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Author Archives: Honieh Barakchian

God Help Me – I’ve Joined the Tea Party!!!

Tea Party Time!

I wanted to try something I had NO IDEA about. I’ve been hearing about this political movement on the news, and I don’t follow much of what is happening politically in the United States, and I felt that I should dive into a foreign topic to challenge myself. Hopefully I won’t be taken away by the current…!!

So what are these TEA PARTY people as I call them! If I have to learn about them, you might as well too! So here is a quick summary on their founding values that you can fight on their site – I have shortened them a bit (they are pretty patriotic)

Fiscal Responsibility: Fiscal Responsibility by government honors and respects the freedom of the individual to spend the money that is the fruit of their own labor. A constitutionally limited government, designed to protect the blessings of liberty, must be fiscally responsible or it must subject its citizenry to high levels of taxation that unjustly restrict the liberty our Constitution was designed to protect.

Constitutionally Limited Government: We, the members of The Tea Party Patriots, are inspired by our founding documents and regard the Constitution of the United States to be the supreme law of the land.

Free Markets: A free market is the economic consequence of personal liberty. The founders believed that personal and economic freedom were indivisible, as do we.

From what I’ve learned so far, the Tea Party, wants to revert back to the core values in the American Constitution. One of the main issues the Tea Party has been avidly against is the bailout of banks by the US government and the intertwining of governments and markets.

So where am I starting my travel?

1. I logged into my twitter – and searched #teaparty – they are currently in my saved searches so I can keep myself updated on news, etc.

I am also following TPPatriots on twitter.

2. I sign up at the Tea Party official site. Once you sign up – they ask you if you have ever been to a tea party event – I stated no. Then they proceed to ask if you what role you would like to take.

3. Next to each job title – there is an amount of hours. I’ve decided to be a “Family and Friend’s Coordinator”

Friends and Family Coordinator
Description Will contact my friends and family. Will share our thoughts and ideas and encourage them to participate.
- Anticipated Work Level: Easy
- Estimated Weekly Hours: 2-5

Here is a video of the actual sign up process I had to go through: ** the video may still be processing through youtube if it states it is unavailable – it will be up soon enough**

YouTube Preview Image

Reading Summaries for Week 5

Wealth of Networks: Yochai Benkler

Economics:

Between 1835 -1850 the cost of starting a mass circulation of a daily paper was $10,000. Currently that number has become $2.5 million. The latter figure you would need to implement a business model . This displays two distinctions between producers and consumers, mainly, largely professional consumers which is based on a main model that the capital used  is supplied by either the state in some countries, or the market in other countries.  The evolution began with marketing in radio, television, satellite, main frame then to personal computing – 150 years later. The first acclaimed super computer was NEC earth simulator in June of 2002 which was then beat by the IBM Gene Blue.  Since this achievement there have been 500 super computers, developed by large scale collaborations and funded by the wealthiest companies.  Benkler’s main point is radical decentralization of capitalization through computation, storage, and communications capacity and networked information economy.  Every individual in this world is connected, roughly 600 million to 1 billion, has the physical capital necessary to make and communicate information knowledge & culture.   This causes a new and different situation since the industrial revolution, most importantly the input into economic  activities of the most advance economies are widely distributed to the population

  • Computation /communication/storage
  • Inside creativity/experience/these cannot be bought

Main point: Moving people from the peripheries of the economy (changing the motivation) into the very core as alternative source of production.

COMMONS BASED PRODUCTION

Production without exclusion either from the inputs or outputs, individual or collaborative, it can be commercial or non commercial. Practical capacity is decentralized, commons locates authority to act where capacity resides. (ie Britannica, windows )

The Subset of commons is peer production/sharing, through large scale collaboration. Among human beings it has been mainly done traditional industrial production (state, market, price signals).

PEER PRODUCTION examples:

