Author Archives: cbmeyers

Thoughts on another book review

I want to talk about Carl How to Design and Write Web Pages Today By Karl Stolley because I think it is an important book for everyone to read. The reason I believe this is obvious, the world is based on the internet and as college students about to graduate and go into the real world, I believe web design is important in any working environment. Reading this book would give someone more of an insight on how to create a website that is designed for the audience they want to attract. As a photographer, I need to design and website in order to get the attention of potential clients which would look different that someones website that is trying to sell their work. Writing on webspace is also something that is important to learn and something I am still working on. Writing on the web puts your thoughts out there for anyone to potentially see so you have to be smart about what you say and how you say it. I believe this book would give great advice on how to reach a potential audience that would be interested in what you have to say. In a way, I do wish I would have read this book instead of the one I choose, Networked By Lee Raine and Barry Wellman. Although that book was very interesting, it did not give me tips on future web spaces I may create which I believe is more important. Learning to create a website whether it is from scratch or using a template, it is important to be able to make it user friendly, easy to navigate, and professional looking. I took a web design class last semester and those were very important aspects when it came to creating any site. How To Design and Write Web Pages Today  would clearly explain everything you would need to know, therefor I think it is important to read and I am considering reading it myself this summer. 

Book review for Networked

 

            Networked by Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman explains our ever changing world when it comes to technology and socialization. The authors go on to enlighten the reader of the ways these networks can expand a users social life.

            At the beginning of the book a story is told about Peter and Trudy, couple that experienced a medical scare in 2007, they reached out via e-mail to their friends and family explaining the situation. Before they knew it strangers were contacting them because someone else contacted them, lending support to the family. They got medical advise from doctors, support from strangers that had similar experiences, and of course the support from their loved ones who were always just an e-mail away. Peter and Trudy had social networking experience and reaching out that way only seemed natural and even necessary. “An environment that spawns more social liberation also demands more social effort when people have desires or problems they want solved. This is where technology is especially useful.” (Rainie, Wellman 9) How many people can say they have tweeted or updated their facebook status asking a question or asking for advise hoping someone in their social network would have the perfect answer?

            Before the Internet revolution there was a mobile revolution and Rainie and Wellman discuss the beginnings and current ideas when it comes to mobile devices and what they have turned into. When mobile devices first came out, not many people owned them, they were not compact or convenient to use. Now, our mobile devices are just another version of our networked connection to the world. Everyone uses their phone to make phone calls or send text messages, but now with smart phones we can connect with social media, e-mail, phone calls, and texting. A majority of us have smart phones, which have ‘apps’ on them such as twitter and facebook, connecting us to the world. One of the most connected ‘apps’ we use is twitter, twitter can connect you to anyone whether they are famous or just your friend from high school. Like we have experienced in class, twitter was a great way to reach out to the authors of the books we were assigned. One of my books authors, Berry Wellman even retweeted me when I mentioned that I was reading Networked. Because of our mobile devices we are constantly connected to the world no matter where we are, we can even be connected on airplanes, the only time we are “unconnected” is when we are sleeping. We are still connected because people can still reach us as we sleep, its pretty unbelievable.

            One of the chapters explains a day in a connected life, the day of Maya Collum starts at 8am and ends at 1am and mentions every interaction she has face to face with another person or digitally. The first thing she does it check on the events for the day and her e-mail, she starts her day digitally (109). I feel like we can all relate to this chapter about living a connected life and I find that very interesting. You don’t realize how connected you are because it’s such a normal part of our life. I realize it when my Internet goes down like it is now, I am still connected with my phone, but I am so used to being connected by both my computer and my cell phone it some how becomes inconvenient to only be connected with my cell phone. We are so used to being connected in many ways that some times I call my dad just to tell him to check his e-mail because I sent him something a couple days ago.

            Networked families are a new kind of family, parents are texting their kids while they are in the same house telling them that dinner is ready, babies cries are calmed down by playing a game on their parents cell phone, and kids are kept busy with a tablet where they can play and watch movies. “The Telus Canadian and Technology survey found that 58% of Canadian children have started using the internet by age seven, 23% before they have entered kindergarten at age five, and by age ten 84% are on the internet, using it for at least four hours per week.” (158). What will family Internet use be like in 10 years? We connect to our families and to the outside world mainly though the Internet now. My grandmother does not have a computer; I don’t think she has ever felt the need for one. She is the only family member I still make phone calls to other than my parents occasionally.

