Topic: Surviving in a Virtual/Online Community
Purpose: Students are to experience dynamics of relationships and interaction among members of a virtual/online community for a month and are expected to write a report on their experiences in a virtual community.
a. Join a virtual/online community. Since you will observe how members interact with each other while you participate as a member, it would be desirable if you joined a new community. This way, you will have a more objective view on the assignment. Try to join a rather well established community because it is easier for you to observe active interaction among members in such community. Please do not ask us whether a community is a good one or not. Since there are so many, we cannot possibly answer that but this is a good guide for you to judge.
A virtual community
* Has a relatively large number of regular members (more than 30)
* Has a relatively long period of history (more than 6 months)
* Has visible interaction among members. (you can read threads)
b. At least three times a week, visit your community and observe what is happening. You are encouraged to participate as well. Refer to the list below as what to observe and keep a brief journal every time you visit.
c. Submit an interim report on the 30th of May to the lecturer. Your interim report should be no more than 5 pages.
What should be included in the interim report
§ Description of your community: type, purpose, activity, members…..
§ Description of members: any particular members such as leaders and interaction among members
§ Description of activities: particular activities by members
§ And more
d. Continue with your observation and a journal
e. Submit a final report on the 11th of June to the lecturer (at the end of the lecture). No late submission. Your final report should be no more than 10 pages.
My first reaction to this was, "Hey I can play the anime blogging game and call it homework!". But then I would have to be a new member, which I’m obviously not. Or at least, pretend to be a new member. If I do decide to pick the aniblogging circuit as the virtual community, then beware, I will be logging you guys. (Logging is not striking you with a flailing erect penis, but rather the act of recording your articles)
Putting a bit more thought into it, I have narrowed down the choices to two - 4chan or Anime blogging. Both have very interesting concepts at work, far more than the average forum and hence would probably make it easier to write a paper on. The former has anonymous posting which is quite a new concept to everyone (by everyone I mean the technoidiots in my class). The downside is that half the bloody forum is full of loliporn and tentacles and I think writing about it would make everyone think I’m a lolicon who loves tentacles up the papaya of a 5 year old girl.
Anime blogging is on the opposite end of the spectrum. You get your own piece of land and reveal your identity almost completely. A blogger has to be politically correct to a large degree and be socially responsible. Each blogger is also a lot less networked and connected than the average forummer. There is the wave phenomenon, where new bloggers replace those who have run out of steam and then recycle the same posts to new readers. RSS aggregators are also an interesting coagulator, through which drama and conflicts can occur. An anime blogger can increase his status in real life via the net too.
So what do you guys think? 4chan or Anime blogging? If it’s the latter, I hope to see you guys creating some drama so I can watch from the side lines and make academic commentary.
On a side note, I intend to buy a PSP for the sole purpose of playing Final Fantasy Tactics where I can PvP. Yet the entire package (memory card,games etc) will cost almost 500 dollars. This is daylight robbery. So the question is, should I buy one?
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