Monday, April 19, 2010

Privacy Issues in a Digital World

Privacy on the web... What does that mean? First of all, there is NO privacy on the World Wide Web. Although my Facebook page is restricted to anyone that is not my “friend,” I will not post anything I don’t want people to see. I placed friend in quotes because not everyone in my friend list is just that. It may include people I graduated high school with whom I now never speak to; a “friend” may even include people I went to elementary school with. The thing is that I may have known these individuals at one point of time, but when I grow up and don’t spend time with them, I basically do not know them at all. Hmm, I guess I should go through that friend list and delete everyone who I don’t speak to.

I am also on Twitter. My tweets may be protected but they could still get to the public. For instance, when you tag someone in a comment on Twitter, they will see what you said about them. This is cool because sometimes celebrities that you follow will see the “tweet” you post and they will write a comment back. But wait, I thought my tweets were protected. Too, if you have a friend to reply to one of your tweets, then whoever can see your friend’s page can see the comment you tweeted that they replied to. It sounds a little confusing, but the main point is that no one can be thoroughly protected on the internet.

The best advice would be not to put anything on the internet that you don’t want others to see. I know for myself, I never put my full name on sites. I usually use my last initial, that way it would be more difficult to find me. Employers, too, can find potential employees on the internet. They can learn much about you from your status updates to your tweets. They know what activities you participate in and the kind of things you talk about with your friends. Future employers can look at your online profile to figure if they would like to work with you or not. It would be horrible to be denied a job before an interview. It is like you have no control, but you do. You have the power and control not to post dishonorable things on the internet.

So I Googled my name. I guess it doesn’t help that my cousin has the same name; however, I saw a blog that I had to create for another class there along with a site where you could contact me. What?! The email address was blurred out except for the first and last letters, (which were correct) but you had to pay to see more information. That was a bit scary, not to mention, I could find myself in the white pages where they even had my middle name and relatives! Now I was more shocked than ever. I personally feel that if someone wants to know information about me, they need to ask me; they should not be able to search me on Google. I think it is fine to Google celebrities but for an average Jane, like me, it’s surprising and somewhat creepy.

Now these large companies are paying their employees to be able to recommend products to a specific individual. Netflix and Amazon recommend products that are similar to the ones that you have bought or rented in the past. Granted, it’s a nice jester, but seriously, it is like someone who may like rice; then, someone that they have never met comes along, assuming they like Asian foods (since they have rice), with three plates of different rice dishes they “recommend.” Like I said, it’s nice, but it’s weird! It just shows that the portion of privacy you may have thought you had is ever so decreasing. Those who are growing up in this digital generation will have no clue what privacy is. They should expect nothing from privacy.

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The Future of Television

I know I love the option to watch TV on the internet. It’s an extra 10 dollars to the cable bill to have the option to DVR and since the bill is already near a hundred dollars, I am not trying to make any . This brings me to why the internet is such a good option to watch TV. If I miss the current episode of 24, I can catch it online.

The internet changes the current network model because we can watch programs when they are convenient for us, rather than scheduling our day around a television program. You see my problem is that Monday night is just a great night for TV. I was getting really into 24 this season; however, that all changed when the new season of Gossip Girl started, at the same time as 24. As much as I try, I just can’t get the best out of both shows by switching at commercials, I end up needing to watch both episodes again. Now, I found a solution; I watch gossip girl, then catch up with 24 the following week, online. So this has to mean the big monopolies have no control over me, right?

Wrong. NBC, FOX, CBS and ABC still control what we watch. Through the internet, we are still watching the programs created by the big companies; the only thing we have control over is when we watch the programs and they still have control over that, too. Internet TV and new movies are similar in this case. You know it takes months to film movies and we may know that, but once we watch the preview and see the day it is to play in theaters, we are there. It is just something about seeing the movie the weekend it comes out, for me; I know if I don’t go the opening weekend, I am more and more likely not to watch the film at the theater. With internet TV programs, they are not usually available to view the same night that they premier. To wait a week may not be a big deal for some but for most they want to watch the show the night it premiers, so they try their hardest to get home and watch the show at its regular viewing time.

Sites like YouTube have created a long tail for television on the internet. There was an award show playing, I missed an artist’s performance, but you better believe I caught Lady Gaga’s performance on YouTube the same night. I was amazing and although it looked like someone was pointing a video camera at their television to record, I was happy to be able to watch the performance everyone had been discussing. However, I would have to argue that even if independent producers, found on YouTube, had created a series of shows and skipped the network system all together, they would still be unsuccessful. One of the monopolizing three-letter companies would ask the producer to work with their network. The producer won’t want to the opportunity to pass; to be on a real TV station is usually the goal. Who’s going to turn down more publicity, distribution, and probably money?

