Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blog #6

First off, I want to say that every single TED video we watched in class was awesome. Every video was captivating and had the best concluding statements. I will definitely take note of the way some of the presenters presented. I especially enjoyed Shirky’s cognitive surplus presentation in the beginning of the semester. In relation to everything covered in this course, cognitive surplus is something I will probably keep locked in my brain forever. 


I have always had trouble understanding copyright laws. This unit of the class was definitely hard for me to grasp.  One thing that is troubling with this issue is that because our lives have been infused with technology, the ability to take some ones work or project, and slightly change it to make it our own is at the reach of our finger tips. As we witnessed with the sampling assignment, it has become more apparent that we live in a remixed culture, where original ideas, songs, works, are constantly being changed, and we as a culture, continue to think this is O.K. Personally, because technology is this mad powerful tool and will be ever changing, so too will copyright laws.  I feel that because we have come so far today in terms of the history of people’s works, it is definitely difficult for one to create something authentic and original.

Lastly, the video Copyright Criminals was extremely engaging. It seems obvious that much of the music created today actually samples earlier works. It reminded me of the Bo Diddley beat, and how many composers utilized this beat into their music. 

Chunka Mui’s Facebook’s Privacy Issues are Even Deeper Than we Know

This article was a joke, and that is why I want to quickly talk about some of its flaws. Regardless of it not being an actual scholarly article, and its poor use of grammar, Chunka Mui makes some weird claims that are not really supported.  Essentially the problem is, that Facebook has become this worldwide photo identification database.  Mui mentioned “CMU researchers were able to match Facebook users with their pictures on otherwise anonymous accounts. The researchers also had significant success taking pictures of experimental subjects and matching them to their Facebook profiles. Well so what, this is what Facebook is. It is a book, with millions of faces to be viewed. I do not see the issue of where being able to match a users face to their profile on Facebook is an issue. Now, Mui does mention  “they were relatively successful at guessing individuals Social Security Numbers”. Certainly, this is an issue, however, he fails to relate the process of how someone could go about finding individuals SSN, and if at all, how it relates to the matching of faces through Facebook. Finally in the end of the article, Mui finishes by stating, “as of now, the only way to opt-out is to not participate”. This is so true, but how can one do this when social media sites are becoming such a massive part of our lives. It becomes increasingly difficult to monitor these types of problems where users are using the web to access others information. I wish I could answer that question. How can we better monitor and address these types of problems?

Dave Toliver’s 7 Ways to Create a Memorable Customer Experience with Social Media

This was a very brief and effective article about exactly what it says, how to maintain strong relations with your customers through social media.  Overall, Toliver efficiently lists proper methods to build your company, business, or even your own personal site.  Everything off of this article is beneficial.
1.     Give customers a place to talk- Remember that criticism is just as crucial as complements, use the complaints on your social media site as something to respond and improve upon your company.
2.     Integrate social media – This pretty much sums up the article, and probably does not need to be included as one of the seven ways, but either way, utilize the tools social media can offer.
3.     Activate your existing customer base- Reach out to your customers, allow for more engagement with your customers, perhaps by creating a contest or promotion on your social media site. Much similar to Lauren Fisher’s 5 successful Twitter Marketing Campaigns You Should Know About.
4.     Be proactive- Interact with customers, they want to “connect”.
5.     Reward influencers- Make customers feel special by offering prizes or rewards, it can be as simple as advance notices of special promotions.
6.     Create Compelling Content- Offer customers some value on your page. Updated photos and videos are always nice and engaging for potential viewers.
7.     Stand out from the crowd- Go beyond just text, images, and videos too.  Perhaps creating an app, or voice applications to let your brand speak for your fans.

Alice E. Marwick and Danah Boyd’s I Tweet Honestly, I Tweet Passionately: Twitter Users, Context Collapse, and the Imagines Audience

This article was interesting in that it provided a study on how we imagine our Twitter audience. Key points include:
“Technology continues to complicate the metaphors of space and place” (115).
The personal homepage is a more controlled performance. We can observe this by viewing a personal webpage that uses a template. Much of the material on these types of pages is fixed.
To understand how Twitter users imagine their audience a questionnaire was given. The results varied between users.  The most important question with this study was what makes an individual on Twitter seem authentic. Most users tried to balance the desire to maintain positive impressions with the need to feel authentic.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Blog #5 Music Sampling

