Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What is Web 2.0

Today I was instructed to read "What is Web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. This reading was retrieved August 21, 2008 from This article illustrates the evolutional difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. Which is that we have moved from an era of using platform devices such as packaged software applications to the use of web applications.

O'Reilly gives various examples of differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 regarding this. But the most important and easy to understand is his use of Netscape and Google. He states that Netscape "Framed the web as a platform and was the flagship product of the web browser"(O'Reilly) This was Web 1.0, the basis of the web before it evolved from software to using web applications. These web applications, as stated by O'Reilly, "Include Google which was never sold or packaged, but delivered as a service."(O'Reilly) These delivered services emerged Web 2.0 into what it is today. Giving users access to millions of websites with the use of one web application. This is known as Chris Anderson's "Long Tail." The Long Tail refers to the "Collective power of small sites that make up the bulk of the web's content."(Anderson) This statement just proves how much more evolved Web 2.0 is than Web 1.0. The Internet is massive in size and is still growing. Web applications like Google are able to provide more for its user than the old platform because it is able to "Reach to the far distances of the Internet, not just the center."(O'Reilly)

This article mostly consisted of how web applications changed "The platform," which was the old use of software. O'Reilly used many examples such as Double click vs. Overture, Akamai vs. Bitorrent, and vs. Napster, and Netscape vs. Google. I believe that Netscape vs. Google is the benchmark for this whole Web 2.0 emergence because of the vast amount of information Google can obtain from the Internet. O'Reilly provides very good examples in describing Google. Such as using Chris Anderson's "Long Tail." I thought the use of it was very key in this article and helped illustrate the importance of not just Google but web applications overall. These have changed the way we use the web now and it has evolved Web 1.0.

O'Reilly, Tim. (2005). What is Web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Retrieved August 21, 2008 from

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cops 2.0 IRC Chat (Essay 2)

Over the past couple of weeks, I have observed a specific Internet Relay Chat. An IRC is a social medium that allows users to chat amongst each other synchronously. Although there are many IRC's available on the Internet, I chose to observe one that I am very familiar with and have a strong interest in. This IRC is known as "Cops 2.0." This social medium works in congruence with the television show "Cops" on G4TV. At the bottom of this television show is a box that contains information regarding what is occurring in the episode. It asks a variety of questions that allows users in the IRC to answer. When the user answers the questions pertaining to the episode, the host then chooses these specific answers randomly to display in the information box at the bottom of the television show. From what I have observed, I have seen many users act as "Free riders" who answering questions in a spamming fashion. These "Free riders" are taking away the enjoyment and interests of those who want to use the IRC correctly, and for those who want to discuss the police activity occurring on the episode.

The reading "Managing the Virtual Commons: Cooperation and Conflict in Computer Communities" by Peter Kollock and Marc Smith gives a very good description of what a "Free rider" does in these social media. Kollock and Smith both state that "Free riders" contribute useless information to the social media in order to obtain a public good. A public good, as stated by Kollock and Smith, "Is a resource from which all may benefit."(p.110) In the Cops 2.0 channel, the free riders answer questions in a jokingly spamming fashion in order to get their answers up on the information box on the television show. In other words, they are trying to get their humorous answer displayed on television by overriding many other's answers. The free riding that occurs in this situation, is the consistent spamming of idiotic answers and the public good that they are trying to obtain is their displayed answer on television. The problem here is that the questions that are being asked are relating to the police activity that is occurring in the episode of Cops. I have seen this occur in all five of my observation days. For example in my first day of observation on Septemeber 16th, the question "How would you clear a room?" was asked. This was asked because during the episode the Police needed to vacate a room where a crime has occurred. So I expected people to answer that question with answers like "Call in the K-9 Unit" or "Call for backup to vacate the premises." Instead you saw answers like "I'd call Arnold," "Throw a gas bomb," and "With my mutt." All these answers were displayed on television because they were constantly spammed, so the host randomly selected them because of the vast amount answered in the chat. During my final day of observation on September 23rd, I decided to answer a question in regard to what was occurring in the episode in a non-spamming fashion. The question "How would you handle this situation?" was asked. I stated, "I would call my superior, tell him my situation, and follow his orders." As i posted this answer, it was quickly overrun by the idiot spammers and was not displayed on television. This is very similar to Professor Stromer-Galley's blog post, titled "Experimenting with IRC." She stated that during the experimentation, users were not discussing anything, but just random things were being posted. She stated that she tried asking questions in order to refocus the discussion, but she was mostly overridden by the free riders who were posting nonsense. This is very similar to my answer being overridden by the free riders for a spot on television.

Although the reading by Kollock and Smith did not provide examples of free riders existing in Internet Relay Chats, my observations are still comparabe to what had occurred in Usenet. Kollock and Smith both state that "No central Authority manages Usenet"(p.111) Kollock and Smith had mentioned that Usenet free riders would post long articles and meaningless off topic spam in order to obtain the public good. During my observations, specifically the first, I noticed a lot of users getting booted from the channel when they answered the questions with curse words. This is the only central authority I saw within the channel. It still allowed users to spam meaningless information just like Usenet. I also found in my observations that there were no regular users who try and regulate the conduct displayed in the chat. As stated by Kollock and Smith, this is something that Usenet has in order to try and eliminate the free riders. They mention "Each contribution is passed throughout the system of interconnected hosts."(p.111)

Although this problem may not exist in other IRC channels, or may be declining as time progresses, but from my observations I have found that the Cops 2.0 IRC channel contains a majority of these free riders. These free riders ruin the channel for the people who want to use it correctly, in their own selfishness. It is very hard participate in the IRC channel when people aren't answering questions in regard to what the episode is portraying. I believe that these free riders give the channel a bad name and may discontinue users who want to use it correctly.


Kollock, P. and Smith, M. (1996). Managing the virtual commons: Cooperation and conflict in computer communities. In S. C. Herring (Ed.), Computer-mediated communication: Linguistic, social and cross-cultural perspectives (p. 109-129). Philidelphia, PA: John Benjamins.
Stromer-Galley, J. (2008). Experimenting with IRC

Observation Day 5

Last night was my final day of observing the Cops 2.0 IRC chat. This observation contained all the similar aspects that I have been talking about in my past blog entries. Once again a question was asked that related to what was occurring in the episode. The question was "How would you handle this situation?" Many users then began spamming idiotic answers like "Use my sword," and "Shoot everyone in the room, point blank in the head." These users are anwering this way for the sole purpose of trying to be funny. But once again, it had nothing to do with police activity or answering the questions correctly. This observation, once again contained nothing but spammers and free riders. This time I decided to answer correct answers that related to the activity displayed on the episode in a non spamming fashion. I answered the question of "How would you handle this situation?" with, "I would call my superior, tell him my situation and follow his advice." As I posted this, it was overrun by the idiot spammers and it never displayed on television.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Observation Day 4

Last night I viewed the 9:00 PM showing of Cops 2.0. The IRC chat was very similar to the 3 other days of obvservation. So this time I decided to compare the amount of female to male users. Although these were alot of neutral names that could go either way, I was still able to find some females in this chat. Some user names include: "Michelle112", "Roxxy14pl", "Instagirl", and "msladymaz." Although these are feminine names, it doesnt provide enough evidence of their gender. There were also some users with masculine names. Some include: "Steveklj", "KidPoker", and "BatmanDNight." This also does not provide enough evidence of their gender. Many users like myself also had neutral names like, "Kardian24." This user names consists of my last name and my favorite number. It could be any type of gender. I only focused on these things during this observation, and will go more into depth on it in my final essay.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Observation Day 3

