Monday, December 15, 2008
For starters, one must register to be a member of Cyworld at no cost. The user then creates a virtual room which will appear on the front page of his or her Minihome. There are many options when creating this virtual room. The room can be decorated with different interior, including room colors and different furniture; or it can even look like the outdoor scenery. Then the user goes on to create a character, or an avatar, which is called “Minime,” to live in this virtual room. Like the virtual room, there are many options when creating the avatar. The user can modify their Minime to have different facial features, skin colors, different hair styles, as well as clothing, accessories, and even the Minime’s pets. There is also the option of changing the mood of you Minime. To further decorate your Minihome, users can purchase what is called “dotori,” which translates in English to “acorn.” This is the online currency used in Cyworld. Dotori can be used to purchase templates for your Minihome, songs, accessories for the virtual room and the Minime, as well as have the option of purchasing gifts for friends on Cyworld, Cybuddies. The usage of “dotori” for Cyworld users can be compared to Facebook to a certain extent. Facebook users have the option of buying virtual gifts for their friends on Facebook, as well as pay money for various applications. However, Facebook users do not have the option of purchasing templates or songs to enhance the look of their page. According to an article on CNNMoney.com, the daily revenue from selling “dotori” is estimated to be around $300,000 in U.S. dollars. Also, in 2006, Cyworld was expected to make $100 million for Cyworld’s virtual inventory. (CNNMoney.com)
After creating the virtual room on the front page, the user can then go on with creating different pages throughout their Minihome. The Minihomes are organized in a unique fashion. Each Minihome has tabs, where each tab leads the navigator to different secions of the user’s homepage. The tabs have titles such as: Home, Profile, Photos, Bulletin Board, Message Board, and Guest Book. Then the user is able to further categorize and organize their information and data by creating subfolders within each tab. There are no size limits when posting or uploading data or documents such as pictures, videos, music, and diary entries. Cyworld also has the option of being able to post photos straight from a mobile phone onto the Minihome, just like Facebook and MySpace has offered their users recently. The way Cyworld is set up with the different tabs makes this social networking site extremely user-friendly and allows people to easily navigate from one page to the next.
After creating the Minihome, users can do what is called “wave riding,” by browsing other members’ Minihomes. Each user has a friend’s list, like other social networking sites such as Facebook and/or MySpace. The friends on these lists are called “cybuddies.” Being Cybuddies allows users to comment on each other’s pages, just like any other social networking site allows. While “wave riding,” a user may find a photo or a particular post to be interesting. The user then has the option of bringing that post and adding it onto his/her own page as well, just as long as the two members are Cybuddies.
There is no discrimination when it comes to which types of people register to use Cyworld. There are no written sources for the exact demographics and numbers on Cyworld users, except that 90 percent of all people in their 20's are registered users of Cyworld (Cnnmoney.com). However, it is obvious that people of every age group and many different occupations all come together on this social networking site and build what can be called to be their “virtual world.” As explained in an article in BusinessWeek, Cyworld is not just another website to some people; it is the nexus of everything a person does. Shin Byun Hwi, senior manager at SK Communications, mentions in the article that the company’s goal is “making users’ online activities entwined with their offline life.” And Cyworld does just that. It is almost as if the user bringing his or her life in the “real world” into the “virtual world.” It has lured so many people that it is almost uncommon for a person in Korea to not own a Minihompi. Cyworld users have been labeled as “Cyholics,” due to the addiction of constantly updating and wave riding on Cyworld.
So who is the brain behind this extraordinary social networking medium? There is not much known on the original founders except that Cyworld was founded in 1999 by four graduates of KAIST, which is known as the MIT of Korea. At first the site was thought of as a “personal contact website, a way to connect to your immediate circle of friends and family.” It was then bought by SK Telecom, a mobile company, which is a subsidiary to SK Communications, in 2003. In merely less than four years of the site’s laughing, almost a third of the South Korean population has become registered members of Cyworld. Also, according to an article from 2007 in Korea Times, it was stated that Cyworld is now the largest online community site with more than 20 million members.
