Archive | October, 2010


31 Oct

The arguments of these two articles are all based on the era of Web 2.0. Different from Web 1.0, Web 2.0 is an environment in where users cannot only get information but also generate information. According to the solution of correcting content mentioned by Nielsen (2010),

each time you make an edit, it’s sent to a randomly selected jury of your peers – say 50 of them. They’re invited to score your contribution, and perhaps offer feedback. They don’t all need to score it – just a few (say 3) is enough to start getting useful information about whether your contribution is an improvement or not. And, perhaps with some tweaking to prevent abuse, and to help ensure fair scoring, such a score might be used as a reliable way of signalling quality in the face of incomplete or uncertain information. (Nielsen, 2010)

To be honest, I doubt the feasibility of this solution. The amazement of Wikipedia is that everyone can “voluntarily” edit the content of the site.

“Protection is a tool for quality control, but it hardly defines Wikipedia,” Mr. Wales said. “What does define Wikipedia is the volunteer community and the open participation.” (Hafner, 2006)

There is no reason for those “peers” to help editing the content which they are not interested in. And, where should we find the “peers?” According to Baker (2007),

Wikimedia attracts 7 billion page views per month and Google refers 24% of its traffic. The only larger referral for traffic is internal links within the Wikimedia network. Meaning Google sends Wikimedia almost 1.7 billion referrals a month. (Baker, 2007)

This is 2007 data; I believe that the number can be much amazing now. From these amounts of users, how can we find the appropriate user to tweak the content?

Although there are the conflicts of Wikipedia that Nielsen (2010) mentioned about, I think the value of it does not be decrease. Just like Johnson (2010) mentioned,

WHEN TEXT IS free to combine in new, surprising ways, new forms of value are created. Value for consumers searching for information, value for advertisers trying to share their messages with consumers searching for related topics, value for content creators who want an audience. And of course, value to the entity that serves as the middleman between all those different groups. (Johnson, 2010)

Even though the content of Wikipedia is free for everyone, it still creates amazing value.

Basic economics tells us that in a competitive market, price falls to the marginal cost. There’s never been a more competitive market than the Internet, and every day the marginal cost of digital information comes closer to nothing. (Anderson, 2008)

Therefore, I think the connections mentioned by Johnson will stay alive since it is too hard to really charge from users. And the user-generate content will make this medium more and more profuse.


Activism: National Urban League

17 Oct

The political organization I chose is the National Urban League (NUL). It is also known as the National League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes. The NUL was founded in 1910 and is a nonpartisan civil rights organization which dedicates to enable African American parity, economic power and civil rights. Unlike MoveOn which points out that they have 5 million members across America, I cannot find the member amount within NUL’s website.

Compare the homepage of MoveOn and National Urban League, I have to say that the website of NUL is much organized than the MoveOn’s website. On the NUL’s homepage, it clear categorizes some basic information such as “Who We Are,” “What We Do,” where can users find their affiliates and how to get involved. On the MoveOn’s homepage, all the information which was mentioned above are put under the “About” button.

Under “What We Do” category, the NUL clearly points out that they “employs a five-point approach to provide economic empowerment, educational opportunities and the guarantee of civil rights for African Americans.” The five points are “education and youth empowerment,” “economic empowerment,” ”health and quality of life empowerment,” “ civic engagement and leadership empowerment” and “civic rights and racial justice empowerment.” Beneath the strategy, the NUL operates 25 national programs through their affiliates. Unlike the NUL, MoveOn categorizes their task in two: Political Action and Civic Action and it mentions these under “About” category.

Although the website design of these two organizations are quite different, both of them put the social network links on the homepage. They all operates their own Facebook, Twitter and Youtube pages. In their Facebook page, MoveOn has 102,208 people who like it and the NUL only has 6,342.

On the MoveOn homepage, it clearly shows their current campaigns and indicates the campaign belonging to political action or civic action (Now all the campaigns are political action). And each campaign has its clear goal such as “keep foreign corporate money out of our elections.” People can sign the petition in this campaign (even who are not members). On the NUL website, it also has events people can sign in. However, signing in some of the events will redirect users to other organization’s website. It seems that the NUL also cooperates with other political organizations.

