Social Media by Leah

A Post From My Other Blog…
October 28, 2009, 2:14 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I once had a blog entitled “The Blogel.” It discussed Free Bagel Fridays at my office.

Here is an entry entitled “Bagel Uproar.”


Apparently, last week the bagel wizards only gave us a small amount of bagels, and the people who delayed their bagel consumption by an hour didn’t have any to eat. I am a bagel shark, and therefore always get there as soon as they are spread out on the platter. I picked a delectable everything bagel. You know what they say, the early bird always gets the worm. As soon as 8:15 rolls around I “go to the bathroom,” which is really just an excuse to go through the kitchen to see if the bagels have arrived. They are usually not there. I take a stroll out of the office, through the hallway, and then return to my cube. Our secretary extraordinaire called “The Bean Bag” (who I suppose can no longer really be called bagel wizards), explained the situation and demanded to know what happened to the rest of the bagels we paid for. The response on the other end was a simple “Ok.” The manager was then put on the phone. He also said “Ok.” It turns out he delivered the bagels, noted that “The bag did feel a little light,” but did not think to check the bagel count. I do not think we were reimbursed for the lost bagels. Finally, today the bagels were delivered in a brown bag in a black trash bag. One editor was quoted as saying, “What the hell is this? Are they trying to make the bagels unappealing?” Yes, sir, I think that is what they are trying to do. The black bag in conjunction with a lack of bagels is creating huge problems around here. Livelihoods are being destroyed, stomachs are grumbling, people are grumbling. How do you write on a Friday without a bagel (or two…?) Bagels were toasted, but there was a sense of mistrust and annoyance lingering in the air along with the sweet smell of toasted doughy goodness.

We are in an uproar.


Response #6: MMOGs
October 27, 2009, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have read articles at work about businesses using Second Life to conduct trainings and meetings with people so that no travel is necessary. People seem to say that it works as well as using NetMeeting or Web cams and it features cool avatars and a 3D world which makes it…technologically hip. I can understand why using Second Life would be useful, especially in this economy. It is more efficient to have an employee sit at their computer and learn than pay for their travel and put them up in a hotel. However, I do not know how useful it would be to put advertisements in the game in order to sell products. Do enough people use it? If a user is looking at an advertisement in a “fake” world, does that transfer over to the real world? Is it too soon to tell?

I joined Second Life today to figure out what it is all about. I loved The Sims in high school…and I thought maybe the two would be similar.

I first decided to head over to London, England. Before finding London, though, I found a couple of “Islands” that provide help to organizations on various topics. Seeing this made me think that perhaps Second Life is a little more helpful than The Sims…

I ended up in London’s Hyde Park and began walking around. There are not very many people in London, so I tried flying, reading signs, “eavesdropping” on conversations and tried to figure out what else to do.

The end result: I got bored and quit out of Hyde Park. I then found another community “Avatar Island,” but had to download another viewer. Is that always the case, or am I missing something?

Somehow I stayed in London and never transferred to the other island…and then I started hearing voices.

No, not in my head, at least I don’t think so. I think they were coming from Second Life. It sounded like there was an American and a Portuguese man talking to each other…about…golf.

Someone then IMed me and welcomed me to the crazy world after I desperately typed out “What is going on?”

Apparently there are red lights going up from a chess board, white waves go off when someone is talking, and I learned a lot about Portugal…such as…there are a lot of men and roundabouts in the country.

Second Life is wild. I consider myself to be pretty technologically savvy, but this is a whole different ballgame.

I suppose that Second Life could be very practical, but how will it become popular? Is it considered to be an innovative tool that only some companies use? Will it just always be a game that people use when they are bored, or want human interaction?

I’ll admit, even in the 10-15 minutes that I spent in Second Life, I learned a lot about a random country! And it does seem like an interesting place for people of different cultures to interact, which could be useful. I found out that the helpful person that IMed me is from Sweden, and we had a lengthly discussion on Ikea furniture.

I decided to leave after the American commented that an avatar “had a big ol’ booty. A big ol’ ass.” Hysterical, but ridiculous at the same time.


There I am… Looking confused!

Response 5: Should We Be Afraid of…Google?
October 21, 2009, 12:59 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


I use Google products for everything.

Gmail, Maps, the Search Bar, Reader, News, the list goes on. I have never feared the growth of Google because it has enhanced my life. When I need to communicate online, I use Gmail or Gchat. If I need an answer to anything–I head straight to Google. RSS Feeds? Right over to Google Reader. I click the “News” tab every morning at work to look for mentions of clients in the news.

However, when I read “The Search,” I learned more about the history and the inside of Google. I felt badly for Moncrief and the losses he faced when Google changed their algorithm and never returned his phone calls. I questioned the way the company entered China and may have gone against their “Don’t Be Evil” mantra as well as the way that they can use our information without informing us. Then, I read this article on the class blog…and I will admit…I started to feel… intimidated.

Google could be my stereo system? What?

