Wednesday, March 31, 2010

escaping reality in 2nd Life

I had heard of Second Life in another class prior to reading this chapter and was pretty amazed by it. The virtual world in which anyone can become whoever they want is really captivating. I thought that the "Linden money" concept, which is directly related to actual U.S. dollars. Therefore businesses such as amazon are able to make money off of books that Professor Levinson created in his virtual bookstore to actually be purchased. In turn, the new new media of 2nd Life connects to the new media of, to the media of the book created. What is truly amazing is that all of this can be done from the comfort of ones desk at their computer.
I appreciated the option to create town centers, seminars, islands and very specific cities such as the Victorian one that included a planetarium, which is a way to gather information and explore fantasy realms. These locations have the benefit of moving graphics and audio that other social media can not provide.
However, I did not understand the point of sex in second life, considering the entire point of sex is physical intimacy. I think that the purchase of "love furniture" would be a complete waste as well.

Second Life

Like some of my other classmates I found the sex part of Second Life creepy and quite disgusting. I think that the sexual world on second life creates a false understanding of ones body and sexual intercourse. The ability to buy and change body parts is wrong on so many levels and creates this idea that if you're not happy with your body you can just pay to change it. It does not promote healthy self-confidence and I am surprised more people aren't outraged with this program.

Levinson states "sex in second life has the advantage of not conveying sexually transmitted disease or resulting in pregnancy." While not all sexual encounters end in STDs or pregnancy but having it never happen--especially when you don't know anything about the person you are having "sex" with--creates a false world. It shows no consequences for actions and I think that this is an improper use for a medium that probably has a lot of younger kids using.

Second Life as Fantasy

In my opinion Second Life should be treated almost exclusively as fantasy. People have different fantasies of flying, being a supermodel, or being a professional athlete, and it is possible that these people get a certain amount of satisfaction by creating an avatar that can become these things. If I remember correctly, the PBS documentary also had a story of a video game convention where several people met up who had previously played with each other online. Some of the players described a joy they experienced from being something different then their real self. If people experience a certain happiness from Second Life I have nothing against it, but I have no need for it.

In my ethics class, someone brought up that a couple was so obsessed with their Second Life avatars that their real-life baby starved to death. When Second Life becomes so involved in real life, it is no longer a fantasy. In addition, I see the benefits for business meetings, but sexual acts seem rather strange. As strange as it is, if it's a single (not married) person's fantasy then I have no problem with it. However, when it involves married people, or people with different identities, ethics becomes an issue. I think we should treat Second Life as fantasy only unless it is used for practical business practices.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Second Life

The most interesting thing that I found about this chapter was that the majority of functions on Second Life require "Linden dollars" which translates into real money. This enables the site to establish real world complications between the "haves" and "have-nots", those who can afford to spend on Second Life and those who cannot. Although Levinson points out that things needed to be purchased are relatively, $5 USD to open up a bookstore, these functions can certainly add up and present a problem for the money conscious. In the this scenario Second Life might be more suited for adults with money to spend as opposed to a young middle school child who sees $30 or $40 dollars as a larger sum. Unlike other new media sites, such as Facebook and MySpace which are free, Second Life closes itself off to those who cannot afford to participate.

There's No Need For A Second Life

There’s No Need for Seconds

Second life offers users the ability to live vicariously through their online avatar. This offers just as many commercial opportunities as any other social medium although it often comes at a price. In the “Sims-Like” world of second life people must pay for the luxuries and amenities that they obtain. This capitalist idea not only makes for lots of money to be made, but those with the deepest pockets to be king. Levinson mentions in his New New Media book that things can be bought on Second Life including certain pieces of furniture that include sexual positions that can be done on them. If the real world didn’t have enough of a problem with aesthetics earned by money these problems would be much greater on second life.

In addition to people buying status in Second Life I think Second life defeats the purpose of social networking. The purpose of social networking is be able to communicate with those who you know when they are not around, but if you never see them it stops being social networking. When you never have physical contact with a friend it is no longer social networking, but antisocial networking.

Second Life Spoof

Like many of my classmates, I had also never heard of Second Life until reading the chapter in Levinson's book. I also had a similar reaction. I personally find the social network to be disturbing and creepy. I do not see any appeal in it. I thought it was interesting to learn that some businesses and companies use Second Life to conduct meetings and discuss matters without having to pay the travel expenses and coordinating schedules. However, those are just the expectations of such a job. I do not find it very necessary to conduct business in this way. Any other activity on Second Life such as paying actual money to buy virtual items and having sexual relations with other avatars completely boggles my mind.

