Sunday, November 30, 2008

Youtube observations

For the past month I have been observing an Internet medium known as Youtube. I have found that many users use this website for their own personal interest. Many people have different interests and Youtube is able to deliver what audiences want to see. I have noticed that a lot of Youtube users use this medium in order to see various music videos. With the use of the google-like search engine, you are able to find almost any music video you want. Youtube users also are able to upload videos that they have recorded with their own personal recording device. This is the basis of how Youtube works, but I will save my explanation regarding this on my final essay. I have observed that users like to record themselves doing various things, such as recording their own band for audiences to see, doing standup comedy, skateboarding, and thousands of other things. Sometimes things can be caught on camera and displayed to a large audiance in a negative way, such as something embarrassing or illegal. I had found a story on a forum regarding illegal police procedures being caught on camera by local skater kids. The kids then later uploaded the personal video on youtube for a large public audience to see. This is something that I will go further into detail on my final essay.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Dodgeball and Social Organizing

Today I was assigned to read Chapter 9 from Clay Shirkey's book called Here comes everybody: The power of organizing without organizations. This reading contains informative explanations behind the reasoning for "Small world incidents." As described by Shirkey, a "Small world incident" takes place when you come into contact with an individual who you are connected to through another individual. Shirkey also helps describe this occurrence through the use of social networking sites.

Shirkey gives a very good example regarding this. He uses an airplane example, where you and your right seat passenger know someone in common. Shirky states that these chances are actually quite good because of a factor known as "Homophily." This factor draws two people out of a much smaller pool than a larger one for the increased likelihood of knowing the same person. They are drawn from a smaller pool because these two people are sharing the same arrival and departure cities and may both live in the same town or city. Shirkey then gives further explanation with the use of small world social networking services. Dodgeball, a friend of friend social networking site designed for mobile phone users, allows a user to send a mass text message to the people on their friends list. Since this is a friend of friend social networking site, the text is then relayed to your friends' friends. This is very similar to Shirkey's airplane example, but it is occurring through an Internet medium. The people that you and your friends are connected to are drawn from a smaller pool. They are drawn from this smaller pool because they are mobile phone users who are connected through a large friends list.

Dodgeball is very similar to Facebook in my opinion. Facebook has a feature known as "The people you may know tool." This tool displays people’s profiles that you may know due to the large number of your friends that know them. This allows you to become acquainted with your friend's friends. Shirky states that "In small world networks people don’t simply connect at random."(p.222, para.1) This is true because Facebook and Dodgeball have specific tools that allow you to connect. You all are connected through the factor of "Homophily." In Facebook you all are college students within the same age group and in Dodgeball you all have a friends list of mobile phone users.

Dodgeball seems like a very interesting feature, but I feel like it could be quite annoying. The constant receiving of messages from friends' friends could start out interesting but end in disappointment when you get tired of it. On a positive note, it also lets you become acquainted with your friends’ friends. It allows you meet new people and it helps explain the reasoning of coming across a “Small world incident.”

Shirkey, Clay. (2008). Here comes everybody: The power of organizing without organizations (chapter 9). New York: Penguin.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Drug-Free Body Building Blog - Essay 4

During the past two weeks, I have been spending a good amount of time observing a weightlifting blog. I have chose to observe this type of blog because of my strong interest in this sport. In the past I have been a regular observer of different weightlifting forums, but experiencing it on a blog is something new for myself. This blog, "Drug-Free Body Building,"contains various methods of training, suggestions, facts, and tips in all areas of physical fitness. Although I am solely interested in the sport of weightlifting, this blog provides so much more than that. With that being said, it is safe to say that this blog's target audience is widely diverse.

Physical fitness is the main subject found within this blog. But there are so many areas that branch out of physical fitness that this blog covers. This is my main reason for stating that its targeted audience is widely diverse. As I stated earlier, I am very interested in weightlifting. So I am going to read and respond to blog posts involving various weightlifting exercises for each body part, tips on increasing weight, opinions on peoples experiences with supplements, and insight on new workout routines that I may not know about. Other people may view this blog because they want to lose weight. This blog contains information in that area where it provides insight on proper nutrition and effective weight-loss cardiovascular activities. Some viewers may also be interested in gaining weight. This blog also contains information regarding how to increase your body weight with proper nutrition, good supplements, and proper weight gaining exercises. One of the most recent posts on this site caught my attention greatly. It involved a targeted audience of people who may suffer from back pain while lifting. Although everyone involved in physical fitness does not experience this, it still happens to certain people. I've talked about this post in my "Blogging 3" entry. The blogger stated that he has been experiencing lower back pain during a particular exercise. He said he changed up his routine and added exercises that stretch the lower back in order to free it from pain. He also provided a weekly workout of exercises that can help those with back pain. This is just another example that provides evidence that this blog has a large target audience. The only downside to this blog is that the flow of conversation is very low. About two days ago I posted a follow up comment to a particular chest workout. I stated that I believed regular dumbbell presses are far more effective than regular barbell presses. I was hoping to get other comments in order to see if people agreed or disagreed with me. Throughout my experience in the gym, these particular exercises are highley debated, so getting some conversation on this topic would be very desirable. After about 3 days since my comment, I have found that no had replied. After I browsed through other posts to see if others have commented alike myself, I had come to the conclusion that this blog contains very little conversation flow.

The book Blogging America by Aaron Barlow provides a very good example that is comparable to supporting my above claim. In Chapter 5 of Blogging America, Barlow states that "You cannot give technology to people and expect results, they must want it."(p.122) This statement can be comparable to the diverse target audience of this weightlifting blog. The people that view this blog, alike most blogs, want the information they are reading. You have to be interested in physical fitness in order to benefit from this blog and that is what Barlow has stated blogs have done in America.

