I noted that you will be gathering information through “Twitter, Facebook and Duolingo's blog- very interesting! Do you have specific way of analyzing this data? Use/volume based? Good luck with the paper, I think it’s quite an interesting topic to write a paper on.
user777 17:42, 4 March 2013 (EST)
Milena: How will you choose which users to contact? How will you ensure it's a representative sample? The danger in this approach is that your conclusions about the site may be skewed by your user sample. Otherwise, though, your project incorporates some great questions. Rob McLain

Tessa May 02:52, 26 February 2013 (EST)

Tessa - this looks well-thought out and do-able within the parameters of the class. Reading through your prospectus, the following questions occurred to me: Do the deleted users have something in common? Are the moderators of the groups you are observing similar in some way? (For example, do they have manager or above in their title?)Is there a higher authority or forum for protesting deletions? And finally, in a professional forum such as LinkedIn, how would you distinguish keeping the conversation professional or productive or on-topic vs. censorship?Raven 12:03, 27 February 2013 (EST)
Reposted following deletion/edit conflict Raven 13:31, 27 February 2013 (EST)
This looks really, really fascinating! I'm curious - are you considering comparing multiple groups in differing categories? I ask because it may be interesting to see if two groups in similar categories have similar patterns in deleting posts.
Another thing that came to mind: it may be interesting to look at the profiles of the group members to see if there is any pattern between those whose posts are deleted, those who tend to align with group moderators, etc….since LinkedIn profiles generally provide members' current, and often prior, employment and education, you may be able to identify a pattern based on members' socioeconomic status.
BeccaLuberoff 18:15, 3 March 2013 (EST)
Hi Tessa,
This looks very interesting and you seem to have your ideas extremely clear. I love the idea of having a survey sent to group owners at the end of your investigation period. I would also suggest, if I may, to contact Linkedin directly and see if they have a comment in regard. GregB23 15:22, 4 March 2013 (EST)
Tessa: I think you’ve picked out a great topic for your research paper. I am an active user of Linkedin, and participate in quite a few groups, and you are correct, that posts are being deleted without notice, which sometimes makes it hard to fallow the group/topic itself. I see that you have a perfect strategy for your paper, which I think will definitely help you generate a great paper. How many groups will you audit? How often will you review a group? Good luck on your paper, and I look forward to read your final work (if class permits).
user777 18:21, 4 March 2013 (EST)
Daniel Cameron Morris comments: Tessa, exploring the idea of censorship on LinkedIn groups sounds good. My suggestion is perhaps attempting to see why some might censor or remove content, for example, if the poster is attempting to get them to go to another group on the same topic. Perhaps content subtractions occur when the owner(s) of the group want simply to exert more control over the group as opposed to encouraging as many comments as possible. Other times, comments might be deleted due to not fitting into the general standards of professionalism that is expected on LinkedIn. Mabye you can come up with your own categories for deleted comments to expand on this, and determine if the deletions are leaning more toward censorship or content control. Daniel Cameron Morris 19:52, 3 March 2013 (EST)
Greetings Daniel: Moderation or Censorship in Linkden Groups really caught my, in regards to the fact that this is a very provocative title. In your prospectus it is interesting to note how you plan on gathering data with regards to specific groups within the site. Being that LinkedIn has captured the social media market for the professional, how will you be able to identify would would need to be cencsorn in a group that is by membership only? Secondly I am very much looking forward to see how Moderation is pulled in to groups. I like the idea of individuals within groups being limited in comments and mailing so that a, "only bully" in a specific network will not hog all of the conversation and in turn add to a more healthy convention of conversation- Hunter HunterGaylor 15:57, 4 March 2013 (EST)

Tessa May:

I suspect LinkedIn will be a good platform from which to derive your observations as it is obviously intended to be for professional/career/business purposes and therefore just about everyone with an account will ultimately be driven by the motivation to enhance their career goals. While I haven't observed too much conflict on LinkedIn (as opposed to say, Facebook, for example where disagreements can be sharp and common) I suppose egos can quickly flare up and agendas can easily clash as individuals attempt to push their company, career and professional point of view on to others.

I noticed that you are using the deletion of a post as the metric for censorship. You may also want to consider a slightly less rigid although probably no less effective metric for censorship - bullying and pig-piling. I've noticed, based on my personal use of social networks, that there is a tendency for a community to post overly large quantities of aggressive and oppositional rhetoric in response to something they disagree with, even if similar (and seemingly redundant in message) responses have already been posted. In other words, there is more than one way to censor and you may want to consider people applying the herd mentality to discussions when adding little to no additional minimal value as another form of censorship to your list of observable behavior. Granted it may be difficult to define and therefore measure this behavior, but it may prove valuable just the same. CyberRalph 09:09, 5 March 2013 (EST)

APhan 08:24, 26 February 2013 (EST)

Alicia: If you feel that it's relevant to your paper, I would be interested in reading your analysis of the pending class action Fraley v. Facebook.JW 22:28, 26 February 2013 (EST)
Alicia: While I agree with this statement, I think it needs to be substantiated: "More than ever people are learning about our laws through the mass media, and believing in the media’s representation of the legal realm". I think your methodology is a little too vague as I'm unclear on precisely what parts of Facebook you will be observing: globally public comments? Posts made by businesses? Comments made by others on subscribed updates? Mattyh 16:01, 2 March 2013 (EST)
Daniel Cameron Morris User Comments: Alicia, Your examination of privacy rights on social networking sites such as Facebook is fascinating. I would ask, 'Are our intellectual property rights waived automatically when we use a limited privacy social network site?' The topic seems really hot right now, and going into the various privacy settings on Facebook and arguments pro and con in light of legal decisions in the United States and other nations, even international bodies, will be enlightening to fellow Facebook fans. A suggestion could be analysis of each privacy setting, with pro and con arguments for personal privacy being intellectual property that must be waived to share with others. Pretty sure that is what already happens, but really without the examination my comments are just speculation. I await your comments on my proposal as well. Thanks!
Daniel Cameron Morris 22:07, 3 March 2013 (EST)
Alicia: Your focus on the interpretivity of law, rather than its logical or declarative features, would be well-served by an analysis of how culturally-generated ideas about justice and how communities should be organized can develop into effective regimes of social order on social networks like Facebook.

