Thinking Allowed

A blog to detail my work at QU.

Blog Theme Before

Posted By admin on April 26, 2010

My Baby is 200k!

Posted By admin on December 4, 2009

200k

So, I am not sure about you, but I always keep an eye on the odometer. For some reason, it entertains me as it reaches milestones. My car just rolled over 200,000 this afternoon while driving home from Quinnipiac. I wonder if that means anything… and don’t say ‘time for a new car’! This one has been very good to me. It is a ‘96 Geo Prizm, in case you care.

Barley Talks to TV

Posted By admin on November 29, 2009

The dog show came on TV and this is Barley’s reaction. Was he trying to make friends?

It’s a Techno World

Posted By admin on November 29, 2009

How reliant are you on your cell phone? I only have a basic phone and I personally use mine as an address book, phone book, appointment calendar, camera, and daily alarm clock. I can only imagine how dependent I would be if I had a Blackberry or an iPhone. This makes me wonder, do we depend too much on our cell phones (and other technologies)?

In reading an excerpt from H. Rheingold,’s Smart Mobs I began to reflect how dependent our culture, myself included, has become on technology. The example in our readings of the karaoke bar party where only four of the Japanese youth showed up on time while dozens more “stayed in touch through voice and text messages while they trickled in. ‘Kids have become loose about time and place. If you have a phone, you can be late,’ added (Tomoko) Kawamura.” The author called this “softening of time”.

As questioned in the same reading, “Has the definition of “presence” become uncoupled from physical places and reassigned to a social network that extends beyond any single location? According to (Mizuko) Ito,’ as long as people participated in the shared communications of the group, they seemed to be considered by others to be present.’”

As a person who is habitually on-time, I have noticed that cell phones have made it more excusable to run late since you can just phone or text the person(s) waiting. When I was growing up, you would have to find a pay phone, and then could only contact someone else who was near a land line. Now, you can call or text people in a park or coffee shop. Anywhere, really, as long as they have cell reception.

I found the blog post “7 Reasons the 21st Century is Making You Miserable” applicable to this week’s readings. Sometimes advancements in technology can enable someone to get even more isolated. From grocery shopping online, to watching movies, to talking with friends, you never really have to leave your home.

Always On

Cyber-theorist Linda Stone says that we are no longer multitasking in life, but paying continuous partial attention. “To pay continuous partial attention is to pay partial attention — CONTINUOUSLY.”

She says, “In a 24/7, always-on world, continuous partial attention used as our dominant attention mode contributes to a feeling of overwhelm, over-stimulation and to a sense of being unfulfilled.”

In listening to The Persistence of Memory about Gordon Bell’s experience lifelogging I was amazed that someone would voluntarily allow that intrusion into their life. I could not imagine having my entire life documented, even if I was the only viewer of that information. That is one reason video phones have never appealed to me. Who would want to do their hair and makeup solely to talk on the phone?

As the3rd mentions in his blog post “The good parts of being watched” there are some good aspects to being watched — crime solving and cracking down on terrorism. However, I think as the government or law enforcement rely more heavily on technology to monitor movements, our personal rights risk being violated.

So, while technology can be helpful to our everyday lives, I think we need to be careful not to depend on it fully or allow its encroachment on our everyday lives without asking questions. The link tweeted by MidnightHayes reminds us that getting lost in a wired world is really hard to accomplish.

Client Negotiations in the “Real World”

Posted By admin on November 25, 2009

The Legal Perspective

Posted By admin on November 18, 2009

One of my partners for the final project, WellComm, posted the legal ramifications of our snacktivitymom.com project. We are working with The World Through My Eyes. Please read Well Comm’s well written post for this information. :)

I. Love. Dilbert.

Posted By admin on November 17, 2009

Dilbert.com

Did You Know?

Posted By admin on November 17, 2009

A friend sent me a link to this video, and while it is from 2008, the stats mentioned in this video are astounding (to me.) Also, relevant to our coursework in 501a. Enjoy!

The Great Newspaper Debate

Posted By admin on November 16, 2009

When was the last time you paid for a newspaper? If you are like me, you cannot remember. I get most –if not all- of my news online. This is a growing trend, according to a 2008 Pew Research Center study. Now, Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation is moving towards a pay wall internet model which would make people pay to read news content. If News Corp is successful in making money, it will likely lead to more news organizations following this lead. In class we started a debate on whether this business model makes sense. Upon further thought, I am questioning whether this move is a necessity to save the print media or whether greed is the motivating factor.

