MAS.961 Designing Sociable Media

Spring 2001

Computer monitor and keyboard
Computer monitor and keyboard (photo ©

Course Highlights

This class looks at social interaction online, analyzing these interactions through a series of assignments and discussion.  An excellent collection of these assignments is in the projects section.

Course Description

This course is about social life in the on-line world. Its focus is on how the design of the interface influences people's interactions with each other and shapes the cultural mores and structures they develop. We will examine the ways social cues are communicated in the real and the virtual world, discuss the limits imposed upon on-line communities by their mediated nature, and explore directions that virtual societies can take that are impossible for physical ones.

Readings range from classic papers in cognitive science, anthropology and urban studies to recent studies in the sociology of online communities. The work for this class includes reading articles, analyzing existing systems and designing innovative interfaces.

The instructor's own web site for this course is available at


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Prof. Judith Donath

Course Meeting Times

Course Meeting Times:
One meeting / week 
2 hours / session