November 30, 2005

Jack Thompson is a(n) __________ Individual

Created by Andy Hogan
Join Andy as he takes a look at some of the sites he has bookmarked about Jack Thompson, the crusader against violence in video games. This podcast is one of five interactive "walking tours" of the Internet.
Begin tour here: Andy's links.

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Tracked by the Amazon

Created by Sam Ghods
Sam guides you through, exposing ways in which it collects data about your shopping and browsing habits. This podcast is one of five interactive "walking tours" of the Internet.
Begin tour here:

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November 29, 2005

Wild Animals, Breakfast Cereals and Daytime Television

Created by Lindsay Pond
Follow along as Lindsay explores how America's tweens use the Internet. This podcast is one of five interactive "walking tours" of the Internet.
Begin tour here: Lindsay's Links.

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Fly Like an Eagle

Created by Sonia Seetharaman
Follow Sonia's lead as we explore the internet as a research tool and we learn to use critical skills to find and distribute information. This podcast is one of five interactive "walking tours" of the Internet.
Begin tour here: Wikipedia.

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November 17, 2005

The Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge

Created by Sonia Seetharaman
This podcast discusses Ontology is Overrated, Clay Shirky's article on cataloguing and folksonomy, and the pros and cons of each system. It also discusses possibilities for the future of information organization and retrieval in the online realm.

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November 16, 2005

The Role of Virtual Communities in Modern Society

Created by Isomi Miake-Lye
This podcast explores the development of the online community and its role in society, looking at arguments from Geert Lovink and Sherry Turkle. It is suggested that both activism and a communal spirit are possible in the virtual community, and references to Robert Putnam's Better Together help identify what makes a community effective.

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November 09, 2005

Giving Youth a Voice? Or Just a Little Duck?

Created by Lindsay Pond
The expansion of new media, including blogging, podcasting and vlogging, has given the community at large more of an opportunity to share opinions and to allow individuals to have a voice. But what about youth? Many organizations, such as those affiliated with Listen Up, have helped young people create their own media, but is the degree to which they are free to express themselves limited by adult perspectives?

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November 07, 2005

Coming Together Online

Created by Isomi Miake-Lye
This videocast explores the communities of, and suggests that it could be a powerful tool for activists, as in the case of Democracy for America.

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November 06, 2005

This Athenian Life

Created by Andy Hogan
A self-reflexive videocast in which USC Professor Steve Anderson (Interactive Media) is interviewed about This Spartan Life, a talk show in set in the world of Halo.

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The New York Surveillance Camera Players

Created by Sam Ghods
A mini documentary on the purpose and actions of the political activist group, The New York Surveillance Camera Players, covering general facts about surveillance, what the group has done in protest, and how it has used the internet to further its cause.

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A Needle in a Haystack

Created by Sonia Seetharaman
This videocast explores the pros and cons of digital information and research sources in relation to traditional library information cataloging systems. The video focuses on a comparative analysis of USC's Doheny library and social bookmarking websites such as and H20 Playlist.

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November 01, 2005

The Great Blog Debate

An in-class, old-school debate about the value of blogs in relation to traditional news outlets. Defending the blogosphere are Isomi Miake-Lye, Sonia Seetharaman and Andy Hogan; defending traditional news media are Sam Ghods and Lindsay Pond. The moderators are Sam Goldberg and Andrew Syder.

Play the entire debate (12.3 MB/35 mins) or listen by chapter:

  • Opening Statements
  • Question 1
    Does corporate ownership and its pursuit of profit inhibit the mainstream news media's ability to provide fair and impartial journalism?
  • Question 2
    What is to prevent bloggers from posting incorrect or untrue statements? Where are the checks and balances?
  • Question 3
    Many have argued that the coverage of hurricane Katrina marked the "reawakening" of the mainstream news media. What made the coverage successful?
  • Question 4
    Blogs are often quite slanted towards particular ideological biases. Is this a detriment or not?
  • Question 5
    Does the mainstream news media dumb down public discourse, turning complex political situations into simple emotional ones?
  • Question 6
    One story on the front page of the New York Times can change the world, but stories that generate millions of posts in the blogosphere often have little social impact. Can the blogosphere make any claims towards real political significance?
  • The teams question one another
    The tension is palpable. No punches are pulled.