When this class began and I realized I would be forced to become a "blogger," I never thought I would actually enjoy posting or reading other people's posts and comments. Good god, no. In fact, the idea of blogging was something that was on the equivalent scary level of getting shots, swallowing horse-sized vitamins, etc. It was an unknown that freaked me out. The wiki freaked me out even more. I wasn't quite sure how to get into it--there was no entry point that really clicked with me right off the bat. There was no entry point that made sense to me in terms of my more "traditional" educational structure.
For some reason, I keep coming back to the idea of New Media improving education because I think I am probably going to end up in education (in some capacity or another) so these ideas really appeal to me . . . I saw this article on how DDR is storming P.E. classes on the Times front page this morning. Cool! I think I probably would have loved to play a danced-based video game in P.E. instead of doing all of those things like volleyball, dodge ball, bowling, basketball, t-ball, soccer, etc.
However, one of the quotes irked me a bit/ got me thinking about the future of our country . . . "What you're seeing is a move toward activities where you don't need to be so great at catching and throwing and things like that, so we can appeal to a wider range of kids." Is this a good idea? Are we going to totally breed out the culture of team sports and replace it with video-based simulacrum? I don't really know how I feel about that. It was sort of sad to read the quote from one P.E. teacher about how the kids scream in glee over DDR--but they never had that sort of excited reaction to basketball.
I don't use Flickr, but maybe some of you do, and would like to incorporate this cool feature . . . I saw the PictoBrowser which is a really sleek and chic way to display your photos (it gives you a cool browsing bar of your photos in thumbnail size at the bottom of the screen). Check it out!
All you have to do is click the 'Info' link on the bottom right part of the page, and that will direct you to instructions on how to get it on your Flickr page. Have fun!!
In response to the post below that mentions SpyBots, I thought I should bring up the issue of Mac vs. PC. I think it would be interesting to take a poll to see who's a Mac lover and who adores their PC (well ok, maybe you won't fall into these categories, but we'll see . . .)
I realized how big the divide between Mac and PC is when my friend returned from IT'S the other night (after her PC was malfunctioning) and they told her she had 300 SpyBots on it. I reacted in a shocked way, (because she was flabbergasted) but quite honestly, I have no clue whatsoever what a SpyBots is. Additionally, I think I made a fool of myself the other day in class when I didn't even know how to eject my thumb drive from the classroom PC after I presented. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm a Mac girl, through and through (even after mine died the other night).
I just saw this interesting article on Forbes.com about some thoughts and myths of starting up an internet-based company . . . it ties in a lot of things we've talked about in class (or wanted to talk about, like the economics of new media, for example). One of the myths addresses viral spread, which was just mentioned the other day in Bumpkin's presentation, and I think it's interested to read about the corporate view of such a mechanism of spreading word about new sites and companies.
I somehow was never able to incorporate this into class discussion (shocking!) . . . the painful 'Blackberry thumb!' I realize my source article might be outdated for our up-to-the-second new media standards (it's from October 2005) but I find this to be hilarious. (Ok, maybe I shouldn't laugh . . . it probably would be painful).
I feel like Blackberry thumb would somehow fit into the Critical Art Ensemble's 'flesh machine;' if the technology (like handheld electronic gadgets) is impeding people's ability to use their thumbs, wouldn't that mean technology is thus sculpting the body? Furthermore, is there some twisted logic in developing something that has to come with a warning label that "heavy thumb use could lead to painful swelling of the sheath around the tendons in the thumb."
While the topic of online dating services is fresh in our minds from today's presentation, I thought you all might like to check out some safety precautions before you leap head first into the online realm of finding your perfect matches . . .
It was mentioned in class that the most common things people lie about on their online dating profiles are their age and marital status . . . well, as this article warns, about 1/3 of all people on these dating service sites are in fact married. That is a huge chunk, right?? Hmmm.
Ok, I didn't know who else would appreciate this, (or maybe I just need to complain) but my computer died tonight. The craziest part was that it sounded like there were sound effects from Star Wars coming from inside it as it died . . . actually, it sounded exactly like this. No, I am not making this up . . . it was so loud that everyone in the library shot me angry "quit disturbing the peace" looks.
It was hilarious to hear a computer make that sort of noise, even though it meant I had to spend a good chunk of time trying to deal with the horrible issue of having a dead computer the week before everything is due. Of course it's the week before everything is due.
I saw this article, "Could cell text alert have helped at VA Tech?" and thought it interesting that it wove together both topics we talked about in class the other day.
I do have to agree with schools like Penn State (which has issued about 20 emergency text alerts since last August, for things like power outages, snow storm warnings, and hazardous material spills) that texting college kids is THE best way to get warn of a crisis.
I think this is a good idea, but ONLY if texts sent from the school were only about legitimate, serious emergencies. What do you guys think?
A long time ago at a college far, far away, I was an Archaeology/ Art History double major. Now that's a huge jump--if not the polar opposite--to make from Archaeology to Media Studies. But after reading David Silver's "Where is Internet Studies?" I see why it is a logical jump, and why the study of New and Digital Media is an exciting thing.
Silver describes how cyberculture studies are interdisciplinary . . . well, archaeology is too. If you want to understand the impact of Facebook, you must examine the social, economic, psychological, cultural, etc. impact such a phenomenon makes. Similarly, if you dig up a 2,500 year old Etruscan pot shard, you need to keep all of these things in mind when determining the role of that pot in society. However, the crucial difference--Facebook users are alive and well. Ancient Etruscans, not so much. In this living, ever-evolving discipline of New Media and Internet Studies, we can find our final frontier.