Johnfloyd6675 16:42, 5 March 2013 (EST)

user777 11:35, 26 February 2013 (EST)

User777: I am left wondering precisely what the research questions are and/or the methodology you will use to prove your hypotheses. Something like "I will also look at the “display ad” effectiveness that drives a significant demand for both online and in-store purchases" is a massive research project in and of itself and would realistically require access to private information controlled by businesses. Mattyh 16:06, 2 March 2013 (EST)

Hi User777: This is a very big topic, and I'm wondering if you are still in the formative portion of your project. Facebook has gotten a lot of attention on how and what shows up in the newsfeed and how this has an effect on the number and quality of likes, especially for advertisers. Have you considered narrowing your topic to the question of whether or not Facebook's policies are aligned with their advertisers? In the past few days, quite a number of articles have shown up questioning whether increased participation on the newsfeed is increasing advertisers' costs. What types of posts are most likely to show up in a newsfeed? What percentage of an advertiser or a users' friends get to see posts? Other than purchasing advertising, what things can advertisers or users do to increase this percentage? These questions might help to focus your thinking. I'm looking forward to your results.Raven 11:47, 5 March 2013 (EST)

This is a very interesting topic. I am left wondering though, what you deem to be major brands that you should look into and how they "market" their products so that people "like" it. How does the idea of social media connect to users liking the product? Is it just the fact that social media networking is powerful and constitutes a lot of people following brands online and liking stuff? What about other types of "likes" when people "like" pictures, quotes that a type of marketing strategy as well? What methodology will you go about to link that a lot of "likes" is a marketing strategy - what I mean is that, the more likes = the more successful a product is? How might you determine that? I am interested to see the end result of your project! APhan 17:28, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Very interesting topic, and highly ambitious. Have you thought about specifics for how to go about your research? What about looking at specific sites that allow users to use a Facebook login to access content, and reviewing their revenues? Ex: Livestrong or Spotify. If you were to focus on the "power of like", I am curious if there is a way to chart likes on Facebook (similar to Youtube video views) that you could bump against a company's published financials. Baughller 19:45, 5 March 2013 (EST)

--Muromi 12:02, 26 February 2013 (EST)

Muromi: Instead of using Lessig's four factors, I thi it would be interesting to use Zittrain's generativity lens to examine how China manages to innovate in spite of all the existing controls. I'd be curious to find out in what respects China's cyberspace is (or could) be unlimited.JW 21:22, 26 February 2013 (EST)
Hi Muromi, I think that is an extremely interesting final project, and I am looking forward to reading it once you are done. A few years ago I was a visiting professor of law at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law in Chongqing, and I ran smack into the firewall many times. I think facebook was still allowed at that time, but many of the other sites weren't, so I had to use programs like to get around the firewall. I also used QQ with my Chinese girlfriend and she was always scared that our conversations were being monitored for content. The only critique I have is that you may be studying too many different aspects of the firewall. You only have 10 pages to write, you might consider focusing on a few specific aspects of the firewall and the reasons they are in place. i.e. Google is currently banned in China, but is that because the government doesn't like what Google turns up or because they want to protect the competitive advantage of Baidu? etc.. Joshywonder 09:49, 3 March 2013 (EST)
Zak Paster: How will you estimate "effective fundraising" for Research Question A? Question C seems large enough to be the entire project as "conduct external research about online giving and associated industry trends" is a large undertaking. Mattyh 14:54, 2 March 2013 (EST)
Zak Your NGO sounds great. Good luck with it. My question, which I don't know if you'll be able to tackle in this project relates to control. How much tension is there between having an outside entity give you a "pre-formed" website, social media strategy, etc. that may be quite good, and the fund-raising organization's ability to create their own content. Also, just as you want to be sure that the fundraising websites ensure funds go to the advertised cause, donors want to know how their money is being spent. Can organizations have links to places like or
Susan Goldstein 09:12, 3 March 2013 (EST)
Zak: Great Topic. The notion that online fundraising has been getting in recent months is overwhelming. The effective fundraising idea comes with the clear revelation that the internet is very powerful tool. With tools like Kick starter, and rocket hub are able to cast a wider net that will allow more individuals to participate in supporting a cause. However, with regards to control one must ask themselves with a wider net and more individuals having the ability to contribute, how will one be able to control how that money is being accounted for and that it is coming from individuals that are proper for that organization. This is a new eara of Fundraising, both in the public and private sector. On must not loose focus on how effective is new era will be providing an easier access to funds. I am very much looking forward to your final project. Best of Luck and great Topic choice! I am very encouraged that someone is shedding light on potential positive effect this can have for the NGO world. Hunter HunterGaylor 16:06, 4 March 2013 (EST)


You have a strong, well thought-out structure to your research. I don't know if it will help, but the US government hosts the Combined Federal Campaign ( which tracks and publishes the efficiency of the charities it sponsors. Another suggestion: You may want to consider looking at as another possible target of evaluation. Among many other things, they helped launch Diaspora, a social networking alternative to Facebook and MySpace, which is still going strong.

