Wednesday, March 31, 2010
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.
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
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.
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!
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??
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
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. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1085915/Divorced-reality-All-accounts-Second-Life-love-triangle-saw-woman-separate-husband-having-cyber-affair.html 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
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.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
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.
Monday, March 22, 2010
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.
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: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/13/world/europe/13moscow.html
Twitter & Business: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/04/technology/04basics.html
Twitter & Art: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/a-virtual-tour-of-the-biennial-twitter-and-cameras-allowed/?scp=4&sq=Twitter&st=cse
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
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.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
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.
It has also become a way for employers to weed out what they believe are not the perfect employess.
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.
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
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'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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
Levinson mentions cyberbullies in this chapter but theyre all over.
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):
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.
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.