Blogging Code of Conduct

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Here's an interesting result of the Kathy Sierra situation. A couple days ago Tim O'Reilly, the very well-respected publisher turned cyber celebrity, proposed a blogging code of conduct. Given our recent conversations, both in class and here on the blog, it's worth a read. On the one hand, some of his guidelines such as "Don't say anything online that you wouldn't say in person," are pretty hard to object to. On the other hand, I'm wary of letting a bunch of A-listers determine what is deemed (in)appropriate in all of the blogging world. I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts...

save darfur from your computer

Here's one of the sites I'm involved with on the topic of Darfur, SaveDarfur.org.

Under the 'about us' section, you can read how this site has over 170 million people that are uniting together to help the Darfur situation. I think this is a great example of how online communities can impact real world policy. Get involved if you want!

collective intelligence and cyberdemocracy

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The collective intelligence article I thought was really cool. It's always interesting to me to see how people are theorizing that big changes (culture, social organiztion) take place in relation to information flow and technology. While I felt like I would probably like to have some more examples pointed out to me before I accepted the theory outright, it occurred to me that we might be on the cusp of this transformation still. Nevertheless, I felt that some of Levy's points about the ways in which this new collective intelligence would have an impact on our identity resonated with some of our in class discussions.

Environmental effects

None of us have mentioned the environmental effects of recent technologies. Environmentalists generally think of technology as a factor that increases impact on an ecosystem -- in other words, as a negative effect. Here's one statistic that certainly has to do with Media Studies and would begin to suggest otherwise:

Newsprint is 1/6 of all US paper production. The Sunday New York Times alone uses some 75,000 trees per edition.

Whoa. This is one more great reason to encourage the rise of online news sites. The NYT certainly has adapted well to the Internet, as we've discussed several times over.

Personal Attacks

Today I have spent lot of time reflecting on our class discussion from last Monday, regarding personal threats that may appear on blog sites. Unfortunately, as we acknowledged, verbal and physical attacks are common issues that present themselves in our society on a daily basis. I immediately thought about the article we read, titled: "Death threats against bloggers are NOT 'protected speech'" as I came across a related issue last night. I was at the Mickey Avalon concert, which took place by the CMC senior apartments. A close friend of mine was pushing through the crowd (just like everybody else was doing), in hopes of getting to the front and having the honor of shaking Mickey Avalon's hand. A drunk, and seemingly irritated boy started yelling at her for cutting in front of him, and purposely poured his entire cup of beer all over her head. Understandably startled, and attempting to defend herself, my friend asked him what his problem was, and yelled at him for spilling his drink all over her, simply because she was pushing through the crowd like everybody else. Next, my friend decided to walk off and get away for a bit, as she decided to sit down on the curb and take a breather. The boy followed her and suddenly kicked her really hard in the back, yelling a bunch of terrible things at her.

Google + Snoop Dogg = Gizoogle

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The Warschauer article from last week proposed the idea that race/ ethnicity are encoded in language, and therefore online interactions betray a sense of privacy about race/ ethnicity.

Gizoogle is a site that acts just like Google, except that it translates your search results into "Snoop Dogg." (It doesn't translate the actual site, just the search results). Check it out.

Is this offensive? Is it funny? The makers of this site claim to be huge fans of Snoop . . . is this a good way to pay homage to Mr. Doggy Dogg?

google

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The new 411, google style.

And check out number 7 on this list of new inventions. A mirror with a computer in it, a SmartMirror. I freggin love this stuff

Race and Cyberspace

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So the readings for today and last class are basically what I am basing my project on. At first, before reading these articles, especially Baileys, I didn't see the need for race primarily because I imagined people passing as a specific race that they really were not. This offends me because, as I will show in my project, a lot of the attributed characteristics to people are based on stereotypes and assumptions. After the discussion and the reading, however, I realized the reason that some people choose to let people know about their race. As a bi-racial female who grew up in Chicago, race has ALWAYS been a part of my life and I would most likely choose to let people know about my race.

race

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Nakamura's article is a good segue from our last class discussion. Readings like this tend to leave me a little flustered since I find myself in the unenviable position of both having the ethicality of my own actions implicitly under discussion as a white male and knowing too little about the topics of race and power dynamics to really participate. What I emerged from the essay being most interested in, besides the general issue of identity tourism, which made a great deal of sense, was specifically the line between identity tourism and the borrowing of elements of cultural constructs to define one's identity. The way I was reading the article, it seems to come down to whether the symbols one borrows both are drawn from and affirm repressive cultural practices/constructs/whatever (the examples of the oversexualized asian female sterotypes that Nakamura presents). Nakamura's point about gender being whited-out on the internet is something that came up in class; we also debated whether cyberspace is race-neutral, or only white. I'm still unsure whether things are universally one way. In internet communities where Orientalism or equivalent processes with other races reinforce white-centric structures of racial domination and racial dialogues are discouraged, clearly 'whiting-out' is taking place. But is this true of every internet space? Are there examples of communities in the internet where gender is truly neutral? I wish I was more familiar with literature on how race constructs are built and defined so that I could engage the reading more, and develop a more informed opinion about the role of race in cyberspace.

"Who are you?"

I've no clue who you are, I barely have an inkling of who I am. One thing that I found interesting about the articles is the way that they are defining identity on the internet. If you don't state your race, then your identity is defined as that of a white, middle class man. It makes sense, and it is true, but, it brings once more the question of what identity truly is. I don't know, maybe I'm looking too into this question, but, even in the Warschauer article, it seemed that language, and race were the only factors that defined this particular "identity." Perhaps the other factors that make up identity are of no importance when it comes to the internet, but they should not just be discarded, and seem as less important than what they are.

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