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

Dear Mr. Boellstorff,

Virtuals worlds are a new and up and coming phenomenon.  Second Life, for example, gives people a place to be someone they are not or are afraid to be in real life.  Like you said, sociality in real life is no comparison or explanation of what occurs in the virtual world.  People who are shy in real life may have thousands of friends in their virtual world.  I haven’t quite decided how I feel about this.  I mean I feel bad that they don’t have a lot of friends in real life, but do those friends in the virtual world really count as friends? I don’t know.  It’s all so difficult and case to case if you ask me.  I think some people use virtual worlds as an excuse for an escape.  But being a positive and strong person I think people need to face their fears and conquer what brings them down in order to grow.  I don’t know, maybe that’s just me.  But being someone who doesn’t really “get” virtual worlds, I like my real world.  I’m not saying that virtual worlds are not good for some, I guess, what I’m saying is that I question whether these people gave real life a good solid chance/ fight or if they live in their virtual world because it’s “easy”.

Karra Logan

Virtual Anonymity

The fact that people can anonymously display themselves is a scary thing.  Online outlets of any kind can/do have people who are portraying an image other than themselves. 

Second Life> PEOPLE CAN BE ANYTHING THEY WANT TO BE!!! Is this creepy or creative? Ughh both?  It’s creepy for the 30 something year old man to be playing a young teenage girl but it’s kinda creative for someone to ya know, be a wolf or something.  Right?  You don’t know who the people are they you are interacting with in Second Life.  Most people that you come across you don’t know personally, obviously.  You don’t even know their real name in most cases cause that doesn’t have to be real.  And even if It does look like a legitimate name, how do you know it’s real. 

People have the ability to post pretty much anything they want to the internet for anyone to see.  Some things can be traced back to the person but there is also anonymity. 

Remember when people were changing their facebook pictures to their favorite cartoon for some kind of awareness for children and it turned out that pedophiles started that in order to friend young kids without them knowing who they were.  CREEPY. ANONYMITY.

I’m all for people expressing themselves in their own way but I don’t like the idea of people portraying to be something they are not >> meaning a completely false identity.

-Karra Logan


Honestly, I have no idea.  

Gaming is something I do not understand.  I mean yes, when I was growing up I played Nintendo 64 and those kinds of games, but even then it didn’t consume my time.  I would have much rather played “Man-Hunt” outside with my friends in the neighborhood or even watch TV. 
The sad thing is I think people game because they don’t have a lot of social interaction or friends in their “real” lives.  I feel like gamers are usually socially awkward.  So are these people socially awkward because they play games or do they play games because they are socially awkward?  A question that I often ask myself about gamers.  What made gamers become gamers?  What makes people prefer to be in a virtual world with people that they don’t know rather than their own “real” world with real human beings and interaction?
I guess some people could argue that social networks are virtual worlds and could be considered some type of gaming but I’m going to say that 9 times out of 10 people either know the people they are connected to on their social networks personally or at least have met them in person once before becoming connected.
I think people who do not get the feeling of “connection” from their worlds often turn to different outlets causing gamers. 

-Karra Logan

Sherry Turkle—
TECHNOLOGY IS NO SUBSITUTION FOR THE REAL THING. Absolutely agree with this statement.   People have become so infused with technology that they forget the importance or value of real life experiences with the people in their lives. 
Another statement that I absolutely agree with is that digital connections offer this illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.  >  People think that they are friends with some people because they are connected with them through technology.  Technology is a way for people to hide.  No non-verbals, no tone of voice, no/little immediate response.  Technology is convenient, but is friendship or relationships supposed to be convenient?  That’s not what I’ve been taught.
Being connected and using technology at all times has become a social norm.  But should it become a social norm to primarily use technology as a form of staying connected to people in one’s life or should technology be used to enhance those relationship and to stay “in the know”. 
Take Second Life, for example, people have formed identities and relationships completely outside of their real world in the virtual community and some value that world more than the actual one they live in.  Is this healthy?  Is it socially acceptable?  Should it be?
I think that people can use technology for convenience to stay connected and in touch with the people in their lives, but if using technology is the only way those people stay connected than I do not believe that it is a real relationship or friendship.  Physical interaction is important for human relationships of any kind.
Yours truly,
Karra Logan

Internet Hacking

Dear Richmond and Bilton,
Your article,“Transformed Social Interaction in Collaborative Virtual Environments” about online security and hackers is extremely interesting.  I thought it was interesting to read about the anti-hacking group of hackers.  These people work for government and other institutions that are set out to stop hackers.  I feel this is important because if it was not for these people, internet hacking would be a lot worse today.  People’s private information is being stolen and their money is also being spent elsewhere as individuals have their credit card information stolen as well.

