Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Although unrelated to Chapter 13, I found a website yesterday that has been termed a "realtime social media platform." Sobees aggregates searches into five categories: real-time search (ex. Twitter) , image search (ex. Bling, Flickr, Google), video search (ex. YouTube, Google), web search (ex. Google, Yahoo), and news search (New York Times, Yahoo). These categories are structured in 5 columns or modules, all on the same platform. Therefore, Sobees simplifies and condenses your favorite social media sites onto one convenient platform so that you can access them quicker.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Levinson’s Chapter 13 is a perfect end to his book. iPhones and Blackberrys are becoming the new face of mobile media. Being able to take pictures, text, open your emails, play games, have different applications to go on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter … is what the new mobile media world is about. Everything you did at your laptop or desktop, now on your phone is what is making new new media even more interesting. The availability of having the whole web world at your fingertips but even closer by having it on your phone makes life just so much more easier. Here is an article of the New York Times discussing the marvels of the iPhone when it came out.
But media won’t stop at iPhones, there will be something that will outdo it. Looking back, one was excited when cell phones first came out because it allowed one to be in touch with their partners, family or whomever wherever. Then we had texting and instant messaging. Then there was the camera and being able to send multimedia messages and also emailing. And now we can do all this plus surf the web. It will be interesting to find out what exactly outdo the iPhone.
As technology of mobile media advances, it's users have become more and more attached. Ever since the break of the land line phone, we are using "smart phones" in every aspect of our life everywhere we go, from the park, to our office to our bed. The chapter even mentions the idea of advancing the i phone, blackberry and blue tooth to become an implant in our brain. Although new productions have pretty much an endless timeline, it is important to realize that is is all of our choice to be up to date and connected constantly. Those who can afford it will follow the hardware trends, but it is also necessary to take a step back from the group mentality and recognize how influenced by engaging products such as lab tops, cell phones, smart phones, etc. we really are.
I really liked how Levinson quotes the Rolling Stones, "You can't always get what you want." Yet, in terms of information that seems much less true. Newspapers, video clips, web pages, friends on my space, facebook, twitters, blogs and countless other sites are literally at our fingertips with devices like the iphone.
It's amazing, really, how in just a few years, cell phones have taken over our lives. At first, we all thought it was incredible that we could talk on the phone outside of our landline house number, while we were at a baseball game, at the mall, or anywhere really, without having to use a pay phone.
Then we were taken by surprise again when text messages and email were introduced to our cell phones. We all thought, this is as good as it gets.
Even when cameras became a feature on phones, we were amazed. Does anyone remember how bad the quality of the pictures were on the first phones with cameras? Compared to today, it's kind of ridiculous how much they have improved, etc.
But once again, the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, took the world by storm. Now we can have all the things already mentioned, plus the ability to surf the web, watch YouTube or movies, play games, listen to our music, and so much more.
Like Levinson says, the evolution of media really demonstrates how our technology becomes more and more humanlike. As humans, we want more and more. We want the ability to search and find out anything at any given moment of our lives. And the way in which our technologies have increasingly become better at doing this for us satisfies our never-ending hunger for information.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Plime is a news culture site. In this site, the community can add and edit different links such as a wiki site – the structure and editorial content is in the hands or fingertips of the community. One can also meet different people with similar interests.
This is a site where one can save one’s favorite web pages and then be able to access them from any computer at any time. One can also follow different groups and people to find different web pages that might be of interest. One can even make a group in which others may follow. It is a good site where one can find different web sites to one’s interests and be able to access them through this site.
One of my friends told me about this site. Each day there are new websites being created; stumbleupon.com let’s one stumble upon the different sites pertaining to one’s interest. One can stumble upon different web pages, videos, blogs, and photos. One can even share the different sites to friends, post it on one’s news feed on Facebook and/or Twitter.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
The Internet apparently assisted Obama a great deal in the 2008 election. Sites such as mybarackobama.com were able to keep registered users up to date on campaign developments. The other official website of the government (whitehouse.gov) also apparently is becoming more useful to members of the party rather by being more interactive with blogging and publishing of non emergency legislative information, rather than just propaganda material and links to the press.
Yet, old mediums such as the telephone are still a very direct and personal way to make an impression on voters.
