Web 2.0

As this course is coming to a close, I want to make sure I keep up my exploration of the great resources and technologies out there. This course has been a great way to explore so many great resources that I will definitely use in the future. I will continue working on my job to contribute and not remain a lurker for the rest of my life.

I can’t say that I’ll continue using all of the technologies we’ve explored. Honestly, I don’t think I remember my password (or even my username-oops) for Twitter. Some things didn’t stick with me. Maybe one day down the road, I’ll pick up my Twitter game again, but for now, I think it’s one less thing I’ll have to worry about.

Pinterest will forever be a large part of my PLN. I gather so many great resources from that wonderful place. I’ve expanded my boards to also contain educational material, which is a bonus for my procrastination.

Diigo is still a great favorite of mine that I will continue to use. I’ve organized a lot on there. Voicethread has also saved me a couple times over the past few weeks.

I want to also continue blogging. It might be a better time once I’m out of grad school. I feel like I’ll produce better quality writings and resources when I have more time.

Overall, I’m glad I was encouraged to step out of my box. Thank you to the class for helping me and stepping out with me. This semester has been a doozy!

What were your favorite things from this course?

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The Web

The web really is an incredible place. It’s diverse, functional, confusing, fun, and frustrating. I found this article about the lack of satisfaction among social network users. I found this really interesting as the social networking sites were ranked so high in the most visited sites list I found last week.

Overall, the World Wide Web holds a wealth of knowledge and information. The information can be started and posted by other users, where trust comes into play. Just like we’ve all been told to use Wikipedia as a reference site, but not an actual reference because people’s information isn’t always accurate, the issue of trust is present. Either way, we use the web a lot. I could not imagine life without the internet. It would make life really difficult (that sounds terrible and this would definitely be different if I didn’t grow up in this time period, but I’m very resourceful with the internet- I don’t want to imagine it another way).

The social media aspect of the internet is nice. It keeps people connected and interested in sharing ideas. Although I don’t think it’s necessary, I think it’s a vital aspect of the Web as we know it today. I go back to the idea of internet lurkers. I feel like social media encourages people to share their ideas and information. It forces us to actively participate, especially when we see everyone else is. Without social media, I think we would be losing a vital part of the internet.

 

Airbnb

Right after I made my profile for Airbnb, I read a comment a classmate made about Airbnb on a discussion board this week. This thought prompted me to do a little research which took me to this site.

The article is based on businesses based on sharing taking off. Thanks to a long, crazy, wonderful summer of Web 2.0, I didn’t see the business aspect of all the sites mentioned. I saw the communities. After watching and creating communities this semester, I find it extremely interesting how common sense combining web and real world communities is. I never really thought about bringing the two together, but it happens all around us.

This then leads me into trusting those in these communities. Airbnb is based on trust. Urbanspoon is based on trust, and/or curiosity. Within five minutes of using Airbnb, I was already looking past the rentals without reviews, or with negative reviews. The same goes for Urbanspoon- I’d much rather eat at a restaurant with a higher rating and positive reviews from other users.

I don’t think this automatic trust will ever make sense to me, but it’s still extremely interesting to observe in online communities.

 

Top Sites!!!

I found this site. It’s really cool and reminds me of the Billboard charts for music, but it’s for websites everywhere.

It shows the top sites in the world. There is also an option to search top sites based on country, or category of the sites. The first thing I noticed about the top sites in the world, were all of the social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This is the fastest way to connect with others around the world.

I, of course, noticed the reference sites and search engines that were scatter across the top of the list. Specifically, I noticed the different sites for different countries. Does this go back to the licensing issues, along with the censorship of countries?

This week of looking at the web internationally has really opened my eyes to the differences in the web. It’s not as constant as I thought it was. There is also a lot more going on in the web for each country than I will probably ever realize.

International Spotify

Although old, I thought this article was interesting about Spotify and the access issues I talked about in my earlier post. I use Spotify all the time. I think it’s a great way to listen to music and be a part of an online community. My friends and family share our listening all the time, in order to discover new music.

This article talks about licensing relating to Spotify and Netflix. I did not realize Spotify originated in Europe due to piracy issues. I usually assume the U.S. is pretty quick to discover, or at least provide new technologies. It seems like Spotify would be a no brainer for sharing music, so I wonder why it took a while for the U.S. to catch on. Licensing appears to have played a much larger role in bringing sites and resources to other countries more than I realized.

Worldwide? Web

With the broadening of topics this week, thinking to the expanse of the web, or lack there of, I immediately thought of my trip to Europe several years ago. I spent a month in Liechtenstein and a week in Paris. It was an incredible experience, but I tried to stay in touch with my shows in the U.S. I quickly found that Hulu and several other sites were not able to be accessed where I was.

I didn’t realize the web, as I knew it, wasn’t available everywhere, to everyone. The web is different in different locations- what a strange thought. It makes sense now that I understand the nature of it better, but it’s still strange.

When learning German, I went to many German websites to look at local news and other articles. I could access that in the U.S., but I couldn’t access U.S. sites in parts of Europe. I know licensing plays a part in this, but it’s still weird to think that the worldwide web doesn’t have full access to everything, everywhere.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia – the huge reference site. We’ve all heard of it, used it, but how many have updated a Wikipedia page?

Unlike the other technologies we’ve been given to explore this week, Wikipedia seems like the place with the most extensive references, but the contributions from users aren’t as encouraged here.

I know Wikipedia wouldn’t exist, or be as large as it is without the users and contributors. They are extremely important and implicitly encouraged to start and contribute to topics. As a Wikipedia user, I’ve never gone to a page and felt the need, or desire, to contribute. I exist on Wikipedia as a lurker and I’m not sure that will ever change.

Compared to Quora, where questions are constantly asked and answered by the users, Wikipedia is topic based. It seems like a large reference page, of course, because it acts as an encyclopedia. I haven’t ever gotten the urge to start a Wikipedia page about cook books, or my favorite, hole-in-the-wall restaurant, or continue the information about orchids (mostly because I feel everything has been said and I don’t have anything knowledgeable to add). Other users of Wikipedia have stepped up and contributed. I wonder what it takes for someone to actually feel the need and want to contribute to Wikipedia. I’d love to hear what some contributors feel about this.

Have you contributed to Wikipedia?