Wikipedia: Easier, yet harder than I imagined.

The foursquare Wikipedia page has a lot of information and I was nervous that I would not  be able to add something useful. After reading through I noticed that the “Scoring” section was very short. Earning points on foursquare is one of my favorite ways to use the service so I decided it would be helpful to  talk about other ways to earn points than was already listed. I was very excited to add information to Wikipedia. I really felt that I was adding to collective intelligencce and I was excited to discover there was something about foursquare I could add that others had not. It seemed so easy, all I had to do was click the edit button and add information. However,after my addition I got this message:

Hello, and welcome to Wikipedia. Everyone is welcome to make constructive contributions to Wikipedia, but at least one of your recent edits, such as the one you made to Foursquare (website), did not appear to be constructive and has been automatically reverted (undone) by an automated computer program called ClueBot NG.”

This made me really sad. I made another edit to the list of Badges and added some active ones that did not appear on the list as well as a source. This one was not removed. At first I thought it was becuase I had added a source but the scoring section did not have a source to begin with.

The first edit that I made was long and drawn out so I decided to try again and make it more concise: I added this:

“Points for checking in with the same friend at multiple locations – BFF bonus.
Also earn points for being the first of your friends to check into a new location.”

This was the same style as the scoring information already presented. This edit survived Wikipedia’s automated computer program editor. So I added new information on how to earn points, addition badges that you can earn, and a source not only with all active badges listed but retired ones as well. I think earning points and badges is really fun. I enjoyed using foursquare and I am glad I was able to share some of my knowledge with others.



Practicum Post – Twitter

For my last practicum blog post, I wanted to take a look back to where I began with this project and look at all the advancements I made. Coming in to this, I didn’t know what all I would learn by using Twitter. I knew the basics – Tweets, Followers, etc., but I didn’t know all the ways that Twitter would be able to connect me to the world, my friends, and other sites that I was interested in.

Followers. I started off with only a few followers – 3 to be exact. My followers included my roommate and two people I didn’t know due to the fact that I left my Twitter account public rather than setting privacy settings. I did this in order to obtain as many followers as possible.

Today, I am up to 77 followers! I consider this quite an accomplishment considering I only set up my account at the end of September. When I calculated this out, I’ve been on Twitter for approximately 70-75 days, which ends up being about one new follower each day I’ve been on Twitter. I was not expecting to gain so many followers, so when I calculated this out, I was slightly astonished at how quickly I got to where I am – now to continue gaining followers…

Creativity and Usage. As I began using Twitter, I was uninformed on how to change the background, change the text colors, and use #hashtags and @mentions. As I familiarized myself with the profiles of my followers, I learned how to use these tools and create a profile that expressed my personality.

When I began, my background was the blue one that Twitter provides you when you first create an account.

I didn’t want my page to be unoriginal, so I tried out a couple other backgrounds that Twitter provided, trying to figure out how so many people put their own images as their backgrounds. When I finally figured out how to do this, I ended up with this…

I also became more of an “expert” at Tweeting by adjusting what I included in them in order to seem more apart of the Twitter culture and community. At first, I began with very generic Tweets about my day but then eventually learned the “art” of #hashtags and @mentions, allowing my Tweets to take a different shape than before.

In this Tweet from December 5th, I use two @mentions, a #hashtag, and upload a “twitpic” from my phone. I have definitely come a long ways in my Tweeting expertise!

Connecting. When I first began this project, I was barely connected to anyone. Now, I use Twitter to look up news stories, star current with what my friends are up to, and have become connected in some way or another to multiple other sources on the internet. I can even connect my Twitter account to other sites that I use, like Pinterest, to show my followers what I am doing on other sites. Twitter has truly become my go-to for just about anything, and I’ve found that I use Twitter more than Facebook now because of how connected I am to anything and everything with Twitter.

Overall, I have learned a great deal about how microblogging functions and creates an online space for individual participation and networking. Before using Twitter, I did not know just how connected I would become to just about everything – news, friends, celebrities, etc. I’ve really enjoyed having the opportunity to explore such a popular and well-known site like Twitter and hope that what I learned helped someone else learn something new about microblogging and Twitter, as well. I plan to continue using Twitter and hope to continue learning more about it.