Cywold has already set up localized versions in countries such as Japan, China, and Taiwan, and most recently, in the United Sates. An article in Tech Crunch states that SK Communications funded $10 million along with a 30 person office in San Francisco to the U.S. version in hopes to make Cyworld as successful as it is in South Korea. However, the CEo of the U.S. version of CYworld, Henry Chon, has admitted that the Korean version of Cyworld is “a little too cutesy” for the American taste. Chon teamed up with native Korean and American staffs to debate on which features they should keep and which ones they should get rid of. The final appearance of the product varies a bit in some aspects but is not much different from that of the Korean version. The users of the U.S. version still have the option of customizing their MInihomes by purchasing “acorns.” However, Chon expected the revenue to come from advertising, rather than selling virtual items. There have been many debates about whether Cyworld will topple MySpace or not. One aspect of Cyworld that MySpace lacks is the way Cyworld is organized with the different menu tabs. However, one limitation of Cyworld is that users of the different versions in each of the countres are not able to be “Cybuddies” with one another, nor are they able to “wave ride” and port data from one county’s Cyworld to another.
Cyworld has much to offer in Asia, and has lured so many people into become members. Although it became an instant phenomenon in South Korea, it failed to produce the same gaudy numbers it has produced in its own region. One reason that could have led to their demise is that the operators of Cyworld are simply just out of touch with the American culture. This is evident in CEO Henry Chon’s statement about the Korean version being “too cutesy” for the taste of American culture. This statement alone shows that although Web 2.0 has taken many steps forward in advancements globally, it is unable to satisfy people of all regions in the same way. This is simply due to the fact that different people from different regions do not all have the same purpose when taking advantages of the many tools that Web 2.0 has to offer. Although SK Telecom has succeeded in making Cyworld such a successful Web 2.0 tool in South Korea, it appears that they still have a lot of changes to undergo in order to please the American culture as much as they have been pleasing the Korean users of Cyworld.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The social media I chose to observe was an e-mail list from Yahoo. As mentioned in the reading by Kollock and Smith, e-mail lists can be compared to a Bulletin Board System (BBS). It allows users to write posts which will then be e-mailed to each of the members in the group. The group members then have the option of reading the message and posting up a reply to that message, which will then be sent out to every member in the group as well. The name of the group I observed was called “Relationship-Talk: Expert Advice on Love & Dating.” From reading the title, I felt that there would be a wide range of people participating in this group, and I got as many as 81 messages in one day! This proved to me that this e-mail group was very active.
When communicating on the internet, gender becomes a big issue. Judging from the name of this group, I was expecting the group members to be mostly females, rather than males. This is simply due to the fact that females are stereotyped to be more about the “love” thing while males prefer not to talk about it, and would much rather deal with it in their own way. However, much to my surprise, there were just as many males as there were females. As mentioned in one of the readings as well as in class, there are often many cases where one gender may be impersonating the opposite gender, and vice versa. However, I did not feel as if this was a big issue in this group. Nonetheless, I felt that there really was no need for one gender to try to impersonate the other gender. Often times it was clear to me from just by the user name whether or not the writer was a male or a female. However, there were the occasional ambiguous usernames. If this was the case, the content that the user wrote about hinted out clues to what their gender was. Some examples of these context clues would be things like “I love this man so much….,” “My girlfriend & I have been together for awhile..,” and so on. The hard part about figuring out the gender of the writer was when a user replied to a message. Unless the user was comparing the situation to his/her own, it was often hard to figure out if the writer was a male or a female. The most recent observation of this case was when a woman had written about not spending enough time with her boyfriend. She had been complaining that they only spend time twice a week. As a reply, one user posted “Twice a week? That’s longer than what I get, count your blessings.”
Kollock & Smith discuss topics such as managing virtual commons, problems with cooperation, and running into social dilemmas in cyberspace. It didn’t really occur to me that there were too many issues concerning those topics in this particular e-mail group. Of course, all those topics would be viewed differently from each person’s point of view, but it seemed to me that everyone was being polite and sympathized with what the writer of the each post had to say. It may have been easy for the members to open up and write about their personal problems because of the simple fact that although we were all strangers, we knew that we wouldn’t be judged, as we would be if we were to talk about issues to our friends and/or families.
In conclusion, I was surprised to find how many males were actually posting up messages. I was also surprised to find that the members were all sympathetic of the problems and dilemmas mentioned by the writers. One thing I realized was that because everyone is a stranger, the criticisms or things that might have been perceived as negative if said by a friend/family, were perceived in a different light. The writer might see and understand things a bit different when told by a stranger rather than a close friend or a family. Although there are many rising problems from communicating on the internet, observing this particular group reassured me that there are still many people out there who do not take advantage of the fact that we are behind a screen and anonymous.
