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Slacking off!

Boy, have I had an eventful three months this study period. So much has been going on with no time to write about what I am learning. While one unit is chockablock full of work week to week, the other unit is quiet yet the assessments call for enormous amount of research and reading. I am aiming at finishing one week early so that I might post some of the most notable experiences this semester, although that depends on my last assessment for LIM135, which is a real doozy.

I have enjoyed LIS125 the best if I am honest, learning about new technology and how it is used or will be used in libraries is right up my alley. I loved learning about technology that lets you share information with everyone, even if they are not library patrons, with the help of portals and APIs such as Europeana and simply fell in love with Zotero and Dropbox. I’m still getting used to Evernote, Twitter and Tumblr.

In LIM135 I enjoyed reading up on the different Standards that can help create, maintain and dispose of records and one way of keeping records is in the cloud… Something to think about. Also becoming aware of digital rights management, very scary stuff. I was stumped on creating a business report, but did alright in the end. Now I am stuck on this investigation, but hopefully I can do well and pass this unit.

Well, enough procrastinating, the quicker I finish this investigation, the sooner I can submit it. Then I can catch up on house work, quality time with kids and hubby and quiet time for me, but not necessarily in that order!

 
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Posted by on 11/09/2013 in LIM135, LIS125

 

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Week 11: Social Me(dia) Rivers

Twitter Activity

Go back to the Twitter account you set up at the beginning of this unit and look at the the trending topics on the left of the page.

  • What do you know about each of the topics?
  • Are the people you follow discussing these topics?
  • How does your understanding of trending topics contribute to your understanding of Twitter and social media rivers, if at all?

The topics that are trending on my Twitter (for this unit) are TrueBlood, ThingsIHateAboutPeople, xfactorau, askbolt, Telstra, TwoYearsOfWhatMakesYouBeautiful, Roosters, New Zealand, Rafah and Sinai.

Out of all of those I’m not familiar with TwoYears… and Rafah and Sinai. I’ve had a quick look at these topics and I’m glad I don’t know anything about One Direction. Rafah and Sinai make me very sad. These are not the topics I am interested in. I am following some fellow students, librarians and ALIA, which is were my interest lay. I don’t see anyone I’m following talking about these topics either.

This river is not for me, I’m not a fan of Twitter, even after learning more about it.

Small things

After reading Tama Leaver’s article, consider why ‘small’ appears to be fashionable online (or has the fashion changed???).

In your essays you discussed the consequences of Web 2.0 platforms to the way we communicate and collaborate. Revisit your essay and think about how the presentation of information in small packets changes the way we consume, produce or share information online.

Personally, I like how my phone so small I can put it in my back pocket quite comfortably. However, looking at back at my essay I discussed the wonders of blogging and for me typing away madly using my smartphone would give me a tremendous headache. I don’t have the best eyes in the world and to look down at a small screen for a long period of time does not appeal to me. So in some cases, small things are ok, but large is still useful.

Friendfeed Activity

One of the activities this week asks you to sign up for Friendfeed and add your various social media accounts.

*    How does your Friendfeed represent you or your interests?

*   What sense of other people do you get from their feeds?

*   What do you think of this type of service, in contrast to other social networking platforms? What are its strengths and weaknesses?

FriendFeed is not working for me and I thought maybe it was just me as I have been playing around with all my nodes lately. My Facebook page (for this unit only) seems to be working but as I haven’t added any friends yet it is a lonely feed indeed!

I don not think FF represents my interests at all.

 
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Posted by on 08/19/2013 in WEB101

 

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Week 7 Discussion: Social Networks

Use of social networking sites

When I had my smartphone, I was very dependent on social media because of the easy access. I was able to log in to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a variety of social games and check each everyone of these multiple times a day. Since my baby slobbered and broke my phone I am no longer accessing these websites as often as before because I don’t have the time to sit at my computer and look after my kids. I have found that once Facebook in particular, was very addictive. My main reason for using it was to keep in contact with family and friends who live too far away to meet up from time to time. I also use Facebook for entertainment by following interesting and funny pages.

Another reason is my study community, one that has helped me immensely. Throughout the many reasons for my addiction to Facebook, I have remained the same person, if only a little wittier and smarter because I have the benefit of having Google opened on another tab and those squiggly lines that announce my spelling mistakes so I can make them disappear. And now that I don’t have my smartphone, I don’t have a way to search for things as soon as I think of it, I have to wait until I get home again to look.

Like many others here, I only have actual ‘friends’ on Facebook’, so I have less than 50, as they are mostly family or friends from my childhood: people I have an actual relationship with. I don’t believe in having people I have never met having access to my details (such as ‘likes’) or my photos. I have the highest privacy setting available chosen for my profile but the clip on the study notes about the TOS has made me reconsider having so many photos and so much of my life on display and has got me thinking about deleting some of it for privacy’s sake.