I found the video below on Youtube. I think it's a funny yet accurate depiction of what Second Life activity would look like in real life. Levinson's chapter on Second Life didn't really delve into the movement of the social network. I was hoping he would elaborate on the movement and dynamic of the avatars. However, I read in an article that movements on Second Life are very jerky. This is shown in the video with people running into walls and furniture. The scenes of people typing on an imaginary keyboard while standing right in front of the other person is a good representation of the impersonal conversation held in Second Life through the chat option. Why chat in this way with a complete stranger? Why not actually engage in conversations with friends and family, or go out and form real friendships and relationships with people in actual locations. The fact that people want a "Second Life" is confusing to me. It seems to me that the social network site in a sense encourages people to avoid the reevaluation of their real lives by simply creating another virtually. In my opinion, if these people are using this site in the first place, their lives may in fact need some reevaluating. Harsh as that may be. Well, I got a good laugh out of the video and I hope you all do too!

Second Life- Extension on use of it in the Office

Jose posted a few thoughts about how IBM uses Second Life daily amongst its employers in his post below. This was seen in the PBS documentary we had to watch for this class.
I can remember seeing how the employers were informed that they had to join, and then were taught about the dynamics of the social media. At first, those who were learning looked extremely hesitant, as they saw Second Life as another distraction that was only going to prevent them from being productive in the work place.
Then the documentary featured those who had been using Second Life for some time already, and discussed with them how efficient it was for them, how enjoyable they found it, and even how much time they spent on it.
Whether or not these people really make business for IBM more successful, I can't help but find that the use of Second Life as a primary way for holding meetings and other events, as extremely weird and unnecessary.
I think wasting employers' time creating profiles for a network that they will eventually get distracted by, and spend too much time on isn't worth the benefits of using it. Does anyone else find it extremely weird how when they were holding one of their meetings, everyone was bickering about whether their avatars should be sitting indoors or outside in the sun??

Second Life

Professor Levinson describes Second Life as if it where another personality of the person and I guess for some people it is. I saw a report about IBM and this is how they conduct their meetings it doesn’t matter what part of the world you’re in you can log in to second life and join the meeting and the company loves it because it saves them money on flights and boarding but all the issues are discussed. I believe it’s another way for people to hide behind a computer and not socially interact with other humans face to face. Even though you have to admit that its like a video were you make yourself look as you wish and its your voice everyone hears but I repeat we are losing the face to face conversations and not to mention SEX in the virtual world. Creepy!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Second Life Sex...Really?

Second Life, the name of a virtual reality I am yet to ever experience and after this chapter, hesitant to visit. The idea of sex in Second Life is flat out strange. People purchase body parts and use them in sexual acts with their avatars. Is that weird to anyone else?
Two issues come to mind, though I'm sure there are many more, when I read this chapter. Many people use the internet to escape reality and its limit, in doing so, some people switch genders. This makes it entirely possible that one's avatar could be doing sexual acts with a female avatar of a male user. Just food for thought. What does this mean for users and people on Second Life? Is there a concern or screening to prevent that?
Secondly, if your avatar gets with another avatar, are you cheating? I'm sure this question will get a variety of answers and explanations. In my book, yes. But I'm curious to hear others opinions. So please voice them.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Questionable Sanity of Second Life

A few disclaimers: I had never heard of Second Life before this class, have no experience with the actual site besides logging on to its homepage briefly two minutes ago and think that I am a fairly open-minded person when it comes to technology and new media. That being said, I find Second Life ludicrous and slightly disturbing.

At first, I tried to think of it as a video game- a virtual reality that you engage with briefly for leisurely fun. The more I read about it, however, the more I realized that for many of its users Second Life is not brief distraction from life- it is their life. Except it isn't- it is a life people can never actually have. The thing that most disturbs me is the amount of falsification involved in this. On Second Life, you change your last name, body parts and can lie about a vast number of other personality related things- you are living a life you do not have.

Professor Levinson vividly describes his experience as a bookstore owner, which was definitely interesting, since he is a writer in real life and can use Second Life to "enhance" his brand. But is that what it is really accomplishing? I have my doubts that a virtual bookstore reading is as meaningful as a physical one. Additionally, I understand that reality is not always ideal, but I think that these people whose life is dominated by Second Life should instead channel their energy into constructing a better actual life than avoiding it altogether.

A simple Google search affirmed my weariness about the site: numerous disturbing reports surfaced. In the UK, an unemployed couple divorced over a cyber-affair, a virtual adultery on Second Life. The couple originally got married both in Second Life and in reality, before the wife discovered signs of the affair on the game. Cleverly titled "Divorced from Reality," the original article goes into detail about the crazy story and their crazy blurred existence. I think a look at their characters (reality right, Second Life left) shows the degree of incongruity on Second Life.

I do see how Second Life can be seen as democratic and harmless (to a degree). I apologize for being so cynical, I just think that this form of social media sincerely detracts from our actual existences, the exact opposite of social media's actual intentions.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I just recently created a Twitter account for this class, and I have to say that I love Twitter. I always thought that Twitter was too public - writing where you are at, what you are doing - publicly announcing it to the world I thought was a bit too much. But being able to put private settings and being able to see quotes or just talk to your friends through twitter is interesting. I say interesting because we can easily call, text, email, or chat but twitter is a whole new world. Also the advertising is different - reaching to each person on a direct level but also a public level since everyone can view the tweets. Twitter really does bring interpersonal and mass communication as one.


