Syllabus for “Spring” 2016
Mondays & Wednesdays, 1pm – 4pm
Juan Pablo Alperin, firstname.lastname@example.org
PUB802 asks the fundamental question: what happens to publishing in an era where the vast majority of reading happens on the Web? More broadly, it is intended to encourage a critical examination of the intersection of technology and publishing. This examination is divided intro three acts, with a prologue, and an epilogue. The acts are obvious enough: making , discovering, consuming. These naturally correspond (although they are not limited to) producing with digital tools, making works available in the marketplace (both digital and physical), and the digital reading experience. PUB802 is a seminar. This means that the course is organized around discussion, not around the instructor presenting content. As such, you should expect to come to class each day well informed on the topic at hand and, more importantly, having thought critically about it. Expect and be prepared to be challenged, but also to challenge others—without discussion, there is no seminar. PUB802 is also a graduate course. This means the discussions are based around ideas, not around specific technologies or moments in time. We will, however, ground these ideas in with concrete examples and case studies. In combination with PUB607, you will also have the opportunity to gain practical hands-on experience with specific technologies that are of interest to you. We will use the specifics to understand the dynamics of today, but also to extrapolate far into the future.
The course is split between Mondays and Wednesdays. Mondays will generally be practical or technical, and should provide us with the background materials for Wednesday’s discussions. In contrast, Wednesday’s discussions will generally be broad in scope and lofty in ambitions.
The following is a rough outline of the course’s coverage. In reality, we will be much more flexible around dates and topics to allow our discussions to go on as long as we feel is necessary and to cover topics as they come up.
Prologue: Setting the scene
Jan 11 & 13: Introduction to the course
- Shirky, Clay. 2014, September 9. Why I Just Asked My Students To Put Their Laptops Away. Medium.
- Meeker, Mary. 2015. Internet Trends 2015 – Code Conference
- Dash, Anil. 2012. The Web we Lost. Anil Dash: A blog about making culture. (read + watch)
- Derakhshan, Hossein. 2015, July 14. The Web We Have to Save. Medium.
- Kottke, Jason. 2013, December. The blog is dead, long live the blog. NiemanLab.
- Bush, Vannear. 1945. As We May Think. The Atlantic.
Jan 18 & 20: The Web changes things
- Swartz, Aaron. 2013. A Programmable Web (An Unfinished Work) (Chapter 1).
- Marconi, Francesco. 2015. The Rise of Homeless Media. Medium.
- Bryan Alexander & Alan Levine. 2008. Web2.0 Storytelling: Emergence of a new genre. EduCause Review, Nov/Dec, 2008.
- Shapiro, Dani. 2014, August 18. A memoir is not a status update. New Yorker.
- Stearns, Josh. 2015, January 5. The best online storytelling and journalism of 2014. Medium.
- Basile, Jonathan. libraryofbabel.info
Jan 25: No class
Jan 27: The Internet business model
- Shatzkin, Mike. 2011, July 24. Publishing is Living in a World Not of its Own Making. The Shatzkin Files.
- Bjarnason, Baldur. 2015, September. The discussion about ad blocking is very dumb (but not in the way you think).
- Osnos, Peter. 2012, April 17. The Coming Book Wars: Apple vs. Amazon vs. Google vs. the U.S. The Atlantic.
- Shatzkin, Mike. 2014, August 17.This is a teamwork play that could really give Amazon a headache if they got together. The Shatzkin Files.
- Kelleher, Kevin. 2014, November 6. Amazon Bound: Is Bezos Reaching His Limits? PandoDaily.
- Eisen, Mike. 2011, April 22. Amazon’s $23,698,655.93 book about flies. it is NOT junk.
Act 1: The act of making
Feb 1 & Feb 3: Production processes
- Brantley, Peter. 2013. The New Ones: The Only Horizon is Before Us. PWxyz (Archived).
- Maxwell, John W & Fraser, Kathleen. 2010. Traversing the Book of MPub: An Agile, Web-first Publishing Model. Journal of Electronic Publishing. 13 (3).
