Archive | March, 2009

Response Post #9

31 Mar

Wikipedia Demons

I still hate it. I mean, seriously, what is the point of an encyclopedia that “anyone” can edit if that’s not really the case?! Also, the fact that an encyclopedia that “anyone” can edit seems like an oxymoron to me. Aren’t encyclopedia’s supposed to be academic gold, whose authors are serious, studious and knowledgeable about their topics? Or least the editors of encyclopedia’s should be – the editors at Wikipedia gain notoriety because they are extremely active on the site. Whether that’s from excitement, geekiness or loserness I’m not sure but I have my suspicions.

Not to beat a dead horse, but if it’s supposed to be editable by anyone, why the dog and pony show before you can actually submit your changes? You need a crash course in HTML coding before you can even have a glimmer of hope that your edits won’t be reversed. Who has time for that. It took me a good 2 hours to complete my entry because I couldn’t figure out the damn coding errors I kept getting. I’m still not sure it’s done correctly, but without a wikipedia expert sitting next to me, it will  have to do.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Wikipedia is great for blog linking, quick fact checking, and general web surfing, but to create a community encyclopedia and then make if difficult (although they swear its easy) for a normal everyday person to edit is weird. It’s almost as if they want people to get frustrated and not edit entries so that their editors have free reign over what is and is not posted to the web.

I freely contribute to the web and social media, but I don’t think Wikipedia is going to be on my list. Once I’m finished with this assignment, its goodbye Wikipedia. I just don’t care enough, or have enough of a vested interest to learn it, master it, and then stalk my entry to make sure its finessed Wikipedia style. Because, who really cares except a few small people with no time on their hands?”

Response Post #8

24 Mar

Pushy Travel Bloggers – Response to Class Delicious Link

I have to admit – I loved this article. There have been so many times when I’ve had trouble with a travel agency or airline and have felt helpless with the “who to complain to after the supervisor didn’t work” game plan – aside from co-workers, friends and family of course.

This article flipped the switch for me – just blog about the problems you’ve had. It can’t be that easy, but apparently, it’s starting to become that easy. Now, not all companies deserve to be crucified for their faults in the travel industry, but some companies just don’t seem to give a shit – which is what makes blogging rather satisfying. As referenced in this CNN article, the travel industry has started paying more attention to the blogosphere than traditional news media.

While blogging may not get you exactly what you are looking for, it is probably quicker than writing to the Ombudsman at Conde Nast Traveler – whose entries always horrify and entertain me – since it’s safe to assume he is deluged with travel complaints. Personally, I can never figure out why people give in and pay $11,000 to get home when it’s a mix-up caused by the airlines or the travel agency, and, to be quite honest, I hope I never get it. Because that means I (g-d willing) will not have that (particular) problem when I travel.

While blogging about my travel problems would be cathartic, I am interested to know how many times companies respond to problems via blogs, Twitter, etc? Had the complaintant been using other industry channels to no avail? Did they just fire up their blog? It’s interesting to read the many stories about travel troubles and how people have solved them. It’s even more astonishing to see them transfer into the world of social media. Kudos to the companies trying to work on keeping their customers after some have been through a terrible ordeal, and double kudos for paying enough attention to realize not everyone is going to write a letter to the CEO or the Better Business Bureau – because really – how many times does that solve something these days? So why not take to the keyboard and try to get satisfaction that way? It’s certainly worth a shot.

Response Post #7

23 Mar

Wikipedia – Editors or Nazis?

Like anyone else, I find Wikipedia useful for little things – What Monticello is, where Papa New Guinea is located and who exactly is Robert Scoble – other than that, I think it is a rather useless, sub-par website that tries to make average people super cop-like dictators trying to control their own little portion of the world wide web.

Now, that may sound a bit harsh, but have you ever tried to edit a post on Wikipedia? Something that only really matters to a small number of people? An entry that, in it’s current state, is factually incorrect? If you have, then you can probably relate when I called Wikipedia editors dictators. Because that’s what they do – they dictate the content they want posted – nothing more and nothing less.

Wikipedia itself has good intentions, and grand ideas, but their editors (not all, but a lot) have less honorable intentions it seems.  They hunt, stalk and aim to kill when protecting their portion of Wikipedia. I have to admit, I picture some wacko loser sitting in his (or her)  basement tenting their fingers and petting their cat ala Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget whenever a newbie edits part of their domain in the Wikipedia empire. With a Moohahaha-like sound thrown in for good measure.

Much like Dr. Claw – or Hitler– depending on how strong you feel – Wikipedia editors decide what exactly can and cannot be posted to a entry. While Dr. Claw’s attempts at controlling the world usually failed at the end of the episode, Wikipedia battles can go on for months or even years, depending on the zealousness of those involved. Disputes listed on Wikipedia can number in the thousands, and lawsuits have been filed. I don’t think that’s what Jimbo Wales envisioned when Wikipedia took off. I’m not arguing the success of it, Wikipedia has proven its usefulness many times over, however, why do editors have the “all powerful genie” attribute? If the editors watch over the posters, who watches over the editors?

