Do you really want to hurt me?

In today’s age, technology is everywhere. And can do almost anything. Then there are those that can take technology and push it further. They can push technology beyond the limits created by its creator, they can coerce code into appeasing their unfulfilled fantasies and flights of fancy. These people are most often referred to as hackers. Read the rest of this entry »

For months I have been plagued by my Internet savvy friends’ obsessions with social news sites, in particular Reddit.com and Digg.com. While the two sites differ so greatly in look, feel, style, and membership, they are generally going after the same crowd – those who want to read and share in media on the Internet. A line has been drawn through the crowd though, as users begin to take sides and bicker over which of the two popular sites is best. This fight is not small scale, in fact it has reached a full-blown battle that has spawned hatred between each site’s respective users that has splashed across the Internet.

I am not interested in finding out which site is better. I do not wish to enter the battle and pledge my allegiance. But instead I want to know what exactly they are fighting about. I want to know what is most important in deciding what makes the best social news site. Is it functionality and usefulness? Or is it content and accreditation? Or is it some extreme combination of it all?

Read the rest of this entry »

The world of fashion has seen an explosion of street style blogging within the past 5 years. Trend setters or the simply fashion obsessed, photograph moments of exceptional style seen on the street. Bloggers like The Startorialist and FaceHunter travel around the world looking for inspirational style. Although most of these people are unknown outside of fashion, the appeal of these images is enormous. Most fashion websites now include street photography as part of their mix, and Grazia magazine devotes two pages of its Style Hunter pages to real-life fashion every week. The street style blog has created a new platform with which to interact with a very real, lived world of style. This category of style blogging distances itself from magazine culture or trend blogging, giving clothing a body and personality.

But until recently even this form of trend capturing has been entirely one- sided, featuring only the views of the blogger. In February of 2009, an interactive fashion community called StyleCaster was launched. It features an entirely new approach to style discovery by combining premium content, discussion through an engaged community and the seamless ability to purchase through e-commerce into one exciting platform. Not only is the site profitable, it sees 83,000 unique visitors monthly in the US (according to Comscore) and features ad campaigns with over 30 major advertisers including DietCoke, but it also has created a unique community of people trying to discover their personal style and get feedback on their daily choices. Not only can users upload photos of their daily look in a section called “Daily Mirrors” but they can compose a sort of style collage made up of items of clothing, accessories and beauty products. Users can browse other users’ profiles to rate their daily look, get inspiration, and make comments as they go.

For my travelogue, I hope to make connections with a number of StyleCaster users. If possible, I’d like to get interviews with some of the most

influential users, as they receive the most feedback and are most engaged with the site. I wonder how using the site shapes the idea of personal style. And, if users are all gaining inspiration from each other and the trends that StyleCaster editors deem to be fashionable, at what point does the sartorial individual become just a part of the collective. I will also create my own account and attempt to find out if the content on the site has an effect on my own style. I hope to be able to answer the question of, when the closet becomes virtual and we are exposed to more information than ever before, are we still able to sift through an choose what best represents ourselves? Or, do we get overwhelmed and adopt the most popular style?

You’ve probably downloaded thousands of game applications on your iPhone to play when in an awkward/boring situation, but how many of them offer you the chance to play with your friendsWords with Friends does just that, it taps into the iPhone’s networking capabilities to allow you–and whichever other iPhone-owning friend you desire–to enter into a lingual face-off. There is no single-player mode…but even if you have absolutely no real-life friends (or maybe just no friends with iPhones), you can still play…even better is that the iPhone will match you up with a random opponent instead of just a computer player! Read the rest of this entry »