Kollock, Peter & Smith, Marc. (1996). Managing the virtual commons: Cooperation and conflict in computer communities. In Susn C. Herring (Ed.), Computer-mediated communication: Linguistic, social and cross-cultural perspectives (pp. 109-128). Philadelphia: John Benjamines
Monday, December 1, 2008
An excellent example of a Web 2.0 medium is Cyworld. Cyworld is a popular social networking site which is heavily used in South Korea. It can be compared to social networking sites in the U.S. such as Facebook and MySpace. However, Cyworld has much more to offer than both Facebook and MySpace combined. Cyworld’s main page can be compared to sites such as MSN or Yahoo. Users have the option of using the Cyworld’s main page as a search engine, as well as to read the most up-to-date news. However, that is not what most registered users access Cyworld for. Cyworld’s main feature is creating a personal homepage, which is called a “Minihome.”
For starters, after you have registered to Cyworld at no cost, the user creates a virtual room which will appear on the front page of his or her Minihome. There are many options when creating this virtual room. The room can be decorated with different interior including room colors and different furniture; or it can even look like the outdoor scenery. Then the user goes on to create a character, or an avatar known as “Minime,” to live in this virtual room. Like the virtual room, there are many options when creating the avatar, such as facial features to skin colors, different hair colors and styles, as well as the character’s clothing, accessories, and even their pets. There is also the unique option of being able to change the mood of your avatar. To further decorate the virtual room and add different templates to your homepage, there is a virtual currency used in Cyworld called “dotori,” which means acorn in English. Users can purchase “dotori” online and use this currency to buy different templates and/or songs for their homepage, as well as buying gifts, templates, and songs for other Cyworld users. The usage of “dotori” for Cyworld users can be compared to Facebook to a certain extent. Facebook users have the option of buying virtual gifts for their friends on Facebook, as well as pay money for applications. However, Facebook users do not have the option of purchasing templates or songs to enhance the look of their page. According to CNNMoney.com, the daily revenue from selling “dotori” is estimated to be around $300,000 in U.S. dollars. Also, in 2006, Cyworld was expected to make $100 million for Cyworld’s virtual inventory. (CNNMoney.com)
After creating the virtual room on the front page, the user can then go on with creating different pages. Cyworld is organized in tabs, where each tab leads you to different sections of the user’s homepage. The tabs have titles such as: Home, Profile, Photos, Bulletin Board, Message Board, and Guest Book. Then the user is able to further categorize and organize their information and data by creating subfolders within each tab. There are no size limits when posting data or documents such as pictures, videos, music, and diary entries. Cyworld also has the option of being able to post photos straight from your mobile phone onto your homepage, just like Facebook and MySpace has offered their users recently. The way Cyworld is set up with the different tabs makes this social networking site extremely user-friendly and allows people to easily navigate from one page to the next.
After creating your Minihome, users can do what is called “wave riding,” by browsing other member’s Minihomes. Each user has a friend’s list, like Facebook and/or MySpace, which are called “cybuddies.” This allows users to comment on each other’s pages, just like any other social networking site does. While “wave riding,” a user may find a photo or a particular post to be interesting. The user then has the option of bringing that post and adding it onto his/her own page as well, as long as the two members are “cybuddies.”
There is no discrimination when it comes to which types of people register to use Cyworld. People of every age group and many different occupations all come together on this social networking site and build what can be called to be their “virtual world.” As explained in an article in BusinessWeek, Cyworld is not just another website to some people; it is the nexus of everything a person does. According to Shin Byung Hwi, senior manager at SK Communications, mentioned in an article in BusinessWeek that the company’s goal is “making users’ online activities entwined with their offline life.” Cyworld does just that. It is almost as if the user is bringing his or her life in the “real world” into the “virtual world.”
Cyworld was first founded in 1999 by four graduates of KAIST, which is known as the MIT of Korea. At first the site was thought of as “a personal contact website, a way to connect to your immediate circle of friends and family.” It was then bought by SK Telecom, a mobile company, which is a subsidiary to SK Communications in 2003. Today this social networking site is heavily used in South Korea amongst various age groups. In merely less than four years of the site’s launching, almost a third of the South Korean population has become registered members of Cyworld.