CyberRalph 10:26, 5 March 2013 (EST)


Your approach to the analysis of online fundraising seems rigorous and likely to yield actionable, material knowledge of the distinctions between online platforms for fundraising. It will be important to ensure that analysis of each platform is done in context, to assess the generative potential of each platform in those situations to which it's best suited. Johnfloyd6675 16:51, 5 March 2013 (EST) 16:49, 5 March 2013 (EST)

RobMcLain: You and Matthew D. Haney have proposed the same research questions about Yelp. Maybe you can collaborate?JW 22:04, 26 February 2013 (EST)
RobMcLain: It would appear we indeed have nearly identical projects - let's team up :) Mattyh 14:50, 2 March 2013 (EST)
Matt: Absolutely! Let's get in touch - mclain@fas dot harvard dot edu

RobMcLain: Fantastic topic. I've personally experienced some of yelp's connivery. When I was running a popular downtown restaurant in Texas we held the top Yelp ranking until we decided not to pay for advertising on Yelp. After that decision our 5-star ratings began to disappear into thin air. I am curious how you plan to track and observe so many actions on such a large site where moderation isn't necessarily noted. I'd be very interested to see how you narrow your research. All my best. Alybarbour 03:58, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Hi Rob, I think this is a great topic! I've watched a comment of mine disappear off a restaurant site -- it's interesting to have the tie in to the advertising and of course the benefit for the particular venue in keeping their "star" rating. It's a big challenge to dive into Yelp but it will be amazing for you to find links to different ways these sites may scheme to have a contrived presence to the public. Are you planning on comparisons to Open Table or Around Me? Yelp is probably big enough to tackle as is, but you may open up some really great discussions for all the others as well. Amazing project! Caroline 17:27, 5 March 2013 (EST) Caroline

Caroline 13:28, 26 February 2013 (EST)

Caroline: You may want to discuss the statue of repose and the statute of limitations in your paper, if you feel that these statutes are relevant.JW 23:33, 26 February 2013 (EST)
Caroline: Fascinating issue, but you may need to pick a community to observe in order to test the framework. I'm thinking of an app like SnapChat, for example. SnapChat lets users send photos and videos to one another and then deletes that content after a certain time limit. Here, the ability to be forgotten is built into the technology of the platform. How does the community use SnapChat? Is it for "sexting" as many people fear, or are there other practices involved? This might help you explore the role of architecture in the right to be forgotten, not just law. What if Facebook and Google gave you the option to publish something temporarily? Asmith 15:30, 27 February 2013 (EST)
  • Caroline: I love your ideas but you have so many i don't know where your focus is. I think your primary topic, "research how this regulation [ the right to forget] and potential similar regulations in North America would impact the Internet. " will be difficult to approach as that's all theoretical. What would be something you could actively observe? Perhaps looking at a community and following the recency of topics posted? Cheers. Alybarbour 04:46, 5 March 2013 (EST)

The right to be forgotten is a very interesting start to your project. What I propose is that you look into a focus or community or example of what you may mean by that. For example, you can look into teachers who were fired from posting up comments on their students on Facebook. It is important to narrow your scope, whether it be a certain case or a law you found that prohibits or encourages this new phenomenon of "not" forgetting. Also, you can look into how the privacy rights on the community you are studying changed to either perpetuate this or help falter it. APhan 17:28, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Thanks guys!!! I greatly appreciate the comments/feedback and look forward to more as I narrow the scope and flesh out the paper! Caroline 18:05, 5 March 2013 (EST) Caroline

Jonathan: Unfortunately your file is no longer on the server - I also tried searching for it on the "uploaded files" page but to no avail Mattyh 16:10, 2 March 2013 (EST)
Johnathan Merkwan: Johnathan, it seems like you have a lot of ideas and are attempting to address several broad areas, including international, sociological, and architectural perspectives through field world. Reading this prospectus, I was confused at a few points, such as "According to each face as an old friend, I have been studying the relativity of facial recognition.. " This sounds interesting, but I'm not entirely certain what it means. Does this mean you are comparing the new friends you are adding to the old friends you deleted? You say, "Now Facebook has deemed my friendships “real,”" but do not specify how Facebook has promoted this realness. I think something valuable in your prospectus so far is your investigation of "the spellcheck, autocorrect, and various prompted questions Facebook has alerted me to, and in doing so shall see how each action makes a difference, contextually." I think you should continue with this line of questioning, investing how facebook's suggestions influence our behavior on the site. Here is a tool to analyze your personal facebook behavior: and another useful facebook statistic link .
Jax 20:38, 4 March 2013 (EST)
Thank you, Jax, for your comment. I will try to elucidate some of these issues that are inherent in my document. I admit it may be difficult for people to accurately spell my name. That addressed, how about a brief understanding of my perspective. With the War on Terror as it were, why is it necessary to altercate between various nations of power the mere definition of a word? Susan Goldstein, or Einstein, are not tangentially related; wherefore, the understanding of this situation is supposed to be confusing. I do dearly appreciate your response, yet it was and is not directed at me; much less johnathan Merkwan, or alan Ginsberg. If this has made things worse, I can only say things in person, not via computer. Thus, your links are a fabulous addition to my ideas, as intentionally, crude and misleading as they might be... (I call this, "intrigue". So, as this idea develops, I will keep you updated with pop culture as I see it, in the light of the Lacanian disposition this proposal defined cohesively, yet, clearly has accepted your suggestions sic collaboration.Johnathan Merkwan 22:24, 4 March 2013 (EST)
I am very confused! Did I edit the wrong prospectus? Jax 10:22, 5 March 2013 (EST)

(Free speech 14:13, 26 February 2013 (EST))

