Media Strategies for a Networked World
The Internet has changed the business of media. Citizen journalists write accounts that challenge print journalism; Craigslist and Google compete with magazines as advertising outlets; YouTube offers more personalized âchannelsâ than satellite broadcasters can hope to provide; real world businesses open outlets in SecondLife. As electronic networks become faster, consumers are becoming creators of all forms of content and new business opportunities develop where old ones fall away.
This course aims to familiarize students with the technologies of new media to enhance their perspectives on the global business, ethical and regulatory challenges and to consider the effect new technologies are having on business strategy and operations.
Students will experiment with media including audio, video, blogging, wikis, and multimedia gaming, putting context to theoretical readings and guest lectures from leaders in the field. The assessments will give realistic practice in the type of strategic issues students will face in existing media companies, entrepreneurial start ups and any organization interested in communication. The course requires no technical background.
- 1 Syllabus
- 1.1 Network Architecture and Generativity
- 1.2 Making a business viable in the networked world
- 1.3 Branding and letting go of control
- 1.4 Trust and Accountability in the online world
- 1.5 Copyright & technology
- 1.6 Open source, open licensing of content
- 1.7 Coping with abundance
- 1.8 Mergers and Acquisitions
- 2 Books
- 3 Assessment and practical work
Class divisions and reading assignments are tentative, subject to change as speakers are added and news breaks.
Network Architecture and Generativity
Technologies of communication, access, and control Generative technology and content
- John Perry Barlow, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace (1996)
- RFC 1958: Architectural Principles of the Internet
- J.H. Saltzer, D.P. Reed and D.D. Clark, End-to-End Arguments in System Design (1981)
- Sharon Eisner Gillett and Mitchell Kapor, The Self-governing Internet: Coordination by Design
- Lawrence Lessig, What Things Regulate Speech? 38 Jurimetrics 629 (1998)
Making a business viable in the networked world
Old and new models for media companies; Funding new media strategies; Organizing for success Measures of success â for the bank, funders, acquirers, customers, workers Where to build a business?: The Network Neutrality debate consider BBC; The Guardian; Google AdSense; Acxiom; Claritas; Craigslist
- Transitioning old media to the new networked world â Case study of The Guardian newspaper
- Annet Aris and Jacques Bughin: Managing Media Companies ch 8 & 9
- Steve Fishman, The Boy Who Wouldnât be King, New York Magazine
- Network Neutrality: Browse Save the Internet and Hands Off the Internet
Branding and letting go of control
Corporate blogging, attitudes toward parodists, interactive advertising; The hazards of over-lawyering consider Sun Microsystems and Microsoft corporate weblogs; Burger King's Subservient Chicken; Second Life in-game branding
- The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual (1999), online at <http://www.cluetrain.com/book/index.html> (excerpt: ch.4 Markets are Conversations)
- Pork Board sends threats over parody slogan, apologizes. 'Pork Board has a cow over slogan parody'
- Thanks to the Web, the Scorekeeping on the Super Bowl Has Just Begun, New York Times, Feb. 6, 2007
- Aris & Bughin Managing Media Companies Chapter 4, including Canal+ case study (pp. 138-156)
Trust and Accountability in the online world
Privacy, anonymity, spam, social networking consider MAPS RBL; SpamHaus; eBay; Friendster
- Jonathan Zittrain, selections from Generativity: The Future of the Internet - And How to Stop It DRAFT: read Ch. 3 and 5
- danah boyd, Friends, Friendsters, and Top 8
- John Grohol, Anonymity and Online Community: Identity Matters
- Ina Steiner, eBay 'Feedback Farms' Planted with One-Cent eBooks, AuctionBytes.com
- Resnick et al, The Value of Reputation on Ebay: A Controlled Experiment
- Annalee Newitz, Herding the Mob and I bought votes on Digg, Wired
Copyright & technology
Disruptive innovation and the impulse to control it consider MP3.com; YouTube; MythTV; TiVo; iTunes/PlaysForSure/Zune;
- Wendy Seltzer & Fred von Lohmann, Death by DMCA, IEEE Spectrum, June 2006
- Dean Marks and Bruce Turnbull, Technical Protection Measures: The intersection of technology, law and commercial licenses, 46 J. Copyright Soc'y U.S. 563 (1999)
- Wendy Seltzer, The Broadcast Flag: Itâs not just TV, 57 Fed. Comm. L.J. 209 (2005)
- Tim Wu, Copyright's Communications Policy, 103 Mich. L.Rev. 278 (2004) short link
- EFF, Who Killed TiVo ToGo (2006)
Open source, open licensing of content
New models for information production and dissemination Network economics, standards, and competition consider GNU/Linux; Creative Commons; BBC Creative Archive; Wikipedia; AIM/gAIM/Jabber
- Jonathan Zittrain, Normative Principles for Evaluating Free and Proprietary Software, 71 U. Chi. L. Rev. 265 (2004).