Cyworld has already set up localized versions in countries like Japan, China, and Taiwan, and most recently in the United States. SK Communications funded $10 million along with a 30 person office in San Francisco to the U.S. version in hopes to make Cyworld as successful as it is in South Korea. However, the CEO of the U.S. version of Cyworld, Henry Chon, has admitted that the Korean version of Cyworld is “a little too cutesy” for the American taste. Chon teamed up with native Korean and American staffs to debate on which features they should keep and which ones they should get rid of. The final appearance of the product is not much different from that of the Korean version. The U.S. version is still organized and categorized with different tabs. The users of the U.S. version still have the option of customizing their Minihomes by purchasing “acorns.” However, Chon expected the revenue to come from advertising, rather than selling virtual items. There have been many debates about whether Cyworld will topple MySpace or not. One aspect of Cyworld that MySpace does not offer is the way it is organized. Cyworld is neatly organized in tabs and folders whereas Myspace does not give you options of having different folders on the user’s page, rather they have just recently offered an option to make folders for the user’s photo albums. However, one limitation of Cyworld is that users of the different versions in each of the countries are not able to be “Cybuddies” with one another, nor are they able to “wave ride” and port data from one country’s Cyworld to another.
Although Cyworld became an instant phenomena in South Korea, as well as the other Asian markets it has been distributed to, it failed to produce the same gaudy numbers it had produced in its own region. One reason that could have led to their demise is that the operators of Cyworld are simply just out of touch with the American culture. This is evident in CEO Henry Chon’s statement of the Korean version of Cyworld is “too cutesy” for the taste of American culture. This statement alone shows that although Web 2.0 has taken many steps forward in advancements, it is unable to satisfy people of all regions in the same way. This is simply due to the fact that people from different areas and different occupations do not all have the same purpose when taking advantages of the many tools that Web 2.0 has to offer.
Cyworld has so much to offer in Asia, especially in South Korea. It has lured so many people to this social networking site that it is almost uncommon for a person in Korea to not be a Cyworld user. Because the addiction to this extraordinary site is so prevalent, they have even been labeled as “Cyholics.” Although SK Telecom has succeeded in making Cyworld such a successful Web 2.0 tool in South Korea, it appears that they still have a lot of changes to make in order to please the American culture as much as they have been pleasing the Korean users of Cyworld.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Shirky explains the research by Duncan Watts and Steve Strogatz, which is known as the “Small World network.” This research shows we are first connected through people in one certain group, and within that group, each individual is connected to someone who belongs to a different group, which enables each of the group members in that certain group to be tied to other people who do not belong the group you belong to. Shirky talks about adopting strategies such as “dense and sparse connections.” These strategies allow you to connect within a smaller group, and then connecting all those small groups together in order to build a bigger network. This can be related to a tool that is newly available on Facebook. Facebook has made a tool called “People You May Know.” In this list, there are people who you are not friends with, but people whom you have friends in common with. It allows Facebook members to meet or friend people through the relationship of common friends, or it can be served as a tool where you can find people whom you are already friends with, but just never knew they had a Facebook account.
I found the last section of this chapter to be interesting. The section is titled “It’s Not How Many People You Know, It’s How Many Kinds.” This section talks about the Ronald Burt’s research on relationships amongst things such as good/bad ideas, social structure and capital. The research takes a closer look at the relationships in the staff of a company. By connecting with people in the company, the staffs are able to come up with good ideas, but also bad ideas or failures as well. This idea can not only be related to companies, but to anyone in other situations. It is always good to build a large social network for various reasons. One reason that we can relate to as college students is searching for a jobs. By knowing a lot of people and being connected through a large network, you have more options and it is easier to find a job through the help of people within your social network, or even through people you may not know, but the people in your network knows.
We all belong to a social network, whether it may be big or small. In my opinion, building new connections and finding people within a network is not something that requires much effort. Such tools on Facebook makes it a lot more convenient for us to “add a friend” to our network on Facebook. Although it is always a good thing to have a large social network, there can also come negative outcomes from it as well. It all depends on the kinds of people you connect with, and the way you carry yourself within these social networks.
Shirky, Clay (2008). Here comes everybody: The power of organizing without organizations (chapter 9). New York: Penguin.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
In today’s society, blogging has vastly spread across the whole globe, that it has actually created a community of its own. Within the blogging community, there are no limitations or requirements as to who can blog, who can read and comment on these blogs, or what you can blog about. It’s basically like an on-line journal or diary in which you can share with the whole world whatever you wish to write about, and receive feedbacks and comments from unknown readers from all over the place. There are many blogs dedicated to a certain topic and for a certain audience, but there are also blogs that are just for your personal use, like a diary of your daily life.
Having to observe and follow up on one particular blog, I chose to participate in a blog dedicated to the NY Mets. Although it is clearly stated in the header of this blog that this blog is owned by Matthew Cerrone, there are other contributors posting on this blog aside from Matthew Cerrone. Cerrone and his team blog about the Mets team in general, the minor league system, free agent tracking, injuries amongst the players around the league, as well as trade rumors. The majority of the audience of this blog is stated obvious; they are probably all Mets fans. Though I have had experience with this blog prior to observing it in greater depth, I have never participated and interacted with the readers. Being a Mets fan myself, I was eager to see what people had to say about the various topics that are posted on this blog.
