Course on Social Media

I am excited (and a tiny bit daunted) to be offering the class “Social Media” next semester at Pratt SILS. A description is below:

Social Media (LIS-697-09)
Wednesday, 3:30-5:50 PM

The rise of the networked information environment, currently highlighted by such descriptors as Social Media and Web 2.0, and popularized by such web properties as Facebook and Twitter, will continue to profoundly influence the ways in which humans share information. Such technologies support the use, production, and circulation of knowledge in a peer-to-peer networked arrangement. This arrangement shares some aspects with other forms of communications but is most remarkable in its discontinuity from these earlier forms (for example, the hierarchical communication structure widely used in our lifetimes). This new structural arrangement, which will undoubtedly persist alongside other arrangements, has implications for information organizations and professionals, and goes far beyond, “should my library be Twittering?” Rather, the question this course will be guided by is: how might information organizations and professionals leverage the networked information environment to advance longstanding professional values, such as a commitment to democracy, community building, and individual efficacy and fulfillment. In effort to advance these values, students will engage in a collaborative design project that attempts to take advantage of this new arrangement.

Tentative course topics include: history and theories of communication, computer networks and infrastructure, social design affordances, identity and presentation of self, social networks, participatory culture, network analysis and measures, immersion, ubiquitous computing, Library 2.0 and survey of current uses of social media in libraries.

Field trips and/or guest speakers who work within the Social Media landscape will be included throughout the course.