Tagged: matthewlew

Podcasts are Cool

This would probably be the most natural transition for me. Podcasts give you the opportunity to talk about a certain subject in depth while also allowing you to play other things, such as music (which is what my blog is about). I thought about this one for a while, and I couldn’t really see my personal blog becoming a vlog or a book. This is probably the closest thing to a live recording that I could do. If I did end up with a vlog, it would be me staring at a camera while the music played. Currently, I have my blog set up the way it is because I want people to be able to listen to the music and read the content at the same time. I personally find it the most natural way to traverse the blog, and it has really molded how I do things. Putting that style into a book or vlog would be impractical. Podcasts, on the other hand, are closer to recorded radio shows that are purely audio. Topics could cover a large range of subjects, and it wouldn’t just be me talking all the time too. I could probably get guests to chip in their ideas as well, which is much harder to do when blogging traditionally. There are a lot of new possibilities that are opened up with a new creative outlet. I know that there are more things that I could probably do with my own podcast, but the ones listed above are the only things that really come to mind.

I Realize This is Late

Austin, Henry. “Virtual girl dubbed ‘Sweetie’ snares thousands of would-be sex predators.” NBC News. 5 Nov. 2013. Online. 26 Nov 2013. <http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/11/05/21316335-virtual-girl-dubbed-sweetie-snares-thousands-of-would-be-sex-predators>.

I didn’t realize I was short one annotated bib until I actually counted again (I suck with numbers). Anyways, I saw this video on Facebook a couple weeks ago and thought to myself, “This would be a really strong case against anonymity.” The reason I say this is because all of the pedophiles mentioned in the video/article were able to “virtually” molest children from third world countries without ever being caught for YEARS. Dealing with anonymity is such a huge issue that the only way they could deal with the problem of online pedophiles was with a 3D model of a little girl. It’s an innovative way to handle the problem, but the fact that it was even necessary to deal with anonymous threats goes to show how much power is given to anonymous users on the internet. I honestly believe that something has to be done about it. The problem in the video deals solely with pedophiles, however there are so many other problems that anonymity creates that it is hard to justify keeping it in the first place. Some privacy should be allowed, however the amount currently given to internet users is far too great. I mean come on…a little girl named Sweetie caught more pedophiles than any of the government services. If anonymity is that hard to deal with, then more attention should be put on the subject.

(Blogging) Burnout Paradise

I talked about this in the assignment we had to turn in for homework, but I think that the main reason why people stop blogging is because they lose their drive. It’s not easy staying dedicated to one thing, and to blog for years and years on a SINGLE subject can be difficult. I know that I would have a lot of trouble if I were to continue my blog for more than a year. I don’t have enough music to really sustain it properly, and writing up posts is very time consuming. Some people need a time sink to distract themselves from the boredom that might find its way into their lives. Blogging is great for that, but it is important to remember that it goes both ways. A blog can both entertain and bore a blogger under the correct circumstances. If the writer is not looking for anything long term out of the blog, like say a book deal, then that person has zero commitment to it. They can literally cold turkey quit it at any time. That is the reason why I think people abandon blogs so often; there are no strings attached, and starting/quitting a blog is easy.

Reading some of the articles in class today, it never really occurred to me to get involved with my topic. I say this because I am 92.7% sure that no one else has a blog like mine. Japanese music is kind of popular in the US (maybe not as much as Kpop), but finding a community of people who all listen to the same type of music I listen to would be impossible. If I COULD get involved, I would. It’s just that there’s really no community out there for me to connect with. That’s why I find it so hard to keep my blog going. I need to do extensive research on bands and songs. Downloading the albums takes hours of searching. It’s such a complicated process that I really don’t feel like I’m getting anything out of my blog, especially since my view counts are so extremely low. I will TRY to prevent burnout by reinspiring myself to continue to work, but how long does that really last? I’m looking at this at a pessimistic view point, but there really isn’t any way for me to stop the burnout. If my blog got super duper popular all of the sudden, then I suppose I might continue it out of obligation. Still, I can definitely see an end in the future. As much as I want it to keep going, it’s going to end one way or another. It may not be today, tomorrow, or a month from now, but it’ll come someday.

