IM 355 01, 02 & 03: Interactive Media Theories, Concepts, and Practices

Spring 2020


Goals and Objectives


(A) Concept Exams

(B) Text Reading Summaries/Analyses

We will do a "sample" of the reading summary assignments. You'll receive extra credit for posting it properly on Sakai.

Click on the assignment; complete it.

You'll do slightly different activities each time you do a summary. The first one is copied/noted below. That work is due, before 8am, the day of our next class meeting. You'll do one of these for most class days.

Look at the assignment for Tuesday and note what you will do. Be sure you understand how it works:

(1) Surveillance Capitalism, Chapter 16 Summary with take away


(C) Concept Application Notes & Discussions

Concept Application Notes

We will come back to these after we cover today's material.

(D) 3-part-Research Writing Project

(E) Extra Credit

Now we'll return to (C) Concept Application Notes & Discussions so you can see how they work and do a sample for extra credit.

BELOW: THE MATERIAL FOR THE SAMPLE CONCEPT INTEGRATION PACKAGE FOR DAY ONE. We are treating the teaching I'm going to do in element "A. What's new about new media?" as "the concept" (you normally watch these via the concept videos). We will treat my presentation of "B. The Gartner Hype Cycle" as though it was the article assigned for that concept application note. Normally, you'd read the article (not listen to a lecture).


A. What's new about new media?

It's difficult to be expansively precise about what's "NEW" about new media. There ARE differences between media elements in place now and those that came before.

Digital communication technologies DO work differently than do their analog counterparts.

However, what's new about it all is being constantly combined with elements of the old that stay in place and/or change slowly such that the "new" is reduced/co-opted, quickly.

One cannot study new media without coming to grips with how "old" media works in the country of interest.

This class focuses, mostly, on media systems within the United States. That is a short-coming, given the multi-national nature of the Internet-based communication environment. But one can only cover so much in a single term.

Mediums are not everywhere the same. So although it is the case that everything about the Internet and new media has global implications AND much of it works differently elsewhere than it does here, we will focus (mostly) on the US.


B: The Gartner Hype Cycle:

"Gartner Hype Cycles provide a graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and . . . a view of how a technology or application will evolve over time . . . Each Hype Cycle drills down into the five key phases of a technology’s life cycle."

Technology Trigger: early proof of concept demonstration and media stories generates significant interest. Usable/commericial products might not result.

Peak of Inflated Expectations: Early publicity produces a number of success stories and a raft of failures. Some players take action; many do not.

Trough of Disillusionment: Interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to produce at the levels "expected" by the inflated expectations. Lots of early adaptors drop out. Total failure is possible if the originators don't adapt to meet needs.

Slope of Enlightenment: More instances of how the technologies can be used profitably are worked out. 2nd and 3rd generation iterations are produced. Enterprises figure out how to benefit from use as producer and user adjust to each other.

Plateau of Productivity: Mainstream adoption takes off at sustainable levels for markets, profits, and user benefits.

So where do we put "new" media in the hype cycle? By the time it gets to the Plateau of Productivity, it might still be digital and it might be very different from "old" media (in one way or the other), but it may also be past the point that labeling it as "new" is accurate.

As we shall later see, the real time frame it takes for technologies to take hold are generally longer than it seems. And of course, there are many "new" technologies (and/or uses for them) that don't make it out of the Trough of Disillusionment.

Gartner produces multiple cycles for a wide variety of niches (privacy, cloud computing, IT, blockchain, etc.)

Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2019

Sample Concept Application Note

1. Summarize the concept (pretend the "What's New about New Media" material today is one of the concepts)
2.Summarize the reading (pretend the Gartner Hype Cycle material is the article).
3. Apply (the most appropriate part of) the concept to the reading or the reading to (the most appropriate part of) the concept.
4. Turn it in to the Extra Credit Sample Concept forum.

5. You have until 11:55 tonight to earn this extra credit.

6. The samples and the first concept application (as well as the first reading summary note) will receive all (turned in) or nothing (didn't turn them in). I'll send you feedback IF/WHEN your work doesn't measure up (if I take off a lot of points).

