CAVE @ UW-Madison

Hey guys, this is not for an assignment, but CAVE, the virtual reality-type world Danny mentioned in lecture is at WID.  I think it is open to the public this week.   There’s the link.

An Evening of Computer Use

I wasn’t sure what all actually constituted as a computer, but my boyfriend said it could actually be many electrical things, so here is my use in one evening.

Cell phone– I texted people throughout the evening.  Sometimes they were two hours away, sometimes they were in the same room as me.  I also talked to a few people on the phone.

Television– I watched the Big 10 Championship (Go Badgers!) and a little bit of the Oxygen channel.

Laptop– I quickly checked my Facebook and e-mail, and then spent a good deal of time reading for a class before the game.

Microwave– I heated up leftovers.  I was surprised by this one, but I guess this is really computerized.  It’s funny, I just always thought of computers as standard screens with keyboards and a modem.

It was really interesting to find out that many electrical things have computers in them.  It makes you think about how vital the computer has been to our every day lives without our awareness of it.  After reflecting on this blog post, I actually think I use laptops/desktop computers less as entertainment and more for school and work.  I don’t know if this is because I’m not as obsessive with Facebook as I used to be, or if schoolwork has gone away from pen and paper and transferred over to the digital realm.  I think it’s both.


Chat rooms– a modern LambdaMOO

After using LambdaMOO for quite some time, I have found that’s its equivalent seems to be today’s chat room.  People sign on to LambdaMOO, see who is online (by typing @who), and go into actual created rooms or areas (like the Marine Rabbit Colony or the living room) to chat with people.

Another similarity between LambdaMOO and modern day chat rooms.  Both have a base of users that come fairly often to the chat room, known as regulars.  While there are regular users, some people jump on to chat rooms infrequently, just to check it out.  I think I fall into this category of people.  But there are many users who frequent LambdaMOO and have built a community, sharing stories, daily information, and even recipes.

There are differences, however.  Today’s chat rooms can sometimes have categories, like fan group chat rooms, or chat rooms for certain ages, as we have seen in previous presentations.  Chat rooms also don’t require you to type in code.  When I want to express an emotion I can’t click on a smile face, I have to type in “:smiles”, which will say tell others “jennynw smiles.”

While LambdaMOO has its differences from today’s chat rooms, they each have similar qualities that offer users to talk to, connect with, and share with one another.


Blog 6: Compare and contrast one YouTube video and one Hulu video

I watched an episode of “American Horror Story” on Hulu and a video on YouTube (Look At This Car!! ).  When comparing the two, I found that they both had advertisements, however the YouTube video’s advertisement was a banner ad at the bottom of the video, whereas the Hulu ads were more like short commercial breaks.  This makes me think of Hulu as a sort of T.V. provider, which in some sense it is.  The quality of video on Hulu is much sharper than YouTube, which also lends an air of it being more professional and official content.  The video “Look At This Car!!” is very obviously amateur, as there is someone taping another guy interact in a funny conversation.  I like this about YouTube, however, because there are a lot of things that happen in life that are random and funny, and it’s cool when you can capture that and share that experience.  There was one other thing I found interesting when I compared the two.  On the Hulu site, when you are searching for certain T.V. shows, the search results look at the letters you type in and match those letters with the most popular show.  So when I type in the letters “Am” I get results of “American Horror Story,”  “Pan Am,” and “American Dad!”  When I type into YouTube’s search the word “look” I see the video I was searching for in the results, but see several versions of the song “Look at me now” by Chris Brown (which, on a side note, has an awesome rap by Busta Rhymes) that come before it.  This is an exception, because most times when you type in a word, you don’t even see the amateur video you were looking for in the auto search.  Because Hulu is automatically linked with professionally made shows, the ones you are looking for show up in your search.  But YouTube has so much amateur as well as some professional content, that it seems as though the professional content (like songs) show up, and the amateur content has to be sought out.



Being aware of copyright doesn’t always change behavior

Copyright didn’t bother me as much when I was younger.  I used to copy and paste any image I wanted from the internet, download music from Limewire, and share music with others.  I felt invincible, like no one could stop me from doing this things…except maybe my mom when I starting downloading viruses on the computer.

Now that I’m older, I think I’m more conscientious of the way I use and share media online.  When I got senior pictures done 4 years ago, I posted them online, but tagged them to the photography studio that took them.  When I watch videos online, I don’t personally download anything from illegal sites, using Hulu, or a T.V. network’s site to access the content.  I post videos on YouTube and make sure they don’t have songs or other information that could be considered as stolen.

