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!


Adding to the Wikipedia Webpage

Although the Wikipedia page is generally pretty informative about the application Instagram, it was easier than I thought to add something to prove my better understanding. I felt important adding to the discussion of this service  because it improves collective knowledge. Because of the simplicity of the Instagram application, there is no need for a complex Wikipedia webpage. The Wikipedia page already included a description of what you can do on the service, which included the fact that you can take photos, apply a filter, and share it with friends. I just decided to make it a little more specific. I said,

 

” Today you can transform the feel of your photo using one of its 17 different filters. You can also easily share your photo on Instagram with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and FourSquare”.

 

I thought these details would be useful for the general public to give more specifics on how the website works.

I had a little trouble with the references at first!

 

The Vimeo webpage is also pretty informative. One thing I noticed that was missing was information about the Vimeo phone application, which proved to be a good tool to use in my studies of the website. I constantly used the application when I was on the go to check around the website. It also allows you to edit your videos, which is not an available feature of the website. So I decided to add this to the community section of the Wikipedia page.

 

“Vimeo has launched a phone application in which you can upload, edit, manage, and watch your own videos”.

 

Now after all of this time spent on Vimeo,I think I can officially label myself a Vimean, which is what active users call themselves.


Practicum failures along the way

Throughout the project there were a variety of failed attempts within the blogging community. In order to connect with bloggers I started to look at a few of my favorites that I tend to go to when in a cooking pickle. The posts on each site have always been so helpful I haven’t found my self needing to post a question or concern so I instead just said hello. This obviously did not work. Many of the blogs I commented on were well known and I am sure the number of “hello”s they receive is too many to bother with.

After coming to this realization I started to cater to certain blogs that seemed to fall in line with the Slow Food ideals or who expressed themselves are more consciously aware of what they were eating. Here is where I discovered Sprout & Pea.

Mardi Miskit is a former chef who enjoys cooking organic and gluten free. Her blog presents itself in a very earthy and free spirited way that initially allows me to think that she is not stocking her shelves with MSG and the like. I decided to comment on her blog hoping to make a relationship but still to no avail I did not succeed.

The image is one of her posts that came up in my reader that illustrates her knowledge of the Slow Food movement. She promoted the 5$ challenge that Slow Food USA sent out and many other Slow Food chapters took part of.

I continued to search blogs and comment away with only a handle actually making a connection. Another example is Adam Powell’s blog. He is a writer for the A.V. Club Madison section of the Onion and through my Twitter feed we have made a connection. I often tweet about foodie issues or recipes as well as things going in and around Madison. He had picked up on this and responded with a direct message. I am not sure if this was solely due to my Twitter activity or a combination but Twitter wasn’t really an area of focus for my specific practicum project so I hesitate when bringing it up.

 

The final area of blogs I explored were the blog of Slow Food chapters. These were not crafted in the traditional blog format and seemed to appear more like a website but there were ways to post opinions or contact writers. I did such things and still found no response.

  

  

I will and did keep trying to end up with a successful project that will grow beyond the class.

 


Adding SFUW to the wikiworld

Cheers to the final post for the practicum project and learning to further develop the wikipedia website. This part of the project was something I was really looking forward to. The Slow Food wikipedia page is where I first went to explore Slow Food when I was starting to get involved myself. The page has a very general overview of what Slow Food actually is and how far it reaches. There are also many links and resources that the viewer can use to further their education. I am semi-satisfied with this page but it has always been a very good reference point for simple facts.

The area that I expanded was in the Slow Food USA section. I attempted to add a section that would explain how Slow Food efforts have been incorporated on university campuses but fell short. I want to continue to explore the edit section of wikipedia in order to add more but for now have successfully added a small paragraph about university involvement. There is even a link embedded that directs readers to the Slow Food USA page listing all the universities that have been recognized by Slow Food USA. This link will take the readers to the individual university Slow Food home pages. Here readers can maybe explore their university’s chapter or one close by and become more involved in the amazing efforts.

 

As I said earlier I want to study the editing sections of this wikipedia page more. I will create an account so that it is easier and if possible want to add a Slow Food UW page. Slow Food UW is the first university chapter to be recognized by Slow Food USA so I feel as though it could support a full page on wikipedia. There are five projects within SFUW that could be discussed and then this could also be used as a way to connect with other Slow Food university chapters.