My Twitter account is mostly for study, even after learning more about it, it still doesn’t call out to me. It gets checked a couple of times a week if that. This might change once I start working.

Twitter Activity

I’ve had a Twitter account since about 2008; however, it is not my cup of tea. And now since I don’t have my smartphone I look at it less and less, especially since my loved one do not use it. To combat this I have started following people I admire such as Dr Who. I have also linked my WordPress blog to my Twitter account, so that every time I publish a blog, a tweet is generated. Those who follow me will hopefully reply to my tweet and we can connect in this manner (I hope).

I have found a lot of old WEB101’ers but endeavor to hash tag my tweets so that people may find them useful.

Terms of Service – your data as a commodity?

I have to admit I have not looked at these areas of my social networking sites, such as Facebook or Twitter and am thinking perhaps I should. I realise through the media that Facebook has a lot to answer for but I must be one of a great deal of people who give them the power unknowingly to do as they please. My only defense I guess is to keep abreast of any changes and keep my private details to a minimum in these sites. I am contemplating of deleted most of my photo albums which I had uploaded so that my family could see my children as they grew up. My best bet is to simply print hard copies and send them via snail mail. At least in this way they are the only ones who have access to them, as opposed to those unknown in cyberspace.

 
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Posted by on 08/04/2013 in WEB101

 

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3.3 Talk to me! Chatting/texting/twittering at each other

1.    Summarise the main points in the readings noting your agreement and disagreement with the ideas and opinions of the author/speaker.

E.J Westlake starts the reading by giving her first impressions on what was the new News Feed in 2006, a big deal because suddenly everyone knew what you got up to on Facebook, every time you logged in. Westlake explains that there was a lot of negative feedback regarding the stalker-like vibes the new look inspired.

Facebook, as Westlake explains, was founded as a way to enhance face-to-face contact on University campuses. Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook in February, 2004. Originally to help students get to know each other, it went live to include schools, workplaces and public domains. Westlake admits that Facebook usage may seem to the older generation as “deviant exhibitionism” or as “passive acceptance of intrusive surveillance.” (Westlake, 2008, 23). But Westlake assures that it is neither, rather, willing participants in an ever changing phenomena refusing to be pigeon-holed.

Westlake likens Facebook to MySpace, a similar program that consists of an online diary that includes photos; video footage; comments from viewers and allows people to connect with one another. Both websites “encourage users to share personal information, such as favourite movies and books, favourite quotes, political leanings… and photographs.” (Westlake, 2008, 25). Both websites are reminiscent of the 70’s Slam book. MySpace has been used as a promotional tool and because it includes a blog, it differs from Facebook. Although these sites can be connected to each other, Facebook’s features originally allowed students to meet, especially if they were enrolled in similar courses.

Westlake’s article describes the way we, as users of Facebook, perform; read texts and travel on the web. Just like following links to information that interests us, we are able to use Facebook by linking people through mutual groups, friends and interests. Westlake explains that this is a good example of “read-write culture.” (Lessing, 2007) and such other examples include IMDb and Wikipedia where participatory culture is at its best. With Facebook, friends can not only leave comments and messages, but also tag themselves and others in a person’s photos.

Westlake also lists the different types of generations, older than college students:

  • “The “silent” generation (1925–1942),
  • The Baby “Boomers” (1945–1960),
  • And the “thirteenth” generation (1961–1981)” (Westlake, 2008, 26)

Some of which, Westlake admits, to having difficulty relating to Facebook and its functions of communication. While college students, on the other hand, thrive on the new technology.

Another point Westlake makes is about the way we come across on our Facebook profiles, or the way we perform. Westlake likens our Facebook friends as the audience and even though they cannot see our faces for audio cues, we make use of photos, videos and content in what we write. The audience then takes what we have written and validates us and this seems to be the main reason why the Facebook community works so well.

Westlake then continues by describing what Facebook is and what one would see when they first log in; she explains profile pictures, groups, friends, poking, applications and fake profiles. Again some aspects that an older generation might find puzzling, but to an avid Facebook user, it is indeed, quite addictive. For example, my profile is kept up to date and I communicate often with friends and family and post photos for them to see. It is an ideal communication tool because I live far from my family and it keeps us all in touch. I’ve only recently taught my mum how to log in and navigate Facebook, so it will be great when she feels confident enough to do it on her own.

A valid point that Westlake makes is about surveillance and privacy and one that concerns me a little as well. I heard a while ago that British police had scanned a large number of Facebook profile photos and had them available to them to compare with surveillance footage taken from street cameras and the like. I didn’t know what to think. What if someone looks like me and commits a crime, what will happen then? Will I be charged simply because I look like a criminal..? I wonder if misunderstandings like this could happen. Stalking is another problem faced by Facebook users, and what I’m worried about is that older kids that have access to Facebook may also see some adult content. I worry for my children, and because they are growing up in a technological era, it is up to me to educate them about the internet, from the good things to the bad. What is good to know is that Facebook has strict guidelines to promote a somewhat safe environment for its users. These guidelines are reinforced by other users who are encouraged “to click on “Report Abuse” links on every page.” (Westlake, 2008, 34).

