Author: katyaseitz

Three Powerful Speeches

The day of the event, my friend and I wanted to get there very early. We wanted to make sure that we got seats and were able to see Anita a Sarkeesian as well as the other speakers. I arrived around 10:30 am and, apart from a brief departure later in the day to drop off my heavy bag, I stayed until almost 2:00 pm.

10805798_10205224827078554_8975132590365269144_nThe first speaker who’s entire speech I was able to be there to hear was Dr. Lynn Schofield Clark’s. She spoke heavily of the presence if “whiteness” in our society. She explained just how prevalent it has been.

Dr. Clark discussed the topic of research and how it “has been shaped by whiteness.” This includes “white scholarship” and marginalization. Many who have taken part in the research have skewed it because of their standing and position. She explains that they have predominantly been white and from the “rich western society.”

Further into her speech, Dr. Clark briefly discussed community. I specifically agree with her on this point. She explained the importance of community engagement. She said: “Research shouldn’t just be about knowledge, but moving closer to positive change.” Engaging is a way to do this. Research is such an important part of moving forward and improving society. It is crucial that it is done fairly so that results and opportunities are accurate.

The second speech that I was able to ear in full was given by Dr. Michael K. He focused on transparency in journalism. I found his speech to be one of the most interested and best given. Not only was his speech very good, but his slides were not too wordy. They were useful, engaging, and informative.

He discussed what has made transparency possible today. These causes include digital media, immediacy, and interactivity. What was once expected of journalists is no longer the case. He explained that it was once quality. Today people want the news that is happening now immediately. I find this to be very true. This is even true with myself. For example, back in the day, getting general updates weeks after they happened in the war was once ok. Today, the public wants to know what is happening right now. In my case, I even follow many news companies’ twitter pages so that I can get a notification when something is happening as soon as possible.

Journalists are expected to be transparent to their audience. He pointed out a number of times that today it is “more important to show how we do something than what we do.” The audience needs to be able to see the process. I find this to be true. If there is no transparency, news providers are often seen as different or disconnected.

He also went on to explain some popular transparency tactics. One example he gave was hyperlinks. Using certain features, such as hyper linking, online can show transparency. Hyperlinks connect the audience with more information. The are a way to get to a deeper layer to the story that they are added to. This is why they are a good transparency tool. To sum up, “transparency is a guiding force that influences daily work.”

A third speech that I had the pleasure to see was that of Dr. Anita Sarkeesian. She is another excellent speaker. Her visual aids were also very good. They complimented her speech and were very powerful and informative.

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Dr. Sarkeesian began by showing an example of one of her research videos. While it was short, the video conveyed a powerful message. She proceeded to describe the gaming industry’s situations… “Gaming is becoming a more diverse environment.” She revealed that it used to be just for “white, straight males,” but it is now a diverse place with many different people of both sexes. While she seems to be blamed often for the changes in the industry, “no one person is in charge of the cultural change.”

While she discussed the gaming industry, the majority of her speech revealed much of the harassment that she faces every day. It’s incredible how many terrible things are posted about her every day in every online medium… Tweets, videos, photos, etc. She revealed that the harassing mostly comes from those attempting to defend the status quo of the industry. She faces theses things regular illy but still manages to conduct research and make videos on the sexism in the gaming industry.

Written by: Katya Seitz

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My LambdaMOO Experience

I visited LambdaMOO a few times. I was unable to attend class the day we were to visit it, therefore, I struggled with the initial steps to enter LambdaMOO. once I figured out the steps, I was very surprised.

The experience was so plain. There were no visuals other than text. It was like I was walking through a book but made my own decisions and didn’t know what exactly to expect next. I was happy about the help the program gave me. there were times that I didn’t know what to do, but the program, especially in the beginning, would tell me what commands would work.

There were many times when I would get stuck somewhere and type “go north” then “go south” then “go east” then “go west,” and I would finally be able to move. While it could be frustrating, it was also fun. I loved how descriptive everything was. For example: “This is a wooden deck behind the main house, facing southward across the pool to the lush gardens beyond.  To the west is the door into the living room and to the north is a sliding glass door into the master bedroom, with a door to a half bath in the western side of the north wall.  At the east end of the deck is a large hot tub.” One of my favorite parts of my experience was when I entered the garden. Overall, I liked LambdaMOO a lot. This is why I tried it out so many times. I am glad that I learned about it in class.

This is a space where a specific group of people comes together. People who are gifted with the ability to visualize and give color and depth to the words that they read really flourish in this environment. I think that it is also important to note that the people who take part in this community know about it. LambdaMOO is something that I had never heard of. It took a communications class for me to learn about what LambdaMOO is. If one is used to this environment, it becomes a part of their identity. Unlike me, they have the ability to easily more about the world of LambdaMOO. The community also nurtures curiosity. There are so many places and things to explore. Somehow, one student of our class was once able to go to Paris. One minute you are in a closet, the next you are somehow in Paris. That is pretty incredible.

According to research, they can even add to the environment. They put their time and effort into the world. It is a place that they dedicate knowledge, personality, and effort to. They, as well as others, can interact with what they have built.

LambdaMOO is an incredible environment. It is creative, interactive, and continues to grow. It hosts a community of creative and curious people.

Written by: Katya Seitz

You-topia

Thinking back on the readings and class discussion, many things have turned out to be particularly negative. People thought that the coming of the internet was going to lead to amazing equality, sharing of ideas, and of each other. The advertisements about the internet did not seem to see any of the many negatives that we have today coming.

