Welcome to the wiki of NM4881A, a novel module on social media that is offered by the Communications and New Media program of the National University of Singapore. You can find information on the design of the module, lesson plan, readings and projects by visiting the Course Design page.
Please come to class with your laptops. I encourage you to use your laptops during class and we will also do some exercises during the seminar which will require use of a laptop. You will split into teams, so at the very least try to have one laptop per team. Try also to make sure that the laptop has sufficient battery power as there will not be enough power outlets. We are trying to provide more power outlets for the class, but seminar rooms are not designed for supporting many laptop users at the same time, so we will need to be flexible.
You are encouraged to use twitter to ask questions or simply comment on the seminar during and after class. You can use the hashtag #nm4881a when tweeting about this module so that everyone can search for this term and view all your comments, but I recommend that you use @nm4881a instead as it is more flexible. For those not familiar with twitter, you can create an account here and just add the term @nm4881a or #nm4881a (exactly as you see it) to your posts.
Click here for a short tutorial on the effective use of the @ and # symbols in twitter and why using @nm4881a is better for our module.
If you already have an account that you use for personal communication and fear for your privacy, I assure you that I will not follow your tweets, unless you tag them with @nm4881a or #nm4881a. But other students may discover your account and may want to follow you. You will be able to block them if you do not wish them to follow you on twitter. Also, if you are really very concerned about privacy, you can create a new account for the purposes of this class only.
Also note that everything you post on Twitter is public by default! So be extra careful with what you say and what kind of language you use. It is easy to embarrass others or yourself! You are still representing your class and NUS when posting on Twitter in relation to an NUS module.
You can view all tweets relating to this module on twitter or you can read the special aggregator feed I built for our module here.
The module also has a Facebook page. You can become a fan of the module on this page, post comments, and use it to meet other people on Facebook with an interest in the module or generally in social media! This provides one more channel for communication, not only for class purposes but also with whomever may have an interest in the topic. With respect to your privacy, the same advice applies as above (see Twitter section). It is recommended that you use Twitter for comments with respect to the class and reserve Facebook for social networking and general questions.
Facebook's privacy settings are notoriously complex and constantly changing, so you would do well to review them here.
Also on Facebook, be mindful of the fact that you may have 'friends' in your network whom you might not want to share some information with! As a general rule: post frequently, but think twice before each post.
A neat way for us to collect class-relevant bookmarks will be to use Delicious. Not as famous as Twitter or Facebook, but at least as useful, this is a 'social bookmarking' service. You can use it to host all your bookmarks online, tag them, and share them with others. Please add a tag called nm4881a to any and all of your Delicious bookmarks that you want to share with the class. You can create a Delicious account here (you will need a Yahoo account) and you can view all bookmarks tagged with nm4881a here.
Software and Mobile
Social media can be more fun and practical when used in combination with special-purpose applications. You can install and use these to access your favorite websites and post your updates with a user-friendly and customizable interface, on your desktop/laptop or mobile device. Some of the best (often allowing you to access multiple services, like Twitter, Facebook, and others) are: Tweetdeck (Win, OSX, Linux, iPhone/iPod), Seesmic (Win, OSX, Linux, Android, Blackberry) and Tweetie (OSX, iPhone/iPod). Windows Mobile users can try PockeTwit. A neat little application to display Twitter search results in a ticker-like format that takes up little space on your desktop is Twicker (Win, OSX, Linux).
Delicious is at its best when used with browser plugins which make adding new bookmarks, searching for them and adding tags to them a breeze. There are plugins/add-ons for Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer. Download, install and discover the joys of social bookmarking!
Also, an interesting location-based social media application is Foursquare, available for all major mobile platforms. It is a great example of things to come, so you are encouraged to play with it even if we may not use it in class.
Many more ways are available to access popular social media platforms from your handheld device or mobile phone. If it doesn't come already with pre-installed apps for this purpose, search online for your model/manufacturer. At the very least you can access websites like Twitter, Facebook or YouTube from your device's web browser, or in some cases using SMS to post and receive updates. Facebook lists all modes of mobile access here.
Beware of the costs that all this can add to your mobile phone bill!
Module Feed Aggregator
Does it get confusing sometimes when news, info and comments can be posted on Twitter, Facebook and/or Delicious? Subscribe to the aggregated feed I created for this class here (built with Yahoo Pipes and some trial and error). You will notice that it is also embedded in the right hand panel of the Course Design page. Note that Facebook Fan updates are not included in the Facebook feed and are thus not visible here. All the more a reason to use Twitter for most of our class-related discussions.