However, I have experienced copyright violation in the past year, even the past week.  There have been a few times when I have copies pictures from Google image search to put as my profile picture on Facebook (ex: Final Harry Potter movie poster before the movie was released in theaters!!)  When I wanted to watch a show with my boyfriend this past week, he downloaded it illegally to watch it.  A different friend posted a video on YouTube that got taken down because of infringement.  Yet another friend downloaded a TERABYTE of movies onto his computer last month because all his movies got lost.  Charter contacted him and basically said stop, or there will be further action taken.  So, while the consequences of copyright seem more real to me and others, there are times that we still do tip-toe the line of legality and figure out how much we can get away with, sometimes crossing the line a bit too much.

Updating Wiki on LambdaMOO

The Wikipedia entry for LambdaMOO had a lot of information about the site outside of actually using the site, so I found it sort of hard at first to incorporate any information into the set categories they had.  I was going to try and create a new category called “Commands” and list the different types of commands used on the MOO, but then Wiki editing uses some code that I didn’t want to mess up.

I changed/added to things to the entry, however.  The first change I made is highlighted below.  The original sentence said after jumping off the world that it would disable your account for “an amount of time.”  Having actually almost jumped off the world, I knew this amount of time was three months, so I made the changes.

Another addition I made is also below.  The Wiki entry talked about the original geography of the MOO, but not any current geography, so I added in a sentence with this information and an “@ command” that allowed me to show some knowledge of how to use commands in the MOO, too.

I think it was actually sort of cool to be able to change the Wiki page.  It’s something that so many people look at, and if even one of my changes stays I think that would be really cool.

Googling Myself

When I searched for “Jenny Weeden” on Google, the first thing that came up was my Facebook page…big surprise.  The next couple of results were other different social networking sites that I had never heard of before with a user named Jenny Weeden.  A couple other results were yellowpages type sites that found people with my name in Mississippi and the US.  There was a link to a site with a press release kind of thing that was talking about a girl from the military with my name.  The next link was to a blog site (The Hospital Word Press) that has a short story I’ve written on it, and after that, a press release from when I was a senior in high school about a scholarship I received.  The final two links were college related- one from a social network called campus buddy that I forgot I even had an account on, and another social network type site that I know for a fact I haven’t signed up for, and has information about me that I wasn’t even aware I had shared.

I was really surprised I actually showed up on the Google search, but even more surprised that the final site on the first page of search results has information about my college extra-curricular and other things that I just generally don’t talk about that much.  It really creeps me out that this profile exists and I will definitely be doing some research to make sure that my identity is not being compromised.

From a new member to a friend

At the start of my Practicum project I was very frustrated and skeptical about how I was ever going to figure out the command line interface of LambdaMOO and how I was going to navigate through it.  Now, I have found that I am starting to actually belong in this world– I think I’ve made a friend.  This friend’s name is “Donar” and he (I am pretty sure it’s a he) has gone out of his way to talk to me for several log-ins now.  At first I had to seek people out and start conversations with them, disclosing a lot about myself while not always getting a lot in return.  I think one of the first conversations I had with Donar consisted of me telling him that I believed in ghosts and that I wasn’t quite sure about aliens.  He was not very talkative, but when I found a subject that really got him excited (engineering…) he wouldn’t stop talking.  Now he always talks to me when I’m online and asks me about ghosts and all of that jazz.  Regardless of how good or bad I have done in trying to understand the world of LambdaMOO, I think I have been successful- I even made a new friend.


Has anyone else made friends/connections/network ties?  Does your project allow you to?  If you have made friends, how do you feel a virtual friend is different from real life?

Spaces Discussed in Online Communities

This week in section we talked about physical spaces and if they really matter anymore.  In LambdaMOO you can be in a described physical space virtually, combining the real and cyber world together (See image below).  You also use directional signals to move from one space to another.  What is interesting beyond this is that people also talk among each other and ask where they are from.  I just told someone I am from Wisconsin and they told me they are from Nebraska.  Another guy told me he was sitting in his living room watching T.V. at the same time as being on LambdaMOO.  This is just another thing that makes me believe that despite some people’s arguments, physical spaces are not obsolete- they really matter.  Whether they are being used as a created location in a virtual world or being talked about, I don’t think we will be checking out of our real lives any time soon.

Practicum Presentation Post- Representation

In the text-based world of LambdaMOO, representation is based on how you want to write yourself.  By typing @describe me as (then the description), you can create yourself to be a short British male with fish lips or an green alien who likes to sals- it seems that anything is up for grabs.  I met someone who I believed to be a woman in real life, but who was nicknamed “uncle pupa.”  In another encounter with some middle aged Americans (in real life) who were talking about how old they were compared to me.  They read my description and saw that I was in my early twenties, commenting “no one lies on here.”

In the online communities presentation, Jessica and I will talk a little about representation, among other things.  I think I represent myself fairly well, but at times I have twisted the truth to sound more interesting.

How do you represent yourself in your online project?  Do you think you have an accurate portrayal of self?  Do you think you portray one of many selves that you have?