One positive way the Obama campaign used the new medium of email was by emailing each of the callers who called for voters on election day (1,053,791). Yet, I agreed with the overall opinion that it was a poor idea to use email to only those on his email list to let the information out that Joe Biden would run for VP. The biggest problem with out using other media such as television, newspapers, etc to let this news out is that it seemed really random and quick without room for discussion.
Lastly, I found it funny that in an interview with Barbra Walters, Obama presented himself as just another person in the age of new technology as he mentioned how he didn't want to be taken away from his blackberry. It also made sense to me that people would not want him using it fr personal "embarrassing messages" that would be easily available to hackers, but in the end he was able to have it with "a super encryption package."
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Most of us have grown up with computers and have an intrinsic digital skill set we like to brag about to our generational predecessors. However, there are actually very few of us who understand the software system- the specific code and designs- that drive the capabilities of computers, web sites and mobile phones. We are "masters" of these system interfaces but can not really explain the complex wiring behind them, as Levinson points out. I personally regret very much not majoring or at least taking some classes in computer science. Today, mostly everyone can use the system interfaces to some degree, but very, very few can code and design them themselves. I think this is a very valuable and marketable skill in this digital age.
Dr. Levinson's commentary on new new media's mobility was also very interesting, specifically how mobile applications on mobile media work against the no-cost model and how new new media makes all formerly useless places useful. "We do nothing when we want to do nothing, not when circumstances dictate we do nothing" further indicating the "democratic" nature of new media (189). I also found his analysis of how our places of work have evolved, "the bed and the park are almost equidistant from the desk, as powerfully different from the desk, in different directions," extremely enlightening, how "the cirumstances in which we engage new new media are both more private (the bed) and more public (the park)" (190). I had never heard of Buckminster Fuller's 1938 "dymaxion principle," which says that new technologies get smaller and more powerful, but think that it is completely correct- new new media has liberated itself from its wires and in doing so has expanded its possibilities exponentially.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
This is a site where individuals can connect, communicate, network, and share one’s experiences in the senior management industry of all industries. This site has video conferencing, IM, email, and SMS between its users. Discussions are in question/answer sessions just like going to a workshop conference. The users gain the knowledge from the industry leaders – in a way, it is like having an internship where one gets to network and learn about the different fields in the industry world by asking questions but not having the hands on experience of course.
The Presidential Election of 2008 was one of the most exciting campaigns in history. New new media affected this election so much. The different blogs, the videos on YouTube, status and fan pages on Facebook, and tweets on Twitter are just a handful of what made a difference in the political campaigns.
I watched all the speeches and debates online as well as read the articles regarding it online. CNN.com had up to date videos and information on the presidential campaigns.
These presidential candidates had to take into account how much new new media would affect their campaign. An issue about campaigns was that people were uneducated about the candidates so the results varied but today’s issue is if the candidate’s are in enough new new media sites getting exposure and if the exposure is in a positive or negative connotation as well as getting peoples’ feedback immediately on their speeches and debates.
Levinson makes a good point in arguing about Obama's campaign revealing his vice president only to those people on the email list. Although email has become widely popular, email can only reach so many people. The fundamental use of the internet is for people to connect and interact with all kinds of people. By revealing the vice president to only those people on the email list, Obama and his advisors were excluding many people who were interested in more information about such things. Levinson basically explains that the internet will definitely be a useful campaigning medium in the future, but older mediums like television, radio, and newspapers still can have a significant impact.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
And as historical it was, and how much it demonstrated that we are truly a society of web-addicts, for some reason, though I was impressed with how Obama and his team utilized the web, I was never surprised or shocked by this fact. To me, it seemed like a given.
Well before 2008, the world had already indugled itself into Web 2.0. If, however, this was the 2000 or 2004 election, and Obama was able to utilize the web in a similar manner during that time, more so than the way Howard Dean did, then I think it would've been a huge deal. I guess what I'm trying to emphasize is that yes, Obama's campaign strategics were certainly groundbreaking, but this was to be expected because of how big the Internet was by then. He was just well aware of this and knew he could use it to his advantage. This shouldn't be shocking for anyone who uses the Internet.
Monday, April 19, 2010
I was very interested to read Levinson’s own personal experience on contacting Obama supporters via his campaign website, My.BarackObama.com. This campaign web site was most attractive and successful because it gave the people power to take part in the elections on a national scale by making calls to other supporters around the country, etc. Updates were sent to subscribers’ phones via text messaging and e-mail, and his policies were made available on the site itself. The quote below is present on the homepage of Obama's web site:
"When you create an account on My.BarackObama.com, you're joining the online community of organizers who helped elect the President and now are working to bring real change on critical issues, including healthcare, education and energy reform."
