Sunday, July 03, 2005

ONE MILLION STRONG

ONE MILLION Americans are now a part of ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History! This is incredible! We are showing our leaders and the world that America is committed to ending extreme poverty in our lifetime -- and YOU are creating the political will to make it happen. I'm proud to say that Live8 was so amazing (and was held in Philly where I'm from) and the message given was so positive and for a great cause. So check out ONE to become aware of the problem we face today that has never ended, but with your support could one soon end. Thanks!

Peace!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Open Sourcing Revolution and Wal-Mart

So this last assignment was mainly about outsourcing, and globalization. Both documentaries talked about the limitation of one thing or another. The Revolution Open Sourcing DVD talked about the restraints from passwords, which caused the users to not be totally free. Because outsourcing is a way to collaborate on software without being enticed with the problems, but when the administrators were forcing users to make up passwords to log in that ended the control for the users. Passwords were a way for the administrators to control the users, so when the makers and minds behind the free network got rid of the passwords it put the users back on top to be in complete control. It also discussed the difference between hardware and software: hardware must be brought, but software is free! The difference is that software does have copyright, owner, and a license, the thing it doesn’t have is a domain. If it were in public domain someone else could gain control, and the users wouldn’t be in total control like back when the administrators were trying to enforce password usage. Instead of having a public domain free software has a copy-left which is the same as copyright, but flipped. Copy-left is having permission to change and tweak information, but when redistributed it must also allow, and follow the same copy-left terms. Linux was the example the DVD used, and it mainly said that it’s a free software operating system that gives users “FREEDOM”. You could also check out Linux for different examples of what software is and which IT industries support it. When Linux first started out in 1995 it had 500,000 users, then in 1997 it had 3.5 million users, so you see this company rapidly grew once people became savvier about it. By 1999 Linux had 12 million users, and that same year Linux’s Red Hat software becomes the first Linux Company. Like Christina stated, the reason Linux is so successful is because there is no need for passwords or any type of security measures, and the users are the ones in control.

The Wal-Mart DVD talked about how globalization causes the jobs in the United States to disappear because of a high demand for cheap goods. When goods and products are cheap, or sold for lower prices, one thinks that it’s good for the consumer, but in reality it’s only good for the retailer. China is a great example because it is the largest exporter to the United States economy, in all consumer goods categories, and Wal-Mart is the largest retailer to the United States in all consumer goods categories, and both are determined to dominate the US economy in all they can. Like Elena said the products that sit on the shelves on the Wal-Mart stores aren’t even produced in the US. We go over to other countries because we know we can pay them the lowest wages in the world, but get more products for less. This means absolutely nothing if no one in the United States has a job, and because of globalization all the jobs in America are going overseas in demand that goods be produced for much cheaper than they would cost to be made here. China does all they work, and we basically make all the money. When the documentary brought up the question: Is Wal-Mart good for America? The answer to that question is no because even though Wal-Mart produces a wide range of goods that consumers want to buy for rock bottom prices we cannot forget that people are workers, and they need to make a decent living to survive. Check out the The Wal-Mart you don't know and see the interesting points the authors make. When the jobs are wiped out of the United States than how does one make a decent living? If you want low prices shop at Wal-Mart, but it puts people out of work in this country, and lowering the standard of living in America.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Long Tail

The Long Tail according to Wikipedia is used in relation to wealth distributions. According to Jessica , the Long Tail is the phrase given to describe how large amounts of products sell very little, while very little products sell large amounts. At first I didn’t understand exactly what the Long Tail meant, but after reading Wikipedia’s definition, along with some of what Elena mentioned, I’m getting a better understanding of the Long Tail. The best example I could give is the music industry, which everyone seems to using as an example. Alright, so many know that when new music is released a certain number goes to different record stores right? Good! Well, the new music isn’t what makes up the sells of music in the store, it’s the older, and much rarer music that has to be shipped in from warehouses that people are yearning for but cannot find anywhere. But it is a little confusing to imagine this because one would think that the big names in the music business are the ones selling and allowing the record store to stay open. The idea is to sell a large quantity of one thing, and then make as much off that one single product, like the Apple Ipods. I agree with Joy, by Apple using their name to sell such a phenomenal product it made the first spectrum of the Long Tail very high on the graph. The other products Apple sell such as computers, and software too sell, but not as rapidly as the Ipods, or in such large massive, but they do also sell. Therefore the second or lower spectrum of the Long Tail graph is made up of everything else that sells at slower speeds.

