D.I.Y… getting over being shy.

I was assigned the microblogging practicum assignment, and for this I decided to create a tumblr page. I didn’t want to make my first practicum blog post before I really got my idea together and had made my first tumblr post. After spending a week just poking around people’s tumblr pages trying to explore what it is all about, I decided I was ready to create my own. Although the purpose of tumblr, and microblogging in general, is to create a blog-like page that allows you to blog via the use of pictures with short captions or “short, timely messages,” I found that the most popular tumblr pages with the most followers belonged to users who chose a specific theme for their page/photo blog. Since I spent the summer in New York with my friend Adelaide doing various arts and crafts projects (lame, we know), I decided to make a tumblr page that posts pictures of D.I.Y (Do It Yourself) projects I’ve done this year in my free time at school. Any of my friends who know me understand my obsession with stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby, and my need to stock up on crafty finds. Although a somewhat juvenile passion, I didn’t want to limit my D.I.Y posts to just things I’ve made from stores. Since food is another passion that happens to consume my life, I also wanted to include the things I’ve baked. My tumblr blog is titled D.I.Y apple Chai.

The problem I’ve already encountered with microblogging after setting up my account is the fact that I’ve never blogged before, and contrary to popular belief, I’m pretty shy when it comes to social media. I rarely ever take or upload pictures on Facebook and don’t have a twitter account because I’m too shy to write a daily tweet or facebook status update… so putting myself out there on a tumblr page for people to see, especially when the page shows off my quirky passion for arts and crafts, is a little uncomfortable. That might be my biggest challenge so far. Since I don’t have too much added to my tumblr page yet, I will be ready to add a link of my page and what I’ve done on tumblr so far with my next practicum blog post.


MySpace Who?!

At first, after reading my classmates responses I was actually very curious to see what all the fuss was about regarding chatroulette. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately considering everybody seemed to be majorly spooked by the site) my computer won’t allow me on the site. Instead, I opted to check out 15 random MySpace profiles. Since I never really got sucked into the whole MySpace craze back in the days before Facebook revolutionized social networking and online media, I have to look at these profiles from a non-user distance, which somewhat limits what I can and can’t see. However, after glancing at my first few profiles, I’ve decided I’ve seen enough.

Like Facebook, each Myspace profile consists of a profile picture, personal photos tab categorized by albums, a friends tab, comments tab, and tabs for whatever else the user wants to make accessible via their MySpace page. Unlike the ever popular Facebook, the website’s layout is far less advanced in its aesthetic and technological nature. While there seems to be a place for all of the social networkers needs, it is obvious that the site has lost popularity in comparison to other sites.

Besides these few first observations, I poked around MySpace to see how it fits into the world of “technopanics.” For one, Facebook may be used by people of all ages today, but it’s important to remember that it started as a place for high school and college students to connect with one another via schools. I remember when Facebook has links to friend’s networks right at the bottom of the page. Although it has far out grown that phase of its life, something about the fact that Facebook started as a place for only students, made it feel much safer and exclusive. Today, Facebook could probably be grouped into the realm of technopanics with the rest of these creepy sites. I know I’ve gotten a message before on Facebook from a 60 year old man in India asking if I would like to join him on video chat before. Just because I have the option of ignoring him and denying his friend request doesn’t mean he is unable to find, and contact me. That’s what makes MySpace so scary as well. For some reason, almost every MySpace page I encountered included a picture that somebody took of themselves either in a mirror or held up from a distance whereas Facebook Profile Pages tend to be perfectly cropped pictures out of high quality photo albums using a “profile crop” option. As Marwick mentions in his article, “These claims about MySpace fall into two broad categories: first, that the site makes it easy for online predators to contact minors, and second, that social networking sites generally lower cultural expectations around privacy, encouraging children to expose more of their lives online.” To address some of those categories, I decided to do some profile searching. What separates MySpace from Facebook is FB’s “report” button that allows a viewer to report a picture they find inappropriate to a technical team at Facebook. They then take a look at the picture themselves and decided whether it should be removed or not. This is a feature MySpace doesn’t seem to have and due to this it makes it easier for users to post material that may be considered inappropriate and for “online predators” to find children who do so. However, with all the points Marwick explains make MySpace seem like a place for panic, after examining these profiles, I don’t see much of a difference from Facebook and as Marwick also explained, MySpace has made major strides to ensure the safety of its users.

All in all, yes this website is a “public forum” and yes it allows a lot of freedom to teenagers– maybe more than parents want to allow. But the truth is, if teens aren’t posting what they want, when they want on MySpace, Facebook or other social networking sites, they will undoubtedly find somewhere else to do so.


Participation 2

Sorry for the late response… I was late in joining the class after being accepted off the wait list last week. I just finished catching up on the readings!

After watching the YouTube video, History of the Internet, I was left with a lot of technical questions. While I thought it was very interesting how much the internet has grown over the years– and how different it used to be– this video was a little hard for me to understand because of all the references to technology. I couldn’t help but get lost in the abbreviations from the ARPANET  to the IMP subnet to the NCP… it was really difficult to keep the chronological order of these changes straight. Because I was trying to remember which one came first, it was also hard to see the bigger picture. The bigger picture was that the internet hoped to move form sharing and passing knowledge through people to sharing and passing knowledge through computes. I felt that the illustrations were very helpful but they moved far to fast to really comprehend. Maybe because my mind does not work technologically in this way but I had to stop and pause the video numerous times to try and wrap my head around what they were explaining to me. Still, it was very interesting to see how much the internet could grow over the course of ten or so years.


Introduction!

Hi everyone!

Sorry for the late introduction… I was added to this class last week off the wait list and am so glad I’m now able to take Com 346! I’ve only heard good things.

My name is Ariel Barron and I’m from downtown Chicago, Illinois. I’m a senior majoring in Communication Arts and I hope to pursue a future career in public relations. I’m also studying to receive my real estate license as a possible career option as well.

I’ve spent the last two summers in Manhattan, New York interning in PR. My first internship was for designer Jennifer Behr and my second for Industry Publicity, a small fashion PR firm in Soho. A lot of what I did for them focused around updating their social media networks, so I’m excited to learn more about the history of the internet and how these networks came to be. I also just spent last semester away from my beloved Madison in Rome with a few of my closest friends.

I watch way too much TV, love to go on long runs, and spend an excessive amount of time online shopping without actually buying anything. One of my favorite foods is fro-yo, as any of my friends could tell you and when I’m not hanging with my 6 or 7 best friends at school, I love to be home with my mom, dad, brother, and dog- Links.