However, there are no repercussions for internet hackers.  There needs to be consequences that they have to suffer.  With no reprimands right now, internet hackers will stop at noting with their persistence, as you mention in your article.  When laws are enforced, the number of hackers will diminish and the anti-hacking group will be able to focus on the most danger ones.

Steve Schreck 

The Middle Ground

Dear T. L. Taylor,

I think that its interesting that instead of just researching and watching others play online in Everquest and then meet in real life at a "bash" or convention, you put yourself into Everquest and played and interacted with other players before then going to a in real life meet up. I think starting online and creating bonds is one thing, but meeting them in real life is a totally another and is a step forward out the stereotypical old fat nerd living in their parents' basement. People think that nerds are these outcasts of society that can't interact outside of the computer screen, but I think these bizarre meetings in real life are the proof that they are not antisocial.

Separating the people's identities online and offline is difficult, but they are not totally separate voids of each other. What one is like online is surely part of them in real life too, perhaps just not as strong or just not displayed. I disagree that online cannot be a replacement of what people have in real life. I think that an online world where one can bond with others and interact socially can be a replacement for real life, especially if the bonds you form with each other are deep. Something is always better than nothing and if the person does not know or does not remember what it would feel in real life, the online relationship would be amazing.

History of Online Worlds

Dear Joe Sanchez,

After reading your article “A Social History of Virtual Worlds” I was intrigued to see just how far online gaming has become.  From a personal standpoint, the only experience I have had in online gaming was in games such as Call of Duty.  For me, I never thought of these games as being anything but a place to collaborate with other people while accomplishing the same mission.  However, after being introduced to my Self and Society class, I was exposed to Second Life.  Here people meet in a virtual setting and people sometimes become emotionally attached to other people, an area I thought never existed in the online gaming world.  However, after reading your article it is interesting to see just how far the online virtual gaming worlds have become.

You talk about how online text games many years ago were considered virtual worlds back then.  However, today the idea of a virtual world has changed considerably.  With online software’s such as Second Life, people can now meet and interact in a visual setting with avatars that represent their real life identity.  In relation to the earlier years of online virtual worlds, I would assume that people would have a hard time connecting emotionally with anyone online due to having a lesser amount of visual effects whereas today we can see people in 3D.  Again, it is amazing to see just how far technology has come and how online virtual worlds have evolved with it along the way.

Steve Schreck


Stephanie Rosenbloom,

The amount of social networking sites you named in your article is unbelievable.  I had no idea there were so many.  I also was taken back by the fact that some sites such as “Buffer, Social oomph, and TwitResponse” allow the writer to hold off on posting their material until a later date with a set automatic release.  How are people supposed to know what their response to a particular topic or issue is going to be in advance?

I use social media and like to think I am “connected”.  I have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and Instagram accounts.  I find with my new iPhone that I am much more connected and using the sites more.  I rarely went on Facebook before getting my iPhone, now I’ll check it every few hours or when I’m “bored”.  Facebook was my first social media account (besides mySpace, but does that really count) and now it is my least favorite and one I use the least. 
I use my social networks for a variety of things. 

·      Facebook > I mostly use it to upload pictures of things that I have been doing with my life or to comment on friends’ pictures.  I rarely update statuses via Facebook and now do that on Twitter.  My Facebook profile has various privacy settings depending on the people that I accept to be my “friend”.

·      Twitter > I use my twitter to keep up with various stars that I am a fan of and to make comments or updates about myself.   My tweets are able to be viewed by the public, in order to be able to get re-tweeted and increase my visibility.  I have various lists, which organize the people that I may not follow but want to be able to see what they are updating about.

·      Pinterest > Pinterest is the best and easiest way to see my tastes and style.  I have 18 different boards, which are categories that I classify my interests as, consisting of 556 pins. Pins are the actual “thing” that I like and want to display on my profile for various reasons.

·      Linkedin> I use Linkedin to network with business professionals.  My Linkedin account is strictly business related.  It describes my experiences in the work environment and what I plan to do in the future.

·      Instagram> Instagram is my newest form of social media.  I use this to show people what I am doing by a single picture.  I also admire the editing tools of Instagram in order to make the picture more desirable. 

The quote by Mr. Kaufman, “If you use your willpower once to change the environment, there’s no discipline required.”  I am a procrastinator.  Most people are.  I think I get a rush from being under pressure.  When I am on a deadline and need to get stuff done I find that it is better for me to turn off my internet (if possible) in order to not use social networks as a distraction. 

