Forum Connections

As I have finally gotten into the groove of the senior websites, I find that there is only so much I can participate without members asking me more personal information. While I had some failures in chat rooms, I found more of an interest in the forums and what they provide for the senior citizens. In the beginning of the practicum, I was frustrated because nobody would acknowledge me if I said I was 21. As I felt it was unethical to lie about my age, I struggled to find ways to participate rather than just observe. When I came across the variety of forums including Boomer Women, Yahoo! Senior Forum, and Senior Citizen Website, I found that there is more of a sense of loyalty between the members.

Ranging from subjects on Mental Illness, Empty Nesting, Divorce, Death, the forum allows members and anonymous strangers to post their feelings and receive a great variety of feedback. I have participated in many sites as both a member, and anonymous, and have found that you receive more feedback if you are a member, which gives you an “authentic” identity. I put authentic in quotations because the Internet rarely guarantee someones true identity, as I never divulged my true information. However, senior citizens are willing to give their advice and experience through people they feel truly connected to.At times I felt bad, because I didn’t want to think I was taking advantage of these people. I felt I was imposing because I was recording information for research, and people on these websites share deep emotions within themselves. Still, I tried to be as respectful as possible and share any information I could without giving up my age.

I think it is interesting that as the project is coming to a close, I will disappear from these websites as if these conversations never existed. It must happen frequently, as there is a great emphasis on the members who have been there the longest, and have posted the most. Naturally, however, people come and go from these websites through time. I could see myself maybe at some point in my life participating in an online community, if I were ever to feel that I had no one else to talk to. While I hope that doesn’t happen, it is comforting to know that there is a forum out there where people will help, even if they don’t know your name.

Remix Presentation

Hey everyone! I am giving my presentation today. I am going to talk a bit about remixes and why people make them. I am also going to talk about the tools I used to make my remixes. I am showing two video mash-ups that I made during my presentation so I hope that everyone can make it.

Here are some links to the work:

Don’t worry if you don’t get a chance to see them before my presentation, just try and keep in mind the question of whether or not the work is transformative and what kind of copyright issues may arise if I wanted to distribute these works as you watch.


Presentation tomorrow!

My presentation tomorrow is on media sharing services, and I’ve chosen to join Instagram and Vimeo. Instagram is definitely the simplest way to share memories the exact instant you experience them! I love this app because it is so user friendly even my parents will understand how to use it. I’m having a little more difficulty navigating through Vimeo, but it is still a fairly basic website to share , upload, and explore videos. These websites are used as alternatives to others because they are more specialized and can provide higher quality feature. You’ll have to listen in class tomorrow to find out more about them!


As for now, I was just wondering

With the presence of so many social networking websites and media sharing outlets,  do you think it is necessary to have specialized websites for just videos and photographs? In your opinion what is the advantage of media sharing sites like Instagram and Vimeo as opposed to just uploading your videos and pictures to Facebook or Twitter?

“Flame Wars” now on Wiki!

Hey Everyone –

Since I have learned all sorts of lingo from my experiences on senior citizen chat rooms and forums, I decided it was time to add my input on the Wikipedia site! I went to the subject: chat rooms and realized that in the rules section the term “flame wars” wasn’t there.

This is a term that is used on multiple web sites “chat rules” sections and is used to describe when a person says hurtful things to someone with no other reason but to hurt their feelings. I think this is an important term to know because many people will break this rule when they participate in a website. I think flame wars are a type of bullying and it makes me feel better to know that it is being regulated on all of these sites. I think chat-rooms should be a place where people feel comfortable to be themselves and not get their feelings hurt for no reason.

I’ve never actually attempted to edit a Wikipedia page, and I was surprised to find how easy it was! All I did was copy and paste the definition from the senior-chatters page I used, and cited the source with a link back to the rules page where I found the information. It is really crazy to think that my addition will be in Wikipedia (unless someone takes it down!). I use Wikipedia all the time for information and now I have actually contributed to it! Such a great feeling 🙂


Don’t forget to “Check In” to Ashley and Annie’s presentation!

Hi class,

So I am super excited to tell you all about my fun foursquare adventure, and I know Annie has some awesome things to say about her social review site experiences! SO SHOW UP TO CLASS! Haha, just kidding I know none of you would duck out early for the holidays.

