The Bologna Blog

a blog about all of the "bologna" in our minds that lead to writing.

A Twitterific Tool

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I’m tired of writing about Twitter (and social networking sites in general) but here goes…

My last required-by-class blog topic… review a Twitter related application. My Twitter related application… Twitteriffic.

Twitteriffic is a Mac specific, Twitter spun instant messaging application. It docks on the side of your desktop and automatically refreshes as your fellow twits tweet. There is a text box to post your own tweets and there is the option to reply to other tweets.

Essentially, it allows you to keep up with your Twitter account without having a web browser open. It’s a condensed version but it helps prevent complete and utter distraction. You can tweet without getting caught up visiting other peoples profiles or searching for other twits.

The relevance of this application is just that. You can dock it on the side of the screen and go about attending to your daily tasks without getting absorbed into the Twit-o-sphere.

Anybody who has used Twitter understands what I’m talking about. You go on to check in, maybe post a tweet or two, then before you know it, an hour passes by and your scrambling to logout and go about your day. Twitterific helps eliminate that sand trap.

It’s a simple application. There’s not much to it and there’s not much to say about it. But the positive effect it has on a users productivity is nothing to sneeze at. Distraction has been a continual critique on social networking as a whole. Twitterific can help silence those critics, at least a little bit.

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Written by cor24leone

December 6, 2009 at 11:49 PM

The Great Network, or The Great Distraction?

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So I had to select someone outside of class to observe and write about the people they follow on Twitter. Being new to Twitter, I found my options formed a rather short list. Then, my lady friend tells me about how her sister is on Twitter and how she is so into it that she gets updates automatically sent to her phone.

I was intrigued and interested in who these people were that she followed and found a need to be connected by the purse. From knowing her, I kinda knew what to expect. And I was spot on.

Outside of her circle of friends, the list of people she follows goes something like this:
Nick Jonas, Adam Lambert, Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake, Jesse McCartney, Taylor Swift, Perez Hilton, Ashley Tisdale, Ellen DeGeneres, and a handful of other lame celebrities.

This is my gripe with Twitter. It gives a local girl next door with a handful of friends this unfathomable connection to a playground of celebutards where she stalks and watches and grasps on to every last tweet the Jonas brothers thumb from their Twitterberries.

Am I being a bit harsh? Hardly. Case in point: This same girl logs on to Perez Hilton’s blog twice a day to get the inside scoop on all the celebrity gossip of the day.

This girl is pre-med. Intelligent. Bright. Distracted.

Who am I to knock another person’s interests? I imagine not everybody gives half a shit about things I’m interested in, like boxing and music that never sees the top 40 charts. I follow a guy by the name of R.A. The Rugged Man… yeah, seriously, that’s his name… I follow him because he’s an abstract hip hop artist and a boxing enthusiast. But at the end of the day there is a difference between a legitimate interest and a celebrity infatuation.

I should have never chosen this person to write this post about being that I have a deep-rooted, underlying annoyance for tabloid gossip junkies, but then again this is my space to write within.

But I’m a nice guy sometimes. To make up for my negative rant, I would like to add in a bonus Twitterer observation by going back to Mr. Rugged Man. As I mentioned, he is an abstract hip hop artist and a boxing enthusiast. If you browse through the people he follows on Twitter, you will find a majority of boxers and up and coming artists. This is where I point to the silver lining in the the clouds.

I don’t know how many times I have pointed out the pros and cons of social networking over the course of this semester. The truth is, it is all in how you use what is offered to you. There’s the option to use them to connect with people of like interests (and career paths) and build networks virtually rather that in the actual physical world, and there’s the option to go star-crazy and let your brain turn to a mushy, gossip laden paper weight. You can be professional about it, or you can be disillusioned and distracted. The choice is ultimately up to you.

Written by cor24leone

December 4, 2009 at 8:59 AM

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New Media and the Future of Journalism

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As we, the people, twist and turn while adjusting to new media technologies and the way they change our lives, industries must in turn learn to do the same.