The best example of finding rare products is by looking online. There are many stores that come to mind, but the one I visit most frequently is the Amazon.com store. This store sells books, music, and anything else you could think of. The reason it’s a great example of Long Tail is because it sells rare books, and music and other products that are hard to find in stores, simply because certain products cannot be found in stores, and these products are on the lower spectrum (or the yellow part) of the graph. The whole idea of selling these products are because they keep the tail part of the graph growing year around, unlike the new released products that eventually dwindle in sells. Check out “The Long Tail” article because this gives a great example of how the Amazon store works to the advatage of many people. Chasing the Long Tail is another site that breaks down how the Long Tail works and gives a lot of examples in the opinion of Edward B. Driscoll, Jr.

Online stores have lagre warehouse in which all of their products are stored. Like when new music is released it’s shipped from the warehouse to your common FYE, and Tower Records, but not every single record. It’s like only a certain amount is sent to every store, and the rest is stored in the warehouse. If the record store runs out too quickly they sometimes tell you that the’ll get another shipment in soon, or advise you to buy it online. The reason the warehouses store the music is because the shelves at record stores can’t possibly store all the new, old, and rare music all at the same time. Overall, the Long Tail offers people the choice of buying what they truly want instead of what the next big thing is.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Folksonomy Folks!!!

What is Folksonomy? Glad you asked: it’s the system of classifying created by the “folks”. Perfect example is EBay because when you list (or buy) something you have to specify the category whether it’s electronics, automobiles, clothing, accessories, etc… Folksonomy is metadata created by the people, which could sort of relate to blog post in quirky sort of way. This is true because we, the people, have the power to write, and form sentences any way we want to present the meaning of a word, statement, phrase, or quote for the viewers to see.

Over the last few months (I’d say the last three months) blogs have become very well-known, if they weren’t already. The reason I say this is because I never knew what they were before taking this class, but now even friend of mine are hearing about them. The reason this all ties together is because blogs are there own folksonomy, and sooner or later this will be the new resource for finding information on the internet. I mean come on, whenever you google something the page that ranks on the top isn’t usually an encyclopedia entry (such as Encarta) most times it’s someone’s webpage, blog post, or just some random page that has the words you put in the search engine. The reason this is possible is because of formal taxonomy (which is works of popularity).

Not everyone knows what a folksonomy is yet. I don’t mean anyone in our classes, but older people outside of the class, such as my Business and Society professor. She’s is completely clueless of what Wikipedia is, and doesn’t understand the concept of people forming an encyclopedia made of their own thoughts, and ideas, and meanings of certain topics. It may be because she isn’t that much into computers, but like I said earlier this is going to be the new advance way of searching the web for information. Like Joy said, it’s being able to read what someone was thinking about an issue at a particular time. Perhaps later on in the day that person will think of new ideas to add on to what they’ve already written, and this is phenomenal because a particular person could be an expert on a certain matter, and having something written in simple terms allows any one to understand.

Elena makes a great point of folksonomies being a way to organize the world, wow! I think this is a brilliant point, and as I type this blog post I realize that I am engaged in “folksonomy” because I am learning more information by searching what my classmates are saying about this topic, and am becoming an expert on this word by gaining knowledge of what others think it is. I in fact am not the only person that feels like this either; I mean take a look at social folksonomy and just see others put meaning to this concept as well. Another link that is helpful (which is connected to social folksonomy) is Many 2 Many which is a group that blogs on social software and these two links are connected because they both outsource each other (just like we find outside sources). The reason theses links work well are because they’re both examples of how people bring meaning to this word folksonomy. I’m just happy that there are other sources than world encyclopedias because the “folks” put intriguing meanings to what are sometimes very boring topics, and I hope that folksonomy is here to stay. NO, I know it is:)

Friday, April 08, 2005

Chapter 3- Talk is CHEAP!

So this chapter, Talk is Cheap really talked about some great issues on how the voice is important, and how it represents our whole inside world of who we are. This was a quote made in the beginning, and that's true. Another point Levine made was how you can't fake one end of a conversation because the person on the other end will always know. For example if you're on the phone, and you're trying to read information on a computer screen, most of the time the other person will notice that you're not completely focusing on them, or giving them your full attention. This point leads into the next point about commercial pitch, and the pitch of someone's voice who is talking truly from the heart. This point is so true because sometimes you hear those commercials with people who are just doing an awful job in trying to sell a product, but when speaking to someone in person it's obvious that what's being said is true.

