Simple Girl In A Complex Technological World

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When it comes to the Web, I’m the ultimate example of someone with a short attention span. If there are no interesting photos, a video or some kind of interactive feature to keep me reading an article, I’m gone. This is where multimedia comes in and why so many online newspapers, such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal are integrating multimedia. The bottom line is, people don’t have the attention span to read a text only article, we do however have the attention span to watch longer online videos.

In a New York Times article, the web site Hulu.com is discussed. Now that is a site that can hold my attention. In addition to having a large library of movies and sitcoms, Hulu also has episodes of The Daily Show and various Fox News reports. During the Presidential Election, Hulu also had full length videos of the debates online.

As mentioned above, due to Hulu and other online video sites success with holding the attentions of an ADD World, online news sites have recognized the need to add multimedia elements such as Flash, to their articles to keep eyeballs on their articles.

Although multimedia hasn’t been fully integrated on all news sites, it is an idea being developed and in the near future, should be expected to be seen much more often as far as interactive content. For now, those with attention spans such as myself will continue to sift through articles to find those that keep us from being bored off the page.

Below is an example of a hulu.com clip. Enjoy!

There’s nothing worse than having unflattering things written and posted about you on the internet. With sites like Juicy Campus and social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace, more and more information is being posted about individuals, not all of it being good.

With an increasing number of employers checking facebook and googling potential employees, its becoming even more important for people to clean up their digital dirt and internet skeletons. Kirsten Dixson, author of “Career Distinction: Stand Out By Building Your Brand,” suggests that individuals should set up google alerts to track their names and any new dirt that may arise.

Setting an alert may seem like a little much for some but do you really want a potential employer to run across a Live Journal you wrote when you were 14, or the myspace you made in high school? Probably not.

In my personal experience, removing information and being more savvy about what I publish on the internet was the best option. Even if when googling my name the first result is my Facebook account, there is really nothing on there I would be scared to show an employer.

The bottom line is everyone needs to be careful about what they and others publish about themselves online because if your online reputation is dirty, it could mean the difference between getting the job and being left to look at classifieds.


Reading is FUNdamental. This is what I was taught throughout my educational career. Guess they forgot to mention being Web literate..

Luckily for me, and the other people of my generation, we’ve grown up with the Web. But what about the rest of society? “Web Illiteracy” and “Lower Literacy” is a huge problem facing individuals who weren’t so lucky to have been raised since birth with a computer mouse to play with.

Web illiteracy is more of an issue with people over the age of 65, even former Presidential Candidate John McCain stated in an interview that he was “Web Illiterate.” In today’s day and age, its expected of individuals to have the basic skills, or “lower literacy” when it comes to the Web. There’s even a man selling videos to teach people to use the Web.

Of course, being Web literate is more than just being able to read things on the Web, its about being able to successfully navigate around the Web, as well as be able to analyze media and participate online, but if a Web user has at least a lower literacy level, they are much better off.

So for all of us who were raised learning to read with the Sesame Street gang, and playing Oregon Trail on a floppy disk, consider yourselves lucky to be as Web literate and computer savvy as you are because without the years of growing with the Web, you”d just be another Web illiterate.

Twilight READ Poster

Twilight READ Poster

“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.” George Bernard Shaw

Traditional journalists, you need a reality check: New media is running circles around traditional journalism and if you want to survive, you need to take some lessons from the not-so new kids on the block-Bloggers.

President of Advance Internet and independent blogger Jeff Jarvis agrees with my opinion and mentions in his blog, “BuzzMachine” this:

“It is our [journalists’] fault that we did not see the change coming soon enough and ready our craft for the transition. It is our fault that we did not see and exploit – hell, we resisted – all the opportunities new media and new relationships with the public presented.”

But there is hope for traditional journalists and journalism itself, take a lesson from the bloggers and begin to listen and engage the public in conversation, and while you’re at it, put a little personality into your writing. Opening up to the public may help to forge a stronger relationship and support greater loyalty by readers.

