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 and 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 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


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