Producing Participatory Media
Fridays 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Instructor: Shawn Van Every
Office Hours: Tuesdays 2-4 PM or by appointment
Class Chat Room:
New Class Streaming: http://stage.itp.nyu.edu/~sve204/ppm/newstream/
Live Video Stream in QuickTime: http://stage.itp.nyu.edu/~sve204/ppm/ppm.qtl
Traditional broadcast media (television and radio) are in a time of transition. Broadcast is being pushed in new directions by the increasing ease of producing compelling material, and by the interactive and social nature of the internet. Blogs and other internet based social networks have given rise to an audience that is eager to engage with and participate in the creation of media. This appetite is quickly moving into the realm of television and radio with new avenues for distribution and new means for audience interaction offering serious challenges to traditional broadcast.
The goal of this course is to introduce students to new technologies and methods for creating participatory media and making it available. Students will develop new ideas for helping this transition along both on the internet and in the traditional broadcast space. This course will have weekly assignments, student presentations, guest speakers and will culminate with group projects.
Grades will be determined according to the following breakdown:
-Regular Assignments 35%
-Mid-Term Paper 15%
-Participation and Attendance 25%
-Final Project 25%
It is expected that everyone in the class will create and maintain a blog for their thoughts on readings, assignments, research and interesting items. This is a very fast moving space we will all need each other's help to keep abreast of what is going on so I will attempt to reBlog relevant postings from your site on the class blog each week.
Please enter your name, email address and URL to your site (you can always edit this later) on the class wiki
This class is expected to be participatory in nature and discussions will certainly take place outside of the classroom. Along with the blog, one primary vehicles for these discussion as well as administrative issues will be the listserv.
Please signup for the class listserv.
As previous mentioned, this class will be participatory in nature, in a sense a laboratory for what we are studying. Each week, following the second week (when we will learn how to do it) we will be streaming the class with an interactive chat component. You are required to skip class for one week and watch the stream and participate in the class through the chat application. (It is expected that you will watch the stream from a location with broadband internet access, such as at ITP. The stream will not support dial-up connection speeds.) The following week I expect to see a blog entry (text, images, video or audio) with some analysis (likes, dislikes, suggestions, improvements, features and so on) of your experience. Each week we will also have two camera and chat room operators that can switch off half way through. In this way everyone gets hands on experience.
Sign up for dates to watch and operate the camera/chat application on the class wiki.
Laptops and WiFi
I love having WiFi available and I think it is a valuable tool for use in the classroom. Unfortunately, it can very easily be a distraction as well. ITP has instituted as default a no laptop use in the classroom rule. We are going to break that rule and instead stick to the following rule: Refrain from email and web browsing at all times especially when other students are presenting and during discussions. Of course, the chat application mentioned above is fair game any time.
We will have small weekly assignments that are relevant to the previous weeks material. Due to the fact that we are exploring this material from both a production and audience standpoint, most assignments are two part, one part production and one part audience. This means that for each assignment you will need to both produce something and comment on other people's pieces. In order to accomplish this as a class, the first part of each assignment will be due by the end of the day Tuesday before class and the second part due by the end of the day on Thursday. Assignments are required and turning in an assignment late will adversely affect your grade.
Attendance is mandatory (except for your stream viewing day). Please inform me via email if you are going to miss a class. Habitually showing up late for class or an excessive number of absences will adversely affect your grade.
As if I haven't said this enough. This class will be participatory, you are expected to participate in discussions and give feedback to other students both in class and via their project blogs. This (along with attendance) is 25% of your overall grade.
There will be a short paper, no more than 5 pages, due on March 11, the day before Spring Break. Although the specific topic is left up to you, some topic suggestions are as follows:
-A reaction to one of the suggested readings
-An argument for or against media oligarchy
-A tool or project idea (relating to the class material)
-An analysis of a television or radio program that enables some type of audience interaction
-An idea for adding audience participation to an existing television or radio program
This class will culminate with group projects. It is expected that these will be either television shows in coordination with NYU TV (BCat and MNN are possibilities), radio shows (possibly on WNYU) or live webcasts. Other projects such as tools or vehicles for interaction will be considered but use in combination with a programming element will be encouraged.
