This is a hands-on class that is part of the University of Washington Department of Communication’s Master of Communication in Digital Media (MCDM) program. This course is a companion to COM585, Managing Your Web Presence: Strategic Digital Platform Fundamentals, which was taught Fall 2011 and 2012.


In 2008, there were more smartphones shipped than compact cameras, and that was before smartphone sales took off in 2009. Today there are more than three times as many smartphones shipped annually as there was in 2008. The world is awash in images. And tweets. And blog posts. Navigating — and taming — this universe is a key skill for today’s communications professional and thought leader. In this class, students will experiment with new and evolving curation and aggregation tools,  from both the consumption and production perspectives. We will explore legalities and ethics, workflows and tools. This is a hands-on class: students – individually or jointly – will select a topic by week two and dive in.

The focus is on creating and curating content and organizing a framework (maybe a WordPress website, maybe a Tumblr) for publishing that content. Students will explore content curation tools (eg Pinterest, Storify) and real-time content creation tools (live blogging, live tweeting) as well as content sharing tools with the goal of giving digital media communication professionals experiences needed for tool evaluation.

The course is structured like a workshop or seminar: each class member is responsible for formally and informally contributing to discussion of readings, activities and assignments. This is a project-based course. This is not a “web design” or “information architecture” course, although design fundamentals are a core component.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Develop and implement a curation strategy for a specific topic
  • Integrate curated content into a web site
  • Organize copy for effective reading on screen
  • Use project management skills to manage assets, allocate resources, and meet deadlines

Required Books (tentative)

  • Content Is Currency. Jon Wuebben. Nicholas Brealey Publishing. (2012)

Recommended Books

  • Content Strategy for the Web, 2nd Edition
  • Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works
  • A Project Guide to UX Design
  • Stellar Presentations: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Giving Great Talks


Grades are based assignments (25%) and a project (75%), which will be assessed based on how well it meets the student contract.

Syllabus – 2012 (pdf)

%d bloggers like this: