Thursday, May 15, 2008

The end is near, well is here!

Well, this is it, my last official blog for the purposes of this assignment. I must admit I have become quite fond of I have found myself jumping on in my spare time to see who has commented on my posts and what they have said and to read other peoples entries. I can probably safely say I will be utilizing this service even after virtual cultures has finished. Another fantastic procrastination tool! I plan to use it as a place for relaxtion - somewhere to let my thoughts run free!!

So thankyou KCB201 for introducing me to the blogging experience as it really has been fun (apart from the fact that it has all been assessable until now.)

But for now,

Over and Out!

The Great Facebook Debate continues....

So I was reading MX magazine on the train on the way home from uni yesterday and found a very interesting article. The title 'Killer's Facebook Antics' immediately caught my attention. In light of the recent comments and issues about Facebook, I thought I'd post it for those who have not read it.

Gangland murderer Carl Williams is behind bars, but on Facebook he is ‘partying’ with 971 friends, sipping cyber cocktails and taking virtual happy pills.
On Carl Williams Facebook page, which appears to be run by his wife, Roberta, the underworlds killer’s mood today described as ‘happy’.
Roberta told Melbourne Radio Station, 3AW today that the page was legitimate. With a growing list of well-wishers, it verges on a Carl Williams fan site.
It has a photo of a fresh faced and smiling Williams, with his daughter, Dhakota.
The profile states Williams cannot respond to messages, but they are appreciated. “Nasty Messages” however, would be deleted.
“Carl will (answer) once he reads and receives a print out,” it reads.
Victorian prisoners do not have access to the internet and it is clear ho much input Roberta has with the site.
Messages showered praise on the killer. One fan wrote: “Keep your chin up, you have SSSOOO much support out here.”
Williams has received 41 alcoholic drinks on the page and a dozen pills from friends including ‘extra potent’ Viagra.
Crime victims advocate Noel McNamara said today that the Facebook site made Williams out to be a hero and should be banned. “It’s pretty disgusting,” McNamara said.
Among Williams’ friends are fake Facebook profiles for Tony Mokbel and Wayne Carey.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Round two of the Facebook fight!

I know many people have read Axel's blog on Facebook and his, well, disliking of the program. Several of my fellow bloggers have made comments on their own blogs about the topic, but I decided I'd actually comment on HIS ACTUAL BLOG. So I headed to Snurblog and found that a post had already been made - with the same view as myself. I posted my comment and left it at that. I returned to Snurblog a few days later and was excited (but did not expect) to find a reply - from Axel. His opinion had not changed, and it became very obvious that Axel really despises Facebook's functionality. So I thought I should write a more in depth response to try and see what others have to say.

In some respects I agree with what Axel is saying - I am sure there are much better social networking mediums out there, after all, technology does keep evolving and people have more ability to create these sites. I have never used Ning but after brief exploration it seems quite good.

But the fact remains, a Facebook user does have the ability to make distinctions between their friends. They can add them into 'networks' such as QUT, Queensland, Brisbane, etc. They do not have to add someone if they don't know them well. You actually have to sit down and work this out for yourself though - and I dont know if Axel has explored this.

"So, whether Facebook is 'well used', as Elyse puts it, has fairly little to do with whether it provides better social networking tools than its competitors" (From Snurblog).

I did not mean my comments to be taken in the way they have been - I just wanted to say it seems that because Facebook is so popular (let's face it, we know it is), most people are obvioulsy happy with the service it provides. And perhaps similarily to myself, others have not experienced other social networks so they do not realize there are in fact better social networks out there.

But I can see there is no point in continuing to rant, because frankly it's not going to change his opinion, and I don't believe we really should try to, because everyone is entitled to there own opinions. Snurb has obviously found social networks he believes to be better than Facebook.

I admit, maybe Facebook got it wrong - perhaps it should not be called friends. A better term could be acquaintance or collegue, or a mixture of the three, but really, what's in a name?

So I encourage you to take a look at Snurb's blog, and the comments and the replies that follow. Please post a comment to my blog to let me know what you think. (Also, have a look at Brendam's Blog on Facebook faux par for another opinion!) Hope to hear from you all!

What on earth is Zeitgeist?

I was on a fellow kcb201ers blog the other day and saw her blog on Zeitgeist and it intrigued me. I watched the clips she had posted and was fascinated. I'm not really going to say too much about it because I believe they are quite interesting and I think everyone should watch.

Basically so you have some idea, Zeitgeist is segmented into 3 parts:
  1. The Greatest Story Ever Told - on religion and "the Jesus myth"
  2. All The World's A Stage - on 9/11 and what "really" happened
  3. Don't Mind The Men Behind The Curtain - the conspiracy behind central banking
So, if you feel like some insight (and want to procrastinate from uni or work), go to 'Chorazy Thoughts' - Zeitgeist and The Future of Zeitgeist.