This quote reflects Obama's slogan, "because it's about you," by giving the American people a sense of community and involvement in the issues that concern us most; all in the concevenience of our home. This strategic use of technology and new new media in the presidential elections of 2008 proved to be a most significant contributor to Obama’s success.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Here is the full New York Times article- it discusses the implications of this and how academics are praising the decision.
I read this article on the New York Time's BIT blog right around last year's election http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/07/how-obamas-internet-campaign-changed-politics/
and thought it also provided a great summary and commentary on Obama's use of new media to gain national attention and win the presidency. It explained how his use of interactive Web 2.0 tools "largely changed the way politicians organize supporters, advertise to voters, defend against attacks and communicate with constituents" and quotes many new media pioneers like Arianna Huffington, founder of the The Huffington Post, and Joe Trippi who ran Howard Dean’s 2004 technology-driven campaign.
While the entire country does not necessarily support Obama and his agenda, there seems to be a general consensus that he joins the ranks of political new media pioneers. I always find it interesting to read the editorial commentary of our European counterparts, because they logically are highly critical of American trends/political activity/decisions. Even their consistently critical eyes have praised Obama for his use of new media, as Steven Hill wrote in the Social Europe Journal:
"One of the winning campaign strategies masterfully deployed by the Obama campaign was its use of the internet. More than any other previous campaign, the Obama campaign showed the tremendous mobilising and fundraising potential of a comprehensive internet strategy. Some are saying that Obama’s use of this still relatively new medium will change American politics the way John F. Kennedy’s use of television did. But it remains to be seen if a less charismatic candidate without a wind of change blowing through an electorate buffeted by economic crisis can replicate Obama’s success. Nevertheless, what the Obama campaign accomplished using the internet was stunningly impressive. Despite the United States lagging in broadband access compared to Europe or Japan, both in terms of the number of people with fast, affordable broadband access and the speed of the connections, the Obama campaign used the internet to organise his supporters in a way that in the past would have required an army of volunteers and paid organisers on the ground. This not only helped him in the November election against the Republican nominee John McCain, but was probably the decisive factor in his Democratic primary contest against Hillary Clinton. Both the Clinton and McCain campaigns used the internet to reach voters, but Obama mastered the medium early and exploited it brilliantly. Indeed, it is not an exaggeration to say that without the internet, Barack Obama would not have won the Democratic primary, and would not have been elected President."
Obama's embrace of social media gave him other international advantages- new new media's characteristic "borderlessness" gave him an international reputation without him having to physically travel there, as this quote that appeared this 2008 Reuters story confirms:
"There is getting to be a lot more interest," Pete Start, a British student who founded the Britons for Obama group, said. A string of British pro-Obama groups have sprung up on social networking site Facebook, with members ranging from young black men to women in headscarves and public school educated students at leading universities. "A few months ago, people were still only asking if it was possible a black man could win. Now they're more interested in what his policies are."
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Perhaps the trend is also school or age based. When I got back to Fordham none of my friends had even heard of the site, let alone contributed to it. However, when you search out Fordham there is a trend that users were generally pulled from younger grades, as I didn't see any Juniors or Seniors listed as topics of discussion. Perhaps Freshman need more homework if they have such vast amounts of free time to spend their days bringing people down.
Students are probably drawn to these kinds of sites because of the anonymity they can have. Although I know that everyone gossips, people probably would prefer if it was done and not traced back to them. However, what boggles my mind is the fact that people, especially girls, can write the nastiest things online and then sit next to the victims in class the next day and seem to feel no remorse. They knowingly hurt the unsuspecting victim yet they continue to parade around like nothing happened. At least in school yard fights everyone knows who the bully is and there is no place to hide, let alone in plain site.
I like the term flaming; which is used as a form of computer bullying when an individual is extremely critical to another online and expresses anger in the fastest way possible, (by typing it in a message). This reminded me of the phrase "getting burned" which isn't exactly the same, but similar. This also reminded me of my own use of quick technology such as text messaging or facebook chat to express anger in the most efficient, non in person way.