         Without a doubt one can determine that all forms of music from any culture or social context is incredibly unique and varies in terms of pitch, tempo, and rhythm.  Even the most minimalist of music is extremely complex in its own method of madness. For example John Cage’s 4’33” composition exemplifies the use of no instruments, but rather leaves his audience in silence for a random period of time, to illustrate the sounds of what our environment and the people create around us.  Well with all of the recent controversy of copyright infringement in the hip-hop music industry, is this not similar to Cage perhaps, using sounds from other people in the audience to construct his piece? Or maybe he is just stealing time away from our lives by playing absolutely nothing?               
         With technology at its peak, it is hard to turn away from computer-generated sounds, nifty turntables, and applications that make beats for you, not to mention utilizing works from previous artists and implementing pieces into your own.  That said I had to go back a couple decades into the famous rock band Journey and their song Send Her My Love.  Joe Budden sampled Send Her My Love and renamed it Send Him Our love. Incredibly, the song is very similar to the original, and I find it to be exceptionally innovative and creative. While the song pulls lyrics and beat from the original Journey song, it keeps its originality by applying its own overlying lyrics, beat, and intentions.  It is obvious that there are mixed feelings about artists using previous works and somewhat implementing them into their own sound. Of course, there will be varying opinions from different perspectives with certain songs. In the case of this song, and regardless of me being a die-hard journey fan, I can agree that it is inflicting with copyright laws because it was taking the original directly and plugging it into their song.  Where as with another song I searched, Blink- 182’s All the Small Things was sampled by Pearl Jam and in this scenario, the song had taken nothing at all original from Blink’s All the Small Things, and more so only had similar sounding power chords. There is definitely a fine line when tampering with music from the past, despite one’s positive and respectful intentions when composing remixed music.  So where should I stand? I don’t know.  I do know that legal rights are forcing cultural consumption into cultural production and is allowing for a more diversified culture within the music industry (Keller).  That’s a positive start. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Privacy on the Web continued...

As discussed in 3/29 class, Papacharissi mentions how privacy is much like a luxury commodity, where “…obtaining it implies a level of computer literacy that is inaccessible to most, and typically associated with higher income and education levels, and certain ethnic groups, in ways that mirror dominant socio-demographic qualities” (par 7).  This idea is interesting, but her claim seems a bit odd.  Having a higher income, education level, and being ethnic does not necessarily correlate with one’s ability to learn, build, and maintain their privacy when using the web, or any social media site. I just feel this argument is pulling at straws, and it’s bugging me! I can’t quite grasp it at all. 

Privacy on the Web

It is clear that with today’s ever advancing technology, the opportunity for people to harness its power and utilize it both positively and negatively in society is an extremely complex topic.  As a result, the concern for privacy has arisen as social media sites are put onto the Web.   There are various stand points one can take regarding the internet and how it is consuming user identity and leaving it available for potentially anyone with means to capture personal information.  Thus, policies are constantly being implemented and modified to address the levels of protection a user has.  Of course, with Facebook, Twitter, and other profile drove media sites, a considerable amount of weight lies within the users choice of uploading his/her personal information into their database.  After briefing the articles assigned this week, I was not particularly intrigued with the arguments Chunka Mui made in, Facebook’s Privacy Issues are Even Deeper than We Know. Regardless of his ill advised informal expression (using the word and in beginning of a sentence, and the word a lot) he has little to no information when backing up his claims.  For example, Mui mentions “…CMU researchers were able to match Facebook users with their pictures on otherwise anonymous accounts”, well so what? He fails to acknowledge the kinds of harmful implications, if there are any, of being able to locate individuals through identification matching. Later Mui vaguely states that set aside Facebook’s struggle with privacy, it is more within what they have enabled others to do.  I would certainly agree with this statement, and because today’s information technology has consumed many of our lives, it becomes difficult to steer away from it, and leaves us incredibly vulnerable.  Further examination on Privacy as a Luxury Commodity by Zizi Papacharisii will be documented and posted later this evening.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Facebook's Privacy Settings

Since I began an account with Facebook in 2008 there has been numerous advancements within the structure of their privacy settings.  By this I mean, being able to further customize and control who can view and post certain things on your page, blocking particular individuals, and managing your networked audience.  Perhaps America’s fears about twenty first century technology and the invasion of privacy has made an impact on Facebook with how and what the company decides as far as allowing their users to fully maximize their safety.  Certainly a sense of being watched is a concern with more employers using Facebook as a means of further understanding their potential employees.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Works Cited

Boyd, Dannah, and Alice Marwick. "I Tweet Honestly, I Tweet Passionately: Twitter Users, Context 
Collapse, and the Imagine Audience." Sage. 13.114 (2010): 115-130. Print.

Toliver, Dave. "7 Ways to Create a Memorable Customer Experience with Social Media." Nov 2011: n. page. Web. 22 Mar. 2012. <