During today's observation of the Cops 2.0 IRC Chat, I noticed there were a lot more users logged on. This increase of users meant that there was an increase of spam. All of the chat was absolute nonsense, but some related to the episode. During one of the segments on television show, there was a civilian being arrested for a domestic violence charge. He started crying when the Police Officer slapped him with cuffs. When this happened alot of the nonsense spam stopped and began relating to what was shown on television. The users were laughing at how he was crying and called him a cry baby. I was actually laughing out loud to the things they were saying. One user, Kingzzsj, said "This kid sucks, go cry to mommy." Other users responded with similar comments like "Yea what a baby, feed him a bottle." This actually was the first viewing where people talked about the actual show and Police work.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Day 2 Observation

Last night I observed the Cops 2.0 IRC chat for the second time. I once again did this while viewing the 12:00 Am showing. The IRC host asked the question "Why would you hide in the bushes?" This question was asked in relation to what was occurring on the episode. Many users responded to this question in a humorous manner. People responded with answers like "To hide from scooby" and "To hide from Hannibal Lector." Just like my first observation, none of these answers were Police related. I also analyzed alot of the usernames. I was able to find atleast three usernames that were in a feminine way. One was CrazzyGal14. This person was answering the host's questions with a multiple answers, in a spamming fashion. As I saw this going on in the chat, I just figured it was some young girl spamming the IRC chat. While inbetween commercials of the show, the users were all spamming different jokes. There was no real conversation or Police related conversation. This was all that occured during this half hour of chat.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Day 1 Observation

Today I sat through the 12:00 Am Cops 2.0 episode while observing their IRC chat. This television show and IRC chat both work together in congruence. At the bottom of the television is a box that contains information regarding what is ocurring on the show. They ask multiple questions that allow the IRC users to answer. Then the host picks the answers that will be displayed on the television. When the first question was asked, about 14 different users responded with various answers. Most answers were not serious. For example the show asked, "How would you clear a room?" Many IRC users responded with "I'd get Arnold," "Throw a gas bomb," and "With my mutt." There were also many users who constantly spammed useless information. I also saw a couple users get booted from the chat for saying curse words. I looked at everyones user name and many of them were in a masculine form. During commercial breaks, the users were constantly spamming jokes. Nobody was in real conversation. This is all that I had observed today.

New Media and Web Production

Today I was assigned the reading The Internet: The Basics by Jason Whitaker. This reading consists of various components of digital production on the Web known as "New media." Whitaker states many processes that these new media have taken in order to make our present day Internet.

The first component of digital production on the web is known as hypertext. Whitaker states the importance of hypertext by mentioning that "Without a standard protocol for transmitting documents, the Web would not exist." (p.58) He continues by explaining the importance of hyperlinks, stating its usefulness through its ability to connect to various amounts of information, videos, and images from web pages. Whitaker spoke about how the computer has changed early photography from an alchemical process of capturing images to a digitized procedure. This new process of capturing still images has decreased the earlier methods of photography. This then leads to the presence of moveable images and audio formats such as MPEG's and MP3's. This emergence of new media has led to the availability for music albums and DVD's on the Internet, allowing piracy to take place. Millions of MP3 files over the past 10 years have been available through many peer-to-peer networks such as Napster and Kazaa. Whitaker states that producers are worried that video could spread as easily as MP3 files have. I believe this is true or has already happened because I know of many people who download hundreds of movies and burn them to DVDs in an easy fashion. There are also various underground businesses that sell bootlegged movies that have not even left the theaters yet. These new media on the Internet have both affected businesses, artists and customers. They have hurt businesses in sales because of less CDs and DVDs being purchased, left the customer without proper profit, and they have encouraged customers to engage in illegal activity.

This reading, I believe was very different than the previous readings. I would have to disagree that this reading consisted of "The Basics." Whitaker went deep into explaining how certain processes work, such as capturing a digital image with the use of sampling and quantisation. He also gave an in depth explanation on how to create a web page. He gave examples and explanations of various tags in order to format pages, add color, create a lay out, and add images on the web. But what was most important in this reading was the presence of these new media not their in depth operations.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The problems and effective methods of control within a virtual community

Today I was assigned the reading "Managing the Virtual Commons: Cooperation and Conflict in Computer Communities" by Peter Kolluck and Marc Smith. This reading consisted mostly of the social dilemmas found in vitrual communities and the effective methods of controlling them. The main social dilemma stated in this reading is the challenge of providing a public good. Kolluck and Smith both define a public good as a resource from which all may benefit, regardless of whether they may have helped create the good. The problem here is that many people like to "Free-ride" on the enjoyment of a public good, but do not contribute to it's production whatsoever. This occurs mainly due to the fact that a central authority does not exist. Kolluck and Smith both describe the free-rider problem in a virtual community known as Usenet.