In her next point, Westlake talk about Generation Y and their use of Facebook, and their willingness and openness to new technology, media and politics. “Generation Y Facebook users perform themselves and offer themselves up for surveillance for their chosen audiences, opening new stages for the operation of and the resistance to hegemonic power.” (Westlake, 2008, 38). This generation seems more at home with Facebook and all it has to offer. Westlake concludes with “The internet continues to be a palimpsest of the older ways of communicating, even as it is also
a way of signifying through new technologies.” (Westlake, 2008, 38). And to me that means that Facebook is merely picking up where the older generations left off and I tend to agree. I might be performing for the world to see, but I choose to perform and I choose what they get to see.

E.J Westlake (2008). Friend me if you Facebook: Generation Y and performative surveillance.  The Drama Review 52(4), 21-40.

Evan Williams on TED, in February 2009, talks about how he came up with Twitter, with the help of Jack Dorsey, as a side project while working at ODEO. This talk is fascinating to me because I have never heard of how Twitter was born. I have said many times that while Facebook is an all rounder in terms of having status updates; photos; games and messaging, Twitter to me has always been a little boring as there’s not a lot to do but state what one is doing at any point in time. Having said that, I find it amazing how a concept has taken on the world and become not only popular, but addictive.

Williams explains that Twitter is “based around a very simple, seemingly trivial concept. You say what you’re doing in 140 characters or less. And people who are interested in you get those updates.” (Williams, 2009). What is interesting is that one can receive an update on their mobile phone, on the go. So I don’t even need a computer, just a Twitter application and I’m ready to tell the world what I’m doing, where ever I might be doing it!

I can relate to this on some level because I have heard of celebrities Twittering about their lives, sharing important, very personal information as well as very insipid details that no one needs to know. I understand that normal people like me might make use of Twitter to be part of a community no matter where they are in the world. This of course leads on to the use of Twitter during a crisis like what Williams uses, the San Diego fires in 2007, where people Twittered to let others know what was happening as well as to tell loved ones that they were safe. Both the LA Times and Emergency Personnel also used Twitter to relate news and information.

Unsurprisingly, businesses have begun using Twitter to advertise, but what is interesting is politicians utilising Twitter for their campaigns. “In fact, there’s 47 members of congress who currently have Twitter accounts [in America].” (Williams, 2009).

Another point I found impressive was Williams willingness to let other people tweak and change Twitter for the better, for example:

  • Inventing the reply feature, so you can reply to a specific person or message
  • API, or Application Programming Interface, where “programmers can write software that interacts with Twitter.” (Williams, 2009)
  • Twitter being accessible on Macs, Windows, iphone, BlackBerry
  • And a search engine by Summize

Williams concludes with admitting that Twitter has grown from what was originally a side project intended to keep family and friends connected to people all over the world utilising the software to broadcast news and information to even helping politicians with their campaigning, and helped people raise money for various causes. And here I thought Twitter was boring!

TED talk – Evan Williams on Twitter

2.    Reflect on your own use of messaging, Facebook, and twitter concerns or fears you may have and economic opportunities you might recognise.

It’s funny, but for the longest time, I have texted rather than called anyone on my mobile phone book and very rarely picked up my land line. Is it because I just don’t want to talk to anyone? Could be. I’ve been described as chatterbox in the past, but talking on the phone is something I don’t much enjoy.

I have a Facebook account and I enjoy immensely keeping it up to date with new a status almost every day, new photos of my children for my friends and family to view and keeping in touch with friends that I don’t often see. At times it is the best way to get in contact with me as more often than not my phones will be out of action. I have two young children who love to explore and take things apart to see how they work!

With Facebook, I get the whole deal, I can message, view photos and play games. Twitter, on the other hand, is boring by comparison and I hardly update the status. I’ve already done it on Facebook, so why do it again? Also, there’s nothing else to do on Twitter, so I’m not fond of it.

My only concern with Facebook is the privacy aspect of it, and whether I’m setting my self up for a fall, when I upload so much of my life on the social network. I have taken precautions to ensure only friends have access to my profile, and I never write private details, such as phone numbers or bank details, where everyone can see. Even so, there are people out there that, if they want that information bad enough, they will find a way. That is a bit scary.

As for economic opportunities, people can have a profile devoted to their product or services and the ads that appear on the right hand side may be noticed by people looking for something in particular. I have noticed that some ads correspond to the interests I have stated on my profile, which is rather cunning. For example, I was reading a lot of baby related adverts (like Huggies) while I was expecting and now, I am seeing ads for Jobs from home; gym clothes and new furniture!

 
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Posted by on 04/29/2011 in MED104

 

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