I can distinctly remember sitting in class Freshman year and the professor asked us if anyone had heard of two new websites that were just beginning to gain popularity. The first one was Second Life and the other Twitter. One or two people raised their hand for Second Life but no one had heard of Twitter. This was just three years ago and the majority of the class agreed that they saw no potential in this new site with the odd name. For most of the class, the need to post status updates was already satisfied by Facebook and there was no need for a new site. How wrong the class was!!
What is most striking to me about Twitter is its link to older media. Other forms of media, such as television or print actually report on Twitter and people's post. Often on television the broadcaster will show the latest photos posted on Twitter from their favorite subscriber or point out the day's best Tweets. Popular magazines often have pages devoted to pairing celebrities with their usernames and Tweets. There are even feuds between subscribers that are watched carefully by older media and reported on as though they are occurring face to face. When going through these older media I fail to see such in dept reporting on happenings that occur on Faceboook or Myspace or any other popular site. Twitter seems to be its own world that has its own events that get reported on as though they occur on another planet.


I opened up a Twitter account at the start of this class and I don’t see any excitement in it. Yes! you can follow people on it but if they don’t follow you; you can’t send them a message not even a reply so what’s the use. I personally do not compare it in any way to Facebook, Facebook has an easier way to communicate and the following is mutual. Mr. Levinson speaks about congressman that tweets too much and of Iran I see twitter as a political or business venue


On page 137 Professor Levinson states "in that function, Twitter becomes a type of wire service, like AP or Reuters. 'Followers' receive these messages but do not usually reply." I thought it was interesting that he said followers do not usually reply and I do think this is true but I believe the ability to reply is an amazing aspect of Twitter. It gives a voice to the consumer/viewer and creates a positive democratic web atmosphere.

An example of a follower replying to a company that came to mind while reading this section had nothing to do with a news article being sent out but a reaction to a mass marketing campaign. The campaign wasn't even through twitter but twitter was the only real way consumers and those upset with the campaign could reach out to the company. About a year and a half ago Motrin ran a campaign that incorporated the differences between moms who carry their children as opposed to use strollers. There was a huge outcry and the group who was offended quickly took to their twitters. The ads were removed by the end of the day showing that twitter in a inter-personal (people directly reaching out to Motrin) and a mass communication (others simply ranting about Motrin) has an overwhelming power.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Twitter Trims The Fat

Twitter provides users with a social medium in which they can make short comments as often as they would like. Twitter’s constant updating with tweets, may seem just like a facebook status, but I think it is much less, which in this case is a good thing. You don’t have to be friends with someone to look at their tweet's. Twitter is exactly like a constant facebook status, except it doesn’t have all the other distractions that facebook does to go with it. Often times when I am looking through facebook, I find myself browsing through pictures, looking at wall posts, and reading through event pages. If facebook consisted only of status updates, I would be more inclined to look at those every time I logged on. Twitter is exclusively status updates.
Twitter’s simplicity makes it an excellent marketing tool. As Levinson mentions in his book New New Media, Twitter is a marketing tool like t-shirt for political campaigns, but it extends much further than that and for a much larger demographic. Anyone in the world, who has access to the internet, assuming the site isn’t blocked, can look at your twitter site. Twitter is also much more logical for companies to use than a blog because people would always rather read less than more. Of course there are those who definitely tweet too much making it almost like a blog, but for the most part twitter’s simplicity is golden.

To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

After reading about Twitter in Chapter 8, I still don't understand the large lure it has. I remember when Twitter was just beginning to have a buzz and people were curious about it and not until this class had I visited it. Being required to make an account, I had done so, but used it only once I believe.
I understand that for some people, celebrities, politicians, or other influential people, the use of Twitter may be advantageous, but beyond them it's pointless. Levinson draws a connection to status updates on Myspace and Facebook, but those sites also have much more than the updates. I know personally, I update my status once a week, maybe more sometimes, but it's not something I look to update about what I ate or anything like that.
I recognize for some people Twitter is enjoyable and useful, but I don't have a need or purpose for it.

"Why do you love Twitter?"

I searched “Twitter” in YouTube and found this interesting video posted by Darren Rowse titled, "Why I Love Twitter." He tweeted “why do you love twitter?” and received over 100 responses in just a few hours. This alone shows Levinson’s idea of Twitter as the “epitome of immediacy” (Levinson, 134). Rowse composed the video of the many responses he received to his tweet. Although the video is rather lengthy, you can get a general consensus of people’s thoughts and reactions to Twitter. I found it interesting that more than a few users mentioned that they love Twitter because it makes them feel as though they are in an office or working place when in reality they work alone at home. This reveals the idea of community that is established by Twitter and its users. One user jokingly responded that he loves his wife but thinks he is having an affair with Twitter. In a sense, you are indeed forming a sort of relationship with the site and your followers by disclosing personal information, feelings, opinions, and ideas on any subject or topic of your choice. Many of the responses were general feelings about the connectivity with other people, quick resource for interesting information, news, and advice, and to communicate with others of the same interest. Some of the responses are funny and sarcastic so I hope you enjoy the video!

Twitter Incidents in Sports

Several professional athletes use Twitter as a way to communicate with their fans. However, there have been several incidents in which athletes have criticized their organization on Twitter or used Twitter at inappropriate times. Terrence Williams, a first round draft pick for the Nets out of Louisville, criticized the coaching staff about his playing time early in the season on Twitter. Williams tweeted, "Up early to the gym before practice to practice before practice, because NOW practice is my games. Welp that's life." Clearly, the Nets found issue with his tweet and Williams later apologized. Charlie Villanueva while on the Milwaukee Bucks tweeted at halftime of his game and was later instructed by the team not to tweet during games. In some instances, it may not be what an athlete tweets but what a relative or friend tweets that affects the athlete. Last year, Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals was involved in a controversy thanks to his brother Marcus criticizing the Cardinal's quarterback Kurt Warner about not throwing to Larry enough. Marcus later apologized on Twitter.

Although Twitter can be a great forum for marketing and promoting a company, product, or team, there are several pitfalls. Twitter definitely makes more work for people in public relations especially when they have to monitor all members of their company, organization, or team. Although many high-profile athletes may avoid the serious consequences of their tweets, other people may not be as fortunate and could be fired or sued based on their tweets. There are several other incidents similar to those mentioned above, and unfortunately, I'm sure there will be more in the future.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Caution with Twitter, too- just like every other social media

Similar to my last post, in regards to having caution on Facebook based on the groups and fan pages you join, I can say the same about Twitter. Instead, however, I would advise users to be careful not only about what they're tweeting, which is obvious, but about what they're saying regarding certain trending topics.
There are numerous odd and inappropriate trends on twitter that we should stray away from if we're concerned about who is paying attention to what we're saying. As I'm typing this, one of the top trends on Twitter is #dearfuturewife, which has brought up some humorous, but mostly inappropriate responses.
When we're applying for internships, jobs, and other opportunities, we must be aware that everything we do on these networks can be found easily. It all goes to show, that no matter what social media is in fashion at any given time, we must always be, as Professor Strate said in my last post, aware of our "online hygiene".
This is so important as we continue to incorporate the Internet, and more specifically, social media into our personal lives. Only a few years ago, most of us would never think of putting any personal information, opinions, or other ideas on the web simply out of fear.
But with the emergence and expansion of social media, those things we swore we would never do, have become the "cool" thing to do now. Maybe it's cool to brag about how drunk we were last night on Twitter to our friends, but is this because we are now just more comfortable with the web then we were at the beginning of the century? Maybe, but it doesn't change the notion that even if we're comfortable with it, that doesn't mean someone else is.
By now, we're conscious of our behavior on Facebook and MySpace (for the most part), but it doesn't end with these networks. It's the same way for Twitter, and will continue to be so with any other social media that may develop in the future.

Twitter in the News

Professor Levinson's reflections on Twitter were all very interesting, especially his analysis of Rep. Hoekstra and Iran.

From taking this class, I have become hyper aware of social media as a trending topic in the news and as it turns out, the New York Times writes about Twitter quite frequently. In the last month I have seen so many articles about Twitter in relation to business growth, diplomacy, networking, job searching, fashion and other seemingly unrelated topics. I think the strong presence of Twitter in this traditional print media source shows that society and journalists alike are extremely intrigued and perplexed with how the new medium will affect both the field of communications and our country in general.

Here are a few links to those articles:

Twitter & Diplomacy:
Twitter & Business:
Twitter & Art:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pros and Cons of Facebook ~ Chapter 7

Facebook has its pros and cons.


Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends – one can even find friends from high school, grammar school, or other activities or groups one was in.

One can find classmates to get assignments, or even make plans for group projects.

One can start talking to one’s new roommate before entering the new school year – I have a better feeling on who one will be living with.

One can sell books.

Facebook is entertaining with all the applications that are available.

The list can go on.


Facebook profiles contain too much information that others can obtain easily. Even with private settings, pictures that friends post that are not under privacy settings are open to the public to view.

When one gets older, one needs to be careful what was said and put up, because jobs are looking into it.

Reconnecting with friends on facebook

I think that one of the best qualities of facebook is being able to reconnect with old friends/family that you may have otherwise not have if facebook didn't exist. Even if you're not as close anymore, or they are half way across the world, it is interesting to see how your childhood friends may have changed or what they are doing in their young adult lives, (from my perspective). Most everyone that I know is on facebook and I find it really interesting that with out this social navigation tool, we may have completely forgotten about old aquaitances because of distance. Yet, this interactive online social site that allow us to "chat", keep event dates, message, join groups, pages, etc., allows the option for anyone to be one click away from basically anyone in their life. Personally, my Aunt and uncle have lots of opinions about my life, and they comment about every post I have. If facebook didn't exist, they probably would have had little idea of what I was doing.


I think the biggest thing about Facebook is the people search option that Levinson discusses. If you have Facebook there is almost no place to hide. While your name might not be searchable an experienced searcher can flip through pictures on other peoples' pages until they find you. They can go through your friends, family or interests until they get a match. Its perfect in the college setting, where they are just so many kids and perhaps little interactions in class. The dream girl in the front row can always be admired through Facebook, even if she ignores you in class! Plus. you have the advantage of finding out her likes and dislikes even before approaching her.


One topic about Facebook that Professor Levinson did not discuss but that I find interesting is what do you do when you're friends with someone in reality but do not want to be their friend on Facebook? I was recently talking with my cousin who is a 28 year old 1st grade teacher on Long Island. Every year she runs into the same issue, parents friend requesting her on Facebook and then approaching her when it was obvious she had declined. She is not the only person I know this sort of interaction has happened to but how do you explain your decision to decline when they are obviously upset and hurt. I wonder if our lives have become so connected to social media that we only consider people our friends when we are friends with them in real life and on some friend web platform. Is being a friend online validation of a friendship?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Privacy and Censorship

Facebook, although a successful social media can sometimes violate people’s privacy. In chapter seven of Paul Levinson’s book, New New Media, he addresses the social media, facebook. While facebook provides a fun and adventurous way to look through pictures, it can be a violation of privacy. Any member of Facebook can post a picture of anyone at any time without their consent. There is a difference between posting incriminating pictures of yourself and incriminating pictures of others online. To post incriminating pictures of another person online can do serious damage to their image. Once a picture is posted and tagged with a person in it, the only people who can take that picture down are the people who took it or the people in charge of facebook. Once an incriminating picture of you is posted that won’t be taken down by the people at facebook, all you can do is untag yourself or beg the person who posted it to take it down. Facebook allows photographic evidence of people to be circulated directly to peers by anyone with a camera . There should be some sort of system requesting a person’s permission to post pictures of them on facebook.
On debate of appropriateness I feel completely different. Whether a person is posting pictures of themselves naked or doing something else inappropriate it is really irrelevant. Facebook was originally intended for college students. It used to be that you had to have a college email address in order to get access to facebook, but know anyone can use it. Facebook has already taken down its censorship wall why still try? Children can’t be the reason. If a child has access to facebook, then they have access to any basic search engine which could lead them to things that are way more inappropriate than anything on facebook could ever be. There should be some sort of warning that if someone has inappropriate content on their facebook page then viewer beware, but don’t censor it.

We Are Important, but Not THAT Important

My most intriguing point I found in Chapter 7, Facebook, was on the removal of photos Facebook deemed pornographic, which were pictures of a mother breastfeeding. My first reaction was why would anyone put up pictures of them breastfeeding? Then upon realizing, maybe I just don't get the view point of a mother, I decided since it is legal to breastfeed in public in 40 states it can't be that bad. Plus, who really cares if there are pictures like that up?
Levinson used this as an example however to present the idea that while new new media is seen as an extension of ourselves, we can only go so far some times. The internet is also an extension of Facebook in this case who have certain powers to remove user created content at their disposal. We have to realize, as users of the internet, we are pivotal to its existence because we create content for it, but we are never beyond the powers that guide the internet.


Facebook does have an incredible way of uniting people, when I first joined Facebook it was to become part of my high school group which made our alumni group more accessible. But who knew that this membership per say would get me in contact with friends from elementary school, Junior high school, High school, Army buddies and much more. It has games but the best has to be the photo sharing and messaging.
It has also become a way for employers to weed out what they believe are not the perfect employess.

Facebook- Other Things to Beware of

We all know by now that posting embarrassing pictures of ourselves on Facebook is not wise. Potential employers, future bosses, etc. can all find a way of seeing these if they really put their minds to it. One mishap- just one picture of drunken sloppyness, and we could lose many opportunities.
But in addition to this, I think many members on Facebook must take into account what groups they join, and what pages they become fans of. It may not always be the first thing we think of when we are trying to cleanse our profiles for employment reasons, but it is just as significant.
I highly doubt that an employer will appreciate a potential prospect who is a member of "I can bullshit thru anything" or is a fan of "I hate stupid bitches," or "Mom, we're smoking weed and having sex...not hanging out". All of these are real pages on Facebook- I looked at my cousin's profile and found them. He has plenty of other "inappropriate" ones too. The next time I see him, I might have to tell him get rid of these.
This all shows that even though these groups and pages are funny, just like those photos of you doing a keg stand, it just may cost you a whole lot later on.