I read an article this afternoon by Arianna Huffington in which she defends her hybrid form of journalism against the lashings dealt by the tongues of corporate dinosaurs like Rupert Murdoch. I used “dinosaurs” as a metaphor because much like Rupert Murdoch, dinosaurs did not adapt to their environment.

Journalism became stagnate during the years leading up to the Internet boom. Even after, journalists in the newspaper business failed to report on the lead up to the Iraq War and the looming financial disaster. In complicated times, we need to deploy complicated tactics.

New media has that ability to compliment journalistic practices to produce what Huffington referred to as a “hybrid” form of journalism. With the ability to incorporate words with images, articles with videos, and a public forum supported by comment boards and blogs, journalism has no place to go but up. Right?

Not if old dinosaurs refuse to adapt to the changing times and don’t rethink and reinvent their way of production. Consumers know what the want. They have seen the light, so to speak. They know what options are available. Better options.

YouTube threatens television networks who refuse to accept it as a competent competitor. The Huffington Post threatens local and corporate newspapers alike who sit idly without producing a quality website to attract online readers.

With the rise of blogs and vlogs and their volunteered contributions by citizen journalists, the rules of the game changed. No longer does the phrase, “you get what you pay for,” apply. Understandably, professional journalism comes with a price tag. Let the suits figure out the details of splitting up the tab. At the end of the day, it will be their spin on revenue generation that will make or break their existence.

Written by cor24leone

December 2, 2009 at 8:31 AM

Twitpic

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So I looked over the millions of applications available for Twitter and I have to say I was quite surprised. After scrolling through what felt like the first ten pages of them, it became perfectly clear that people really do give a shit about Twitter. I have to say most of these applications didn’t interest me. All of them had something to do with “making things easier through Twitter.” But since I really don’t care much for Twitter, this didn’t apply to me very much. However, I saw an application called Twitpic that changed my opinion a bit. Here’s why…

In my Writer’s Mind class, we had to start a Twitter account earlier this semester. This kind of benefited me because when we had to do it in this class, I already had one. But when we started it in the other class, we were also required to start a Twitpic account as well. The concept of this application is pretty much self-explanatory where it allows you to upload pictures onto your Twitter account. It’s a very simple process, so I decided to use it for this “Twitter Review” assignment.

For anyone who has a Facebook, it’s pretty much the same thing. You take a picture on your digital camera, upload the picture onto your computer, and when you want to put them on your profile, you simply click the “Browse” button and voila! You’re good to go. Twitpic pretty much has the same browsing links and similar to Facebook, the only prerequisite towards doing that is taking a picture and uploading it onto the computer.

I would try to include a picture or something here, but there’s really no visual way to describe Twitpic. There are no pictures used to give someone a better understanding of it because Twitpic is just a collection of your own pictures.

Written by halld76

December 2, 2009 at 1:26 AM

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The Yin and the Yang of Facebook

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For every yin, there is a yang. For every good, there is a bad. It is the natural balance of life.

Facebook and other forms of social networking are just the same. Sure, they offer a networking database to connect old friends to new friends and colleagues to associates; but there comes a point when we must become aware of just how much we blend our personal and professional circles.

Hot off the AP wire is an article that tells a story of a Canadian woman who lost her benefits because of pictures she posted on her Facebook page. However, this is not the first time such an instance has been brought to the forefront.

Teachers have been warned, fired, and harassed for similar issues in the U.S. as well. It has now become an issue of privacy and professional respect for a person’s personal life.

Employers have been given the means to track the lives of employees while outside of the workplace, as millions of users participate in the social activity unaware.

There are privacy settings that users can set to limit who can see what, but more than half of users pay no mind to them. Even then so, if you become a “friend” of a co-worker, you become susceptible to infiltrations of privacy.

When I created a Facebook account years ago, it was to keep in touch with friends who went away to school. Now, it has become a pop culture phenomenon that spans across multiple generations.