  1. For the past 12 yrs  – web server (Apache vs. Microsoft server)
  2. NASA map – take the same exact output – structure the work differently, and you can harness mass amounts of energy to collective tasks. (Groups of images put together, dramatically different if one was done mars click worker.)
  3. Efforts beginning to go into the non commercial/commercial entities. The creation of educational materials through social motivations.
    1. i.      Peer production allows self selection by tapping into diverse insights, capabilities and makes it possible for people to spend a certain amount of time to complete a task . Benkler thinks he is seeing more design levers, task reconstruction in this type of development.
    2. ii.      We also have to factor in self selection and humanization characteristics, similar to Game Theory. People understand that when they are engaging in a human action with others the same exact person with the same exact material pay off structures turns out to behave differently.
    3. iii.      Norm Creation: We map the presence of money on a set of norms, because cooperation has usually been non market. There are discreet places that the introduction of money makes this whole structure different especially in stabilization.
    4. iv.      As long as physical capital is large scale to work effectively and centralized , we are left with centralized firms or non government firms.
    5. v.      With the decentralization and non market we are finding a new form of production called social sharing and exchange.
    6. Important to remember for ECONOMICS: The New opportunities
      1. Finished information and cultural goods – platforms for self expression and self collaboration – as a business opportunity instead of a challenge.
      2. Ex: BBC – Citizen Journalism: Only images the news agency possess were of those in the subways captured by mobile phones.  The BBC nows has a page for (similar to CNN iReport)  people volunteering to capture to news.
      3. Social production is a real fact and not a fad and is sometimes more efficient than market production at times.
      4. POLITICS
        1. i.      People can now do more for and by themselves alone or in loose cooperation with others.  Now you can diversify the things you do with others because you can collaborate in smaller bits.
        2. ii.      Example: New machines for voting (Diebold) – an activist publishes the source code (which is really hard to do).  Diebold complains that the emails are being taken – copy right infringement – but individuals in other campuses have already shared the material and it’s all over the place. The ecology that has been resistant is a combination individual volunteers, legal free software developers, illegal companies for commercial purposes for those doing illegal things in other countries. The combination of legal and illegal creates a robust system that can’t be broken at this point.
        3. iii. The internet democratizes.  – first generation critique
          1. 1. No one will know what anyone says supposedly (aggregation, power law, polarization)
          2. 2. Second Generation Critique – anyone can speak but not everyone can hear you

      What is Power Law distribution?

      1. 1. Sites cluster that are content related  – intensely related communities and cultures start to develop. What determines the agenda is a small number of broadcasters with links and they being to mutual linking, and then those few sites become the broadcast sites. What determines the agenda is that those few sites transmit what those few users believe is what the agenda is..

  1. Cultural public sphere – where we create images and sound, this is a political component, small number of producers to a large audience of passive consumers.
    1. Gold digger – Kanye West  Mashup –this video displays how far borrowing goes to show the relationship between culture and politics.
    2. Common based and peer production are beginning to help
      1. Free and open source software
      2. Open academic publishing
      3. Open source biomedical innovation
      4. Rules can make some actions easier the institutional ecology they want to make the battle of information sharing more costly or subject to permission, the market and society have a persistence desire and pushback to be free and productive.

      SHARING AND MASHING CAN BE POLITICAL

Excerpts from The Success of Open Source by Steven Weber

Property in a Software Economy

  1. Property and how it underpins the social organization of cooperation and production in a digital era.  Social organization has changed the definition of property (owning something and having legal responsibility and rights) and property in the new media age has changed the idea of social organization itself. The definition of property in an open source environment is basically the right to distribute, not the right to exclude. Open source and political economy  is a system of value creation and a set governance mechanisms.

“In this case it is a governance system that holds together a community of producers around this counter intuitive notion of property rights as distribution. It is also a political economy that taps into a broad range of human motivations and relies on a creative and evolving set of organizational structures to coordinate behavior. “

  1. So how do these people who are not physically connected to each other, manage to come together and build these complex projects for no monetary compensation?
  2. Open Source software and collaboration is a product of the internet culture and has been created by internet technology.

Open source depends on the following:

“It is about computers and software, because the success of open source rests ultimately on computer code, code that people often find more functional, reliable, and faster to evolve than most proprietary software built inside a conventional corporate organization.”

  1. Open source also does not eliminate the idea of profit, capitalism or property rights, companies and open source producers are joining together and creating new types of business models evolving our view of what property and intellectual rights are.
  2. The open source community is not a chaotic or calm place  it has political value. Conflicts of interests do arise within this environment.
  3. THE BIGGER PICTURE
    1. The context of the internet revolution  and the demise of the so called “dot com” boom put a damper on the what potentially was left in internet technology. Open source became popular when Linux was gaining attention. (Linux is an operation system for UNIX that is open source).

The open source story opens up a significant set of questions about the economics and sociology of network organization, not just network economics. And it demonstrates the viability of a massively distributed innovation system that stretches the boundaries of conventional notions about limits to the division of labor.