            We have networked friends, family and coworkers and this book discusses all of the aspects and how they affect your life. How does being a networked individual affect you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Wellman , Barry and Lee Rainie . Networked . Cambridge: The MIT Press , n.d.

 

Tap project proposal

An effort to help the UNICEF Tap Project!

UNICEF tap project is a nationwide campaign that has invited people to go without their phones to help children in need of clean water. This means that for every ten minutes that you don’t touch your phone, UNICEF donors/sponsors will fund one day of clean water for a child in need. Just $1.00 can provide 40 days of clean water.
Why water? It’s simple; human beings cannot survive without it. Over 768 million people around the world do not have safe, clean water to drink and 2.5 billion people don’t have access to a proper toilet. The push towards clean water will keep 1,400 children from dying from diseases linked to unsafe water. In addition to Unicef’s campaign, we plan on spreading the word to people to participate through a project of our own. Let’s show the world that we can put down our phones to provide others with something they actually can’t live without.
How you ask?

Specifically, our digital networked response will be a facebook page and an informational wordpress blog promoting the UNICEF tap project and how Columbia can help. We would like to create a blogroll on the wordpress site directing people to our facebook page and to UNICEF’s website.
For the research plan, our team will have to visit the UNICEF website (http://tap.unicefusa.org/) in order to become more informed on the application. This is the essential site that will provide us with the most accurate and thorough explanation on how/why/where this project will affect most people. Also, in order to fully push the campaign, we can use our own experiences with the app to understand why it’s effective. Each of us can download UNICEF tap project at a designated period during the day and then discuss how it personally impacted our time. After that, we can explore various social media sites (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.) to see if there were any other individuals around the world who tested the app and reported their encounters or knowledge of this mobile campaign. In an effort to reach out to more Columbia students, we can go to the official Facebook page and ask if anyone has heard of this app and post a link for any potential responses. A lot of students use this page as a means of interacting within the school’s community. So it turn, we can see some surprising results.
Go Team!

Our team members have a diverse number of skills which will help us to complete our project effectively. Jess and Chris have skills in ad art so they will be creating posters and stickers to advertise a bake sale that we will be having in addition to promoting UNICEF. Carolyn is good at photography so she will be taking pictures at our bake sale and putting them up on our wordpress and facebook page. She will also help with making things for our bake sale and overseeing our facebook page. Grace is skilled at baking so she will provide items for the bake sale as well as overseeing the donations to UNICEF that our team will hopefully be able to collect at our bake sale. She will also be overseeing others in the group to make sure that tasks are completed on time. Joe will be helping out with our wordpress page and making sure the posts are up to date.
When? When? When?

We plan on having the bake sale the last week of April. We are looking to have it on a Wednesday since that seems to be the best day for everyone. We will affirm this the first week of April and make the necessary reservations on Columbia’s campus .During this time Chris and Jess will begin to make the stickers and posters advertising the bake sale. Grace will check in every week with Carolyn and Joe to make sure that the wordpress and facebook page are up to date. The week of the sale, the whole team will work to provide items to sell and help man the table. The first week of May Grace will inventory the donations accepted and donate the money to UNICEF. Carolyn and Joe will post updates to the wordpress and facebook pages on how much we earned.
The digital assets we need in order to fulfill the campaign push, will obviously be the UNICEF website (http://tap.unicefusa.org/) because it has the most accurate information on the app. Secondly, we’d have to create a wordpress site (tentatively titled, “Columbia College Chicago UNICEF Tap Project”) in order to specifically inform CCC students with news, events, updates, and social media links. Thirdly, our Facebook page will connect the online CCC community to interact with each other and share their experiences. Lastly, we need a Twitter account to connect with students through ‪#‎hashtags‬ and respond immediately to questions or comments on upcoming occasions or the app.
Help Us!