In Chapter 2 of Blogging America, Barlow speaks about the negative aspects of blogging. He states "Anyone can blog, and that there are no filters in order to stop anyone from saying whatever they want. Without editors, administrators, or regulators to monitor what is being posted, we have no one to vouch for the reliability or credibility of what we read."(p.36) I agree with this statement for many blogs because they lack credibility. But I believe this blog "Drug-Free Body Building" contains a lot of credible information. Based on my observations, this blog contains a blogger who posts various articles from physical fitness magazines or books. Each post is credited to a different author. This blog is mainly composed of a mass compilation of credible physical fitness articles. I am able to vouch for this blog in its credibility because all of the information provided is honestly amazing insight on their topics. I know this because I have spent many years reading magazines, books, and web site forums on information regarding this. This blog is just one huge information provider that is entirely free.

Barlow, Aaron. (2008). Blogging America: The New Public Sphere. Westport, CT.: Praeger Publishers.

Blogging 5

After my final day of observation, I have come to the conclusion that this blog is very credible. Although I do not have any evidence to prove this, I still have my experience in this sport. Every post I have viewed is so in depth in training and provides amazing insight on everything involving physical fitness. It covers all aspects of physical fitness, such as dieting, exercises, correct form, weight loss, weight gain, cardio, weightlifting, power lifting, etc. The list can go on forever. I will definitely use this blog in the future for my own personal pleasure rather than for a essay assignment.

Blogging 4

About two days ago I made a post on a a particular topic regarding a specific bench press routine. I stated my routine workout that I have used for the past couple years. I also provided information on my gains during this time period and what weight I can currently lift in comparison to my body weight. After about two days, I have yet to receive any response. As I browsed through other user's posts I have come to the conclusion that this site does not have a lot of user comments. It is more of an information site.

Shout into the Wind, and it shouts back

Today I was assigned the reading "Shout into the wind, and it shouts back" by Lori Kendall. Although our class has been studying blogs for the past two weeks, this reading's main focus shines light on another Web 2.0 application, known as LiveJournal. This reading consists of a study conducted by the author involving the identity and information management strategies of LiveJournal users. Kendall (2007) stated that she "Conducted face-to-face interviews with a theoretical sample of 26 LiveJournal users in several different United States cities."(p. 2)

The author begins this study by explaining how her interviewees distinguish between blogs and LiveJournal. She states that they believe "A blog requires more skill with html and is housed on a personally controlled website, while LiveJournal is a site hosting online diaries."(p.2) Some interviewees stated that LiveJournal is used as a diary, but very private things must be left out since it is displayed to the public. One interviewee, Robert, makes a very good statement regarding this. He states "Even if my post is marked private, it's on somebody elses server and if the government wanted to subpoena all of my records concerning me they could." Kendall also had discovered other findings in her study. She stated that some interviewees chose LiveJournal over Email as a better form of asynchronous communication with friends or even the public. If a user wanted to post something in their journal that they wanted the public, all of their friends, or even a few selected friends to hear, they can send their message through their journal. After their friends have viewed what they wrote, they can reply back and provide feedback. This is where the Kendall had developed the quote "Shout into the wind and it shouts back." Users shout out what they want others to hear or read, while in return they receive feedback.

This reading was very interesting to me in the area of feedback. This can be used in many beneficial ways in my opinion. If a user loves to hear feedback on their opinions that they post, then this website would be very entertaining for them. If you want to send a message to a massive audiance, such as informing your friends that you just had your first child, then this is a also a very beneficial website. I believe the feedback portion of this website is what Kendall is trying illustrate in the area of identity and information strategy.

Kendall, Lori. (2007). "Shout into the wind, and it shouts back." Identity and interactional tensions on LiveJournal. First Monday, 12. Retrieved on August 21, 2008 from

Monday, November 10, 2008

Blogging 3

During today's viewing I decided to take a look at the content of the newest post. This post was done last Tuesday and a new one is due tomorrow. This entry is different than most of the others. It is targeted at those who suffer pack pain when doing a particular excercise. This is another good example of the different types of people this author is targeting. The excercise he talks about is known as squats. He gives a very good in-depth strategy of how to effectively perform this excercise. He then states other excercises that help strengthen and stretch out the back in order to avoid back pain. I just find it so interesting that the author can break down so many different aspects of this sport. I will be looking out for a new post tomorrow.

Blogging 2

Throughout my viewing of this weightlifting blog for the past week, I have come to the conclusion of many things. I have found that the author makes posts every two weeks based on fitness articles that he has compiled on his own time. He then credits the author by stating their name, location, and title of the article. This is very interesting to me because this proves that these diet and workout tips are very credible sources. It is not just one person's view on what they feel is correct. It is a compilation of credible articles that the author has organized in order to create his own blog.

Blogging 1

For the past week I have been observing a weightlifting and fitness blog called "Drug-Free Bodybuilding." I found this blog through a simple google search. This blog contains many interesting facts, tips, suggestions and training methods regarding weightlifting and fitness. As I looked at each individual post, I noticed that each post was very unique in it's own form. On one day the blogger will give tips on how to do a correct arm workout, then another day he will talk about working out your legs. He talks about correct methods on building each individual body part. He also has posts regarding proper nutrition for gaining weight and losing weight. His blog is targeted at all different kinds of people. They include heavy people, light people, weightlifters, powerlifters, and cardio fanatics. I am very interested in weightlifting and have been involved in this hobby for quite some time. This blog provides much more for myself than just a mandatory assignment.