The Viral Media Lab
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Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Media Studies
Course Number: NCOM 3005
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
This collaborative course explores the origins of social media viruses. We view and discuss trends in media consumption, sloganeering, and fashion. We trace the history of online advertising, YouTube videos, and Twitter and discuss the role of gossip and word of mouth in creating viral media. We read works by Malcolm Gladwell, Rob Walker, Clay Shirky, Deanna Zandt, Danah Boyd, Elinor Ostrom, and Yochai Benkler to gain an anthropological understanding of human interactivity. We define memes, shareware, and other features of the ever-evolving technological landscape in which messages live out their cycles of influence. Throughout the course, students maintain a blog/response log for assignments. For final projects, students can choose either to write a research paper on a topic relating to viral media, social media, or memes or to produce their own viral media video, photo series, or message campaign.