The email section of this chapter defined why we're able to read or write) emails and know exactly what the person meant, without having it being in paragraphs. I mean yes sometimes the message may be misinterpreted into something else, but that's only when a message is written carelessly; if you take your time to construct your words correctly, it'll be read the way it's supposed to, and still written in an informal way. I think Jessica's point on the email section relates to mine the most because we both agree that most of the time people understand what's being said in an email regardless of how you write it (formal, or informal), and sometimes it is easy writing it rather than saying it on the phone.

The next relevant point was the mailing lists section. Levine breaks up the mailing system into two different flavors as he calls it one-way, and two-way. The one-way allows you to send one email to a large number of people, and this really saves time, energy, and paper. If you're able to send the same email to many people than you don't need to type it over and over again, just form the list of people that you want to send it to, and send it. This saves time and energy because you only have to do it once, and it saves paper because you don't have to print it out and mail it, you can do it all electronically. As Elena said it's like a dream come true to those who are always on the go, and don't really have the time to search for email addresses from their address books. The two-way method is just as interesting because it allows you to respond to all the recipients on that massive email, and this is great, it reminds me of a message board. This helps a lot because you're getting your response and idea out to everyone, not just the person who sent the email to you. A better understanding or example of what mailing lists check out: Electric Mailing List and this site examples basically how Levine explained it, and also includes the software behind electronic mailing.

The last section (the last one I'll talk about) is web pages. While many web pages are things put together by people who want others on the web to know about them. It's their way of expressing who they are. You know how sometimes you may be looking for something on the web (especially on google), and you type one thing in, and sometimes instead of an encyclopedia entry you're directed to someone's webpage because of the words you chose to use. Sometimes you get lucky and are able to get all the information you need, while other times you have to keep searching. Well, the reason you're directed to their page is because they have the words you typed on their page in so sort of order. The thing is web pages are personal pages that say a lot about the people who make them. Like for instance, my friend Abdul and I have known each other since high school (about 5 years) and his web page expresses who he is through his goals, his dreams, his idols, and everything he's already done in life. But his web page isn't the same as when we were in high school; as a matter of fact over the years it's changed, but nonetheless it's always been about him, and who he is, and what he's about, and for that reason this is a pretty phantasmagoric web page!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Chapter 2: The Longing

Alright, so the second chapter wasn’t as long, but definitely just as important as the first chapter. Covering different topics, this chapter was mainly based on how the internet is taking the organized world apart by allowing us to have a voice. Not so much of the whole world, but the way in which companies have their “rules of the company” set up. Like for example, according to Weinberger people go to work at different corporations, and they all dress the same: nice suit, decorated with a nick tie, they decorate their cubicles with cartoon stripes, and this is how it is, all the same. Not only that, but when you get into your meetings, the order remains the same with everyone sitting up straight in their chairs, telling jokes (but only if they’re appropriate), and never coming off as knowing more than your boss. This is the world of professionalism which is all just a managed environment that alters certain behaviors. When reading this I automatically thought of the movie “Office Space”. It was a comedy about workers who hate their job, and decide to rebel against their boss (for a thorough review check out: Office Space review and see for yourself how people at this particular job do the same thing, all the time everyday).

Weinberger made a subliminal point about people managing their internet homepages by saying the idea of people managing their world is American, and there are advantages to managing it, then goes on to list a few. With so many competitors in the business world it’s true that businesses can’t be managed, but the people there can, and from this point I concluded that since working people have little control of their jobs (because they are supervised); the reason the internet is helpful is because it could be used to create something in which they can manage, and that’s a homepage. Although Alexis made a good point about business needing to be managed in order for there to be structure. This suggests that if there is no structure how could things function at all? The reason we’ve lost our voice is because we have to conduct the professional behavior in the workplace which brings truth to the point made about the longing (something missing) in our lives is our voice.

The one point I completely agree with is the point made about nothing being more intimately apart of us than our voice. This has to be the best point made because it’s what people say in order for you to know who, or what they’re about. Like a great example of this being someone uses nothing but slang to talk, but if he or she that talks this way were to construct an excellent point, with “proper English” than everyone would look to that person so shocked. Our voice is everything; it’s the strongest, most powerful and direct expression of who we are. According to Weinberger our voice expresses our words, our tone, our body language, and visible enthusiasms.