Plus you could take a look at these sights...

The Official Zeitgeist Website
Wikipedia - Zeitgeist
Zeitgeist on YouTube

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Web 2.0 and Web 3.0...

I was searching YouTube recently to see if I could find anything regarding web 2.0. Of course I was not disappointed. I found a video of Tim O'Reilly (who I made reference to in my web 1.0 vs web 2.0 blog) standing there and talking about his view on Web 2.0.

I also found another regarding web 3.0 (from Eric Schmidt). Again, i thought it was quite interesting.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Are we Google dependant?

This time of semester is the busyiest for most students - we have multiple assignments and the fear of end of semester exams. Being one of those students, I find it very hard to find the time to get everything done... and unfortunately that has been the case for my blog.

I logged on just the other day to start writing on the topic, open source software, and to my surprise, Axel's article had been taken down. So I googled it but could not find his article anywhere.

Google had failed me.

There are not many occasions when I would say this, but it got me thinking about how dependant I am on Google. Whenever I don't know something, I log onto my computer, type it into Google, and there's my answer. For example, if I don't know the meaning of a word, I'll 'google it.' Long gone are the days when we take out our dictionaries, flip to the letter and scan through all the words - we can do this online now which takes hardly anytime.

Yes, I have gone on a slight tangent and have not focussed at all on open source software, but this realisation has made me a little concerned. Is everyone like me? Are we all addicted to 'googling?' I think we are very close and with evolving technologies, it is probably safe to say that in the very near future we will be living in 'The Google Era.'

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Produsage-based Citizen Journalism

Citizen journalism has been a term constantly mentioned in the Creative Industries faculty. at QUT. In the Virtual Cultures subject, I have been introduced to open source software
and have learnt that both these terms (citizen journalism and open source software) are very similar and according to Bruns (2008, 69) directly related.

For some reason I have not completely been able to grasp the concept of citizen journalism; I’ve always have a vague idea, but I was never comfortable with its meaning. Of course I searched Wikipedia, and finally, I’m able to say I have an understanding of it. I also found a YouTube video, which also helped me to understand. So, for the purposes of this blog, I am going to focus on citizen journalism, however, open source software will be linked, as they are quite similar concepts.

Citizen journalism, also known as public or participatory journalism, is the act of citizens "playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information," (Wikipedia 2008). The form of journalism that was "by the people" began to flourish (this was enabled by web 2.0 and the array of networking environments) and people began expressing themselves through weblogs, chat rooms, message boards, wikis and mobile computing (Wikipedia 2008).

Axel Bruns (2008, 71) identifies gatekeeping and gatewatching as important elements in controlling citizen journalism. “Gatekeeping selects the stories to be covered in the products of mainstream journalism from the totality of all news currently available in the world” (Bruns 2008, 71). Gatewatching on the other hand, relies on the user to determine what they find interesting and what they want to share with their peers (Bruns 2008, 74).

The concept of produsage is linked to citizen journalism. Bruns (2008, 74) notes that open news produsage reverses the conventional industrial production process.
“Industrial software production operates on a principle of ‘develop to marketable quality, then release,’ whereas open source often releases its projects in no more than embryonic versions, divides the production process into granular produsage tasks, and then engages in the open and communally organized development of software to what we continue to refer to as ‘commercial quality’ ” (Bruns 2008, 74).

So how does one become a citizen journalist? Bruns (2008, 74) suggests that similarly to open source software development, citizen journalists begin with an idea that interests them and that will interest their peers and starts developing. The wider community then evaluates and adds more information and views – thus showing produsage at work.

We are living in a world with multiple networked and online environments, all of which have different approaches. However, the citizen journalism movement has developed a “sophisticated array of processes, tools, and technologies” in order for it to take place across the many websites that make up the movement (Bruns 2008, 70).

As Axel Bruns (2008, 95) concludes, “Produsage-based citizen journalism is the first step towards restoring access to the public institution of journalism for a wide range of citizens-turned-produsers." Produsage-based citizen journalism has broken the commercial hold of industrial capitalism in the journalistic industry (Bruns 2008, 95).

Journalists must embrace produsage and realize that in order to succeed in an online environment, they must utilize their users as produsers as a way to explore other elements of the news.

Bruns, A. 2008. News Blogs and Citizen Journalism: Perpetual Collaboration in Evaluating the News in Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond: From Production to Produsage, 69-100. New York: Peter Lang. (accessed April 30, 2008).

Wikipedia. 2008. Citizen Journalism. (accessed April 30, 2008).