Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November 24's reading

November 24, 2008’s reading for com 430z was titled “Fitting our Tools to a Small World” by Clay Skirky, which was published in 2008, in the ninth chapter of the book Here comes everybody: The power of organizing without organizations.

The main ideas of this chapter were about the new tools that are creating more support for social networking and how important social capital is. Some of the tools mentioned are; Myspace, Facebook, LiveJournal, Xanga, and dodgeball. These new FOAF (friend of a friend) networking tools are described as helping us with this new way of looking at social networks. He breaks down some new studies and theories on how and why social networks start, and how some can become so large and important. In the conclusion the author explains how these networks can help us in life, and in work. I have to agree it seems to me that the more people you know the better off you are. For instance, I am good friends with a mechanic so I don’t have to give an arm and leg every time I need my car fixed, or just want some advice with car trouble. Also, my brother is a carpenter so when I need something fixed in my house the same thing applies. So I can imagine if I knew politicians, famous actors, or any other kind of people with special talents, power, and influences. I would also like to add that most people find jobs through their friends and acquaintances. The more of friends and acquaintances, the more of a selection you will have in choosing your careers, or jobs.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nov 12ths reading

November 12, 2008’s reading for com 430z was titled “Shout into the wind, and it shouts back.” by Lori Kendall, which was published in 2007, online in First Monday, volume 12, under Identity and interactional tensions on LiveJournal. This was retrieved on August 21, 2008 from http:/firstmonday.org/issues/issue12_9/kindall.index.html.

This reading was about a weblogging system called LiveJournal. The name basically spells out what this system is intended for, which is online journals. This system also contains built-in social networking features. In this reading the author explains her hands-on research of LiveJournal and many of the concerns and problems that can occur with this technology. The first problem that she brings up is that Journals are originally supposed to be private. When they are put online, this isn’t the case anymore. Even know not everybody can gain access to your journal the main idea around LiveJournal is that information can be made public. So a problem occurs when people want privacy, but still would like some kind of feedback from an audience. The next problem that occurs is that: in life most people keep friend and family networks separated to some degree. Form Lori’s experience and research many people’s networks were colliding leaving the person in the middle not able to show their different sides to the different networks. A good example of this would be that most people don’t speak to their mother the way they speak to their friends. Another problem that LiveJournal runs into is that people can use built-in features to filter what information is accessible to whom. This can obviously help out with privacy issues, but it can also hinder connections between people. The last problem the author brings up is that people want comments from others, but most people don’t comment on many issues, usually just trivial issues.
Her thought on this is that people don’t want to be seen in a different light then the one they are portraying on LiveJournal, and taking a side or giving a piece of mind might do exactly that.

Essay, Blogging @merica

My assignment for com340z was to find a blog that I was interested in and then participate in it. I chose a blog called The Movie Blog. I watch a lot of movies and I would like to get into the entertainment business one day, so this is something I thought I could relate to. On The Movie Blog there is a list of articles that deal with the latest news in the film business. This usually includes movies, actors, directors, producers, and many other topics like these. The only thing you need to be able to blog on this site is a username and an e-mail address.

I want to relate my blogging experience on The Movie Blog to something that I have studied in my com340z class. I chose the chapter titled “The Blogs in Society” in Aaron Barlow’s book, Blogging @merica. In the summary that I previously wrote I spoke about two perspectives that Barlow mentioned in this chapter. From my experience with The Movie Blog I see a little of both of these perspectives showing through. The first being that blogging is basically useless and is not even relevant in the real world, and the second being that the blogging community is a real world, and maybe even more real than the one we live in.

I recently wrote an essay on my previous blogging experience, which consisted of me following a blog and analyzing what I was witnessing. The difference between the last project and this one is that this time I was actually involved in the blogging. I got to post my own ideas and really get a good feel on how blogging worked. In Barlow’s book he mentions that studying blogging and being involved in blogging are two different things. I have to agree with him for the most part. Some of the things that I noticed before, when I was just observing the blogs, still held true when I was participating. But I have to admit I would never have understood it the way I do now if I had not participated. I would say that holds true for many other situations. You never really know about something until you try it yourself.

The first prospective I want to talk about states that blogging is basically useless and is not even relevant in the real world. I see how people can say something like this. On The Movie Blog I really didn’t know who anyone was. I feel like I got to know them a little, and I know the longer I stayed on the more I could figure out, but I still don’t really know them. Even if I was friends with some of the people outside of the blog, there were still people who just stumbled across the blog, or that only visited it once in awhile. My point is that in a blog like the one I was evolved in, there is a sense that nothing is what it seems. People can be whoever they want on this blog, and more importantly say whatever they want, and this can make the whole interaction feel kind of false. Barlow mentions this feeling of false interaction, and then explains how people can use this anonymous interaction to spoil relevant conversation. I did experience comments like these. Although none of them were malicious like the one’s Barlow spoke about, I can see how people’s false statements and rumors could be passed around as the truth very easily on this blog.

