Whew! The journey has come to an end!

It’s been a busy and amazing 6 weeks. I must first say that I really liked the approach to this class. I liked the “seminar” feel to it of being able to discover various technologies on my own while having some theory to ground me. I really hope the dept offers classes like this again (during the summer). As a side note: how about something about simulations and gaming? 😉

Although I wasn’t too big of a fan of Bruns (but I’m allowed to be a critical thinker as a grad student), I believe he did have a lot of information to add about this field. His PhD is in media and cultural studies, so he really is an academic writer and not just some self-published hack.

Over the past 6 weeks, I was able to play with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, wikis, blogs, Delicious, Technorati, and a few others (my poor brain is a bit overwhelmed still). I was also able to create two produsages of which I’m pretty proud of and hope will continue. The IS PhD wiki served a purpose for a community that I belong to, while the gluten-free blog fulfilled a personal desire that I’ve had since I was diagnosed with Celiac in Jan of 2006.

I was also able to see how my classmates used some of the same technologies to develop produsages of all types. It’s amazing what you can do with a wiki or a blog. I hope to be able to play around with some of the produsages a bit more in depth over the next few weeks/months.

But, for now…I need a bit of a technology break! 🙂

News follow-up…

First one, then another, then another, then another — (now) former employees of my husband’s former company posted on their Facebook pages that they had been laid off today. It first started with the wife of a former employee whose status message said that her husband was not spared. She also posted an article from Gamasutra (an online gaming magazine) about the demise of the company (which I’ve suspected for a LONG time now).

I began to wonder how the company would feel about people badmouthing it in a semi-public forum. Just something to think about….

Needing a Technology Detox

I’m giving credit to my friend Anne for suggesting this idea. She’s taking 4 or 5 days to not check her e-mail, not log onto Facebook or Twitter, not answer her phone about impending events.

I can’t say I blame her. I need one too.

Sometimes I reminisce about the days that I didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. and I think how nice it was to have the phone ring and it was a friend calling to tell me their good news about a new baby or new job or just to check in on how I was doing.

I think how great it was to get a personalized card in the mail inviting me to something (rather than an evite). Can you believe people use evite to invite people to a wedding?! I think my grandmother (a General’s wife and a Philadelphia society woman in the 20s) would be highly disappointed.

In some cases I think with the creation of all of these new technologies, we’re leaving behind some of the good ones. I don’t get holiday cards in the mail anymore — I get an e-mailed newsletter!

I guess it just seems like we’re losing the personal touch with people. Sure I can post something on Facebook and all 200+ of my “friends” can choose to see it and respond to it. However, having to call 200+ people to let them know I got married or had a baby would be quite overwhelming.

In any case, I’m hoping to detox from technology for a few days. The real question though is: Can I do it?

Do I still need the news?

It’s funny how I get my “news” now.

I found out that one of my high school friends had a baby (didn’t even know she was pregnant), because she posted a message about her new arrival on Facebook.

My husband’s ex-company is going downhill. He received a message from Linked In that one of the higher-ups was now at a new company.  Some of his friends are posting on their Facebook pages and are tweeting about how this week there are “big changes coming” and that they are worried.

When the bombings happened in Jakarta a few weeks ago, I found out through Twitter and then went to CNN’s Web site. There was nothing from the AP yet.

So I wonder, what will happen to traditional journalists with all of the Web 2.0 technologies? I’m just really glad I decided to pursue education/engineering after I finished my English degree! 🙂

Week 5 Summary

It was a bit of a “slow” week, so here’s the short-and-sweet summary:

Interacted on Facebook, Twitter, TriangleMommies.

Listened to a LOT of music on Pandora while writing various papers!

4 Blog posts for Web 2.0

4 DB posts, including a question about whether or not Pandora counts as Web 2.0

Heavily skimmed the book

Read several blog postings on Celiac Disease

Read the course blog. LOVED the one about the crazy people e-mails! Commented on the blog about that one. I have one to add to the Web site! 😉

Discovered Technorati and StumbleUpon

Submitted Produage #2 paper

Read a few classmate’s blog postings, including the “incident” in Second Life!

We’re almost there!!!

I stumbled upon StumbleUpon (again)

When I was first introduced to StumbleUpon 2 years ago, I only used it once. I had a hard time figuring out the purpose of this site and how it could be useful to me.

I thought I would try it again! 🙂

I logged in, and typed “karate” in the search field and pressed the Enter key. I was immediately whisked away to a YouTube video with a guy playing the piano. What that had to do with karate is beyond me!

I finally made it back to the main page and clicked the “Stumble” button. The most beautiful picture of Crater Lake (in Oregon…my home state) displayed on my screen. It made me miss the Pacific NW even more than usual! 🙁 (I haven’t been able to go home in 4 years.)

I was able to share the picture with my husband by e-mailing it to him AND I could post it to my Facebook profile in a matter of seconds. Pretty cool! 🙂

I looked at my selected topics, which were “literature, photography, travel, and writing.” I selected photography and clicked Stumble. I was taken to another site with beautiful pictures from an African safari in black and white. I clicked Stumble again…another Web site with pictures from an underwater professional photographer.

