Tuesday, December 2, 2008


In 2001 when the .com bubble finally burst, it was taken as a sign that the Internet needed an update and that the collapse was unavoidable (O’Reilly, 2005). Web 2.0 technologies have changed the Internet forever. We are no longer stuck to just e-mail and simple text browsing on the web. Now, the possibilities are endless. Today we are in on-line worlds that will more than likely never disconnect again. Why would we when we can instant message, share video feeds, write blogs, and upload pictures? In today’s digital world, film is quickly becoming an art form of the past. We are now taking more pictures than the mind and hard drive could previously handle. This is where the web 2.0 technology Flickr comes into play. Flickr has become one of the world’s best “online photo management and sharing application” of its time (flickr.com).  Despite the power that Flickr holds today, it has endured significant changes throughout its development in order to become as popular as it is today.  



            In February 2004, two individuals by the names of Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake helped expose Flickr to the world. They did this with the company they created called Ludicorp, which is a Canadian based online interaction company. Ludicorp was created in 2002 and is solely based on creating an online interaction platform. Once they had created Flickr it would not take long for a corporate web mega giant to acquire them. Sure enough, like all the other web 2.0 technologies that get bought up by someone, on March, 25th 2005 Yahoo acquired Ludicorp and Flickr for 35 million dollars. Stewart Butterfield is not the every day computer geek someone would think he is. He actually has a B.A. and a Masters in Philosophy. Stewart’s wife and co-founder of Flickr, Caterina Fake, is also a college graduate from Vassar College in 1991. After bouncing around the country, she settled in Vancouver, Canada in 2001 where she got involved in the web-industry. Butterfield and Fake both resigned from Yahoo in the summer of 2008 (Wiki.org). Before Flickr was what we know it as today it was something different. Flickr was originally created as part of an online game called ‘Neverending’. However, Flickr was seen as more feasible and the game was abandoned. The early version of Flickr was called Flickrlive. This was mainly to be used as chat rooms with the ability to exchange photos live. Eventually, Flickr became what it is today; it is a place for someone to upload, share, and exchange photos.



            There are still questions that remain around Flickr. Who is using it and why are they using it? The answer to these questions is anyone with an abundance of pictures and a computer can use Flickr. The truth is Flickr is available to anyone who wishes to use it. If you are a professional trying to get your work exposed, this is one of the best ways to get exposed. If you are just someone who enjoys photography and needs somewhere to store them, Flickr is also a practical option for you. If you just had a baby and you have no means of getting pictures to your family members, Flickr can get a copy to them quickly and efficiently. The only real constriction to join Flickr is that you must possess a Yahoo account. This is a necessity because when Yahoo acquired Flickr, they got rid of their photo site and began using Flickr as their primary photo platform (Wiki.org). Also, once Yahoo took over they added a video content feature for their Flickr pro users. The pro account on Flickr is a paid subscription only but it allows you to upload clips of video up to 90 seconds long (Wiki.org).


            This is part of the magic that makes Flickr so exciting and so different from all the other web 2.0 technologies. For example, Facebook and Myspace users have a tendency to put up inappropriate pictures of themselves and others. All that does is get a few cheap laughs and possibly cost you a respectable job. Pictures can hold so much more than a cheap laugh; they can capture memories and once in a lifetime beauties. Pictures can tell our stories from things like the breath taking landscapes of the Colorado Rockies to poverty and war-stricken countries like Congo. Pictures expose and evolve a person’s view of the world one photo at a time. The saying that a picture says a thousand words is very true, especially when it comes to Flickr. Not only are you giving a picture to the community to view and admire, but you can also write a thousand words along with it. It combines the emotional power of a written blog as well as the captivating image.

There are a lot of stories out there to tell through the use of photographs. For example, on November 3rd, 2008 a person by the name of Garrett Ryan Smith uploaded the 3 billionth photo onto the site (Arrington, 2008). That is very impressive for something that was only started in 2004. This also gives you an idea of how these pictures contain artistic meaning rather than the typical Facebook and Myspace pictures. Not only does Flickr allow us to share our own stories but we can also see the stories of others from thousands of miles away; this is due to the evolving and advancements of technology. All it takes is a little gadget the size of a deck of cards to close the gap between the upper and lower classes. This point is laid out very clearly in Aaron Barlow’s book Blogging @merica The New Public Sphere. Now someone in Africa can use a cell phone to upload a photo of a tribal celebration and tell the world about it. This is one of the reasons why people use Flickr; they want to share a little part of their lives with the rest of the world to appreciate and enjoy.  



            It is also extremely important and valuable to understand how Flickr works. When you first enter the site and the window loads the main homepage, you are greeted with a picture. You are given an option to create an account or take the tour. If you click on take the tour it gives you an eight-step process on how the site works. It first explains how easy it is to upload a file onto your account. Simply click choose file, click the file, and hit upload; this simple procedure is another appealing feature of Flickr. Next, you are given the option to edit your photos; if you do not wish to you simply move on. If you do choose the editing option you have a wide array of choices from red eye removal and cropping to auto fix and blogging.