In another BuzzMachine blog by Jarvis, he mentions the concept of “networked journalism,” meaning both professionals and amateurs working together to get the facts and to make sure the real story is published, whether it be in print or online. As Jarvis says, “this isn’t about citizens or amateurs vs. professionals. We’re all in this together. Journalism is a collaborative venture. Journalism is a network.”

What it all comes down to is this: traditional media must embrace interactivity with the public if it wants to keep the audiences it has and to attract future generations. Traditional journalists must essentially throw tradition to the wind and not be afraid to go out and get closer to the people, rather than the elite and executive they may be reporting on.

So confession, I absolutely love the movie Back To The Future. The idea that someone can go back in time and change so much about what will happen in the future. Obviously real world science hasn’t come up with a time traveling Delorean but there is another way to go back in time… by way of online archives.

Going back via the online archives won’t let you change the future but it gives the chance to see what a site may have looked like in years past or look at the front page stories of the time. But what happens when a story is removed or not archived at all? If a story was printed, it exists until the paper it was printed in is destroyed but online, a few simple clicks and it never existed or a few edits and the facts are changed.

It is a bit eerie that publications have the power to make it seem that some stories never happened and it brings about thoughts of 1984 in that aspect but the fact is, this does really happen. Stories are removed everyday online whether it be because of public outcry or simply time to make room for newer stories. The question is, should online editors delete the past? My opinion is no because every article and piece of news history deserves to remain online or to be documented and moved to print so that future generations can look back on the news articles of our time (no matter how unimportant they may seem)

Back To The Online Archives

Back To The Online Archives

A day without the Internet. Sounds like a nightmare to me. I have a love affair with the Internet and Web 2.0.

Everyday I check my email, MSN for the news, and Facebook to see what my friends are up to. The Internet has become a part of my routine and to think of going without it is quite a scary thought.

To imagine the United States going a day, much less over a week, without the Internet would be chaos. People love the Internet so much that airlines are beginning to add wireless to their flights (for a price, of course). Without the Internet, many organizations and businesses would face major communication problems due to the lack of email, stock trade between other countries would be hindered, and for the average college student, instant messengers and Facebook would not be working at all. Scary. I know.

With the United States so dependant on the Internet, you would think the government might want to protect the location of the cables that provide us with the precious commodity that is the Internet but unfortunately for us, that is not the case. Just Google “Submarine Internet Cables” and up comes a map of the locations of all existing and future Internet cables worldwide. Sure hope the terrorists don’t know how to use Google.

Hopefully the United States never faces an Internet failure such as the one faced in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, and the nightmare of an America without Internet won’t come true.

I love Web 2.0. There, I said it. Does it make me selfish and shallow to say so? According to Andrew Keen, yes. According to David Weinberger, no.

David Weinberger, author of Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Order, heavily discusses the Web site Wikipedia and the process of individuals contributing to make an article more credible and truthful. He has a positive attitude towards this technology and I agree with him, although I do have some minor reservations about Wikipedia.

In Weinberger’s book, Phillip Bradley, a librarian and internet consultant, was quoted as saying that Wikipedia is “a lovely idea,” but “I wouldn’t use it, and I’m not aware of a single librarian who would.”

I’ve used Wikipedia multiple times throughout my school career, but if I did use it, I sometimes double checked the information with other credible sources online. It’s not that I have trust issues with Wikipedia, I just wanna make sure my facts are right. I find it unfortunate that this librarian Bradley refuses to use Wikipedia because it is a good resource and a prime example of the positives coming out of Web 2.0.

David Weinberger and I have many of the same views regarding Web 2.0. We both see it as a conversation and a very much social and personalized thing. As long as a user “plays well with others,” and most do, then things run smoothly and everyone is able to get more information.

Andrew Keen thinks everyone is an amateur who has no business contributing to things like Wikipedia without proper training.

Sorry Keen, I’m with Weinberger on this one and I’ll say it again, I love Web 2.0 and Wikipedia.

Stewie loves Web 2.0 as much as me

Stewie loves Web 2.0 as much as me


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