• Shopping for your Date Online

    Okay so I’m completely for online dating and believe that it can be successful, but I don’t believe one should jump onto the internet with the intent to find love. To use me and John as an example again, we met through Tumblr, a site where very rarely people are there to find their mates; they’re there to share their interests with others and sometimes make friends along the way. The fact that you actually end up finding your soulmate on the site is a bonus. I believe that both parties should actually be taking the time to be friends with one another so there’s a bit more of a connection before immediately diving into the “will you date me?” stage. When people pursue online speed dating like match.com or eharmony, I sort of see it like online shopping.



  • “Y U NO UNDERSTAND? Do u even meme, bro??” The Spread of Internet Memes

     

    Since 2005 when I first became an internet gal, I’ve noticed how much internet trends and memes have taken over our culture; from the good ol’ “Hamster Dance” trend of 1999, through the “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” dance of 2001, past the “Over 9000!!” videos of 2006, and to the current various captioned images. These memes have gotten to the point where they have leaked off of the internet and seeped into our everyday lives. (Just look around UMW and you’re bound to see a few internet references.)

    This has impacted me over the years because, having grown up with these trends, they’ve effected the way I speak, and who I tend to make friends with. Back in high school, you could differentiate a sports jock from an internet nerd simply from the vocabulary they used. For example, I saw a guy sitting by himself during lunch time (which could also indicate that they could be in the internet geek category because they tend to not talk much or be totally anti-social) and I decided to go over and sit next to him. I asked what he was reading an he told me; my response was “Hm, interesting. Has anyone really been far even as decided to use and even go and want to do more like?” He looked up from his book and gave me the proper response: “If anyone had been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like, what look to go more like would they even decide to use?”. This may seem like useless gibberish to a normal person, but this was in fact a meme of 2009 that started on a 4chan board and had spread onto different internet community blogs. It honestly shocked me that he not only knew what I was referencing, but he knew the actual response to it! Can you say best friends instantly?? Now I tried saying a simple meme to a cheerleader who was picking on me. She told me that I was in her chair (which wasn’t even hers anyway) and I responded with “UMADBRO?” She didn’t understand the reference and she told me not to call her my bro.

    So now that these trends are being spread everywhere at rapid fire, and more people are starting to jump on social media sites, individuals are starting to understand them and they’re becoming mainstream. References are being used on posters, billboards, news sites, and television. This is cool and all, but the hidden hipster side of me gets a bit peeved when she walks by a girl with a Troll Face shirt on and she tells me that she doesn’t know what the face is; Yes, this has happened. Even my mom tries to be “hip” by asking me “Do you even lift, Amber??” I just facepalm….

    Side note, check out this youtube network called Animeme that animates the different internet memes; Insanity wolf, Idiot nerd girl, various rage faces, Mafia baby, ect. (hint: I voice nearly all the females in the series)



  • “Everyone on the Internet is a Serial Killer” -Parents and Society

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    As social media usage thrives, people have developed this notion that those we can not physically interact with are dangerous and are out to get us. This paranoia is a result of the horror stories we are shown on the news about minors that were kidnapped/murdered after meeting up with 40 year old men pretending to be teenagers online. Because of stories like these, society has this idea that talking to people you don’t know on the web and actually becoming friends with them is just asking to be hurt. What the media fails to highlight is that among the senior citizen pedophiles there are normal people just like you and I; it’s just easier for them to hide their identities. To assume every individual communicating online is a threat would be similar to thinking every Middle Eastern person is a member of the Al Qaeda (yeah, I just went there.) Since social networking is such a new thing and we haven’t completely grasped the concept yet, we’re scared to venture into a world beyond what is physical.

    In class last week, I brought my best boyfriend, John who was visiting from San Antonio,TX.  I met John on Tumblr about 9 months ago. I found it funny that in one of my classes, I told my friend that I met him online and she said something along the lines of “Wow, he doesn’t look like one of those internet dwellers. He looks normal!” ….um…he IS a normal guy just like you are when you’re surfing online. At first I only knew him as one of my followers who commented on the things I posted. I liked the arguments he made on my posts, so I messaged him to add me on skype to chat. I was always cautious about who I chose to give my skype to (since some of the followers could be a bit… inhuman.) Even as a precaution I only gave him the skype that was of my persona and not of my irl self (only text chat). Within a month, we were already best buds after we were certain that neither of us gave off a stalker vibe. A few months later, we felt comfortable enough to tell each other who we really were. Gotta say, it’d been the best 9 months of my life, and I hadn’t even physically met him until now.

    Success stories like these happen every day online, but they’re not spotlighted as much as the predator stories. Of course there is still a reason to keep your guard up when you’re joining that MMORPG server because it is COMPLETELY true that not everyone online is who they seem to be. One just has to slowly test out the waters before they go diving in. Once they discover that the person is harmless and they DO dive in, they may end up with one of the best things that’s ever happened to them, not only a new internet friend, but a person who has enough similar interests to theirs to be compatible. This 167,779 note Tumblr post takes the words right out of my mouth (minus the vulgarity.)

     

    (**NOTE: A huge drawback in situations like these is that  having such great friends online may end up making you shy away from the individuals you see irl. So yeah, don’t forget to leave your room every so often so you don’t look like Golum when you finally emerge.)



  • IP/Fair Use: Laws Are Choking our Creativity

    The TED talk about “Laws that choke creativity,” discusses how our culture has transformed from a “read write” culture (a culture where we are able to “participate and re-create the culture”) to a “read only” culture (a culture that consumes information passively).  In a “read only” culture, consumers can’t take part in the creation of the content; they can only sit back and soak in the ideas that others have made. What this does is keep the public from expanding the creativity of the culture.