The other side of this argument states that the blogging community is necessary and is a real world, and maybe even more real than the one we live in. Barlow brings up the fact that much of blogging is done between people who would not be considered gatekeepers, and this is a good way for our world to grow. Gatekeepers choose the types of information that gets let out into the public. When we can find a way around gatekeepers, we get to talk about things that we would have never heard about. Now with my blog it is not as detrimental that we make our way through gatekeepers then say, talking about things in government that the government doesn’t want us to talk about, but it still is important. My blog is about the entertainment business, but it is still good that we can talk about the issues that we want to. Some of the topics we talked about weren’t mainstream, but were things I really found interesting. Even know the articles that we talked about were picked by people, I still didn’t feel like they were forced topics, and like I said they weren’t really things I had heard about anywhere else.

In the end I think that both sides of these arguments have good points. I have to side with the fact that blogging is important. I think anything that brings people together is important. I also do agree that there is a large amount of blogging that is useless and downright annoying, but if I had to chose to get ride of blogging or keep it based on what I have learned so far, I would diffidently choose to keep it. This is a very important public sphere and is a rather new phenomenon and may prove to be much more important than we could ever imagine.

Barlow, Aaron. (2008). Blogging America. Westport, CT: Praeger

Monday, November 10, 2008

7th day

Today is my 7th day on the movie blog. Over the weekend I didn’t post anything, but I spent a good amount of time just reading the articles and other people’s reactions. I am really starting to get a good feel for this site and a good idea of how blogging works. I feel more comfortable with what I am doing now, and I am sure the more I do this the more comfortable I will get. I also have a feeling I might be visiting the movie blog and maybe even posting after this assignment is done.

Today I posted about the new Sherlock Holmes movie coming out. I mostly focused on the fact that Robert Downey Jr. was playing in it. I was going to post on the top article about Batman, but by the time I was ready to do so everyone had basically said what I wanted to say, so I didn’t feel like I would have been contributing.

Friday, November 7, 2008

4th day

Today I was going to post a comment directed towards someone, but I saw a chance to be the first one to blog on a new story so I did it. This way I will be able to follow the interactions better. I hate leaving a comment after 30 people have already spoken their mind. This way I may have a better chance of somebody reacting to what I say. I also want to bring up that some responded to one of my comments. They said “NO”. It was the answer to a question whether or not I was making sense. It kind of made me feel stupid for a second.

I want to note that maybe I am blogging differently because for one, this activity is forced and not something I wanted to do, and also I have read so much about blogging that I am thinking into it too much. I keep trying to make sure I stay within the rules of blogging, and I have a feeling the more I think about it the less I achieve that.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

3rd day

Today I blogged on an article about Russell Brand. I also checked to see if anyone had commented on anything I have said so far, and it seems like I am the last person to post a comment for the two I have done already. I have a feeling I am talking about topics a little too late. I also have a feeling that some of these people realize I am a newcomer. Something I noticed, is the most of the comments were posted by the same people. I think next time I may try to post a comment directed towards one of these people.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

2 day

Today was my second day participating in The Movie Blog. It took me a little while to figure out what blog interested me the most, and to find what blog I could actually contribute to at least a little bit. I ended up choosing the blog at the top of the front page on the new Batman movie. I skipped this article in the beginning because I figured there would be something more interesting to me if I continued on, but I was wrong. I feel pretty good about my post today, and I think the more I do this the more comfortable I will feel. By the way, all of my posts are under the name Snow.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ist day blogging

I looked around for awhile trying to find a blog that I would be interested in and one that I could actually figure out how to use. The last assignment we had was to just observe people blogging which proved to be fairly easy. Now we have to actually participate in them. Some of these blog sites can be a little tricky, especially if you’re not too sure what you are looking for. I know it seems weird that I am blogging about not being able to blog all that well, but I didn’t have to go out and find this blog site, it was provided for me. Well, I ended up choosing “movies and film” as a topic for my blogging, and found that even though this is a common topic on blogs, it is still hard to find exactly the kind of blog that you are looking for. Many of the topics located in movie blogs were things like adult film, celebrity gossip, and many other offshoots that I was not looking for. I began my search by using Technorati. I spent about a half-hour with it and finally got fed up. Then I went back to Google and typed in movie blogs and found what I was looking for. The Movie Blog is where I posted my first blog. The comment is on the article about Boondock Saints 2. And next time I post I will try make sure I spell everything correct before I submit. There is no editing these.