Term Project

I am torn and have spent the last several days thinking about this project. I want to do something political, my first love, and technical, my second.

My most firm ideas all deal with the subject of political web video, and boil down to three different potential aspects to analyze (one I may find might lend itself better to a creative project, which I would favor doing). One is to analyze the industry effects of political web video, particularly citizen submitted, such as cell phone clips of politicians, that may catch things that previously would have gone unrecorded. Two would be supporter created video and the what it means in terms of sharing opinions and giving voice in the political process. The third would be on organizational and structural changes to media in reaction to the proliferation of web video news. All could in a way be included in the same piece if I felt I was becoming too narrow, but now I view them as pretty broad topics.

Another idea that would be sort of branching off the original proposal of my midterm project (it was slightly changed) would be to look at new forms of news aggregation, and their effects on traditional media.

Lastly, I was thinking of creating a sort of fake scam and use the pomona list-serve as my guinea pig. Something where I would request information that could be potentially harmful from students by email, in exchange for some made up service, and see how many students fell for it. I would set up a site, maybe even masked as a more reputable one, and after information was handed over, I would reveal the true nature of the scam, and would offer a short survey. I would then discuss web safety and the relaxed way in which people present themselves online.

So... I will continue researching all three projects. My biggest question with the third is how to pull it off technically. If I find that to be too much, I will take the more critical essay route with my first two ideas.

I think all of your projects have to potential to be very good. Personally I think the third option would be the most interesting but that is just me. With how many scams and popups there are today I'm sure that there would at least be some suckers out their who would contribute to your research. If you didn't want to make a whole website I'm sure there are ways you could create a project with the same structure but use facebook as a way to distribute your "scam".

I'm interested in that third option, too, though you may need to be a bit careful how you go about it, so that you don't fall victim to your own project (i.e., wind up doing something meant to be a joke that gets taken seriously, and gets you in trouble for violating college policies). There was an experiment that was done by researchers in the UK a while back that demonstrated that 70+% of people approached would voluntarily give up their passwords when offered a candy bar to do so. Perhaps you could pursue something like this -- a project that explores, with the intent of educating (and with no possibility of harm to) users about some issue in internet security/online presence? (Maybe an exploration of how many Facebook users at the college have utterly unprotected profiles?)