-Network neutrality: everyone has access to information and can contribute.

-Hourglass model: Internet doesn’t rely on one thing; accomplishing the same task differently on each layer

-Procrastination Principle: figure things out as they come

-Reputation bankruptcy: gone so far beyond the bounds of what is considered not acceptable…can try and reclaim it and clean the slate

_________________________________________________________________________________

Wikipedia was highly spoken of by Jonathan Zittrain saying that this website, which is very generative, should be modeled or closely watched. Zittrain states that this online collaborative resource allows for some monitoring and ethics conversations.

For example, everyone has the ability to go online and educate each other by offering their own knowledge on Wikipedia. However, if someone uses this in a inappropriate fashion, there are people that will remove it. These same people also have conversations about whether or not they should include certain details that may harm another person. This was shown with the Star Wars Kid incident, who does have his own page on Wikipedia but his name is never mentioned because they felt that pointing him out was not necessary even though the media has already.

Today’s Historian

March 5, 2010

In today’s society, people’s lives have been influenced and documented by a technologically based historian…the Internet. This has proven to be both a wonderful invention as well as one that we have come to question.

During our Media Issues course this week, we have discussed several topics that Daniel Solove brings to light in his book entitled “The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet.” A subject that I find most intriguing is how a public realm can be used to punish someone and, at the same time, be created with confidence within a private area.

We have seen the overflow of information, and the overwhelming amount of times in which a person is publically “punished” by today’s norm police. Many times the people who are criticized for their behavior or style are celebrities, but there are more and more regular people being covered and criticized online.

We have seen this occur several times with YouTube clips that capture moments like the ones of the Star Wars Kid or the person that was dancing to the Numa Numa song. Even Solove gave us the example of the “dog poop girl” whose reputation was changed dramatically not only in her home country of South Korea but across the globe because of the public’s use of the Internet.

The public humiliation has been distributed not only through videos but blogs as well. This display of anger or bullying has been justified as something they deserve because they acted a certain way in a public space that goes against what we consider right or does not adhere to our societies norms. But do they really deserve this harsh a punishment? Are our online responses the second wrong that does not make a right? Or are we practicing freedom of speech a little too freely?

It seems as if people are much more willing to express their dislike for something if it is through their computer in the comfort of their homes. Obviously they find it more freeing, which might be due to their ability to be anonymous. This can be a double-edged sword because it’s great that people can express their beliefs and feelings in a public area online (as I am on my own blog), but it can also have consequences.

This reminds me not only of things that have happened on social networking sites or blogs, but of Juicy Campus. This site was a concern for many universities a few years ago, not to mention several students. It allowed anyone and everyone to post anything about you whether it was true or not. This influenced their reputation and even employment.

Although it seems that adults are the ones grappling with these issues, we can’t forget that our digital natives are now mainly youth. It was stated in class that even 7 year olds have blogs and are already beginning to document their lives with the help of the Internet. There is a positive side to this because they are learning how to utilize the Internet to their advantage, however they also must be warned of what repercussions can come from what they post. Why? Because the Internet truly can be a cruel historian.

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

February 26, 2010

People have had many concerns when it comes to today’s search engine giant known as Google. These range from the security and privacy of all our information to how overwhelmingly large and influential they have become. The incident with China hacking into Google and collecting information along with the current privacy issue they are facing in Italy only validate the public’s concerns. It was even shocking to media students to see that Google, who once stubbornly said we’re sticking to word of mouth, have bought into advertising and revealed a commercial for the search engine during the 2010 Super Bowl. While all these topics make us a little apprehensive of the company, there was an interesting concern brought up in this morning’s discussion which I have never really thought about before. Is Google making us stupid?

For a company that started on a small scale and armed with a big idea, their intent of providing the public with easy and limitless access to information is now being questioned as to whether or not it has a positive impact or negative one.

In a short video, from the Atlantic Project, we were able to see an on-the-street take of whether or not the public thought Google was making them stupid. Some took a more positive perspective and stated that this Goliath of a search engine makes them more informed and allows them to self-educate.

On the other hand, people also said Google wasn’t making them stupid, but their reasoning did not seem positive to me. For example, one girl said if she were asked to write a paper for class, all she had to do was look up information online, copy and paste it into her Word document and it was simple for her to do. She never learned anything. This seems to be a more negative idea of the company and completely opposite of what Google intended; and maybe that leads to another question of whether it is the public’s responsibility to know what to do with the information and if it is good and bad? Or maybe it’s the content producer’s responsibility instead?