StumbleUpon is a great timewaster, but I’m still trying to figure out how it could be used! 🙂

Authorship and Copyright

I don’t know if issues like copyright or authorship really deter me from participating in produsage. I still post my ideas on a blog, tweet about various topics, share my pictures on Shutterfly (which is password protected), and use Facebook to send messages or post pictures.

But, let me clarify this a bit further. I am ONLY doing this on a personal, not professional, level. I don’t engage in these on a professional level, for the most part.

I’ve encountered an authorship/ownership issue before while working for Big Blue. My manager at Big Blue wanted to use my research (from before I worked there) for his own benefit within the company without allowing me to retain the rights to it. So, I contacted our corporate IP attorney who advised me of my rights. In the end, I held onto my research and walked with a very lovely severance package.

However, in my “other” professional life I’m a graduate student and I do believe in sharing information with others.

As far as copyright is concerned, I believe that Facebook technically holds the rights to the pictures that I post and can use them in ads (unless I opt out, which I’ve done). That doesn’t really deter me from posting pictures, but I should “proceed with caution.”

In any case, I just try to be aware of what I’m posting. If it’s something that I don’t want to share with the world, then I don’t! 🙂


Tweet….Tweet!

I started using Twitter specifically for this class and even though in the beginning, didn’t find a use for it….I finally am beginning to like it! 🙂

Of course you can follow some people that tweet all day about random things (going to the grocery store, what they ate for breakfast, that their child ate sweet potatoes for the first time), but I’ve also found it useful for two reasons:

1. You can post a quick question to your followers and get several responses.

2. You can follow people who can point you to several different resources.

Let me give examples of both of these.

I have a friend in NC who had questions about Celiac and managing it by living gluten free. Several of “us” that follow her were able to post responses about food, resources, etc.

I follow the “GlutenFreeDude” who must not doing anything else than tweet all day, but he has become an awesome resource. He posts links about articles in medical journals, recipes, blogs, conferences, living gluten free, etc. He’s probably using some kind of Web 2.0 technology to aggregate all this information, but I have yet to ask him what he uses.

I also use the search feature in Twitter. If you post something about a particular topic, you can use the # symbol followed by the word (i.e. #glutenfree) and then people can search for your tweet. My current searches are: #glutenfree #Celiac #GF

I also follow Bob’s Red Mill (a company in Oregon that makes gluten-free baking mixes), Celiac Awareness, Triumph Dining (they produce an awesome grocery guide for gluten-free items), oh…and Oprah, George Stephanopoulos (love ya George!!), and Anthony Rapp (from Rent).

Twitter has become a Web 2.0 tool that I’ll definitely keep up with after the class ends! 🙂

Technorati

Like most of the Web 2.0 tools, I had never heard of Technorati before today. I wasn’t even sure what the purpose of it was — social networking, bookmarking, blog host? I had no idea.

Well, now I know and it’s pretty cool! Technorati searches the “blogosphere” for whatever subject you are interested in reading. My first search: “gluten free” which resulted in 5,831 results, which included videos and blogs with those words. My second search: “celiac” which resulted in 1,190 results.

That’s pretty impressive!

You can also see what other tags people are using that are related to your search term. You can also compare your search term with another search term and the results display on a line chart. I did this for fun and typed in “moms” in comparison with “celiac.” Guess which one won out?! I guess mom knows best!

Oh, I can’t forget to mention, you can also filter your results by language, type of entry (blogs, videos, posts, photos), blogs/tags and/or authority.

I can see how Technorati could be useful. I just don’t know how often I’ll use it…which seems to be a common theme for me with some of the tools. I’m faithful to Facebook, blogs, Shutterfly, and now I’m starting to like Twitter. I just don’t know about using other things on a regular basis.

“Friends” in Web 2.0

One topic that has come up in our discussion board this week is about friends in the Web 2.0 environment. This issue became quite near and dear to my heart over the past few weeks.

I have over 250 friends on Facebook. Most of the people I went to high school with 15 years ago, some are ex co-workers or friends from Oregon I haven’t seen in 4 years, some are from the various universities I’ve attended, and a very small handful are my husband’s friends or former co-workers.

My life has evolved a lot in the past year and a half. I got married, had a baby, left my job, sold my house and my husband’s house, and moved to a different state, and started my PhD. Yes, it’s been a busy one.

Most of my life has to do with my daughter or school, which are both frequent topics I post about on Facebook. Several of my friends have also recently had children, so we share stories back and forth or post comments about how cute the babies are, etc.

All pretty harmless stuff, until you get one person who ruins the party for everyone. My husband has a lot of friends in the video game community in NC, where he used to work for over a decade. He is also friends with these people on Facebook. They used to harass him because he wasn’t posting enough pics of the baby, etc. So..I became friends with them (on Facebook) because I kept the pics up-to-date.

Well, one of these people has recently become a nuisance. She has decided to post negative comments on several of my postings about all sorts of things.

So, this morning, I decided it was time to clean up some of my so-called “friends” on Facebook and remove them. I would rather not read negative comments every time I log onto Facebook.

I think there should be some way to “tag” your status messages so only certain people could see them. Given the diversity of people on my “friends” list, it would be nice to be able to target my messages. Perhaps that may happen…..shortly after we get a “dislike” option! 🙂