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!







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!

Wikipedia Entry

The “Postsecret” page on was pretty informative. I included a detailed background story of how Frank began the project, how different media outlets have responded to Postsecret, and information about the Postsecret books. I was shocked, however, that there was no information on the Wikipedia page about the iPhone app, which has ended up being a huge part of my practicum project. So, under the heading, “Public attention and other media.” I added a brief summary of the launch of the Postsecret App through Apple. I included information that was shared on the Postsecret Twitter account (such as the launch date, popularity, etc) to ensure accuracy in my post.

Over the course of the semester I have saved my favorite secrets from the Postsecret App; I figured this is the perfect time to share them with  you… enjoy!!

Postsecret technology

I wonder if Frank realized how integrated Postsecret would become with technology! Since the launch of the iPhone app, the Postsecret community has become more interactive than ever before.

This participation provides a sharp contrast to the Postsecret community blog, another aspect in my practicum project. I am supposed to communicate with the Postsecret community, which has proven to be nearly impossible. In fact, the first discussion post I made on the blog, which ironically has remained to be the most “popular” conversation on the blog, has had no responses since my post months ago. It was much more rewarding and entertaining to look at secrets on the iPhone app- I can respond to recently posted secrets and potentially have someone respond to what I posted, possibly creating a conversation. No matter what I posted to the blog, there was no response. I rarely published a secret on the iPhone app which didn’t have some kind of response- so far, the biggest response I received got 139 “hearts” and 6 replies!! I was thrilled. However, there is the possibility that a secret can fall through the cracks of the iphone and become lost in the app. Many times, I see secrets from people who are suicidal, posted either as a last cry for help or as a goodbye post. It frightens me to think that someone who feels so alone might not be comforted by the Postsecret community.

Because when this community has the opportunity to get together- amazing things are possible. I often look at the Postsecret app right when I wake up in the morning- one day, I saw this secret-

I immediately “heart-ed” the secret. I planned to continue to check the app throughout the day, but the next time I checked the app (not even a full half hour later), I saw that the secret was not only a top secret of the hour, but there were far more than 100 hearts:

Though, as you can see, some people responded with hurtful messages, other responses were more supportive:

A short while later, the writer of the original secret responded to his secret by saying:

I was happy that I was able to be a small part of this person’s journey. I now check my Postsecret app more often than my Facebook or Twitter apps, which is saying a lot.

My favorite, of course, is checking the Postsecret blog (different from the community blog) on Sundays, where Frank posts the Sunday secrets. However, as many times as I emailed my responses of the secrets to Frank, none of my messages were chosen to be included in his blog. So, to end this blog post, I will share my favorite secret from this week:

Practicum 6

So tomorrow’s the big day. Everything seems to be coming together and upon further reading I and research I’ve come to see WoW in a new light. A lot of things I was unsure about I looked up and even happened to stumbled across other things relating to the game that weren’t even on my radar. My presentation is quite simple really – it starts with a description of MMORPGs, followed by a description of my specific MMORPG(WoW), and then delves into my own personal experience with the game. 

The question(s) I have for you guys is as follows: What sets a MMORPG apart from a regular video game? From an online virtual reality such as Second Life? What is the appeal to its players? 

Flickr: Practicum #7

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.

Flickr: Practicum #6

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.

Flickr: Practicum #5 (Wikipedia Entry)

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 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.

Homepage updates!

Hi everyone!

So, after getting the html coding sequence down, I finally know how to make a sidebar along side each page, within each category. This way the sidebar is not a long list of images compiled from every page of my website. Here’s what I mean:


Once you click on either of the headline categories, Graphic Design or Studio Art as examples above, it brings you to the first image of my graphic design work (left image) and the first image of my studio artwork (right image), along with a list of my other pieces I have done in both areas. Each list is completely different, for the sidebar depends on the category of her users click on to see. This was a huge step I needed to accomplish in order to continue updating and editing the pages of my website. Now, I have an organized (organization is key) list of my work, categorized under separate pages, which makes it easier for users to know what type of work of mine that they are looking at. This is essential because let’s say someone wants to hire me for a design position, but only wants to see my skills in typography. Now, they can just go to the category, “typography,” and see the relevant work they want to see from me.  I clearly have not uploaded all of my graphic design work yet because as you can see the list is compiled of two pieces, BUT I will be uploading more this week. I also plan on including a description of each piece underneath the artwork.

Additionally, a friend of mine came up to me today and said, “Elissa, I got your tweet that you put another artwork ” No Time for Breakfast,” up, and it looks awesome!” I didn’t even tell her about my website, so it was really great to hear that Twitter was automatically spreading the word about my website and telling people its updates for me!

Practicum Post #1: Presentation Tomorrow on Microblogging

Hi Class,

Tomorrow I’ll be presenting on my practicum project.  I was assigned to microblogging and decided to focus my efforts on Twitter.  I’ll begin by discussing how Twitter works, for those of you who do not frequent the site, and touch on some of the common practices people use.  I’ll also be focusing on how popularity is gained, how different types of users (media sources, celebrities, etc.) use Twitter, and the way people present their identities on the site.  To finish, I’ll discuss the similarities and differences between blogging and microblogging, as well as how Twitter is exemplary of Web 2.0.  My group and I will also compare our three projects and explain how they are related and differ.

I’ve been making a lot of progress on my project, and I have a lot of great information to share with all of you.  While many of you already have Twitter accounts, I hope I can provide you with some helpful information from my personal experiences.

My question for all of you is: Twitter only allows users to “Tweet” up to 140 characters at a time.  Do you think this is representative of our fast-paced society, and do you think it is an effective and appropriate way to get information out to “Followers”?

Have a good night,