The next step is probably the most outstanding one in the entire Flickr site; it is the Organizing option. The organizing feature allows you to set up your photos by themes (i.e. “soccer”). Then you can “tag” certain aspects of the photo such as ball or grass. This enables another user looking for a picture with the key word ball to quickly find a match instead of browsing through billions of photos.

The following step is a very important and concerning step for many people who put pictures up on Flickr. Sharing is always a concern for people who are skeptical about putting their photos online because it makes their photos available to the world. It is hard for us as humans to believe that someone would take someone else’s artwork and use it to make a profit. However, as history has taught, humans are not all innocent. Because of this, Flickr provides protection to the people that choose to share their photos. You can set it to whatever privacy level you prefer. In addition, you can put a copyright on your photos. If you want people to see your picture and do as they wish with it there are group photo centers on the site. This allows you to associate a certain type of photo with a group already established. This is almost like having a group chat but with pictures instead.  Another awesome feature about sharing on Flickr is the safety level application; you can rate the safety level of the picture to help address peoples concerns about coming across something they are uncomfortable with.

The next feature that a lot of people will find attractive about Flickr is the map feature. The map feature enables users to upload their photo and then tag it on a map so the rest of the world can see where the shot was taken. This is very similar to any other asset map that you find on the web. The best comparison would be like when you type in a business location on Google and the map comes up with a bunch of balloon dots on it displaying the different locations in the area. This feature allows people to not only see the story, but if they want to they can live it as well by making their own story. This also can create new friendships by two people experiencing something in common which is a major aspect of Flickr. Creating a strong sharing community is part of the mission statement with Flickr.

The exciting features are endless with this site.  Step number 7 is called “creating cool stuff”. Not only can you share pictures online but you can also build your own photo book or capital one credit card. Flickr enables its users to give their photos to capital one to put personalized images onto their cards. You can also make a calendar and send it to your family as a holiday gift as well as a variety of other options. 

The last step of the tour is the keep in touch step. This allows you to add other users as contacts and mark them as friends or family. This feature allows you to invite your contacts to view new pictures that you have just uploaded onto the site. It also allows you to leave notes on parts of the actual photo that only the photo holder can see by browsing over the image. This is different from the regular comments that anyone can leave on the bottom of the image in the comment section. All of these features on the site have gotten outstanding recognition and many are wondering why they are not seen more frequently. “While it isn’t hard to imagine how an academic library could incorporate many of these ideas, academic libraries tend to lack important traits or resources that are present in a commercial venture like Flickr”(Lawson, 2008).


Once you have signed up with your Yahoo account all these features can become available to you. The signing up process is very user friendly; it walks you through step by step.  You begin by simply using your yahoo account to sign into Flickr. Then you fill out your profile information and add a profile picture. Finally you can upload pictures and explore all of the previously mentioned features.

Web 2.0 technologies have changed the Internet world forever. By means of blogging, instant messaging, live video feeds, and photo uploading, the Internet has evolved into one of the most complex and important communication technologies that the world has seen. Flickr is just one example of these web 2.0 technologies that has created a vast community combining the power of a camera lens and our willingness to share our stories with the world. It has also created a very close community through the development of its applications. In as little as five minutes, one person can be exposed to the pictures and stories of millions. This is the reason that Flickr has become so powerful. It enables anyone who possesses a camera and a computer the ability to not only share their lives with the world but become a part of others’ lives as well.
















Michael Arrington, November, 3rd,2008, Tech Crunch


O’Reilly, time (2005). What is web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Retrieved August 21, 2008 from http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html.

Barlow, Aaron, Blogging America.(2008). Blogging in Popular Culture (Chapter 5)

Lawson, Steve, academic library 2.0 interface or learning from Flickr, October 2008,  a presentation by Steve Lawson Colorado College Humanities Librarian, Internet Librarian Preconference


Monday, November 24, 2008

brought together through myspace

For today’s final reaction of the semester I have read chapter nine of Clay Shirky’s book called Here come everybody: The power of organizing without organizations. Reading this chapter I found myself liking it more and more because it made me think about different social situations. In this chapter the author describes the reasoning behind how we always seem to know somebody somewhere and, how with so many people in this world it is still so small. Also, discussed is how social networking sites have only increased this likely hood of knowing more and more people.  This quick description of course is putting bluntly.



            The author first discusses how it is not the world being small that sets us up to run into someone it is how we increase our percentages. The author calls is “hemophily” which, is basically the situations that we put ourselves in that only a small percentage of people able to do (Shirky, 2008). For example, if you are a communication major in college taking a political communications course what is the likely hood you will be surrounded by people who are interested in politics? The answer is a very good chance. When you put yourself into a situation where a few people are able to do the same the likely hood of running into someone you know based on certain characteristics of the occurring event is very likely. This is also typical in business matters as well. Say you have a list of business contacts stretched far and wide and at a conference you run into to someone who knows someone now you have added another contact to your list (Shirky, 2008). This is probably the most common means of growing your contact list in business today. The author takes this concept to the next level.


