Wednesday, May 2, 2012



Couldn’t agree more.  But is that better?

So many people and organizations rely on team work to get jobs and projects done.  Rarely do you see individuals completely a project or idea solely on their own anymore. 

Most of my classes rely on Groupthink.  Group projects.  Group presentations.  Even Group papers.  GROUPS. GROUPS. GROUPS.

I’ve had 3 internships, all of which have required massive amounts of group collaboration on certain projects or tasks. 

Honestly though, I’m not sure if this is better or worse.

This may be better due to a variety of ideas being heard.  But what if one individual has a great idea that becomes shitty (for lack of a better word) due to the opinion of one’s incapable group members. 

With groups you usually have the people who are the go-getters and the people who are LAZY.  The people who are lazy look like they are awesome because the others pick up their slack.  But what if the great people of the group would have come up with such a better finished product if they were able to work on their own?  That stinks for both the individual and the company. 

I think the best ideas come from those who work alone.  It allows them to grow and expand their product the way they see best fit. Not having the voices of probably worthless team members damaging their idea.

With all of this, it’s situational.  It depends on the situation.  It depends on the people.  It depends on the project.  It just depends. Period. 

-Karra Logan
Dear Ellison, Heino and Gibbs,
Because I am not a fan of online dating websites, I found your article very interesting. There were times when I wanted to scream at the screen, and there were times when I would give a standing ovation for some of the points being brought to the table. All and all it was very interesting, but I still believe in the old traditional way of meeting people and dating. In your article you stated "self-presentation and self-disclosure processes are important aspects of relational development in offline settings especially in early stages." When I read this all I heard was "ding ding ding" playing loudly in my head. Although people not that there are positive aspects to online communicating and dating, when it comes to how a person represents and presents themselves, there's nothing like good ol' face to face communication. Through online sites, people can portray themselves as whoever they want to be; look at Second Life for example, people parade themselves around as various creatures, animals and even objects. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with imagination- I have a quite vivd one myself- however the online "you" and offline "you" can be two different people. 

In your article I also like how you pointed out people can be more strategic when it comes to how the present themselves in online forms. Through online representation people can dictate and control how much of themselves people see. Refraining and holding back certain aspects of you can't be fully helpful when trying to establish a serious, trusting relationship with someone. I know everyone wants to put their best foot forward, but hiding certain aspects of yourself to make yourself look better is not beneficial for pursuing a relationship. In my opinion, serious cases of dictating how much a person sees only happens online, and not in offline interactions. Through online vehicles people can represent themselves however they want, and in a manner that they feel as though people will gravitate to. This type of action is very deceiving and deceptive. 

I'll admit the reason why I feel like this is because it scares me that what you see on the screen might not match what's behind the screen, and also because I watch a lot of Law & Order, however offline interactions are more realistic and not created and contrived as online ones. 

Ayesha Go. 

Week 6 Anonymous and Hacking

Dear Anonymous,
After reading articles from the New York Times, Wired Magazine, and the New Everyday, I came to believe your protesting was a quick glance on how protesting is moving online. Their is a cultural movement where literally everything is moving online, even harassment. I do have to admit, I still remain a bit confused as to what you were protesting against the Church of Scientology just because I can't pinpoint your exact reason, even though I'm sure it's legitimate. It's showing that even the "little guys" that don't gain as much press as the big corporations can make a difference and have a presence in this world. I also think that the more people are pushing to effectively protest online, the more the government is trying to find ways to monitor what is being publicly displayed. In many ways, that is censorship although I'm sure much of the content used in trolling is better left away from the public eye. The New York Times said, "On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security plans to introduce a system to help institutions eliminate common programming errors that allow hackers to easily infiltrate databases and steal user names and passwords. The agency's hope is that the program, which is voluntary, will make it easier for companies and agencies to better secure their corners of the Internet, thus contributing to a safer global network." This definitely goes against what you as a group stand for, in allowing people to freely express themselves without oppression from government. The New Everyday article highlighted the transition of people for participating for lulz, to then serious outrage and protest. This right to be able to view content without the threat of filters is a huge grey area, which probably explains why some people follow your actions and others do not understand or respect it. I think privacy is an issue that should be considered, but I respect the message and reason why you're fighting.

Week 11 Online Dating

Dear Nancy Baym,

Online dating, for so many years has had such a negative social stigma tagged to its title. There is a common misconception that people who join these sites are looking for brief sexual encounters, or are incapable of social communication. In your Personal Connections in the Digital Age Chapter 5, you tackle the constant fear people seem to have over the sincerity and honesty of the profiles conveyed online. You also mention in chapter 6 that online dating is becoming much more of a social norm, paralleling the change in our culture over generations, but it's the method used that illustrates a certain judgment rather than the act of using the internet to meet people. I cannot agree more with you. I've seen many people in my generation (21-28) moving to online sites to find matches because they simply do not have the time to meet new people. One of my very good friends is one who had been put online jokingly by someone else. She is a social butterfly and has no problem finding boys, if anything she can't get rid of them, they're lined up like puppies. What was interesting, though, was that most of the people she did see on the site were normal looking business types who just did not have the time to look for romantic partners in real life because of work. She herself had some trouble finding good matches in real life because the people in our age group aren't exactly...mature enough. After finding a person online, and moving their first meeting into face-to-face, they ended up hitting it off perfectly and have been dating for months. Their compatibility may have been matched online by the groups and choices they picked.  On page 111, you point out that "our identities are entwined with the identities of others. Individual identities are deeply enmeshed with social identities. We build self-representations by linking to others." There is a feeling of connection by the two using the online site to find partners. Their representations are created by the means, or sites, they use to display themselves, and how fervently they create their profiles. Obviously, both my friend and her boyfriend did not try very hard on their profiles (because it was initially a joke for both sides) which is what made a more solidified connection because they both shared a commonality.