Karra Logan

fake friends? -- missing from week 8

Dear David Plotz,

I enjoyed your article a lot. I thought the birthday experiment was brilliant and I think it speaks to the fact that people; especially in the younger generation have completely changed the meaning of “friend.”
I completely agree with you on the fact that people are building all this social capital, but I don’t think that they know they are actually building social capital. If people truly knew the worth of social capita they wouldn’t use facebook and other social networks the way they do. If they knew, they would try to get to know the people on their facebooks on a deeper level and would really try to be friends with them because only in this way can they can actually use their social capital. Only this way can they truly use those people on their facebook as resources.
Because people don’t know the worth of the “friends” on their facebook is why we have, as you call it, “programmed, canned, and impersonal” birthday greetings. You mention that these are only from people who aren’t ones friends, I want to disagree with you on that. I think that all of the facebook greetings whether from friends or not are impersonal simply due to the fact that they are on facebook.
Our generation seems to know less and less what personal is, that is why people use facebook and blogs as personal journals, is not that they are not aware of the fact that everyone reads it, it’s just that they want everyone to read it. Today, if we actually had a personal birthday greeting it would be a phone call, an email, a card, even a text message because then we know that the persona actually remembered and that you actually mean something to them. It wasn’t just that they logged on facebook, and it was convenient for them to say “hpb” to you because it is also their other friend’s birthday.

I think one important connection that we can make as to why people care less on an online setting is brought up by Parks & Floyd – “Making Friends in Cyberspace.” They mention that “social cues are filtered out in on-line settngs. Rleational cues emanating frin the physical context are missing, as are nonverbal cues reguarding vocal qualities, bodily movement, facial expressions, and physical appearance.” So the whole facebook experience is nothing more than emotionless words. To me it appears that because these cues are removed people no longer know what a friend is, the few physical beings that one is close to and talks to the most and shares actual real life memories with. With the removal of these physical emotional ties, now everyone becomes a “friend.” 

In the end I truly think that people, especially the younger generations of fecebook users, think of facebook as more of a game of collecting people that are all perfectly housed under friends and will be there at their convenience.


I agree with Danah Boyd in that the internet has clearly changed. I too remember the time when I would scramble to claim a certain angelfire domain username or to claim a username for a forum. I settled on 'Amarei' being my permeant online identity, but that does not mean that it is always free for my use even if I have staked my claim on the handle for years in many different places on the internet. My name is an online identity that represents me. I want the person behind this identity to be fair and most importantly follow Voltaire's (misattributed) quote of "I might not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." If someone tried to steal this identity from me, I would be terribly angry. It would be comparable to the government stripping away my birth name. My name is a representation of my online identity and in some ways its a brand that I flaunt and advertise by using it whenever I can and behaving myself to give it good PR.

And speaking of brands and good PR, Google is one such company that has a brand image. Google has become a global brand name in less than a decade becoming even bigger than Coca Cola says Gleick in his article. Google is now even a verb in which it means to search for something (information) online; usually through google. Google has become what it is now, because of branding. Google pushed itself to create gmail and offered more than 500% space than its competitors for free. They then pushed itself into many other sectors of the Internet creating google translate and now their own social network, Google+. The popularity and usefulness of their products increased their brand name because they were respected for what they could provide and the result of their products.

Online Play

Online play is strangely addicting like Tanz writes about in Cow clicker. I do find myself strangely attached to useless games like the 101 +21 games app. The games are all boring mundane games that are not anything new and frankly if anything, they are boring. But you start but with 4 games and to play all the games, you need in game money to unlock the games. Each time you play a game you get in game money and you receive money when you achieve the score the game tells you have to beat. You also get money for logging into the app every single day. I find myself addicted to this game because even though the games are all stupid, I just want to feel the satisfaction of unlocking all the games. The cow clicker is like this in that same way, you want to be at the top of the chart with the most clicks and unlock all the stupid things it gives you. The only difference is that cow clicker was not meant to be the game it was, but just a message about these kind of games holding no true value.

But at the same time online play can also provide social interaction as Williams states. There are many games where the game becomes more than just the game but about the bonds you form. In games like WoW, you join guilds and in that community you chat and spend time together. For me currently, Shadow Cities is a game that becomes more than just the game, but about the people in the game. I started playing the game for the game, but I started to wonder about the people behind the game, so I started to talk to them. I also wondered about the people in the game and how they actually acted in real life. Was the player, GiantDong, an egotistical perverted guy? Was he one in real life? The answer was no to both actually, but I would not have found this out without interacting in the game and forming bonds.