            The Internet, which gives us social networking sites like myspace, facebook has changed social introduction forever. You are now able to become friends with a group of people just for being friends with someone else. You can do all this without actually meeting the people. This is where I disagree with the author. The author describes how knowing this denser cluster of people is easier because there are fewer degrees of connections between everyone (Shirky, 2008). I see this as being more fragile and, much more costly in the long run. Lest say you get into a fight or disagreement with one of these people instead of losing one person you have now lost a whole group of people. Remember the group has not met you and there only opinion of you is based on the original contact member. 


            That was my only disagreement with the entire paper other then that it was a good read and had a lot of good points to it.




Shirky, Clay. (2008) Here comes everybody: the power of organizing without organizations (chapter 9). New York: Pe

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Technology levels off society??????

Technology tends to have a way of leveling off the playing field of society. All it takes is a little gadget the size of a deck of cards to close the gap between the upper and lower classes. This point is laid out very clearly in Aaron Barlow’s book Blogging @merica The New Public Sphere. I will not only be using Barlow’s book to help explain my point I will also be using technology itself. For one week I followed a blog online and observed what went on with it. My observations help me to realize what this web 2.0 Technology has done to help change the world.



            Allow me to explain in more depth the blog, which I observed for a week. The name of the blog that I chose is called www.fitnessblackbook.com. This blog is a place for the fitness savvy and not so savvy to come and enjoy. I suppose the enjoyment level varies on how you spend your free time. I say this because this fitness blog is about giving tips on how to maximize workouts. It also goes into depth on nutritional planning and maximizing your fitness level. I did not realize it at first but the blog can only have posts written by one person named Rusty. Rusty seems to due his research very well; he only posts things that have been proven to work and help people who are really struggling to increase their level of fitness. This blog became very interesting to me because I am at a point right now in my life where I am trying to gain strength. This will help me achieve my ultimate goal of competing in a full iron man triathlon. A full triathlon is a 2.5-mile swim followed by a 112-mile bike ride topped off with a marathon (26.8 miles). You can see how a high level of fitness is needed to compete in such an event. During my observations, I noticed that a lot of people were having the same reactions I was. These reactions were nothing but positive things to say or questions about the articles. I did ask a question in regards to one article about a strength training method used by the Russian Olympic teams. My question did go unanswered as Rusty seems to only answer a limited number of questions per article. This was not of grave concern to me because the information I had unknowingly been looking for was eventually found. From my observations, my overall conclusion of this particular blog is that I can still train like a Russian Olympic athlete but not have to be a Russian Olympic athlete.


            This brings me into my main point of the essay; technology has a way of leveling out the playing field for everyone. In chapter 5 of Barlow’s book he explains how people in Africa are becoming cell phone owners at an enormously large rate (Barlow, 2008). These cell phones have Internet access and perform all the same functions as many computers do. I can guarantee you not many people know this fact because I know I certainly did not. The fact that in an underdeveloped area, such as Africa, can be as technically advanced as some rich person in the U.S. is astonishing. This is all in part thanks to Technology. People that were once shut off from the world will now have news updates at the same time as people from countries that are considered technologically advanced. These people will now be able to expose their culture through things like blogs, photos, and videos. This also gives these people a chance to be exposed to other cultures. This can be argued as a good or bad thing; everyone knows blue jeans ended the cold war. This also can be a smack in the face to upper class cultures. This is portrayed in a story in chapter 5 of Barlow’s book when a Dutch man tries to help African teachers by offering very cheap laptops. The teacher is shocked when the reply is basically no (Barlow, 2008). This is partly due to the fact that they are not looking for cheap hand me downs; they are looking for something they can truly use.  Lower class cultures are not looking for low-end equipment that upper class cultures think they can give to them and feel as if they have done something nice (Barlow, 2008). Today a person can find a cell phone that does everything a computer does for a very reasonable price when you compare them to computers.



Technology has a way of leveling off the playing field for today’s cultures. As I found out through the blog I observed, just because I do not get paid like a professional athlete does not mean I cannot train like one. The only reason I can do this is because of the technology that I posses; it allows me to research the tools necessary to train like a professional athlete. This technology goes even further to help understand other cultures and have them understand us. Perhaps this will help to create the beginning of a world where each and every culture is valued and accepted.





Barlow, Aaron, Blogging America.(2008). Blogging in Popular Culture (Chapter 5)



Monday, November 10, 2008

Today’s reaction will be based on Blogging @merica “Blogging in Popular Culture”. Before going into this chapter I really tried to get myself involved in it. I say this only because this book has been a bit of a challenge to me. It is not any of Barlow’s ideals or any o the wording that makes this book difficult to read. It is the fact that this book is written in a blog form. To me, he comes off as overwriting an idea that could be written in half the amount. He concentrates on making his point with so much information that is takes away from it at the same time. With that said I will try to summarize what I got from chapter 5 of this book.



The main point from this chapter that I gathered from Barlow was that technology has a way of leveling the playing field. Barlow explains how if the government taps of phone lines and monitors our computer activities we to can hack into their network (Barlow, 2008). This brings up the next point of the chapter that people have a desire to be equal. Being equal I mean that people want the same technologies available to them that are available to others. Barlow best describes this with an event in Africa. A Dutch man had made a low-level laptop available for children in undeveloped countries. This idea was rejected but the Africans based on the fact they do not need low-level equipment (Barlow, 2008). This brought up how there is still this constant struggle between high class and low class countries. The struggle being if you want to do something nice for someone make it something they need and not something you want them to have. The laptop problem seemed to be all but solved a while later. Barlow told how cell phone ownership jumped by a huge percentage and, how these phones would do the same as laptops would (Barlow, 2008). Although Africa is an underdeveloped they still found a way to stay level with technology and, not spend the money that developed nations do.