I think Google will expand even more than it already has in the future. After reading the articles that were linked on the class blog, it seems that Google does almost everything better than everyone else. Delicious is not better than Google. Even reading the alternatives to Google–most I had never heard of and clearly are not any competition for the juggernaut. I have heard over and over again, “Google is going to take over the world.” So, what is wrong with putting our faith in Google, then? My biggest fear is that it is difficult to rely on one entity. What if something… catastrophic …happened to Google? What would we do?  The problem is Google does everything so well, so it is difficult to figure out who we should trust.

Conclusion? I appreciate Google’s innovation because it makes my life more convenient. However, if we rely on Google too much and something happens…I am somewhat afraid of what would happen to our digital lives! So should we fear Google itself? No. It works. The company performs well.

Response 4: Bouldering
October 14, 2009, 3:37 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

After months of nagging, my boyfriend finally convinced me to try his favorite activity: Bouldering.

bouldering photospaceballbouldering

(Note: This is not me, but just picture my body on the wall and you get the gist)

He works at Earth Treks, and was able to get me in for free, so I figured I would go along just to shut him up.

Well. . . it’s four months later, and I now consider myself a climber. I started out not being able to get up the wall, and have now completed multiple V2s. Check out this video to see what indoor bouldering looks like.

So, where are all the climbers hanging out online? And what exactly are they doing?

I once again turned to my boyfriend for advice. He stated that all the climbers go here.

They go there to post their most recent ascents (when you finish a problem), read information about the best outdoor climbing areas, get advice on gear, and look at photos. There is also competition information.

There’s also Modump, which includes more basic features such as photos, videos, news and articles. If there’s one thing I’ve found, it’s that climbers absolutely love to look at photos of other climbers on a wall, indoor or out.

This was obvious after searching different terms on Flickr. There are both bouldering and climbing groups, which contain photos of people climbing both indoors and outdoors.

After pondering why this could be, I realized that bouldering is a social sport. It is common to see people talking to each other, offering tips and helping out in between climbs. Because bouldering requires much more strength than top-rope climbing, it offers people a chance to rest and interact with each other. Therefore, it makes sense that people are interested in taking a look at other people’s photos. It helps us to examine different techniques and allows us to interact with others by commenting on different pictures.

I continued my search by looking for bouldering blogs and came upon quite a few: The Chalk Bag, The prAna Blog, and Greg and Jeremiah’s Climbing Blog, among others. All provide photos, route descriptions and stories from various days climbing. Some also offer advice for beginners and even experts.

So, after wandering around the Internet, I found some places that climbers are hanging out. To be honest, I did expect more sites, but perhaps since bouldering is not exactly a sport that goes hand-in-hand with the Internet, it takes deeper digging to find the good sites.

I have found some good resources, especially some interesting sites for beginners. Bouldering can be linked to some of the general themes in Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail. Anderson’s general thesis is that the tail is comprised of a large number products that are sold a smaller amount than popular products, however, the tail still makes up a large number. The niches are an important market to tap and the Internet and social media help to bring the tail to the forefront. Bouldering is a small niche hobby that would be placed at the end of the tail and the Internet has helped to bring it to climbers around the world and people who may have never tried the sport.

One main point Anderson makes in the beginning of the novel is “the tyranny of locality.” He shares his thoughts about retailers needing to find local audiences and how the Internet has helped to bring audiences together and provide niches to people. This is similar to the bouldering sites I found. They enable climbers from all over the world to share tips, sites, and gear advice to each other.

Response 3: Bill of Rights for Social Web Users
October 7, 2009, 12:07 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Do those of us who use social media need a Bill of Rights?

After reading the document and the accompanying comments I feel that it would be too difficult to create a Bill of Rights and require people to follow it.

For starters, social media is just too dynamic. New applications, technology and ideas are created and developed every day. Would the Bill of Rights feature key principles that apply to all of social media, or would there be constant amendments?

Secondly, who would create the Bill of Rights? Would it be owned by an individual or a group? How would it be enforced? Would it be a voluntary or suggested document that people should follow? Many of the comments on the blog page mention trust. Can we trust social media Web sites to follow a Bill of Rights? How do we show them that trust is important?

My response to this issue is fairly simple. Social Web users sign up for these services and agree to different Terms of Service documents. Yes, we own our information, but as everyone always says, “Once it is on the Internet, it is there forever.” I feel that social media users need to take responsibility for their own content. There has always been the fear of misuse on the Internet, this is not a new problem. Users take a risk when they sign up for various sites and many of us that use these sites and applications get over this fear and use them.

However, one point did strike a cord, and that was a comment regarding the use and distribution of personal information to third parties. I suppose that this could fall under the “Control” portion of the Bill of Rights, and I agree that it is unfair that these sites tend to work off of advertising revenue and they need to submit your information. I can understand that people would be angry that their information is being sent to an advertiser when they themselves did not sign up. But, as I said previously, social Web users are responsible and must accept the fact that their information is put out there when they sign up for applications. This means that sites can use the data placed on their site in any way that they would like to.

Also, most of these Web sites are free for users…these companies need to make money somehow. So what if they give your information to advertisers?

Finally, so what if advertisements are tailored to your interests? Ignore them like every other ad you receive.