Free_speech: It is a very interesting point of view. It is important to see how people can face constraints all over the Internet.Milenagrado 17:00, 28 February 2013 (EST)
Hi, this could be an interesting topic. I assume you have some connection to the forum beforehand, because it seems like somewhat of a random choice of community. I like how you will analyze both site specific rules of participation and countrywide laws that are applicable. As a Canadian, if I were to join the forum and participate I would be bound by the laws of Canada and the rules of forum. In contrast, and American would be bound by the laws of the US and forum as well. So perhaps the site acheives greater uniformity in participation through their own regulations than the laws of the countries. :Joshywonder 09:59, 3 March 2013 (EST)

Hi Free Speech: I'm looking at your prospectus, and the target community. You say 'the community operating in the business of discount travels'. I'm wondering if you have considered focusing on the consumer or the provider or the columnist/blogger portion of this community. I ask because I'm guessing the constraints: legal; market; and norm would probably be different, and the site owners could (although from a quick search, I can't see that they do) also use the site architecture to limit how each of these three groups participate on the site. There is, of course, a fourth group to consider, advertisers (a subset of providers, I'm assuming), and how the advertisers' perspective might limit what the site owners are willing to allow on the site. Finally, do the authors of the featured blogs comment in the forums? Are their comments given special weight? Do travel services providers show up in the forums in their professional capacity? Do they do so in an informational or customer service role? Great topic. I'm looking forward to your results. Raven 11:34, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Questions that comes up when reading your proposal is: how might you connect all of these questions together and how do things like the market link to regulation on the website? How might this internet control you perceive me relevant to general travel websites and what is significant in your study? What I mean by that is...what about control on the website? Why does it matter? Other than that, interesting topic and I look forward to seeing the final product of your project! Flyertalk seems like a very fascinating community. APhan 17:42, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Phildade 15:01, 26 February 2013 (EST)

Phil: I wonder how you will "avoid direct engagement with members of the community" when you've stated that you will interact with and interview DPLA players and opponents. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding something, such as the teaching staff approving your methodology?JW 23:20, 26 February 2013 (EST)
  • @JW - that is a good question, my thought is that I will be interviewing people who are "Pro DPLA" or "Against DPLA" so there is not much I could do to "influence their behavior to inherently change what I am trying to observe." - but I have not discussed with teaching staff, so I could be a little off. Phildade 23:17, 1 March 2013 (EST)
Hey Phillip, I am very excited to see the direction that you take regarding the DLPA, specifically in regards to the potential subtractiveness of the organization. It is always interesting

to see the how the members of the community will add to the over all effectiveness of engagement with regards to organization. Because DLPA is stated that, “The hope is that broad access to scientific results will encourage faster progress on research and will let anyone apply the knowledge for technological advances. The ability to shed light on the effectiveness will be exciting to see. "-HunterGaylor" HunterGaylor 15:50, 4 March 2013 (EST)

I thought the title was a bit odd. Since so few people are familiar with the DPLA, wouldn’t it be better to give more context? “Additive” and “subtractive” can be a little confusing when one doesn’t know what the noun means, since those words are used regularly in very different ways. I would suggest something along the lines of “Evaluating the Effectiveness of the DPLA.”
The argument about it contributing to social stratification was quite familiar for me; it seems to be used against many new technologies and developments.
Good luck with your project. It sounds quite interesting. I think it’s a good idea to implement it as a video, in terms of accessibility. Julian 19:39, 4 March 2013 (EST)

Susan Goldstein 15:44, 26 February 2013 (EST)

Susan: I'm curious why you chose those three particular courses to observe. Would it be possible to observe the same (or very similar) course(s) across two to three platforms? (e.g., edX, Coursera, and Udacity)JW 22:28, 26 February 2013 (EST)
JW: I edited out why I chose these courses from the prospectus to get it down to 397 words :) I wanted to stick with Coursera and edX because they are the most well known and I'm particularly interested in Harvard's (edX) participation. My decision was more practical than scientific. I chose courses that were beginning at the end of Feb to mid-March in subjects I thought I'd understand enough to be able to follow conversations about the course. I like your idea of studying similar courses across the different platforms, but am limited by our time frame for this assignment.
Susan: I have never heard of a MOOC. I wondered if an "expert" or credentialed person in the field of study would be allowed to register for the class. If so, how would they be treated? --Dear Alice 14:42, 1 March 2013 (EST)
Dear Alice: Anyone can register for a MOOC. An expert in the field of study could register, but would only do so if they wanted to see how someone else was teaching the subject or if they wanted to learn about an aspect of the subject they wanted to learn more about. Since a MOOC is not the same as taking a course for credit to meet the academic requirements of a school, an expert couldn't "cheat" by taking a MOOC to get an easy A. One of the reasons people enroll in MOOCS is to prepare themselves to take a course for credit.

