Hulu vs. YouTube

To compare Hulu and YouTube, I decided to go with an SNL clip about Kim Kardashian’s divorce.  I had viewed this video on YouTube about a week ago, so when I found it on Hulu, I thought it would be a great idea to compare the two.  The first thing I noticed was the clearness and quality of the videos.  The video on YouTube, when I watched it the very first time about a week ago, I didn’t think anything of the quality.  It was the quality I expected from YouTube.  However, after I watched the video on Hulu, I realized just how much better the quality on this site was.  The colors were not as bright or distinct on the YouTube video, the smoothness between scenes was less clear, and the sound clarity was not as good as it could have been.

I also noticed that at the beginning of the clip, a brief ad was presented saying that a particular company was sponsoring the viewing of this video.  Also, at the end of the clip, the SNL weekly airing date and time was displayed, giving credit to the show for putting on the skit.  The clip I watched on YouTube did not do this.  To me, this shows that Hulu is more professional and is more “lawful” in the sense that I don’t suspect Hulu of committing any copyright crimes since the shows are sponsored and give credit to their original source.

Overall, I found Hulu to be more appeasing and easier to use.  I typed in “Kim Kardashian SNL” and immediately found the video I was looking for.  YouTube, although not in this circumstance, has so many videos that sometimes I find it hard to find exactly what I’m looking for, and when I do, it’s not always the right version or of good quality.  I’ve definitely come to like Hulu more and more as time goes on.  However, YouTube, because it is less professional and anyone can put whatever videos up they want, has a better variety. There are certainly pros and cons to both sites.

Copyright Laws?

To be completely honest, I have never paid a whole lot of attention to copyright laws.  Although it’s not necessarily right to disregard them, I, and I’m sure many other people, do anyways.  Of course, when it comes to writing a paper or creating a presentation that I need to use online sources for, I cite the appropriate information so that the author receives credit for his or her ideas.  However, when it comes to illegally downloading music, I don’t think twice about it.  It’s a cheap way to be able to listen to the songs I’m going to be sick of in two weeks on my iPod while I’m walking to class or studying.  Again, it’s not right (actually, it’s illegal) but I haven’t really put much thought into my actions.

Despite the fact that I illegally download music, I’ve always considered downloading movies illegally to be worse.  In my mind, the cost of a song is $1.29 on iTunes, whereas a movie is closer to $15.  It’s pretty hypocritical to think that stealing one product from the internet is acceptable, but stealing another product, which is somewhat similar, is completely unacceptable.  I think part of this mentality comes from seeing the copyright laws advertised on every movie I watched growing up.  It was always visible and apparently made an impact on me in regards to the seriousness of violating copyright laws.

All in all, I do not pay much attention to copyright laws, except when it comes to movies.  Copyright laws are certainly important and should be given the appropriate attention.  After learning more about copyright laws and regulations, I have become more aware of the issues and the importance of these laws.  I will certainly think more about violating copyright laws in the future.

The Time I Google Searched Myself and Found…

All of my social media profiles. When I Google searched myself, I was not expecting to find a whole lot of information. My name is apparently somewhat popular – basically every variation of my name was taken on Twitter and Gmail – so I thought that Googling “Jessica Bender” would show search results for other people with my same or similar name. However, to my surprise, all of my social media profiles were in the first ten results (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter).

Also, my high school senior picture was displayed in the middle of the search results page under an image search link. I found that most intriguing, yet worrisome. At first, I thought it was the picture that I uploaded to Facebook my senior year of high school. However, when I clicked on the picture of me, I realized that it went to the website of the company I work for in which that picture is included on the staff page. That eased my anxiety since, at first, I thought that this picture appeared in the image results because I had posted it to social networking sites and worried that other pictures I have posted would appear in the same image search.

To stray from what I found specifically about myself, the first link that appeared was a blog by a woman with the same name as me. I clicked on it and it seemed like an alright blog until I saw some “interesting” pictures on it. Needless to say, it won’t be a blog I follow. Other results that appeared were a Flickr account, a blog, the White Pages directory for “Jessica Bender,” among other things.

Needless to say, I was surprised at how much information about myself I could find just by Googling my name. It’s incredible that the internet has given us this ability to search quite literally anything imaginable and be able to give us the resources we need. This leads directly in to the concerns of privacy on the internet that we have talked about, and it will be interesting to see how privacy (or the lack thereof) on the internet changes over the next several years.

Practicum Post #1: Presentation Tomorrow on Microblogging

Hi Class,

Tomorrow I’ll be presenting on my practicum project.  I was assigned to microblogging and decided to focus my efforts on Twitter.  I’ll begin by discussing how Twitter works, for those of you who do not frequent the site, and touch on some of the common practices people use.  I’ll also be focusing on how popularity is gained, how different types of users (media sources, celebrities, etc.) use Twitter, and the way people present their identities on the site.  To finish, I’ll discuss the similarities and differences between blogging and microblogging, as well as how Twitter is exemplary of Web 2.0.  My group and I will also compare our three projects and explain how they are related and differ.

