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


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 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”( 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 ( In my observations I followed a Usenet group based on Corvettes. The group is called 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”( 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 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 ( 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

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.