Friday, May 4, 2007

12: Blogging vs. Journalism

I blog. I do. I mean aside from here at the last minute I have one blog on my myspace page. It is a video of penguins dancing from the movie Happy Feet. I know. Trust me I know. But it's cute. Really cute. But is it news? Am I spreading the word about the movie happy feet and how great it is? Or am I merely expressing my opinion that cartoon penguins who sing and dance are irresistibly adorable. I'm not a huge believer that bloggers are journalists. Sure the iReport link on enourages people to send in their own news, but even the VA tech camera phone video really doesnt make that guy a journalist. He could really be passed off as a stupid kid who wouldnt get out of the way when a few feet away people are clearly dying, and he might have been next. But it was interesting and the media grabbed it up, but clearly the young man who took this shot had a few moments of fame and that was it. Anyway, a blogger usually only expresses opinion. Journalists write about the latest news because they have to. If your editor explains to you that the news story needs to be covered, you write it. A blogger could certainly write a "news" story on the upcoming campaigns, but one could argue they are writing these stories not because they have to, but because they have an opinion about it. That is not a journalist.

13:Politics & the Internet

When you log onto MySpace nowadays, you have a few things thrown at you. First, NEW MUSIC! or, CHeck out THIS Video! But lately in the "Cool New People" section, there's been a slight change. Politicians, namely Presidential candidates, are posting myspace pages left and right. Figuring this is a new, young and hip way to connect with the American People (considering the amount of people on MySpace is greater than the amount of people who vote...who knew), candidiates such as Obama, Clinton (uuggghh), and Guiliani all noew have thier own space on myspace. But lets begin woth Edwards. On his teal colored page, which I'm almost pretty sure he doesnt read his own comments, he states his heroes are the American Working people, blogs on Karl Rove and VA Tech and he has his wife as his number one in his top 8 (although I'm pretty sure she and John dont leave comments to eachother). As corny as all that may sound, it actually is a working campaign online to gain more attention and ultimately more voters. Politicians are quickly realizing the best way to get the people's attention is to join a group on the internet such as MySpace and post blogs, talk to people and really make the voters feel like they "know" that person and vote for the one they are closest to. In an article in USATODAY it is noted that "Candidates are using popular websites Facebook, MySpace and YouTube for the first time to give their campaigns free publicity, reach young voters and bypass traditional media. Once they're online, though, they risk being mocked and losing control of their messages." Mocked for sure. The article also lists different ways the campaigners have made fools of themselves, to the fact that this is revoltionizing politiccs and the way people see the politicians and vote. Facebook and Youtube are also two ways to get the attention of people, but since facebook is only available to a limited number of people, youtube and myspace are the bigger places to host a video or website. And its not just the US that is taking part in the online phenomenon. In England the buzz is on as well. As for top candidates Clinton and Obama who each have 55211 and 34000 friends respectively, the support for each grown, even if some of their "friends" are skeptical about heir presence on myspace. As on efriend writes to Obama: "You have my vote for President, Senator Obama, regardless of this MySpace nonsense. Keep fighting the good fight!"

Friday, February 16, 2007

At least you are safe in your own bathroom!!!

Privacy. From the time we reach the oh so hormonal age of 12 we crave it.
"Mom, this is MY room!"
"Leave me alone, I need my PRIVACY, Dad! God!"
With a slam of a bedroom door, we felt in our adolescence that we had succeeded in achieving the uttermost solitary confinement, tucked away behind closed curtains, music blaring, alone with emotions. We would log onto our computers and digress to our friends how disdainful life was and how we couldn't wait to grow old and have our OWN house with our OWN things and ALL of it would be OURS and no one else's. We'd show them.
If only we knew.
Privacy, in my terms, is the moment when you close the bathroom door at your house and shut the blinds so you can privately take care of business. And that is all. If we go to school or work, people can see what you're doing, wearing, eating, feeling, saying. Log online and you might as well be naked on campus. Cookies, memberships, sharing files, hackers, all invade our daily privacy. With our lives revolving so much around computers and the Internet, it is hard to maintain any sense of real, safe, private moments.
For instance, on the phenomenon that is My Space, you are allowed to "Privatize" your profile. Viewers who are not your friends reach your page with a message that tells them that in order to see your profile, you must be friends. However, they can still see a picture, your name, a favorite cheesy quote of yours, your last log-in date, your age, and your city of residence. Hello!!! That's more information than I'd share with the hot guy sitting next to me in Economics class!!
Even if you generate passwords for everything on your computer or save certain things in private files, woe be the student who leaves his laptop unattended in Capen. According to the MSNBC article, when the Veterans Administration lost a laptop (LOST A LAPTOP?) with 26.5 million Social Security numbers on it, the agency felt the lash of righteous indignation from the public and lawmakers alike. (Bob Sullivan, Yes, if they can do that, we are prone to do it, too.
On the user friendly Wikepedia, Internet privacy is stated as the ability to control what information one reveals about oneself over the Internet, and to control who can access that information. But what about those pop up ads that encourage me to seek out singles in the Buffalo area? What? How did they know I lived in the Buff zip code? Is someone watching me? Who? WHY. So, in essence, Internet privacy must not exist because I certainly can't control the fact that I live in Buffalo can be seen by millions of dating sites everywhere.

