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Social Facts: Trust, Final Paper

I decided to type this in verbatim on my blog just in case I lose this assignment.

Final Paper

For next week, pick a topic to write your final paper about. This will be due on the last day of class.

Your topic should have the following three characteristics:

1. It should involve some aspect of a group that communicates with one another partly or wholly using social media.

2. The group should have some shared goal other than the pleasure of one another's company (Linux Kernel developers and My.Barak.Obama yes, ITP mailing list and Stickam no.)

3. The group should be observable by you.

The paper can be analytic -- how does or did this group come together, and how does it work today? -- or it can be projective -- how could this group be changed for the better? (Including the possibility of designing a way for latent groups to come together around some external activity.)

There is no fixed set of analytic models (users/goals/tools, logic of collective action, etc) and no standard set of questions (as with the 'proposed change' question from the midterm.) Instead, the design of the questions you want to ask yourself is part of choosing the subject.

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