Welcome to my Communication in Cyberspace Blog!!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Privacy.....What's That???

When it comes to security and privacy on the Internet, everyone thinks that they are exempt from having their identity stolen or their privacy and home life invaded by people from around the world or even by people who live next to you. Security and privacy is almost non existent on the Internet because it is sooooo easy to find out anything you want about anyone. There was a column on the NY Times website about how privacy vanishes when you are online. It gives the example of twitter and facebook. One these sites you can wish people happy birthday, you talk about work and school and as everyone knows you upload hundreds of pictures of you and your loved ones online for the whole world to see!!

(Picture courtesy of www.emergentchaos.com)

This part is scary, the column also states that as you give away the tiniest bits of pieces of information away on your computer, the computer can put together all of that information even down to your SS number!! There are steps you can take to help improve your chances of safety on the internet and on the social networking sites. Facebook has come out and said in a recent article in the NY Times that there are three settings that everyone should change 1.) Who can see the things you share 2.)Who can see your personal information and 3.) What google can see, and by that it means keep your information off of search engines.

Google itself has launched Google Dashboard, it shows only information that is connected to a google account, for example gmail. It provides links for users to set their own privacy settings. Click here to learn more.

Companies out there are always trying to get information from you. Companies like Netflix, in which customer data was released to help find patterns of movie ratings and recommendations. And also information that was supposed to be anonymous was soon to be something of the past. Anonymous information can be "de-anonymized." Click here to read more about Netflix and other companies.

Graduates from thousands of colleges and univerisities are out there looking for jobs, but did you know that future employers are also out there looking at you!! They can search for you on facebook or where ever else and see what kind of a person you are and see how your social life is as well as see how dedicated of a person you are. I know this for a fact because one of my good friends is graduating this semester from EMU and when she went in for an interview the employer told her outright she saw her facebook page and saw what types of activities she likes to do. I personally think that it a little weird but I guess if you take the risk of putting yourself out there, you take the risk of anyone and everyone looking at your life.

This information relates to Chris Anderson's, The Long Tail because of his example of hit driven economics, an age where there exists more books and more information than stores can carry. This all falls into the privacy domain because if there was infinite shelf space in stores, that would lead to less people on the Internet putting in private information and more people actually in the stores shopping and getting their information that way and therefore not having to risk putting private information all over the Internet for the whole entire world to see.






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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

To the future and beyond!!!!!!

When I was little I can remember thinking that we would never be able to have a computer in our house. Now, everyone is concerned with whether or not to watch t.v on the computer or to watch it directly on the television. The internet has allowed people to utilize several websites such as ABC.com, Hulu or even CBS.com, so that they can watch their favorite t.v shows online. Alot of people now are preferring to watch their shows online because of the short commercials and clear images that are shown. I know that I watch t.v online because of the convenience that it brings. Knowing that I can watch it anytime is really nice. Having shorter commercials is even better! This newer movement is getting more and more popular. According to the NY Times website and their article regarding web-t.v, Hulu is drawing more than 40 million viewers a month!! That's ALOT of people!! When you think about it who is going to pay for a cable subscription if they can watch everything online for free? Well Comcast cable company is limiting the number of shows that are allowed online. They don't want to lose their customers to the internet. I can see their point, but I don't see that happening at all or at least for a very long time. Comcast has even gone so far as to allow subscribers to stream a buffet of shows but will lock out the people that don't pay for cable (NYTimes.com). Comcast is evil I must say!! Maybe they should lower their costs and people wouldn't have to turn to the internet.