  1. Open source has brought forth several questions facing the sociology of network organizations and demonstrates what abilities open source has in what he calls the “division of labor.” This over laps with Lessig’s case – in a computational environment software codes plays a structuring role much like law does in conventional social space.  Human-computer interface designers are deeply aware of the fact that what they build embodies decisions about policy, rights, values, and basic philosophical views on human action in the world. The open source community has a set of principles. The criteria include:
    1. Entering/leaving, leadership roles, power relations, distributional issues, education and socialization paths.
    2. Weber makes a very good point in stating that during most social or economic change analysts tend to focus on what we are losing and not on what we are gaining from moving forward. We are challenge the old methods and conventional thinking believes that this is the destructive of creativity where as it is the rebirth of it in a new medium.
    3. The third area in is the nature of collaboration – “Production processes that evolve in this space are not a hard test of limits but rather a leading indicator of change and a place where experiments can be seen at a relatively early stage.”
    4. Open source is testing social organization based on what we would define as property. Issues arise when we try to think of ownership in this environment, “rights to access, rights to extract, rights to sell, etc. “What does it mean to own something??

“Open source radically inverts the idea of exclusion as a basis of thinking about property. Property in open source is configured fundamentally around the right to distribute, not the right to exclude. This places the open source process a step beyond standard norms of sharing in a conventional scientific research community.” Copy is encourage and allowed, your basically giving back to the community when you provide your input to the open source community.

  1. How big of a phenomenon is this? How broad is its scope?
  2. It is an important idea for the social scientists to think about if it was to become a large-scale cooperation (which I think already is)
  3. How can it help our economy, growth?

Commons-based Peer Production and Virtue – Yochai Benkler and Helen Nissenbaum

  • Common-based peer production is a socio-economic system of production that is emerging in the digitally networked environment.  There are 3 major parts for this to occur. The infrastructure of the internet, collaboration among large groups of individuals to provide information, knowledge or cultural goods without relying on the market, (corporations). Benkler and Nissenbaum believe that these type of production offers people the opportunity to engage in virtuous behavior.
  • A society that provides opportunities for virtuous behavior is on that is more conducive to virtuous individuals
  • The practice of effective virtuous behavior may lead to more people adopting virtues of their own.
  • “Thesis:  that socio-technical systems of commons-based peer production offer not only remarkable medium of production for various kinds of information goods but serve as a context for positive character information. “
  • Examples of Commons-Based Peer Production
    • Free software projects and open source software are a collective effort of people towards a common goal in a more or less informal or loosely structured way. No one owns anything.  The most famous products of this type are GNU/Linux Operating system, Apache Web server, Perk, and BIND. In the creation of these projects there is no formal leadership to limit power in discussion, the effort is a combination or good will, volunteerism and technology.
    • SETI@home is a large-scale volunteer production through Internet-connected computers in Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.  You download a small application in the form of a screensaver to your computer and while your away your computer would process the numbers from the SETI website. In essence created one of the largest super computers by distributing the tasks on different networks.
    • Nasa Clickworkers experiment: Individuals collaborated in 5 min increments to map and classify Mar’s craters. They would be completing tasks that a PhD would have to endure months of work.
    • Wikipedia – 30,000 users to collaborate and create an online encyclopedia. Wikipedia does not include elaborate software-controlled access or editing functionality.  Uses self-conscious use of open discourse, aimed at the consensus of all the users.

“Slashdot, a collaboration platform used by between 250,000 and 500,000 users. Users post links to technology stories they come across,

together with comments on them. Others then join in a conversation about the technology-related events, with comments on the underlying stories as well as comments on comments. – Slashdot is designed to constrain antisocial behavior based on it’s moderation points, limits the amount of influence a user can have on the collective. “

COMMONS-BASED PEER PRODUCTION – Principles

  1. Peer production is a model of social production, emerging along side contract and market based, managerial based and state based production.
  2. Two core characteristics in types of production  – Decentralization – the authority to act resides with individual agents faced with opportunities for action, rather than in the control of a central organizer.
  3. Second characteristic is they use social cues and motivations, rather than price or commands that are used in corporations (markets) to motivate and coordinate among individuals.
  4. This creates physical capital – a common goal – human effort and creativity.
  5. Peer production enterprises are becoming a mix of social and technical systems that encourage groups of users to collaborate without the backing or incentive of monetary compensation for the use of physical capital.3 Structural attributes – potential objects of peer production must be modular (must be divisible into components)
  6. Granularity of the modules – sizes of the project modules
  7. Low-cost integration – include both quality controls over the modules and functionality to bring the whole project together.
  8. One way to solve certain collective action problems is the introduction of GNU (General Public License), this prevents any defection from many free software projects. (ie GNU/Linux)

ADVANTAGES OF PEER to PEER Collaborations

i.      Information Gain

ii.      The variability in fit of people to projects and existing info resources is great. The larger the number of people the more resources they have for projects.

iii.      People contribute to these projects because they gain a sense of purpose, they can display their creativity, or there is a common social goal, a sense of companionship  within a technical community.

