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Social Media and Virtual Communities

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Course Topics: Debate

This is a course for the students with a strong interest in new technologies and how they may be used to create new business opportunities, particularly new social networking media.  Topics covered will include social networking and how the business world leverages them, virtual worlds and technologies, skills in designing and implementing social media for business value using sharepoint and iTunes U (hands on projects). 
It is an Oxford-style debate. The pro side will go first and present their arguments for 15 minutes. Next, the con side will present arguments for 15 minutes. We will take a 5-minute preparation break for both sides, during which the remaining teams will be responsible for writing major points on the debate wiki page (follow the links below). You can staff the speaking and preparation as you wish. If you want one or two people to handle all of the talking, that is fine. If you want everyone to speak, that is fine too. It may be useful to have a couple of people preparing rebuttal points and taking notes while others are speaking.

The pro side will then have a chance to rebut the con side for 5 minutes. The con side will rebut the pro side next for 5 minutes. Next, the sides have 2 minutes to think and discuss. The pro side presents a final argument for one minute. The con side presents a final argument for one minute. Following these presentations we have 15 minutes for questions from the audience at the end of which we vote.

My grading of the debate will take into account the preparation and solid argumentation based on arguing based on business value. I will deduct credit for any personal attacks and ploys to use American political debate-style tactics of sensationalism.

Debate 1: Social Media are changing the nature of markets and the ways of doing business. Businesses failing to understand and invest in social media risk extinction.

Debate 2: Social Media encourage immoral behavior and degradation of skills and must be carefully controlled or stopped.