USA Today's website said that some companies like Sony, Samsung and Panasonic are even launching t.v's that have web content built into the t.v so that it is easier to stream videos from the internet to your t.v without the use of all the cables. Good idea!! Now we are thinking!! Although.....they are much more expensive. The average t.v with internet ready capabilities is going to cost you a pretty penny. Sony is charging $1,100 for a 40 inch screen. But..good news...not everyone is going to rip you off, Vizio says it is not going to charge extra. (USAToday.com). How nice of them :)

Today people can even watch t.v through the internet on their Playstations or Xbox 360's. Here is a website from Playstation that will explain and show you more, please read! Alot more people are going to be looking into these options (i.e playstation and the internet) to avoid overpaying for cable. According to the NY Times article on Changing Channels, "The average household cable bill in the United States hit $64 a month in 2009, up from $47.50 in 2004."
The picture above is an example of a PC media center. I have one of these in my house, as well as a playstation 3 and a Wii. With a media center you can play any type of media, such as dvds, HD movies, stream other audio and/or video from the internet or somewhere else in your house.Here is a link to YouTube to learn more about streaming vidoes over the internet.

The internet changes current network models by challenging networks so that they dont have control over the time that we are watching it now, as well as they do not have control over the content and it can be peer to peer broadcast. They also don't have control over the user made content. If an independent producer had a show he could vary well distribute it through YouTube. In regards to internet t.v channels that are online and on t.v it would be the weather channel. Shows that you can watch both online and on the t.v would be examples such as Cartoon Network, ABC, Comedy Central, Discovery and CBS. Here is an example from Cartoon Network/YouTube.

We have all heard of the 5 C's of the Post-Network Era, Choice, Control, Convenience, Customization and Community. Choice is just what it sounds like, having the choice to choose what you want to watch. Control is people have control over what they want to watch. convenience and customization evolved from choice and control, they evolved by adjusting to multi-channel expectations from networks. Viewers could then customize there options, their choices and opportunities were endless. Community refers to the interests of people in a certain geographical location. Communities are sharing interests and favorites. All of these things change when we think about where we are getting our signal from to be able to watch the shows. When it comes from an internet signal our choices are limited because not every show is available online. Our control is therefore limited as well because we have absolutely not control over what networks out on the internet. And when it comes to convenience and customization, I don't think these two change all that much, they are just limited. For example through a t.v signal we can customize our shows and our lists of favorites, but through an internet signal it's hard to do because there are less shows and less availability. Community is the big one that is changed in my opinion because there is no longer a group of shared interest, everyone is an individual. Networks can't disburse things geographically, or as least not as easily.

Broadband t.v relates to Chris Anderson's The Long Tail because when we think about the internet and the ability we now have to have limited shelf space, networks can have limited number of available shows that they can put out there. You can put as much content as you want out there. When we think about Creative Commons, people can put there own work out there without violating copyright, they can choose on their own how they want their work used and distributed.

In ten years, t.v shows will be as easily available online as they are on the t.v now. The t.v will still exist I'm sure but there will be greater availability of shows. There will also be endless devices that will have t.v automatically on them, with no extra charges. Your options are going to be endless on where and how you watch network t.v.
Here is a link to explore more.


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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Journalism vs. The Internet

Ok, I had to think about this assignment before starting it. This may sound strange to you but I was thinking that the internet was journalism so how can one survive the other one? Its the same thing..... So here is the tid bits of information I present to you on this topic of journalism vs. the internet.
Journalism is in plain words, reporting the news. When you add the internet to the mix then traditional newspaper reporting gets pushed to the side. The internet is making newspapers disappear like there is no tomorrow. For example the Ann Arbor news now only prints their edition of the newspaper on Thursday and Sunday (AnnArbor.com).
Depending on who you talk to they will tell you either yes, the internet is hurting journalism or no, it is not hurting it but helping it. According to the website The Atlantic, it says that the internet "has mortally wounded the financial structure of the news business so that the cost of doing challenging, independent reporting has become all but prohibitive all over the world. It has blurred the line between opinion and fact and created a dynamic in which extreme thought flourishes while balanced judgment is imperiled.” I agree that it has taken away from the news business, but I have to say that it is much more accessible to people. I also have to think about quality control as I would call it, the range of quality on the internet is bigger than the range in a typical printed newspaper. The internet you would have numerous amounts of people posting to the site, whereas the newspaper would be much more limited. Another group of people that is for journalism being on the internet is Reuters. This website says that journalism will survive, " it will thrive. It will thrive as creators and publishers embrace the collaborative power of new technologies, retool production and distribution strategies and we stop trying to do everything ourselves."
Continuing on....Journalism is about reporting the news, like I said above. But what about when ordinary citizens what to report what is happening in the community or around the world? This is called Citizen Journalism and it's when the citizens play an active role in reporting or analyzing the news (Wikipedia). So that means that you or I can go out and report on the topics that interest us. We can even create blogs and use Twitter!

