Final Post about Chathour

As I stated in my Wikipedia post, I planned to log into Chathour, and tell the chat room that I was a researcher and see how they responded.  Well, I followed through and did not have much luck.  I have attached some pictures to show you what happened in the chat room, but essentially my username is “mkny” and I stated that I was a researcher and wanted to know if anyone could help me out with my research.  One girl “nutherBlondee” responded to me, so I assumed she was willing to help out.  When I “PVT” chatted her within the chat room, she was not at all interested in helping me and claimed she was “buzy.”  So..unfortunately I was not able to find out how tweens engage with the internet further than what I saw in chat hour.  It was a good effort though!







Wikipedia post

Looking over the Wikipedia page on Internet Forums, I realized they had nothing included about identity.

To me, identity is very important to participating in a web forum, because it shapes how others perceive you. You have the ability to include or exclude information about yourself, or even generate made-up information. Before I really added much to my account biography, many people weren’t viewing my profile, and that may have been a reason no one really interacted with me – because I was no one, I had no identity! … Either way, no one really interacted with me a whole lot on a personal level, but that’s possibly due to other factors, like level of engagement, timeline, etc.

So, here is the post I added to Wikipedia!



Practicum Post – Twitter

I’ve decided to compare and contrast Facebook with Twitter for this blog post because of the prevalence of both of these sites in my life and others’ lives.

Tweets vs. Statuses. Looking at Facebook and Twitter, there are some obvious differences. The length of statuses or Tweets you can publish are substantially different. With Twitter you may only enter up to 140 characters, but with Facebook, there seems to be no limit anymore.  If you want to say more in a Tweet, there are ways to do so (which I haven’t figured out, but I’ve seen others do it), or you can always attach a link to another website if you want to show your followers what you are talking about.

Followers vs. Friends. This is pretty self-explanatory. On Facebook, you have “Friends.” On Twitter, you have “Followers.” They’re essentially the same thing with different names.

Profiles. Facebook is based around a personal profile. You upload videos and photos and include information about your school, job, interests, hobbies, etc. on the “Info” page. You write on your friends’ walls and comment on their photos, videos, posts, etc. On Facebook, there are so many ways to connect with friends and share information about your personal life (besides just posting statuses). On Twitter, your profile is less informative. You may include a 160-character description of yourself, if you choose, and this will appear below your name on your Twitter page (see image below). Mine says “Kappa Alpha Theta. ON WISCONSIN!” This includes very little information about my personal life, unlike my Facebook that states my school, favorite movies, where I work, and many other things. It is much more difficult to find out personal information on a person’s Twitter unless they Tweet that information, but even then, it’s not plastered on a separate page, like it is on Facebook.

Privacy. Compared to Facebook, Twitter privacy settings are incredibly easy to use and understand. With just one click, you can set your Twitter to private (see image below). When it is set to private, you must approve of who may follow you. I have decided to keep my account public in order to gain more followers (I’m up to 76!). On the other hand, Facebook privacy settings are incredibly detailed and often times difficult to understand. You can customize your privacy settings, keep some things public and others private, etc. There are so many ways to adjust your Facebook page that, to me, it seems overwhelming.

Overall appearance. I’ve found that there is more room for creativity on Twitter than there is Facebook. I’ve had a fun time changing the background and text colors of my Twitter to show off more of my personality. I figured out how to upload my own background image and edit the text colors to match. Twitter also supplies several basic background layouts for people who may not want to deal with editing the look of their page. I think in this sense, since Twitter doesn’t reveal as much of your personal identity as Facebook does, this is a way to show who you are and what you are interested in without explicitly stating it like on Facebook.

Overall, there are many differences between Facebook and Twitter. I like each for various reasons – Facebook allows you to share and look through thousands of photos on friends’ pages and Twitter keeps everything short and sweet. However, when it boils down to it, they are both social networking sites that have attracted millions of people and allow us to connect with friends, family, celebrities, and others.