COMMONS-BASED PEER PRODUCTION and VIRTUE

CLUSTER1: AUTONOMY, INDEPENDENCE, LIBERATION

Individuals choose to participate freely and  can contribute however much they want. They exercise free will and aren’t placed under any demand constraints.

CLUSTER II: CREATIVITY, PRODUCTIVITY, INDUSTRY

Our day to day lives are programmed, from TV Channels, to our typical workdays,  peer production enables individuals to be more creative and productive in their tasks.

CLUSTER III: BENEVOLENCE, CHARITY, GENEROSITY, ALTRUISM

To seek the good in others, to benefit and help others, this is a common goal in commons based peer production – individuals are not providing in order to out do one another.

CLUSTER IV: SOCIABILITY, CAMARADERIE, FRIENDSHIP, COOPERATION, CIVIC VIRTUE

The open-hearted contribution is to a commons, a community, a pubic, a mission, or a fellowship.

“Virtue leads people to participate in commons-based peer projects, and that participation may give rise to virtue”

  1. Peer production benefits others because the individuals are contributing to a common good, and this enables autonomy and promotes public good.
  2. Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS): survey and study – found that the greatest percentage agreed that it enabled more freedom in software development, new forms of cooperation, opportunities to create more varieties of software and innovative breakthroughs.  “Share my knowledge and skill”

PUBLIC POLICY:

“Technical systems and devices are as much a part of political and moral life as practices, laws, regulations, institutions and norms. “

“Peer production can be said to provide a social context in which to act out, and a set of social practices through which to inculcate and develop, some quite basic human, social and political virtues.”

THE CATHEDRAL and the BAZAAR – Eric Steven Raymond

  • Linux – world class operating system created by several thousand developers all around the world by an internet connection. Raymond has been involved in this project in 1993 but had been part of the open source community for 10 years already.
  • Raymond has collaborated in the following projects – creation of the GNU, nethack, Emacs’s VC, etc.)
  • The most important software needed to build like “cathedrals”, carefully engineered and created by small groups of individuals in isolation.
  • The Linux community “seemed to resemble a great babbling bazaar of different agendas and approaches.”
  • This system of chaos, similar to bazaar, shockingly worked with the help of “Cathedral workers” as Raymond calls them.  Cathedral style is what is mostly used in the commercial world where as the Bazaar style is how the Linux system was developed. In this book he uses both approaches to see which is better in respect to “software debugging.”
  • He does an experiment by creating a new type of email service called Fetchmail. He wanted to have access to his email locally and SMTP doesn’t allow this, mostly POP3 accounts do.
  • Linus Torvalds, for example, didn’t actually try to write Linux from scratch. Instead, he started by reusing code and ideas from Minix, a tiny Unix-like operating system for PC clones. Eventually all the Minix code went away or was completely rewritten—but while it was there, it provided scaffolding for the infant that would eventually become Linux.
  • He used a POP client with the same base to start his creation with
  • After trying to edit fetchpop he saw a more robust system to base from Carl Harris
  • When you lose interest in a program, your last duty to it is to hand it off to a competent successor.
  • Treating your users as co-developers is your least-hassle route to rapid code improvement and effective debugging. Unix tradition, one that Linux pushes to a happy extreme, is that a lot of users are hackers too. Because source code is available, they can be effective hackers. This can be tremendously useful for shortening debugging time
  • Early and frequent releases are a critical part of the Linux development model. Most developers (including me) used to believe this was bad policy for larger than trivial projects, because early versions are almost by definition buggy versions and you don’t want to wear out the patience of your users. Release early. Release often. And listen to your customers.
  • Given a large enough beta-tester and co-developer base, almost every problem will be characterized quickly and the fix obvious to someone.
  • Linus demurred that the person who understands and fixes the problem is not necessarily or even usually the person who first characterizes it. “Somebody finds the problem,” he says, “and somebody else understands it – Linus’ Law
  • source-code awareness by both parties greatly enhances both good communication and the synergy between what a beta-tester reports and what the core developer(s) know. In turn, this means that the core developers’ time tends to be well conserved, even with many collaborators.
  • Smart data structures and dumb code works a lot better than the other way around.
  • If you treat your beta-testers as if they’re your most valuable resource, they will respond by becoming your most valuable resource.
  • The next best thing to having good ideas is recognizing good ideas from your users. Sometimes the latter is better.
  • Often, the most striking and innovative solutions come from realizing that your concept of the problem was wrong.
  • “Perfection (in design) is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but rather when there is nothing more to take away.”
  • There is a more general lesson in this story about how SMTP delivery came to fetchmail. It is not only debugging that is parallelizable; development and (to a perhaps surprising extent) exploration of design space is, too. When your development mode is rapidly iterative, development and enhancement may become special cases of debugging—fixing `bugs of omission’ in the original capabilities or concept of the software.
  • Any tool should be useful in the expected way, but a truly great tool lends itself to uses you never expected.
  • When writing gateway software of any kind, take pains to disturb the data stream as little as possible—and never throw away information unless the recipient forces you to!
  • A security system is only as secure as its secret. Beware of pseudo-secrets.
  • Provided the development coordinator has a communications medium at least as good as the Internet, and knows how to lead without coercion, many heads are inevitably better than one.