We have the business voice, that’s used in a managed environment, and this voice literally sounds like everyone else’s voice. It’s like writing a research paper, you how it’s supposed to be formatted because your professor makes it clear in the beginning of the semester, and if you don’t know how to format it you could do one of two things: ask a classmate, or look it up in the rules for writers book. The reason I said this is because even though the papers won’t be the same topic, they will all be formatted, stapled, and handed in the same, which gives truth to all business voices being the same. Having a voice means being able to present it to others, and on the web many people have voices on different topics, whether agreeing or disagreeing it’s you choice, and a perfect example of this is how people responded to this: Our Voice Our choice.

This chapter reflected that the reason the web exists is because people need to have that voice that’s lost at the job, and that voice being your true voice. Even though you can’t use your mouth to speak online, you can use your words which prove that Weinberger was right when he said the voice represents our words. Elena made a great point that the internet lets you show a different voice that you don’t necessarily get to show at work and that’s what the internet is for.

Monday, March 28, 2005

The Cluetrain MANIFESTO

While reading this Cluetrain Manifesto I must admit, I was intrigued. Let’s start by looking at the first two words that form the first sentence: We die. Locke made the one thing that everyone will do once in life (either sooner or later) seem so simple, yet true. We do die, everyday someone new dies, just watch the news. But also, we never see it advertised, never. Although people often times bring up how life is so short, as well as the author, I must say that life is the longest thing you ever experience, think about it, what’s longer than your life? I don’t mean the things you’ve had before you were born; I mean your own life. Don’t compare your existence to someone else’s, just focus on your own world, and what you experience in life, and think about it, it’s the longest thing you personally ever have. But back to Locke, he points out a number of things people could sometimes waste their life on, or try to be a part of something that is longer than life. Like trying to please people; you’ll never please everyone because someone is always offended by something. Another point is that life is too short for worrying, which is true because if you spend all you time worrying what people think of you, or which cereal is healthiest, or which laptop is the best (Mac right Dave) then you’ve basically wasted time in your life that’ll never be restored.

Let’s fast-forward if we may to what is really important in life, or what it means to be human, and that my friends is power! This according to Locke is the greatest gift ever to seduce the powerless. This holds true to an article I read on Wikipedia’s economic power, which basically says that those with more money, have more power, and they use their wealth to get people to do what they want (i.e. this article on the website mentioned bosses threaten to fire an employee if orders aren’t being followed). The most powerful thing that has ever been invented really launched in the 1990s was the internet. Even though the internet was around since the 1960s (check out this timeline of the internet story that Joy mentioned) it didn’t start to take the world by storm until the early 90s. In fact many people weren’t into it excepts geeks, and maybe loners at first, since so many businesses ignored it, many regular people were attracted to it; not just many, but millions for some reason, and this brought the question of why are so many people interested in this “internet thing?” Probably because the internet like Locke said became a place where people could communicate, and not be censored. It was just easier also because you said whatever you wanted to, you just had to be ready to back up your answers, but in person when you’re face to face with someone you sometimes have a loss of words, or may be nervous to the point you can’t back up your argument, and people think you’re lying. On the other hand if you are telling the truth people still sometimes like to challenge you to see if you’ll fold. Like Deanna said the internet is an escape from real life issues, to a world of fun. You can go into chat rooms, make new friends, or play games, whatever! And yes Deanna it is easier to type something, rather than ever having to say it.

So what’s so special about the internet? Like I stated earlier, you could communicate without having your words, or ideas twisted. Blogs are a great example of how free we are to say what we want. It’s like anyone could have one, you don’t have to be an executive or a computer geek because everyone has one. Rosie O’Donnell, is (or at one point was) a celebrity who even shares this world of technology with regular everyday people. Not only does the internet give you denotative meaning to things we research, but as Locke stated, for every encyclopedia entry there’s a website for it, and a website for the things we just imagine (i.e. cars, peaceful places, art, etc…). Overall, the internet is a place that allows you to feel connected to the world by the click of a button. A good website that displays how people use the internet is called How do people communicate online which basically reveals the ways people communicate on the web is by sending emails, using AIM to send instant messages, there are message boards that keep people connected, and so fort, which brings me to the last point I made, the internet keeps us all connected by the click of a button. When I post this assignment, many people will be informed from what I have written, just as I’ll be informed with their posts. So the internet is not only a way of communicating, but also a way of gaining knowledge.