Susan Susan Goldstein 20:27, 2 March 2013 (EST)

Kaley Sweeney 15:47, 26 February 2013 (EST)

Kaley: The part of your prospectus that most caught my attention is the very end: "the changes that are beginning to unfold with the rise in mobile internet access in the country." I would read a 10-page paper entirely focusing on mobile Internet access in North Korea!JW 21:33, 26 February 2013 (EST)
Hi Kaley: I like your topic because it sheds light on democratic freedoms. Will the expansion of Internet usage in North Korea bring new forms of democracy to a select group of citizens? Will outside influences, that emerge via the Internet, begin to alter government relations? At the end of your prospectus, you mention that you...”wish to examine the forces that have perpetuated the insulation of the country from the technological revolution and the changes that are beginning to unfold with the rise in mobile internet access in the country.” To narrow your focus, you may want to consider highlighting a few primary forces, i.e., norms, market, etc., with descriptions surrounding each force. To answer the latter part (changes that are beginning to unfold in North Korea), what types of changes are you referring to? Do you plan to analyze technological changes, societal changes, or both? To this end, defining a few categories may bring additional structure/clarity to your analysis. Zak Paster 11:37, 3 March 2013 (EST)
Hi Kaley, you have a very interesting topic here. But for such a topic, are there enough data and info that's accessible? Because Kim JungUn's policy shifts are so recent, it might be too soon and more difficult to observe and analyze any social and cultural changes within North Korea as a result of mobile internet access. Are there any websites and/or organizations that track internet usage in North Korea? Their reports may be helpful resources. --Muromi 10:16, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Raven 15:59, 26 February 2013 (EST)

Raven: Cool topic. When you talk about the "quality of comments" it will be important to address the question, "according to whom?" Is it according to the managers of the site, the community of the site, or to society at large? You might also explore how comments are moderated. It seems like the NY Times screens submissions from commenters whereas The Economist and Boing Boing are more lenient. Is that true? It looks like you can flag or report inappropriate comments on Economist and Boing Boing - does user-generated moderation have an effect on the quality of the comments? I'm also interested to know whether you get higher quality comments with pseudonyms (people are perhaps more willing to be open and express one's view anonymously) or with real names (people are perhaps more willing to be articulate and tolerant). How much identity should be revealed to facilitate the most productive comments? Lastly, with regard to "comment quality categories," here are some other categories you might consider in addition to the ones you mention: Openness (willingness to share private information), Conversation potential (the extent there is discussion among commenters), Healthy debate (whether opposing viewpoints are respected), Spam ( whether comments are just a plug for blog or site), Barrier to entry to comment (easy to do or hard?), and flexibility of comment system (ability to see recommended comments or unfiltered). You may want to narrow these down for the scope of the paper but just something to think about. Asmith 14:47, 27 February 2013 (EST)
Hi Raven, It will be interesting to see which site (anonymous vs. registered users) create more tolls, flame wars, and other aspects to the online world that does not seem to exist in the offline space. The reverse is to see if the sites that require registration will create more fruitful conversations or of they’re equal in quality/quantity to the ones that allow anonymous commenters. Saridder 16:00, 4 March 2013 (EST)
Hi Raven, interesting topic you have there! I agree with Asmith that it's important that you define "quality of comments." Relatedly, I think you should consider the demographics that frequent The NYTimes, The Economist, and Boing Boing - the type of demographics will affect the type of comments as well. Also to consider is that both The New York Times and The Economist require digital subscription after a limited number of free articles, so that again too may affect what kind of people are reading those two. --Muromi 09:47, 5 March 2013 (EST)
  • saridder: Steve Ridder
  • The Digital Marketplace

Saridder 16:18, 26 February 2013 (EST)

Saridder: Your proposal made me think of another topic I was considering for this project. This may be a bit of a tangent from what you're looking to do, but when you talk about the shift towards a knowledge economy, peer production, and the future of work, I immediately thought about Yammer, often called "Facebook for companies." Yammer is a social network for employees at a company to use. Last year it got bought by Microsoft for $1+ billion. Users can only connect with other Yammer users at that company. But they can post status updates, photos, documents and it has pretty much all the same features as Facebook. Yammer is touted as a way to "flatten hierarchy" and empower employees by giving everyone a voice. It provides a collaboration tool for people from all over the world. But I wonder, how does this affect the balance of power in companies? Yes, users can sign up for the service for free without their company's permission. But the company can also pay for a premium Yammer account, which gives them greater control over their Yammer community. What elements of control are at work here (i.e. does the architecture of the site encourage some acceptable work practices, but not others) ? How much control do administrators of a Yammer network have over the contents of the network? Does this shift the balance of power in the workplace because employees can interact in a peer network, rather than through a top down hierarchy? Just an idea as you narrow down your topic. Asmith 13:01, 27 February 2013 (EST)
Saridder – First, I have to say that I think you are very ambitious! You have a lot going into your prospectus. I think 8-10 pages will only allow you to skim the surface of this broad subject area. I suggest that you select one of these companies or forums and use it as a model to explore your question. I would also suggest narrowing your question to one main question with a couple of sub-questions. This part of the exercise is often the hardest part, but it will allow you to dig a little deeper into one most interesting topic. I am looking forward to reading your perspective in this emerging subject. Tessa May 21:11, 4 March 2013 (EST)
Michael Keane comments: Well this is certainly an interesting topic, but you definitely have your work cut out for you. I'm not sure how one goes about prognosticating the future. I assume you are going to use recent history and developments to help you extrapolate information, but that can be a tough thing to do. I hope we are able to read each others final work as it will be interesting to see what patters you expect to develop.

Michaelekeane 11:47, 5 March 2013 (EST)

--Maria 16:22, 26 February 2013 (EST)

María: I suggest focusing your analysis on only one part of Taringa: posts, communities, music, or games. Also, it might be interesting to compare and contrast that part of Taringa to another country's equivalent, e.g. Reddit, Craigslist, Steam, etc.JW 21:22, 26 February 2013 (EST)
Maria: I agree with JW that trying to follow Taringa! Musica and Taringa! Juegos in addition to the main site would be too large a scope for such a small study. Mattyh 14:48, 2 March 2013 (EST)
Hi Maria: I think using the four “areas to analyze the Internet” (market, architecture, norms, and laws) is an excellent idea and provides structure to your final paper. To make your focus more narrow, you may want to select an example under each domain, supported by an explanation. When analyzing Taringa!’s architecture, you could highlight a few pros and cons surrounding user interactions; when examining the norms within each community, you could outline examples and draw comparisons; when analyzing the market, you could primarily focus on the exchange of music, with specific examples. Overall, I think your explanation is clear and the approach you've outlined will allow you to collect useful data to answer your primary questions.Zak Paster 17:13, 2 March 2013 (EST)