In my opinion, to be quite blunt, I believe that Google isn’t making us any more stupid than we started out. It offers, as one man on the street said, a breadth of information and a depth that we can determine. It may not exactly provide the depth we could find within books at a library (within your first search) but if you are motivated to dig deep enough and utilize credible sources, then maybe you are getting a certain depth of knowledge that is somewhat equivalent to what some books can provide.

Like everything else, Google has both pros and cons, but maybe our real concern should be focused on how we are using it instead.

So what do you think? Is Google making us stupid?

To view the Atlantic Project video visit: http://vimeo.com/9253811

As technology advances, we have found ourselves facing several questions not only about the media, but ones that connect it with human rights, social situations or concerns, and even the education of future generations.

Robert McChesney has brought up several points about media conglomerates being for-profit evils that create uniformity in content that is presented to the public, but something even more important to consider is their impact.

Obviously this issue is affecting not just our information intake but the health of our economy as well. These new technologies are having such a prominent role in our lives that it’s changing the infrastructure of our global economy. Other countries are realizing this as well and attempting to adapt and even mimic the U.S.’s communications model.

In a related part of our group’s discussion, David brought up some very good questions: “Is access to information a human right? Should it be? At what point do we recognize that high-speed access to information is becoming as important to a nation’s economic stability as is their access to natural resources or their ability to produce valuable exports? Unfortunately, if a nation cannot keep up with the fast pace of global economics, we will continue to see the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. This does not bode well for current third-world countries, and is just another item to add to their list of needs when considering global aid.”

In some countries laws have already been formed to accommodate for these technological developments. Finland, for example, became the first country to “declare broadband Internet access a legal right” in October of 2009. Do you think that other countries should follow suit? Is Internet access a human right since its role in our economy today is so grand?

Later on in Chapter 16, McChesney also says that new communication technologies cannot solve social problems because “only humans acting consciously can address and resolve these issues.”

To me it is understandable to say that alone and without the participation of people, these technologies will not solve problems, however, I feel that this is one of the great things about the Internet. The Internet has become a place where people can consciously fight for something they believe in and try to gain support. They discuss social issues they are concerned about and many people share suggestions or their perspectives as well. I feel like the Internet is a main facilitator for change socially.

So when he states that new communication technologies can’t solve these problems because only people acting consciously can…well it makes me ask questions.

What does that mean for the people who are stating their opinions and suggesting solutions for issues online nowadays? How about the nonprofits that gain more support through the reach of their websites, which are focused on addressing and changing these social problems? What about our president who utilizes e-mail and video elements to communicate how he’s addressing issues we’ve deemed important?

Isn’t this use of the Internet showing people acting consciously to address valid concerns?

McChesney, I’m not sure how I feel about you.

More recently, our class was asked to split into groups and form a visualization that depicted an overarching concept of interactive media and the World Wide Web.

Although most of us had thought of similar general concepts, such as choice and control or design and function, our group focused on one aspect that we feel was of high importance.

Value is a huge factor and large portion of the Internet’s foundation. Any type of prosumer will not visit a website or even go onto the Internet if it wasn’t considered valuable. This idea can be tied into the communication theory of uses and gratification.

The following layout describes, in depth, the details of our visualization that portrays the importance of value and its connection to interactive media.

Visualization – Architectural Columns

oslo_traditional_building_columns_9261488

The six different types of prosumers: Creators, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators, Critics and Inactives, are structurally important when it comes to the architecture of the Internet.  We felt that they uphold and formed the value of the content that is presented online.

To visually depict this, there are six columns that are each labeled as one of the prosumer types. These columns then connect and support the top of the structure (or triangle) that would be labeled as Value.  The space or section between the columns and triangle will contain overarching concepts that relate to that particular prosumer.