I thought the term trolling was interesting as well, especially for its use in political campaigns, where a political troller for example) writes negative comments about a political figure such as Barack Obama on a blog. The troll can either use his/her real name or a pseudonym. Apparently one defines a troll as someone posting comments that intentionally disrupts online communities, in oppose to an individual blogging about opposing ideas who is making a point to promote dialouge.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
My sister faced a cyber bulling type circumstance which almost wound up with the other girl getting arrested. According to my sister she had lost her state drivers license at a party and another girl picked it up and kept it. My sister found this out and confronted the girl via facebook message requesting the I.D. be returned to her immediately. The other girl responded with a nasty note saying not only would she not return the I.D. of my sister's, but she was going to use it to get herself into bars. Not only was my sister quit sure that this girl way to ugly to ever pull of using her I.D., but she was sure it was a crime too. Later my sister requested the help of a police officer that she saw in passing. The policeman told her, "This other girl is guilty of identity theft and there is clear evidence to prove that, but I don't know how far you will get if you press charges. I suggest that you report the I.D. stolen and get a new one." So my sister ended up just getting a new I.D. in addition to setting up a clever trap for the girl. My sister had her friend hand out flyers to bars with the girl who stole her I.D. on them saying this is not the real Natalie Thrall (my sister). This story just goes to show if you are going to commit a crime best not to leave evidence on your social networking site.
I bring this up, not only because it is a clear example of the consequences of virtual bullying, but because it touches on the traceability of online bullying that Levinson brings up. He argues that this factor is an advantage for victims, and this is true of this story. Prince's bullies are now being charged for their actions, and there is plenty of evidence against them. From the text messages, to their degrading messages to Prince's memorial Facebook group, they now have to pay the price for what they did to her. Though they will still plead not guilty, what they have left on the web will not go away. This is definitely a good thing for the victim in this case, and in all cases alike. In order to prevent more of these situations from happening, it's important that kids know that everything they do online cannot simply be deleted, which should prevent them from using the web as portals for their taunting.
While reading Levinson’s chapter, I thought of a newer social media site called, Formspring.Me. If any site is promoting cyberbullying, it’s this one. The homepage of the site says “ask questions, give answers, learn more about your friends.” The site allows individuals to search for users, friends or not. You then submit anonymous questions to the user. “Ask me anything.” From what I’ve seen, people are not shy to do so. Once the user answers the question, it is posted on their personal page. The layout is similar to that of Twitter. In my opinion, you are simply asking for hate mail. The site says “learn more about your friends.” But if the people were truly your friends, wouldn’t you just ask them yourselves? Why would you need to do so anonymously? I know some people who have accounts, but I really don’t see any appeal. There is actually a Facebook group called “Boycott Formspring.” The group currently has 7,196 and is growing rapidly. Many posts advise parents to educate their children on the site and prevent their kids from creating an account. The group asks to “spread the word, stop the hate.” Just another example of a social networking site used to educate and promote change.
As a result, the responsibility falls on parents and in certain instances, the teachers. As Amanda discussed earlier in her post, parents must teach children how to use the social networking sites Parents should explain to their children that they need to approach their parents when they are being constantly bullied or stalked by strangers or other children. In addition, schools should have a caveat where they may punish students if they are harassing other students from the school. I do not know the full story but certain disciplinary actions were taken against certain students at my high school for "trask-talking" with students from another school.
Nonetheless, it is up to children to admit to the harassment they have experienced on the web.
Monday, April 12, 2010
I just found a website called sonico.com. People in Latin America are the ones who mainly use this website. Just like hi5 was very similar to MySpace, Sonico is similar to Facebook.
Sonico has the profile, friends, groups, networks, private messages, photos, tagging photos, videos, events, games, reminders of friends' birthday and events, Sonico chat, ...
But Sonico has three different profiles –
1 which is private ~ one can share one’s life with the people one trusts the most.
2 which is public ~ one can demonstrate oneself to everybody who one is and what one does.
3 which is professional ~ one can make a profile for one’s professional contacts and job opportunities.
Friday, April 9, 2010
This is the website I mentioned in class that tweets job opportunities in journalism every hour. I have found it very helpful and got a few interviews out of it. Like I said, I think I am going to write a paper for another class on Twitter being a new channel for job opportunities, so if anyone sees any other industries using Twitter in this capacity please let me know.