(Click here for more info on this topic and to learn how to get started in Citizen Journalism)

Businesses are adapting to digital media by means of the consumer...they are trying to meet the needs and demands of us. And by doing this they are getting the competitors advantage. Consumers are adapting to digital media by using online resources for news. They are now looking for online newspapers and blogs to keep up to date on events and things happening around the world and in their neighborhood. New forms of digital media are appearing everywhere, on the internet they are appearing as chronicles, like the Ann Arbor Chronicle, or they are appearing as blogs. People are using the internet to expand their readers.

Journalism in 10 years will be looking into Facebook and Twitter. Journalist will report there instead of in a newspaper. Journalists will need to be the center of attention and not the newspapers (If they still exists in 10 years). And the biggest thing is that they will need to be trustworthy and reliable!! (click here to learn more).








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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Digital Convergence

What is Digital Convergence? Well, Digital Convergence is the new way that we are looking at media, news and other print sources. It allows us to have information that is from television, movies, photography, and printed text, combine it into one digital format and view it on our computers, cell phones, I-Pods, and any other piece of electronic equipment that has the abilities to receive data.
Companies all over are coming up with these digital devices. For example, the I-Pad, that Apple developed. This allows users to read the newspaper in digital format.
To be honest, I am not sure I am too fond of these new gizmos, they appear to be way to "digital". I think it takes something away from you when your holding this device in your hands and reading as opposed to actually holding the real newspaper or book in your hands. Its almost like these things are taking away from person to person contact. But again, this is my opinion.
Amazon has came out with their Kindle, a lightweight, thin, digital device that allows users to read and store their library of books in electronic format. You can even download books right to the device and you can research and locate books that are now out of copyright. It even comes with 3G wireless!! I have a friend that has one of these and she just loves it, but I still think I would rather have the actual books. Here is a short video on the Amazon Kindle, in case you want to learn more. There are a few others out there such as the Sony Reader, the Aluratek Libre Ebook and Microsoft's Courier And it's not just books that are changing, now you can stream videos from your laptop to your t.v through a device that Sony has called the Push 2 T.V.
Of course you cannot stream DVD's that are copy-protected or that are Blue-Rays.
People are using these devices to make their lives easier and more organized. Such as the digital picture frames where they can organize their photos, or they even have digital scrapbooking.
These devices allow people to have their own infinite "shelf space", they can store hundreds of pictures or books without running out of "space". And it allows authors to distribute their own work how they want to without the constraints of copyright. If the past ten years has proven to be a success, then the next ten years will be a bigger success. With all the technology that is still to be developed then who knows how much farther we can go. Here is a list of the past ten years top picks for technology.


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CNET top 10:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Social Networking Awesomeness!!

