Reflection- Digital Divide

Posted: November 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

In the United states, the use of technology and the use of the internet is shown to be much higher among citizens who are generally well-off compared to citizens in lower-income homes. This is the digital divide. Jim Jansen brings to light the statistical evidence of the divide in his article, “The Better-Off Online.” One of the graphs in the article shows, for example, that people in the percentile that earns more than 75,000 dollars a year are 24% more likely to  access the internet on a regular basis than those in the percentile earning less than 30,000 dollars a year.

One reason we must all be aware of the digital divide is for the simple fact that it could contribute to the economic divide. The middle class is diminishing. It seems to be a common saying as of late, “The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.” Though many may disagree on the reasons the rich have gained success, most can agree that opportunity should be available to all.

The presence of the digital divide is one way that opportunity is taken from those with lower incomes. The internet is full of tools and opportunities for success that almost anyone can utilize if he or she is given access to it. If people who have lower incomes had better access to these tools, they would have more ways to better their own lives.

The One Laptop Per Child program is one great way that some have attempted to lessen the gap of the digital divide. If we had more programs like this one in the United States, we would be well on our way to accomplishing that objective here.

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Reflection- Filter Record

Posted: October 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

I found this experiment enjoyable ad eye-opening. It heightened my awareness of filters present on numerous sites. Naturally, the site that I realized probably most affects the particular content I view is one that I’m most familiar with- Facebook. Facebook keeps track of the interests and internet identity of its users. It has always had ways to filter posts, ads, etc. based on what they believe would be most relevant to users with certain criteria. Other sites have followed suit. Some would argue that Facebook’s methods of filtering is invasive. I would agree that in some ways they have become a bit cocky and overzealous with filtering, but there are features that they’ve come up with which are useful. Online content filtering is bitter-sweet.

My first encounter with a filter was on Facebook. They have added a list on the left side of the homepage that consists of groups. Each group shows content posted by people from certain areas of your “life.” The groups on my page including include my school, work, family, and hometown. I clicked on the Family section, and the page displayed information only posted by my family members. I view this as a positive way in which Facebook is successful in filtering content efficiently.

My second encounter with filtering was also on Facebook. It was simply a link to the wall of a friend of mine via a post made by another friend on my (non-chronological) news feed. This link allowed me to add this person as a new Facebook friend.

Another filtering technique I encountered was on Twitter. I was guided to an article via a tweet by one of my favorite drummers, Matt Greiner. The article, which featured Greiner, was from Modern Drummer magazine.

Further, with every visit to sites like Amazon and Netflix, I find lists of content (books and movies) suggested to me based on items I have either previously bought, or previously viewed.

Filter Journal

Posted: October 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

First encounter with a filter- The “Family” section on the new sidebar of Facebook. Filtered posts to only include those from my family members.

Second encounter- Directed to a friends profile who I wasn’t yet facebook friends with, via a post by another friend on my news feed.

Third encounter- Directed to a photo from a “How I Met Your Mother” episode via the show’s page.

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Reflection- Entry 4

Posted: September 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

Some of the goals for the photography blog my group is making involve creatively reusing certain material from other sites and sources. Because of this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we chose to use a license provided by Creative Commons, so that others may post some of our shared material to their own sites. Creative Commons is a licensing organization that seeks to find a balance between strict copyright laws and the reuse and remix of material among internet users. This balance is realized through the license we chose for our group blog. It’s called the “Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Unported” license, and it allows us to share our information with others, so they may reuse and adapt it for their purposes, as long as they explicitly cite our blog as the source for said material. Another benefit to sharing our content freely is that each time someone sees that our blog was used as a source for particular site, it will almost certainly increase our exposure and hopefully build our reputation.

Reflection- Entry 3

Posted: September 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

When I researched blogs with a similar topic as the one my group is creating, I found plenty of forms of reuse. Many times, the format and layout of photography blogs seems to be relatively consistent. The example that struck me as most blatant was the similarity between a blog by photographer Amy Stein at http://amysteinphoto.blogspot.com/, and one by photographer Matt Bell at http://mattbellphoto.blogspot.com/. They both have lists to the right of their main photos and blog entries. One section that they both use lists other photographers that have influenced them.  This doesn’t seem to be an example copyright infringement or plagiarism. The similarity between these two blogs could be due to the fact that they both use the host blogspot.com. This  example shows that reusing an aspect from and effective and organized layout to create a blog is acceptable, as long as the specific content of another blogger is not copied.

Reflection Blog- Entry 2

Posted: September 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

My group has decided to start a blog  focused on photography. One of the best blogs I found similar to the one my group has discussed creating is called “Epic Edits: A Resource and Community for Photograph Enthusiasts.” The site is on the top 100 list of photography blogs on photography-colleges.org. While the blog is very general, it is well organized and informative. The home page has sections entitled Lead Story, Features, Quick-Tip, and Roundup, among others. The Roundup section is simply a list of links to other sites that have more focused topics ranging from gear and lens selection to tips on urban/cityscape photography. Epic Edits also includes a link at the top of the home page that directs visitors to a “Fine Art Photoblog,” which is a nice collection of work from a group of 7 photographers.

Reflection Blog- entry 1

Posted: August 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

Around six years ago, I created a Myspace account. It was the first networking site to grow almost overnight, and was more or less one big online high school. There was gossip, and there were lies and rumors. I noticed a correlation between how popular an individual was at school and the number of friends that person had on their profile. Before this, I would talk to friends on AIM, and before that I would communicate with people via e-mail. I did use Myspace to communicate with friends, gossip, “meet” new people, etc. But what most interested me about Myspace was the instant access I had to all of my favorite bands in the Music section. I could listen to free music, see pictures from concerts. It was awesome. This site bridged the gap between artists and their fans.

One of the best parts of the music section on Myspace was the blog section of a band’s profile. I could view the band’s updates, tour announcements, videos, lyrics, and CD releases in full detail. I could comment on their entries, and sometimes the band would respond. It was awesome. Bands’ activity on their blogs prompted me to write a few entries on my own profile. Although I didn’t update it daily or even weekly, it was the first experience I had with any form of blogging. It was an outlet for me to express my adolescent angst. I would post a few song lyrics I had written and explain them, I would post my responses and reactions to things in the world I found interesting or annoying.

Then came Facebook. When it was first introduced, I was reluctant to join because I was still addicted to Myspace and it’s features. Then a few friends convinced me to sign up, and I caved. Although it wasn’t as flashy or customizable as Myspace, there was something elegant about it’s simplicity. I always liked change, and it was something new and easy to use, so I loved it. I began using the “notes” section of my Facebook profile, which is the closest thing to a blog on the site. Most of my past posts are about politics and religion, my disdain for corruption within them, and my praise of honest people involved in them.

Though I have posted “blog” entries on Myspace and Facebook, I’ve never had a big presence in the world of blogging. I hope to change this, however, learning more about it in this New Media class and through my use of this site. From what I’ve explored on this site, it seems very intuitive, easy to use, and interesting. I like how the side bar is organized and makes it easy to navigate. I also like the format of profiles on the site. I have yet to browse many blogs hosted by the site, but when I do, I have no doubt it will be difficult to stop browsing.