For example:

Creators (Column) and its relation to the Value (Triangle)

– Content is determined by the creator

– Usability, Design and Function – determined in part by creators

– Control – making content, crafting presentation

 

Joiners (Column) and its relation to Value (Triangle)

– Content is seen as something to bookmark or be a part of

– Connectivity- they want to be a part of it

– Choice- decided to join

 

Critics (Column) and its relation to the Value (Triangle)

– Feedback- to make it more valuable

– Choice – decide to voice opinion, participate in discussion

– Connectivity – feel like contributing to site, part of the content

 

Collectors (Column) and its relation to the Value (Triangle)

-Quantity over quality – amassing content for value

-Choice – choosing which to “collect”

-Attachment/connection to the pieces by having them in a “collection”

 

Spectators (column) and its relation to the Value (Triangle)

-Choice – choosing to “watch and learn”

-Time – time spent watching gives value, done passively w/ little effort (doesn’t require large time investment)

-Silent participation – connecting vicariously through others

 

Inactives (column) and its relation to the Value (Triangle)

-Choice – ultimate choice, choose to reject, not participate at all

-Learning why adds value – why inactive to change to an active prosumer

-Can diminish value if number is too great, not enough “adding value”

 

Creators Joiners Critics Collectors Spectators Inactives
Content Content Content(Feedback)
Choice Choice Choice Choice Choice
Control Control over collection (Quantity over quality) Can negatively impact value
Connectivity Connectivity Connectivity Connect (vicariously)
Time
Usability, design, function Learning Why

During our course today, we were briefly introduced to Google Conversion University. This online tool focuses on analytics and offering companies a sophisticated and easy to understand their current and possible audiences.

This web analytic site, Conversion University, first started in August of 2007 during a time when the market for businesses relying on analytics was small and the sites that offered this same help were considered very complicated or unclear. With these outside factors, Google’s site was seen as a huge improvement.

Google Analytics Executive Brett Crosby stated that the goal of Conversion was to, “increase the level of sophistication for people who are first time users who aren’t web analytics experts by nature, that they can get right in, the data is immediately obvious what to do with it, and then also allow the analysis, the deeper dive guys, who have been there for a while doing this stuff, to refocus their efforts on getting into the product, we’ve added a lot of tools for those guys that do those things, and we’ve taken out some of the things that don’t need to be…that we can automate.”

It has an interface that is easy to use and navigate as well as so many tools available that it provided lots of information and wasn’t dumb down. Any business using this online tool could add reports to the interface, e-mail reports and export items. Other tools that can be utilize through Google Analytics along with the Conversion University include:

Adwords: used to drive more traffic to site

Google Analytics: used to understand ROI and tracking

Website Optimizer: a free tool that is a platform for multivariate testing

Conversion University and all of Google’s analytic tools help companies manipulate and customize their campaigns and websites in order to attract others as well as improve them for their current visitors.

To learn more about Google Analytics and the tools offered you can visit and watch the product tour video on:

http://www.google.com/analytics/

 

A lot of people have stated that my generation is losing a certain something in their relationships with others because they communicate through a technological medium; and in some cases that may be true. However, Stefana Broadbent recently gave a speech, which was present on TED, that contrasted these thoughts.

The Internet has connected many people world wide and not only enables intimacy, but has  become a norm in our society’s culture. This made me wonder. In the future, will technology be part of the glue that holds them together or strengthens the relationship?

Broadbent explains how she delved deeper into this topic by interviewing several people and the person they talked to the most. These relationships ranged anywhere from close friends and family members to significant others and spouses. These interviews revealed things like:

– A person may have hundreds of friends, but really only keeps in touch and are good friends with a small handful of them.

-Massive communication through texting, IMing, Facebooking, and other Internet and technological forms are being done at 11 am.

– Facebook communication is one of the most popular forms of media used to socialize with others.

–  Of all the contacts a person has in their phone, 80% of the calls they make are only to a group of four people.

– It is becoming more and more popular to Skype with family members to feel like they are in the room. Many people, who have relatives that are far away, Skype in the morning or at night to have breakfast or dinner with them.

– Texting acts as little reminders that tell the other person things like “have a good day”

– Today’s children are being taught to understand and utilize these methods of communication due to the growing need to use it in many professions and (when encouraging independence and taking them on trips away from home) helping them learn how to keep in touch while in different locations.

People are constantly using these forms in order to connect with others and the numbers are only growing. Knowing this, how big a part, do you think, will technology and the Internet play in our relationships in the future?

Utilizing Social Media

October 30, 2009

Social media, like Facebook and Twitter, is becoming a more common feature in companies around the world. Some corporations are embracing it and fully submerging themselves into all formats, yet others still seem a bit hesitant to try this new digital component. According to an article written by Kimberly Maul (which was published on prweekus.com)  and a survey from PRWeek, 37% of the 271 marketers that were surveyed do not use social media tools. The survey also discovered that 49% of corporations don’t have a specific approach regarding its use, while 10% “discouraged employees to use social media to communication on behalf of the organization.”

sm

While having a global reach is  considered one of the benefits that have been highlighted by many professionals when it comes to utilizing social media tools, 64% of respondents say its current focus is local. This is interesting because many of the companies and people interviewed say that it is locally focused for now but in the future will provide conversations on a global scale, whether they like what the public has to say or not.