Few ideas for next Travelogue

Hi All,

So I have been doing some research and I have a few ideas – please chime in and let me know if these are worthy of exploration:

1. Second Life – virtual world – I would join and be active in this community. (actually not a fan of  this place after seeing the  MTV documentary) I’ve heard from a few people that it’s making a come back and a lot of people are using it in the business world to meet up, and some companies have used it as a marketing tool.

2. Please Rob Me – lists all the homes that are empty out there (so i would update my twitter saying im not home)… I don’t know much about this site quite yet or what direction I could go from it – but its starting to blow up on a lot of online articles.

3. Boycotting Assassin 2 – It’s a game that is becoming very popular but apparently when you lose your internet connection – you lose the game and all the save points.

4. Comment Trolling – insulting people on facebook.. eek not so good. I couldn’t access this link at work – so you guys let me know.

5. Scamming the Scammers – Find one of these Nigerian con artists that emails me and flip the scam on him by engaging in emails and making me him do funny things :)

6.  Class suggestions..

If you any of you have ideas please let me know – I’m struggling to find an interesting topic. I’ll post more ideas as I find them.

Thanks,
H

Concluding Post – How much *TIME SPENT ON*?

I began this journey by first analyzing the beginning of both Social Networking Websites.. At first I was skeptical as to where my topic would be bring me but now I realize how much of a big part of and time is spend on these sites.

So what REALLY led to the demise of MySpace. I believe that their was no demise and that MySpace and Facebook are two entirely different entities that cannot be compared. I don’t think that they serve the same purpose. MySpace has evolved from being a simple social networking site, to an atmosphere or creative sharing. Those who actually are MySpace users are a new generation of young people. Initially, Facebook was set up as a network for college students to contact each other easier. MySpace was the networking site people would go to catch on fun. MySpace as I stated before is a social hub for music, movies, marketing.

This is where my thought for the comparing/contrasting of the layout came about. Initially, the two layouts served the same common goal. You had a few friends, you left them comments, admired their photos and read about their info and who they “friended”.  The past few years this has changed dramatically.MySpace’s login page has a lot more options. You have the ability to see who is online without joining the community, surf through celebrity pages and catch up the latest music/movies. It is now used a marketing tool. Facebook as a different perception. They do have celebrity fan pages, but there is no media attached. The login page for facebook is simple and clean, and you MUST login to see most features.

I actually joined Foursquare this week and became more active on Twitter as well as a social experiment to myself. After hearing about Foursquare in class and at work, I got the itch to join. I haven’t used it much and figure it’s interesting if you want to boast onto your friends where you are or see if they are in the same place.

This week in my research:

I decided to put myself through a social experiment. Be active on all my accounts (minus MySpace) and see how much time I spent on these sites. On my twitter I “tweeted” about 50 times a day. Mostly all on Thursday due to Iran’s 31st anniversary of the Revolution. My Facebook account I had about 60 posts a day, and Foursquare I barely used only to check in to places so my Facebook friends could see. So you can a few hours were devoted to just updating information on my pages. Was I being paid for this – NO. Did I learn anything? NO – well I did learn that my ex’s mother has a facebook … I think MY IQ dropped a bit more..

Then I thought what purpose does this serve? Do people really give a damn what I think of what I’m doing?

There are those small few who do.. but by using my page as a news central did any message get across to these people.. Remarkably yes. In the past year I have received critiques, opinions, praises in the “PHYSICAL WORLD” through sms, calls and in person of how this information, had I not provided it to them, would have left them in the dark.

But those of us who don’t use these platforms as a broadcasting central.. What are they doing on there.
This is a great link to some information based on the time spent on these sites, it states

From April 2008 to April 2009, total minutes spent on Facebook increased from 1.7 billion minutes to 13.9 billion minutes – an annual growth rate of 700 percent. MySpace comes in second with 5 billion minutes in April 2009, roughly 2 billion minutes shy of time spent in April 2008.