This movement is highly depend on the work done by people in their local communities so collaborating and sharing ideas is crucial. This project has shown how social movements are growing successfully with the technological advancements of the internet and specifically social networking sites. I have had an amazing time reseraching this area and finding out what many other people are doing in order to join the movement. I have also learned a lot about Slow Food ideals and the way of life. I am eager to share my final paper with Danny and Evan, and I hope you all have been able to enjoy my posts as well.

Good luck and as always bon appetit.


Wikipedia post and final blog post :(!

Here’s the link to Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_homepage

Above are views of the changes I made to the Wikipedia page that gives information on personal homepages. The Wikipedia page says that personal homepages are made to inform and entertain readers, which is entirely true. Yet, it also says that social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace, serve the same purpose of a personal homepage, which I  disagree with. I added that services, such as these sites, may enable people to express one’s opinions or creative passions, but personal web pages, furthermore, enable users to present themselves and their work on a more professional level and in a professional format. Personal websites also provide the ability of individuals to present themselves as a professional to other companies whom they may want to work for in the future and mixing this information with your social life on facebook, for example, may alter an employee’s view of that person. I don’t mean that you may have pictures of you partying at college, but even pictures of you that may not project the “serious” character that an employer may want in you , for example, may be seen, not on your profile due to privacy settings, but may be found on someone else’s. For this reason, I chose to segregate my facebook account from my personal homepage. I continued writing that a personal website allows creators to post evidence of a professional background and experience such as resumes and work samples, if applicable. The personal homepage can be designated for solely that purpose of presenting yourself and your professional work as well.

So, although this course has come to an end, I will continue to edit, build my personal homepage, and share it with others. Tomorrow, I will be posting two more design pieces I just finished, and I hope that you all will continue to view it. Because I created my site on WordPress.com, you can follow me, so please do! I wish you all the best of luck, and thanks Evan and Danny for teaching a great semester!

Additionally, in attempting to spread the word about my homepage, I emailed Jenny in Barcelona, the German woman who created her personal homepage, “I Love Muffins,” and she emailed me back! Below are our emails. I sent her the URL to my homepage so now people even in Barcelona can know about my homepage with word of mouth from Jenny!


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.

http://www.designgallery.wisc.edu/exhibits/CAVE/Schedule.html   There’s the link.


Making friends in the online food world

This project is allowing me to stem beyond completing a semester full of work and allowing me to make connections that will hopefully last beyond December 15th. Through my research in blogs that support the idea of local food and sustainability I came across Grant Kessler’s Foodshed. In Grant’s terms a foodshed is used to describe ‘the flow and origins of foodstuff’. The opening note on the home page stresses his views on how he has turned his food mentality into one that supports the local accumulation of vegetables, dried goods, meats and more.

At the bottom of this homepage is my attempt to make a relationship. I commented on the blogsite explaining my interest in Slow Food ideals and the need for a local mentality when being a consumer and thanked him for his outstanding photography and wealth of knowledge. The exciting part is that within an hour I was contacted via email from Grant himself thanking me for my kind words and continuing to make a relationship.

As a result of this connection I am now a ‘Good Food Ambassador’. This is a title labeling me as a local food advocate helping him spread the importance of local practices across the midwest. Grant resides in Chicago’s food scene, however, has been eager to reach out to Madison. Our similarities and my sometimes obsession with Twitter has allowed us to find common ground and both find a way we can work together.

Beyond our new connection I continued to explore Grant’s blog, and photography website. The information he provides is extremely helpful, especially for Chicago citizens. Each tab on the top of his blog explores a different section that allows visitors to find reading material, local establishments that practice the importance of good, clean, fair food, a featured photo highlighting a fellow foodie and a newsletter. From this one site the reader can experience many other sites online and hopefully make a new connection like I was able to.

  

    

On a side note, his photography is extravagent and here are some samples to give you a taste.

        

Bon appetit.


Encountering Problems…

While spending more time investigating Instagram and Vimeo, I’ve encountered a few issues that seem to be holding me back from utilizing these specialized services to their maximum capacity.

