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Prezi Presentation On How Writing is Changing

I have constructed a prezi on the changing face of writing and literacy. This is the capstone assignment for the first module of one of my classes this semester and I’m not sure I came to a satisfying end, as all I did was posit questions and I don’t feel I provided much in the way of answers. Enjoy. 

 

http://prezi.com/p9aruac5fwcz/the-changing-shape-of-writing-on-the-net/

Thoughts on Twitter

Matthew Moore, 3/2/14

The rapid and widespread popularity of Twitter has never ceased to amaze me. I acknowledge that it is a platform for wide-spread communication of ideas from one person to another person who could be many miles away they will never meet. I have never understood though how conversations on Twitter work though. I have been told that it is a veritable platform for communication and that people have had long and fulfilling talks with others via Twitter, but I do not know how they do it.

Over the last month I have been trying to address people in my intended future field, writing and English, via Twitter, but I have been unsuccessful. I know that I cannot honestly expect everyone I tweet to look at and address every tweet that they receive. Some of them clearly don’t respond to anyone other than friends, and I must admit, I am the same way. I would send out tweets to various Professors and others that seemed to be in the writing filed, but I was only meant with a torrent of silence.

As I was tweeting though I began to notice a number of things that kept bothering me as I was trying to compose my messages and find new people to address. First off, I was spending a bizarre amount of time composing these tweets as opposed to any of the other tweets I was doing. Most tweets took me less than a minute to bring them to a point that I was satisfied to shoot them off to whomever their target was, if anyone. But for these tweets, it would take me at least several minutes to settle on a message I thought was adequate enough to send.

I suppose the key idea that kept popping into the back of my head while I was writing to these people was, what are the rules? In face to face social conversations, I am well acquainted with the rules; stand a respectable distance away, don’t raise your voice except for emphasis, maintain eye contact, ect. Talking on the internet though, I was completely clueless. How long am I supposed to wait for a response? How formal or informal should I be with someone I have not met? What is a casual topic to start conversation with? There just too many things I simply did not know. This lack of knowledge of how to speak online threw me completely off and I can’t help but feel as though it negatively influenced my ability to speak online. This is bizarre to me.

I myself have written about how it is supposedly easier to speak online that off, and yet here I found myself stifled. Without proper knowledge of what the community’s rules are I was paralyzed and unable to speak effectively to others. Normally I would have tried to learn the rules through observation, but I did not notice a significant amount of conversations while I used Twitter. I suppose I just did not have a conversation focused experience with Twitter, and as such there was nothing I could observe.

I feel bad about this to be honest, as I’m unable to comment on how to represent yourself for twitter in a positive or a negative light. I suppose I could make a comment on the importance of learning the rules of any online community you engage with, but that would feel hollow without any advice to give. Perhaps there are no uniform rules across Twitter and it is more dependent upon who you speak to on Twitter. If you know the person then, I suppose you should speak to them there the same way you would respond to them in real life. If you’re addressing a person you aren’t familiar with, try to remain respectful. I’m sorry I can’t add anymore to that. 

Cyber Bullies in Games

Matthew Moore, 15/2/14

Cyber bullying in this context would be a direct form of harassment from one person online to another. Accoding to an article on nobullying.com the rate of cyber bullying is on the rise. About twenty-one percent of children between the ages of eight and elven have been the victim of cyber bullying. Given what I discussed earlier relating to social media making targeting an individual easier, it is not hard to see that it could enable a cyber bully to more easily find targets, particularly those that play online games.

Online gaming, in the simplest terms, is the practice of playing a game over the internet. In recent years this has become a natural and welcome part of many gamer’s experience and the existence of online play is just commonly accepted in multiplayer games today. The inherit problem in playing with others online, especially when anyone can join the game and play, there is the possibility of cyber bullying.

One angle of the cyber bullying problem is that the bully may not even know that they are being a bully. One of the more well known forms of online play is the expanding genre of the massively-multiplayer-online-role-playing-game (mmorpg). In these games players are encouraged to role play, meaning, they pretend to be someone else. According to nobullying.com, “When children play these games, they often become immersed in the behavior of the game and may engage in cyber bullying without even realizing it.” The problem here is how immersed should the player get, and how should they represent themselves while they are pretending to be another person? While yes there is a cathartic effect of pretending to be someone else, it is easy to lose track of yourself, and with the online disinhibition effect a player can quite easily slip into negative behavior.

I’ve already talked about how communication through the internet can produce a disconnect between the harasser and the harassment they are giving out because of their online handle. Some games encourage a disconnect similar to this by way of role play. Many mmorpgs, at least the ones I have personal experience with, seem to not encourage players to role play with the world, but rather use this as an excuse to just be a terrible person. I should note that this is usually an unintended effect on the players, and it is limited to my perception. While it is only implied in other games that you should act differently, in a role-playing-game it is actively encouraged.

The problem comes from that players can remain largely anonymous. It can’t even be believed that one character will build up a significant name in an mmorpg, as many of them allow player to have multiple avatars. The player can have some characters that are perfectly nice and cooperative, while they can have one character made to harass and grief others.

“Griefing” is a more poignant form of negative actions in online games by way of direct player interaction. A griefer is a person playing the game that is not interested in the objective of the game, and instead focuses their efforts on making other players miserable. This can come in a variety of forms. For example, there is the action known as “camping.” When camping, one player keeps killing another player when they are in a weakened state, usually after recovering from a character death, and repeatedly kill them until the griefer grows bored, or the victim gives up and logs out.