In Ellison, Heino and Gibbs' article, they research the self-presentation strategies of online dating participants. They also made it seem much more normal for people to move their romantic life online in order to find partners. They found in their study that profiles play the most important role in impression, considering it is the first thing people see, and that most people try to portray their online identities as close to their real-life ones. I think online dating is a great tool and something people should not be ashamed of using. It is reality, with this failing economy, that play is pushed back. It is harder to meet new people when you're stuck in the same facility or workplace.

Rebecca Cheng

Online Bonds

Dear Malcolm R. Parks and Kory Floyd,

I like that unlike many authors you tell truthfully not only your own opinions, but both sides of it fairly. Many of the people interacting online think and feel that these relationships they form online are deep, meaningful and better in many ways than their real life friends. They overcome not being able to see each others' body language with more text or emotes. I think that because you do not see the other person, you are more likely to open up to them and when you do, the bond with them gets stronger, unlike in real life where you may be afraid to show your true feelings or thoughts.

At the same time you mention the darker side of online interaction, like gender switching and other identity manipulations. Gender switching can be fine because what our sex is should not matter, but sometimes it also goes too far or is done in malice. I know of a case where someone pretended to be female just to try out the role and he played it so well that he had to reject a male player. He could never tell the other player that he was really male because he did not want to destroy the other person, but after that he never played another female. While online relationships can be amazing and nice, people who manipulate their online identity for malicious purposes are always around. Not knowing if the other person is really who they say they are is scary because you do not know if they are someone your age or a child molester.

It takes a cyber village to raise a cyber child

Dear Mr. Shirky,
When I first read your article the only thing that ran through my mind is how much I dislike working with groups. I know you made a lot of strong points in favor of collaborative projects, however the traumatic instances I had with previous groups continued to run rampant in my mind, until I finished reading your article and actually thought about your argument and the point you were making. The first statement of your article that made me rethink my position on group efforts was in the beginning of your article when you said "collaborative production, where people have to coordinate with one another to get anything done, is considerably harder than simple sharing, but the results can be more profound." I do agree with you on this point because different people add different elements and aspects of themselves, and personal experiences, into any project created. To further example what I mean is that one person's weakness may be another person's strong point. Another beneficial way of working together is that one person may be able to view something from a different aspect than the rest of the group. This is very beneficial and helpful in pin-pointing out errors or anything that can become problematic, however just as this is a positive aspect of collaborative work, it can also be a negative one.

When dealing with a group of people, it should always be taken into consideration that there will be multiple mindsets, multiple views, multiple opinions and of course multiple obstacles. I didn't see you touch upon the trials and tribulations, however we cannot forget that such things exist. The beauty of new media and the Internet is that everyone gets a voice, but I feel as though that can also be a bad thing when it comes to collaborative efforts. I know in your article you reference Wikipedia and the collaborators of that and how they worked together, but what happens when there's more people involved and you have more voices to deal with?

Although you did mention that with Wikipedia it began with a group of people that knew one another, but what happens when you're thrown and forced into a group you didn't create with other people with various views? I feel as though that's where things can get pretty messy. . In Susan Cain's article she poses the same question about group work vs. that of individuals. From what I gathered from Susan's article, and in my opinion, he beauty of new media and vast online outlets is that you can be a team on your own, and you can be your own group. Just a thought.

Ayesha Go.

Mr. Malcom R. Parks,

The internet is definitely the best way to stay connected to the most people.  I would never know half of the stuff I know about people who have once been, currently are, or never really will be part of my life if it wasn’t for the internet.  I personally have a little less than 1000 friends on Facebook.  I could probably tell you where or how I know/met most of them, but do I really care what they’re doing? Probably Not.  I would say if I care or still talk or even want to keep in touch with 100-200 of them, that’s a lot.  SO why am I still friends with them on Facebook? Great Question.  I’m not sure if I can choose between your two options of whether online relations are shallow, personal, and hostile versus being liberated, genuine, personal, and found.

A lot of people have rekindled relationships via Facebook including myself.
> When my parents were in the military they were great friends with a few couples.  Once they each got out and started their families throughout the states it became harder and harder to see each other and stay in touch.  At one point I started finding all of the kids of these families that I had grown up with on Facebook.  We started talking and catching up and forced our parents to plan a reunion for that summer.  SO yayyy for Facebook being able to reunite old friends. 

But some people are only friends with people on Facebook because they find their lives interesting.
My thing is:  If you wouldn’t say Hi to them at the grocery store you shouldn’t be friends with them on Facebook.. Pretty logical, right?  I think so.  Why should people have access to information about your life if you aren’t even willing to have a casual (probably fake) conversation with them in a public place. 
I still think the personal relationships people have with each other are the best ones, whether they are enhanced by technology or whatever….

Yours truly,
Karra Logan