CS47N: Computers and the Open Society

time-cover Weekly ongoing assignment: Expert Blog

Over the course of the quarter you will become an expert on a topic of your choice related to the course. You will choose the topic and create a blog in which you post weekly (or more if you want) entries on what you have learned and what is going on of interest in the world. You will also comment on the blogs of your fellow students. During the quarter, I'll be looking at the blogs and responding when I get a chance. I encourage you to comment as much as you'd like on other people's blogs, in addition to the assignment.

What to post

In each blog entry relate something you've found on the web regarding your topic. Say what it is, and how you see it being important to the questions raised in this course. I'm not looking for your opinions about what you personally like and don't like, but instead be analytical. Try to step back and get a perspective on the implications of what you read.

For some examples from the previous version of this course, see the blog list on the course blog http://cs47n.blogspot.com/

Setting up your blog

You are welcome to use any blogging host that you like. One of the easiest to use is Google's Blogger. I've set the course blog up there, called A frosh view on the Internet and Society. Once you have created yours, send the URL to me. Configure it to allow comments on the postings. Your blog will be public, so you may get comments from people beyond the course. Unless you delete blogs, they will stay on the Internet indefinitely, so you may continue to attract interest after the course.

It will also be handy to set up a reader (e.g., Google Reader) to let you keep track of the posts by the others in the class.

If you'd like some help setting things up, I'm sure we have expert bloggers in the class who can help you..

Additional work for grading

At the end of the quarter, you will have two assignments:

Choosing a topic

Your first assignment will be to identify possible topics, by noon on Monday, Oct. 1. See the assignment sheet for details and a sample list. I'll review your suggestions and help you pick one to develop.