• For March 25th/27th…

    For March 25th, we will continue and conclude our discussion of Parts 1 and 2 of The Hacker Crackdown and I will make an attempt to sum up what we’ve figured out so far. I’ll also have a couple of discussion questions for the group. Depending on time, I will also introduce you to the classblog so that you can start on your media blog posting next week.

    For March 27th, we will have a somewhat more light class. Since this is a media class, I’m declaring March 27th Youtube Day!

    Therefore, you have until March 27th to choose your favorite Youtube video, which you will present to the class. Now, it’s not enough just to play the video. You need to explain why it is so brilliant, funny, important, or exciting that you have decided to spend classtime on it. That is, you will make a short presentation about the clip and explain to us why it’s interesting, why it’s related to the subject of media, or why it’s so brilliant.

    One piece of advice — it’s better to show us something that isn’t posted from the mainstream media. If you show us a funny clip from the Simpsons, just because it’s funny, that’s less impressive than showing us something like this clip, because there’s a lot more to talk about:

    If I were going to present the video above, I would discuss how:

    • “LiberalViewer” uses various video clips to illustrate his point
    • How he has enough time to discuss politics at a depth most TV programs never do
    • Whether there are legal issues involved in his use of video clips
    • The fact that “LiberalViewer” is a pseudonym, and how anonymity often makes it easier or safer to engage in political criticism
    • The comments related to the video

    … and so on.

    However, don’t feel as if you need to necessarily post a serious clip. One clip I considered presenting, but decided not to, is this one:

    If I were presenting about this video, I’d present it this way:

    • I’d show the video, as-is, and then…
    • I’d explain the context a little bit (about how a Philippine prison is using synchronized dance as a method of rehabilitation and therapy for prisoners (and whether it’s successful or not)
    • I’d explain how this became an overnight internet sensation, tracing the links that appeared on Boing-Boing and so on, to find out how a Youtube video can go from having no viewers to millions of viewers in a short space of time
    • I’d talk briefly about the idea of a “meme” or “viral video”
    • I’d point the class to links of other synchronized prison dances uploaded by the same Youtube user.

    So it’s up to you to do what you want. The only rule is, find something interesting to talk about. Oh, and by the way, nobody use my favorite video, which is a video by the Swedish techno group Familjen. We’ll talk about that in class.

    And after the Youtube discussion, I’ll clear up any problems people are having with the Media English classblog, if there are any problems at all.

    Don’t forget, we will resume discussions of Parts 3 and 4 of The Hacker Crackdown, on April 1st and hopefully conclude on April 3rd! So keep on reading the book and taking notes.

    I’ll assign some discussion groups next Thursday afternoon (March 27th) to lead our discussions on April 1st and 3rd.

    Have a nice long weekend!

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