Ok, who really has not heard of Facebook, Twitter or Google Buzz?? Anyone?!! Well almost everyone at some point has heard of these fantabulous social networking sites. But for the people who seem to be living in a hole and unaware of the greatness going on, I shall explain these to you and give you a brief history. Facebook is a social networking site that was created by a guy named Mark Zuckerberg. He created Facebook in his college dorm room at Harvard University. His intentions were to make a student directory where people can connect to other people and to keep it in the walls of Harvard, but ultimately it spread to universities such as Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, and Stanford. One bad thing and I have to agree with Poynter Online, is that with Facebook, you have to act from "within the platform". This meaning that you have to be connected to each other in order for someone else to view your information. And if you are in advertising, you are going to have to risk privacy issues in order for someone to click on to your site and see what you have to offer. Maybe this will change soon, but for now we can only wait.On to Twitter, this was created by Jack Dorsey. His intentions for this up to date news feed was so that people could instantly find their friends and see what they are up too at that very moment in time. Who doesn't want people knowing what your doing every second of everyday, we are nosey people! Anywho, back to Twitter....it was originally going to be called "stat.us (LA Times.com)". That was later changed, obviously, to Twitter. This was done because the creators wanted to capture "that feeling: the physical sensation that you’re buzzing your friend’s pocket (LA Times.com)". They came up with Twitter by finding it in the dictionary and realizing that the definition for Twitter, "a short burst of inconsequential information," and "chirps from birds (LA Times.com)", worked perfectly and so came Twitter!!! And now to Google Buzz, this is relatively new I believe, this was created by Google to allow users to share updates, photos, and start conversations (GoogleBuzz). Pretty Cool!!!!! What else is Google going to come up with? Those network savy people! Watch this neat little video on it, you'll like it I promise!!
Individuals and people alike are using these networking sites to get the word out about their company, it's like a free way to advertise...almost! For example, in this article from the NY Times, there is a couple that shows how Facebook has helped them build their small business of selling cupcakes. The way that it has helped them is that they can posts passwords on Facebook, these passwords when brought into the store, can be used for FREE CUPCAKES!! So they are using these social networking sites to bring business to their store. And besides who doesn't like free cupcakes? Twitter is using its capabilities by helping the unemployed search for jobs. This is done by utilizing TwitJobSearch. People go to this site, type in what they want to do and it helps them locate jobs!! How cool is that?
Another way that non-profit organizations are using these sites is by adding fan pages and streaming their app usage (WSJBlogs). These pages are being used as profiles, where people can come and check out companies and what they stand for. For example, Target and a few other companies polled the millions of users on Facebook to see where they thought their money should be more wisely spent. There are also different pages such as memorials, like the one for the Virginia Tech shooting. You become "friends" and you can post on their sites.
Social networking sites relate to Chris Andersons "The Long Tail", (Here is a link to his video!) by taking advantage of the the "space" available to them on the internet to get their word out and to help thousands of businesses grow. When the businesses have this "shelf space", they have almost infinite possibilities. They have as much information as they want relating to their site, they can have as much inventory as they want and they have the abilities to reach hundreds more people than they would without the internet and these social networking sites.
Along with Chris Anderson's, "The Long Tail", Creative Commons is also being used. Small businesses and other individuals can now legally have ownership of their products and services without having a ton of restrictions on them. For example, if company A created a song and posted it on Facebook, and company B comes along and wants to use it they can, as long as they follow the appropriate guidelines that the owner has put up.
Overall, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Buzz are changing the way that communication is taking place in the world! People now have access to these sites everywhere they go. You can get it on your phone, laptop, and who knows where ever else! I have a facebook app on my android phone, although I barely use it, its there. Possibilities are endless and there is bound to be more social networking sites popping up!!

Here are the sites and references that I used to make up this great blog of mine :)

Benkoil, D. (2010). Why News Organizations Need a Facebook Strategy. Poynter Online. Retrieved from http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=31&aid=168485

LaVallee, A. (2009). Facebook to Non-Profits: More Pages, Fewer Apps. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2009/08/28/facebook-to-nonprofits-more-pages-fewer-apps/tab/article/

Pattison, K. (2009). How to Market Your Business With Facebook. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/12/business/smallbusiness/12guide.html?_r=2

Sarno, D. (2009). Twitter Creator Jack Dorsey illuminates the site's founding document. Part 1. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/02/twitter-creator.html


Facebook Users. Image retrieved from http://www.crunchbase.com/company/facebook

Google Buzz Image. Retrieved from http://code.google.com/intl/xx-pirate/apis/buzz/

Stat.us Image. Retrieved from http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/02/twitter-creator.html

Anderson, C. (2006). "Identifying the Long Tail". [Video File]. Video Posted to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Yku0GTrcuw Retrieved on 2.19.2010.

