Week 2 – Class Notes

History and Evolution of the Digital Age

  • Guest: Jessica Albano, UW Libraries (our course site)
  • Thoughts on Presentations, Part 2 – Meg McGough
  • Lecture/Reading Discussion
  • Term Project


  • Absences
    Reminder of policy on absences
  • email
    Please use clear subject lines and include “COM546″ — send to kegill@u…..edu.
    If you have an urgent question, say so in the subject line. I try to return email within 24 hours M-Th. Please sign the email with your first name. If you have not heard back from me within 48 hours (M-Th), please re-send with a new subject line and/or Tweet me and/or phone me. Cell phone in email footer and distributed first night in class.
  • Gradesheet
    Points are recorded on a gradesheet hosted at GoogleDocs. You should be able to find your points by looking for the last four digits of your UW student number. Generally speaking, I update this every-other-week. The first posting will be next week.
  • Blogs & Copyright
    If you embed any image in a blog post that is not your personal property, you must identify the source of the material. If the material is copyrighted, you must either remove it or explain why you believe your use entails a “fair use” of the material. These details can appear in the foot of your post under a paragraph entitled “Credits.”
  • Additional Books For Possible Review
    Two more books:
    :: Six Degrees by Duncan J. Watts (2003 HB/2004 PB)
    :: We The Media by Dan Gillmor (2004)


Lecture/Discussion Materials

Student blog posts:


  • Open-ended questions usually include “how” or “why”
  • Closed-ended questions usually include “do or does” or “will or won’t” and generate yes/no/one-word answers
  • We want open-ended questions, not closed-ended ones

Possible Discussion Questions Tonight:

  1. How much does the success of a prototype have to do with the effectiveness of an inventor’s or a company’s patent attorneys?
  2. Winston writes, “we control every advance by conforming it so that it ‘fits’ to pre-existing social patterns.” How applicable is this assertion in 2009?
  3. Which is more likely to have long-term impact on the “regulability” of digital civilization: governments, business models, ideologies, sociological evolution, technology or something else? Why?
  4. It is commonly accepted that people act differently online under the protection of anonymity. What would the ramifications be if there was no anonymity on the internet?
  5. In the chapter by Winston, he quotes the postmaster general in saying that the telegraph, with its ability to transmit knowledge and information, could not, “with safety be left in the hands of private individuals uncontrolled by law.” How does this or does this not influence your thoughts on regulation of the internet?
  6. In The Future of the Internet (and How to Stop It) Jonathan Zittrain warns that an evolution towards closed platforms spells the end of the generative nature of the Internet. How does this observation fit into Winston’s evolutionary model of innovation?

Course Project:

  • LAB: Using UW Library databases, find one or two scholarly articles that may be appropriate to your subject. The goal of this assignment is to help you refine your topic by examining the state of research — using information from Jessica’s presentation before you forget it! Before leaving class, make a blog post (category: class lab or com546 lab). The post should contain an APA citation for the article(s) and a short annotation describing why you think it might be useful (your own words!). See Writing Research Papers: The Bibliography.
  • See The Proposal – Identifying A Topic in my Guide to Writing Research Papers
  • Very preliminary project idea due 14 January
    (blog post; feedback given and points assigned)

Student preliminary ideas (apologies if I missed yours!)

No posts

NOTES From PPT Session

  • Too much data in the slides
  • Slides should be supplemental
  • Making an emotional connection
  • Body language important
  • Classic, non-serif fonts
  • Images should have clear meaning
  • Slides as map guiding audience to location
  • Use the right medium for info – remember handouts!
  • Well prepared, good flow
  • Distill to the essence
  • What is the headline going to be (hook)
  • Allow feedback from audience – engage
  • Consistency
  • Know Your Audience!
  • Do your best with corporate templates
  • Rehearse, match audience expectations on timing
  • Using music as punctuation
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  • didier  On 15 January 2009 at 1:55 am

    Digital is no longer the “under dog” of the marketing world, campaigns and strategies are now built around digital media with digital media becoming the centre piece of any activity, so a digital agency really needs to work at that strategic level with their clients. didier grossemy

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