To anyone who has the same thoughts (albeit a little depressing), keep your head high and make use of borrowed time. I would much rather maintain an amazing blog that only lasted for a bit than a crappy one I had going for years. Be proud of your work and continue to create not out of necessity but out of passion. I’m really bad at motivational stuff, so if you haven’t updated your blog in a while, do it for yourself. Don’t do it for the class or for anyone else. If you don’t love what you write, then don’t write it at all. That sounds kind of harsh, but that is what I sincerely believe makes a blog special.

The Age of Blogging(?)

I believe that the internet is a place where anyone can come and share their thoughts. It’s a place to vent and a place to discover. That being said, I think that people won’t change their behavior because of blogging. It’s a little bit absurd to think that at every given moment, someone is writing something bad about someone else in a blog. Not everyone is a ridiculous blogger who HAS to share every encounter in their life with their audience. In actuality, I think people have already adjusted their behavior to the whole technology boom that’s currently going on. I see pictures from parties getting uploaded all the time with people crazy drunk. If this is the type of behavior that Rosen believes people will be adjusting to because of blogging, then it is clear that the behavioral shift has already occurred. So many different parts of people’s lives are shared on the internet that blogging is just another outlet for this expression. To say that people will behave differently solely because of blogging is an overstatement in my opinion; the internet has already drastically altered how we interact with one another.

Blogging probably wouldn’t even have the same effect that pictures or videos have on someone’s image. Writing about how an ex-boyfriend was involved in a drug cartel probably won’t have the same impact as a picture of him with 20 pounds of crack in his arms. That example is a little extreme, but my point is that people can write lies all the time when they blog. If someone is blogging about secrets for companies that could potentially hurt the business, then yes, something has to be done. However, I don’t think people are that gullible to believe everything they see on the internet. If it has to do with sex or whatever, then the blogger should reconsider what they are blogging about. The thing about blogging is that it’s going to be different for every person. If you put pictures up that show how this one girl you hate is being a total slut, then of course that is going too far (the girl should really reconsider her life choices as well). But if blogs get so personal that people will be personally affected at work, then the bloggers need to adjust their behavior, not ordinary citizens. Those are just my thoughts on the subject after reading the article.

Live Blogging and Music

My blog is about Japanese music (I think I’ve mentioned this over 9000 times already), and the one thing I will never be able to do is enjoy a full live performance by any of my favorite bands. The closest I’ve gotten is a downloaded DVD rip of a Sakanaction concert (which was btw phenomenal). I think live blogging concerts could be really amazing for someone like me who does not have the ability to see the band live. Whenever I see on facebook an update on when a Japanese band’s next concert is, I get really excited and then extremely depressed. So many things run through my mind, like what songs will they play? Will they do an encore? Will they play songs from past albums and maybe reinvent them on the spot? How will they transition from song to song? A live blog would tell me all of these things, and maybe even more. I would love to get live feed of a Sakanaction or World Order concert. People could post about the types of songs currently playing, how the band improvised certain parts, or even what the best live performance of the night was. Songs that don’t particularly sound good in the studio version could sound amazing live. If someone microblogged about a song like that, it would only increase my burning desire to visit Japan and see it with my own two eyes. On the flipside, if a band doesn’t sound good live, I don’t really want to hear from live blogs about how bad the concert is. Also, the information someone could forward through a live blog is kind of limited. A review of a concert might be more helpful for me. Still, live blogs offer a unique experience that might lack the depth of a normal blog, but more than makes up for it with the excitement of seeing things in real time.