Kolluck and Smith both describe Usenet as one of the largest computer-mediated communication systems in existence. Usenet is a forum based virtual community that consists of many newsgroups. These newsgroups allow users to discuss important news topics amongst themselves by creating threads and discussing through interconnected posts. This virtual community lacks a central authority or post moderator. This is where the free-rider problem comes into play. Kolluck and Smith both state that if users each take turns posting their stances or opinions on a particular topic, then the communication flows smoothly. The smooth flow of communication here can be labeled as a public good. But this public good can be victim to a free-rider who may use the information without contributing. Kolluck and Smith describe another problem regarding free-riders. They state that some users tend to abuse Usenet's bandwith by posting long long articles, repetitive messages, and nonsense spam in order to receive valuable information by the other rule-abiding members. Another way users are able to free-ride is by asking questions, but not answering others', gathering information but not providing it, or only reading members posts without contributing their own posts. They tend to inherit very valuable information by not contributing any of their own to the community.

Kolluck and Smith both have stated that the free-rider problem occurs because there is no central authority. All the members of a self-governing virtual community must all work together and follow the rules of decorum. Within this reading, Kolluck and Smith provide information by Ostrom, who states various design principles of groups who were effectively able to organize and govern themselves. Kolluck and Smith both have broken down Ostroms principles into three main methods of control. They are group size and boundaries, rules and institutions, and monitoring and sanctioning.

Ostrom states that having clearly defined boundaries are very important because it encourages an ongoing flow of communication between members. This frequent communication tends to eliminate the free-riders because repeated interaction tends to recruit more participators. The more people who participate, the more in weeds out those who do not contribute. Monitoring and sanctioning is very important in sustaining a successful community. Kolluck and Smith both state that Ostrom had found evidence that many users are willing to follow rules relating to public goods as long as most others do. This is important because if most people follow the rules, it dramatically reduces the amount of free-riders who violate the norms. It ends up in a match between a large mass versus a small amount. A set of rules and institutions is also very important in sustaining successful communities. Ostrom had found evidence in the fact that if most members follow a set of rules, they are most likely to modify them due to the day to day activity in the virtual community. They know what is always going on and the problems that are occuring. So they are able to modify rules in order to eliminate every new emerging problem.

Within this reading, Kolluck and Smith both have described the main social dilemma of users free-riding off of public goods. Although a central authority figure does not exist in order to eliminate these problems, there are still ways to control effective information flowing virtual community.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Internet is entirely different from television

The Internet and television are similar in many areas. They both provide vast amounts of information and entertainment to large audiences by the Mass Media and are two of the most used information mediums to this day. But many people say that the Internet is different than television. I do believe this is true and can prove this statement by illustrating 5 defining characteristics of the Internet.

Although the Internet and television provide a lot of information to it's users, the information by each medium is still delivered differently. The Internet relies heavily on the use of a text-based form, while television uses a visual mode. Although it can be argued that the Internet is very visual because of arising websites such as, where it is basically a type of television, it still contains one key characteristic that separates these mediums. This characteristic is known as hypertextuality. After reading through Adams and Clark's chapter "What is it" I was able to obtain a good grasp of this definition. The chapter states that "Hypertextuality is the ability to link any type of content to any other type of content." This cannot be done while watching television. For example, If I was watching a news story on the CBS News via television, I would have to watch it all the way through in order to obtain all the information that was being said by the newscaster. But if I used the Internet, I could go to, find the same news story, and click various hypertextual links that will bring me to the information that I want. The use of hypertextuality enables you to choose the information you want to read and navigate, rather than waiting for it on television.