From my observation, a lot of events which are held by the NUL are not based on the Internet. It emphasizes on local events which people can attend. Therefore, it does not take the three features of the Internet mentioned by Rohlinger and Brown (2009) as the useful tool. It may “provides a free space for challengers to form oppositional points of view away from dominant groups” (p134). And since it has many affiliates which are managed locally, it may be able to “move challenges from the virtual to the real world” (p134) easily. However, the risk of associated with activism still exists. Challengers cannot participate anonymously. I think it loses the biggest advantage the Internet which can help the NUL and its members achieve their goal.

Media Diary 7: analysis

17 Oct

I woke up about 10:30am today. As routine, I checked my email, Facebook and MSN. After reading the news on Yahoo Taiwan, I started to work on my assignment.

Just as I wrote yesterday, it was a day full of readings. However, after dinner, I still took a rest watching TV with friends who came to our apartment afternoon making caramel candy with my roommate. The movie we watched on TV was Step Up. I knew that it got sequel which was shot in 3D. I am curious how it will look like.


From these days of writing media diary, I think there are some interesting things which I did not notice before.

First, I cannot imagine the days without the Internet. I obviously too relied on the Internet to do anything including contact friends since I did not text now and barely called others on cell phone. And I do not own a home phone. The time which I spent on chatting with friends on MSN and watching friends’ status on Facebook seemed to be much than the time I talked to human beings face-to-face. I do not think it is a good phenomenon but I am afraid that will become a trend. I know one of the reasons is lots of my friends and family are in Taiwan and I have to use the Internet to contact with them. And the other reason may be that is the life of graduate student. However, I thought back the time I was in Taiwan, I often hung out with friends after work or school. And I made calls and texted a lot. I was still addicted to Facebook and MSN. Well, I really do not want to see the day that the only things I talk to are laptop or smartphone.

Second, I loved to watch TV when I was in Taiwan. However, I found out that I only watched TV about 3 times and less than 3 hour combined. Instead, I used laptop to watch Taiwanese show and Korean drama. I think it is a good for me that even when I watched some show which I was really interested in on TV, I can cut it off anytime. Unlike the days I was in Taiwan, I could spend like 5 hours watching TV and do nothing.

Third, though I still spend a lot of time on the Internet, the websites and software I use are really different from those I used in Taiwan. I used to get on PPT everyday when I was in Taiwan. But now, I may only check it one time a week or even less. I never used Funsion or other online TV watching software before. However, I watch shows on it almost every day.

The last but not the least, there are much more media I used in this week than I expected. Before writing media diary, I thought that I might only be able to name 3 media I used. However, after thinking and watching carefully, there are so many media around me every day such as billboard, advertising on the bus, flyer and even menu. I know that the media I used may be less than others since I do not text and barely watch TV. Nevertheless, I am still happy that I could mention media other than the Internet.

Media Diary 6: Orlando

16 Oct

I was woken up by my cell phone about 10:20am since my friend called me saying he was ready to pick us up to Orlando. I called my roommate to get ready on cell phone (because I did not want to waste time to walk to her room) while got my things ready in short time.

We set the GPS and turned on radio. Because my friend loves to listen to Chinese music, he brought a lot of CDs. We randomly picked a CD to play and sang all the way to Orlando.

On our way to Orlando, my roommate saw the “Cracker Barrel” billboard beside the highway and really wanted to eat in that suddenly. Therefore, we decided to have our lunch at Cracker Barrel around 01:00pm and reset GPS to the nearest one. In Taiwan, billboard beside the highway is illegal since it may attract drivers’ attention and influence traffic safety. There were even some cases which created car accident because the drivers were too concentrating on the billboard to drive. However, we can still see a lot of billboard beside highway in Taiwan; maybe its effect is really high.

Anyway, we arrived Cracker Barrel and got attracted by the gift shop before eating anything. We had a lot of fun by playing all the toy instruments. I even checked the price label because I really wanted to buy one. My friends stopped me and said that it will definitely become one of the junks when I move.

I always have trouble with reading menu in the U.S. since there are too many categories. There are appetizers, entrees, and drinks. And after these, I have to decide what kinds of sides to order and my meat is medium or well done, etc. There are so many decisions I have to make before eating. Not mention those words which I cannot understand in the menu. I picked a cheeseburger and one of my friends decided to have the entrée on the flyer which was placed between the menu. The lunch was good anyway! After lunch, one man came to introduce himself as chef and manager. He politely asked my friend to fill out the questionnaire about the entrée he ordered. My friend gave it really high score because he was so full and satisfied.