The Curator

From what I deduced from the Wikipedia article, a Curator is someone who preserves and maintains a collection of sorts. While it doesn’t always have to be something cultural or historical, usually the curator is in charge of keeping these things organized. I guess you could say a blogger is the same in that they can preserve a large mass of information through a blog. However, not all blogs do this, as I see blogs as more of a creative outlet than an archive. Speaking of archives, WordPress does keep an archive for you, but that doesn’t automatically make bloggers into curators. There is an aspect that I think is overlooked in this subject, and it has to be that bloggers are also creators. We don’t just take things that are already out there and turn them into something different or new. Bloggers create things of their own design; a curator strictly collects information. This is the defining argument that forces me to say that bloggers are not just another form of curators. Bloggers can go out and create new pieces of art that might be archived in their own blog, but it is still not something taken from history and stored in a way that a curator would. It also depends on the type of blog the person has. While I would normally think a curator as someone who might work at a museum, bloggers are extremely diverse in the types of blogs they maintain. The forms of media presented and topics discussed are just so different that saying a curator of bird skeletons is similar to a blog about how to barbecue is just too different for my mind to grasp. Maybe others will disagree, but I can only think of bloggers as curators in very specific situations.

The Online Disinhibition Effect(There is such a thing)

Suler, John. “The Online Disinhibition Effect.” Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. Vol 7, Issue 3. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. June 2004. Online. 25 Oct 2013. <http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/1094931041291295>

This is the first psychology research paper/article that I’ve read on the subject of anonymity, and it’s chock full of goodies. There is actually a term that describes what my entire argument is about. They call it the Online Disinhibition Effect, and it essentially states that people become this way due to a variety of reasons that all act upon one another to create a synergistic effect. It is caused by “dissociative anonymity, invisibility, asynchronicity, solupsistic introjection, dissociative imagination, and minimization of authority.” I think the biggest part that could help my thesis would be the absence of authority. Suler states that without an authoritative figure that would normal express their power through clothing, body language, etc, people don’t feel the normal pressure of say the police looking over their every action. Cyberspace gives everyone an equal voice, and people don’t have to worry about getting disapproval or punishment from a higher power. I could go on and on about why this paper is great, but everything is already pretty much summed up nicely. The one thing I should note is that Suler also talked about benign disinhibition, where the user actually opens up more than in real life. I think this could provide a good counter argument to my psychological standpoint, where I think anonymity just causes people to act more aggressively and spitefully. This is not always the case, and Suler even says that the effect goes both ways in extremity. The other parts of the definition are also really important, and I will probably base the rest of my research on defining these characteristics more.

A Lesson on Internet Etiquette

Before I start, let me just say that this article was a pain in the butt to read. Hopefully my condensed summary can help you guys write up a good response.

Anna Emilia’s article goes over social media etiquette that one should practice when interacting with others over the internet. She basically comes to the realization that interacting with others is no different over the internet than it is in person. That means staying attentive in conversations, showing the others respect, etc. To help her reinforce this idea, Anna called upon the many blogging gurus to share their wisdom in only 7000 words!

In her wonderful summary of basic do’s and don’ts of social media, Anna outlines what you should and should not do when using things like Facebook and Twitter. I read through the list and thought to myself, Isn’t this stuff pretty obvious? It’s like asking, would you run through the streets maked while screaming profanities at others? The correct answer is no. If you wouldn’t do it in public, then why do it online? It is true that staying anonymous on the internet is actually quite easy, but karma does exist. People see what is posted publicly, and if you’re the guy who is ranting about how he hates black people, expect to receive some hate.

Another good point about blogging that she makes is to keep blogging content relative to the blog. I actually have to keep this in mind myself since I maintain a music blog. It’s good to go on tangents every once in a while to keep everything nice and diverse, but that doesn’t mean to suddenly post about why frog legs taste just like chicken. That also means not to flood your reader with content. Anna calls it “overshare”, where the blogger drowns his or her readers in massive amounts of posts, relative or not to the actual blog. That is the quickest way to kill off current and potential readers.