Facebook Groups

Facebook groups have a powerful way of uniting people or separating people based on certain interests. When I first joined Facebook, I remember of the first groups I was invited to was Facebook is better than Myspace. Many Facebook groups are based on this competitive nature. There are groups for various professional sports teams to prove which teams have the most fan support. In addition, there are certain groups that compete in a race to get to 1,000,000 members before some other group. In this way, certain groups separate people based on their allegiance to a professional team.

Although many Facebook groups are simply joined for pleasure, other groups can be very beneficial. If a group project is assigned at school or work, Facebook becomes an easy way to communicate with certain colleagues or students whom we may not know very well. The group application on Facebook is extremely valuable for any kind of group project. One of the most common types of groups that undoubtedly we have all come across is the "I need phone numbers group." Instead of having to run into all your friends just to get their phone numbers, you can create a group and it provides an easy forum to get everyone's phone number back. However, with so many of these groups, people become annoyed with how many different groups they have to post their phone number. It appears that many people have become embarrassed to even start a similar group for fear of annoying people.

One of my friends got a little too creative with his title in which it appeared that he died. He was just looking for everyone's phone number, but certain people became confused thinking he had actually died. I guess the lesson is we should always read the group information before we jump to any conclusions.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Roommate Search on Facebook

I can personally relate to Levinson’s section on “Meeting Online Friends in the Real World” (Levinson, 128). Coming into my freshman year, I was very nervous about the housing situation and who my roommate would be. When I received my housing form in the summer, I saw that there was a roommate request section. Once I joined the Fordham network on Facebook, I was invited to join the Fordham Class of 2012 group. In the group, there were multiple discussions including surveys for prospective roommates. I was one of the many to fill out the survey and post it in hopes to find someone compatible. Just a few days later, a girl from the group requested me and we started messaging back and forth. A few weeks later, we decided to become roommates and requested one another on the housing form. I was still nervous to meet her face to face for the first time. But we talked a lot via Facebook about our interests and it was easier to start and maintain conversations. We instantly clicked. Unfortunately, she transferred but we are still the best of friends and visit each other often. Facebook helps with this too because it is our main source for keeping in touch.

Although I’d like to think of my roommate situation as a success story, others weren’t so lucky. ABC News posted an article on “Weeding Out Roommates on Facebook.” The article explains how parents, along with students, use the media site to review the pages of already assigned roommates. An increasing number of parents have filed petitions to reassign their children to other roommates. The parents are displeased with the prospective roommate’s Facebook page and the pictures posted of them drinking, smoking, and doing other illegal activity. Many schools are actually advising students to refrain from judging other students by their social networking images. It is understandable that parents be concerned for their children. However, I feel that parents need to let their children deal with it themselves. Housing is just a part of the college experience. It tests compatibility, respect, and tolerance. It is hard for me to really argue this because I have been fortunate enough to receive two great roommates and have never had a serious issue with them. But I do believe that people should not be judged by their Facebook image. There is a lot more to a person than just their Facebook page.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Facebook: A 21st Century Interactive Yearbook

I was honestly very surprised with just how objective Professor Levinson was about Facebook in Chapter 7. Since he was so complimentary of MySpace in the previous chapter, I wrongly assumed he would be very derogatory about Facebook, MySpace's logical rival. I thought he clearly outlined the subjective and objective differences between the two social media platforms and made a point to say that it really is a personal preference.

Facebook's ability to reconnect relationships is what is most interesting to me personally. As Levinson says, cyberspace has the distinct ability "to vanquish the time and distance that separates us from old friends and acquaintances" (129). My mom lost touch with her high school best friend many years ago. A few months ago, I received a Facebook message from her old best friend, asking me if I was related to my mom. At this point, my mom had an inactive Facebook account, but started using it after she reconnected with her old friend to exchange messages. They have spent the past few months catching up on years of each other's lives they missed out on (careers, husbands, children, deaths, moves, sicknesses) and they do this by "talking" every single day (no verbal communication just long Facebook messages) and by posting pictures of their families, workplaces and homes to their accounts. They are now back in each other's lives and, without Facebook, the reconnection would have never happened, since my mom's friend now lives very far from us. It was very refreshing to see first hand the powerful way Facebook can change reality and truly bring people (back) together.

Old & New Friends ~ Chapter 6

During my highschool years, MySpace was it. Everyone was putting up new pictures on a daily basis. Friends commented on each others pictures and commented on their profile. Everyone tried to find a profile layout that portrayed one best, then finding the songs to go along with their profile. To keep one’s MySpace profile up to date and interesting, one was on it each day. One tried to find old grammar school friends and new friends. The good aspect of MySpace is that I was able to find new music.