So how much time do you spend on your social networking site? AND what are you doing on there? January 2009 – ages 25-50 spent an average of 3.5 hrs on FB.

An interesting find for the week – when search this topic in GOOGLE and you type “TIME SPENT ON” – see what is the first choice is ….SCARY!

Mini Poll

Hi All – I decided to post a Mini Poll if you don’t mind answering it.. I figure since we are all pretty educated on SNSes.. This group would be a good sampling to test on.. :) Also, if you don’t mind in your comments explaining why you chose that answer… and also, if you can think of a better answer..

MySpace and FB – Who has the better layout? Why? 2/7

February 7, 2010

Today I would like to discuss the difference in layouts between MySpace and Facebook.

What I have I have learned about this new media environment, or “SNS” Social Networking Site is that the design or “layout” is very crucial to acquiring specific types of users.

First I would like to analyse the Facebook layout – I found a very helpful image as you can see below. Due to the terms and conditions of Facebook, you MUST have a profile photo (or else they will pester you to upload on) and it must be  a photo of you, and not a Doppleganger :) The user has the following abilities on Facebook:

  1. Update their status
  2. Upload a current photo
  3. Apply for network membership (location – which they plan to remove)

I also found a site that outlines the limitations to Facebook, click here for more info.

MySpace layout is a bit more complicated but their is good reason for this. I personally don’t find the design to be very appealing because it is cluttered on their home page.

Clay Shirky brings up a great point during his lecture, “Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, “

His example of Bronze Beta and the simplistic design of it was successful. Also, because the group, had a collective nature, it was held together by the affection for one another. The saavy mood of no design, it wasn’t about the technology, it was about the content, more features would have been a distraction.

But as for the user  in “MYSPACE” themselves, users have the ability to express themselves by implementing code and changing their background images, adding music, basically implementing their own personal feel and personality into their pages. It is a great tool for those who don’t have the knowledge to build their own website and use the social networking site to express themselves.

The MySpace Profiles has the following:

  1. Friends
  2. Profile Picture
  3. Age
  4. Date of Last Login
  5. Mood
  6. Online or Not

A lot of celebrities, more specifically artists in the music industry promote themselves on MySpace due to the creative freedom the site provides. Several celebrities also have fan pages on Facebook, but find the limitations to the layout restrict their expression they want to broadcast to their fans. Facebook is a great communication tool in order to actually speak to those who you thought would never gain a chance to. MySpace allows users to connect creatively with their favorite artists. By posting things on their pages other than text…

  • Your Friends List, and the posts made by your friends and photo albums. You have the ability to control what is being seen by certain groups of people. You would be surprised to find how many cyberstalkers or lurkers are ou their roaming through your page. danah boyd actually put this into perspective for me by stating
  • “Abstract While it is common to face strangers in public life, our eyes provide a good sense of who can overhear our expressions. In mediated publics, not only are lurkers invisible, but persistence, searchability, and replicability introduce audiences that were never present at the time when the expression was created.

    I was wondering if any of the classmates had any input as to what type of questions could be asked as far as this topic is concerned or should I travel onto another platform – or relate these SNSes to issues that have erupted in the news (ie: use of facebook profiles in trials, twitter activity, etc.. Any constructive criticism, will be greatly appreciated.

  • What Led to the Demise of MySpace? Part 1 of …

    *I’ve decided to finish what I started and not change my topic.*

    An article I read through tonight describes the business strategy or lack there of that caused this particular downward spiralMySpace Shrinks.. outlines that many of the staff decided to quit in the Spring of 2009 because…

    • “Amit Kapur, MySpace’s chief operating officer, resigned after little more than a year in the post to set up a new company.”
    • “further departures and rumours that MySpace’s co-founders, Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson, could also walk away in October after the end of their contracts, each worth $30m over two years.”

    So was this driven by financial gain? I would like to delve deeper into the business aspect of this discussion in my travelogue.

    Another take I found to be interesting is the “Downsizing of their Logo” MySpace has, or in some ways is a complete web/graphic designer’s nightmare as far as their interface is concerned. It is way too cluttered… I plan to analyse this as well in my travelogue part 6423429 v1 beta 5. See to the left their “new logo.” A little too similar to FB don’t ya think?

    I found more information in blogs than other sources, the following blog post elaborates on the design quality of their logo. Check out this post by IDsgn Design Blog which further describes the problems of MySpace and the idea of their logo changing signal the downward this Murdoch company was taking.