The book The Television Will Be Revolutionized by Amanda D. Lotz explains the "5 C's of the Post-Network Era or the TV on internet Era.

Choice: Television online gives a great deal of choice to its viewers. People have a huge selection of shows to view and they have the choice to watch any of them, when they want to.

Control: Control works right along with choice. By having the choice to choose, it means individuals are allowed to control what they watch. The option is to fit TV into busy schedules for a time that works best with one’s schedule.

Convenience: I guess all these C’s are beginning to run all together. I just stated TV becomes available at our convenience rather than trying to do your grocery shopping all before your TV show comes on. Too, more than half of us Americans spend our day in front of the computer screen anyway; it’s just one more click to view a TV program.

Customization: Networks today have a certain day when a particular show is to come on. During the Post Network Era, we will be able to customize a show to whatever order we would like to view our shows.

Community: Everyone is on the internet creating an online community. Through Facebook and Twitter, discussions about TV shows can be shared with those who have interests in common through the internet.

With all this being said, I feel the future of television looks like it will not be depended upon as much; it will just be another gadget that loses importance with time.

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Assignment 6

Digital Distribution

When I first saw the phrase “citizen journalism,” the first person to come to mind was my Nana. It seems that she fills her entire day with watching the news. I, on the other hand, don’t watch the news. I just feel it is depressing and don’t want to bring down my morale. Although I make no effort to consider local news on television and in the newspaper, I skim across various topics on the internet, when I check my email. However, my most reliable source is none other than, Nana! She feels the need to update me on the newly reported news. Well actually, she assumes I have already seen it, asking me “Did you see blah blah blah?” or “You know that [insert animal flu] is going around, you need to be careful.” So, despite my intentions to miss the depressing news, she still feels me in on what’s going on in the city. My Nana is playing the role of a citizen journalist. She takes the news, adds her own comprehension and perception of the news and then she spreads it to other through word of mouth. I cannot knock my Nana, though, for her method of journalism. I am also involved in citizen journalism. Topics that interest me mostly consist of entertaining topics. I have a twitter page where I share random, funny, and/or interesting news I have heard that day.

Other organizations are adapting to digital media by offering news on the internet. Twitter and Facebook pages are also a way such organizations promote themselves along with updated news. By choosing to “follow” such organizations or corporations will allow their latest news to appear on you news feed. For the better, there is an expansion of those who receive media. For those busy individuals, the time is not available to sit and devote time to gaining access of the latest news. However, that same busy individual will tweet for hours. Various organizations can get their news out to more individuals with the digital expansion. The only pro is that with many media outtakes, it makes it difficult for individuals who are not in front of a computer screen all day. These individuals have a limited way of accessing information. So the good news is that the long tail allows for more individuals, but the people who get news are limited. For example, my Nana doesn’t go online to find her news; she is strictly a television news watcher.


Pros: larger audience, cheaper, environment friendly (no trees for paper), quickly distributed, younger audience, staying afloat in a world of technology

Cons: unable to reach non-computer savvy individuals, job downsizing, more dependence on electronics, people only get bits of the news

In Ten Years… there will be a greater coverage online for news spread. I hope these “web creators” realized everything does well in moderation. Print journalism may be the old fashioned way but it may prove to be a good way to share news rather than posting everything on the internet.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Digital Convergence

Digital Convergence is exactly what it sounds like. It is the converging, or coming together, of several digital devices or services. In the world of technology, we have come so far. Just throughout my lifetime, I have gone from lugging several cumbersome devices with me when I travel to now only having one or two very small and compact devices that fit into my palm. It amazes me that Apple is coming out with an even more high tech, sleek device that carries everything to keep you entertained for days. Apple’s iPad is not the only device to converge all types of media. Computers, tablets and laptops now have webcams and speakers to talk live to other individuals that could be halfway across the world. Amazon’s Kindle allows consumers easy access to books at their fingertips. PDA phones work like computers, giving consumers the chance to jot down grocery lists using Microsoft Word on their phone. Smart phones, along with PDAs have access to internet where individuals can check email and watch videos. It’s a long tail; the places we can go with media and digital information is endless.

When you think about it, the merging together of technology has to come from the monopolization in big corporations. For instance, AT&T offers telephone service, cable/interactive television programming, and wireless phone service. Through their wireless service, AT&T has tag teamed with a leading company, Apple, offering a cell phone that has the ability to store and play music and videos, like an Mp3 player, and surf the internet, like a laptop or computer.