Although a group of people may be underdeveloped compared to others they still find a way. They found a way to maintain a level playing field in the world of technology. 

Barlow, Aaron, Blogging America.(2008). Blogging in Popular Culture (Chapter 5)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

blogging 5

Nothing to exciting today about the blog read a couple more workout articles and commented on one. This blog experience has been an eye opening one. When I used to hear about blogs I never thought of myself going onto one looking for useful information and actually finding it. I will more then likely be keeping track of this blog and holding onto some of the tips I have read about.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Blogging 4

No real change on the fitness blog today. I tried to ask a querstion on a certain article but, received no answer. Tommorow I will try and ask another question on another article and see if I can get a response there. The community in general seems very nice and people are willing to give advice to those who are looking for it. Have not seen any 'free rider' issues or anyone being abnoxious or inappropriate.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Blog day 3

Today I asked a question on the blog I have been following. To see my question you can go here. My question had to do with an article posted about periodization with weights. This is way to back off on your heavy weights in order to lift more in time. This article was very intriguing to me and in the future I might use this technique in order to maximize my strength training.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

fitness blog day 2

Today I just explored the blog a little bit more. Reading the posts and articles and the associated comments attached to them. Nothing terribly exciting everyone seems to be friendly and willing to put in positive notes. Tomorrow I will probably think of some questions for a couple posts.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Tonight as I sit and watch the election results flow in I have decided something. I picked my blog I will be observing and commenting on for the next five days for my fourth essay. It is called fitnessblackbook.com and its a blog all about fitness. I decided to pick this blog because I have been on a fitness binge lately. Also, I am tired of talking politics and arguing with people. In order to maintain my sanity I will be reading the blog threads and adding my thoughts and possibly asking question. We will see what the next few days bring politically at least I might get some good workout tips.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Today for my reaction blog I will be writing about chapter two in Blogging America. The chapter is titled The Blogs in Society. When I began reading this chapter I was trying to prepare myself for an uphill battle. It was not the case that I do not understand the reading it just seems to me that there is a lot of clutter in these chapters. I was heading home from NYC on a train leaving from Penn Station. As I walked down the aisle to my sit I saw many businessmen and women typing frantically on their computers and Blackberries. Could they to be bloggin?



            A big part about this chapter was how when people start off blogging they do so anonymously but eventually reveal who they are. The author says people are looking to be heard when they blog and since blogs are usually based on your life anyways what is the point of hiding behind a screen name. The author also points out that by 2010 there will be over five hundred million blogs. Although there are so many now and will be so many in the future this is still a younger generation technology. Web 2.0 technologies such as blogging sites probably will not have as big of a life changing effect on someone in there 70’s and older as it will on someone like me in there 20’s.


            My theory is that blogging has created an atmosphere for someone who used to write in a diary. Someone who wanted their life thoughts to be so personal although they wished someone would know how they felt. This is the beauty about blogging anyone can write anything and be anything they want in order to be seen. This is the most dangerous part about blogging about your life. The fact is humans are naturally critical and the author discusses this in two examples of people receiving threats from others on their blogs. When someone puts there lives online they need to realize there is a chance that someone out there could disagree with it greatly and needs to be willing to accept it when it happens. Blogging is becoming a huge part of the world and although I myself am not a blogger I can see myself being one. I just don’t have the topic to write about yet.


Barlow, Aaron. Blogging America. (2008). The Blogs in Society (Chapter 2).

Monday, October 20, 2008


We all have different ways of looking for information online. With so many different search engines and databases available to extract from its almost guaranteed you will find what you are looking for. The question then becomes how reliable is the information who have received? In this essay I will be describing my search processes on an Internet medium that I am researching. I also will be describing specific ways of researching for that medium and how reliable the information I found turned out to be.



            For my Internet medium project I will be researching the photo sites Flickr, and Photobucket. Specifically how they came about and what makes them so popular. I will be using many different key words and seeing which is the best to gain the most valuable information. I will also be using many different search engines to try and broaden different search results. For my research I will be using the search engines Google.com and Yahoo.com for my web results. For print and news media I will be using the UAlbany library database. The reason I am choosing Google and Yahoo is because of there popularity. They are the two most popular search engines of my generation. Another plus to them being the most popular is the money they have to constantly upgrade their databases. This helps to give them perfect reach and perfect recall. (Zimmer, 2008) Having this two search engines at my disposal will give me a vast amount of information and, because this type of medium is relatively new the chances of academic books being written about them are much slimmer.  This is why I will also be using The UAlbany library databases.  Because the only major problem with the World Wide Web is that it is according to Whitaker “a huge national library- although one frequently lacking quality control.” (p. 48) Since UAlbany is a place of academics I can trust in its databases to have reliable and factual information instead of completely made up spam-ridden garbage

That you can find on the Internet. As I stated earlier though, my focus will be on searching with Google and Yahoo due to the limited academic resources that will be at hand for the specific medium I am researching.



