This week is more of a housekeeping week, to set up accounts on various services online and for me to do some IT work to prepare you for the quarter.
Purpose of this class
The end goal of this class is for you to learn how to and actually build public-facing projects of civic value.
How did Facebook Start?
The Social Network, 8:43 - 13:02
Zuckerberg, a computer science concentratror, said he created the site—www.facemash.com—by hacking into House online facebooks and compiling ID photos onto his website, allowing viewers to vote for the “hotter” of two randomly chosen photos or rate the looks of students in a particular House against fellow-residents…Zuckerberg said his primary attraction to building the website was the science of creating the program and compiling the photos, not the prospect of publicizing it for widespread use.
Reflecting on the site’s popularity explosion, Zuckerberg remarks, “It was basically a mistake. I thought the site was interesting mathematically, theoretically…and the idea of it.” He says, “I didn’t mean for it to be released so quickly because I wanted to control peoples’ being offended by it.”
“I’m going on the theory that like, I’m in college just like everyone else, so stuff that’s applicable to me is probably applicable and useful to everyone else, as well,” he says.
But Director of Residential Computing Kevin S. Davis ’98 said that the creation of a Harvard facebook was not as far off as Zuckerberg predicted. “There is a project internally with computer services to create a facebook,” Davis said. “We’ve been in touch with the Undergraduate Council, and this is a very high priority for the College. We have every intention of completing the facebook by the end of the spring semester.”
Q: I want to go way back, before Facebook. What did you learn from those experiences?
A: I mostly built stuff that I liked. When I got to college I started messing around with other programs. There’s this story — I was making Facebook the week before finals, and there was a class where you had to learn all these pieces of art. I was supposed to be studying, but instead I was building Facebook. A few days before the exam I was screwed. I took all the images, and made a website, where you could add notes to each image, and it was a ‘study tool’ where everyone else filled in all the notes that I needed to pass the class. After that the professor said it had the best grades of any final he’d ever given. This was my first social hack. With Facebook, I wanted to make something that would make Harvard (and more open that) more open.
The Web Inspector
We'll be using the Google Chrome web inspector to debug and decipher web pages.
More notes will be posted on Wednesday.