Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Internet: A Great Tool...or a Dangerous Weapon?

Privacy. Does this word still exist? Does it hold just as much value and respect as it did 20years ago? 10 years ago? Or 5? Hell, what about 2? With the endless help of the Internet corporations people can find personal information on individuals. This means your boss can google your name, find your facebook page, and see pictures of you getting drunk and dancing on a stripper poll in Cancun, Mexico. And this goes beyond risky pictures, people can find addresses and phone numbers of whom ever they desire. So ladies that guy that you don't want to give your number to can easily obtain it through the Internet along with your address and all your last month purchases. Yikes! Although the Internet is identified as a great tool, it can also be used as a dangerous weapon.

This topic reminds me of the movie Mr. Brooks (awesome movie!). It told the story of a man that had an obession with killing people, played by Kevin Costner. The character went about stalking his victims by using what? You guess it...the Internet. By doing so he gathered enough information to determine when and where his prey would be, what they like, what they purchased, and most importantly where they lived. Soon after Mr. Brooks would kill his victims, take pictures of the scene, then move on to the next set of victims. Just imagine a real life Mr. Brooks walking down your street. I don't mean to scare anybody, but this is definitely a matter many need to consider. According to an article, Google states that "privacy is still alive" and they are doing everything to protect it. Well thanks google for being so considerate, but what about the websites that are found through "your" search engine people can go to find personal information about me? Those websites can not be blocked...or can they?

So of course I did what many of you would or have already done, I googled myself. What came up was all of the sites I am affiliated with, and off to the side of the search engine it read "want to know more about Cierra Mooney?". I clicked on the link and it took me to a page that display my name, my relatives, and if a fee is paid the site will disclose my address and other personal information.
Along with privacy we must also consider censorship. Three executives at Google were prosecuted in Italy for not taking down a YouTube video of a young autistic boy who was being physically abused by a couple of bullies. Two out of the three was convicted of privacy violation and the other was acquitted. Many believed Google should have taken the footage down as soon as they were aware of the video. Although they video helped people to identify the bullies, who were later convicted to Juvenal, it was still identified as an invasion of privacy. I believe this was a far trail. The executives at Google should be cosiderate of our privacy and censorship. One should not be expose to the world. Some should take the fall, why not the ones that out us there.

I believe we have to protect ourselves in cyberspace, we cannot depend on Google, Yahoo, or any other site to protect us. Some of the steps we can take is becoming more conscious what we put on our social networking site like Facebook. For instance i do not disclose my family members, address, or phone number on my page. Also i do not post any pictures that I would have to explain later. Plus whether we like it or not our boss CAN access our facebook page without our consistent. My dad is executive at a very known company and he has no problem accessing his employees blocked pages if he desired. Fortunately he respect privacy so he does not do that, but whose to say his fellow colleagues would. I've personally have spoken to an executive who admitted to viewing potential employee's pages. They said it gives them insight on their character and whether they seem reliable. I found that to be unfair and critical. Just because someone enjoys having a little obnoxious fun on the weekends does not mean they can't be a reliable employee.

As for the young generation that is growing up in the mitts of privacy and Internet, they may have different expectations. Due to the fact that they have not experienced pre-Internet privacy, they will be a accustom to the little privacy they will have. However, I do believe with the help of their guardian and/or mentor, they could be educated on possible necessary precautions that could be taken in order to not only protect but also value their own space.

The world was never a safe place, but with advance technology it is becoming even more dangerous. Some of you may feel as though this particular post is a bit harsh and pessimistic, but we need to always consider the disadvantages as well as the advantages of the Internet. Do not rely on Google or any other site to protect you. Take the necessary steps to secure your safety, identity, and privacy, because at the end of they day no one is responsible for well-being but you. Go forth and prosper with precaution. TO INFINITY AND BEYOOOOOND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SuperNews Clip:

Australian News Report:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

OMG! Did Internet Just Kill T.V.?