I’ve gotten add requests from aunts, uncles, cousins half my age, my mother, my crazy ex-girlfriends, co-workers… people outside of my social circle who find a need to be a part of it, to condone or disapprove of my friends and colleagues and any tidbit of my personal life.

While I am conscious of privacy settings, many of my friends are not. They post pictures of me without my approval and tag me in them so they are added to my page.

Who knows who will see those pictures of me? It’s not that difficult to dig for dirt on somebody if you know how to finagle your way through the network. Who’s to say that employers don’t hire specialty web surfers for HR purposes.

Pictures your friends may post of you half drunk at your birthday party may keep you from getting that job one day. You might not even have a Facebook account, but you are still susceptible to this public spy network.

Written by cor24leone

November 23, 2009 at 5:28 AM

We Am the Line Drawers

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We’ve seen the movies. Robots and machines team up to take over the world. Terminator, iRobot, Wall-E… it’s a growing trend these days. That could have to do with the expanding capabilities of the technologies we use today.

At some point, we must responsibly consider the technological grounds we have paved before movies become the new age Nastradamus. In her 1995 Wired Magazine article “Who Am We”, Sherry Turkle presents an interesting take to allow you to ponder for yourself.

How real are computers? Can we consider them to be alive? They think for themselves in more complex algorithms than the average human being. They provide a virtual playground and social network greater than any work place or college campus.

Where do we draw the line between a living and non-living object?

While computers lack emotional concept that often drives the argument leaning toward non-living, one must also consider the emotional lacking of plants and micro-organisms that are considered living.

What’s that you say about computers not breathing life? Without electricity, computers are just as dead as any mammal without oxygen and any plant without carbon dioxide. Pulling the power cord out of the wall is essentially the same as wrapping a rope around your neck and cutting off the flow of oxygen to your brain.

If you think about it, what makes plants living organisms? Sure, they breathe; but they don’t move, they don’t feel, and they don’t think.

The intelligence of computer systems is simply astonishing. From video game A.I. to robots and smart homes, the interactive capabilities we experience is similar to that we have with living beings.

In her article, Turkle compares robots to Pinocchio, a wooden puppet that turns into a living, breathing boy. Robotics is not far from creating human-like robots that perform daily activities much like we do.

It’s just a matter of time before we see robots in the home much similar to those we saw in the movie iRobot and in the video below.

Written by cor24leone

November 21, 2009 at 7:27 AM

Am I Us or Me?

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MMOs, RPGs, MUDs and all of the other kinds of online multiplayer games out there are, I have to admit, very fun. In World of Warcraft, I get to be a level 80 blood elf paladin. My sword is called the Claymore of Ancient Power, and for someone who hasn’t played for even a year yet, I feel I am not too bad. In EVE online, I work for a corporation, mining asteroid belts, while pirates attack me. I am paid in a currency called ISK, and the more I have, the more I can equip my ship with better mining gear, better rocket launchers, and get even better ships.

Eventually though, I end up thinking to myself… for all the effort I put into these games, I could be putting the same amount of effort into my real life. Sure, I don’t get to go through speed at hyper speed, or fight Onyxia, but this is what I have, and I need to make the most out of it. It must be nice for Doug, the college junior in Sherry Turkle’s article “Who Am We?”  http://j.mp/rrOT9 Getting to experiment being a woman, a macho man, a rabbit, and… a furry (look up this term; I will not explain it here). MUDs provide him with the anonymity to indulge in fantasies, and be someone who may be looked down upon in real life.

One could probably say that MUDs are today’s version of the science fiction book. When books became easy to acquire and the population learned to read, it is safe to assume that the readers would sometimes escape their reality and get lost in the stories they read with an obsessive nature. Now, parents urge their children to stop spending hours in these games, and to pick up a book. Ironic.

Written by augeregua

November 20, 2009 at 2:03 AM

Posted in Reading Response

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