What is …? I don’t know – just Wikipedia it ~ Chapter 4

When one needs to do research on a certain topic or is just curios, one usually wikipedias it. Wikipedia has become a go to source – one can find out enough on a certain subject to be knowledgeable. Unfortunately Wikipedia is not that reliable in terms of using it as a source for a paper. Wikipedia has a few mistakes on its articles but overall it gives you a good idea on the subject. I personally use Wikipedia to find articles and books for a research paper. Wikipedia is a good starting point.


YouTube is taking over! To watch music videos, funny home videos, some shows, commercials, clips from movies … one watches it on YouTube. YouTube ranges from comical home videos to political issues from the presidential campaign. YouTube has taught my brother how to play the piano, well to learn the notes.

There are many videos on YouTube regarding all different interests and issues – it is up to one on which videos one will see. Like Levinson mentions on page 71 ad 72, some videos do portray violence, but there are other videos that can be used for good such as learning how to play the piano with the help of a video such as my brother did. Thus, to imagine life without YouTube is inconceivable.


Blogs are taking over the written world. The different media industries all have blogs. Samsung has a blog, New York Times has a blog called the City Room …

The different media industries have different reasons to blog. They blog to find out what customers expect from their products or just to get a feedback overall so they can improve. Here is the link to the Samsung blog.

People blog on different issues such as presidential campaigns, world issue news, or something as simple as everyday life issues. Blogging allows people to express their thoughts and opinions through writing; people have written conversations on blogs.


To fully grasp the term new new media, one just has to experience it. One is in total control of their new media experience. There are different forms of new new media in which one can write, post, edit, share … the list goes on. Like Levinson states in page 2, “new new media in particular, not only compete with one another but work to each other’s benefit.”

There are different articles regarding the new new media rising. One new new media is Facebook; Facebook gives one the opportunity to learn about others as well as ask different questions by creating a group where others can join or become a fan of. The New York Times blog City Room posts an article on how one can even find “Secrets of New York.”

On Facebook, one has the opportunity to create, learn, be in control on how to use their new new media. As Levinson says in page 1, “the consumers are now the producers.”


I personally had an account on myspace for a year in high school, but decided to delete it, as it served no purpose to me when I created a facebook when I went to college. The kind of reputation that it started to get was that it was "trashy" and "made for stalkers" and I thought it was unnecessary to have two social networking accounts. Yet, I still used it for music. A great benefit to myspace, is that many artists create pages about their music, where you can also listen via mp3. The book also states how it had become a new path for successful recording artists to gain attention.
Another outlet that myspace provides for self expression is the common use of it for users poetry. I also found out in the reading that an independent publisher created "NeoPoiesis Press" which is an online publisher that promotes online publishers, writers and poets that reflect the spirit of the new electronic media and using myspace as an outlet. Levinson also comments how the Neopoiesis relies on old media of books, poetry, writing and art to achieve success, this mixing of old an new media is similar to popular blogs such as Tucker Max becoming a best selling book.

My Way To Find Music

Myspace has certainly proved its usefulness as a social medium. Myspace has contributed to the success of many musical artists because of its technological setup for the profile. The profile lets music be played upon the page being first opened. In Paul Levinson's book New New Media he discusses the success and downfalls of myspace.
Levinson points of the negative aspects of myspace when he talks about its "cyber bullying". The situation of Lori Drew and Megan was tragic, but it was an unexpected outcome. This situation involved an older user fraudulently using a younger persons profile disguise to reek havoc on a younger user's life. The bad things that have happened on myspace are rare and that do not counter balance the good things.
I agree with Levinson when he talks about myspace as "the one stop social media cafeteria". Myspace provide all the benefits of facebook and more. Myspace's presentation of its profile page allows for the dominance it has over facebook for advertisement purposes. Myspace's profile page allows its user to design the page for a more promotional style. Myspace has many benefits for advertisers throughout the internet as a social media.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I've only been on Myspace a few times and my major takeaway from my visits was it was a mess. The interface of most peoples profiles were cluttered and unorganized. I found links and information hard to decipher. While I find this to be its demise Levinson points out that this is actually one of its top qualities--the ability to have a lot of information and applications all in one location. While I haven't been on in years I wonder how it looks today--if they have updated the graphics so that everything is more organized and easier on the eyes.

I thought it was interesting when Professor Levinson talked about how they figured out a system that once again did not cost money. I have to wonder if people would pay for Myspace or Facebook. Class vote? I also wonder if we did have to pay if we would have more rights over the content/pictures on our pages.

I think the idea of being able to get your foot in the door without middlemen or experts through all forms of new new media is fascinating. Like Mariel said in her post below this activism in social media within the field one is interested in shows extreme initiative. Journalists have the ability to show off their writing skills through a blog or open news forum. Photographers can upload high quality images to various sites. It seems there are endless opportunities thanks to new new media in all industries.