- Wikipedia Case Study, HBS
- Browse Project Red Stripe, from The Economist, in preparation for a visit from their team
- www.FT.com James Boyle. Smarter than Jefferson?  Published: May 21 2007 16:52 | Last updated: May 21 2007 16:52
- Yochai Benkler, Coase's Penguin, or Linux and the Nature of the Firm, 112 Yale L.J. (2002)
- Jessica Litman, Sharing and Stealing, 26 Comm/Ent 1 (2004)
Coping with abundance
Community sourcing, collaborative filtering, the âlong tailâ, "Web 2.0" consider Amazon recommendations; Last.fm; Pandora.com; compare Red Hat, IBM, Microsoft strategies
- Chris Anderson, The Long Tail, Wired Magazine, October 2004
- Barry Schwartz, The Tyranny of Choice, Scientific American, April, 2004.
- Tim O'Reilly, What is Web 2.0?
- Clayton Christensen, The Innovatorâs Solution (chapter 1) - we've discussed these concepts in previous lectures, particularly regarding copyright and copy protection
- Clay Shirky, Ontology is Overrated
- Varian & Shapiro, Information Rules (excerpts)
Look at an Amazon.com page, e.g. "The Long Tail" What's the point of all the sections below the title, price, and click-to-buy? Are they effective?
Mergers and Acquisitions
Valuation and preparing for sale The role of regulation in a global environment
- Aris & Bughin, Managing Media Companies Chapter 7, including LagardÃ¨re case study
- Guest lecturer: Kit van Tulleken, the van Tulleken Co.
- Discussion to include
- Theoretical and practical methods of valuation â past, present and future
- Case studies of recent M&A deals
- Preparing your company for sale
Essential purchase / course textbook
Annet Aris and Jacques Bughin: Managing Media Companies John Wiley 0-470-01563-2
- Paul Levinson: Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium, Routledge 0-415-24991-0
- Nicholas Negroponte: Being Digital, Coronet Books 0340649305
- Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian, Information Rules: A strategic guide to the network economy, HBS Press (1999)
- Eric von Hippel, Democratizing Innovation, MIT Press (2005) and <http://web.mit.edu/evhippel/www/democ1.htm>
Further recommended reading:
- Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks, Yale University Press (2006) and <http://www.benkler.org/wealth_of_networks/index.php/Main_Page>
- Lawrence Lessig, Free Culture, <http://www.free-culture.cc/>
- Dan Gillmor, We the Media: Grassroots Journalism By the People, For the People, O'Reilly (2004)
- JD Lasica, Darknet: Hollywood's war against the digital generation, Wiley (2005)
- Clayton Christensen, The Innovator's Dilemma, HBS Press (1997)
- John Battelle, The Search, (2005)
- Locke, Levine, Searls, & Weinberger, The Cluetrain Manifesto, (2000)
Assessment and practical work
The course aims to give participants a practical, hands-on appreciation of new media and to share experiences with the class first in an open, unassessed way and later as part of the assessment.
Group assessment: Working in small groups, selected by the tutors, participants will develop a new media product, service, or idea for a proposed or existing organization (worth 40% of the total grade). Groups will be assigned to present their work-in-progress to the class for discussion.
Exam: the course will finish with a written exam
- 2 hours
- Worth 60% of the total grade
- Section A: answer 3 of 5 questions (worth 30% of the total grade)
- Section B: answer 1 question from a choice of 5 (worth 30% of the total grade)
Additional outside speakers will be invited to share business and legal experience throughout the term.