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Tag Archives: Internet

A Rough Guide to the WELL

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This week I used screencasting as my rich media, and went through the WELL as I’ve been participating in it.  I’ve been a member for two weeks now – it’s been an enjoyable experience, but I kind of feel like I’m time traveling. It definitely does have more of a communal feel to me than other social areas on the internet, different from something like Facebook or a general messageboard.

There are two main characteristics that have stood out to me so far:

1) The minimal, old school design and lack of advertising (made possible through paid monthly subscriptions).

2) The content of the conferences (I’d argue they’re full of intelligence and “class”), and the dedication that the members have to participating (many 20 years+).

I find myself writing posts on the WELL similar to how I would write something like a blog post for this class. I spellcheck, make sure my arguments and thoughts make sense, and make sure I’m adding to the conversation. I think about my actions way more. Maybe because I’m writing to strangers? Maybe because I’m an “outsider”/newbie as most members are at least familiar with each other (any many have been for years). It’s definitely different from how I would communicate on other online platforms. More conclusions next week.

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From Communes to Conferences

I know I said in class I didn’t want to focus too much on nostalgia, but because some students didn’t know what the WELL was, and because, after spending a week on the site as a member of the WELL, I think the unique history is still relevant to how members interact today, I wanted to dedicate one post to the WELL’s background, and the ideals it was based upon.

For some reason, the blip.tv embed isn’t playing anything, and the Internet Archive embed code won’t show up…help? In the meantime, here is the direct link to the podcast.


Next post I will probably go through a screen cast detailing my experience as a member so far.

Jumping Into the WELL

For my fourth travelogue, I’ve decided I want to try and look at one of the oldest online communities still in existence, or as they call themselves, “the birthplace of the online community movement” – The WELL.

I decided to use video for my choice of media, so you can watch a short youtube clip here as I first explain a bit about the site and then go through sort of a short slide show of the actual site pages. (This is my first-ever attempt using iMovie as well as uploading anything to youtube, so just keep that in mind…though it was nice to finally learn how do actually do these things :) )

Some more detail about my travelogue after the clip:

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Doing it for the “lulz” – Griefers, 4Chan, and Taking the Internet Seriously

Since I can remember, I’ve been an unsuspecting (re: female) fan and member of many online communities that breed gamer/hacker culture, internet memes, and are generally considered wastes of server space, such as 4chan.org and SomethingAwful.com (note: both of these sites are NOT work-friendly and may contain some inappropriate material). I’ve also participant in many MMORPGs that members of these communities partake in and make fun of, such as Second Life and especially World of Warcraft. Read More »

This Week’s Reading Summaries

The Death of the News – Salon.com

By Gary Kamiya

In his piece for Salon.com, Kamiya makes the case for why news reporting must be kept alive. While all traditional media is currently being threatened, newspapers are having the most trouble staying afloat.

For Kamiya, the news no longer coming from a tangible printed media is not the problem – the problem is the loss of news reporting.

Original reporting is not financially viable. Sites such as the Huffington Post do very little actual reporting, and are monetarily more successful. Op-eds on sites such as these can produce copy at a faster rate for a much lower price, and usually generate more traffic than reported pieces.

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