Johnfloyd6675 16:53, 26 February 2013 (EST)

John - You haven't clearly outlined your process or your specific questions, or what specific tools you'll use to come to your conclusions. That said, the overall topic is a fascinating one. To help you narrow your focus, here are some questions: What access do I have? What overall question most appeals to me? How can I relate it to the course goals? How can I answer that question given the access I have? What is it I am hoping to conclude? Does this conclusion relate directly to the course goals? What evidence will support or disprove this conclusion? How can I gather it efficiently? Will this be sufficient to meet the terms of the final assignment? Can I do this in the time provided? Am I willing to do this?

Good luck. I look forward to your final result. Raven 16:46, 28 February 2013 (EST)

Hi John, it will be interesting to see if the behaviors found in these online communities will differ from the politics, alliances, and cabals of the real world. I'm most interested to see if the internet is a better coordination and orchestration mechanism for organizing, and can people online respond quicker, more effectively, and efficiently than offline groups to adapt to the changing political landscapes this game provides. Saridder 15:59, 4 March 2013 (EST)
Hi John,

Great choice of subject, i find it fascinating how these communities of random people from around the globe come together and work together to a certain goal as a community. DanielReissHarris 17:27, 4 March 2013 (EST)

CyberRalph 16:55, 26 February 2013 (EST)

Hi Ralph, I think that sounds like an interesting project. I know it may be difficult, but I'd also be interested in discovering how those ananymous twitter accounts interact with real life. Are multpiple people using the same account? Are those people actually the ones doing any hacking? Almost certainly those accounts would be monitored by the authorities if they were claiming responsibility and the users identities would be discoverable.Joshywonder 09:39, 3 March 2013 (EST)
Hi CyberRalph: This is an interesting topic. As I read your prospectus, the notion of responsibility and liability came to mind. If this group advertises cyber-attacks, can they inevitably be held accountable? For example, could law enforcement officials follow the leads to IP addresses, and ultimately discover the group(s) behind such attacks? It may be interesting to compare the concepts of online crime with other forms of illicit activities (is online crime more isolated and easier to commit without paying the consequences?). As an intro or conclusion, you may also want to consider highlighting current trends with cyber-attacks and security measures that governments/large companies take. Furthermore, to strengthen your analysis, it would be interesting if you state your personal hypothesis upfront, followed by your question surrounding motivation for these types of attacks. Zak Paster 11:34, 3 March 2013 (EST)

CyberRalph: Definitely an interesting and timely topic, but I wonder if Twitter is really the best forum for gleaning insight into the motivation of Anonymous members. After all, on Twitter, you're essentially getting the PR, the end result. For a previous project, I actually spent some time hanging out in Anonymous IRC chat rooms and found that the conversations there offered a lot more insight into the diversity of perspectives within the group and might give you a lot more material to work from. Of course, you'd have to be careful with your methodologies and think about the ethical issues involved, but these are still public forums. At the very least, you could check out other areas online that might allow you to grasp more of the conversation going on, especially when we're talking about such a heterogeneous group. Good luck! Rebekahjudson 16:47, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Julian 17:10, 26 February 2013 (EST)

Julian:You've presented some intriguing research questions. In part, it sounds like you plan to measure effectiveness numerically. If so, I look forward to the statistical analyses in your paper, possibly accompanied by figures/graphs/charts/etc.JW 21:22, 26 February 2013 (EST)
Hi Julian, I find tools to promote public engagement very interesting and useful, great topic to investigate about. It might be useful for you to see also and, the latter is actually a website to create petitions and promote them through online communities. It might be interesting to compare how both government and NGOs use different approaches to deal with the same kind of issues. --Maria 11:08, 3 March 2013 (EST)

Hi Julian, I think this is a great topic. It was interesting to watch the federal government grapple with the issues of the 'X" number of signatures and what was going to fly to see a formal response. If you are able to track a couple of specific issues that are current and newsworthy (guns etc) you may see an ebb and flow of signatures based on the public interest that is hyped by media (both social and corporate) It may be of interest to take two sides of the same coin to measure the results -- in the gun example you can't get much more polar than that as a debate and how the website will play a role in topics such as that would be a great paper. Good Luck! Caroline 17:15, 5 March 2013 (EST) Caroline

Alybarbour 17:17, 26 February 2013 (EST)

Aly Barbour: In order to narrow your field research, it will be interesting if you focus on one or two specific communities. It will be better wether they have an intense activity.
Hi Aly, it was shocking to read about these communities, very interesting subject to investigate. I think it’s a good idea to focus in comparing activities in pro anorexia communities and recovery support groups in, leaving aside the other platforms to narrow your scope. I think you should also define what will you observe from these communities in order to reach a conclusion for your investigation: do you want to know how control is being implemented? Or maybe focus in one particular constraint and see how it plays a role in regulating the community?--Maria 11:40, 3 March 2013 (EST)
Hi Aly, this is a very interesting topic! I was not aware of the Pro-Ana movement at all - When I saw the title I thought Ana was a person. Because of country laws and the way companies like Facebook have been clamping down on these communities, will you be able to directly observe any specific communities? Are they operating overtly? I browse now and then and once came upon the criticism that only super skinnies gather there (if you google it, there are communities against Lookbook because of this). Perhaps this might be helpful. --Muromi 09:30, 5 March 2013 (EST)

  • Pseudonym: JW
  • Prospectus title: Reddit's Dox Paradox: Proper or Not?