Another defining characteristic of the Internet that television lacks, is the use of interpersonal communication. After browsing through many sites, I finally came across, which provides very insightful information regarding this. This site states that "Communication channels are the medium chosen to convey the message from sender to receiver." Meaning the sender reveals information to a receiver through a specific channel. This can be done asynchronously or synchronously, which is another defining characteristic of the Internet. It is stated in Adams and Clark's chapter "What is it" that synchronous can be defined as "Something occurring immediately," such as a comment following another comment instantly. Asynchronous can be defined as "Not occurring at the same time." A specific interpersonal communication channel such as video conferencing can be labeled as a synchronous technology. You are able to exchange messages simultaneously, while actually seeing it occur over the web. This cannot be done while using television. Television is just a sender to a receiver type of communication. The television can only talk to you, you cannot talk to it.

One defining characteristic of the Internet that most definitely separates the Internet from television, is the means of how data is actually transmitted. This is done by the use of packet switching. Adams and Clark's reading "How did we get here" gives a very good example of this by using email. It states that "Whenever we send information such as email, it is sent in thousands of smaller email packets that will travel in different directions to its one destination." This is done because it is expected that some packets will get lost, but if the majority make the destination, then the overall message will be accepted. If email messages were to be sent in one huge bundle, then the overall message may not be accepted because of a certain server outage. Data transmission from sender to receiver on television is essentially different. I was able to prove this through the use of This site states that "Television broadcasts moving images accompanied by sound." The broadcasting acts as the sender and the moving images act as the receiver. This data transmission is obviously different and is just another proven fact on how the Internet differs from television.

The last defining characteristic of the Internet that television does not contain is multimedia. The Internet is a multimediated source which allows you to virtually do anything. Adams and Clark's reading makes a very interesting statement regarding this. It states that "The Internet may resemble a book, a television, or something out of a science fiction movie." This statement is very important because it describes the dominance the Internet has over television. The Internet is so much more evolved than television in the form of blending together text, audio, and video. The Internet basically has a television within itself along with many other medias. There are various websites that allow you television, such as and

Overall, the Internet is entirely different from television. Although they do contain similarities in areas of providing information, the Internet is just so much more evolved than television. It contains so many ways to navigate for selected information, communicate with other people through asynchronous and synchronous technologies, operate with other systems, and provide mulitmediated sources to it's users.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Characteristics of the Medium

This reading consists of many different components that revolve around the evolution of the Internet. Its main idea involves the issue of the Internet's medium type. The reading states that the Internet can be used as a personal communication medium. Internet users can use various asychronous technologies such as email, as well as sychronous technologies such as videoconferencing. These technologies allow users to us the Internet in an interactive approach, which can define it as a social medium. But this reading states that the internet is evolving. It can be used in various other ways such as for public information and business practice. Examples of these include many informative websites such as and These websites are displayed amongst the internet in order to provide information for the public. Users can use these websites in order to find valuable inofrmation on major league baseball scores or tomorrows weather. The Internet can also display business websites such as These sites allow consumers to buy products over the web in a business to consumer practice. These various websites also illustrate that the internet is a multimedia. For example, may contain various highlight videos of yesterdays game that may require a real player plugin. These websites also contain another important element known as hypertexuality. As defined by the reading, hypertextuality is "The ability to link any type of content to any other type of content." (Adams and Clark, 37) Hypertextuality can be used on's homepage in order to link the user to other areas of the site such as to "Statistics" or "Standings." Finally, "What makes these websites accessible is through the use of packet switching and digitization." (Adams and Clark, 41) This is a very important statement that I can agree with because this is actually part of the basis of the Internet's evolution. Since the Internet contains many different elements that define its medium type, the reading states, "We would like to suggest that the Internet is a macromedium." (Adams and Clark, 29) It can be defined as this term because of the many functions the Internet possesses. The functions include both the communicative and informative processes and it's six key qualities that I have previously stated.