COM 208: Day One, Fall 2011

It’s that time of the year again – first day of classes at Flagler College in historic St. Augustine.

My first class today is Introduction to Mass Communication, a.k.a. COM 208. Notes for the class are below.


  • Review Google profiles
  • Digital revolution. Impact of digital technology, Internet on mass media, other industries.
  • In March 2009, Jeff Jarvis said we’re experiencing a “Great Restructuring:”

It’s not a great depression, neither is it a great recession we’re going through now. This morning, The New York Times finally realized that what we’re experiencing is more than a financial crisis: “Job Losses Hint at Vast Remaking of Economy.” Well, yes, if hints were sledgehammers. …what we’re living through is instead a great restructuring of the economy and society, starting with a fundamental change in our relationships – how we are linked and intertwined and how we act, nothing less than that.

Check out this transcript, below, of a remarkable video, “Did you know?” version 4.0:

A surge of new technologies and social media innovations are altering the media landscape.
Convergence is everywhere. It is easier than ever before to reach a large audience, but harder than ever to really connect with it.
These changes are affecting the way people behave. Are you ready for the future?
Well over 1 million new books are published worldwide every year.
A Google Book Search scanner can digitize 1,000 pages an hour.
Americans have access to:

  • 1 trillion web pages
  • 65,000 iPhone apps
  • 10,500 radio stations
  • 5,500 magazines
  • 200+ cable TV networks

There are 240 million TVs in the U.S.; 2 million are in bathrooms. When was the last time you read a newspaper in the loo?
Newspaper circulation is down 7 million over the last 25 years. But in the last 5 years, unique readers of online newspapers are up 30 million.
This year (2009), traditional advertising revenue is in steep decline:

  • Newspapers advertising is down 18.7%
  • TV advertising is down 10.1%
  • Radio advertising is down 11.7%
  • Magazine advertising is down 14.8%

Meanwhile, digital advertising is growing rapidly:

  • Mobile advertising is up 18.1%
  • Web advertising is up 9.2%

47% of broadcast television viewers say they would pay for ad-less programming.

More video was uploaded to YouTube in the last 2 months than if ABC, CBS, and NBC had been airing new content (with no re-runs) 24/7/365 since 1948 (which was when ABC started broadcasting).

ABC, CBS, and NBC collectively get 10 million unique visitors per month. These business have been around for a combined 200 years.

Myspace, Facebook, and YouTube collectively get 250 million unique visitors per month. None of these sites existed 6 years ago.

Forty million people have been Rickroll’d.

95% of all songs downloaded last year weren’t paid for.

Wikipedia launched in 2001. It now features over 13 million articles in more than 200 languages.

Cisco’s new data switch could move all of Wikipedia in .001 seconds. Makes the wifi at the local coffee shop seem really, really slow, huh?

Not slow: Ang Chuang Tang of Singapore. He typed a Guinness Book of World Records-approved 160-character text on his cell phone in 41.52 seconds. That’s about 4 characters per second. OMG!

Pop Quiz: how many text messages does the average teen send every month? 584? 1,150? 1,612? Nope. 2,272. Above Average: Brady James of Los Angeles, California sent 217,541 text messages in March 2009.

Nokia manufactures 13 cell phones every second. 1,898 since this video started.

Right now, 93% of U.S. adults own a cell phone. But _ don’t feel safe using it for purchases-unless we are talking about pizza.

Dell claims to have earned $3 million via Twitter posts since 2007.

In February 2008, John McCain raised $11 million for his U.S. Presidential bid. That same month, Barack Obama attended no campaign fundraisers. Instead, Obama leveraged online networks to raise $55 million in those 29 days.

How are you using social networking sites?

Among larger U.S. companies, 17% have disciplined an employee for violating blog or messages board policies.

Twitter played an unprecedented role in sharing information during the 2009 Iranian presidential elections.

All mentions of the disputed election were bumped from Twitter’s trending topics list when news of Michael Jackson’s death broke.

Jackson, Swine Flu, and Barack Obama have been this year’s top subjects for malware distributing emails.

90% of the 200 billion emails sent every day are spam.

The mobile device will be the world’s primary connection tool to the Internet in 2020.

The computer in your cell phone today is a million times cheaper and a thousand times more powerful and about a hundred thousand times smaller than the one computer at MIT in 1965.

“So what used to fit in a building now fits in your pocket. What fits in your pocket now will fit inside a blood cell in 25 years.” -Ray Kurzweil

Now that’s convergence. And now you know.

Source: New Age Media

Questions, taken from Shift Happens wiki:

  • What do we think it means to prepare students for the 21st century? What skills do students need to survive and thrive in this new era?
  • What implications does this have for our current way of doing things?
  • Do we need to change? If so, how?
  • How do we get from here to there?
  • What challenges must we overcome?
  • What kind of training will we need to move forward?
  • Who’s scared? Why?
  • What are some concrete actions that we can take in the near future?

1 thought on “COM 208: Day One, Fall 2011

  1. Pingback: COM 208: Midterm review | Writing • Photography • Blogs • Journalism

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