    An interesting comment that was made in this blog:

    “The change comes after what Fast Company calls “the largest de-friending in its history” with MySpace laying off 30% of its U.S. workforce mid-June, and two-thirds of its international employees a week later. “

    The downsizing of the company staff was due to the following per MySpace CEO :

    • “As we conducted our review of the company, it was clear that internationally, just as in the U.S., MySpace’s staffing had become too big and cumbersome to be sustainable in current market conditions.”

    So is it downsizing in an economy that is in trouble? Is it design that just is HORRIBLE, or is it that most people like to move on to the next big thing? I believe its a combination of it all. Elizabeth forwarded me an interesting video describing the HITs  Facebook was receiving daily, approximately 175 million daily… In this video is Facebook COO Sheryl Sanberg

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    I’m not quite sure if I answered my own question quite yet, because I truly believe this query could go on forever. I apologize for the long post.

    Travelogue 2: Facebook vs MySpace! Updated 2/7/10

    I have been reading a lot of press on social communities recently because I take a very cautionary step when engaging socially on Facebook. It could just be paranoia or simply wanting to be too private but at times I feel like Facebook might have a hidden agenda.

    After completing the assigned readings for this week, my view on Privacy become even WORSE. By worse I mean, I don’t want to engage in any sort of online activity unless it is necessary for school or work.

    It took me literally, 2 years to create a MySpace account because I was pestered by friends and kept hearing stories and I almost felt like I missing out on something very important on conversations.

    So now I look back and say, well, what happened to My Space. Is it still around? Facebook has engaged in what they are calling the “Technology Lock In.” Technology lock-in basically means “the idea that the more a society adopts a certain technology, the more unlikely users are to switch. ” So for someone like myself, I probably will never switch back to MySpace because it doesn’t meet my needs or fit my current lifestyle socially.

    Basically, I would like to explore the beginning of this social phenomena.

    1. How did MySpace start? Quick Bio on MySpace
    2. What secret ingredient did they possess to make themselves so successful?
    3. Where did they go? What did they do wrong? Where are they now?
    4. Facebook – Who are they? Quick Bio on Facebook
    5. Where did they come from?
    6. What are they doing right?
    7. How much are they worth?

    An interesting video on MySpace vs Facebook (has a mild technical perspective)

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    I am open to constructive criticism, ideas, or paths of travel you suggest for this travelogue.

    Mainly, I would like to travel the path from MySpace to Facebook, but also add a touch of the Privacy issues we were learning this week during our Google Challenge. I’ve always wanted to explore the demise and rise of these two groups. I would like to stay away from Twitter because in my own perspective it doesn’t have all the functionalities that these two sites do, and its use and purpose are much different.

    February 7, 2010

    Today I would like to discuss the difference in layouts between MySpace and Facebook.

    What I have I have learned about this new media environment, or “SNS” Social Networking Site is that the design or “layout” is very crucial to acquiring specific types of users.

    First I would like to analyse the Facebook layout – I found a very helpful image as you can see below. Due to the terms and conditions of Facebook, you MUST have a profile photo (or else they will pester you to upload on) and it must be  a photo of you, and not a Doppleganger :) The user has the following abilities on Facebook:

    1. Update their status
    2. Upload a current photo
    3. Apply for network membership (location – which they plan to remove)

    I also found a site that outlines the limitations to Facebook, click here for more info.

    MySpace layout is a bit more complicated but their is good reason for this. I personally don’t find the design to be very appealing because it is cluttered on their home page.

    Clay Shirky brings up a great point during his lecture, “Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, “

    His example of Bronze Beta and the simplistic design of it was successful. Also, because the group, had a collective nature, it was held together by the affection for one another. The saavy mood of no design, it wasn’t about the technology, it was about the content, more features would have been a distraction.

    But as for the user  in “MYSPACE” themselves, users have the ability to express themselves by implementing code and changing their background images, adding music, basically implementing their own personal feel and personality into their pages. It is a great tool for those who don’t have the knowledge to build their own website and use the social networking site to express themselves.