I remember when I was a child. I use to visit my grandparents in my home town Racine Wisconsin. What i remember most was their television. A big box with no remote and only three channels...gawd! i love that I'm sure most of you can relate to this story but lets fast forward twenty years later. Times have definitely changed. Instead of having a big hunky box for a television now you can have a sleek plasma flat screen; and instead of three channels to choose from, your selection has increase to 800. WOW! Now couch potatoes can indulge in the many flavors that T.V has to offer. Allot of this is possible due to the digital convergence of television and Internet. Major networks are teaming up with Internet sites in order for their viewers to enjoy popular shows off the web and on to their laptop or television screen. Not all major network are participating. HBO and other movie channel have decided not to participate. They believe their viewer should pay to see the final episode of the " Sopranos" or the first season of "True Blood." Besides the movie channels, other individuals believe the merger is not the best idea for the public. View the debate panel:

One may ask. "How can i get free Internet television in my home ?" Providers such as Playon, provides Internet content on your television. In other words Internet viewers can watch YouTube, Hulu, Amazon VOD, along with other related sites on their television screen. In order to access this technology one must have a Xbox, Wii, Playstation3, or another service supported box. With that one can have vast amount of viewing pleasure without having to pay $60 a month. Check out this commercial from the new HULU, an Internet television company.

This will definitely change they way we watch TV. Now we have the luxury of choosing what we watch and when. Viewers will no longer have to wait for their favorite shows to come on at their regularly schedule time, and forget about paying a monthly bill, it's free and legal. So I guess you can say viewers are taking control of what they watch and when without the help of TV stations such as CBS, NBC, or even FOX. Well it just so happens that some of these major cable networks have partnered with Internet sites, offering shows such as Lost, Ugly Betty, NipTuck, Family Guy, and so on to Internet television viewers. These cable networks are beginning to recognize the importance and advantage of the Internet, and they want in. So how much control are they really losing when it comes to supplying their shows over the Internet? Not much I say. Although the viewer is picking and choosing when and how they watch these shows, the shows are still governed by the networks. These big wigs is the hand that feeds us. Now if we consider sites like YouTube, which provides major TV shows but also independent content produced by individuals that are not affiliated with major networks, then that hand that was feeding is no longer the TV networks but our own. Sites like these can give opportunities of exposure to independent film makers, producer, writers, and so forth to an even wider audience. In other words one can watch a music video from creative commons Josh Woodward on their television or a Greenovation TV show without it being distributed by a major TV network. Therefore the control that CBS, NBC, and FOX once had would not exist because viewers can watch content for the people and by the people. In this case control will no longer exist for these networks.
Overall I believe Internet television can be very useful for those who are independently creating their own content with out the help of distributor. As many are doing now, one can broadcast their own political opinions through film, or one could expose harsh combat across seas on their camera phone for it to be displayed on 48 inch flat screen. Under these circumstances, Internet television is a very useful too. Yet on the other hand, I rather pay for my cable than use a program like HULU. Yea its convenient and free, but we must also consider advertising. Marketing firms rely off of paid networks to sell their client's products and services. Without commercials, company can not sell, if they don't sell they don't make money, and if they don't make money, people loose their job. Therefore people should continue to be mindful of the possible outcomes. When products and services becomes easier and cheaper, someone becomes unemployed because they are no longer needed. Everything has a cost and at the end of it all...we are all paying for it one way or another. As you go forth continue to maintain prosperity for all men. TO INFINITY & BEYOOOOOOOND!!!!!!!!!!

Homeless TV:

T.V. vs Internet Debat:

Hulu Commercial:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Newspapers v.s. Internet: a Fight to the Death

Oh No!!! What will the world do with out newspapers...what about the loons?!

