June 14th, 2011

Podcasting has become increasingly popular over the past few years as a medium in which people can produce a medium similar to a radio talk show effortlessly and easily share with others on the internet. Subscriptions to these podcasts are easy to set up, and notify the subscriber of new “shows” that have been released. These podcasts have expanded to include video, in which a user can record himself live while chatting with the audience and it is an incredible interactive ability for producers of any type of entertainment.

Podcasting seems to be the digital age’s television. With the internet becoming more and more accessible, and podcasts becoming easier to download and listen to whenever you are on the go, at your house, or at work, podcasting could take over as the most popular medium for entertainment due to the interaction with the fans, and accessibility to the product. Not only this, but shows that have been missed do not need to be recorded; you can simply go to the podcasts site and download the episode you missed. This is an incredible way for amateur producers to get started, and could be the way of the future of entertainment.

This American Life is an incredibly popular podcast series and shows the amount of entertainment and viewership a podcast can provide. These types of shows I believe will be the most popular medium in years to come.

Photosharing on the Web

June 12th, 2011

No longer do people have to drop film off at their local store and wait an hour while it is developed. The internet and its services have come to provide many options for sharing photos online, digitally, between anyone in the world. You can now upload your pictures on the web, e-mail them to friends, post them on your Facebook, edit them in an image editing program, or simply set a picture as the background of your desktop. The ability to manipulate and share photos on the web has greatly increased the interconnection between family members and friends.

Photo sharing has become increasingly popular as “web 2.0” has connected different types of websites, creating the ability for pictures to be shared easily from one site to another. The use of image sharing has also made users more aware of copyright laws and how to legally share others photos.

Many sites including Flickr implement copyright status’ of the photos directly on the page they are loaded on. There are a number of free image sharing sites which you can upload photos in less than thirty seconds, and have the ability to share them with friends and family immediately. Facebook allows users to upload pictures on the website, or directly from mobile phones, increasing the ability for users to share anything and everything they would like.

Information Found on the Web

June 12th, 2011

While the internet is an incredible tool for researching and learning about new things,  unfortunately not everything on the internet is true or factual. The sources you use for your information must be acceptable, much like a scholarly journal is acceptable but the latest People magazine is not. There are hundreds of thousands of websites on the internet, and finding out which are good sources and which are not is a key aspect of being able to use the internet well during research.

There are great resources such as the Internet Public Library which contains a vast amount of acceptable sources and information. Sites like these can be the main backbone for internet research, while using google may not provide the accuracy and truth that you wish to find.

Overall the internet is an incredible wealth of information, as long as you know the limits of what you are searching for. Finding information can sometimes be difficult, but there is so much out there on the web that finding a true source has become incredibly easy. Maybe one day there will be a scholarly version of Google and we will never have to worry about finding a worthwhile source again!

The Internet’s Purpose

May 25th, 2011

I believe the internet’s main purpose is to be used as a tool to access knowledge. There is so much out there on the web that is easily accessible, you just have to know where to look. My favorite research tool of all time, Google, allows a broad search on any topic and will result in finding at least something that is useful. But without google, what is there to use? Depending on the material you are looking for, there are a variety of options. Perhaps there is a database you have access to through your school library, or there is a wikipedia page dedicated to the topic at hand.

With this power to research, we must know how to properly cite and use the information we receive. Just because it is on the internet does not mean it is true. Finding valid sources and trustworthy providers of information is key in finding exactly what you want. When I was in grade school, the best tool we used when doing research papers was called ProQuest. This was a database with every major newspaper, magazine, and journal that had been published since some odd 150 years ago. Reading old newspaper and magazine articles was not only fun, but extremely informative and we were able to search for exactly what we were doing our papers on at the time using their extensive search features. I am not sure if this is a free service, or if it requires a subscription, but it is one of the most powerful research methods I have ever used.

The internet is a great place to find information, however you have to know where to look. Google will only get you so far, then you will have to go further and look harder to find exactly what you want. Knowing where to look and what to search makes the internet an incredible academic tool.

