Production of Social Media

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M3.2. Production of Social Media

Learning outcomes
  • Student is familiar with concept of social media
  • Student can use web-based social media tools for one’s own work
  • Student is able to produce base material for digital cultural project
  • Student gains ability to identify and utilize appropriately sources of information for a research project
Course contents
Course consists of on-line admissions about social media and its digital tools. Optionally, course consists of research and digital material production for a digital cultural project with an external, non-academic partner.
Teaching methods
On-line course and examination or individual practical exercises and work

Assessment methods: Examination, team work presentations, grading: 0-5

Person in charge
Prof. Jaakko Suominen
Year of study, semester
1st year, spring term, III-IV period

How to do that practically, during March 2009[edit]

5 credits course contains of two parts:

1. Literature and net exam (have to organize an exact date for that)

2. Digital art workshop by a Slovenian multimedia artist Igor Stomajer (Website) 9-11 March 9:00-20:00

For getting more credits, you could make an own social media production or do an essay based on some additional literature such as Convergence Culture by Henry Jenkins and Blogs, Wikipedia, Second life, and beyond : from production to produsage by Axel Bruns.

1. Read and do a net exam about the following book: Katri Lietsala & Esa Sirkkunen: Social Media. Introduction to the tools and processes of participatory economy

2. Igor Stromajer about the digital art workshop

The topic[edit]

I'd like to focus on contemporary, present topic -- and one of the very present topics is YouTube, YouTube as a messenger. Not YouTube as a portal to exchange videos or to upload favorite clips, but YouTube as a place for posting messages, as "PostIt", or sending (private/intimate or corporate) announcements. As screaming to the world, or as our private channel to say what we think about something. Not as an on-line (two-sided) communication tool, but as a single-channel intimate/private media to express our opinion, problems, questions, threats etc, which could be of a positive and of a negative nature. Something like YouTube as a new tool/weapon for new chaotic times (or perhaps for a new revolution, as Alain Badiou is suggesting).

In that sense I believe that is a good topic for students, because it's not strictly art oriented (I know your students are not artists), and it is simple and easy to handle (not only technically but also conceptually), it's clear and understandable. All of us are very familiar with the tool already, so we can go straight to the point.

In that frame we can discus the relationship and possible differences between private and public on-line space, violence, constructed (fake) identities and spaces etc. I'd like to show them some examples of how the YouTube was used to construct reality (realities): like fake and real terrorists using YouTube to publish there messages, YouTube used by political protesters, corporations using it for underground PR, religious structures using it for subliminal messages etc.

I would ask students to make concepts of possible YouTube personal announcements (real or fake) and to realize them in certain contexts. Than we will upload the videos and observe the results.

Technically we don't need anything special: they all have mobile phones, maybe I would ask only for one digital camera (could be classical MiniDV), so that we can connect it to the computer (I'll have mine with me anyhow), and we would also need internet access, but that's all.

The online version of the course[edit]

My concrete proposals are the following:

First we do the opening session, where I take time to explain the theme, to say something about the YT from the perspective of our theme (a one-way intimate medium, or "Broadcast Yourself (TM)" as their slogan is), to propose some other links to students and to define the topic. I will also show some examples online.

Than I would also give some technical details and practical tips, to help them realizing their video(s), like how to shoot the optimal video (camera, mobile phone, format, size, frame rate, compression etc) and how to upload it. We will also create a new YT account especially for that occasion, so that we hide the personal identity of the students.

In the following sessions each student will discuss his/her idea of his/her intimate YT video statement, so we'll take time for each participant to develop the idea and to get all the guidelines for realizing it. This sessions can be individual (one student and me) or group sessions (so that also the other students participate in the debate).

Than -- because each student will have access to our new YT account -- they will upload their videos, and we will have another group session to watch the videos and to discuss them. The students can modify their works after this session, if they (we) think it's necessary to do so. And at the end we can have the final group session where we discuss all the results.

Any time during the workshop they can also contact me directly.

So it could look like that (minimum time):

1. Opening session (approx. 2 hours)

2. Technical session (approx. 1 hour)

3. Individual sessions (at least 20 minutes per student = 6 hours if there are 18 students) -- we can also split this session on two parts

4. Preview session (3 hours for 18 students; depends on the number of students)

5. Closing session (3 hours for 18 students; depends on the number of students)

My estimation is that we would need 3 days for the workshop. And I would be available (online, on Skype) for the students the entire 3 days, from 9 am to 9 pm, if needed (or from 10am to 6 pm, as you suggested in your November 2008 email).

I will use two parallel computers, so that one computer is only running Skype for our communication (so that we can go fullscreen without interruptions), and the other computer is running YT and other things. And I would suggest that you do the same: you use one computer for Skype, you put me full screen and on external audio speakers. And than you use another computer to run the browser.

During our communication I will suggest some links (and will put them into the Skype Chat window) and I will ask you to open them in browser. Or I can make a list of bookmarks in advance and send it to you, and than asking you to open the certain link at the certain time, so that we all have the same link/website opened at the same time.