            I guess I should tell you what Flickr and Photobucket are before I move on. Flickr and Photobucket are websites where you create your own profile and upload photos onto them for everyone to see. It is basically like myspace and facebook without all the words and other nonsense. Think of it as a blogging site but, only used for pictures and not words. Photobucket is a little bit different in that you can edit and change your photos drastically for the world to see.


            For my first search I went to Google and looked up History of Flickr. The results were a little bit varied but what came up was expected. The first website was Wikipedia.org because it had an exact match to the key words entered. After that there were a couple links to Flickr with history photos. After that came a couple news articles and some blog sites. According to the little counter at the top of Google’s screen about 19,000,000 results came up for the key words used. When I used the same key words at Yahoo as I did in Google the results were only moderately different. The first result was Wikipedia the next were some links to Flickr but, different from the ones on Google. Again though, the same couple news articles came up.  The major difference however, was that there were 97,5000,000 results instead of 19,000,000 like Google. I do not worry about this quantity difference. My focus is the quality of what is being given to me and by looking at the first page of results for each search engine are relatively the same. I attribute that fact to the engines perfect reach capability. (Zimmer, 2008) Without that it would be throwing garbage at me left and right instead of trying to match up exactly what I am looking for.



            What I would keep from the two search engines would definitely be the information from Wikipedia. Whatever news resources and articles I can find I will use and compare them to the ones I find on UAlbany’s library databases. The ones, which I will probably steer away from, are those of the blog sites. I will stay away from them only because they are opinionated statements and could detract from what I am trying to research. Search engines have many capabilities and with the everyday advancement of technology it will get closer and closer to being perfect every time.








Zimmer, Michael. (2008). The externalities of search 2.0: The emerging privacy threats when the drive for the perfect search engine meets web 2.0.  First Monday, 13. Retrieved August 21, 2008 from http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2136/1944


Whitaker, Jason. (2002). The Internet: The basics (chapter 1). New York: Routledge.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Search 2.0 convenient but scary

Today for my class I read The externalities of search 2.0: The emerging Privacy Threats when the Drive for the Perfect Search Engine meets web 2.0 by Michael Zimmer. This article has to do with search engines that work in the new web 2.0. The author calls this search engine 2.0. You are probably asking yourself well what is search engine 2.0 and how is it different from the old?


            To understand what search engine 2.0 is you have to understand what a search engine is. A search engine is websites like Yahoo, Google and, Ask. These websites contain a search browser where you can type in an inquiry of your desire such as the white house. A whole list of websites will come up with any information pertaining to the white house. This is where search engine 2.0 becomes different then the original. Search engines are the same except now they have two main features that make them special and, in my opinion also a little scary. The two upgrades are referred to as Perfect Reach and Perfect Recall. (Zimmer, 2) Perfect Reach is a search engines ability to reach all points and content of the Internet. Allowing to index millions and millions of web documents, images, audio and video files. (Zimmer, 3) Once a search has all of this information listed in its servers it helps to guarantee that you will find something on the Internet with information you are looking for. Once a search engine has its information listed it now has to get the next upgrade. Perfect Recall is the ability of the search engine to understand the user based on previous searches. It takes this information about you and applies it to your searches giving you the best chance of finding exactly what you are looking for. (Zimmer, 3) Basically, if you are looking for the white house but, have shown no interest in the one in D.C. it will look back at your search history see that you have been looking for houses in your area and come up with a site with white houses in that area for sale.


            That is basically how search engine 2.0 works. The problem I have with it is the fact it has the ability to gain your personal information and keep it for a long time. (Zimmer, 5) This is what scared me about this article although it makes your searches easier it gives the ability for anyone to find out anything about you.  Hopefully, one day there will be regulation on this front because the reality of your identity being stolen is very real.











Zimmer, Michael. (2008). The externalities of search 2.0: The emerging privacy threats when the drive for the perfect search engine meets web 2.0.  First Monday, 13. Retrieved August 21, 2008 from http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2136/1944

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Web 2.0 a user world

Today I read What is web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software by Tim O’Reilly. As you can guess the subject of the paper is about web 2.0. The story concentrates on the differences between web 1.0 and web 2.0.  Before I read the story I was not really sure what the difference between the two would be. I actually figured the Internet was just updated and not that there was a whole new one being used. That is why I am still a student because I still have things to learn.



            In 2001 when the .com bubble finally burst it was taken as a sign that the Internet needed an update and that the collapse was unavoidable (O’Reilly, 2005). In response to the collapse a conference was organized to help lay down the ideas of web 2.0.  The result of the conference basically, turned into what the Internet is today. Instead of using software with licensing agreements and scheduled updates you would use a browser, which had applications on it (O’Reilly, 2005).  To put it simply, you would be using Internet explorer, safari and firefox instead of purchasing an Internet software program. The pioneers of web 2.0 thought the Internet should be an included service and not a separate purchase (O’Reilly, 2005).


