Social Media Innovation by Prof. Johnson


Reading assignments for the rest of the of semester

Here are the reading assignments from now through the end of the semester:

Week 11 – For 4/7 class meeting

Discussion question prior to 4/7 class: Read My Blog!

Class Topic: Search engine optimization

Class Preparation:

(a) Read the Wikipedia entry on search engine optimization.

(b) Download and skim the Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.

(c) Visit, and and search for the same search term in all three. (If you can’t think of anything else, search for “steven l. johnson”). Of the top 10 results, how many are the same? How many are different?

Week 12: For 4/14 class meeting

Discussion question 4/8 to 4/14: What is social media?

Class Topic: Google Analytics

Class Preparation:

(a) Read Chapter 1 and Chapter 3 of Google Analytics by Justin Cutroni (available via ProQuest Safari Library). (Find help here if the link doesn’t work for you.)

(b) Watch this video: Beginning Analytics: Interpreting and Acting on Your Data:

Week 13: For 4/21 class meeting

Discussion question 4/15-4/21: Viral Marketing and the Power of Networks

Topic: Power of Networks

Class Preparation:

(a) Watch this video: How to sell soap:

(b) Read  Chapter 36 (p. 253-261) of Joel on Software by Joel Spolsky (available via ProQuest Safari Library). (Find help here if the link doesn’t work for you.)

(c) Read the Wikipedia entry on Metcalfe’s law,

Reminder: Start Date for Submitting Individual Final Project Reports

Week 14: For 4/28 class meeting

Discussion question 4/22-4/28: A social media elevator pitch

Reminder: The final date/time for earning group quest points is 11:59pm on Tuesday, April 26.

Reminder: The final date/time for earning individual quest points is 11:59pm on Wednesday, April 27.

Topic: Summing Up

What does community mean online?

Residents Take Part in Organized Daily Exercises in One of the Public Pools at Century Village Retirement Community.Christine Cavalier at Purple Car offers these ideas about how to build community online:

COMMUNITY IS YOUR FELLOW BELIEVERS. Any true community is already sold on you, your brand, your profession or your product. You do not have to sell to these people; they already believe in you and/or what you do. Your community is made up of people who will find you customers. They will refer their own friends and contacts to you. Why will they do this? Because, as I said, they’re believers. You need to find these believers. When you find them, don’t sell, sell, sell. Don’t pitch. You don’t need to sell to them, and doing so will just make you seem disingenuous. I will get to what you should do in a minute.

Q1) In our reading last week in The Starfish and The Spider, it talked about the role of ideology in the decentralized organizations. When Christine talks about “fellow believers” do you think she means the same thing as ideology?

The second half of the post begins:

Ok. Now that we’ve established that we want to find like-minded people to contact online to build a community around you or your brand/product, I’ll tell you how you can start doing this.

HOW TO BUILD COMMUNITY: The 3S Approach: Search, Share, Support.

Q2) Reading through the specific suggestions on how to search, share, and support which ones make the most sense to you? Are there any you are ready to go ahead and try?

Q3) What is your overall reaction to the contents of “HOW TO BUILD COMMUNITY ONLINE“?

Task 9 Completion Criteria (10 points)

Post a comment below with a link to your well-reasoned post on this discussion topic.

Image Credit: Residents Take Part in Organized Daily Exercises in One of the Public Pools at Century Village Retirement Community. by The U.S. National Archives, on Flickr

Week 7 reminders and announcements

Reminders and announcements:

  • Here in the middle part of the semester we’re following reading assignments already listed in the course syllabus:
Week 6: 2/24 Topic: The Power of Web 2.0
Reading: Starfish and the Spider, Intro, Ch. 1 & 2
Week 7: 3/3
Topic: Decentralized Organizations
Reading: Starfish and the Spider, Ch 3 & 4
3/10 No Class: Spring Break
Week 8: 3/17 Topic: Catalysts and Taking on Centralization
Reading: Starfish and the Spider, Ch. 5 & 6
Week 9: 3/24 Topic: Hybrid Organizations
Reading: Starfish and the Spider, Ch. 7, 8, & 9
  • My office hours today will be from 4:30 to 5:20pm. On March 17th, they will return to the usual time of 3:15 to 5:20pm in Speakman 201C. As always, please contact me via email if you have any questions and I’m also glad to setup an appointment for other times of the week, too.

Update: The commenting system is still on the fritz. It is categorizing all messages as SPAM. I have to manually move comments from SPAM to Pending to Approved. I am working with Manoj Chacko to fix the problem.

Announcements for Week 5 Class

Some general announcements as we prepare for our 5th meeting of class. This week’s topic is: Cross-Promoting Your Website


Here is this weeks. All of the articles are short and one assignment is a short video:

Other Announcements

There was a bunch of cool stuff demonstrated in the in-class presentations the last two weeks. Here are the blog links to check out for more details:

Finally, I know the blog format can be a little confusing sometimes for finding course information. Therefore, I’ve created a new page to help you navigate through the site. Please check out About: Site Map and let me know what you think of it.

(Note: post updated on 2/14 to add presenter blog links.)

Reminders for Week 2 Class

Some quick reminders for today’s class:

(1) Despite the inclement weather and transportation challenges, Temple University is open today. I am already on campus and will be giving class as regularly scheduled.

(2) As per the syllabus, the primary assigned reading for this week is:

  • Tricks of the eBay® Masters, Second Edition, By: Michael Miller, Ch. 8 and Ch. 9, free online access available via Safari books online via Temple Library — on campus or search for Safari at Temple library database finder.

We will also briefly recap the reading from last week:

(3) We will also be reviewing your progress on the first 3 tasks in The Quest. Today is the target day for completing all three. I’ll preview the next set of tasks, too.

Required Textbook

There are one required text for this course. We will be discussing chapters from the book in Week 6 of class on February 24.

Starfish and the Spider from

Starfish and the Spider from

It may be purchased online (e.g., from or from many local bookstores. It will also be available at the Campus bookstore.

There are also additional assigned readings throughout the course. Some of these are chapters of books that are available for free electronically via the Temple library. The remainder are available for free on the web. Additionally, each student is asked to budget approximately $30 for course activities. The majority of activities assigned in the course use either free web‐based services or computer software already available on campus are used. Nonetheless, there are a small number of activities that can only be completed with a fee‐based service.

Week 1 Follow-Up

oneSome items to follow-up on from the first class meeting.

Photo Credit: one by drcorneilus, on Flickr