Social networking class offered in fall

Joey Large

Tired of not getting the credit you deserve for your daily regiment of scholarly Facebooking?

It may sound too good to be true, but beginning in Fall 2009, City College will be offering an online class to hone your social networking skills with “Social Media and Social Networking,” taught by Library Director Kenley Neufeld. Steven W. DaVega, director of the School of Media Arts Mobile Media Institute, implemented the course.

“It’s a chance to explore some new technologies and help develop the future,” Neufeld said.

The class will integrate different social networking Web sites that apply not only to self-promotion, but also to media, business and marketing.

“It’s really the most relevant thing you can do,” DaVega said. He added that teaching a networking class in a multimedia program is new for colleges. DaVega said that while other colleges have offered a social networking class in library sciences or applied communication, this class will focus on applied media.

Neufeld defined social networking as “an online community for sharing and building content together.” Such sites include MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.

“You’re sharing information, and by sharing information you’re creating content,” Neufeld said. He explained that while the critical thinking from one person limits content, the inclusion of more people, brains and experience leads to the creation of more content.

Jordan Richardson, a second year communication and design student, said the class relates to what students want to do-which includes business and self-promotion.

“If somebody told me I can take a class on MySpace, I’d do it,” Richardson said. He added that when taking online classes, people are often on MySpace at the same time anyway.

With such a cross-disciplinary class-bridging computer science, communication, marketing and technology-DaVega said that it took almost a year to agree on what the class should encompass and how it should be taught.

“The point is not only to study the technology–but also history,” DaVega said, adding that the class will cover everything from blogging to Facebook.

Neufeld related Twitter–a social networking site where posts are similar to a text message-to what blogs were 10 years ago. While many Web sites allow comments on blogs and articles online, Neufeld said that some comments are now being posted exclusively on Twitter and FriendFeed.

He stated that his expectations for the class are “to learn and have fun,” adding that the social media is a new, innovative and experimental form of content.

Neufeld said that the class will incorporate the tools and themes of social media and social networking-those themes being sharing and openness. He plans to share class content created online, rather than protect it like most online teachers.