Understanding Media by Understanding Google
Few people who “just Google it” to find an answer to their every question understand just what the company does (and why). Through this course, you’ll join the minority that really gets it.
About the Course
Google Inc. is one of the key success stories of the Internet era. The company has expanded beyond its original search business through innovation and acquisition to touch the lives of nearly every person who lives life online. For example, Americans spend more than 3,400 hours per year using consumer media, the field where Google’s impact is most profound, and citizens around the world must understand what the company has wrought not only to control our offline and online environments, but also to interact and engage successfully with anyone in our professional and personal lives.
Enrollees in this course learn how to understand the tactics that modern media companies, journalists, marketers, politicians, technologists, and social networks are using to reach them and affect their behavior. They learn how to adopt strategies that put them on an even footing with these entities in achieving their own communications goals. They
- think about, react to, and write about half a dozen important books about Google;
- read a sampling of newspaper and magazine reportage from Google’s entire history;
- monitor news sites and specialized blogs about the company and its competitors;
- take note of their own usage of Google and other online resources; and
- learn how to anticipate the future impact of the company and its competitors on information consumption, creation, and distribution.
This is the second session of this Coursera course. If you like, you can learn more about it from the links on this page of Professor Youngman’s blog:http://owenyoungman.com/mooc2013
Week 1: The Age of Google
- Introduction: Why study Google and the media?
- Search and Research
Week 2: Google and Publishing
- Google and News
- Google and Books
Week 3: Google and Advertising
- How and Why the Magic Works
- Advertising Personalization and Privacy
Week 4: Google and Video
- Google, YouTube, and You
- YouTube (and Google) and the News
Week 5: Google and Mobile
- Google and Smartphones
- Google and “Wearable”
Week 6: Google, Social Media, and Privacy
- Google’s Social Circle
- The Private, The Public, and the Politic(s)
- What Would Google Do?: Reverse-Engineering the Fastest-Growing Company in the History of the World, by Jeff Jarvis
- Googled: The End of the World As We Know It, by Ken Auletta
- In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives, by Steven Levy
- The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read and How We Think, by Eli Pariser
- The Googlization of Everything (and Why We Should Worry), by Siva Vaidhyanathan
- The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture, by John Battelle
Additional readings and resources are detailed in the syllabus. During the quarter, you’ll hear from several of these authors in recorded interviews with Prof. Youngman.
- Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.
- What resources will I need for this class?You need an Internet connection; access to the texts and other course materials; and the time to read, write, discuss, and enjoy some some of the best writing, reporting, and opinion on Google and the other companies that are shaping media and culture today.
- What is the coolest thing I’ll learn if I take this class?Among other things, you’ll learn a new definition for the concept of “privacy”; the difference between the “best answer” and the “right answer”; and perhaps what it feels like to be “Googlized.”