Due to the fact that this is a sports blog, I was able to feel that there was a lot of tension amongst the faithful readers. People would write comments on not only the post itself, but to other people’s comments as well. This created what seemed like a conversation amongst the readers of this blog. It seemed as if there was a community that existed only within this Mets blog. It was difficult for me to keep up with all the comments on each post because there were numerous comments being posted throughout the day. Also, the blog was updated with new posts several times a day, which led me to believe that there is heavy traffic on this site.
It was a unique experience for me to keep up with a blog that is dedicated to a team in which all the participants shared a love for. However, what was even more appealing to me was how although we all share a common interest and dedication to this team, we all had such different opinions and feelings toward each topic that was being talked about. The Mets had a rocky season this past year, which left one too many fans disappointed and angry. I feel that this past season has a lot to do with what these readers were posting in response to the entries as well as towards each other’s comments. Some were positive, but there were also many comments being posted back and forth that certainly did not seem too friendly. I even experienced someone giving me a negative feedback on one of the comments I have made about signing a player to the Mets, who is currently a free agent. It wasn’t as hateful as some of the other comments I have read, it was certain that this person was disagreeing with what I had to say. Although it was not a friendly conversation, it was still exciting conversing with someone who was a complete stranger and waiting for him/her to reply back to my comments.
As I have mentioned in the beginning that blogging is for anyone and everyone, Aaron Barlow discusses in his book Blogging America, The New Public Sphere, about the growing problem of minimal filtering within the blogging community, as well as criticisms that blogging is made “too easy.” It is easy for me to relate why some people would want a “Blogging Code of Conduct,” from the Mets blog. Though we are all fans of the same baseball team, I see readers posting comments bashing on the Mets players and their performances. In return, other readers would reply to such comments by writing comments that are distasteful. There would be nasty disputes going on back and forth, some that may not even be appropriate for the younger audiences. It is difficult to filter out these kinds of comments because it is a public blog and people are allowed to say whatever is on their minds. However, it is a sports blog after all, and aren’t sports for people of all ages? It would be nice if some of these adults behind the screen were just a bit more considerate of what they were writing on these blogs for the public’s view. Not only is it inappropriate for the younger crowd, I also think it’s distasteful for a fan to bash on the team they’re rooting for. It shows bad sportsmanship, but we all know what people say about New York fans, whether it be for football or baseball.
Opposed to the minimal filtering in the blogging community, I also think there is a positive side to what the people are criticizing for about blogging being “too easy.” Blogs such as the Mets blog enables a regular everyday person to go on the site, read about their favorite team as if they were reading it in a newspaper, and even be able to write feedback and converse with other readers with a few simple clicking of the mouse. It may even be better than reading an article in the paper or watching something on the news because the authors of the website write about topics and give information about the team that news reporters would not. For some, if not most fans, blogs such as the Mets blog might be of more interest to them rather than reading or hearing news about the Mets on the radio or in the papers.
In conclusion, observing the Mets blog helped me realize that blogging can give people a sense of belonging to a certain community. When we are behind the screen it does not matter who we are or what we look like, but rather what we have to say about the topic being talked about.
Barlow, A (2008). Blogging @merica: the new public sphere. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.
An interesting topic she interviewed people about was how these people use LiveJournal or what they use it for. There were some interviewees that firmly believed that you should not post every little detail of your daily life because it is simply too ‘boring’ for the readers, or that they should create “cut tags,” which enables the user to create a hyperlink to the part of their entry that is too long, or unnecessary for the readers to read about. Then there were those who believed that LiveJournal was just like their diary they would write on paper by hand, and that it should not conflict with the fact that there is in fact an audience who is reading about your daily events.
All the different feelings towards blogging for the public and for your own privacy make sense if you look at it from one point of view, or another. To me, I think you have the freedom to write about anything you want, especially on your personal blog. Blogs can be used in many different ways. Some blogs are used to inform others about certain topics, news, information, such as the NY Mets blog, which I have been observing for the past week. Other blogs can solely be for one’s personal use, as in someone’s diary where he/she records thoughts and events from the individual’s day to day life. The whole issue of minimal filtering from Barlow’s Blogging America can be brought up again. It relates to this issue of whether or not bloggers should think about what they’re writing before they actually post it up for the public to read. If the blog is supposed to be informative then yes, I agree that there should be somewhat of a filtering and the author should think twice about what they are writing. However, personal blogs should not have any sort of “conduct” or limit someone from writing what the want.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I had to scroll back several posts in order to get to the post I commented on and was waiting for a reply on because this blog is heavily updated throughout the day. To my surprise, there wasn't much of a response from whom I have been conversing with.