Wiki Addition- Second Life

For my last post of my practicum project, I added to The Second Life Wikipedia page. This is the first time I have ever added to Wikipedia or a website of this nature. I guess I am taking advantage of participatory culture! The Wikipedia page is very through on Second Life, so I only added a sentence about what Second Life can be classified as.  I said that Second Life can also be categorized as a multi-user virtual world because of the interaction with others in Second Life. I found this from a source online of online definitions.

Here is the link:

Final Practicum Post!

Finally, we’re made it – the end of the Practicum Project! I’ve done a little more playing on WoW, completing more quests and even went up another level. I’m starting to really get the hang of things and look forward to continuing my WoW account after this project. I’ve never considered myself much of a “gamer,” but this experience has truly changed my perception of myself.

I looked at the Wikipedia article on WoW, and noticed that there wasn’t a whole lot to change – these people had the game pretty much down to a “T.” I inserted a little clarification on one of the sentences – a clarification that I pulled from Kyra’s lecture on female gaming. The sentence read: “Reviewers felt that these changes in pacing would make the genre more accessible to casual players,” and after “casual players,” I expanded saying “- those who play for short periods of time.” I know this is subtle,a and for many would not need explaining, but I felt it was a helpful tidbit of information for inexperienced gamers and ultimately adds to the article.

The Game is Over

This practicum project has been a great learning experience. I’ve discovered quite a bit about the workings of forums, and observed quite a bit of interaction between individuals.

Users can create their own identity. Can progress through levels (earning new titles with level of engagement). They can create a community base by adding other users to their friend lists. The forum allows for sharing of resources, ideas, opinions, correcting misconceptions. They allow for conversation outside of the specified topic (Ex: Dr Who).

These forums can create a sense of community for sharing and learning and creating a home away from home. But, that only counts for people who actively seek a second family. For those people who use the forum for updates and information, or infrequently, these forums do not create the sense of identity or community that it would for those who truly delve into the cyber world.

For myself, I do not feel the sense of attachment or connection that would draw me towards this forum again and again, as it does for some users who post daily/biweekly.

Although, some users posted some really cool peer production content : videos of mash ups and updates on series news. It was cool to see the user created stuff, and convenient to find the news I wouldn’t have normally sought out.


Second Life- It’s Been Fun

Joining Second Life and making an avatar has been a really interesting and new experience. I just wanted to reflect on my experience in one of my last posts before it is all said and done. Although I tried to emerge myself in the Second Life community, make friends (such as Tilma and edduarddo110) and join in conversations, I cannot say that I will stay on Second Life. I am not a huge online gamer or virtual world joiner, but I did enjoy the chance to force myself to try it once. I can see how people enjoy Second Life, but to me I would rather interact with the people I know in my real life, and honestly was very creeped out by some of the things residents said to me! The chat below shows how a normal conversation can turn sexual by a user who obviously is using Second Life for a different reason than me!

Second Life- Same Look, New Friends, New Places

After exploring my options on the dashboard, I decided to keep my same look (skin) as I am not willing to pay real US dollars for fake online Linden dollars. So my classic school girl, blonde haired look stayed. I did however explore more places and try to meet/ socialize with new people. One spot that had a little more action than places where you just walk around and talk, such has Old Europe Winter Village, is a place called Mega Mall and Galaxy Club. Here there is loud techno music and actually simulates a club with the music and dancing. I found a group of people to dance with, but was a little confused when half of their butts were hanging out (see picture below). I became friends with someone named Diva and Henri, but they all seemed to know each other very well, carrying on their own inside conversation. I eventually left Galaxy Club as things started to get a little sexual and I did not want my avatar associated with that!