Dear Susan Cain,

I thought your views on groupthink we were very mind opening. I had always thought that groupthink was a good thing because of the many online collaboration projects that have dazzled me on the internet, but I think you are correct in saying that there are some people where its a bad things. Some people prefer to work in solitude to come up with brilliant ideas where they do not have to fight to have their ideas and voice heard.

As Shirky points out in the article, Wikipedia is not actually a free-form hive mind, but a place where information is gathered and put together through endless argumentation. I think wikipedia is actually a perfect example where people thought that wikipedia was this perfect working example of good groupthink. Because like Shirky said, those people do not actually understand how wikipedia works.

Groupthink provides us with many things that are free for everyone to use also. But is that really a good thing? Keen does not think so. Companies are the ones receiving the blow from these "free" things. He gives examples like youtube providing free music videos for people to watch and wikipedia's free information. But at the same time, if you think about all these services, not all of them are actually "Free". Youtube lets you watch these videos for free yes, but they also play ads before videos and they display ads on the side too. And if a company is smart, they ask people on youtube to advertise their products for them within the video. YesStyle sponsors and asks WongFu Productions to wear their products in their videos. As a result WongFu creates videos where they thank and tell their viewers how awesome YesStyle is, generating advertisement for the company.(As shown in the video below).


Dear Constance Steinkuehler & Dmitri Williams,

I thought your article was very interesting and easy to understand. The way you approached online communities was from a standpoint of someone that had absolutely no information about it. At the same time I thought you managed to cover many if not all of the points of an online community. You showed how because it was a game, the conversation/social interaction between other players is playful. I think this is actually a very important aspect of a game that keeps players coming, without it a game is just something with a start point and an endpoint, the social interaction is what keeps many players coming back to their online communities. While conversation is a big part of activity within games, I would not say it is the MAIN part of a community. The actual game function is still the main activity no matter what. You can still keep social interaction with other players to a bare minimum while still being part of their community and participating in group interactions like raids.

I think that breaking down the game into those different sections to talk about them was smart. Breaking it into those smaller sections makes it easier to understand. It also allows people to understand how complex it is and that its similar to what goes on in the real world.

Group Think and Collaboration

Dear Susan Cain,

Reading your article on group think really made me reassess how collaborating in groups is hindering productivity. When thinking of how people are influenced I realized that those who are in a power position have the ability to influence a major audience. The same goes for a group work situation. If the leader isn't completely knowledgeable of a situation, he or she still has the power position and thus has the ability to sway members of a group to their means of thinking. It is interesting how people blindly agree with others who have that power. It also makes one think of democracy and how those with the voice and the power have the ability to move people. People who do not even fully know the situation or issue will move towards one side of the fence simply because of a name that is recognized.
Shirky's article discussed trust and collaboration. This relates to group think because when a leader or a person in a position of power is influencing others those who are influenced trusts the person in a position of power. People listen to others because they trust that the person has the groups best interest in mind. Keen's article talked about online media and through online media especially people have a tendency to trust any and everyone's opinion on subjects. As a user, it is important to choose who you listen to on certain subjects. It is sort of like a democracy, and through democracy people join one side based on similar opinion and thought.


Pros and Cons of Technology

Dear Sherry Turkle,

Your article, “Alone Together:  Why We Expect More from Technology and Less From Each Other” strengthens my opinion that we rely on technology a lot more then we normally are used to in today’s world.  Our dependence on technology is so great that meeting in a face-to-face setting is becoming less important to us.  Software’s such as Skype allow people to hold meetings and conferences from anywhere around the world.  In my opinion this is great because it saves companies costs on flying out employees to a specific location.  However, technology has affected us negatively as well.  People would rather text then hold a phone conversation.  From a time consuming standpoint, people are checking their Facebook and Twitter from the cell phones more often then they check more important sources such as the news.  While technology has been a productive advancement for the most part, it has also resulted in interference with our everyday lives.  

Something that stood out to me in your article was when you talked about how people would rather leave a voicemail then talk in a face-to-face setting.  I would have to agree with this statement and I do find it interesting that people are not using their face-to-face communication skills as much as they should be just because there are other means in talking to one another.  In my opinion, talking face-to-face is the most productive way to hold a conversation and solve problems.  This is because we can see people’s emotions and judge how serious they may be about a certain situation.  Although technology has come a long way and has been beneficial for the most part, people still need to know how to communicate the traditional way.

Steve Schreck