JW 17:36, 26 February 2013 (EST)

JW: One of the most interesting constrains here relates to social norms - doxxing is used as a way to regulate and control speech. If you post truly terrible things, the article on the Violentacrez seems to suggest, you ought to be outed to the public. On the one hand, this policy may reduce offensive material - people may be scared to post things like child pornography for fear of being publicly shamed. But "justifiable doxxing" also leads to a kind of vigilantism which has all kinds of moral implications. Who decides who deserves to be outed? It would be interesting to observe doxxing behavior on Preddit and Reddit to see if there is any recognition of where moral boundaries are drawn, if any. Is there any discussion of when doxxing is justifiable (i.e. journalism) and when it is not (i.e. trolling) ? Reddit's stance was clearly: doxxing is bad, period. But do community members feel differently? Asmith 12:30, 27 February 2013 (EST)
I think that’s an interesting topic, which surprisingly we haven’t covered much in class yet. It raises many interesting questions. In what ways, and how does the legal system protect anonymity? And are those protections by design, or unintentional as Section 230 was by operating separately from the rest of the legislation with which it was supposed to be packaged? Should those laws be there, or were they mistakes? Often, normative questions reduce to tradeoffs. In this case, it’s the classic tradeoff between privacy and incentivizing socially advantageous behavior.
Also, have you decided which of Lessig’s four constraints you’ll be using? Are you sure you’ll only be using one? It seems that there are critical points to be made from more angles, and could probably be done without extending scope to beyond what is manageable with the time and length constraints. Julian 19:39, 4 March 2013 (EST)

This is very interesting of a topic. I hope you consider talking a bit about privacy rights incorporating it into whether or not doxxing is considered proper. Also, it may be of interest to your topic to discuss why certain members are targeted and what are the commonalities in the ones targeted. I look forward to the final product of your project! APhan 17:42, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Interesting topic! I am not sure why you chose Reddit in particular for doxxing - could you elaborate?

Jax 17:57, 26 February 2013 (EST)

Hi Jax: This is an interesting topic and one that will allow you to make many connections between the artists and those who critique the artists. You mention that you’re...“interested in examining the characteristics of popular contributions and contributors in relation to broader reader and contributor demographics, exploring whether objectivity can emerge in this venue.” What preliminary hypotheses do you have? Does this website cater to the Ivy League crowd or does it attract rap enthusiasts from all walks of life? Examining demographics and objectivity is a valid approach, but stating your hypotheses upfront may provide an interesting twist. Do you think people are generally objective or subjective, and what demographics do you think most reviewers represent? If you follow this method, the data you collect will either confirm or negate your upfront interpretations. All in all, this is a very current topic and I look forward to learning about your findings. Zak Paster 17:21, 2 March 2013 (EST)

Jax: Of all the topics posted I'm more drawn towards yours. I read a very interesting article ( though my google-fu currently fails me) underlining the similarities between opera and rap. One of the ways mentioned was that in order to appreciate either one must know the history of the genre in order to draw meaning from the references. I worry however that when you start to reach outside the community (rappers opinions on the site, social critiques) your analysis from observing the community from within will become watered down and lost among a much broader subject.Alybarbour 15:11, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Jax: I'm so interested in this topic and I think you articulated it very well! My one suggestion would be to make sure that you very carefully define the abstract standards against which you're judging the site--namely "objectivity." After all, what does "objectivity" mean in this context? Is it objectivity on the part of the site's administrators to curate the lyrics in such a way that don't cater to any particular readership? And is that even in line with the object of the site itself, given its stated aims? I.e. are you developing a critique of the site's premise, or searching for any disconnects between the premise and the administrators' behavior? Overall, I think that your question about the "distribution of power" throughout the site might be a more useful frame, one that gets at essentially the same issues without getting bogged down in abstract semantics that could prove distracting from your essential question. Looking forward to reading more! Rebekahjudson 16:40, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Jax: It will be interesting to see how the profiteering attitude of Rap Genius' operators interacts with the essentially commercial and dramatized character of rap lyrics. The direct involvement of high capital (AH) speaks to the emptiness of Rap Genius' engagement with its subject, as the company's mission drives it away from an authentic phenomenology of urban poverty. Whether Rap Genius as a developing community can successfully interrogate the role that violence, debauchery and lawlessness play in the aesthetic power of rap music remains to be seen, but the sort of superficial glamorization that Rap Genius seems designed to promote will be a useless tool for its exegetical task. Johnfloyd6675 17:10, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Laurence Girard: Interesting project! I think one thing that you will want to focus on is observing who uses the website. The website was founded by Ivy league graduates, but will it be used by individuals of a similar level of education? If not, who will moderate the comments or will the comments be moderated at all?

BeccaLuberoff 19:41, 26 February 2013 (EST)

