Thursday, August 11, 2005

Critical Evaluation Exercise

Critically evaluate one blog or podcast in terms of its position, contribution and relation to participatory culture and digital communication.

WORD LIMIT: 1500 Words.
VALUE: 20% of your overall mark for the course.
DUE IN PRINT: Before 5pm, Thursday 15th September, to be submitted with a cover sheet to the English, Communication & Cultural Studies Office.
DUE ONLINE: Before 9am, Friday 16th September, to be posted to the course blog.

(NB: You must submit in both formats for your Critical Evaluation to be marked).

Below are a list of suggested blogs and podcasts you can choose to evaluate. You may choose your own blog or podcast to evaluate if discussed with and cleared by Tama Leaver before Wednesday, 7th September.

Possible Blogs:
[X] Lessig Blog (Lawrence Lessig & Occasional Visitor's Blog):
[X] New Media Musings (JD Lasica's Blog):
[X] Creative Commons Blog:
[X] Dan Gillmor's Blog:
[X] Darknet Blog:
[X] Smart Mobs (Howard Rheingold et al's Blog):

Possible Podcasts:
[X] The Daily Source Code (Adam Curry's Podcast):
[X] The Gillmor Gang:
[X] The Signal (Serenity Fan Community Podcast):
[X] The Gadget Show (Richard Giles' Podcast):

A Few Hints'n'Tips:
[X] For the larger blogs and podcasts you are not expected to read everything in the blog or listen to all the podcasts. Rather, listen to or read enough to get a good sense of the tone, position and politics of the blog or podcast. Why is it being made? Who's writing/recording it? What is their aim? How does this relate to participatory culture? How is this instance of digital communication both similar to and different to previous media (especially print media or radio)?
[X] Normal citation and plagiarism rules apply. You must cite all sources clearly, not just give URLs. (If citing blogs, be sure to use the specific links to each blog post; the overall link to the blog is not sufficient.) If you are in any way unclear about citation or plagiarism, please see Tama before you submit your assignment!
[X] Remember, this is a scholarly evaluation at Honours Level. Secondary material to support your argument is absolutely necessary.
[X] When posting your Critical Evaluation Exercise to the course blog, please convert footnotes and URLs to live hyperlinks (eg don't just have the text, but rather use the link tool in Blogger to make sure it's a clickable link such as


1.Your written work should be submitted to the ECCS Office with a cover-sheet attached. Please do NOT submit written work directly to your tutor. (If you do, there may be no official record that the work was ever submitted.)
2. In order to satisfy course requirements, students must submit work by the due date. Unless an extension of the due date has been granted, late assignments will incur a penalty of 2 marks per working day. (Extension requests should be made in writing to your tutor, and will normally require a medical certificate.) A grade of 'NM' will be recorded if no assignment is submitted. No work will be accepted after the end of the examination period (without a formal deferral from the Academic Student Advisor).
3. It is essential to KEEP A COPY of your work. In the case of loss of an assignment, notes or an earlier draft cannot be accepted as substitutes.
4. Please do NOT write on both sides of the paper.
5. Whether your work is typed or hand-written, it should be DOUBLE-SPACED. (For handwritten work, this means that you write on every second line.)
6. Please leave a WIDE MARGIN in case the marker needs to offer comments and annotations.
7. PLAGIARISM Please be aware that the work you submit must be your own work with no unacknowledged debt to some other writer or source. To pass off written work as your own, whether you have copied it from someone else or from somewhere else (be it a published writer, another person, a TV program, a library anthology, or whatever) is to deprive yourself of the real benefits of this course and to be guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offence! University policy is that plagiarism, the unacknowledged quotation of material from other people's work, is a ground for failure. Any work that contains ideas or phrases taken from other works without acknowledgement - PLAGIARISM - will be failed, given the grade of 0 and your name placed on the Faculty's Plagiarism Register. This includes direct quotations, when a section of one text is transposed into another without any changes, and indirect paraphrasing, when the main ideas and arguments of someone else's work are used. If you take notes from other sources (critical articles, background works, etc) you must quote carefully and accurately, and acknowledge the quotation. Even if you paraphrase, you must still acknowledge that you are paraphrasing. This is very important!


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