Media, Politics & Power in the Digital Age

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Wednesday 24 September 2014

ARTICLE: “Are we stuck in filter bubbles? Here are five potential paths out” by Stray in Neiman Journalism Lab. http://bit.ly/Qq6gza
• VIDEO: “Filter Bubble, or How Personalization is Changing the Web” by Pariser and TED. http://bit.ly/NC5Xzj
• ARTICLE: Everything You Need to Know about Net Neutrality. Timothy Lee, Vox. May 2014. 
• ARTICLE: The Delete Squad. Jeffrey Rosen, The New Republic, April 29, 2013.
• ARTICLE: Cut that Link: The European Court of Justice forces Google to Remove Links to Some Personal Information by The Economist. May 2014.

• Your Blog Post 2 is due NEXT CLASS, not today. It is the same assignment.

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Monday 22 September 2014

Due Today:

• BOOK: Net Smart: How to Thrive Online, by Rheingold (Chapter 5, “Social Has a Shape: Why Networks Matter”). Available on Knet.
• BOOK: Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, by Christakis and Fowler. (Chapter 8, “Hyperconnected”) Available on Knet.

• No deliverables

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Wednesday 17 September 2014


  • VIDEO: “Introduction to the Google AdWord Auction” by Google and Varian. http://bit.ly/1AraSX3
  • VIDEO: “Getting Started with Google AdWords” by Google.http://bit.ly/M2D2yP
  • WEB ARTICLE: “”ObamaCare”: Google Ads on the World As It Is” by Scola in TechPresident. http://bit.ly/NC4TeW
  • WEB ARTICLE: “The SEO White House” by Scola in TechPresident. http://bit.ly/MsOlBL
  • Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, by Shirky (Chapters 9, 10, 11)


  • Digital Tool Kit 8: Roll out your Google AdWord campaign

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Monday 15 September 2014

• BOOK: The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture, by Battelle (Chapter 2, “Who, What, Where, Why, When, and How (Much)” and Chapter 4, “Google is Born”)
• BOOK: Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, by Shirky (Chapters 7, 8)

Optional: If you are new to how Google works, here are two fun resources:

• Digital Tool Kit 7: Set up your own Google Group

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Wednesday 10 September 2014

Due today:


  • BLOG: “What Is Web 2.0” by O’Reilly on his Blog. http://oreil.ly/T00K3P
  • ARTICLE: “The Strategic Tool Of Working With Others (Or Not)” by Gasser and Palfrey in Fast
    Company. http://bit.ly/OvM49w

  • BOOK: Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, by Shirky
    (Chapters 4, 5, 6)


  • Blog Post 1: Review the Shirky / Web 2.0 readings, covering these three major points:
    • Summarize (highlight the main arguments of) the readings for the week.
    • Analyze/evaluate (tear apart, react to, find problems or contradictions with, give strengths of, explain why you agree or disagree with) the readings.
    • Synthesize (place in relation to, bring together themes with, say what one author would say to another) that week’s readings with the previous week’s.

Each blog post must be a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 750 words.

An important part of your blog posts is referencing other blogs that you are reading or blogs that are referenced in the assigned readings. Each blog post should also link to another outside permalink (preferably on another blog) as part of your response.

The blog posts will be marked on a check / check plus / check minus basis.

Reminders about your blog:
1. You must purchase an individual domain name. A free “wordpress.com" domain name is not sufficient.
2. Once your domain is up and running, fill out this form so that we know where to find it: http://a.nicco.org/1qyyyrp.  If you don’t fill out this form, we won’t know how to find your blog!

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Assignments due Monday, Sept. 8

Due in class on Monday, Sept. 8:



  • Use InstantDomainSearch.com to find an available domain; I recommend using Wordpress to purchase the domain, but you can also use another registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap to purchase it. You will need a credit card. It should cost approximately $18. Remember to say “No” to all of the additional offers they will try to sell you.
  • Setup your Wordpress.com blog. If you need a video Wordpress tutorial, this one by my friend Chris is excellent. You might want to skip the first 5 minutes.
  • If you do not use Wordpress to purchase your domain, but instead use another registrar, then you need to “point” your domain to your wordpress blog. Instructions are here but if you need assistance contact the course assistants. 
  • You must post at least 1 article to Twitter using your URL shortener with the hashtag #mppdigital — we will review these articles in the first 15 minutes of class.

I mentioned blog platforms in class. Here are some of the more popular ones, other than Wordpress:

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Assignments due Friday, Sept. 5

We’re off to the races! Please do the following readings and prepare the following deliverables before coming to class on Friday, Sept. 5:




Email info [at] mediapoliticspower.com with questions.

Looking forward to seeing you in class!

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Books & Readings, Fall 2014

The class has six books, digital readings that are copyright protected, and range of online posts that are required reading. You should buy these six books (available online or at the Harvard Book Store); logon to the HKS intranet for the copyright protected readings; and check this blog for each class’ assigned readings.

The books you must purchase are:

‘Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations’ by Clay Shirky

‘The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World’s Greatest Encyclopedia’ by Andrew Lih

'Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom' by Rebecca Mackinnon

'Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People Is Greater Than the People in Power: A Memoir' by Wael Ghonim

'No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State Hardcover' by Glenn Greenwald

'Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet Underground Hardcover' by Emily Parker

Feel free to send me any questions.

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Welcome to DPI-659, Fall 2014

Welcome to the website for DPI-659 at HKS, “Media, Politics and Power in the Digital Age”. Our first class was today, Wednesday, September 3, 2014 as part of the shopping day. A few notes:

  • Be sure to download and review the syllabus here. It is substantially changed and updated.
  • You can book office hours to see me using this tool: http://nicco.org/hours/ My office hours are generally Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Check the time zone on your Google calendar.
  • Due to space constraints I can only accept a handful of auditors. If you’d like to audit, please fill out this application:

Thanks nicco