Practicum Post – Twitter

As I’ve become more of an expert with Twitter, I’ve begun to use it as a way to communicate and link to other things that I am doing. One way I have been doing this is by linking my Pinterest account with my Twitter account. Pinterest is a type of social networking site in which you follow other users and “pin” pictures onto design and inspiration boards. I’ve recently become addicted to this site and have been using Twitter to show it!

Here are some examples of how I have been linking Twitter and Pinterest:

Which links to…


This is a photo that I found and re-pinned onto my “Places to See” inspiration board. I used Twitter to show all of my followers what I had been doing on Pinterest and to spread the word about a new website I had found and become so obsessed with.


Here’s another Tweet linked to Pinterest:


Twitter has really become a way for me to connect all the different aspects of my life. I keep in touch with friends, relay messages about what I am doing (in under 140 characters, of course), stay current with local and national news, catch up on celebrity gossip, and show what I am up to or thinking about by linking my Twitter to other websites, such as Pinterest. This is certainly something that other websites, such as Facebook, have been doing for a while. However, it’s fun to just give a short snippet of information regarding what you are linking your Twitter to and leaving it up to your followers to find out what you are up to. It’s a great way to connect every aspect of my life and bring it all into one, easy and convenient location.

Like I’ve said before, although Twitter only allows you to communicate small and brief amounts of information at a time, it is extremely useful for staying current in all aspects of my life without having to take the time to search for everything elsewhere. And now that I’m able to add more of myself into my Tweets by showing exactly what I am interested in by linking my Twitter to other pages (or adding a link I have found into a Tweet), I can really keep my followers up to date on everything going on in my life, keeping them informed on just what I am interested in. As I’ve been using Twitter more and more frequently, I’ve really come to love the fact that everything I need and want is all in one place!

Wikipedia Post for Microblogging… Tumblr

So when I googled Tumblr to find the Tumblr page on Wikipedia, the page ended up being “semi-protected.” I had no idea that some of the pages on Wikipedia could be semi-protected and I had to click on the little lock icon in the corner to read more about it. Apparently, some pages on Wikipedia are protected so that in order to edit something on the page, you need to sign in and sumbit an edit request… because I was not really willing to do this, I decided to look up the more general, Microblogging wikipedia page to see if this was protected. Luckily, this page was not, and I could make edits by simply following the instructions listed on the practicum page of our class site.

I decided to contribute to the “usage” portion of the Wikipedia page, and since Twitter took up a lot of the microblogging description, I wanted to add a sentence or two on Tumblr in this section. What sparked me to want to add to this part of the page was the line about a study trying to understand why microblogging has become so popular as it reads, “The study suggests a link between short bursts of activity and feelings of elation, power and creativity.”I wanted to add a line or two about how Tumblr has changed the microblogging world because it makes it so easy to customize and be creative with your blog page. I also wanted to contribute to this section because I knew that the creative part of tumblr was something I had experimented a lot with over the course of my fieldwork activity, and there are lots of credible citation sites that can backup my description of Tumblr in this way.

I added: “Other Microblogging sites, such a Tumblr, have become extremely popular because of how easy they have made it for users to be creative with their pages. Not only does the site have customizable options to chose from, but you can also change the HTML format to create your very own website appearance. For those who are unfamiliar with these codes, Tumblr has prided itself on making it easier than ever to customize a blog. The appeal of Tumblr to its users has always been the microblogging site’s mission to make creativity a top priority for its members. Simply type customize into the Tumblr Help page in order to learn all of the options they offer. ( ”

Here’s the Wikipedia link!

For my last Practicum post I am happy to anounce that I am ending on a good note.

I posted on my support gorup page the following post:

“Hey I was wondering if anyone had any funny cat/dog videos to brighten my day? I’m at college and I am really missing my pups/cat 🙂 ”

Someone who follows my page responded with this nice coment:

“Sorry, I do not have a video. Wishing you to receive a very funny cat/dog videos soon. Wishing you all the happiness. God bless you.”

Another person who follows me sent me this video. I thought it was funny so I thought I’d share it with everyone. here’s the link

Overall, this project was a good experience I’m glad I got the chance to do somthing that I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise .

Wikipedia post

For my Wikipedia post, I was unsure of what “term” to contribute to.  I searched “Chathour” as well as “Chat Hour” but nothing came up.  I could have requested to create a page, but I was nervous that the request would not process by the time this post was due.  I then searched “tween” on Wikipedia, and there wasn’t really a good space to add any information about tweens’ usage of the internet.  I finally decided to search “chat room” which had plenty of data for me to build off of.

Being that much of my experience on Chathour derived from it’s horny tween users, I decided to contribute to the “sexually related uses” tab of the Chat Room wikipedia page.

I added: Although, minors may not take sexually suggestive or explicit photos in order to engage in sexual exploitation.  Tween or teenage chat rooms involve users who can verbally engage in sexually explicit conversations with others, as well as use suggestive language to lure a minor into a “private chat” or “video conference” to engage in a form of cybersex.

Being that I experienced this first hand, I didn’t cite my information, as this is just my personal opinion.

This screenshot shows the Wikipedia article, with my contribution highlighted.







I plan to submit one more post, as I do have a few more hours to complete on Chathour.  I will sum up my experience, and I may try to reveal myself as a researcher and see if anyone will open up a bit more in the chat room.

Exploring Second Life

Taking a break from playing, I took a look at my avatars dashboard/ homepage to explore more into Second Life and what else it has to offer. I found this very beneficial in educating me on things I did not know  that much about. On my avatars dashboard I found a world map, that had “Destination Guide Picks” that were much more interesting than the places I had been visiting. I also discovered the Second Life Marketplace where you can buy new outfits for your avatar, makeup, hair, etc. To buy these things though you have to pay US dollars which are then converted into Linden Dollars (L$), the Second Life currency. I find it strange that someone would spend real US dollars to use in a fictional world….

Lastly I found that your avatar can join groups and see what events are going on. I am going to utilize all this new information the next time I log in to explore more places, attend events and meet more people.


The Postsecret Community

As I look back on my experiences this semester on the Postsecret blog, community blog, iphone app, Facebook and Twitter page, the most important aspect appears to be the individuals that make up the Postsecret community. Because Postsecret is anonymous, it was extremely difficult to begin an ongoing conversation with other members of the community. That being said, the Postsecret community has the ability to respond to a secret with support, empathy, compassion, and understanding. I found the following secret on the iPhone app that explains the Postsecret community perfectly:

There are individuals on the site who just want to make other community members smiles:

People come to the Postsecret community to share good news and bad news:

It was easy to get the Postsecret community to respond to my posts, but I never heard back from Frank throughout my project. I tried to contact him multiple times through Twitter, Facebook, and the Postsecret blog. I was upset that I never heard back from him.

The story of Robert and Valerie demonstrates the amazing power the Postsecret community can have. The following secret was posted to the app:

Robert’s secret immediately rose to the top secrets of the day. In addition to “hearting” and replying to the secret, some individuals took it upon themselves to help Robert’s search:

I jumped on the bandwagon through twitter:

Along with the rest of the community, I expected Valerie to discover the secret, return Robert’s love, and they would live happily ever after, all thanks to  Postsecret. But that’s not what happened:

Though it’s not the ending I expected, the story of Robert and Valerie demonstrates the overwhelming power Postsecret possesses. Through Postsecret, strangers are able to connect in a real way. As the popularity of Postsecret continues, more and more secrets are shared with the community, expanding the discourse of the community!

Foursquare in Las Vegas

Hello! Just thought l would update you all on some foursquare findings while l celebrate my best friend’s wedding in Las Vegas. I have been checking in all around, and there are not a lot of people who are at the places l check in to. The biggest number l have encountered was 11 people at the Bellagio hotel. I am staying at the Stratosphere and there was only one other person checked in here. I think it would be really interesting to go to NYC and see what the user base is like because l know it is popular in that city. I won’t be able to get there before the end of the semester so that will have to be a fun personal project. I guess lwas just expecting there to be more users in a city like this. I have earned a lot of points for checking in to so many places so l am way ahead of my boyfriend now! Haha! l have also recieved several texts from foursquare friends saying, “Wow, you are in Vegas?” So this foursquare has been a fun way to interact with the city and read others tips. Foursquare forever!