- Bogich, T., Balleseteros, S., Berjon, R., Chen, L., & Callahan, C. 2015. On the marginal cost of scholarly communication. Science.ai Research.
- Richard Ishida. 2012. An Introduction to Writing Systems and UniCode. rishida.net.
- Gylling, Markus & Herman, Ivan. 2014, November. Advancing Portable Documents for the Open Web Platform: EPUB-WEB
- William J Turkel. 2013. History 9877A: Digital Research Methods.
- Alan Liu. 2013. Digital Humanities Resources for Student Project-Building.
- Alan Galey. 2013. The Enkindling Reciter: E-Books in the Bibliographical Imagination. Book History 15.
- Knauff, M., Nejasmic, J. 2014. An Efficiency Comparison of Document Preparation Systems Used in Academic Research and Development. PLoS ONE 9(12): e115069.
- XML Workflow Diagram. Chicago Manual of Style
- Daryn on XML
Feb 8 & 10: (Reading Break)
- no class
Feb 15 & 17: Production concepts
- Sloan, R., Mod, C., Quinn, R., & Horowitz, E. 2015. The Pickle: A Conversation About Making Digital Books (All parts). Medium.
- Bjarnason, Baldur. 2013. Great Text Transcends Nothing. Studio Tendra.
Assuming you’ve already read:
- Maxwell, John W. 2013. E-Book Logic: We Can Do Better. Papers of The Bibliographical Society of Canada 51, no. 1.
- Bjarnasson, Baldur. 2013. What Kind of Innovation?
- Bridle, James. 2012, May. From Books to Infrastructure. Domus.
- Fadeyev, Dmitry. 2012, October 29. The Return of the Scroll. usabilitypost.com.
- Mod, Craig . 2013. Subcompact Publishing. @craigmod
- Mod, Craig. 2012. Unbindings and Edges. @craigmod
- Mod, Craig. 2011. Post-Artifact Books & Publishing. @craigmod
- Miller, Aaron. 2013. Real Pages Are All About Flow. Medium.
- Bridle, James. 2010, October 25. Network Realism. BookTwo.
- Armstrong, Peter. 2011. The Lean Publishing Manifesto. LeanPub.
- Larusso, Silvio. 2015. From Print to Ebooks – A Hybrid Publishing Toolkit for the Arts
- O’Leary, Brian. Context First: A unified field theory of publishing. From Books in Browsers 2010. Text & video.
Act 2: The act of discovering
Feb 22: Distribution & Discovery
Feb 24: No class
- Hugh McGuire. 2010. Sifting Through All These Books. Tools of Change for Publishing (O’Reilly Media).
- How does the Amazon Recommendation feature work? StackOverflow (see all answers).
- Hugh McGuire. 2013. A Publisher’s Job Is to Provide a Good API for Books. O’Reilly TOC.
- Dawson, Laura. 2012. What we Talk About when we Talk About Metadata. In McGuire, Hugh & O’Leary, Brian (Eds.). Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto. O’Reilly Media.
- Knowledge@Wharton. 2014. Pull vs. Push: Publishers Search for New Ways to Help Readers Discover Their Content
- Herrman, John. 2015, December 3. Access Denied. The Awl.
- Friedman, Jane. 2013. The Importance of Metadata in Book Discoverability. Sprint Beyond the Book.
Register, Renée. 2014. Four Ways Book Metadata Is Changing. dbw.
- Patrick, Chung, Kyusik & Chandler, Otis. 2012. How do Books get Discovered? In McGuire, Hugh & O’Leary, Brian (Eds.). Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto. O’Reilly Media.
- Kathleen on SEO (mini-lesson)
Feb 29 & March 2: Information flows
- Chartbeat. 2015. Getting There. Quarterly.
- Konnikova, Maria. 2014, January 21. The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You. New Yorker.
- Kleinberg, J. & Easley, D. 2010. Overview. In Kleinberg, J. & Easley. 2010. Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning about a Highly Connected World.