Just a side note that is kind of interesting, in my marketing class last year we looked at the Myspace to Facebook breakdown in the country and found that Myspace has a greater following in the middle of the country while Facebook is much more popular on the coasts.


MySpace was the beginning of its kind of social media sites, but the majority of its members had alias's and these names made it harder to find individuals unless one knew there email; and even then one didnt know if their identity was legit. i personally wasnt into its music section but as time went by met up with friends that were trying to get their big break in the industry by posting their music on MySpace. Eventhough, Facebook has many of the MySpacers without the Alias's but they still go to Myspace to post their music.

Levinson mentions cyberbullies in this chapter but theyre all over.

Thanks to Paull Young

On behalf of our Social Media class, and, ahem, Strate Up Social Media (yeesh) I want to extend our sincere appreciation for last weeks guest lecture.  Thanks, mate!

And here are some links to previous posts on my own blog about Paull Young and his perspective on social media (including some video, so you can enjoy his cool Aussie accent once again):

The Professionalization of Social Networking


Social Media on Social Media


Into the Social Matrix




The other day I read a quote from someone referring to MySpace as the "internet's own elephant graveyard". Perhaps like all other trends MySpace is fading because although it was popular during the early 2000's I do not know anyone who actively keeps up with their previously created accounts. I also think that within my age group MySpace gets a bad reputation. Many of my friends see it as an old form of communication that is now only used by creepy adults trolling around and barely dressed underage girls who love taking pictures via the mirror in their bathrooms.

However, as Levinson points out MySpace can functions outside the realm of "bringing people together". I have to remember that there is a world outside my circle of friends because there are still millions of people who continue to log on. MySpace offers them a platform to express themselves and showcase their work. Until reading this chapter I failed to realize how much MySpace can help a struggling musician or writer get their work recognized by professionals. By posting a song or written work they are able to build a fan base and hear feedback that can make their work even stronger. An artist with 500,00 views on MySpace obviously looks like a better choice than someone who is unheard of. Through MySpace they already have a fan base that has members located all over the world. The professional contemplating whether or not to give the artist a chance may have greater assurance in his choice knowing that there already exists public approval. Plus, it shows the artist was proactive in getting his or her work out to the public, showing how much they really desire to succeed. While MySpace may have started out as a purely social network it has clearly expanded outside that realm, which gives it staying power in today's competitive market.

Myspace Music Page: Truth on Earth

After reading Levinson’s segment “New New Media Provide Medicine for Cyberbullying,” I was very interested in listening to the Truth on Earth band mentioned in Chapter 6. Although Levinson includes the band’s Web page, I wanted to see if the video was accessible on YouTube and it wasn’t. I then searched the band on Myspace Music. It wasn’t any surprise to me that the band had an official myspace page. This is a clear example of Myspace’s “especially revolutionary” music pages (Levinson, 114). I’ve had more luck finding better sound quality music on Myspace than Youtube. Many obscure artists only have live videos on YouTube whereas Myspace music pages provide selected music, lyrics, tour information, pictures, etc. This is not to say that Myspace music pages are better than YouTube when listening to music. Both sites certainly have their advantages. In my opinion, Myspace music pages offer more information but YouTube is a quicker search.

The song “Shot with a Bulletless Gun” that Levinson mentions is available on the band’s Myspace page for anyone interested in listening to it. The song really addresses the issue on cyberbullying. My favorite line is: “Back in the day was a time - when life was simpler and - folks came face to face to deal with their differences. I'm told - by philosophers that change is a good thing except when that change hides out in a room brewing evil ideas that belong to a criminal mind.” There music is also a perfect example one of Levinson’s previous ideas that new new media can be used to change and better the world by addressing such issues like cyberbullying.

Myspace Music

Personally, when I joined Myspace, it was to keep up with all the news and events going on with my friends. At the time, Myspace seemed to be the easiest platform to communicate with my friends and set up social gatherings. Myspace always had a music section. I remember there was a search engine for music on myspace and a way to put music on your profile in the form of a song or a playlist. However, I did not realize how popular music became on Myspace.

As Levinson mentions, Myspace enabled recording artists to build an audience for their music before they contacted an agent or a record company. Although many of these amateur recording artists do not make it into mainstream, it still gives them a forum for their music to be heard. Levinson writes about Ebony Moore and James Harris who have not reached mainstream but their Myspace pages have recieved over 100,000 views, an impressive feat. Like Moore and Harris, the band Truth on Earth, also not mainstream, has a Myspace page and their music is available on Amazon and iTunes. Levinson also discusses Kate Nash and Lily Allen, popular musicians in the United Kingdom who have gone mainstream. Levinson finally mentions Sean Kingston who I've heard, but I never realized he started out on Myspace. Kingston has had some successful hits in the United States, setting an example that musicians who start out on Myspace can eventually hit the big time.