Anyway, I am still really happy that I was able to do this project. I would not have utilized foursquare the way that I have and I would not have looked at any of the other locative services either. I agree that this is a kind of collective intelligence that Levy was talking about as a service, and all of our projects are as a whole. Since I have heard the practicum presentations I have joined Twitter, an online support group, left secrets at Post Secret, and visited some chat rooms. I hope that I can share the benefits of foursquare with all of you and that some of you will utilize this service or other services like it.

Some questions I have:

Would you feel comfortable leaving tips and pictures for other random users to see?

How do you find out about new places to visit or eat?

What are the biggest benefits you see from using locative services?

Practicum Presentation Tomorrow

Hi everybody, I’m presenting on my social review site tomorrow in class. I’ve been sick with the flu, but I will post more follow-up blog entries soon. I have been spending time on, a consumer-based website that provides opinions and experiences on products and services.

It is adult-oriented, in the sense that the community as a whole appears to be well-educated and admimant about keeping the setting helpful and formal. Posts are required to be neat in spelling, grammar, no profanity, etc. Based off of a review on a board game, I decided to purchase it since I live right by a game store on Mifflin. I’m not prone to playing board games, so I thought that it would be interesting to leave my comfort zone and try something new to add to my experience with this project. It could have been boredom from being sick, but I ended up having a positive experience so I bought a similar game and wrote my own review on it. I am working on building my ratings, but since the website is in a forum-type format where communication is rather indirect than instant, I just have to write a lot of reviews and hope that someone stumbles across them. I will elaborate on the interactive aspects in my presentation!

Here are some questions to think about while I present:

Do you think that posting your opinion of something (whether it is a review site, Youtube, or a Facebook picture) contributes anything, whether it is long or short term?

What type of people do you think benefit from opinions posted online?

Fun foursquare facts!

As promised, this post with offer some fun facts and insights into the world of foursquare. We will take a break from my exiting encounters and free stuff to learn a little more about this app:

Fun Facts!

1) Foursquare has over 10 million users! Are you one of them?

2) In April 2010 foursquare and the History Channel teemed up to help users learn historical facts of certain places they checked into. Users could earn a limited edition History Channel badge. I think this is an awesome way for these locative services  to inform your reality.

3)You don’t have to have a smartphone to be on foursquare. You can check in various places at Just bring your laptop and let your friends know you are pulling an all-nighter at College Library!

4)  Foursquare has support for French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Japanese, Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Thai.

Fact 5) Foursquare is awesome.

For  the record, my boyfriend did finally beat me in check in points. But I caught back up after checking into the academic buildings today. 🙂

Practicum post #1 before presentation: Support Groups

For my practicum assignment I was assigned to look at support groups and I chose to do an ethnographic study on “loss of a pet” support groups. I found this project really hit home with me because I am such a dog lover and grew up with 2-3 dogs my entire life. Since it is so hard parting with them I thought that joining this support group would be both interesting and even maybe a little helpful. Tomorrow I plan on giving my presentation and asking the following question.


Question: Is not disclosing your identity unethical in an online support group?

Also I plan to show 30 seconds of this clip and I hope it will tug a little on everyone’s hearts like it did mine! I’ll keep everyone posted on my progress with research project!



Practicum Tomorrow!

Hey Everyone!

Tomorrow is my practicum presentation, and I am really excited to share my research with the rest of the class. As you all will see in my presentation tomorrow, I had just as many failures as successes in trying to gain the trust of the participants as researchers. The senior citizens weren’t keen on the idea of being part of an experiment, so I had difficulty building personal relationships with most of them. Here is my question for you all: If you were participating in an online community that was age specific, would you feel violated if a researcher (who isn’t part of your age group) were to enter your world and ask you questions as part of a school project? I want you to put yourselves in the place of the senior citizens to see if their emotions are justified. Looking forward to tomorrow!


Bye for now!

Practicum Presentation: Social/ political activism Questions

Hey everyone! So tomorrow is the big day…my practicum presentation. I will be discussing the ways that organizations use the Internet to promote activism, as well as the possible pros and cons of activism online. This ties into the recent conversations in lecture and in discussion regarding whether the Internet improves democracy, or leads to more inequality (think the digital divide) and political disengagment (think “slacktivism”). So I’m wondering…

Certain pros and cons can be identified regarding activist activity online. Overall, do you think that that the Internet brings more positive change to activism, by offering new forms for sharing information, communicating etc. or does the Internet do more harm than good by discouraging more active forms of political/ social involvement and excluding groups with limited access online from being engaged?

I hope this gives you something to think about! See you all tomorrow.