Monday, November 10, 2008
The post I commented on had to do with the Mets signing Francisco Rodriguez, who last played for the Angels as an incredible closer. Because he is known as a "record-breaking closer," this means that he is going to be one expensive guy to sign. In my comment I mentioned that I'm not too sure we'll land K-Rod nor am I too sure that he would even be worth a 4 year deal. I also mentioned if there would be anyone in the minor league who would be able to get the job done and help out the Met's bullpen, which has been suffering. I'm sure there will be some readers who are going to have something to say against my comment. I'll have to check up on that post throughout the day.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
The main author of this blog is Matt Cerrone, however, there are other contributions by his team. They blog about the Mets team, the minor league system, free agent tracking, injuries amongst the players around the league, as well as trade rumors.
On day 1 of observing this blog, I read a post titled "Starting Pitcher: The Case for Perez," which states that Oliver Perez, one of the Mets starting pitchers, is eligible for free agency this coming Friday. Friday is the deadline for MLB teams to offer a new contract to their free agents. This post weighs the Met's options for either a replacement for Perez or a new contract. They discuss Perez's statistics during his recent MLB career, and compares it to other free agents who are also starting pitchers. Because of the recent recession, there are talks about a decline in enormous contracts that has been given out in recent years, due to the fact that teams are afraid to commit multi-millions of dollars in a shaky American market. They also discuss the inconsistency of Perez's play, but shows stats that say otherwise; but as we all know, stats don't show the whole picture and can be deceiving. Judging from the comments that other bloggers have posted, it seems that there are some Mets fans who want Oliver Perez to remain on the NY Mets team for various reasons, as well as those who are against retaining Perez because of other legitamit options in the free agent market.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
An interesting point Barlow talks about are the criticisms of the blogs and the minimal of filtering when one is blogging and posting up entries for the public's viewing. As stated in the text by Barlow, a criticism many people have about blogging is that it is too easy. However, I am one to disagree with this criticism. I see blogging as writing in your diary except you are able to type it on the computer. Whether the individual decides to post their diary entries as public or not is totally their peragative. However, considering how far this society has come in regards to technology and advancements, writing your journal on the computer should not be made so difficult. It is true that with minimal and in most cases no filtering at all, people are allowed to blog about anything and everything they wish to blog about. With this arises the problem of the readers having problems about the particular topic and the thoughts that an author is blogging about. Barlow discusses the situation of people getting hatred comments to even death comments on their blog posts. Yes, everyone has their freedom on the web to post, say, or do whatever they wish to do so. However, I come in a stance that if it is not something you want to read about, then you should not be reading it. It is unfortunate to see how many people out there are sitting behind the screen sending death threats to people who are writing about particular topics that are not in the reader's favor.
With the threats and negativeness seen throughout the blogging community, people have been arguing for a "Blogging Code of Conduct." This can be understandable in a sense that in communities, there are always rules and regulations you must abide by, and considering the fact that blogging has now formed its own "community," there should be some sort of conduct that bloggers should abide by. However, I do not necessarily agree that this "Blogging Code of Conduct" will be as successful. If someone were to break a code of conduct, the most they can do is disable the user from posting blogs or comments. But if this were to ever happen, who will be the person or group in charge, regulating, and passing these "codes of conduct" to the bloggers? It just does not seem like a realistic idea to me.
With everyone from all over the world using the internet and being a part of the blogging community, it is going to be impossible to make rules and regulations. However, I believe that it can be a lot worse than what it already is due to the fact that there are no rules and that ANYONE can have access to the internet and do whatever they wish to do on it.
Monday, October 20, 2008
When researching this particular Web 2.0 tool, the first search engine I chose was Google. Anyone searching for any kind of information on the World Wide Web is quick to jump onto search engines such as Google to obtain what they are looking for. (Tenson, 2004). But hey, can we blame them? Google never seems to fail me while searching for something on the internet.
I began my search on Google with the keyword “cyworld.” The first result was the obvious, the link to the site itself. The second result was the infamous Wikipedia. However, the next result was what I found to be useful. It was an article from BusinessWeek. I knew this was a credible source because it was from a scholarly journal. The article began by talking about a student who is a member of the Cyworld community and began to go on about explaining what exactly Cyworld is and how it works.