Practicum Post – Twitter and Wikipedia

As I began looking into editing Wikipedia, I noticed that the Twitter Wikipedia page was set to “semi-private,” meaning that if I wanted to edit the page, I would have limited options in the editing process. There were several ways to edit on this page, however, they were not direct like on non-protected Wikipedia pages. If I wanted to, I could have requested an edit change, which may or may not be approved, or I could create a Wikipedia account, have it for at least 4 days, and make 10 edits on other pages. I chose not to edit through either of these options for several reasons. First, I wanted to make an instant edit and with the uncertainty of an edit requested being granted and added to the site, I opted out of this option. Also, I was not comfortable with make 10 edits to other Wikipedia pages. While I’m sure there are plenty of pages I could add insight to, this was not something that interested me. I felt it would be best to make an instant edit rather than waiting for something to be approved. Since editing the Twitter page seemed to no longer be an option, I also decided to edit the Microblogging Wikipedia page.

On the Microblogging page, I chose to make three edits – two under “Usage” and one under “Issues with micro blogging.” Under “Usage,” I chose to discuss Twitter’s relation to fast-paced societies and Twitter’s ability to be linked to other social media sites. This was done in two edits. The first says, “This type of social media site is representative of the growing, fast pace societies in the world that depend on instant information in order to stay current and up-to-date.”  Then I added, “The uses of microblogging websites have become seemingly endless. There are many different ways to use them and the ways continue to grow in number and complexity. It is now possible to link websites, such as Pinterest, to Twitter, allowing you to Tweet the image you have just “pinned.” This new way to microblog, allows one to use microblogging as a communicative tool as well as a way to bring all aspects of social media into one, convenient location, making it easier and faster to search for and find information in this fast pace society.”

Under “Issues with micro blogging,” I added, “While privacy concerns remain an issue surrounding microblogging websites, Twitter has created a direct and easy way to initiate privacy settings on one’s account. With just one click you can set your account to private, meaning that only people that you approve of to follow your Twitter may see you Tweets. Everyone else will only see a page that says your Twitter account is set to private and in order to see your Tweets, the person must request to follow you. This way of creating privacy settings has seemingly made privacy settings a less complex and more direct action. Contrasted with Facebook where there are several different settings to choose from and the settings are customizable, Twitter allows you one of two options – public or private. Uneasiness may arise if a person’s Twitter is set to public, because any one may see your Tweets and anyone may follow you, without sending a request. While there is always the option of setting your Twitter account to private or private, it still remains important to be cautious about what you Tweet.”

With this edit, I wanted to give commentary to the fact that, while privacy issues remain a concern with social media sites, Twitter in particular has made it easy to privatize your account. It only takes one click of a mouse to set your entire page to private, unlike other sites.

With these two edits, I was able to incorporate my own insight into Twitter onto a broad, microblogging Wikipedia page. Whether or not my edits remain on the page and for how long is a different story. Hopefully the information I provided will give at least a few people more insight into the Twitter world and will accompany them while they learn and master the site.

Wikipedia post

The final part of the practicum was to add something to Wikipedia. The “remix” entry on Wikipedia was pretty comprehensive but I was able to add a snippet to the introduction. I had never edited on Wikipedia and to be honest I didn’t know it was as simple as clicking on the edit tab. I don’t know exactly the process they have for approving or taking down added content so I’ll have to see if my addition is still there in a few days. Anyways, like I said the post was already pretty comprehensive, even addressing the copyright implications of remixing, but I added a snippet about how contemporary remixes are often produced in Digital Audio Workstations (DAW’s) which allow producers to reorganize and add various effects to tracks. There wasn’t any other info on the page about the kind of software/hardware that is used to make remixes so I figure I may have a shot in having it kept on the site.

Last Practicum Post #8 w/ Wikipedia Excerpt

After visiting the wikipedia page for online support groups (which is just a brief subtopic off support groups) I decided to add a brief comment regarding a benefit that wasn’t already mentioned on the page.  A potential benefit that I learned from one of Kimball’s lectures was that online forum participation is asynchronous.  In case my pasting of the print screen doesn’t show up on the blog, here is my submission-

“An additional benefit to online support groups is that participation is asynchronous. This means that it is not necessary for all participants to be logged into the forum simultaneously in order to communicate. An experience or question can be posted and others can answer questions or comment on posts whenever they are logged in and have an appropriate response. This characteristic allows for participation and mass communication without having to worry about time constraints.”

I added this to the wikipedia page this afternoon so I don’t know how long it will be visible.