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Answers to New Media Summer Quiz 2009

Here are the answers to the New Media Summer Quiz 2009.

What is Facebook?

1. A “community.”
X. A “social medium.”
2. A “platform.”

2. Facebook is a platform on which millions of communities live. (Is it a social medium? Well, yes, like any medium is social. But that is not a very helpful description.)

How much would Chris Anderson charge to give a talk on free as the new business model for the new media?

1. Nothing. (”Free”, duh.)
X. $1,000 or so, plus expenses.
2. More than $10,000.

2. Probably more than $10,000. Could it be that free is the new expensive?

When was the first commercial edited online news service launched?

1. Between 1985 and 1989.
X. Between 1990 and 1994.
2. Between 1995 and 1999.

Bonus question: What was the news service called?

1. ClariNet, created by Brad Templeton and launched in 1989 using Usenet-inspired distribution mechanisms and selling the full service to an entire site (company, department, etc).

Do you think Billy Mitchell’s 1,047,200 score tape was legitimate?

1. Yes.
X. Doesn’t matter, he’s still a douchebag.
2. Who is Billy Mitchell?

The “right” answer is probably 2. Knowing who Billy Mitchell is and caring about his alleged Donkey Kong world record is really not very healthy. (But for the unhealthy, the movie King of Kong is strongly recommended.)

How many different file formats can you name for digital video?

1. None, really.
X. One or two.
2. Three or more.

Trick question. Let’s cross our fingers for the success of native video support in HTML5. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all get over some of the codec vs. file format vs. bandwidth vs. browser vs. operating system tangle?

Match the faces of new-media luminaries (A-F) to corresponding buzzwords (I-VI).


Bonus question: Sort the faces into old hype and new hype.
Bonus question: Put names on the faces.

A: Nicholas Negroponte — From bits to atoms — Old hype.
B: Kjell A Nordström — Funky business — Old hype.
C: Jack Dorsey — What are you doing? — New hype (Twitter).
D: Howard Rheingold — Smart mobs — Old hype.
E: Clay Shirky — Here comes everybody — New hype (p2p, participatory media).
F: Lawrence Lessig — Creative commons — New hype.