I've expressed my concerns with youth and social media before on here, so I won't repeat myself too much, but I do think that this chapter accurately highlights and affirms my concerns- that who is behind the new media dictates how Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube etc.. are used. Some of the youth today, understandably, lack sound judgment/reasoning skills and ultimately make poor decisions on the sites, decisions that harm both their peers and their personal futures. Growing up, you are taught manners- like not to swear and how to be polite- but these manners have historically been taught to apply strictly to the physical world (saying thank you if someone's parents drive you home, chewing with your mouth closed). Until recently, kids were not taught "technological manners" and since they have not been explicitly told to extend their "real world" manners to cyberspace, it is largely a circus of inappropriateness, full of cyberbulling, gossiping, cursing and explicit photos.
I personally think there are so many benefits to new new media, that it has truly revolutionized the way we communicate and express ourselves and really enjoy it. However, I think kids need to be taught how to use it responsibly. I also think adults need to step back and take a break from it every now and then. Our guest speaker Sarah mentioned her "social media fast" a few weeks back and I know of many other people who have given up Facebook for various periods of time (including myself every finals week for the past three years). I think these "fasts" are refreshing, allow for new found productivity and force you to interact through "old" communication channels, channels that are just as meaningful.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I never heard the term podcasting before this class. It is easy to podcast – all you need is ‘a microphone and a sound-recording program’ (Levinson, 154). The marvels of new new media still manage to amaze me – to be able to broadcast a song one has made or an interview in a matter of seconds by podcasting is incredible. One can put information or a song and automatically start to inspire others or change others’ lives with their word. Podcasting and other social medias continue to affect us and our lifestyles and will continue to do so as we progress to the future.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
After discovering this podcast and reading Levinson’s chapter, I think I will explore and listen to more pod casts in the future.
I should also say thank you to BJ for treating me to some frozen yogurt at the store down by our Lincoln Center campus after class. Here's the twitpic he took and posted of me:
Yeah, it was good...
This in itself, is pretty incredible. Here I am, usually teased by my friends for being such a nerd over the books, meaning I usually don't get to share excitement with anyone at Fordham over the latest news about the movies, etc. But I have a way to connect with others who are as enthusiastic about them as I am through MuggleCast.
Levinson describes how podcasting is unique because it can be created by anyone, and it doesn't necessarily have to have huge success. The creator can continue to record episodes even if no one is listening. This democratic foundation of podcasting, is perhaps the best thing about it. Especially concerning MuggleCast- chances are, if the creators of MuggleCast had to convince iTunes to allow them to create a podcast back in 2005, they would have been rejected because many might have assumed it wouldn't do well. I'm extremely happy that this wasn't the case, however.
I noticed that the podcast was much like a really informal radio show. Although editing is possible, the producer Jay Soderberg, better known as Pod Vader, rarely edits out anything which adds to the nonsense. The Fantasy Focus podcast, baseball and football, have created a community of people from all parts of the world who share an affinity for fantasy sports. Phrases like "put in on the board" and "factually correct" constantly remind fantasy focus fans about the podcast. Berry and Ravitz read listeners' emails and conduct interviews with some of them on occasion and have interviewed celebrities ranging from Alyssa Milano to Jesse Ventura to Larry Fitzgerald.
In addition, they created the Man's League in which fifteen or so people compete with Pod Vader in a fantasy league in order to crush him and allow Berry and Ravitz to constantly ridicule their producer. Getting into the league has proven to be strange and very funny. One man even went so far as to pour yogurt on himself just to get in. Here's the link on YouTube:
The link for the Fantasy Focus baseball podcast is:
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
I am most personally interested in how podcasting can potentially change the education system. I can't locate the article I read a few years back on the subject, but remember reading that large universities were experimenting with having 200-300 student lecture classes listen to podcasts of lessons remotely from their dorms instead of attending the class physically, in order to determine if "podcasting professors" could be the future of college education. I'm pretty sure this model would only work at large universities with large lecture classes, since students cannot readily participate in that class format anyway, the main element that would be sacrificed if college professors taught classes strictly through podcasts. Here is a similar article from 2006 about how Boston area colleges were pushing professors to go digital and record their lectures as downloadable files so that students could listen to wherever, whenever:
Overall, I think that podcasts are a great supplement to college classes, but hope they do not fully replace the physical classroom experience, an age-old academic tradition.