Google Buzz Video. (2010). [Video File]. Video Posted to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi50KlsCBio&feature=player_embedded Retrieved on 2.19.2010.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The joys of Copyright !

So what exactly is Creative Commons (CC)? Well, it is a non-profit organization that is wanting to share with the public ways of expanding creative works by allowing people to share them legally. Creative Commons allows people the ability to keep their own copyright while giving the owner the ability to copy and distribute their own work. This company was founded in 2001 and by 2002 it had released its' first set of copyright licenses that were free to the public. Creative Commons has been a huge hit and as of 2008 it has released an estimated 130 million licensed works!!! You may be wondering, what's the difference between Creative Commons and regular Copyright? The difference is that traditional copyright laws you don't own your copyright and you also must meet standards in order to obtain one. It also does not cover ideas and the actual information but instead it covers the manner in which they are expressed.
Creative Commons is changing the way that artists are distributing their work. I think it is a great tool for artists, musicians, and photographers and then some. Being able to actually own your own copyright is fantastic!! Artists are taking advantage of this sort of technique by allowing users to use their music by remixing or sharing as long as they give credit to the authors or artists. And there are several different types of licenses that authors can choose from, for example there is Attribution, Attribution Share Alike, Attribution No Derivatives, and Attribution Non- Commercial just to name some. So authors can choose one of these depending on how they want their work shown.

Here is an example of an artist that is using a Creative Commons license: http://www.jamendo.com/en/track/365083

Here are a couple links to learn more about Creative Commons:

Photo: Loving the Rain (Photo by Clearly Ambiguous licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic ).

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Democracy's Long Tail

Where would we be without the internet? Places where access to the internet and news is limited, people have found their own ways of reaching out. Digital distribution is meant to help people gain as much information as possible and to do it quickly. In China, Google launched Google.cn, to give the citizens more access to the internet (Google Blog). However the Chinese government wants even more limited access to citizens and less capabilities to give them free speech. Without free speech and the access to the internet how are citizens going to be able to keep up with online news and information. Google is even trying to work with the Chinese government and if nothing good comes from this meeting between the two, Google will be forced to shut down Google.cn. Which I think could be harmful to the Chinese people.
China Google

It seems odd that the Chinese government wants to limit it's people to strict use of the internet, when China is a very technologically advanced country. We shall wait and see, but hopefully China realizes what they will be loosing. To learn more about whats happening with China and Google go to the official Google Blog...http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-approach-to-china.html

In countries where there is no free speech and cameras are prohibited, people are finding ways to get their message out. They are using cell phones!! Cell phones equipped with the internet and cameras are a great source of information sharing when the government prohibits what you can and cannot say. For example in a video from Myanmar, released by "ABC", they show footage of people fighting. The reporter was not allowed in the country with his camera so he used his cell phone and was able to report that way. So people will find ways of getting around limited use of the internet and cameras. If they want their message heard bad enough they will find different ways of getting it out.
Here is a link to that video.... Myanmar Cell Phone Journalism: http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=3666307.

The internet is helping people make change by allowing them to post their own videos and share their version of stories. It is also helping by allowing citizen journalists to post their videos of whats happening in countries where cameras are not allowed. For example "YouTube", they have what is called "YouTube Direct", this allows citizen journalist to upload photos and videos to news websites. Although its probably not going to get them famous, it does make them feel like that are doing their part and sharing with the world what is going on in other countries around the world where journalists are not allowed. Here is a link to YouTube Directs website if you want more information on how to use it...http://www.youtube.com/direct

All in all, people are wanting exposure and connection with other people around the world, less government interference and more internet and news. Stopping the information is going to make people want it even more. Google I hope will beat China! And true to this website, people are going to work around government filters.
To read more about the competition against Google and China visit...http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/15/can-google-beat-china/




(Picture from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/26/china-google-negotiate-to_n_436494.html)