From what seemed to be an infinite amount of results from a single keyword search, I was able to find some that were useful, as well as some that were not so useful. An interesting website I came across while browsing through the results was a website called Wikimedia Commons. It seemed to be a website just like Wikipedia, except this site revolved around photographs rather than information posted by the users. Though the result from Wikimedia Commons was not useful to my research, it was interesting to have come across it.
For the next search engine, I wanted to use one that was not as commercialized as Google or Yahoo. However, I am not familiar with many other search engines. So, of course I went on Google and searched “search engines.” It gave me a lot of results, many of them which I have never heard of. I chose to use a search engine called Mamma Metasearch – The Mother of All Search Engines. This time, I used the keyword “about cyworld.” The first two results were the same as Google’s results, the website itself and Wikipedia. The third result was from About.com about social networking sites, which I was a bit skeptical about. It talked about the different sites like MySpace, Facebook, Cyworld, etc, etc. However, the only reason as to why I was not sure if it was a useful source to me was because this particular article was for the purpose of reading comprehension for those who use English as a second language. The next couple of results were the same ones I found on Google, except in a different order. So from searching on Mamma, I came to realize that adding “about” into my keyword search did not help me too much.
The next place I went to hunt for information about this particular Web 2.0 tool was a database from the UAlbany library website called COM Abstracts. Though the searches through the school’s library website is where I would be able to find the most information from a credible, scholarly source, I must say, that this is probably the last search engine I would choose to use when doing a search; especially if it is not required by my professor for me to use the library database. To switch things up a bit, I typed in “history of cyworld” into the search field. However, it did not bring me back a single result. So then I went back and once again, typed in “cyworld” into the search field. Surprisingly, I was only able to obtain one result from this search. From reading the abstract, it seemed as if this article will be helpful as well as credible. However, I was unable to obtain the full text version.
Having to write this essay about the process of my search on a particular topic has helped me think more in depth about searching for information on the WWW, as well as carefully determining whether or not a particular source is credible. Though there are countless numbers of search engines available to us, I am still convinced that Google is my number one choice when searching for something on the World Wide Internet.
Tensen, Bonnie L. (2004). Research strategies for a digital age (chapter 5). Boston: Wadsworth.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
It’s so easy for us to go on a search engine, or any website to search for personal reasons or communicate with others on the internet, not realizing who is reading your information and who is able to obtain any kind of activity you perform while you are online. Many, if not most of us, do not realize or consider the fact that there is nothing “private” on the internet. Any and every information on the “World Wild Web” can be obtained by a complete stranger. This reality came to my attention when my boyfriend’s sister was first starting off her career as a singer in Korea. During the time of her first debut, she made a negative comment on her friend’s private page about another artist. Although it was all fun and jokes between her and her friend, the comment she had made was all over the Korean media in no time. The scary part was that this website is not even a site that many people in Korea use.
No matter how far in technology we get, there will always be some kind of glitch that will affect us in one way or another. With my personal experiences along with Zimmer’s article, I have come to realize that you always have to be careful of what you are doing on the internet and what kind of information you are putting out there for the whole world to have access to with just a simple few clicks of their mouse.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Prior to reading this article I did not understand what Web 2.0 exactly was. Though I am still a bit unsure, I have somewhat of an understanding as to what it may be as the article is concluded by an explanation of the 7 important characteristics of Web 2.0.
From O’Reilly’s article, I have concluded that Web 2.0 is pretty much created by us, as in anyone and everyone who interacts on the internet on a daily basis. A good example he gives in the article that have led me to this particular conclusion is the idea of blogging. A thing called RSS has enabled us to be able to subscribe to anyone’s blog and be informed as the author of the particular blog you are subscribed to updates his/her blog. With that being said, without people constantly updating blogs and other people logging on to read these updated blogs, there would be no ongoing interaction on the internet. It would simply be just a place where we can obtain computerized information. Being able to have blogs on the web allows us to interact with others on a different level. For an example, some people might use their blogs to write about personal things that they do not wish to speak to someone else about on a personal level, yet wishes that someone out there would be able to read it.