After spending a lot of time on Instagram, I’ve been left wondering if their interface is just entirely too simple? I haven’t really found that spending hours and hours on this site will really help me get further connected to the service. All of my interactions with this service have been quick. I usually check my news, feed, and take a fast look at the popular photos and then it seems like I’ve done all I can possibly do on this website until some the people I follow update their pages again in the next few days. This could be because most of the people I interact with use this service very sporadically. It hasn’t become something that my friends use on a daily basis. People don’t automatically think of Instagram when they want to upload a picture. This could be because other websites like Facebook are more of an all encompassing/ one-stop shop site, and they don’t feel like using Instagram has any advantages over using Facebook . It is not worthwhile to upload their picture sseparately to Instagram. I have personally been using Instagram as the first place to upload my  photos because it allows me to share my pictures with not only the people that follow me on Instagram, but it also sends my pictures to Facebook and Twitter with the click of a button. It is convenient because I can go to one place to share my photos in multiple locations. This a very young website, so hopefully its convenience and simplicity will help it catch on in the future.

 

I’m having a similar problem with getting my work noticed on Vimeo. I virtually have no followers because Vimeo is a fairly small media sharing website with only 3 million users worldwide. It has not become a mainstream website within my friend circle, so when I upload a video, I must rely on people I don’t know to view it. The problem with this has been that it is difficult to make connections with people. I messaged one person I follow and asked what his advice was on getting noticed within this website. Unfortunately, he has not responded yet. This website seems to be geared toward a more professional audience, which could be why my video is not being viewed as many times as I would like. I need to focus more creating more communication with Vimeo in order to better be able to utilize the features on Vimeo.


Mark Bittman’s impact on food

As my practicum project is allowing me to explore the different communities and bloggers of special interest groups I wanted to highlight one blogger I find most interesting and insightful. Mark Bittman is a writer for the New York times and has his own food blog embedded into the news paper. He idea of the food industry has been evolving with the recent increase in a need for local sustainable establishments and practices. Each week Bittman disseminates a slew of informative, thought provoking and definitely intruging links to other articles, blogs or websites regarding similar food issues. This week I have taken some screen shots of what I found most important to my practicum.

Bittman is using the the various links in order to connect people with real time news about food issues through the article from the Los Angeles Times about how San Francisco has put a price tag on McDonald’s toys so they can not be given away for free with kids meals.

The issues that Bittman stresses to be most important are directly inline with Slow Food ideals as he informs his readers on how to reduce their carbon footprint and support the local movement. However, he does not do this in a biased manner. Like many other pieces written for the New York Times Bittman delievers information solely for the purpose to inform. This is illustrated in his link to the article, ‘Is the locavore food movement bad for the environment and economy?’.

Another helpful link that I found on this week’s list was for those who are passionate about supporting their local ideals and wanting to have a farm is with the typical hoop house. Hoop houses usually are quite an ordeal depending on the size of your garden, however Bittman offers an article explaining windowfarms. This could be especially helpful to those of us who live in cold climates for a majority of the year. This is allowing people to fully enthrall themselves with supporting the Slow Food movement.

Finally the last link that I definitely thought I needed to share even though it may not be essential to the Slow Food argument is the introduction of horse meat! I was terrified and appalled that this could be a future menu item at a restaurant, the only comment I can make is I hope it is locally raised and they went in peace.

I hope you all enjoyed this post and next week make sure to check out Bittman’s next post! Bon appetit.

 

 


Editing wikipedia- my final practicum post!

I chose to update the Wikipedia page for “online activism”. I have to admit that I was a little hesitant to contribute to Wikipedia. I know its open to contribution by its users by design, but I was worried that what I could add may not be seen as coming from credible enough of a source to be worth including. My practicum research consisted of my own observation, and not necessarily facts that I read from scholarly research. In short, I treaded somewhat lightly, adding information and elaborating on concepts where I could. I’ve included photos of the page before I edited it, along with “after” photos so you can see exactly what I wrote:

-First, under the “criticism” section of Internet activism, I elaborated on the concept of digital divides and how it relates to activism, particularly which groups may be left out of activism online (those w/ less access to technology, or lacking technology literacy).

<– BEFORE

 

<– AFTER

 

 

-Second, I expanded upon the idea of “slacktivisim” which was mentioned briefly under the ‘criticism’ section. The idea was introduced without detail, so I expanded upon it by explaining how Internet activism in itself cannot lead to tangible change and that many people fail to be activists beyond their computer.

<–BEFORE

 

<–AFTER

 

-Third, I added additional information not touched upon in the ‘criticism’ section by summarizing arguments for and against the belief that the Internet is good for activism.

 

 

 

It ended up being pretty cool to see things that I wrote on a major website like Wikipedia…who knows how long it will stay up, but satisfying none the less. I believe my contributions to the site provide useful and important insight into issues associated with online activism.