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With all that said, people of the world might as well get used to the idea that we are all under constant scrutiny. From Youtube, to Facebook, to spam e-mail, to MySpace to shopping online, even logging online, each person is like a neon sign, flashing, screaming "Come Look at me! Here's my credit card number!!I go to school here!" Perhaps we should care, but with my network on MySpace reaching close to 158,000,000 people, I'm wondering if in 10 years we'll all be living in glass houses.

So to all the anguished, angst ridden angry teens out there who just want to be left alone: Slam your bedroom doors. Blare the music so mom and dad can't hear what your saying. Privacy for you? haha Right. All mom and dad have to do nowadays is hit the History button.

Sullivan, Bob. (October 17, 2006) Privacy under attack, but does anybody care? MSNBC Interactive.

Wikepedia: Internet Privacy

Sunday, January 28, 2007

COM125 Week 2: Oh, Al Gore.

Excerpt from March 1999 Interveiw with Wolf Blitzer on CNN's "Late Edition":

GORE: "Well, I will be offering -- I'll be offering my vision when my campaign begins. And it will be comprehensive and sweeping. And I hope that it will be compelling enough to draw people toward it. I feel that it will be.
But it will emerge from my dialogue with the American people. I've traveled to every part of this country during the last six years. During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system."

Oh, Al Gore. Apparently he hadn't done his research on the internet which was actually conceived in the late 1960's when he was only 21 and still in college. The first recorded description of the social interactions that could be enabled through networking was a series of memos written by J.C.R. Licklider of MIT in August 1962 discussing his "Galactic Network" concept. He wanted to create a globally interconnected set of computers through which everyone could quickly access data and programs from any site. A few years later, then referred to as ARPANET, or The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, was developed by members of the United States Department of Defense was the world's first operational packet switching network, and the birth of the global Internet as we know it. (
The first link was created between the University of California LA, and Stanford Reaserch Institute on November 21st, 1969. By December, two more schools were added, and by 1981 a new "host" was being added every 20 days. (Where was Al Gore??)

After ARPANET had been around for a few years, it was handed over to the Department of Defense and was broken into a seperate network known as MILNET. In 1983, TCP/IP protocols replaced NCP as the principal protocol of the ARPANET, and the ARPANET became just one more piece in creating the modern Internet. By 1971, the first email was sent using the host, and in 1973 a file transfer was attempted but not completed.

Al Gore unfortunately will have to live with his statement for the rest of his life. And while the rest of us ponder the wonder of his invention, everyday new hosts, networks and information is added to our world wide web. Thank you, Mr. Gore.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

how to write your first blog ever

Assingment: A blog about me. Where to begin? Well, I could tell you my birthdate, which is 4/11/1984, or the fact that I was adopted from Guatemala, I'm an only child and I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on toast, that I enjoy animals which is why I work at a vet, or that I love people which is why I serve at a restaurant, that I'm in love with my boyfriend of 4 years, I hate bad breath, I dislike teachers who think they know everything, I love to take naps, I like getting my nails done, I've kissed worms in my backyard, I talk to myself on occasion, I get teary-eyed over roadkill, I can barely walk in heels, I would love to be a scientologist, I hate people who look at girls like an object, I absolutely adore my cat Coco Chanel, and I really dislike green olives. I'm a Sabres fan, a Buffalo, NY fan, but I would move away from here in a heartbeat if I could. If I could do one thing it would be to go to South Africa and see and study the elephants in the wild. Or perhaps it would be to help children in Central and South America who don't have food or water or an education, because that could have been me. My dream car is the new Volvo SUV. I love the ocean. I hate being too cold or too hot. I enjoy the silence and the sun in the early morning, I miss rowing crew and I am the WORST EVER at writing blogs because I think they are quite useless, and I'd rather do something different with my time, like, read a good book. But I love to try new things and to learn so....I'll give it a whirl :)