            One of the biggest changes I found to be was the fact that the Internet is now user oriented.  Something like Wikipedia would not exist if it were not for the users who were consistently updating it. In order for an application to be successful on the Internet now it needs to be user oriented and, not control the platform and lock itself (O’Reilly, 2005).  This point of a user oriented Internet I think speaks best with the explosion of blogging. People can now create their own websites with whatever they want on it and other people will view it. We are at a point now that the more data the Internet has the stronger it becomes. Sites like mapquest, ebay, flickr and amazon all rely on data and without it they are nothing (O’Reilly, 2005).


            Internet application companies rely on the users to make their sites better. This is the concept of web 2.0 a user oriented universe that grows stronger in numbers.








O’Reilly, time (2005). What is web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Retrieved August 21, 2008 from http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Free Rider not a big deal

Communication media, such as Usenet, have become an excellent communication tool for people with similar interests to share information. Although the chance of free riding in spam is possible, as time goes on the chances of encounters with those problems grows thinner and thinner. Ever since the Internet was created and open discussion amongst users grew, the problem of free riders has always existed. In this essay I will discuss my observations of a Usenet group on Google groups called alt.autos.corvette as well as the problems encountered with free riders and spam.

 First, in order to understand what the main subject of this essay is about some background information is needed. Usenet is a type of communication medium. As defined by Webster, Usenet is “an association of computer programmers using the operating system Unix”(Webster.com). To put it into simpler terms, Usenet is a place online where people can go in order to post and reply to messages publicly on topics of similar interest (Wiki.org). In my observations I followed a Usenet group based on Corvettes. The group is called alt.auto.corvette. In this group anyone can join into it and post a thread on an opinion they have or ask a question to some of the hardcore vette junkies. There are all kinds of people in these groups from all parts of the country. There are young people like me just looking for advice and there are older people who are there to give answers when needed. For instance, during my observations I opened a post asking for advice from the group about getting a 67’ stingray project car. The replies I received were genuine in opinion and financially and physically realistic for me. I was basically told to wait until I was older and after I had owned a couple before I tried to re-vamp a classic that is generally expensive to find and fix. While searching through the other post I realized this place was more than merely a group for Q & A. It was a community because although you might not see everyone in person, you feel as though you have friends. There are people asking how projects are going, how a car show was, and saying things like “did you see the deal on that ’77?. It was very cool to see that there are places online that can be fairly personal even though you are discussing things with people you have never met before.  Despite this, unfortunately there is always that possibility of those encounters we all dread and hate to see online. Of course I am talking of the dreaded spammer or free rider.

 A free rider is a person who receives “a benefit obtained at another's expense or without the usual cost or effort”(Webster.com). This is very similar to doing a group project with one person doing none of the work but takes advantage of the work done to get the grade and/or exposure that he/she is looking for. Spammers and free riders are very similar to the slackers of group projects. Throughout my observations, despite my positive findings I was also on the look out for enemies trying to enter into my newly found community. Up until the last day I had seen no such intruders, but a good defenseman never lets his guard down. Alas!!!! On the last day I found an attempted attack: Asian women webcams here for you. Quick to investigate, I clicked the thread and to no surprise my fellow community members had already gone on the attack. Ranting and raving ensued but then something else happened. Upon replying to the intruders attack, a member accidentally kept the original thread in the message causing a “Salem witch-hunt” happening amongst the members. A group banded together against the person who was only trying to protect the group but at the same time spreading the intruder’s message thus accomplishing the mission of the intruder. Although a few scrutinized the initial defender it was quick to disintegrate and within five minutes it was all forgotten. The point of all this is that no matter if there are 100 or 100,000 posts, free riders are spotted and handled immediately and the best thing to do is just ignore them (Kollcock, 1996, 118). You ignore them because, as I saw, the only thing recognition does is expose the problem more which gives them the exact recognition that they desire.

 I learned a great deal throughout my observations and developing this particular essay. I never saw myself joining one of these groups but now that I am a part of it I do not see myself leaving. As for the free rider issue, as technology advances I feel that security measures to detract these things from happening will advance as well.  Only time will tell whether or not free riders will still be around in the future.




Free Riding:



Kollock, Peter & Smith, Marc. (1996). Managing the virtual commons: Cooperation and conflict in computer communities. In Susan C, Herring (ED.), Computer-mediated communication: Linguistic social and cross-cultural perspectives (pp.109-128. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.