- Kleinberg, J. & Easley, D. 2010. Cascading Behavior in Networks. In Kleinberg, J. & Easley. 2010. Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning about a Highly Connected World.
- Hodas, N.O. & Lerman, K., 2014. The Simple Rules of Social Contagion. Sci. Rep., 4.
- Daniels, Steve. 2014, October 26. How To Pay Attention. Medium.
Act 3: The act of consuming
Mar 7: No class
Mar 9: Digital reading
- Konnikova, Maria. 2014, July 16. Being a Better Online Reader. New Yorker.
- PewResearchCentre. 2014. Report on Reading.
- Genner, Noah. 2014, March 7. Canadian Readers by the Numbers. BookNet Canada.
- BNC Research. 2013. The Canadian Book Consumer 2013: Coast to Coast: Book Buyers Across Canada.
- Zickuhr, Kathryn & Rainie, Lee. 2014, September 10. Younger Americans and Public Libraries. PewResearch Internet Project.
- Manjoo. Farhad. 2013, June 6.You Won’t Finish This Article: Why people online don’t read to the end. Slate.
- Crosbie, Vin. 2008, August 20. Transforming American Newspapers – part 2!. Corante—Rebuilding Media.
- Pelli, Denis G. & Bigelow, Charles. 2009, October 20. A Writing Revolution Seed Magazine. Seed Magazine.
- Klinkenborg, Verlyn. 2013, August 10. Books to Have and to Hold. New York Times SundayReview.
- Carr, Nicholas. 2008. Is Google Making Us Stupid? Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education.
- Rosenwald, Michael. 2014, April 6. Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say. Washington Post.
- Any or all of these articles on the psychology of reading.
- Zoe T on Stories in Games
Mar 15 & 16: Interacting & socializing with text
- Keep, Christopher, McLaughlin, Tim, & Parmar, Robin. 1995. The Electronic Labyrinth.
- Namakura, Lisa . 2013. Words with Friends: Socially Networked Reading on Goodreads. PMLA 128 (1)
- Hoffelder, Nate. 2013. There’s A Reason That No One in Publishing Bought Goodreads. The Digital Reader.
- Liu, Alan . 2013. From Reading to Social Computing. In Price & Siemens (ed.) Literary Studies in a Digital Age: An Evolving Anthology.
- Kathleen (on essay topic)
PUB 607 Kicks off
Mar 21 & 23: Measuring & Tracking
- Madrigal, A. 2012, Oct. Dark Social: We have the whole history of the Web wrong. The Atlantic.
- Goel, Vindu. 2014, June 29. Facebook Tinkers with Users Emotions. New York Times.
- Poulsen, Kevin. 2014. How a Math Genius Hacked OK Cupid to Find True Love. Wired.
- Carr, David. 2013, Feb 24. Giving Viewers What They Want. New York Times.
- Simon, Phil. 2013, March. Big Data Lessons From Netflix. Wired.
- Vooza. Big Data. vooza.com
- Vooza. Bullshit Metrics. vooza.com
- Pornhub Stats (Super Bowl & World Cup)
Epilogue: What is next?
Mar 30 — Possibilities and new models
- Warner, James. 2011, March 24. The Future of Books. McSweeney’s
- Kalven, Josh. 2014, July 11. Watch out! A cliff! Or How we kept 10,000 readers reading a wonky explainer on the minimum wage. Medium.
- Leonard, Andrew. 2013, February 1. How Netflix is turning viewers into puppets. Salon.
- Brian O’Leary. 2013. Disaggregating Supply. Klopotek Publishers’ Forum 2013.
- James Bridle. 2013. Hacking the Word. BookTwo.org
- McGuire, Hugh & O’Leary, Brian, eds. Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto.
- McGuire, Hugh. 2013, February 1. A Publisher’s Job Is to Provide a Good API for Books. Tools of Change for Publishing
- Boscawen, Rosanna. 2013, March 6. The Kills: a digital-first project from Picador. The Digitalist
- Munford, Monty. 2014, June 22. The digital future of the book could be anything. The Telegraph
- Fish, Stanley. 2012. The Digital Humanities and the Transcending of Morality. Opinionator.
