This is a guest lecture I gave in a Communication Department course on planning public communication campaigns at Cornell University. It looks at the problem of targeting campaign messages for old and new media, first from a theoretical perspective and then from an applied one.
Since it was originally a guest lecture, I refrain from attempting a broad survey of social theorists or message targeting methods in favor of a few classic exemplars. On the theory side, the talk covers a few ideas from Horkheimer and Adorno's "Culture Industry" essay and Cass Sunstein's polarization argument from Republic.com 2.0. On the applied side, I look at John Battelle's take on the future of media business models and the attendant importance of personalization. I follow this by going through some classic examples of machine learning to introduce students to the manner in which recommender systems go about personalizing our information selection online.
The talk is normally quite a bit more interactive and discussion-oriented than you'd guess by watching this—to give you an idea, it normally fills a 1h 15m class period, while the video is only a half hour.
I'm releasing this under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license, so feel free to share this around within the terms of the copyleft agreement. If you're interested in the subject matter, I'm posting credits and resources for the talk on my Website, the URL for which is given at the end of the video.
Comments are welcome, as I'm always looking for ways to improve my scholarship, my teaching, and my contributions to the Internet commons.