Books and Websites
We the Media, Dan Gillmor 2004 (Website/Blog)
Radio and The Internet Newsletter (RAIN)
Jeff Jarvis' Buzz Machine
J.D. Lasica New Media Musings
Jay Dedman's Video Blog
Although not explicitly required reading, the above books and websites are essential for further understanding and will help immensely in class discussions. They also make great material for papers.
The class blog on the other hand will be required reading, keep an eye on it.
Week 1 - January 21
- Fill out the ITP Skills Database, enter both your skills and a project idea that you might like to explore relating to this course
- Choose and enter a stream viewing as well as an operator date on the class wiki.
- Sign-up for the class listserv.
- Create your journal or blog and enter the URL (along with your name and email address) on the class wiki.
- Come to Vloggercon (the day after class) if you can or try to watch the stream.
Week 2 - January 28
Topics: Emulating broadcast on the net. The Nut and Bolts of Streaming
- Network architectures
- Streaming protocols
- The players
- The servers
- The codecs
- Bitrate and bandwidth
- Setup of the class stream and chat
- Find some sites utilizing streaming media and write a blog entry about what it (What you like, dislike, how it could be better, etc.)
- Create a blog entry describing a different use of streaming media (not emulating a television or radio show).
Week 3 - February 4
Topics: Going beyond TV. Nuts and Bolts of Streaming Continued
- Integrating with a browser
- Layout and simple interactivity
- Create a video or audio piece that utilizes one of the layout or simple interaction techniques discussed and embed it on your blog so others can leave comments (Due Tues.)
- View a couple of the other class member's pieces and leave comments. (Due Thurs.)
Week 4 - February 11
Topics: The current state of affairs. Emerging Practices of Internet based Media
- Audio Blogging and Podcasting
- Video Blogging
- Create a video or audio piece and post to your blog with a Podcast or a video enclosure. (Due Tues.)
- Download and install a Video blog aggregator or a Podcasting client and subscribe to your classmates blog's RSS feeds, watch/listen to some of your class-mates pieces.(Due Thurs.)
- Create a blog entry about your experiences. (Due Thurs.)
Week 5 - February 18
Topics: More Emerging Practices
- Peer to Peer distribution (BitTorrent)
- VoIP (Voice over IP) as a live production tool
- Re-working the Class Streaming Setup, individual tasks
Week 6 - February 25
Class Cancelled: See Week 6 - March 10 below
Week 7 - March 4
Outside Guest: Rick Mandler, VP Enhanced TV, ABC Television
- Cell phone media production and delivery
Assignments: Paper Due Next Week
Week 6 - March 10
Assignments: Paper Due Tomorrow
- Review of Cell phone media production and delivery
Week 8 - March 11
Outside Guest: Jay Dedman, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, Video Blogger Extrodinare and all around citizen's media enthusiast.
Topics: ITV on the Cheap, Using the Internet along with Broadcasting
Think about final project groups
- Utilizing the internet for live television and radio broadcasting on the cheap
- Using Java for as an environment for interactive media
Do one of the following:
- Video, Audio, Text or Pictures from Cellphone (MMS, SMS or Asterick PBX) to your Blog or dynamic SMIL presentation.
- Create a BitTorrent of a media file, create a seed, post it to your blog and make sure that the enclosure works with an aggregator that supports BitTorrent.
NO CLASS SPRING BREAK - March 18
Week 9 - March 25
Topics: What is Next..?
- Visit NYU TV (Tentatively 4 PM to 5 PM)
- Continue with ITV on the Cheap
- Finalize final project groups
- Meet with your group and come up with 3 project/show ideas and put them on your blog (text, images, audio, video) and prepare to talk about them next week.
Week 10 - April 1
Topics: Putting it all together.
- Discuss project ideas
- Technical grab bag, topics related to final projects
- Decide and refine your final project/show idea and prepare to present to class
Week 11 - April 8
Topics: Finalize it.
- Class discussion on final projects
- Technical grab bag, topics related to final projects
- Group meetings with instructor, discuss content, technical details and logistics
Week 12 - April 15
Topics: Final Project Walk Through and Presentation/Broadcast Preparations
- Show work in progress
- Walk through final broadcast/presentations
- Expect guests.
Week 13 - April 22
Final Project Presentations/Broadcasts
Week 14 - April 29
Final Project Presentations/Broadcasts