Growing up my parents encouraged me to read the newspaper. They believed it would expand my vocabulary and allow me to be more socially aware. Now with the emergence of the Internet, people no longer have to pay a $1.50 to read the current events, they can log online and read for free. I wonder if the young people today will gain the same social awareness and advance vocab that I gained form printed newspapers.
The argument we face today is as newspapers decline, Internet journalism increases; it that a good or bad thing?
This can be argued from both sides, with advance technology and digital convergence, Internet journalism seems practical. Today people don't have time to sit at the kitchen table every morning and read the newspaper. People are always on the move, they need it quick and convenient. One of the advantages that Internet journalism has is instant notification. When an event occurs it is quickly upload on the web. One does not have to wait the day after an occurrence before he/she is informed. The Internet supplies instant gratification to its readers. In addition, individuals have the opportunity to became journalist themselves without the hard labor of school or the stress of a bossy editor breathing down your neck. The Internet gives readers infinite sources that supply information on current events...and it's free. No subscription required.

With the easy access to facebook, twitter, self-building website, and of course...blogs, people are easily informed on issue that may or may not reach newspapers or television. People now have the tool (Internet) and ability to create their own news website, voicing their own opinion and allowing others to comment on the stories they chose to talk about. This is referred to as Citizen Journalism. And as i set here and criticize this new wave, I too have taken a dive. Besides this one, I have another blog. On my blog I highlight and discuss situations and events that interest me and i allow people to comment on their feelings as well. Overall, my purpose is to inform others of what I feel is important to ME in society. I am no different than a high paid journalist from New York Time, except I'm not highly paid and i don't work for a legitimate magazine. Yet I am responsible for articles I have researched and written and I have loyal followers/ readers who rely on me to inform them about news that interest them....just like a high paid journalist from New York time. Everything they do I can do to, just on a smaller scale, that has the potential to be a big scale. In addition, Internet journalism can relate to the Long tail effect and creative commons, because this is another way citizen can share information among other fellow citizens that the t.v and newspapers will not disclose. On my blog I cover artist, fashion, and art that is not discuss by mainstream media, and for that reason I have people who follow me because they are interested in non-mainstream media content.

On the contrary, the Internet is robbing readers of detailed information. Although newspaper articles have to go through a process before its published to the public, the public is guaranteed a more secure, accurate, and elaborate description of events. Following the news on the Internet runs the risk of misleading information. And with more people engaging in the reporter's aspect on the Internet, there is a less likely chance individuals would be penalized for the mishaps. With newspapers, journalist are held accountable for their articles, and for that reason, what they put out there for the public to read is taken very seriously.
As I said before, the Internet is becoming this increasingly used tool, and it seems as though journalism isn't going anywhere. With in the next ten years readers are going to be informed electronically. Paper itself will no longer be a useful source (maybe we'll save more trees). Although people will continue to be notified and informed on current events, the lack of quality will rise. As of now newspaper companies are shutting down and many Internet news companies are opening up. In some cities, right next door to each other. Check out this video for example.

Human culture is changing day by day. In 1661 the first newspaper was published and the world was introduced to a form of communications media. Now people are given multiple outlets and opportunities to obtain information. Newspaper journalist use to embodied a certain level of power. Although they were the voice of the people, they too expressed there point of views on different events, creating propaganda. Now they are losing that sense of control because many of their readers took it upon themselves to create and developer their own news source. Either way it's not about how the news is given, its about they way we receive it, digest it, and apply it to our everyday lives. News shape our thoughts; consciously and sub-consciously so whoever is doing the typing, know you are shaping people's thought and point views. As you go forth and prosper consider who you impact along the way. TOOOOO INFINITY & BEYOOOOND!!!!!!!!!!!!