I’ve been making a lot of progress on my project, and I have a lot of great information to share with all of you.  While many of you already have Twitter accounts, I hope I can provide you with some helpful information from my personal experiences.

My question for all of you is: Twitter only allows users to “Tweet” up to 140 characters at a time.  Do you think this is representative of our fast-paced society, and do you think it is an effective and appropriate way to get information out to “Followers”?

Have a good night,


Myspace: Technopanic?

I remember when Myspace was the new, trendy site all my friends were using.  I must have been about 15 years old, then, and it was the cool thing to do to be on Myspace, update your “Top Friends,” and choose a new background for your page.  Before Facebook became popular, this was this most exciting and convenient way to stay in touch with your friends, despite the fact that you saw them everyday at school.

When Facebook came around and my friends and I began creating our own accounts, I was hesitant to switch over because I had become so comfortable with Myspace.  Now, looking back, Myspace definitely does not seem as user-friendly or safe as Facebook.  It is less advanced, looks “cheap” in comparison to other social media sites, and has definitely lost the popularity it once had.

As I looked (or “creeped”) on random Myspace profiles, I couldn’t help but notice that I felt a little uneasy about them.  It could just be that I’m bias and prefer Facebook to Myspace, but Myspace did not seem as friendly or approachable as I remembered it being.  One thing that really stuck out to me was the “Details” section.  I remember updating that section when I used Myspace, but I had always been cautious about what information I provided.  Several of the profiles I looked at had very personal information in that section including, their income, height, ethnicity, education, and body type.  In comparison to Facebook, there are more opportunities to describe yourself in great detail.  Personally, I felt uncomfortable being exposed to so much information about a person I did not know.  I think this example points towards the idea of “technopanic.”  The fact that such personal information about strangers is so readily available, makes Myspace seem risky.  It’s not that people aren’t able to display personal information elsewhere, but the fact that all the information is detailed and in one location that makes it appear as a website to be concerned about.

Other things I took note of were that profiles seemed almost tacky in that everyone had a different layout and background.  Also, in contrast to Facebook, Myspace look like more of a way to display oneself rather than to interact with friends and family.  You can’t tag someone in a status update and there is no constant “News Feed” to keep you updated on what your friends and family are doing.

Social networking sites, Myspace in particular, have faced criticism from parents due to the fact that their children are able to display anything and everything in one location.  They can upload pictures of themselves, give status updates on what they are doing, post the city they live in, how old they are, and a detailed description of their body image and ethnicity.  It is an easy way for the wrong people to get a hold of a lot of information, which is most certainly a parent’s reason for concern.  If personal information is readily available, it would not take long before a stranger knows where this person lives, when (s)he likes, etc.  It is this “technopanic” idea that is illustrated by Myspace.  While there are most certainly ways to make personal information hidden from the general public, it is the idea that people, children and young adults especially, are more exposed to danger than was possible before social networking sites existed.

While there are most certainly worse examples of a technopanic, I found Myspace to be a bit of one.  The amount of readily available information about a complete stranger does not make me feel safe.  I was able to access too much information on random individuals, information that can give me an exact picture on what they look like, where they live, and what they are interested in.  It is for this reason that I find Myspace to be a technopanic.


History of the Internet

After watching this video, I had to stop and think about all the information that was put into a short timeframe.  The information included was very useful and used some of the terminology we have discussed in lecture.  It’s hard to believe that the Internet is still such a new invention.  I have had Internet access since I was in elementary school and have used it for educational and entertainment purposes ever since.  The Internet quite literally encompasses every part of our lives and it’s rare for a day to go by without needing the Internet for some reason or other.  We use it to communicate, educate, and entertain ourselves, but it is certainly something that the American culture seems to take for granted.

Even in the past decade or so the Internet has undergone drastic changes.  We’ve seen the emergence and rapid popularity of social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, which have made it easier to stay in touch with friends and family.  The way we use the Internet with sites such as these has changed the way our culture functions.  We are becoming more distant from one another but more connected all at the same time.  It’s almost an oxymoron.

While I recognized a good amount of the terminology used in the video, I was confused on the function of the IMP and Mainframe.  Although I watched that section of the video several times, I still do not feel comfortable with that information.  Overall, I thought this video did a satisfactory job of explaining the history and uses of the Internet.


Hi!  My name is Jessica and I’m a senior majoring in Communication Arts – Communication Science and Rhetorical Studies and receiving a Certificate in Criminal Justice.  I grew up in Blaine, MN, which is a suburb just north of Minneapolis, and come from a family of die-hard Gopher, Viking, and Twins fans.  While I am most certainly a Twins fan,I’ve never been a Gopher or Vikings fan; I am proud to say I cheer only for the Badgers and Packers!  Besides sports, I enjoy relaxing on the Terrace, being with my friends and family, teaching at high school summer dance camps, and soaking in as much sun as I can before the weather gets too cold.  I also have a large bucket list of things to do before I leave Madison.

I am really excited to take this class, because along with everyone else, I use the Internet for just about everything.  I think it will be really interesting to find out how it impacts society and has caused drastic changes in the way our world functions on a day-to-day basis.