The Wiki Revolution

May 24th, 2011

Wiki’s, namely Wikipedia, have grown in popularity over the last decade. There are wiki pages for just about anything you could ever think of, making Wikipedia almost an online encyclopedia of everything. Wiki sites allow users to fill in the gaps of knowledge on an individual basis, and allow for references and citing to further exemplify the legitimacy of the information being shared.

As I found out in class yesterday, making and editing a wiki page is fairly easy. Once the basic tools are found and understood, it is as simple as clicking a button and typing what you want. This brings up the problem that since Wiki’s can be edited by anyone, the information sometimes can be misleading or flat out wrong. With the aid of references and an administration team, users and admins alike can help monitor what information stays available because of validity, and what gets removed due to false information.

Citing Wikipedia is usually not allowed when writing an academic paper, however using the sources from the wikipedia page you are using is completely legitimate and a great way to get started on a topic. Wikipedia even has an entire set of guidelines on how to cite itself!

“Being Social” On the Web

May 23rd, 2011

Social networking has taken the web by storm over the past decade. Mainstreamed by Myspace, I quickly joined the bandwagon of friends who were using this site to communicate and interact in a way instant messaging and calling could not. With the launch of Facebook, an entire generation has been taken by storm by this service provided to connect friends and family with an assortment of tools enabling the users to do more than just leave comments and post pictures. Social networking has become a staple in our society, from advertisements and massive corporations’ support, however it seems as if it is coming to a plateau.

As privacy becomes more of an issue, users have began to become wary of using the extensive list of features Facebook and other sites have to offer. User’s information is being freely distributed on the web, unless certain privacy settings are enabled. This has caused many concerns in the continued use of Facebook and other social networking sites, because personal information which is chosen to be viewed by only friends is not quite what it seems. These issues, along with the plateau these sites have reached, seem to be the beginning of the end of the mass popularity of social networking. I don’t think it will disappear, however I do believe a downward trend in the frequent use of these sites.


The World of Microblogging

May 19th, 2011

First off, I have never used twitter to any extent past reading one or two posts from someone. I have never tweeted consistently, and just made my account last night to check things out. I didn’t really know what I wanted to search for, but right when I log in I was bombarded with every different type of entertainer, figurehead, politicians and businessmen’s twitter pages and it made it quite enjoyable to go around reading the different things people were doing. I wouldn’t do something like this on a regular basis, but I definitely see the appeal of Twitter to the masses.

I wanted to see what was going on in the UK last night, but instead got directed to the University of Kentucky’s Basketball coach, John Calipari. I found out he was in Haiti for relief help yesterday, so I decided to search for Haiti and see what came up. What was found was a TON of people looking to donate and give relief for the earthquake devastation that occurred in Haiti. The people on Twitter are so connected and on top of current issues, because the news spreads like a wild fire through the 150 characters or whatever you can type over and over again. It’s a very cool website I may have to spend more time with in the future!

3 Things I Didn’t Know About Blogging

May 18th, 2011

1. I did not know there was a term for mobile blogging, which is “moblog”. Also, a video and text blog is called a “sousveillance”.. Who made up that term? Seems to me these are just terms people are hoping they can coin a phrase for and have no real point in existing.

2. I did not know there was a “Blog Day” or many other of the sites associated with blogs, but are not necessarily blogs themselves. Examples such as the blog search engines, blog communities, and others which show just how popular blogging has become.

3. I did not know there was a proposed “Blogger’s Code of Conduct” or any sort of self-moderation from the community who blogs. This is interesting because it almost makes “bloggers” out to be a body of people within the internet, not a geographical area, which is imposing laws on itself. The internet has come a long way..

Hello world!

May 17th, 2011

Welcome to UMW Blogs. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging! If you need some help getting started with UMW Blogs please refer to the support documentation here.

The Quiz

May 17th, 2011

Just finished the quiz and a lot of these questions were not common knowledge like I expected. I ended up realizing how little I know about the internet’s history even though I am very proficient with technology today. Definitely a lot of interesting things about the development of the internet over the past half century!