Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Questions and Comments on Facebook

As stated before, I never really got into Facebook.  This is mostly because I kept to myself in high school, and outside of my group of close friends, had little desire for interaction  on an impersonal scale.  I didn't really see the reason to friend as many people from my school as possible to simply continue ignoring them.  I recently started using it for family contact (my relatives kept asking me why I hadn't accepted their friend requests and I got tired of explaining to them that I hadn't logged in for several months).

When Levinson brought up sending a friend request to someone who shared an interest with him (the one who responded with "Uh, are we like, going to hang out"), I found a parallel between the invited persons views and my own.  Why does the word "friend" attract so much more attention than the more impersonal phrases of "followers" and "subscribe". 

I am also a bit skeptical of the idea that Facebook friends can be used as a knowledge base.  It may work, but if  you're asking an online "friend" for information about a topic, it is likely a good idea to research the subject through other methods (particularly if they don't have much of a name for themselves).  It just seems like more work to find a person's knowledge of something and then research his credentials or the topic further.

Finally, we've all heard the phrase "It's not official until it's Facebook official" or some variation of it.  Why is it that we have the need to have our online persona be our real selves?  Does posting happenings in our lives validate the change in some way?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tools of the Trade

I own a handful of devices that give me the ability to contribute to new new media.  The most recent of which is a Kindle (for anyone wondering, completely worth it).  I haven't had much of a chance to use it yet, but I'm working on making time for it.

My smartphone is probably the most versatile tool, but I really don't use it for as much as I could (I avoid using facebook apps and the like).  I use it fairly often for looking things up in the name of research or listening to music.  It has replaced my old digital camera, which is now so outdated that it is probably more qualified to crush rocks than take pictures. 

The most useful tool I have is obviously my computer (the source of my work and entertainment).  I have Audacity installed for recording audio, a tool that has only come in handy a few times, as well as a trial version of Bandicam (allows me to record videos, lasting up to 10 minutes, of a target window).  The trial version also puts a watermark on the edge of the video.

I also own several game systems (including a SNES, PS2, xbox, xbox 360, and Nintendo DS).  Finally, I own an old SLR camera somewhere (old enough to use film)  that takes excellent pictures.  Because film costs money and there is an extra step to getting the pictures on the computer, I usually only take it out of storage for special occasions and vacations.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My use of new new media (or lack thereof)

I still remember when my friends finally got me to make a Myspace page, only to have them immediately start getting emails inviting me to join the Facebook community.  The Myspace page was quickly ignored, and it took the same friends a significant time to get me to actually move on to Facebook (figuring it would be gone as soon as the last big thing).  After making the page, I rarely checked it (sometimes going months at a time), and to this day I continue that trend.  It isn't really intentional, there's just so many other things to occupy my time.  Facebook has made itself useful on several occasions, such as receiving new phone numbers from people who have lost/broken their phone or finding someone to car pool back to Aberdeen with.  Even being so disconnected from Facebook, it is such a prevalent force that I find it difficult to imagine what life would be like without it.

My recent fascination with the abundance of "lets play" videos on youtube have made me wonder if I have what it takes to run a semi-popular series as well.  I don't see it working out quite as well as some of the more popular shows, but youtube provides me with a medium to at least test the possibility.  Considering our class discussion about making a presence on the web, it could be a way to stand out, at least to some extent.

Monday, January 14, 2013