    The MySpace Profiles has the following:

    1. Friends
    2. Profile Picture
    3. Age
    4. Date of Last Login
    5. Mood
    6. Online or Not

    A lot of celebrities, more specifically artists in the music industry promote themselves on MySpace due to the creative freedom the site provides. Several celebrities also have fan pages on Facebook, but find the limitations to the layout restrict their expression they want to broadcast to their fans. Facebook is a great communication tool in order to actually speak to those who you thought would never gain a chance to. MySpace allows users to connect creatively with their favorite artists. By posting things on their pages other than text…

  • Your Friends List, and the posts made by your friends and photo albums. You have the ability to control what is being seen by certain groups of people. You would be surprised to find how many cyberstalkers or lurkers are ou their roaming through your page. danah boyd actually put this into perspective for me by stating
  • “Abstract While it is common to face strangers in public life, our eyes provide a good sense of who can overhear our expressions. In mediated publics, not only are lurkers invisible, but persistence, searchability, and replicability introduce audiences that were never present at the time when the expression was created.

    I was wondering if any of the classmates had any input as to what type of questions could be asked as far as this topic is concerned or should I travel onto another platform – or relate these SNSes to issues that have erupted in the news (ie: use of facebook profiles in trials, twitter activity, etc.. Any constructive criticism, will be greatly appreciated.

  • Travelogue 1 – The Trap/Adam Curtis

    The Trap

    This film brought up several points that most of us do think about subconsciously but never act on. The concept of people monitoring and strategizing against each other is very true in a humanistic way. Our first level of consciousness doesn’t believe in such a tactic but if we were to analyze our own minds in depth we would mind that it is the survival of the fittest in essence. The author’s idea of political control I believe is quite accurate in the sense that this type of control does prevent individualism and freedom.

    Nash’s idea of “Fuck Your Buddy” or “Game Theory” struck me as something that can be applied to any situation that relates to two parties. In your own daily life you can see that those who are cut throat and not care for the outcome of others seem to succeed more. Now this opinion can be called into question by many, but it is a fact that if you are too nice to your enemy they will attack and you will lose.  Possessing a common courtesy for others can get you “Trapped.” Everyone should have the ability to pursue their own goals.  Nash proved that through this system of selfishness and suspicion a balance or sense of equilibrium can be created. If we were all to cooperate and become slaves to the government, it would actually be more dangerous for society. Each of us adjust to one another’s strategies, and we are all trying to gain our own personal advantage against each other.

    Another part of the film I found interesting and was completely unaware of was the attack of the elite psychiatrists. This group of people was trampled on simply by one study of 8 fake patients. I was stunned to find that because they all stated they thought of the same word and acted normal they were all diagnosed with some mental illness. It made me doubt how dangerous the power of these doctors were.  As the documentary states, the categories in psychiatrity did change into a series of checklists that one can self diagnosis and calculate through numbers. I don’t personally believe this is entirely accurate either, it would cause an epidemic of people who would constantly find something wrong with themselves. A computer should not have the ability to calculate if one is suffering from depression. The concept of the checklists also led to dangerous consequences. A medicated society on anti depressants would make humans be just as the market is, a system of numbers that is automated and robotic.

    The idea of freedom in the west – was deeply rooted in the paranoia and basis that develop in the Cold War – which led to corruption and inequality. We are really the lonely individuals that the cold war scientists had developed.

    The attempt to liberate people has actually led to a system of complete control which might not be the type of people humanity may need. It will cause a dramatic collapse of social mobility, there will be great distinctions between social classes. There may be a reason why the middle east rejects the ideas of the western idea of democracy and freedom.

    The idea that politicians that served the public was impossible. This documentary makes an interesting point in that one person cannot represent society or the “public good.” A politician that serves the public can only make decisions for himself, and represent himself and what benefit himself, not others as a collective. It is better to base our society on the market , similar to having a voting system, the author is documentary believe this is the only way one could have freedom.  I found the idea of market democracy to be very interesting because it is a system that actual works because it is based on what the people want and are buying into. It is better for the people and their interests run the market and then in return the economy will flourish.

    Chagnon’s experiment was also very intriguing in development of models of humans beings, based on genes that guide people or “codes” or “instructions” that make people who are alike, act the same way. DNA is can explain why certain people act the way they do. People who have similar genetic makes up tend to gravitate towards defending one another more. This I personally believe is just a simple rule of human nature, but through Chagnon’s experiment and mathematical theory he was able to prove this as true.

    Here is an interesting video I watched on the Naro – it actually elaborates on Chagnon’s research as well:

    World without meaning, instead of re instilling freedom in the western thought, they have stripped it from us. It would be want Berlin would state as the transition from negative liberty to positive liberty which was questioned by the Cold War scientists.

    Reagan’s policy on the Sandinistas was argued and questioned because we participated in giving weapons to Nicaragua supplement the global war on terror which the United States was against. Through the idea of “Perception Management” the American people could be convinced that the Sandinistas would threaten the American people and that we were left with no other choice but to retaliate.

    These were my thoughts on the 3 videos – Enjoy!