Week 2 assignments

Data ownership and usage

Adrian Williams, Unsplash

Who owns your data? Who can make money off it? Do they owe you anything if they do? Who is tracking you on the web? Can you stop them? How do you cultivate a public digital identity, or even manage your private digital identity, in ways that are safe and sustainable? These are some of the questions we'll explore this week. We'll also get started building your own domains on the web.


For Monday (8am)

Read the three articles listed below under "Readings." Leave at least two annotations via hypothes.is, in our digitalstudies group. 

Setup a domain at umw.domains that you will be working on for the course of the semester. If you already have one that you'd like to continue working on, great! (Though if it's mostly a website/blog specific to another class, you may want to create a new subdomain.) Otherwise, create a new one. Claim your domain name and install an app (such as WordPress, Known, Grav, etc.) in that space. Start playing around with themes and layout, and start to get it looking the way you like. (See the "Resources" at the bottom of this page for helpful documentation.) Then drop a link to your new domain in the #domains channel on Slack.

If you're looking for ideas for your domain, check out The 12 Days of Domains, which lists a number of exemplary student and faculty domains at UMW.

For Tuesday (8am)

Read through your colleagues' annotations on the three readings of the week. Leave at least one reply in hypothes.is, and come to class prepared to discuss these readings and the discussions begun in the annotations.

Tuesday class meeting

We will discuss the readings of the week, along with the following questions:

  • Who owns your tweets, Facebook posts, photos, GIFs?
  • Can Flickr sell the images you upload? Can Instagram?
  • If Flickr sells your images, do they owe you money? Does Facebook own the images and videos you post?
  • If you delete a page from your own domain, is it gone from the internet? A post on social media?

Time permitting, we'll use Diff Checker to compare two or more different versions of an app's terms of service to uncover changes over time.

For Thursday

Think about the connected/web-based tools you use most often. Come to class with a list (written or in your head) of a handful of them for us to critically examine.

Thursday class meeting

We'll devote most of the class to exploring the following questions (from Jesse Stommel and Sean Michael Morris, Digital Pedagogy Lab) for some of the tools you brainstormed. Then we'll walk through an introduction to next week's materials.

For Friday

Complete your self-assessment for Weeks 1 and 2. Make a copy of the template in Google Drive, fill it out, and share it with me at kshaffer@umw.edu. See syllabus and template for instructions.

For materials due Monday and Tuesday, see the Week 3 guide.