Extra Post #3

6 Mar

Domestic Violence

Ladies, pay attention because what I’m about to preach is incredibly important. It is NEVER alright for a man to hit you. NEVER. No matter what you have done or haven’t done, being pushed around, smacked around or verbally assaulted isn’t right.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the story of singer Chris Brown and his pop star girlfriend Rihanna. If you’re not, check out this article – because it explains how Brown beat the hell out of Rihanna right before the Grammys. Now, the world being what it is today, the news was all over the internet and TV within 24 hours. When Ike was beating Tina Turner it wasn’t spread like wildfire online – people knew but no one had hard evidence to email around. Not the case with Rihanna and Chris Brown. A few days after  news broke that Brown had beaten a female, a photo was leaked to TMZ that showed a very battered woman. Police reports later confirmed that Rihanna was indeed the victim and Hollywood has been up in arms ever since.

While sex, drugs and rock and roll are normal fodder for celebrities, rarely does domestic violence rear its ugly head. Not because it doesn’t happen – I’m sure that it does – but because its still such a taboo subject. Blogger Perez Hilton has come out strong saying “Princess Ri Ri” deserves better and should never go back to Brown – even calling Brown “Chris Beat Her Down” to showcase his strong disapproval of Brown’s actions. The website TMZ has also voiced disapproval of Rihanna’s beat down and numerous radio stations and companies have dropped his music. However, despite the support and love Rihanna has received from people all over the world, the latest rumors are that she is back together with Brown. However, with her silence, and the photographs taken of the two of them together, it does lead one to believe that the media may be correct. What’s heartbreaking to hear are the stories posted on Twitter, TMZ, Perez and other sites that refer to her as needing him, and wanting to fix their relationship, that he didn’t really mean to hurt her. Not to mention the detective’s notes stating that this wasn’t the first time Brown had hit her but it was the worst beating. Ladies, no matter who your boyfriend is, what he does, how much he says he loves you – if he hits you – its over. No man who truly loves you will hit you. They will want to protect you, strengthen you, and help you be the best person you can be. No amount of hitting, shouting and beating is love. If you’re being hurt by someone please get help. While I hope Rihanna chooses to stand up for herself and others like her, domestic violence is a viscous circle that’s hard to break. But if Rihanna can overcome this cycle, hopefully it will spotlight domestic violence, and teach the world that it is never ever alright to hit someone.

Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline for more information or to get help. Please don’t spend another night afraid that morning might never come.

Extra Post #2

3 Mar

Response to Prissy Perceptions Bill of Rights Post

First of all, I find it very amusing that two people can have the same exact reasons (almost) for supporting or not supporting the same thing. In today’s day and age it’s rare to find two statements whose owners’ don’t jump down each others throats for disagreeing. For example, after reading Prissy Perceptions post about social media I had to laugh. I felt the exact opposite for pretty much the same reasons. In an age of digital media, pop culture, wars on terrorism, a new administration and a population obsessed with keeping up the Joneses, it still amazes me that people can think so much alike while still having differing opinions. And, quite frankly, I think it’s great. Not to sound cliche, but isn’t that why we live in America? Why we are able to contribute to social media? Have freedom of the internet and our first amendment rights? It’s not often anymore that two individuals can have such differing views for the same reasons. In my earlier post about an internet Bill of Rights, I said that absolutely, there should be one. It’sworked well enough for the USA for the last 200 + years, and I think a virtual Bill of Rights would be a great thing for internet users. It could protect our basics rights to the things we post to the internet – usually for friends, family or colleagues to see – and allow us the freedom to delve deeper into social media without being frightened we will be taken advantage of. Prissy Perceptions feels the same way – only her reasons support her opinion that a Bill of Rights would not be a good thing for the world wide web. She feels that (for my same reasons) our ability to go forth and conquer the internet should be kept undiluted. No Bill of Rights – because rules go against social media and its creations. While I may not agree with her end opinion – how many of us can honestly say we feel a certain way about something and can respect our “rival” when he or she feels the other way for the same reasons?

Response Post #6

2 Mar

Seriously, Second Life?

Ok, I admit it – I don’t get it. Who the heck wants to get online, login to a “virtual” world, and play a game with no point? I found Second Life to be a bizarre and totally wacked out game. After setting up my account and building my avatar – which I could not figure out how to clothe properly since it looks like it is straight out of Revenge of the Nerds – I found myself flying through thin air. Now, I did teleport to a few different places, but I could not for the life of me figure out the purpose. I saw a few ads that said click here to teleport – but nope – couldn’t do it. Even when I followed the instructions, I still couldn’t get to Roma or London in Second Life. Which did sound rather interesting. I did however, end up in a clothing boutique and when I tried to leave some avatar tried to have sex with me. That was interesting – does it count if you’re hit on in a fake world? I also couldn’t help but laugh when I tried to sit down and the screen asked me – rather bluntly – if I would like to be in the missionary position or the doggie position. I mean what the hell! I was just trying to fly around a world and sit down on a couch – not get “virtually” laid. What kind of sick wackjob gets online to have sex in a virtual world. If it weren’t so creepy I might feel sorry for the poor guy. Oh and if you’re thinking I teleported to the places on screen where it said SEX in big red letters, you’re wrong. I intentionally avoided those places to make sure what happened didn’t. Oh – and another thing I found hilarious – and slightly disturbing was the fact that when you are “dressing” your avatar it actually tells others that you are changing. I saw some random dude in his boxers with a little caption over his head that read something along the lines of “avatar is getting dressed.” Not the exact statement but you get the picture. So needless to say, I don’t get Second Life – the only point is to login and fly around (which is rather cool) and talk to people or have a virtual job? Who cares? I understand World of Warcraft and other online games that have a point. I don’t get ones that don’t. I’ll stick with my Wii, XBOX and PSP anyday.

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