Last night, I decided to track my use of every computerized thing I used in an evening. I would have to say every single night brings different uses of technology, but last night I especially used my cell phone and laptop. I used my cell phone to text and call my friends and family, since it was my birthday weekend I was on it a lot. I have the iPhone, so I also used my phone to play games, especially my latest addiction: Words With Friends. Unfortunately, I got pulled into the game by my friends who told me how amazing it was… but it takes up a ton of time. I’m currently beating some people, but losing to others, too. I also used my cell phone to search up the name of a restaurant my friends wanted to go to for dinner. My cell phone was running slow on the wifi, so we decided to use my computer at my house instead. I used Google to search up the address for the restaurant and to get directions. I also went onto Facebook and uploaded pictures from the weekend, uploading them first to an album on iPhoto. I also played music on iTunes while I was getting ready for dinner. Some other nights I use other computerized things like a TV or iPod, but last night was pretty basic. I find it interesting how helpful computerized things are in assisting us in our everyday lives, and to make communicating with others easier than ever.
While I will probably use my Flickr account for many more years to come, I figured I would do a final blog post on it now, since I have exceeded the amount of hours required for this practicum project. Recently, I made an album of pictures that are my favorites, and I have included one in this post that has gotten the most comments from viewers. Surprisingly, the majority of pictures in this album are the pictures that were from my old camera during 2010 and 2011 summer, and not taken from my camera I have now, which is known to be better quality. I have gained many viewers and followers on Flickr, and have made an effort to encourage more of my friends to sign up (I have successfully gotten two people to sign up for the website, and they love it!). Part of the assignment was interacting with members of Flickr and commenting in a media-based social networking way. This has been quite the experience because it is different from anything I have ever been used to. Living in this generation, we are used to Facebook and Twitter and other forms of social networking, but never through the use of pictures and other media devices as the sole purpose of the communication or interaction. We may use them within the major social networking websites, to send a friend a picture, post a picture of nature, show the world your best pictures from vacation, etc. But never directly in the form of only pictures, such as Flickr. I have found this entire project to be quite fascinating, and an experience I am glad I was able to have. It became more than just a class project, because I actually will use this website now and in the future. I would recommend Flickr to any aspiring or professional photographer, or even someone just wanting to keep their photos organized and in a place where they can express who they truly are. It is a cool concept to have people come together from all over the world and share a common passion or hobby.
I chose to compare the song “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls on both YouTube and Hulu. I don’t normally use Hulu for anything except for TV shows, so I was interested to see what would come up when I searched it. On YouTube, the song had a bunch of links, only a few of them were actually legitimate links, which featured the music video. Others were the creations from different individuals, who chose to upload the song with their own pictures as background, or featuring lyrics. I clicked on the original music video, which showed an advertisement before the video actually started. YouTube is known for having advertisements before videos, especially if they are the actual featured music videos. However, this search engine is a lot easier to use for music, unlike Hulu, which is primarily geared toward TV shows and clips. When I searched “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls on Hulu, it came up with Goo Goo Dolls Live sessions that were featured on TV, where they maybe were hosted on TV talk shows and then played at the end. They were mostly from MTV and VH1 shows, where I could watch their band play the song, but not the actual music video. Both of these websites provide the ability to listen to the song, but it shows up in different forms. I was able to come to the conclusion that YouTube is better for listening, while Hulu is better for watching.
My experience with copyrights and other regulations throughout the Internet is not necessarily the best one, because I do not really choose to pay attention to them. First and foremost, I don’t copy things, and I follow the “rules of the World Wide Web” or whatever you want to refer to it as, but I never stop to take a look at what is copyrighted, and what isn’t. I assume just what every other person out there probably assumes: there is content on the web that is not meant to be copied, but is (for example: turning YouTube videos into mp3’s and stealing music) and most everything these days has a copyright. Unfortunately, it has become slightly built into our culture to illegally download content from the Internet, no matter how much it continues to try and be stopped. Also, I never stop to read the copyright agreements on major websites, because they all seem like the same thing to me. We learned in lecture that copyright is “now the most prominent control of information and communication in free societies” but from my experience, it is not really much of a control at all, considering how much of the time it is broken. I feel that copyrights are kind of just expected to be there. Many copyright laws are put into place throughout the Internet, and the numbers keep going up and up. It’s pretty much up to the individual user to determine if its worth it or not to break copyright laws, and most of the time, its not worth the risk.
I have been taking pictures with the intent to post them to Flickr. This past weekend, I had a friend visit and we walked to Picnic Point, taking lots of pictures along the way that I uploaded onto my Flickr page. Another new update is that I didn’t log on for about a week, and then when I logged on I had all of these requests to follow my account from people I knew. It was really cool, because it proved that people were looking at my pictures and wanting to follow my photography. I haven’t received any comments yet, but I’m hoping to soon. I went through the accounts that I am following, and made some comments on pictures I really liked. Part of this assignment is to communicate with people in a media-based social networking way, so I figured I would start my adding my own personal comments. Hopefully people will respond and let me know what they think of my pictures, too. Some of the questions I asked were in regard to style, place, and focus, and other comments were just if I thought a picture was pretty, cool, or professional. I asked where pictures had been taken, what lens was used, and if there was any Macro settings or lighting changes. This was really interesting to me, and I will keep an eye out over the next few weeks to see if people respond to my comments and feedback.
I have not searched myself on Google for quite some time, so I was very interested to see what came up as of recent. It was funny to me, because the links that appeared were from my college experience, and not so much high school and below like it used to be. Way back in the day, there were links to community service events that I did, my Bat Mitzvah announcement in the paper, or groups in which I took part in. Firstly, my Facebook link was at the very top of the page. This was really interesting to me, because I’m sure in today’s day and age Facebook is so important in our lives that it would come up first. I also happen to know from past knowledge that Google puts websites that pay the most at the top, which made me wonder if Facebook paid to be first on the search. After that was a link to a high school group I was elected to, and after that was my Twitter account. This really was eye-opening to me, because it further proves how much social networking is a key factor in everything that we do. Google is making it known to whoever is searching me that I am in constant communication with people in my life. The other things that came up was my involvement around campus, and announcements where my name has been included. Also, class blogs and discussions I contributed to in past years. After that, was websites I had never even heard about before. It had my name on “search your friends” websites, indicating that I have accounts made from websites that gather information. On Images, there were pictures of me from years ago, as well as pictures that were not of me, and had nothing to do with me. Pictures from newspaper articles, staff pages for my job, and more were on this page. This was interesting to me because I didn’t know so much about myself was accessible on the Internet.
I read through the Wikipedia entry for Flickr, and noticed that they were missing a crucial feature of the website in their description. I saw that they failed to mention the fact that Flickr greets you in different languages! Every time you refresh the homepage, it will tell you “hello” in a random culture or language. It made me laugh because Flickr, as much as it is a media-based social networking website, also provides users with a way to learn languages as they go. This learning tool is unique to Flickr, and is something that other websites that feature similar aspects like Flickr does fail to include. I made a Wikipedia account, and clicked “edit” on the Flickr page. I scrolled down, and using the commands provided in the editing tool, I created a new section called “Features” and added a sentence about the language learning tool. I wrote, “Flickr allows users to learn languages as they go. On the home page of every user account, there is a greeting in a random language. Users can learn everything from Croatian to Japanese to Sign Language.” I also checked in the citations/source area at the bottom of the page, and found out that websites like Flickr.com provided information about the homepage, yet people did not mention the aspect about the languages. Necessary or not, I thought my post was original, based off of facts from the website, and contributed in a positive way to the wikipedia page as a whole.