A note about IM 355


This is a difficult class. There is a lot of reading and writing. There is a lot of material. I update the course regularly. I think that when you are done, you'll know a lot more about how new media works in the US than do most Americans. I'm very clear about the things I know and believe yet I try to treat the material in as even-handed way as is possible. I will say some things about your chosen field(s) of endeavor that you do not find comfortable or comforting. I've been critical of media in the US for over 45 years. Moving from traditional to new media did not change my critical perspective very much, or for long. Like many new media analysts and critics, I was more hopeful at the start than I am now.

The 4 most often heard complaints about IM 355:

1. IM 355 is too time-consuming.

Yes. It's 300-level class that earns a WI tag. If you find a 300-level class that earns a WI tag that ISN'T time-consuming, you'll surprise me. A lot.

2. The material isn't relevant to your major.

IM 355 isn't supposed to be about your major. It doesn't focus on game development, animation, or UI/UX. IM 355 is about how digital communication technologies (new media) work and especially how they work in our culture. IM 355 is about your life, the lives of your children, our country, the world.

3. The syllabus is a mess; the instructions are unclear. We don't know what Ed wants.

After meeting with a learning expert and going over all the class materials, I modified the assignments and revised every single web page. That work took a LOT of time and effort. I seldom make major changes in the middle of the year, but the changes were overdue. I hope the revisions improve your experience and reduce the amount of clutter getting in the way of learning.

4. Ed is a (fill in the blank). He's condescending, he doesn't listen to us, he doesn't answer our questions, he thinks he knows it all. He acts like a (fill in the blank).

After around 45 years of university teaching, I'm still learning how to be a better person. I'm NEVER mean on purpose. I suspect that if you ask seniors who have taken two classes from me, you'll get a much different perspective about how much I care about you than you might suspect now (or this term). Generally, I'm not as scary as some students think on first contact. I am also a fierce advocate for student rights. But, I'm human and I am sometimes less patient with others than I should be. I'm working on it.

A little bit about me

-1 programming class in college-BASIC.
-Nothing at MA level.
-Dumb Terminals and line code for typing, Ph.D. level at University of Oregon.
-came here in 1985 in COM as director of basic speech. Taught wide variety of COM courses.
-was a vocal, theoretical critic of mass media ("old media").
-First PC: Atari game systems, distributed in CFA, (1985) without joy sticks or games.
-First networked machines: The IBM (dorm of the future) project at BU; qualified faculty got a grey box and connectivity.
-later, IBM to Apple (dual boot machine) with a bi-sexual machine at the start.
-led installation of first faculty work station at BU.
-Put COM 303 (Rhetorical theory) notes on server for students to read, pre-web.
-COM 303 to the web: Pagemill.
-member, first online education committee at BU.
-first online BU for-credit class (fall, 1996).
-MM program development committee (with Howard Goldbaum [COM-Photo], Randy Livingston [Art-web] and Jim Ludwig [CFA associate dean]).
-"theory guy," interim chair, then chair (3 years).
-3 1/2 years of MM development/authoring. 3 commercial, 1 grant project: over $45,000 in less than 4 years.
-taught MM/IM 113, 250, 350, 450 & first BU for-credit classes in virtual world (Second Life).
-after we hired Jim Ferolo (11 years ago): no more administration, no more production teaching for me.
-still dabble in production, but no production teaching (I don't code and don't design well; I'm better at audio and ok with some editing tasks).
-I am now a vocal, theoretical critic of new media (as well as old media, as I was).
-BUT: you'll get both sides as best as I can muster.
-now teach IM 355, IM 450 (IP law in New Media), IM 450/CFA 314 (Privacy in the Connected US); I recently taught COM 330 (COM Law and Ethics), COM 492-01 (Contemporary Challenges in Sports Communication), COM 103, and CIV 101.
-In my "spare" time I write books (IP & Privacy & creative non-fiction, non-linear, family bio, Threads), play golf, write music and peform (guitar and sing), do gardening/home improvements, paint w/watercolors & acrylics, and tend to the needs of my wife of 38 years, Cheryl and 4 children: Alexander, 31 [cooks in Denver CO area]; Samantha, 30 [Local ER-tech & firefighter]; Kate, 27 [in Quad Cities with partner, Macon, and our first grandson, Warren]; Nicole, 23 [bar-tending at Kenny's Westside Pub in Downtown Peoria].

(A) Concept Exams

(B) Text Reading

(C) Concept Application
Notes & Discussions
(D) 3-part-Research Writing Project
(E) Extra Credit Grading Special Considerations
Concepts Schedule IM 355 Homepage