    Because of the development of the internet, the “read write” culture is being revived through user generated content. This content is created by regular people like you and I who are motivated to create this material because they love doing so and not because they want money. This is why creative culture is becoming more diverse because there are many different perspectives and voices. Instead of just getting unchangeable ideals from “big brother,” we’re getting perspectives from big brother’s aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, dogs ect…. (if that makes ANY sense. It sounded good in my head.)

    In order to understand how to access this culture, we must be able to take content that has already been produced and change it to create something new. This is known as “remixing.” Remixing is NOT piracy!! Piracy is taking material and distributing it for the purpose of gaining profit without the owner’s permission. Remixing is using other people’s content and recreating it to express a different message. At first this was not common, and it could only be done by actual distributors and broadcasters. But now, since the software is more mainstream, it is possible for any individual with a computer to create remixes. I myself used to create AMV’s (anime music videos) back in the early Youtube days, and at the time not a lot of people had an interest in or knew they had the potential to also create them. Now that people are starting to learn how easy it is to make these mashups, the numbers have increased greatly on Youtube. However, the law has not taken kindly to this. Under the 1976 Copyright Act, anyone with the intent to use this material without the owner’s consent is liable for lawsuit because their property is protected. This is choking our creativity because it is giving us nothing to work with to have a voice in the culture. 



  • Getting feet wet with coding “Quest for the Holy Grail” (DRAFT)

    Here’s a simple game that I coded in Python in CompSci1 my sophomore year. The game may seem incredibly short, but it took a good amount of code and ALOT of work. Since I still had all of the image files and code on my computer, all I had to do was upload the folder to the Umw Domains directory.

    **Note** If it doesn’t go to the next scene after you win or lose, refresh the page

     

    Click HERE to play!

    scene0

     

    VV If you’re interested, here’s all the code I used to make the game. VV

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xcrdqXOuQeCUC84Sl8O04V5a3z2fmqtygRouLPLxXH4/edit?usp=sharing

     

    Here’s a link to the mainly finished full game that I made using Scratch. 

    **Note, if you go to the river, it isnt fully complete..



  • Creating and Consuming the Internet Summary

    The internet has come a long way since the beginning when it was primarily intended for informational use. It is now being used to connect millions of people across the world and to share ideas and creations. Many changes have been done to make the internet more user-friendly and more efficient. The separation of form and content on webpages makes it easier for users to edit structural content without them needing to know any advanced coding. Because of shifts like these that make usability less strenuous, the internet has become a lot more malleable. What’s great about this is that now the internet isn’t just controlled by one person or group of people; we control it and we ARE the web!

     



  • As We May Think: What is the future of communication?

    Things I expect to see in the future (and would be upset if they are never created.)

    >Laptops with built in hologram sensors so that when we’re video chatting with people, not only will they see us on the screen, but a hologram projection of our entire body will be right in front of them. While on the topic of holograms, imagine if you could save the professor’s entire lecture and have his hologram and chalkboard playback right in your room?

    >Writing utensils that store every stroke the user makes. This information can be stored on the pen or pencil so that when a button is pushed, the pen/pencil will start writing the saved data on its own. A PEN THAT WRITES YOUR ESSAY FOR YOU!

    >Cords that attach to the sides of your head and type sentences to your laptop based on what you’re thinking. (Just don’t have a dirty mind.)

    >Two words: Downloadable food. Let’s say famous chef Emeril was making a caramel soufflé and you’d KILL to know how it tasted. Well, Emeril can use a platform to upload the taste onto and have it emailed out to all of his viewers. The viewer can then download an edible image of the soufflé and EAT IT! Why order Chinese from that crusty old shop down the street when you can get real chinese food from China! (Potential Danger: Hopefully the food wont have a virus.)

    >Jetsons style teleportation tubes. No more cars, nuff said.

    “Jane! Stop this crazy thing!”



  • Digital Identity Beyond the “Like” Button: The Impact of Mere Virtual Presence on Brand Evaluations and Purchase Intentions in Social Media Settings

    Decades ago, the only ones who knew the identities of those supporting specific business brands were the actual business itself; it wasn’t public knowledge. The only leads that the general public had on who bought the products and what audience the products were aimed toward were only based on what was seen in the company’s advertisements (billboards, commercials, magazines, ect.) Now with the arrival of  social media and the ability for consumers to publicly label themselves as supporters, companies have started using this publicity to their advantage.  In 2011, it was discovered that 83% of the Fortune 500 companies used social media to connect to the public. This means that now one is much more likely to stumble on an advertisement when surfing the web than they were 10 years ago. For example, Facebook may display a consumer’s name and face on a company’s fan page after it is “liked”. Not only can the individual’s contacts see this affiliation, but since the fan page is public, the world can see it. Also, a company may prompt their online followers to take photos of themselves enjoying the product, to share either on their personal Facebooks or on a company-run social network. As predicted, this has caused an incredible boost in product sales.

    I brought this article to the table to show another one of the internet’s many uses. It can not only be a social tool, but it can also bring about successful commerce. We’re making businesses millions just by doing what we do every day, being social online.

     

    Naylor, Rebecca, Cait Lamberton, and Patricia West. “Beyond the “Like” Button: The Impact of Mere Virtual Presence on Brand Evaluations and Purchase Intentions in Social Media Settings.” (2012): n. page. Web. 25 Jan. 2014. <http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.umw.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=a183d8ac-b735-4290-be6a-89744ddd335b@sessionmgr110&vid=7&hid=113>.