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COMM103: Introduction to Mass Media

Unit 11: The Internet and Social Media   This unit examines the development and impact of the Internet and its social media platforms on culture and society, subjects that seem to come together in the Internet age to produce something both awesome and troublesome.  However, you may appreciate these developments even more if you consider that social media is not necessarily all that new.  Before the printing press and widespread literacy, the public square, the church, and the marketplace brought people, information, and even entertainment together.  Even the increasingly segmented audiences and participants in today’s social media have parallels from another time when communities were smaller, centered on limited activities, and controlled by viewpoints restricted by birth, faith, or station.  Thus you may want to consider, as you work through this unit, that social media may only be “new” in its technology, diversity, and reach; its role in society and impact on cultures, however, reflect aspects of human interaction that have been around for ages.

Unit 11 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 11.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 11.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 11.3: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 11.4: 1 hour

Unit11 Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Define, categorize when possible, and recognize the appropriate use of the following terms as they are associated with the Internet and social media: protocol, decentralization, social alienation, Web 2.0, news migration, information superhighway, and net neutrality. - Identify significant social, political, economic, and technological milestones in the history of the Internet and social media and describe their impact on the industry. - Explain the causes and effects of the dot-com boom and crash. - Recognize the characteristics, demographics, and usage traits of the biggest social networking sites. - Discuss the positive and negative issues that connect social media to blogging, privacy, globalization, social networking, and traditional media. - Define the Internet paradox. - Evaluate the credibility of online information sources.

11.1 The Evolution of the Internet   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 11, Section 1: The Evolution of the Internet” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 11, Section 1: The Evolution of the Internet” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition, keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will also cover the material you need to know for subunits 11.1.1–11.1.2. 
 
Reading these sections should take approximately 15 minutes.  Completing the exercises associated with these sections may require an additional 45 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • Lecture: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication: “Episode 19—Digital Media and the Web” Link: Utah Valley State College: Phil Gordon’s COMM 1500: Introduction to Mass Communication“Episode 19—Digital Media and the Web” (MP4)

    Instructions: Please watch this episode by focusing on how the explanations and examples the program hosts and student guests provide supplement the textbook readings.  In particular, listen for content which relates to the unit outcomes and take notes accordingly, especially when someone uses a specific example to illustrate a point.  Moreover, if you are not as familiar with American media as the textbook assumes you are, you might benefit from listening carefully to the discussions and then writing down the names of media, media personalities, or media products with which you are unfamiliar.  When you’ve finished watching, use the Internet to research any unfamiliar references so that you will be prepared if those references appear in the final exam.

    Watching this lecture should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

11.1.1 The History of the Internet   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (11.1.1.1–11.1.1.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 11.1 of the textbook.  Focus on using this material to develop a timeline of important developments so that in the future you will have an efficient way to study how this industry evolved.

11.1.1.1 The Building Blocks of the Internet   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.1.

11.1.1.2 You’ve Got Mail: Beginnings of the Electronic Mailbox   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.1.

11.1.1.3 Hypertext: Web 1.0   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.1.

11.1.1.4 For Sale: The Web   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.1.

11.1.2 The Early Days of Social Media   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (11.1.2.1–11.1.2.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.1.

11.1.2.1 How Did We Get Here? The Late 1970s, Early 1980s, and Usenet   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.1.

11.1.2.2 GeoCities: Yahoo! Pioneers   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.1.

11.2 Social Media and Web 2.0   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 11, Section 2: Social Media and Web 2.0” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 11, Section 2: Social Media and Web 2.0” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the
readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition,
keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are
not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and
theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter
in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will
also cover the material you need to know for subunits
11.2.1–11.2.4.  

 Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes. 
Completing the exercises associated with this section may require an
additional 45 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

11.2.1 Social Networking: Going Viral   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.2.  As you complete the reading, look back into your own past to survey the development of social media in your own history.  When and why did you decide to participate in it, or not?  And what about the people around you: How widespread is social media use among your friends and acquaintances?  And finally, how does your personal survey compare with the observations in the textbook?  If yours differ, can you pinpoint the reason?

11.2.2 Benefits and Problems of Social Media   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.2.  Because the reading has maintained a focus on the relationship between the media and culture, use the readings in this subsection of the textbook to assess the role culture plays in the evolving benefits and problems of social media.  Does social media have its own culture, similar to the gaming culture encountered earlier in the course?  Or perhaps your experience with social media illustrates that it is unrelated to the culture of its participants.  Practice your analytical skills by putting some thought to answering to these questions.

11.2.3 Education, the Internet, and Social Media: Privacy Issues with Social Networking   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.2.  As you read this material, pay particular attention to why privacy is a significant issue with the social media and then use previous readings to pinpoint any other media in which privacy is as important.  What is unique about social media and what does it have in common with other media, especially with privacy issues?  Keep in mind as you consider these questions that you are not always aware of when or why information about you is being collected when you peruse the Internet.