The one part that I found really helpful from Anna’s post was on tone. Yes, tone. I see it all the time on Facebook and tumblr; people come and they rant nonstop. A high school friend of mine is actually a perfect example of this. He’s a nice guy in real life, but online, he’s just a cynical asshole (can I use this word in a blog post?) that spews his hatred over the newsfeed for all to see. It’s a mess. Please don’t do this when you blog. This apples to her other points as well, but you should also remember who is going to read what you post. If it affects somebody else, don’t forget that there is someone else on the other end of computer who is the object of your writing, regardless of its intention. Saying something nasty about someone else could come back to bite you one day. Treating others poorly will only result in more hostility. Feels like grade school, doesn’t it? Treat others the way you want to be treated. It might seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how many people forget something as simple as this. There’s a reason why teachers even bother with the saying: it’s true.

The next section is on how to act properly for the different social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., but I won’t go through the details. I’m sure most of you already know how to behave properly online. As for my thoughts on the remaining XXXX amount of words left in the article, I have to say that most of it was pretty…boring. It might be interesting for someone who uses social media as a second identity, but I really only use Facebook (for chatting and what not). Looking at what Emily Henderson had to say on personal pet peeves, I had no idea what she was talking about when dealing with big companies screwing up Twitter with bad twittetiquette. It didn’t really have to do with social media etiquette for us bloggers, and it just seemed kind of silly in general. If you don’t like the way someone writes, then don’t read it. Anyways, I won’t bore you guys any longer with more details, so here’s the tldr on what awesome bloggers think about social media: don’t hate, appreciate.

The Hobbit, Road Rage, and Anonymity

Zhuo, Julie. “Where Anonymity Breeds Contempt.” The New York Times. 29 Nov. 2010. Online. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/opinion/30zhuo.html>

I never really thought about The Hobbit as an example for my thesis, but it could actually work. Zhuo brings up a good point in that when people are anonymous, they are much more likely to do things they wouldn’t normally do. In the case of Bilbo Baggins, he finds a magic ring that turns him invisible and ends up turning into a full-blown thief because of it. Road rage is also a great example of how anonymity can totally change a person. When you are behind the wheel, other people don’t know who you are. You can yell, scream, insult, and maybe even attack other drivers at will. The best part is that you will never see that person, so why worry about what they think of you? The same can be said about trolls on the internet. They don’t care about who they insult because they know they will never have to face that person in real life. One horrible case of this had to do with the death of 18 year old Nikki Catsouras. Pictures of her dead, mutilated body were posted all over the internet as a joke. The really horrible part is that people left anonymous comments, making fun of her. I even looked up the pictures myself to see what the fuss was about and almost threw up in disgust at what I found (do not look up those photos). Zhuo left some great research quotes behind that I am definitely going to look up in the future as reference for my paper.

Anonymity, Privacy, and Security Online

Rainie Lee, Kiesler Sara, Kang Ruogu, Madden Mary. “Anonymity, Privacy, and Security Online.” Pew Research Center. 5 Sept. 2013. Online. 12 Sept. 2013. <http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Anonymity-online.aspx>

For this annotated bibliography, I looked at the other side of the argument on why people prefer to anonymous. It mostly has to do with privacy and security over the web. The Pew Research Center, in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University, researched around 700 different users and monitored their activity online. What they found was that many people try to cover up their online footprints by deleting cookies and passwords, as well as changing things they might have posted in the past. In this case, it is not so much about feeling empowered on the internet, but feeling safer. No one wants to get their credit card information stolen because they were irresponsible with how they handled their online identity. Anonymity gives people a sense of security; it could also be the reason why some people feel brave enough to harass others. The research does not directly relate to that subject, but I can see how I could use it in my paper. A vast majority of the people who participated in the research stated that they should be able to be anonymous online. For them, it is almost like a given right to do what they want on the internet without being judged. Furthermore, young adults were found to be the most likely to use some sort of method to hide their identities. The article continues to talk about how privacy is a major issue and that many still feel like there are not enough laws put in place to protect one’s privacy on the internet. I find this fascinating, as it is still very easy to anonymously interact with others online. I want to do more research on the psychology behind being completely anonymous, as that seems to be what most people want when it comes to surfing the web.