Today on my final day of observation I have some interesting news. I had an e-mail today from one of the group members in response to my question posted to the group a couple days ago. In his letter he gave me some great advice on looking for a project car and what years I should shoot for based on my age, finances and experience with the cars. Also, today was the first day I have seen a problem with spam or free riding someone posted a porn site link on the group and immediately four people attacked. I have some good things to write on with all of my observations combined and feel confident in the paper to come.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Yesterday in my observation of my google group I spoke of how I asked a question to the viewers and wondered what the response would be. The answer was a very welcoming one and although, simple I learned a lot. I had asked about renovating a 67' stingray and costs affiliated with that. In response, a member advised me not to look that old for a first project car because of the cost in parts and value of the car. Instead encouraged me to look into a mid to late 70's model.  I also poked my head in some other conversations and it seem like everyone gets along pretty well. There are a little arguments here and there but, nothing hostile.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Today in my observations of my google group there was a new post about a corvette car show. It was interesting because there was a lot of corvette's there who had not been rained on ever and that day there was rain. Thus, ruining people being able to say it has never been rained on. I also, added a question to the mix about how hard it is to find a 1967 stingray in ok condition and how much. We will see what the response is whether I will be welcomed with open arms or shunned away for lack of knowledge.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Today while observing my google group nothing has really changed. One person added a website with lots of different corvette parts ranging from 1959-2009. Tomorrow I am going to ask some questions regarding the group and, other things. Hopefully I will get a response or two and stir up some conversation.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Today I began to observe a Usenet group called alt.autos.covette. I found the group on Google groups. In my observations I see that there are people with general questions to the group about repair jobs or if anyone has been experiencing some of the same problems as anyone else. Also, people just have general conversations about rallies in other states and, just have general discussion about corvettes. This group is a good one for me because I am a corvette fanatic. Ever since my dad had an 85 red with red leather I have been obsessed with them. Unfortunately, my dad’s friend took it out one night drunk and wrapped it around a tree. This has only added to the fire of wanting one of my own because I probably would have gotten my dad’s old one by now.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How the web works

For my blog today September 17th, 2008 I read Web 1.0- What is it? How does it work?. Whitaker, Jason, wrote the story.  My initial reaction to the title was this could be pretty good. The story will probably go into a brief history and then explain the basic structure of the Internet and how it works. Unfortunately what I read did not keep me interested at all.


            The story was a quick page or two on every possible aspect of the Internet except for the things that I was interested in. It describes all the different types of media along with a little history lesson on each. Another disappointing factor of the story was when the authors were discussing the history of different media it was extremely vague. For example, when discussing photography and, how William Henry Fox Talbot had created chemically treated photo paper did not emphasize how it was actually two pieces of glass with a fine layer of silver emulsion in between the two that started photography. (P.66).  Also, I think another problem I had with this story was there was way too much information that was being thrown around. The authors give you this brief history on the media and then throw a bunch of terms at you saying how important it is and then move on. I am not trying to bash on the authors work or anything I just do not agree with the way this chapter was laid out. Aside from all my negatives I did learn something new out of it instead of re-learning html, hyper-texuality, hyper–linking etc. I learned that as DVD’s evolved so did new coding that prevented piracy on the movies. This was done because DVD’s were being sold before the movie was shown in theatres in some countries. This was not a concern in the past because VCR’s were different in Europe then they were in the U.S.A. (P.73).  


            To summarize this story in short it was more a chapter of terminology then a chapter of how the web works and what it is. There are a lot of good little learning points in it but, for the most part it was a repeat of things I already knew and too much of it at once. If I were the author I would have broken it this chapter into two or three mini chapters.




Cited work:

Web 1.0- what is it? How does it work? Whitaker, Jason. (2002) The Internet: The basics (chapter 3). New York: Routledge

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


What I read today for my ACOM 430Z class was called The Pre-Web Internet-Usenet. The title says exactly what the story is about Usenet. It also goes into detail about the problems that Usenet would encounter and, how they would be resolved. The story also tells of rules and guidelines that were established for Usenet users.  I came into this story wondering how the pre-web designers would handle the “free-rider” issue that would develop on its own. This story is the answer to that question.


            The Usenet was developed in 1981 as an alternate to ARPANET (Kollock, 1996, 111). Usenet was basically an area with thousands of different types of chat rooms but then they were called newsgroups. Each news group had a central topic that was used to classify it such as skiing or the economy. Basically, any topic that could be talked about amongst many people was. It ranged from anything important and appropriate to those naughty groups no one claims they have been to. (Kollock, 1996, 112) As you can imagine with Usenet getting as popular as it was there was going to be a problem with people coming in and going completely off topic in the news groups and a set of monitoring systems, guidelines, and rules would need to be applied.  This began to be established by the groups themselves and a study quoted in the story established that groups who had done so were successful and, those who had not established rules failed miserably. (Kollock, 1996, 117) Now that I knew how guidelines were being established and how these groups worked I wanted to know how free riding would be addressed and what I found out surprised me a little. The idea was that free riding is such an obvious post on the message board it was easy to spot or easy for other people to spot and report. So, nothing was really done because it did not matter if there was 100 or 100,000 people in a group you could spot a free rider because they were so off topic. (Kollcock, 1996, 118) After a free rider was reported the only action that was really taken was they were told to stop and everyone else was told to ignore them. Much different from modern days where you can kick someone out of a group or even block them from being allowed back in. This article was interesting to see how the foundations of chatting online were established and even though now they seem primitive it was necessary to be where we are today.






Kollock, Peter & Smith, Marc. (1996). Managing the virtual commons: Cooperation and conflict in computer communities. In Susan C, Herring (ED.), Computer-mediated communication: Linguistic social and cross-cultural perspectives (pp.109-128. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A friend once asked me what is the Internet?

The Internet is the ultimate tool of communication in the modern world. To help support my claim, I will be citing material from the readings in my class. In order to understand how the Internet is the ultimate communication tool you need to understand what the Internet is.

