Critical internet ecology analysis and map

In this assignment, you will choose to profile and critically analyse an internet service, platform or company that is key to the industry sectors we have discussed this semester. Using theoretical concepts from your readings and independent research, you will situate this entity historically, economically, politically and culturally within its internet ecology and discuss how its products, services and strategic promotions have been used in transformative ways e.g. to alter business models online, to change the way that people relate socially and/or politically, or to help mobilise social or cultural change. 

The company may be a social networking service, a social media or social management company or agency, a games developer or digital arts collective. In your analysis will define the type of entity and its role as an agent of internetworked change. You will give a historical overview of its development, analysis of its ownership, business model and research agenda, and discussion of any political or regulatory debates that it figures in locally and internationally. You will also produce an infographic (a flowchart or other diagram) showing how this company is interdependent with other competitors, clients, service providers and regulators or watchdog bodies.

As this assignment will be published on our class blog, you should attempt to using in-text links to relevant online source materials and supporting images, social media content, audio and/or video. Where possible you will use Creative Commons sourced material and all material not created by you must be properly attributed to the original creator. You will provide a bibliography of all referenced works and should include at least 10 academic bibliographic references.

Marking criteria:
The Critical Analysis should demonstrate: 
– a critical understanding of the history, politics, economics and cultures of the internet and internetworked technologies
– awareness of social & cultural issues arising from networked change
– skills in web writing (chunking, lists, SEO practice, effective and appropriate use of anchor link words)
– skills in web and social media production (use of relevant, illustrative multimedia content; correct attribution of third party content, infographic showing relevant internet ecology)
– capacity for independent academic research, analysis and critique
– clarity of argument & depth of research
– presentation (meets word count; accurate citation and referencing; correct spelling, punctuation and grammar)

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