Once they reach this global scale, it can change the marketing landscape drastically. Some of the companies that are already taking advantage of the benefits of social media include: General Motors, PepsiCo, ING Direct, and American Express Open. This was shown in PepsiCo’s recent social media strategy where they turned campaigns into conversations and using these outside perspectives to improve.

To see the effectiveness of the social media campaigns, many companies have looked at web site traffic and the impact it has had on sales or brand awareness. Visualizing this ROI may also be done with surveys.

As companies begin to adopt or increase the use of social media tools, this will go beyond a form of communication but evolve into a much bigger business and marketing device online.

To view the article and survey charts visit: http://www.prweekus.com/reality-check-social-media-survey-2009/article/150009/

A Hodgepodge of Information

October 27, 2009

While immersing myself in my research, I have stumbled upon a variety of interesting interactive media news pieces. Since they are unrelated to my research, and we aren’t having a face-to-face Friday this week, I thought I would share the hodgepodge of sites I have learned from or found entertaining this past week.

1. The Internet Makes You Smarter: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2009-10/internet-makes-elders-smarter

Apparently the work from a UCLA research team has discovered that the use of the Internet actually changes brain functions and increases activity in areas of the brain that are related to complex reasoning. The results of this study were presented at the annual Society for Neuroscience conference on October 19. I guess that means it’s not necessarily rotting our brains away like our parents told us.

2. Mercedes Vehicles Getting Safer:  http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/10/02/in-future-america-ca.html#more

Mercedes have recently demonstrated their newest safety technology entitled “Smart Stop.” This  wireless safety device, when it detects a red light, automatically stops the car if the driver fails to slow or come to a stop. You can watch the presentation of the new feature on the website above.

3. Life Savers (Not the Candy): http://www.yankodesign.com/2009/10/22/a-real-lifesaver/

This Yanko Design product is the newest version of the rescue lifesaver ring. It includes a built in GPS, heating feature to ward off and delay hypothermia and compartments to store food and water. This was created to save lives and increase the chances of survival of those lost at sea.

sos2sos

4. Interactive Clothing: http://www.oobject.com/category/best-interactive-clothes/

This site is a little entertaining. Although it shows creativity and interesting clothing interactivity, I couldn’t help but laugh at things like the bikini life jacket.

 

5. And lastly, if you are bored….. an Interactive Online Game: http://balldroppings.com/js/

Turn up the volume to hear the sounds you create. If you want to test out some other interactive games check out http://www.chromeexperiments.com/.

Memory Box

September 16, 2009

In an overwhelming technological age, the idea of a hand written note seems a little old fashioned. Instead people have opted for constant digital connections with others either through social media networks, gadgets, or phone elements such as texting. These are not only instant forms of communication, but the outlets utilized through the Internet seem to leave more of a lasting impression.

While sifting through an old memory box of mine, I found a myriad of cards that I had received for a variety of occasions, photographs, and other memorabilia which put me in a nostalgic mood.  Once the box was empty I realized that I had no physical form of memories after half way through my freshman year of college. Why would that have stopped? It’s not like the exciting or important milestones ended early. Then it dawned on me. This is around the time I joined social networks and online groups. The Internet became a much bigger aspect in my life because it served as not only a way to communication for me, but as a storage area for projects and a record of my thoughts. My memory box as of 2006 was the Internet.

Previously, it was questioned in class as to whether or not technology would be so all encompassing that, in the future, we would depend fully on robotic and technological creations.  That it would be a huge part of our life. Well, this is already happening. The Internet has replaced my memory box and showcases my experiences online permanently. It is a place that captures and saves my photographs, valued conversations through AIM or social networks and acts as a record for my academic works. It even holds my thoughts in digital spaces similar to this blog. My identity is partially online and open for almost everyone to view.

Although it contains the evidence of many events in my life, I feel that the Internet and technology may never fully replace the physical (since we are human and will always want to fulfill the sensory need to experience touch, feel, hold and see)…so I made a new memory box just in case.