- Lee, Pippin. 2015, July 10. Will the future of writing be more like software? Medium.
Apr 4 & 6: Wrap-up
- Summary from Tech Forum
- Student presentations
- Josh to present
- Erik on his paper
- PUB802 board game?
- Student presentations
All seminar materials, resources will be publicly accessible. Similarly, all student writing must be made publicly available and openly licensed. Some written work will be openly peer-reviewed online as well, and all readings will be openly annotated. Feedback on written work will also be provided through open annotations and comments. In short, this class does everything in the open, and wherever possible, it licenses any content produced with open licenses.
Assessment is based on a combination of assignments, as follows.
- 40-60% – 1-2 essays. due before March 31.
- 5-15% – 1-2 reading responses (5% each). due before class when reading assigned.
- 5-10% – 1-2 peer review of essay. due week after essay submitted.
- 10-20% – Participation
- 0-20% – 0-1 presentation (class leadership, essay summary, random topic, or wrap-up presentation).
- 0-5% – Mini-lesson on tech topic
You must decide on your personal percentage breakdowns and due dates before submission. The percentage points must obviously total 100%.
You must submit all work in the form of a post/publication on any website of your choosing. This may be your own blog, someone else’s blog, this site, The Winnower, or any other web-accessible location. There is no exam. Essay topics should be negotiated in advance.
You can decide if you want to write one or two essays, the percentage total of each, and the dates when you choose to submit them. Essay topics are entirely up to you, but must be negotiated with the instructor in advance. To negotiate a topic, submit a 350 word abstract (will not be graded) that summarizes your core idea. If necessarily, the instructor will contact you to arrange a time to discuss your abstract. Essays must put forward a core idea or thesis, they must substantiate that idea, and they must be compelling. Essays have no word limits, although essays must be long enough to warrant the percentage weight you’ve chosen. (As a very rough guide, it is suggested to allot 75-100 words per percentage point.) All essays, but especially longer ones, will likely involve a research component. The use of good Web practices (i.e., hyperlinks, images, etc.) are expected. Citations do not need to follow a particular style, but must be hyperlinked in both the body of the text and in the reference section.
Reading Responses & Peer Reviews
You must do at least one written responses to the course readings, and one peer review of a colleague’s essay (and at most two of each). You may choose any week’s reading, and can choose to an individual or set of readings (peer reviews will be assigned randomly). Note that reading responses/reviews are not summaries, but are commentaries, elaborations, or reactions to the ideas of the reading. In this sense, they are much more akin to a book review. As with essays, there are no word limits for responses/reviews, but they are suggested to be around 400-600 words.
You can both earn and lose participation marks. You will earn marks by making meaningful contributions to our class discussions. However, you will lose marks if you cannot contribute because of insufficient familiarity with the readings (i.e., if you have not actually read them fully and carefully) or because of class absences.
Participation must be both online and in-class. To participate online, install the Hypothes.is Chrome Extension or bookmarklet and join this group. Then start making annotations (you’re encouraged to add tags as appropriate).
Good participation, both online and in-class, includes (but is not limited to): inserting new ideas for discussion, responding to other’s ideas, posing questions, highlighting interesting passages, explaining a tricky concept, offering an informed opinion, and bringing in additional resources.
You are not required to present, but if you wish to do so, you can do only one from the following options: lead a week’s class (maximum two students per topic), present your essay topic (conference style), on a topic of your choosing (must be pre-approved by instructor), or as a wrap-up to the course (not a summary, but some concluding thoughts). Presentations should be between 20-30 minutes, and will be evaluated on both content and form.
If there is a tech skill you think your class would find useful, or a topic that you would like to introduce to the class, you can do so in a 10 minute lesson. You can opt to assign readings or “homework” to your classmates. You will be evaluated on the appropriateness of your topic, and how well your lesson was conveyed/understood.