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The internet is not the utopia that was promised. It is a platform that is unequal in many different ways… some people get more followers than others, some people can pay for faster internet connection while others can not afford it, and some people have access to a computer while others do not. The simple fact that some people do not event own a computer, for whatever reason (money, ethics, etc), is evidence that technology is not utopian. There are so many ways in which technology, specifically the internet, has caused things to become less equal and much less utopian.

I wanted to see how popular and important it was to asses one’s amount of twitter followers. I typed a simple search into Google: “the most twitter followers” and many pages came up. I looked at multiple Google pages and could still find numerous links on this subject. It is clear that the topic of high twitter followers is important to vast amounts of people.

Example of one link that came up: http://twitaholic.com/top100/followers

The reason I chose to focus on twitter for this portion of the analysis was because my friend recently asked me about starting a professional twitter. She was explaining to me that she did want to do this because her profile would essentially be worthless…She did not think that she would obtain “a lot of followers.” She is deciding how worthwhile her account would be based on the number of followers. This is a clear example of how different from utopia the internet is. According to the evidence, some people have more followers than others, which, in this day and age, means that they have more power and right to have the account. It’s interesting but sad.

written by: Katya Seitz

Delving into Thick Tweets

A little over a day ago, I tweeted my two thick tweets so that they would have some time before I looked at them more closely. My first tweet looked at Divvy Bikes. I thought of them because, in a class of mine, we looked at and wrote about their data release and expansion. I actually had trouble thinking of a clear way to tweet about both. I ended up deciding that, if I wanted to provide the link to the data page, tag Divvy, and hashtag the appropriates, I needed split my thought up and focus on only one if the two. I tweeted about the data.
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Those who see this tweet can go look at the data themselves and/or visit Divvy’s twitter. They can find the tweet through me, Divvy (especially since Divvy ended up favoriting the tweet not long after I posted it), or the hashtags. The reaction to this tweet was a favorite from Divvy soon after it was posted. I also got a few new followers, but it’s hard to say if that’s the direct cause of this tweet or my second thick tweet.
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For my second tweet, I retweeted/quoted a tweet from one of my favorite pages that I follow. I think that they find really clever advertisements. Many of them are very inspirational for me. They also post about things that I feel are a little more PR related. The one I tweeted about dealt with both.

I retweeted, as you can see in the picture, about the airline company KLM. The only thing that Brilliant_ads tends to leave out in their tweets is a tagging of the company that the tweet it about. This is why I tagged both Brilliant_ads and KML. The reader can refer to both. I am also a firm believer in tagging those to whom the credit belongs. I added hashtags so that the tweet can be found that way as well. Also, I felt those hashtags applied. The reaction to this tweet was a few followers. Again, I am not sure which of my two tweets led them to me because I tweeted them both so close together.

I can not speak for everyone but, for myself, I don’t fully agree with Julian Dibbell. Just like The two tweets I posted for this class, I tend to think out just about every tweet. This is the case for my private twitter, professional twitter, and any twitter that I may be working on for a company. Basically, it always seems that I have larger thoughts or stories that I’m trying to fit into a tweet. This tends to be my challenge… That my thoughts are bigger than my tweets. I end up needing to spend time shortening or summarizing so that they will fit at least part of my thought or idea. Also, regarding the class discussion and reading on extensive reading, I think that thick tweets promote this. If someone finds a tweet with a link to a page that they find interesting, they may continue reading on the subject. Let’s say it’s about a new organism discovered, they may refer to the link and read even more beyond that. It may even lead them to a book (online or paper) on the subject.

Written by: Katya Seitz

Thinking Back

From what I can remember, I was first introduced to the internet/used a computer through my grade school computer class. This was not the first time that I had ever heard about the internet… I knew it existed, but I had never really been interested in it. It never occurred to me that the internet was something that would someday play such a big role in not just my life but everyone’s.

I remember being frustrated with the system at first. It seemed complicated to me. My school would have us sign on to an online program to play learning games for math and english. It was a little annoying to me to have to remember a username and password. Another thing that I remember is that every other class would be interrupted with some sort of technical difficulty. The problem that I would encounter most was my screen freezing. I remember one game in particular. I think the name might have been Reader Rabbit. I would become so frustrated with it because it would freeze in the middle of a lesson, and I wouldn’t be able to click on anything. As a child who was just trying to get the lesson done, I would find myself thinking that I never wanted to do this again…. But look at me now. I find myself with a program that has frozen, for example Microsoft Word, and thinking something a little different. Today I tend to think to myself: ‘Maybe I shouldn’t leave 25 Word pages up and expect it to continue to run smoothly… I won’t do this again.” I still do it. These days I tend to blame a lot of the glitches on myself. When things go wrong, unlike when I was a child, I know that I can’t just give up the program forever (ex: Word). It will probably be a regular part of my life for the rest of my days.

One characteristic of new media that van Dijk and our class discussed was “storage potential.” I remember putting the disk in and being pretty amazed at the experience that was put onto that little thing. I also remember thinking this every single time I played the game “Bugdom” on my sister’s new computer.

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(http://speeddemosarchive.com/Bugdom.html)

As a child, I was so amazed at the huge world of “Bugdom.” It seemed like it would never end. All the characters, scores, textures, color, movement… it was all stored on this little device. This was probably my biggest realization when it comes to my first experiences with the internet. I found out that you can store so much information in it.

It’s a little sad that today I am not as amazed by this. I have been desensitized and that makes me a little nostalgic for the initial feelings of curiosity and amazement I had as a child. Another thing that struck me was it’s speed. The minute I wanted to play “Bugdom” all I had to do was get on my sister’s computer, make a click or two and I was playing. Honestly it took longer to convince my older sister to let me use her computer than it did to enter the program’s complicated world.

Katya Seitz

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