Newspapers and loons:;

Superman cartoon:

Newsy Exclusive: Newydotcom;

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Social Networking: Another World Here on Earth

Social media is taking this world by storm. Sites like Twitter, YouTube, Linkin, and of course Facebook, have welcome people from all over the world to join in. Nowadays, people don’t have to leave their homes or run up their phone bill to communicate with someone. The only thing they have to do is lift a finger…well maybe a couple of fingers. Social communities are forming right here in Cyberspace. Due to the endless possibilities and the low limitations people can fellowship among each other about anyone or anything from anywhere. Now some of you may think you don’t need Facebook or Twitter to communicate with others. Some of you may believe in the value of face-to-face communication. I understand your point of view and I actually agree with it, but what about when it comes to business networking or business marketing? Believe or not, these social networking websites are a useful source. Nowadays, businesses all over the world have social networking pages from your neighbor up the street who is trying to start his own record company, to the CEO of Sony Records. You name them … they got one.

Business and individuals are starting to establish themselves through these social networking sites. Plus the sources are great tools for individuals who apply to Chris Anderson's "Long Tail" book. (Refer back to my first post for description of Long Tail)With the help of social networking, products that are not sold in stores and only offered online can gain more exposure.
Josh Woodward is an acoustic rock artist who built his fan base by social networking. You can read about him on MySpace, chat with him on Facebook, check out his videos on Youtube, or barrow his music for your own personal use on Creative Commons. Woodward is definitely a force to be reckon with in Cyberspace.

One of the most successful fan pages I came across was….believe or not….Starbucks. Their page is full of videos, links, and quotes. Starbucks actually interact with their fans, which is 6,075,068 by the way….and still counting. Plus fans are constantly commenting on the page as if their on twitter or something. People post their favorite locations, or protest against the ones that are closing down. People even rant on about their favorite drinks, hell I was so intrigued by the page I almost posted my favorite drink “tall cold chai tea latte in a hot cup….with non-fat milk…please.” This page also has a section where fans can upload videos of their Starbucks experience. I must say, Starbucks is definitely using social networking to their advantage. Over all, their page is so exciting; it’s like a little Starbucks community in Cyberspace. There’s a comment posted (on average) every five minutes. Don’t believe me?...Go on there and see for yourself, and while your there become a fan…I

Also check out this link below. It's an article evaluating big name companies and their Facebook pages.

Social networking will continue to benefit businesses as long as society continues to "log on". This phenomenon isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Yet what we need to consider is the possible negatives. As technology advances we are becoming an impatient society. We want it fast and we want it now. People settle for the microwave version of communication, while the physical human contact slowly slips away. Let's face it, in this place called "Earth", we humans managed to create another dimension that allows us to sell, listen, express, and communicate without having to leave our personal space. Yeah, it's convenient and easy to do, but let us not forget the wonders of human contact; the feeling you get when you see someone you've missed, or the joy of holding hands, the sincerity of a kiss on the cheek. Next time you're around some one...give them a big hug....embrace the human contact. Go forth and prosper. TO INFINITY AND BEYOOOOOOND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YouTube video: From Jefferson Gramham-USA today News "Talking Tech Web Video Show"

Josh Woodward Video:

Starbuck/ MC Esher photo:

Twouble with Twitter Cartoon: via "Social Media @Work & Play"

Monday, February 15, 2010

Assignment #3: Sharing is Caring :o)

Ok I think many will benefit from what I’m about to say. This past week I researched a non-profit organization called “Creative Commons. “ A group of people made up of a MIT computer science professor, a film documenter, Cyb and property law experts, a journalist, and a Japanese entrepreneur. This group of individuals formed a union to protect people’s creativity from being misused and abused. Their website allows people to legally share their creative projects with others without the strict laws and guidelines of copyrighting. So instead of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.” (Their quote, not mine. lol) Copyright laws restrict anyone from using another person work without permission, hence forth the phase “all rights reserved.” Their website offers a way for individuals to allow others to use their creations according to their guidelines, without having to ask for permission or being taken to court. After viewing their website I realized many known companies share their work with creative commons; Google, Nine Inch Nails, Wikipedia, even the Obama Administration. Wow!
Nowadays it’s so easy to violate copyright laws on the web. We see a photo or video we like and post it on our facebook, blog, class assignment, or video; never considering the copyright laws and we put ourselves at risk of being sued. To further understand Creative Commons check out their video:

Now at first I was a little cynical, I thought who would want to share their creation with other people. What if others abuse the original idea, or use it for evil, what if….
Then I remembered a couple of incidents I came across this past summer. I interned at a privately-owned marketing and public relations firm, I participated in many projects and did some on my own. Me and one other guy worked on a couple of videos together promoting our clients and their businesses, unfortunately our boss couldn't use any of the videos because we had music playing in the back ground of well-known artist, and due to copyright laws we couldn't expose it to the public. Only if we knew about Creative Commons prior to the situation, my work could’ve been on television or something. Once I consider that I realized how useful it could be. Besides I find it very thoughtful of others to share their work. We live in such a self-absorbed society, where people are not willing to do something for nothing. It’s nice to know there are people out here willing to help others express themselves without expecting something in return. Isn’t that what life is all about, helping one another? Call me crazy.

Once I was able to identify the situation as a positive contribution to a creative society I was all for it. Creative Common tries to create and maintain a cultural society within this crazy world. Sharing our ideas and allowing others to use them for their own personal expression is a great way to build a better and friendlier community. Let’s share our LOVE…go forth and prosper people. TO INFINITY AND BEYOOOOOND!!!!!!!!!!!!

Video provided by YouTube

T-shirt photo provided by Creative Commons/
By: Wesley Fryers Photostream

Holding Hands Statue photo provided by Creative Commons/ FlickrImage.comBy:hoyasmeg photostream

Monday, February 1, 2010

To Read or Not To Read...That is the Question.

Recently Google declared that they would no longer censor the search results for their China Corporation. Apparently Google and China had a contract together, agreeing to bowdlerize what the citizen of China read or view on the Internet. Sources say Google's decision was based off of some sever cyber attacks. Apparently Chinese Human Rights (most of them located in Silicon Valley, California) activist's google accounts were compromised, and these attacks originated from China. Google remained very careful with their words during interview about the attacks, but they were certain about their conclusion. The company is willing to work out something with China that would grantee user open access to the web without offending government policy….at this point it seems unlikely. In addition Google may have to close their office in China which would put 700 employees out of a job.

Due to the fact I come from a land that has fought for human right and achieved great things as a success, it is difficult to side with China’s government. The Internet symbolizes freedom, a path that leads to infinite paths of knowledge. When a group of individuals take it upon themselves to limit that knowledge, their mission is to sustain their power. Google’s choice is a difficult one, especially since China grosses estimated $300 million annual revenues for the search engine company. I commend the company on their tough decision and not allowing money to rule over one’s freedom to knowledge. The Internet can and will continue to play a large role in “netizens” everyday lives. Whether one resides off the coast of California, or in the far open land of Iran, the device gives us as a human race freedom to express, explore, and even execute. This can be very beneficial in a non-democratic society; human rights activist can research websites that contain non-violent strategies. Also individuals could obtain information about their own government that could be used as leverage in civil rights movements. Plus, websites could be launched to help citizens that suffer the same outcomes of non-democratic areas (this has probably taken place already).The Internet gives individuals the opportunity to unify, which could lead to trust, which could build strong movements that could stand up against their government.
With advance technology continuing to rise and the Internet playing a large role in everything, the government may appear to be losing its authority. That may not be as much of an issue for democratic countries like the U.S. but for non-democratic counties like China or Iran it might serve as a problem. Regardless whether there are rules and restrictions in these countries, someone is will find a way to get around the boundaries. I believe the governments will use all their power to sustain control and order in their country. However it is only a matter of time before their high pedestal position will be overthrown by those who followed them. This could come to past due to (once again)the advance devices that are being produce, such as camera cell phones, small hand–held digital cameras, Wi-Fi, etc. All these things could help those who want to challenge authority and expose their wrong doing.
In a perfect world....maybe one day society can embrace change, eliminate egos, and freely walk the path of knowledge, without others being threaten by it. Its time for us to pursue "perfect world" and go forth and prosper...TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!!!!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Assignment #1 (Long Tail): Shopping Just Got Easier