We arrived the Mall at Millenia about 03:00pm. There are many screens in the round plaza within the mall in which it was broadcasting some catwalk show. It was weird since I did not see any relevance between the show and any store in the mall. Perhaps it was just trying to create some fashion atmosphere.

Before leaving the mall, I grabbed one catalog of Urban Outfitter. I love those print catalogs because its quality and ink smell.

We had our lunch in our favorite Taiwanese restaurant in the U.S.! We did not need the menu to order since we went there frequently. I wrote down the dishes we wanted on paper (Because we are really familiar to the restaurant and even called the owners aunt and uncle because they treat us so kindly) and waited while watching digital TV in the restaurant which was broadcasting some Taiwanese drama. After a fulfilling dinner, we drove and sang all the way home.

Tomorrow will be a day full of readings.

Media Diary 5: Boring day

15 Oct

Because I have no class today, I woke up about 10:30am. As usual, I turned on my laptop before doing anything. While checking email, I logged in Skype and called my mom who is in Taiwan. My mom asked me to turn on my web camera but she always refused to turn on hers. She said that she is not photogenic. Since we have not talk for a week, we talked for 30 minutes. After Skype with my mom, I logged in KKBOX which is an online music playing program in which I can get the latest music information and listen to music from all over the world. The interface is really similar to itunes.

While playing music, I googled some recipes to make my lunch. I decided to make pepper shrimp. I have to say that I am really talent at this!

After lunch with a Korean drama, I submitted my assignment on e-learning and started to work on my reading. I turned off the music when I was reading since I might be distracted by that. I did not log on MSN either. After reading for a while, my friend called me to ask if I want to go to Busch Garden for the Howl-O-Scream tonight. I really wanted to go but I have to finish my reading today because I will go to Orlando tomorrow. I said no to him and felt so jealous of them and Shine who went to Disney today.

I made my dinner about 6:30pm and watched one episode of the Big Bang Theory on TV. Although Sheldon is weird and self-interest, I still love him. He is sooooooo hilarious.

It is a usual day but I felt so bored. Maybe because I have not talk to any human beings face to face since my roommates are all out to play.

Blog Post 7 Comments

15 Oct

Media Diary 4: I have to speed up

14 Oct

I woke up about 9:30am today and took the 10:00am bus to school. A boy who sat next to me was texting all the way to school. I loved texting when I was in Taiwan. In Taiwan, we will not be charged receiving text and the price per text is also really cheap. After coming to the US, in order to reduce expense, I did not buy text plan. However, I still found something which is interesting to me. In the US and Taiwan, people are all accustomed to communicate via text. In Taiwan, we are used to upright cell phone. In the US, I saw that so many people use horizontal type cell phone. I think that may also be a result from the difference in language: English vs. Mandarin, alphabet vs. phonetic letters.

In class, we saw the video of Gator Growl this year. The video is well made by student. I knew that Homecoming and Gator Growl are some kind of traditions of UF. However, I never had the chance to attend any events.

After class, I went to student lab and accessed to Gator mail to print my reading. I am not good at reading on laptop; it is hard for me to absorb the content without writing something on real paper. And then, I went to career center to get some career information handouts. It was my first time entering career center. I did not know there is a career library. I stayed there for a while looking all kinds of handouts school provides.

In class, we watched many Youtube videos. It was hard for me to understand the content comprehensively since I have little knowledge about those politicians/celebrities. I knew Sarah Palin and Tina Fay. Nevertheless, the news in Taiwan only reported that she was the first female vice-presidential candidate of the Republican Party and she always wears the glasses. And about Tina Fay, I watched her clip before, I cannot tell what is different between Sarah Palin and Tina Fay at all. The class today reminded me the political parody show in Taiwan. Instead of those 10 24hours News channels which report the same news every 30 minutes in Taiwan, I had rather watched political parody which conveys some points of view at least.

After arriving home, I made myself dinner and had a 1 hour nap. I did not watch TV or shows on Funsion today because I had to finish my reading and assignment. I noticed now that although I still logged on MSN and Facebook, I ignored most of the flashing windows today. However, I still have to  improve my reading speed.