Consumers love these new devices. Many are easily amazed by the appearance while others gain an electronic high from the specs. Even in this recession, the demand and sales of fancy digital converging devices seem to grow. Corporations remain on top because everywhere consumers go; they are constantly feeding us with more “stuff.” Free applications on these devices are made for sharing. In my opinion, it shows the human side of a world full of electronics. These non profit creators find pleasure in sharing things they find useful at no direct price to others. I just love how the internet allows people to share their creativity with the world. This democracy given to individuals will only help create an even more creative, innovative and longer tail.

In 10 years, I expect many upgrades to the same devices available now. The devices will just be much smaller and transportable than they already have become. Ten years ago, I never thought I would have a cell phone that allowed me to watch videos, television, movies, read books, listen to music, play games, calculate my tip for the waiter, type homework, read email and surf the web at the same time. In ten years, the technology that will be in will be whatever is small and fast. Larger devices will not need much use and since handheld devices are becoming so readily available, they will be able to do anything you need them at a rate quicker than thoughts. It is hard to keep kids paying attention in class now so I can only imagine the difficulty when devices are so small and discreet, like they will be in the future.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Assignment 4: Facebook and Twitter

Today, we are living in a world where you are thought to be crazy if you are unaware of Twitter and Facebook.

Google Buzz is just another site used where people learn about individuals whom they are linked to. I, personally, have not used Google Buzz yet. I am still pretty busy with Facebook and Twitter. My favorite, currently, is Twitter. It could be because I have not gotten sick of it yet, but I love it.

Facebook is a site that was once exclusively for college students, but now everyone is involved. It is a site where you can share comments, pictures, personal information and views with “friends.” I knew it was epic when I received a friend request from my 50-year-old uncle. I was shocked, not knowing whether to be excited or disturbed. It’s cool that all ages can connect with people all over that they have lost contact with over the years and transition of locations, perhaps. However, this wide range of “faces” can potentially be troublesome. Everyone doesn’t want their parents to see their wild pictures from a Cancun trip. To alleviate the problem, Facebook has come up with privacy settings that limit certain people from viewing certain aspects of your profile. It’s a good idea but a forgetful memory can have an effect. It takes work to know who can see what. Then, people talk, so you dare not let an individual know they are the only one blocked. It takes skill to limit your profile without hurting feelings. As the years of being a nosey “Facebook Stalker” (you know you are guilty, too) became not so exciting. I found my new love… Twitter!

I began only using Facebook to update my status, which would mention something about my emotions for the day, my whereabouts, random thoughts, etc. Soon after I began to draw away from Facebook, there was much talk about Twitter. This site was just what I needed since it is basically allows status updates. You can also share pictures. You can tag people who you are talking to or about. Twitter even allows you to tag the long list of celebrities who you “follow.” So let’s say I tag Taylor Swift in my comment, she can view who all mention her name and she may come across my comment. If she likes it she can reply, so it’s like we are talking to each other, which is pretty cool. It doesn’t get me tickets to her upcoming concert; but, I’ll take it.

People want privacy on the web these days so Twitter allows your “tweets” to be protected. This basically means that the people who are allowed to view your page must be your followers. Of course there is a loophole. If someone who is following you replies to one of your tweets, sometimes it has your tweet on that friend’s page. It may be easier understood with an example. There is this girl I heavily dislike, who I’ll name Fox. (that’s what she looks like) Well “Fox” and I are both followers of a good friend Dave. He follows us, too. My tweets are protected so Fox is unable to see them, but when Dave replies to my tweet, it has my tweet and his reply on his page. So Fox can see what I said. This is so horrible because I don’t want my tweets shown to anyone I am not fond of.

Now Google Buzz, I don’t use. I am fine with my Twitter. Since, I am not very knowledgeable about it; I went to the site and watched a video on it. Basically, you need a Google mail account (which I do not have) in order to be connected. It allows you the same services as Twitter but it links you with the email addresses you have stored. This wouldn’t work for me either because I barely email to my friends these days.

I find it interesting how several news organizations and corporations are taking advantage of these sites. On commercials and various company sites, they have a small link at the bottom with Facebook and Twitter logos, to show they are on such sites.

It shows how they refuse to take the backseat to these media outlets. People are on Twitter and Facebook these days, getting information so corporations and organizations have created profiles where people will see their upcoming events or important facts. They use these sites to find out information about present and future employees as well. Sometimes it is even a determining factor of who will be hired, so it’s important NOT to display your dirty laundry on the internet. Businesses have also used sites like Facebook for publicity. Since so many people wastes large portions of time on the sites, businesses use this as a way to get themselves out there and into the mouth of the people. They receive feedback and sometimes find ways to make company improvements. It can also be used to find new customers and build online communities of fans. Businesses can see themselves from the eyes of the customer.