Chris Anderson, Editor of Wired Magazine, has been educating the public on the significance of independent produce and reaching niche audience. Not too long ago he wrote and published a book titled “The Long Tail” which was inspired by his Long Tail articles that were posted in his magazine. Long Tail is a phased coined by Anderson in 2004, describing a larger number of unique items that are sold in small quantities to the public. Anderson describes the process distributors must go through in order to get their projects out to the public. As consumers we assume there are not enough movies being made or albums being produced and that’s why we see the same type of movies or here the same kind of songs on the radio. In actuality the problem is there is not enough screen, air time, or shelf space for all these projects. Therefore the distributions are left to decide which project will be placed out there for the public, or in other word which one are they willing to pay the fees for. So as a society we have no say what is being played on the radio, what is selling in the stores, and what we see at the movies….I thought this was a democracy. You see to put your movie in a theater cost….to put your album on the shelf at Best Buy cost… put your 30minute show on air cost. That’s where the distributions come in; they decide whether or not your creation is worthy enough to invest in. But due to the lack of shelf space and high prices many creative project may grace the eyes of the public. This is where Long Tail comes in, because there is more projects unseen and unheard digital retailers like, Netflix, iTunes, etc gives the consumers the opportunity to purchase merchandise that was independently produce. Even oldies but goodies can be purchased, items that were considered popular ten or fifteen years ago but are completely forgotten now. Anderson does a great job explaining this process along with the 80/20 rule. Check out his lecture,

Digital distribution is definitely making its way in society. Digital retailers such as Rhapsody, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, etc. has managed to find a loop hole in this economy and not only profit from it, but also satisfy consumers. I must say I enjoy my 80’s music and in the past I experienced some hard times because these major store (like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and then…Media Play) didn’t carry true 80’s artist. Oh sure they had Phil Collins, but only his greatest hits; the songs that had radio play. Mom & Pop shops would carry the tunes but nowadays their becoming extinct due to the major store. Therefore imagine my joy when I was able to find my favorites online. Now I admit I’m not a fan of purchasing merchandise online but I’ll break my rule for the Tears of Fears’ song: Everybody Wants to Rule the World. The rise of the digital retailer is pretty significant in this day and age and retail outlets such as Wal-Mart are now biting the bullet and getting involved in the online retail. Currently Wal-mart offers music online for its consumers. Online they sell albums $3 to $4 cheaper and it supplies a larger inventory of albums, artist, and songs. The same process applies to other forms of merchandise such as DVDs, clothes, books, video games and more. So I must say the merchandise out lets are following the Internet trend and supplying more products to the consumers. However they fail to offer products that are independently produced. In the future, creative merchandise will continue to rise and be independently produced. Soon enough these mega retail outlets will tap in to that field and start selling their goods online. But until then digital retailers have an advantage over the mega retail outlets and their websites. The infinitive shelf space that is offered to consumers is definitely beneficial, especially this day and age. This gives people a freedom to choose from an endless selection as oppose to having only a few things to pick from. However i do believe the mega outlets will find a way to gain control again, even if it is selling independently produced items. Plus distribution companies are going to be facing a challenge as well. Through my research I found a few websites that offer artist the opportunity to sell their merchandise to popular online retailers. For example, is a digital distribution that allows artist to sell their music and videos to online retailers (Lime wire, AmazonMP3, iTunes, etc.). The artist will get 100% of the money earned from downloads and own all the rights. Freedom is on the rise. Now consumers can support their friends or families music by purchasing their songs or videos on line.

My professor said to me the other day "the Internet is know as a tool." A tool that allows people to have freedom and not bound them by big corporations and other gatekeepers. Chris Anderson and others is aware of this gift now it's our turn to embrace this knowledge go forth and prosper. To INFINITY & BEYOOOOND!!!!!!!!!