If you’re interested in helping us out now, go here on your phone and start saving some lives!

Content Strategy

CCC UNICEF tap projects content strategy is to reach Columbia students through social media to get them to learn about UNICEF’s tap project. Eventually we would like Columbia students to participate in putting their phone down in order to donate money to help children have clean water. Our audience is specifically for Columbia students so they are more tempted to put their phones down during class for a good cause instead of ignoring their teacher and texting. Our persona is their peer students, we are students here and our persona should be a student voice in order to be able to reach out and connect with our audience.

Visit UNICEF Tap project here

Above is some content that is about the Tap project and it explains what the project is all about. Students can relate to this content because it is multi media and not a lot of reading, which makes it very appealing to college students in my opinion.

HTML is important TODAY

My thoughts on HTML

By Carolyn Barenbaum

I took a class on HTML last semester and I thought it was very difficult and at times I wanted to think it was pointless, but I knew it wasn’t. Knowing how to code and create spaces on the internet is important in so many ways, it opens door and opportunities for our future. We never think about it, but Facebook exists because someone learned how to code and bring the vision of Facebook to life. The video called “What most schools don’t teach” YouTube Clip brings to life the reason coding has become so important in our generation. What I really appreciated at the start of the video was the enthusiasm these people have when they talk about coding and how thrilled they were when they first learned. I did get a little excited last semester when I did something right because it is a big deal, coding creates so much and we can learn how to do it. W3 schools, W3 School was a huge help to me when it came to understanding code, and I think it is something everyone should learn because they can.

As a photographer, coding is important to me when it comes to creating a website that is user friendly and visually appealing. I have to create a website that is directed at the audience I want to attract and I believe design elements in CSS is a major part of creating an artistically based website. I know basics but I believe I have a lot more to learn, as the video mentioned it can be intimidating at first, and it still is to me. Practice makes perfect and then it just becomes easier and hopefully my website and design skills will improve over time. Until then, I think I will just keep practicing with W3 schools!

Copyright, copyleft, copywrong?

As an artist planning to create work in todays world it is a bit scary. After watching RIP: A Remix Manifesto it seemed like everything has already been done and is owned by some large corporation. Going into photography is slightly different than the music industry but I could still get into trouble for taking a picture that is too similar to someone else’s. We often talk about copyright in classes and what it means to creating images. A question I am often asked is “Is this work copied or inspired by a photographer?” I think art is something that is shared but you don’t want to steal everything from the artist. Music is a challenge, downloading music is so common in todays society that it is hard to decide if it is a problem or not. In some ways it is because it is being stolen but without the ability to download music people like Girl Talk would not exist and creativity with music would not be as available as it is now. In one of my tweets I uploaded a youtube video of a John Legend song being covered by someone else, covering songs is so popular today and posting them on youtube is just as popular. Is covering a song considered stealing just like some people think Girl Talk is stealing song clips to remix into original songs?   

This video is from the creative commons search page and its a combination song of Dream On and Hey Jude, 2 very popular songs which are probably very protected by copyright laws and the music industry and bands behind these 2 songs. 

 

http://www.fairwagelawyers.com/most-famous-music-copyright-infringment.html

This website explains briefly some famous music copyright issues, the one I’ve known of is Vanilla Ice VS Queen in stealing the first bit of the song Under Pressure for Ice Ice Baby.  I can’t decide if what Vanilla Ice did was the same thing that Girl Talk is doing today. What do you think? 

 

 

Thoughts on the pitches

I really enjoyed hearing all of the pitches in class but 2 really stuck out to me. I enjoyed Tim’s idea The Art Agora because it is something I would want to use, and I enjoyed Grace promoting UNICEF tap project because it is something that I decided to start doing after I learned about it from her. I like ideas that I can and want to use, so far I have donated 10 days worth of water, which were all split though-out a couple of days. Arts Agora is something that would benefit any artist in school and after graduation, it is something I would happily take advantage of today. The UNICEF tap project is so amazing and very easy and it could be done during classes, it is a way to put down your phone and focus on something for yourself while helping others in need of clean water. I think I would be helpful to either of these 2 project ideas because I am excited about the idea of both of them. Awesome ideas Grace and Tim! 