11.2.4 Social Media’s Effect on Commerce   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.2.  Once you’ve completed this reading, consider your own social media encounters again.  Have you “liked” a business, for example?  How do you traditionally encounter or use social media elements when you are online?  When you need more information about a business, do you search for its homepage or its Facebook page?  Do you follow any businesses on Twitter?  Where does social media fit into your life as a consumer and why?

11.3 The Effects of the Internet and Globalization on Popular Culture and Interpersonal Communication   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 11, Section 3: The Effects of the Internet and Globalization on Popular Culture and Interpersonal Communication” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 11, Section 3: The Effects of the Internet and Globalization on Popular Culture and Interpersonal Communication” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition, keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will also cover the material you need to know for subunits 11.3.1–11.3.4.
 
Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes.  Completing the exercises associated with this section may require an additional 45 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

11.3.1 Electronic Media and the Globalization of Culture   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.3.  Of all of the subunits connecting the media to culture, this may be one of the clearest examples.  As you read this material, pay particular attention to how technology has made globalization possible.  Make sure you can provide or recognize an example of that process in action.

11.3.2 New Media: Internet Convergence and American Society   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (11.3.2.1–11.3.2.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 11.3 of the textbook.  As with globalization, convergence through new media is readily apparent in society, and not only in the United States.  Many would argue that convergence is the economic model of the future for mass media.  Read this material to identify specific support for that contention and also to see if you can come up with arguments which weaken it.

11.3.2.1 Internet-Only Sources   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.

11.3.2.2 “Live” From New York…   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.

11.3.2.3 Premium Online Video Content   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.

11.3.3 The Role of the Internet in Social Alienation   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (11.3.3.1–11.3.3.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 11.3 of the textbook.  When you read this subsection, pay particular attention to the definition of social alienation and the examples that are provided.  Consider whether it is a significant issue and look for information in the readings which either support or weaken that perspective.

11.3.3.1 The “Internet Paradox” and Facebook   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.

11.3.3.2 Meetup.com: Meeting Up “IRL”   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.

11.3.3.3 World of Warcraft: Social Interaction through Avatars   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.

11.3.3.4 Social Interaction on the Internet among Low-Income Groups   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.3.

11.3.4 The Way Forward: Communication, Convergence, and Corporations   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.3.  Focus your reading attention on the examples given which illustrate the evolving relationship among these three elements.  Also be sure you can explain the business models which are encouraging that relationship.

11.4 Issues and Trends   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 11, Section 4: Issues and Trends” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 11, Section 4: Issues and Trends” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition, keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will also cover the material you need to know for subunits 11.4.1–11.4.6.
 
Reading this section should take you approximately 15 minutes.  Completing the exercises, end-of-chapter assessment, critical thinking questions, and career connection associated with these readings may require an additional 45 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

11.4.1 Information Access Like Never Before   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (11.4.1.1–11.4.1.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 11.4 of the textbook.  To absorb the information in this subsection most effectively, as you read this material, think about your own access to information and also that of your family and friends.  If you are older, consider how that access has or has not changed and why.  If you are younger, consider what you take for granted about information and what you would do if you couldn’t use the access points you currently use.

11.4.1.1 Rural Areas and Access to Information   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.

11.4.1.2 The Cloud: Instant Updates, Instant Access   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.

11.4.2 Credibility Issues: (Dis)information Superhighway?   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.4.  As you read this material, focus on the reasons as well as the facts.  Why do credibility issues arise on the information superhighway?  What motivations are behind disinformation and misinformation?  Who are those strategies targeting and why?  And most importantly, look for ideas that lead to solutions.

11.4.3 Wikipedia: The Internet’s Precocious Problem Child   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.4.  Many students take Wikipedia for granted, which is why you should pay particular attention to the material in these readings which explain why you should not do that.  Make sure you can identify Wikipedia’s disadvantages as well as its advantages and that you can identify the alternatives that are available.

11.4.4 Security of Information on the Internet   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (11.4.4.1–11.4.4.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 11.4 of the textbook.  The obvious question to ask yourself as you read this material is, “How secure is my information?”  You should come away from reading this subsection with a plan to insure that your information is as protected as possible.

11.4.4.1 Hacking E-Mail: From LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU to Google in China   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.

11.4.4.2 Can’t Wait: Denial of Service   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.

11.4.5 Net Neutrality   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (11.4.5.1–11.4.5.2) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 11.4 of the textbook.  Pay attention to the term “net neutrality” as you read this material.  As a complex, far-reaching issue of increasing concern, net neutrality is not an easy concept to absorb.  The best way to do so is to come up with examples from your own experiences which illustrate the values as well as the challenges it presents.

11.4.5.1 Net Neutrality Legislation: The FCC and AT&T;   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.

11.4.5.2 Misleading Metaphors: It’s Not a Big Truck   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 11.4.

11.4.6 Digital Technology and Electronic Media   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 11.4.  As you finish reading this brief subunit, put more thought to the one word that stands out the most: “free.”  Given what this subsection is about, which type of “free” (free = liberty or free = no cost) is being referred to and is it important to make the distinction?  Could the other type of “free” be equally important?