Friday, February 29, 2008

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 refers to internet-based services that are collaborative and shared among users. Examples of Web 2.0 services include, but not limited to the following: wikis, social networks, image sharing (photo bucket, flickr) and video sharing (you tube). Sharing and collaboration of ideas can be done either publicly or to a specific audience. The power of Web 2.0 is that users work together to create content through multiple authoring. There are over 100 million images provided by 4 million users on Flickr. (Moore, 2007)

Shared collections include links, photos, documents, and video. Tagging is a method to title and access pictures or other collections linked to a tag. For example, the flickr account that I created has two collections. I tagged all the pictures that pertain to pole vault as “polevault” and sunsets I tagged “sunsets.” A user can browse through flickr and sort by tag; all images that surface are tagged by specific names. However, just because an image is tagged with a specific title does not mean every image will be represented by the tag name.

According to Barton Goldenburg, “The purse strings of the future are controlled by the digital client.” Who is the digital client? A millennial under the age of 23 who spends 8.5 hours per day connected digitally. Digital clients are influencing the design and implementation of online business. (Goldenberg, 2008)

In addition to social networks and wikis, Web 2.0 includes RSS feeds, widgets and podcasts; aligning with the social connection. Each one shares three rules:
1. user generated content
2. social networking
3. distintermediation (getting rid of the middleman – business conducted directly with the consumer)
Suggestions for brushing up on Web 2.0 knowledge include getting to know the culture, participate, open a facebook account, create a blog or download a podcast. (Goldenberg, 2008).

I must admit, given my feelings about broadcasting private information publicly on the World Wide Web, flickr intrigued me. I opened a yahoo account and uploaded several pictures. I decided that a flickr account would be a great way to share photos with friends and family. I set up two different albums, one of pole vault and the other sunsets.
I tagged each photo either as polevault or sunset. After I arranged and tagged I searched for images tagged with the same titles. Quite fun! For this particular assignment, my images are available for public viewing. In the future, I will set up albums for a limited audience, friends and family. Here is my link:

Annotated Reference link:

Goldenberg, B. (2008). Always on. CRM Magazine, 12(2), 27-31. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier on February 26, 2008.

Moore, M. G. (2007). Editorial: Web 2.0: Does it really matter?Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier on February 26, 2008.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

USENET and WELL Reflections

I am a younger baby-boomer and am fortunate to have a decent degree of competence to navigate my way through cyberspace. However, I am extremely uncomfortable with the open communication of public discussion venues such as the USENET. It seems odd that people all around the world are having online conversations with people they do not know. I don’t completely disagree with the notion of discussing topics of interest or for individuals seeking knowledge. In fact, after reading about The WELL, I am more inclined to participate in a discussion under their guidelines.

Maybe, I relate to my generation’s value to some degree of anonymity. I am more comfortable with a discussion between a few people… of my choice, without the concern that my thoughts are going to be spread in cyberspace open to anyone to read. I would like to be in charge of my “great ideas” and who and where they get shared.

I was not comfortable jumping into most of the conversations. There are a couple of reasons for my uneasiness. First, finding a discussion that I was willing to either share my own knowledge or feel like I have something to share. Secondly, I don’t like putting my name out in cyberspace for all to see. I identified with the Peanut Butter and Jelly discussion for several reasons. I grew up eating peanut butter sandwiches every single day, until I discovered bologna wasn’t so bad after all; you could say I have a kinship with fellow peanut butter eaters. Secondly, last month when I was walking through Scottsdale Fashion Square I noticed: PB Loco, a new restaurant. It had the perfect location – on the same level as all of the children oriented stores. The menu consisted of several variations of peanut butter and jelly; a perfect location to capture consumers shopping with and for their children. Armed with this new found information I was ready and able to discuss my thoughts with this particular group.

Discussion groups have a future. Every day more people are online looking for someone to talk to and more importantly, someone that will listen to them. While there are thousands of discussion groups available in different languages, originating in different countries and covering an assortment of topics USENET and the WELL provide a platform for knowledge sharing in a mature and thoughtful manner. According to Stewart Brand, “the Internet is more intimate than the phone. Communication between people is the most natural use of computers." Discussion groups provide a place for individuals to share new ideas, providing a venue that encourages new ideas. Groups such as the WELL seem to be a perfect place for knowledge sharing.