The Internet was brought about after World War II and more specifically after the Russians launched the first satellite named sputnik into space. The concern was that the Russians could in theory launch nuclear weapons from space and the country could be cut off from itself and the rest of the world. To keep the country connected, an idea was brought about that would connect computers from all over the country together and if one was lost the others would still be able to communicate.  The man who came up with this idea was named Licklider. He came up with the idea and called it “the galactic network” (Adams, Clark). Although Licklider came up with the idea, it would be a couple of men by the name of Paul Baran and Larry Roberts who would implement it. Larry Roberts was the project manager for ARPANET, which was the first version of the Internet. Paul Baran was the developer of ARPANET. He also invented the packet switching technology, which would be used to transfer information from one computer to the intended receiver. ARPANET developed into the Internet that we know today through two major achievements.  The first being Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) which is basically the traffic light on the information highway that is the Internet. TCP controls rate exchange and size of messages; it also helps maintain a healthy traffic level in order to prevent information over load (wiki.org). The second achievement was the invention of e-mail by Ray Tomlinson. E-mail was a program designed to send personalized messages from one computer to another (Adams, Clark). Slowly but surely the Internet was beginning to become what we know it as today.



            Now that we have a brief history on the Internet, how do we determine what it is? According to Adams and Clark, “The internet is a macro-medium” (3). A macro-medium is something of large scale that can be chiseled down to a personal level. Adams and Clark also state that, “the Internet has become a medium of media, or meta-medium” (3).  However, in my eyes the Internet should be classified in its own medium. I say this only because you can achieve every single type of communication using the Internet now whether its video, audio, or print. Not only can you use the Internet on your computer at home, you can now use it in your car, on your phone, and even your television. With the advancement of fiber optic and wireless technology not only can you access the Internet anywhere but you also can do it quickly. In seconds you can have up to date information on stocks, news, sports or even a last minute purchase on e-bay all by a wire using light signals to transmit your information. Not only has the Internet revolutionized how we communicate but its forced technology to advance with it.  Computers need to be able to handle much more than just plain text. Video and audio are as much a necessity for a computer now as is a mouse to control it. You cannot find a single person who owns a computer who has not heard of Youtube. Youtube has created a world in which we can share anything with the rest of the world by the click of a mouse whether it is a political statement, a dedication to a band, or just a clip of you hitting your 8 year old brother in the face with a giant workout ball. The world is more connected than ever and it’s all because of a piece of software enabling us to expand our horizons beyond our backyards. Without the Internet who knows what the world would be like. Isolation among countries would probably be at an all time high only catching glimpses of the world around us through books and movies instead of being able to have videoconferences with executives in India with the press of a button. With how advanced the Internet is today who knows what we will have in thirty years.

The Internet is the ultimate tool of communication in the modern world. Without it nothing would be the way it is. The world would not be connected as it is today and exploration of other peoples’ cultures would be non-existent.






Adams and Clark History of Internet

Adams and Clark what is Internet- how it works

Wiki.org- Wikipedia.org

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Internet what is it?

While reading the article What is it? Characteristics of the medium I was intrigued with the introduction to see how they would classify the Internet. I was a little disappointed to see that they classified it as both a macro-medium and a meta-medium. Although I agree that is both I figured the argument would be made that the Internet needs to be classified in its own medium. I say this only because you can achieve every single type of communication using the Internet now whether its video, audio, or print you can do it online. Later on in the article when the author started discussing how impossible it is to track how many people are on the Internet or who have access to the Internet I had an epiphany. I did not realize how hard it would be to track how many people have access to the Internet. I mean if you are living somewhere other then a third world country chances are you have access to the Internet. This part of the article made me realize how far communication has come in the past thirty years just with the Internet. You can now communicate with the world just by using your phone, computer, or even your car. It almost puts you in awe as to what could the future be like in another thirty years. Although I already knew about HTML I did not know how long the idea had been around for. I feel that without hypertextuality the Internet would not be what it is today. All the internet would be is a giant page of writing that you would have to scroll through in order to find what your looking for instead of clicking on a link and instantly getting your desired information. If I had to choose one important piece of this article it would be that segment about packet listing. I did not know that each chunk of information had pre-determined on its own how it was going to get where it was going (medium, 15). I had already read about packet listing previously but it really stands out in this article knowing that every little piece of information you send on the internet is going on its own and all your doing is giving it an address.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Birth of the internet

The "idea" of the Internet was created in response to the creation of nuclear weapons. The government wanted there to be a way for the country to communicate and defend itself even if a portion of it was destroyed. The idea was to connect computers over vast distances through a series of networking. They wanted to be able to communicate with point C from point A even if point B didn't exist. They would be able to do this by re-routing the information through point D and have it go back to C. However, in typical American fashion the idea was never brought to reality until some people in England took over the theory and developed the first Internet called the Arpanet. They developed the Apranet in order for people to access and analyze data but, to there disappointment anyone who was privileged enough to have access to this program was using it more for professional and personal e-mail's rather then analyzing data. Decades later the Internet is serving the same purposes it did then but with many many new features.