With the birth of Web 2.0, using the internet has become a great deal of advantage to us. Not that it was ever a disadvantage before, but there are far less limitations as to what we can and cannot do on the web.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
In chapter 3 of Jason Whitaker’s The Internet: The Basics, he explains in depth about the new media and web production. This chapter talked about the development and advancements of the old media. In his introduction, he explains the two main differences between old and new media, which are the movement towards digitization and what the advancements of digitization have to offer in terms of interacting. He then moves on by explaining in categories the different topics in the web such as hypertext, audio/video, java scripts, HTML, layouts of web pages, and etc.
Today the web is used constantly in our everyday lives and more than half of us do not realize the works or history behind it. Through the movement from analog format to digitization, we are now able to achieve greater things such as having a wide variety when one is trying to make a web page.
It is fascinating to me how we have such technology and advancements to use such things as HTML to link from one page to another, and have the option of changing our font or color schemes while making our own personal web pages.
Although Whitaker takes this chapter and approaches to explain each topic of advancement with the before and after, I felt that this reading was difficult; especially for someone like myself, who is not familiar with the “works” behind the web.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
One major characteristic of the internet is that it is multimediated. Adams & Clarks suggests that the internet is multimediated because “when you visit a webpage, you most likely encounter a wide range of media: graphics, words, sound, and video.” (pg. 55) This statement can apply to when you turn on the television as well. You have different graphics, sounds, and videos while you are tuned into a particular channel on television. However, the television does not give you the option of having two channels on at once. Though there are televisions today that give you the option of having two split screens which are tuned into two different channels, you cannot hear the sounds coming from both channels at the same time. On the internet, you can have as many browsers as you want and you are able to surf the web at your own speed and pace. Also, while without the help of tivo and other recording devices, you cannot watch or save a particular show you were watching and fast forward or rewind to a part you want to rewatch or skip. However, while browsing on the web you have the option of pausing, fast forwarding, rewinding, or revising certain sites as many times as you want. As the television has set times and channels where a certain show is playing, the internet has the flexibility of allowing you to go to whatever website you want to watch, read, or listen to any content you want at any time.
A second characteristic of the internet is hypertextuality. Adams & Clark explains that without hypertextuality, the internet would be just like an ‘easier-to-produce television show.’ As stated in the text, hypertextuality is the ability to link one content to another. Hypertextuality gives us the option of being able to easily navigate from one site to another. The television does not give us this option since we have to channel surf and the only way of knowing what is on another channel is through the channel guide. Hypertextuality allows you to surf the web and end up on a website completely different from what you were originally looking for. This allows us to be able to come across different topics that may interest us, and would never have crossed our minds otherwise.
Another important characteristic of the internet is (a)synchronous. When we communicate synchronously, it means we are communicating at an instant, or at the same time. When our communication is asynchronous, it means it is not at the same time. The internet allows us to communicate while the television does not. Though the television is some type of communication, such as a news message being delivered to a mass audience, it does not give us the option to communicate back and forth at an instant. The internet allows us to obtain information at an instant while being able to put out information on the web instantly as well. The internet gives us the option to communicate one way to a mass audience, communicate one-on-one, or communicate in groups, via chat rooms, mass emailing, or blogs, as well as many other forms.
In my opinion, another defining characteristic of the internet is digitization. This enables us to store and transfer data more efficiently. An example Adams & Clarks gives in the reading is the use of MP3’s and CD’s. It was not too long ago when we had to go out to the store and buy CD’s in order to listen to our favorite tunes. It was time consuming to go out and buy the CD as well as another expense going out of our pockets. However, with the advancements of digitization, we are not able to download our favorite tunes in forms of MP3’s with just a click of a mouse and store it into our computer, MP3 players, and now we are even able to store it into our cell phones. The MP3 example is just one of many. Being able to digitize information by transforming them into bits has made communication a lot easier, faster, and convenient for us.
Finally, the last characteristic is interactive. This characteristic can somewhat go alongside the fact that the internet is multimediated. Being interactive gives you much more options than just channel surfing on the television or switching the stations on the radio. The internet gives you the option of interacting with another person or interacting with different programs. An example of being interactive on the internet on a personal level is chatting or e-mail. In the past, chatting and e-mail was only available through text, which means that you were not able to see or hear the other person. Then you were able to attach files, such as pictures, or sounds. With time, we are now able to chat by video or audio, which means you can actually see and talk to the other person on your computer screen without physically having to be in front of each other.
In conclusion, I believe the five defining characteristics of the internet are mulmimediated, hypertexuality, asynchronous, digitization, and interactive. The advancements of the internet have made it more convenient for us to communicate as well as many other things. Through time, I feel that the internet will be far more advanced that it will soon take over the roles of television, radio, and other forms of entertainment and communication, as it already has started doing so.