Facebook offers Facebook Pages to businesses where they can collect a number of “fans.” Many musicians and celebrities do it as well. Starbucks, for instance, have over 7 million fans. They direct us to their website and include a mission statement and company overview. There is a link to get started on your Starbucks card where you can review what is on it.

Starbucks Facebook page allows for discussions and several videos and photos. They even include any current specials or events. I am sure Starbucks has received much success and far greater business.

My favorite place to go is Chipotle Mexican Grill. Unsurprisingly, they have a Facebook page where they even allow a game to be played. Just looking at that page has made me want to go eat there. What I like most is that they have one of their own representatives there to comment back to topics and discussions people have posted. They have gained my vote.

Through the internet businesses have a “long tail” when it comes to options for increasing the business name. People get to share new ideas with them that they may not have considered. The internet does not only help businesses but it allows individuals to share their thoughts with the world.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

CReATive CoMMons

Creative Commons is licensing that makes it possible to share creations online for free. There are six free licenses that legalize the sharing of text, audio, video, art, photos, and music online.

List of Licenses

The question may arise whether Creative Commons takes away the Copyright of an individual or organization but it doesn’t. A person still is licensed under his or her Copyright; however, Creative Commons allows exceptions. Others are allowed to get your permission to use your work. Creative Commons opens the window to sharing your work worldwide via the web.

Josh Woodward is an individual who is using a license under Creative Commons to share his work with whoever is interested in using it. The only catch is that they must attribute their work back to Josh. This is a way to get Josh Woodward’s name and creative works out for others to tweak, remix, use, download or enhance.

The idea of Creative Commons is amazing in my opinion. I think sharing is caring, so I am all for anything that legally allows individuals to share online, for free. I think it’s beneficial to all parties because the one using someone else’s art has more availability and choice of artwork to use while the creator of the work gets their name spread. The one who created the work usually doesn’t mind, anyway, if others use their work, but use of creative commons licensing allows internet sharing to become legal for everyone involved.

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Creative Commons

Article in Hypergene Media Blog

Article in The Huffington Post

Article from The New York Times


Creative Commons

Scott Fisk

Monday, January 25, 2010

Long Tail Analysis

I enjoyed the piece by Chris Anderson although it seems a bit lengthy. He discusses this world we live in with so much technology, like the internet. It is questioned whether it is beneficial or havoc for the not only the consumer but the producer as well. The Long Tail is what he decided to call the article. I am not sure if I fully comprehend what he means when he says a “long tail” but, to me, my interpretation seems to work well. The contrast to a long tail is a short one. A short tail is just that, short, but it also is limited in what it has to offer. So the key to being successful in Anderson’s eyes is that producers need to have a long tail look at their advertising and marketing. Through the internet, much more is to be offered to a far more grand audience. Many think offering hits and hits only is the best to have more profitable sales. Although that may work in physical stores since shelf space is so limited, it only accounts for a small percentage of sales. The internet is a place to fulfill the needs of those who are interested in music, television, books, etc. that may not necessarily be hits. Through the internet, what is thought of to be unpopular and/ or “long lost” becomes found. This is because the internet produces a long tailed method of providing entertainment.
The ability of independent production and the ability to reach niche audiences change the way these media outlets operate because they allow consumers to feed their personal, individual needs that make them the way they are. Today, producers create culture that they want to be popular, so they suffocate consumers with images, sounds and various other materials to influence what consumers want. In actuality, as a consumer, I like variety. I don’t like the feeling of producers deciding what I listen to and watch on television; it seems like they are taking away my freedom of choice. For this reason, I expand my resources in other outlets, such as the internet. It funny we have this assignment because recently I have been noticing that I become so frustrated when listening to the radio. It seems like all the radio stations play all the same songs, and at the same time in many cases. I find myself popping on my iPod and connecting it to my stereo because it is agitating. I also notice that my favorite songs are the ones from CDs that had no radio play time. Various media outlets give consumers back the freedom to choose entertainment one their own and not be geared toward a particular “hit.”
Infinite shelf space can in a way be both helpful and hurtful. It is helpful in the aspect that it is much cheaper and at most times free to have information stored online. Before, we were just allowed to upload music from sites but now there are websites that allow music to be simply heard. That need to have space to store it on the computer is no longer needed. I can’t help but believe that the internet has to take away consumers in our physical world by allowing the same thing, virtually. Let’s take music for an example. If everyone is solely downloading music files online, it would become no need to have music physically in stores. This reduces sales, which reduce profit for the store. The stores may result in closing down or not needing to have so many employees. A series of bad things can occur.

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