Good morning everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed the first class last night—we’ve got a lot to cover this semester but if you ever feel like we’re moving too quickly or you want to spend more time on a certain unit, please let me know.

Remember, for each class, you’re responsible for doing the readings assigned under the class title by class time. Each Thursday morning, I’ll post some additional background, reading, and notes here for the following class as well. Please get in the habit of reading this blog on a regular basis since important announcements will appear here as well.

As general background, I wanted to provide you with some readings on the history of the internet. You don’t “have” to know these, but I’d encourage you to at least page through them (as ugly as they may be) and familiarize yourself with the background. Vannevar Bush’s essay “As We May Think” became the founding essay of the internet idea.

Remember your assignments for next week:

* Create a Facebook profile and “Friend” both Mike and me. You can search for us or click on this link to my profile (then click on “Add Garrett as a Friend”). We’ll get to Facebook later in the class in more depth but if you want to know what you’re getting yourself in for, read these articles: Wikipedia, Fast Company’s profile of the founder, Jeff Jarvis’s column, Fortune’s take, and Mashable’s company profile. And stay in touch with the latest on Facebook’s own blog.

* Create a LinkedIn profile and “Connect” with us (find my profile then click on “Add Garrett to My Network”). You may have to enter our email addresses. Use the Georgetown address on the syllabus for me and Mike’s Edelman address. For background, LinkedIn is a more business-oriented social networking site and will be particularly useful for thos who are more PR-oriented as it is increasingly heavily used in the industry. Here’s some background: Guy Kawasaki’s take (you don’t know him yet, but another pioneer), some general background, and someone who didn’t like LinkedIn.

* Figure out a domain name for your blog. If you want to check whether your idea has already been taken, go to GoDaddy.com and enter in the domain you want to purchase—you can choose any ending available, from .com to .tv to .us to .org, etc.

As for the reading for next week, concentrate on the Cluetrain Manifesto and We the Media (both are available free online, so you can save some cash in a book-heavy course). I’d encourage you all to email us if you have questions during the reading. Dan Gillmor is a great thinker, one of the real pioneers of this new media world, and I think you’ll find We the Media very engaging and exciting. In future weeks I’ll try to post some questions to help guide your blogging, but for this week just think about this questions/thoughts:

* The Cluetrain Manifesto may seem a bit dated today but the sentiments and ideas expressed in 1999 when it first came out where mind-blowing.

* As for We the Media, some questions: What’s the impact of the changes Gillmor lays out? How does this affect your job and your life? What’s the appeal of citizen journalism? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the traditional media and of citizen journalism? How do you use media in the course of a week today? How much of what you read is traditional media versus something like Gawker or Pink is the New Blog?

Anyway, enough for one week—welcome to the wide wild world of the web! See you next Wednesday at 7:45. Don’t forget a laptop and a credit card. I’ll generally encourage you, as well, to email us whatever thoughts and questions you have over the course of the class. I’d love to hear from you all more rather than less.

Thanks for coming along for the ride—this’ll be fun.

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