Considering the popularity of online game among children cyber bullying can lead to more than a few problems. Nobullying.com offers some tips on what parents can do about their child being bullied or their child bullying others. These tips including such things as, knowing what games your kid is playing, talking to them about cyber bullying, and restricting your child’s access to games that have a reputation for cyber bullying. The problem is that almost all of the tips they give can only be given by the parents, and many parents tend to not be vary wary, or interested, in the games that their children play. Even if parents are, there is the inherit problem that you cannot control the actions of the other players. The only advice I can really give is to pay attention to what you, and possibly your children, are playing and to act responsibly yourself.

RE: Bieber’s Arrest and The Fandom

Matthew Moore, 2/14/14

Not too long ago I posted a blog entry about the effects of toxicity and how it can be a very good thing when it is properly focused, and very damning to the people expressing their toxicity. You can see that article here.

Why do I bring this up? I was reminded of it while browsing one of my classmate’s blogs. I happened upon one post from Everything Fandom and Entertainment that brought to my attention the idea of the celebrity persona, and the toxicity that seems to come part and parcel with it. The celebrity persona, at least how I use it, is defined as the representation of them self they put forth as a means to appeal to as wide of an audience as possible to maximize the potential fan-base for highest profit. This is a way to represent your self not only online, but for almost everything in your life. The down side is that, usually, the celebrity uses this persona so much that a problem can arise where people have a hard time distinguishing between the actual person, and the persona they put forth. Idol celebrities tend to be particularly vulnerable to this side effect.

The celebrity that instigated the source of the article was Justin Bieber. A petition has reached enough signatures to warrant the attention of President Obama to remove Bieber from American soil and deport him to Canada. Early in her blog post it is indicated that, “The once beloved Justin Bieber is now having his fans turn on him, as well as the rest of the United States.” Bieber has had problems with his social standing for sometime. From my own experience, there are times that I cannot go a month without hearing about someone complaining about Bieber, and like many idols, people have been complaining and generally expressing terrible negativity toward Bieber since day one.

I understand that Biber is in violations of laws that should warrant his deportation, but I believe what bothers me most about the petition is not even that so many Americans want Bieber deported, but rather why they want him deported. The petition says, “We the people of the United States feel that we are being wrongly represented in the world of pop culture.” The problem the people have with Bieber in this case is not that he was drunk, high, and driving without a license, but how that reflects poorly on American pop culture. American pop-culture has never shown its self as something to be proud of in my opinion, primarily because of all the toxicity that it tends to generate in people for no real reason, case in point with Bieber. Here people are upset over violation of a number of laws, but this is not the first time Bieber has been savaged by not only the media, but the general public before. In fact, I believe the first time I heard about Justin Bieber, was someone mocking and or insulting him.

Considering the negativity surrounding so many elements of American pop culture, it has just become common place to hate a celebrity figure for reasons that are based on generalizations about a person, despite evidence to the contrary. I remember one of the first insults I heard lobbed at Bieber, for example, was an accusation of homosexuality. At best, this comes off as a petty snipe at a celebrity who can’t defend themself, both due to lack of physical presence and fear of public backlash to calling out a fan. At worst, it comes off as a homophobic and systemic of larger social issues that the negativity toward celebrities obfuscates and distracts the general population from.

 

http://fandment.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/56/

https://yourwebface.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/negativity-isnt-always-bad-only-mostly-bad/

Google Yourself

Today, I wanted to know what my employers would find if they googled me, most importantly what embarrassing things would they find about me and would it change my chances of getting a job. So I did just that, I logged out of every social media account I had (facebook,instagram,google+) to see what the public and my future boss may see.

I begin to google myself…
Google

A bunch of results, to 53,600 results to be exact. So let me begin to explore what the World Wide Web knows about me.

The first result is facebook. I have to open it, what can the public see about what I think is a private page about me and my life.  After opening facebook as a public viewer, people can see my profile pictures, cover pictures, and my interests. Thankfully all my other information is hidden unless we become facebook “friends”.

So what else came up on my own Google search? An Anna Kolbach (spelled with two n’s), not me. My fourth result was my Prezi account, with three of my Prezi’s on display for anyone to see. This is not a big since they were all created for some class. My fifth through eighth result for the search of Ana Kolbach on Google consists of my pole vaulting career from high school and college.  Going through pages of me and Anna Kolbach on the web I find other accounts I have made, such as Diigo , and my involvement with Rowan University in many different areas. It’s good to say that I’m a pretty boring person on the web.

One very interesting thing I found on the web was my family tree:
family
Let me zoom in so you can actually see me!
famiiiil

There I am. Even though I am an incredibly boring person on the web, what could someone do to keep their professionalism online?

After reading an article by Alan Henry to help clean up your online appearance. He breaks it down to many simple steps but I’ll highlight just a few of them:

Step 1: Just as I did, search for yourself on Google and Facebook. Really click around to see how deep someone can get into your life, find those embarrassing pictures. Did you find results you did not enjoy? Well Google has a way to fix these things.  It is by removing content or website when a search is done to you. Google has a step by step process to removing information about yourself on the internet. Thank you Google!

When it come to facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Google +, make those pages private or even delete them all together. That way no one can can take information about you with out your consent.

Step 2: The second step of this process is to boost yourself up by creating profiles that truly represent you in your best light.  Henry suggests by getting your own domain and turn that website into your own profile which can hold your resume, photos, interests and anything positive that represents you. You can even use this new domain as your email!

So what is your web face? I hope this post inspires you to search and then clean up what people see about you online.