Murdoch spoke with Sky News Australia about news on the web and how they intend to block Google’s ability to search their content once their pay walls were in place. “They shouldn’t have had it free all the time. I think we have been asleep,” Murdoch said in the interview.

Some bloggers support Murdoch’s efforts, like Lore Sjoberg in his Underwire blog.  Sjoberg says this will attract a younger audience. “Murdoch, that crazy mad genius, realizes that the only way to attract this lucrative demographic is to establish street cred. He’s going underground, reinventing news as an exclusive club that you can’t find just by entering a search term,” Sjoberg wrote.

The Google Connection

In an article in the Business Insider, News Corp.’s Chief Digital Officer, Jon Miller, says, “The traffic which comes in from Google brings a consumer who more often than not read one article and then leaves the site. That is the least valuable of traffic to us… the economic impact [of not having content indexed by Google] is not as great as you might think. You can survive without it.”

In the Sky News interview Murdoch said,”The fact is there is not enough advertising in the world to go around and make all websites profitable. We would rather have fewer people come to our website, but paying.”

Matthew Ingram explains in a Seeking Alpha blog the possible motivation behind News Corp’s move saying,”In a nutshell, the idea is that Rupert cuts a deal with either Microsoft (MSFT) or Yahoo (YHOO) to index his sites (similar to the deal he cut with Google to index MySpace), and hopes that this encourages other major media outlets to do the same. If he can get enough to jump on board — and it sounds like Associated Press is halfway there already — the thinking is he could put pressure on Google to pay up as well.”

Michael Arrington in TechCrunch looks at “How Murdoch Can Really Hurt Google and Shift the Balance of Power in Search,” saying that “he might as well do it the right way and drive the fear of God into Google.”

Some say that blocking Google is “not the future of the web”. An article on adage.com, “Why News Corp. and Murdoch Won’t Quit Google”, says that this move “… would also make News Corp. sites more like print in the bad way. Readers who don’t know about a Journal story on their area of interest would become less likely to find out about The Journal’s value.”

This article also does a little advertising calculating. “According to Compete, the big three search engines drove about 21.9 million page views to WSJ.com in October. Revenue per thousand pages is likely around $24, given the WSJ.com’s high ad rates and number of ads per page. That means about $525,000 in October; assuming October is representative of a typical month, that’s about $6.3 million a year. Even if revenue per thousand pages runs much lower, say $10, that’s still almost $3 million a year.”

“Everyone can afford a newspaper. They’re the cheapest things in the world. Think what you get out of it.  It’s fabulous.  It will be even cheaper when you get it electronically,” Murdoch said in the Sky News interview.

The question remains to be seen, are people willing to pay – even nominally – for news which used to be available for free over the internet or is Murdoch really targeting the deep pockets of the companies who power the largest search engines? Is this move about sustaining News Corp. entities, or is it about making some big bucks on the internet?

As stated on Sky News, Murdoch said,”There are no websites – news websites or blog websites- anywhere in the world that are making any serious money. Some may break even or make a couple million.”

Where Am I Headed?

Posted By admin on November 12, 2009

Planning is underway to decide which courses to take next semester. In order to stay on a graduation path of two full years (including summers) I need to make sure to hit all the required and elective courses when they are offered. That is the easy part of this program.

The more confusing aspect of getting an Interactive Communications degree is the question ‘What are you going to do with it?’ I will be the first to admit my mother has been hinting since I received my Bachelors that I should go back to school and get another degree. She is extremely happy and proud that I am working towards my Masters. So pleasing her could be my answer. With these tuition prices, that is one expensive gift. ;)

Everyday I go to class, I realize there is so much more that I need to learn. Currently I am thinking ahead to my final assignment due in my Visual Aesthetics class. With work, life, and weekly classwork for my two classes, I haven’t had a lot of time to concentrate on the web pages we are supposed to design for class. Hopefully tonight I can get some work done on them.

I wish there was some formula I can plug into my brain that would tell me… this is a good site. This is how to create it. However, since I am still learning the do’s and don’ts for web design I am struggling to think of a creative way to present my material.

I equate this learning experience to how it feels to start a new job with tasks you are challenged with in the beginning. Everyday the process of doing that job gets easier and easier as your brain learns it. I am hoping that happens with Visual Aesthetics. Until then, I guess it will be trial and error, and error, and error.

I am hoping one day the light bulb turns on for this course, and for the path that my life will take once I have the diploma in hand. Right now I am happy with my present, but optimistic about what the future has to offer.