Topics in Social Networking – Spring 2012

Karl Hakkarainen
Twitter: RoasterBoy
508 829 5825

Course outline

We will explore topics related to social network across generations, around the world, in the courtroom, and pretty much every place you go.

Date Class
2/8 Introductions and course overview

  • A ridiculously fast history of the Internet, the World Wide Web, and the major social networks as of 15 minutes ago
  • Themes
    • I don’t like this. Do you have something else I could look at?
    • What is happening to education and work and family life?
    • Am I obsolete yet?
  • The course ahead
2/15 Generation landslide

  • Digital natives, digital immigrants, and digital nomads
  • The natural order of things
  • Education in a connected world
2/22 The law and privacy

  • Anonymity, real names, and who knows what about you and why
  • Who do you trust:
    • A corporation led by a bunch of 20-something billionaires?
    • A government that can and does seize your web sites with or without warrants?
  • We don’t catch the smart ones.
  • Whose property is it, anyway?
3/7 A really worldwide web

  • Tamam, şimdi Türkçe olarak neye benzediğini görmek izin verin.
  • Why is it easier to pay for a taxi ride with a cellphone in Nairobi than with a credit card in New York?
  • Is the First Amendment good idea in all places and all times?
3/14 What’s ahead?

  • The challenges and opportunities of digital preservation
  • Can I ever be alone again?
  • How can we keep pace with all this?
  • I’m writing this in February. You want me to predict what’s going to happen in March?


All course information is available on

Copies of the slides for each class are posted on the class website. I reserve the right to make changes until 15 minutes before the start of class.

While you’re encouraged to experiment with Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social networks, there’s no requirement to do so.

Recommended Reading

There are no required readings for this course. The following books, however, will be mentioned in this course.

Book On C/W MARS?
Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live (9781451636000): Jeff Jarvis Yes
Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room (9780465021420): David Weinberger Yes
The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You (9781594203008): Eli Pariser Yes
The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World (9781439102121): David Kirkpatrick Yes
What Technology Wants (9780143120179): Kevin Kelly Yes
The Cluetrain Manifesto: 10th Anniversary Edition (9780465024094): Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, David Weinberger, Jake McKee, J. P. Rangaswami, Dan Gillmor 1st edition only
The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption (9781449304683): Clay A. Johnson Yes

Getting started with Facebook

Some students have requested a tutorial for Facebook. Based on a review of the contents, this book appears to be best of the current books. (Because of the frequent changes in Facebook features, a printed book can become obsolete quickly. A book with outdated examples and instructions can be very confusing to a person new to Facebook.) Facebook for Grown-Ups: Use Facebook to Reconnect with Old Friends, Family, and Co-Workers (2nd Edition) (9780789749024): Michael Miller: Books

Note: there are no customer reviews of this book at this writing (2/12/12).

Study Group

There will be an optional and informal study group meeting on Mondays from 11:30AM to 1PM in Charlie’s in the Hagan Campus Center.

We will discuss questions related to the previous class and, time permitting, delve into specific technical questions you may have regarding the web or computers.

If you have a laptop, feel free to bring it with you.  What is most important, whether you have a laptop or not, is that you bring your questions to class and to the study group.


The following links were used in Class 4 – A truly worldwide web




Topics in Social Networking – Class 4

This page is a directory course materials for WISE courses by Karl Hakkarainen.

Worcester Institute for Senior Education (W.I.S.E.) is a member-directed,  lifelong-learning program at Assumption College in Worcester MA.

WISE – Topics in Social Networking – Course Info

Topics in Social Networking – Class 1

Topics in Social Networking – Class 2

Topics in Social Networking – Class 3

Topics in Social Networking – Class 4