Becca: I've noticed that Google caches content from purportedly private forums. If content from your three closed communities is publicly searchable, how does that affect privacy issues?JW 22:42, 26 February 2013 (EST)
Becca: I followed the link to the "Living with Bipolar Disorder" category on and it appeared that the most recent post was 3 months ago with many being from years ago. Will not being able to observe activity (particularly censoring) in real-time have an impact on the research? Mattyh 14:42, 2 March 2013 (EST)
Hi Becca, Interesting topic and it will be interesting to see how the online components and ‘permanent record’ of comments (architecture) might prohibit and skew the conversation vs. offline, real-world conversations. Will questions asked be inhibited by the semi-public aspect of online forums, preventing people from receiving better care than the privacy the offline world affords? Or will the open aspect of the community allow the best comments to bubble up and be connected to experts who would otherwise not have seen the question if it was asked in the offline world.
Saridder 15:59, 4 March 2013 (EST)
Becca, nice work! This is a really important topic, and I like the focus you have in terms comparing three different sites around one issue, bipolar disorder. You may want to evaluate the "explicitness and freedom" around specific criteria. If posts contain unique identifying information such as location of medical care or personal qualities (birthdates, current location, physical features) , if posters are frequent posters, if posters refer directly to one another by (user)name are just a few factors that may indicate how intimate, free, and explicit the forums are. Though I have never been on any of these message boards, I could imagine that market forces may influence the community's behavior as well. For instance, are there advertisements on the site? Spam? Doctor's opinions? Donation links? Another perspective to consider, though this could probably be another paper in and of itself, is how does the specific disorder affect the user's online experience and how well does the site cater to these differences? I know you will probably not get to explore this, but just something that I was considering while reading your prospectus. Thanks for this project, and I look forward to reading your work! Jax 10:22, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Laurence Girard: Hi! It would be interesting to see if there are any website out there in which healthcare professionals moderate the comments or if the websites you have chosen are simply more similar to Yahoo Answers! I know for a fact that there are some websites in which doctors answer questions such as health tap and it would be interesting for you to include some websites that include health professionals in your analysis.

I really like the comparison you drew between online libraries and physical libraries such as the library of congress. I think this can serve as a good comparison point for most of your research and provide valuable information. The idea of DuckDuckGo and being given similar information could be a big theme/discourse for your project as well.  :AaronEttl 14:39, 2 March 2013 (EST)
Hi Baughller: This is an interesting topic. Given your research focus area, it may be interesting to forecast the future in relation to identity-type searches (from your perspective). For example, if search results continue to show information based on people’s background / historical searches, what will the long-term outcomes be? Is this a positive search trend or a negative trend, and why? I think it may also be interesting to look at this scenario from a marketing viewpoint. Today, advertisements frequently appear as we surf the web, based on our preferences; this wasn't the case years ago. To that end, how is this new trend changing certain products and/or services? Are some industries profiting more than others, or can all types of marketing reap the benefits? Overall, your topic is very relevant in the current Internet environment, and this search-reality may only be in its infancy. Zak Paster 17:27, 2 March 2013 (EST)
@Baughller : I agree with @Zak in that the topic is fascinating! I never gave it much thought but it totally makes sense! I have always been on the side of personalization when it comes to ad's, as I would prefer they be relevant to me in the event that I have to view them at all. The personalization of search results and comparison to library of congress is great and a topic I think worth exploring. Only feedback I would give is that I think you need a stronger, more solidly stated research question and hypothesis, but as I said, the area of research is awesome so I'm sear whatever slice of it you choose to explore will follow suit! Phildade 13:12, 5 March 2013 (EST)

Laurrence Girard: I think the fundamental question that you need to deal with is whether or not this feature helps people find more relevant information or infringes on their privacy!

  • Laurence Girard
  • Laurence Girard Prospectus
  • Question: What effect does reading online health information have on the health of our society?

Many people search for online health information on a daily basis, but most of this information is not reviewed by physicians. As a result, many people self-diagnose and as a result this can result in very dangerous health outcomes. I am interested in studying websites such as WebMD and seeing what type of impact this has on people’s health.

I am particularly interested in seeing how online health content relates to online health products. For example, perhaps someone reads an article on WebMD about how Vitamin D affects their health and then as a result they buy it on What types of supplements are people buying and what affect is this having on their health?I am also interested in websites such as where users can consult with physicians. In other words, I am interested in studying how people access health information, products, and consultations online. I have read one statistic that says 80% of people in our country search for online health information. For this reason, I think this will be a particularly interesting project to complete and is relevant to the healthcare debate in our country. We need to focus more on prevention and less on treatment and the Internet can certainly be one modality for doing this. I am interested to hear about what my fellow classmates have to say about my chosen assignment.

Laurence: This sounds like a very interesting topic, but would be a huge project to undertake. Can you find one community where people are talking about health issues? I imagine every major disease or condition has some kind of community such as the American Cancer Societies’ Online Communities and Support [[1]] and choose one or two subgroups to study. Then I think you would be able to look at issues similar to those that Becca will be looking at for her project about Issues of Privacy in Online Mental Health Communities. Susan Goldstein 14:48, 4 March 2013 (EST)
Laurence – Your subject is interesting. Is there a data source containing the information that you are interested in? How would it be known if someone looked up a disease on WebMD, then went to Amazon and purchased a supplement that might be suggested for treating it? Google or other companies that send out tacking cookies might collected this type of information. Access to this data is an important factor for your study. Also, does your subject relate to control or censorship? If the data cannot be collected easily, the subject might need to be narrowed or focused on an area where you can collect data. Tessa May 21:32, 4 March 2013 (EST)
Michael Keane comments: Wow, this seems very ambitious. I wouldn't even know how to go about collecting the kinds of data that would be necessary to complete such a project. Do you have a plan for where or how you can obtain this kind of information in order to analyze it? I recently took a visualization class where students had to write code in python that would go out and collect and scrub data of one's choosing from the internet. Are you planning on utilizing some strategy such as that? Good luck with your assignment. Michaelekeane 11:56, 5 March 2013 (EST)

This seems very big of a topic. I would try to narrow it down to only one of the sites and something particular on the website. It might be even more important to narrow down your question to what type of health information and how you are attaining your information (Just by the users of the websites?) and whether or not the users or the websites would necessarily be representative of everyone reading health information...Goodluck with your project! I look forward to the final product! APhan 17:42, 5 March 2013 (EST)