The Political Power of Social Media (Shirky, Clay)

I found this article very interesting and inspiring when thinking about a pitch for class. It is truly amazing how social media can have a huge impact on our world and government. It shows us that social media brings us together in many ways, within hours people can gather for protest for something that is incredibly important. Shirky begins the article by talking about the Philippines in 2001 which was before facebook and twitter, this protest was arranged by a mass text!

“The publics ability to coordinate such a massive and rapid response — close to seven million 

text messages were sent that week — so alarmed the country’s legislators that they reversed 

course and allowed the evidence to be presented. Estrada’s fate was sealed; by January 20, 

he was gone.” (Shirky)

If a mass text could cause this much change in a place I wonder why we aren’t taking more advantage of our abilities to reach out via social media. Don’t get me wrong, people do a lot of good though social media for people who need help. When natural disasters occur, social media is a great way to get information and help out to that area. People are able to see pictures within minutes of devastation pushing them to lend a helping hand in any way they can.

One term Shirky brings up is “slacktivism”, described as “casual participants seek social change through low-cost activities, such as joining Facebook’s “Save Darfur” group, that are long on bumper-sticker sentiment and short on any useful action.” (Shirky) I think this is our main problem with not using social media to its advantage, joining a group does nothing for a cause. Joining the group, reading, informing and most importantly, literally taking action is what causes changes. Civil rights activists didn’t just “click like” and then go on with their day like nothing happened, they formed a group and took action. Forming a facebook group should only be the beginning, not the end. 

Shirky mentions a downside to this social media issue, when it comes to controlling governments. Governments have seen what social media can do in the past, over throw them. So now they are doing what they can in order to limit social media outreach when it comes to something like over throwing a government. The article also mentions the censoring of media in general, protests in China after an earthquake became dangerous to the Chinese government so media coverage was stopped. Since media coverage on this specific protest ended, there was no social media discussion on the issue therefor it was not common knowledge to most people. 

 

Net neutrality

Exploring both your reaction to the pieces and why you believe or do not believe that net neutrality is an important issue for people in general and for people working in creative arts and communications industries specifically.

I had no idea what net neutrality was before I watched this video, I had never even heard the term. I believe it is a very important topic since the internet is so important for creative arts and communication these days. Like the cofounder of zip car, without net neutrality her business would not have worked as well as it does.  People would have not heard of zip car or it would have taken a long time for people to learn about it and therefor use it. People in the arts need net neutrality because it gives them a way to book jobs, get their work seen, bought, and appreciated. Since the gallery business is becoming a challenge lots of online galleries are being created for artists to get their work out and seen. Net neutrality would allow these galleries equal opportunity as every website.  Another part that stuck with me was when avaaz.org was talked about, I looked up this website and its an important website made to help those who need help around the world. It is a positive website that does so much good for people and it wouldn’t be known about without net neutrality. The large companies that would pay for faster speeds don’t seem as important as avaaz.org, they are big corporations that don’t seem to really care about world hunger or other worldly issues like avaaz. If these large corporations are going to the top of the internet food chain because they can afford to, then us as users will not be able to come across wonderful and interesting websites, blogs, and funny videos of kittens. Artists would have a very difficult time getting their work out to the world because their personal websites or online galleries would be at the bottom of the internet food chain.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/

Post a brief response on your class web space in response about what the most significant idea or moment in what you read or watched so far for this week was for you. What surprised you? What made you think? What was new, or more nuanced, information? Explain what and why.

The video we watched called “how the internet works” was very interesting to me. I really never think about how the internet  works when I am using it. It is very complicated in how it works yet we take it for granted. We get upset if it does not work in less than 5 seconds, but when I watched this video I saw how much goes on in order to make the internet function. I also found the introduction of Web writing style guide interesting, how it talked about a new way of writing because of the internet. It surprised me that writing for the internet is usually shorter because people don’t have the patience to read a lot on the internet. In a way that does not surprise me, I find myself doing a lot more skimming when I read on the internet. It makes you think since internet writing is becoming shorter, what important things are being left out in order to make the writing shorter?