Edwards, O. (1995). Stewart brand. Forbes, 156(5), 166-167. Retrieved on February 24, 2008 from Academic Search Premier.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

User Beware

How often do we open our e-mail messages without a second thought? Unfortunately, on this particular day an unsuspecting victim reads the subject line. The subject line says: “do not delete.” Curiosity takes over, and he/she opens the message. What should you do? You delete.

Damage from an internet hoax ranges from annoyance to a complete breakdown of a computer. Hoaxes take up bandwidth and waste time and energy of users and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Although, it is more difficult to ascertain the actual cost of hardware and bandwidth” (Rohan 1998). According to AOL spokesperson, Rich D’Amato: “The biggest cost is the way (hoaxes) impacts our members’ online experience.”

According to Ensman, e-mail hoaxes can “pull at the heart strings.” Other messages send a more threatening message that is attention grabbing. For example, urban legends, stories that seem real and take on a life of their own—perpetuated by unknowing victims. According to Glass, virtually “all hoax viruses are chainletters.”

The best way to combat hoaxes is to not forward them to other users. Hoaxes come in a variety of ways including: chain letters, petitions, missing children, warnings of viruses and more. How do you detect a hoax? Ensman suggests the following:

§ “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
§ If it sounds too bad to be true, it probably isn’t.
§ If it comes from a dubious source, question the message.
§ If it confuses you, remember that the confusion may be deliberate…
§ If it makes vague references to evidence or well-known companies or computer authorities check the hoax out with them.”

There are several sources available to protect you again viruses including Symantec/Norton Anti-Virus Research: and Macafee Software: A good resource to verify hoaxes is through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Computer Incident Advisory Capability Team (CIAC): . Similar to the adage “buyer beware,” computer users should always beware of e-mails that come from unknown sources.

Ensman, R. (2000, February). The scoop on internet hoaxes. Poptronics, 1(20), PS-3. Retrieved February 8, 2008, from Academic Search Premner database.
Glass, B. (2001, May 8). Viruses That Aren’t. PC Magazine, 20(9), 100. Retrieved February 8, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.
Rohan, R., & Muhammad, T. (1998, June). How to spot an internet hoax. Black Enterprise, 28(11), 64. Retrieved February 8, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

From Etiquette to Netiquette

At first glance, the guidelines in netiquette seem exceedingly long and full of rules and regulations of acceptable standards for Internet usage. However, when compared to the Emily Post’s book on etiquette published in the early 1900s entitled Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage, netiquette does not seem so long and tedious. Post’s book is close to 900 pages and continuously revised to meet the changing culture of society. More than likely, the Internet’s netiquette will change as its use expands.

Several sources provide insight to netiquette. Delaware Technical and Community College provides a website to inform their students about Netiquette. The site provides information such as how to conduct an online conversation. The reader does not have the benefit of observing the sender’s body language and relies entirely on the words in the message. Sometimes perfectly innocent messages may be misconstrued resulting in misunderstanding between the reader and the sender.

Another area to be careful with is the use of smiley faces and symbols to convey emotion. Like most things in life… moderation. A symbol will not necessarily change the emotion that the reader. A few commons smiley’s include: :- ) happy, :- ( sad, :-o surprised and
;-) winking. For more examples, visit the Unofficial Smiley Dictionary at

Generally, e-mails and postings should be short and concise. However, when a message is long, a warning to the reader should be included in the subject line. As a result, the reader has the option to read the message in its entirety at their leisure. A message is long when it is more than 100 lines.

Another important rule of Netiquette is warning the reader(s) that the message may “spoil” the ending of a book or movie. The sender should indicate “spoiler” in the subject line and further precaution by adding several blank lines at the beginning of the message.
For more information check out

In an article written by Brian Sullivan for Computerworld, he identifies several important Netiquette rules. For example, in an office environment where e-mails are a common way of communication, do not ask what an individual thought of the lengthy e-mail sent five minutes prior. Give the reader a chance to read, reflect and respond…via e-mail (Sullivan 2002).

Just as Emily Post’s book on etiquette is long, so is Netiquette. Unfortunately, it seems that many Internet users have no idea there is such a thing as Internet etiquette. Taking classes such as Mastering Cyberspace at Arizona State University is one way for Internet users to learn about Netiquette.

Master the Basics: Netiquette.
Post, E. (1922). New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.
Sullivan, B/ (2002, March). Netiquette. Computerworld. 36(10) p. 48. Retrieved February 2, 2008, from Academic Search Premier.
Unofficial Smiley Dictionary.
Weinman, B. Why I Keep The Boulder Pledge. Retrived February 2, 2008 from the Bill Weinman webpage.