Archive for September 2007

Barbacoa and Wikipedia…yummy!

I was completely clueless on where to start my Wikipedia adventure. Luckily, after searching Hello Kitty, only to find a huuuuuuge amount of information that already exists about on the precious little cat (who would have guessed that Wikipedia would already have so much info on Hello Kitty), I decided to search Barbacoa. I was hoping that there wouldn’t be a barbacoa page at all, but as Dave said in class…

“Wikipedia determines reality.”

If it’s real, it’s on Wikipedia. However, after reading the page about Barbacoa I found some errors (yay!!). As I jumped from link to link, I also discovered some errors on the Barbicoa page, and the Barbeque page. So…here are my first ever Wikipedia edits….drum-roll pleeeasessee. ( even my changes will probably disappear in a few minutes, because someone else will find fault in them…oh well, this is still my moment…let me enjoy it please.)

  1.    Barbacoa

    • I added “in a hole dug in the ground, covered in maguey leaves,” to the first sentence because it just said that it was in a pit covered in leaves. If you look at the barbecue page, it talks about the maguey leaves.
  2.    Barbecue
    • I changed the word Barbicoa to the word Barbacoa because the page for Barbacoa fits the description than the page for Barbicoa. I also added a link to the Barbacoa page (there was no link to the Barbicoa page).
  3.    Barbicoa
    • There was a bit of redundancy on this page. It gave the meaning of the word twice, so I deleted one of the meanings and moved the other one to the beginning of the paragraph where it gives the origin of the word.

There you have it, my not-so-but–maybe-kinda-sorta-significant contributions to the “Monstrous Prodigy,” also known as Wikipedia. So far it’s been almost thirty minutes and my changes are still there;it’s about time to celebrate.


Add a comment September 26, 2007

Not tech-savvy enough..what?!?

Far too often, we overestimate the knowledge of other people. In the case of Assignment Zero, the technological knowledge of the volunteers was definitely overestimated, and resulted in the loss of many potential contributors.

According to the article Did Assignment Zero Fail.., the site was too confusing for the volunteers. Many of them were lost as soon as they showed up. Too many of the volunteers did not know enough about the concept of crowdsourcing to actively contribute, and never came back after their first visit to the site. Maybe it is because they were not ready for Assignment Zero. As a whole, maybe they were not as tech-savvy as they would have liked to been.

“Baffled by the overarching concept of crowdsourcing, confused by the design of the website and unable to connect directly to a manager or organizer, most of the initial volunteers simply drifted away. “What we learned,” says Rosen, “is that you have to be waaaay clearer in what you ask contributors to do. Just because they show up once doesn’t mean they’ll show up over and over. You have to engage them right away.””

If all of the volunteers were as tech-savvy as the editors would have liked them to be, then the project would have run much more smoothly. Another option was to make the site much more user friendly; make it as basic as possible to make sure that everyone can understand what’s going on, and how to use it. In doing so, the whole concept of crowdsourcing would become more accessible to the general public. Whether or not that would be a good thing is questionable.

Add a comment September 20, 2007

Be whoever you want to be.

Smart Mobs brings up the question of the panopticon and our current technology. To what extent is technology surveying and controling our lives? According to professor Mayer-Schönberger, that line has been crossed.

“If whatever we do can be held against us years later, if all our impulsive comments are preserved, they can easily be combined into a composite picture of ourselves,” he writes in the paper. “Afraid how our words and actions may be perceived years later and taken out of context, the lack of forgetting may prompt us to speak less freely and openly.”

Everything you put online is open for the world to see. Employers check myspace and facebook accounts when hiring. We are constantly told to monitor our accounts, so that nothing we say can be used against us. In the same way that employers use myspace accounts to check for inappropriate behavior, they also view the positive aspects of that person’s online personality. However, it is fairly easy to create an online personality that is nothing like your real-life persona. That being said, how much should employers consider online social networks during the hiring process.

1 comment September 17, 2007

Polar Bears and Little Brothers

Planet Earth! Need I say more? Obviously for this blog, I probably should. I found this video while browsing through another one of my cute (I put that one in there just for you Dave) sites. Much like The Cute Project, Cute Overload plays tribute to the cuteness of the world.

 This has got to be one of my favorite scenes from the Planet Earth series. The opening of the scene is amazing as it fades down the mountain. I also love when the polar bear crawls out of the ice. I just want to give him a big ole’ hug. For obvious reasons, I would never actually attempt to hug a polar bear, and I strongly caution you against the idea.

No other nature series has drawn my attention as much as Planet Earth. I was actually able to sit down, watch, and enjoy the entire series with my little brothers (ages 7 and 13).  That in itself is an accomplishment. I can hardly get my brothers to sit still for five minutes, yet alone hours upon hours.  Any video that can make my little brothers stay quiet for a few hours while learing how beautiful our planet really is, deserves five stars in my book.

1 comment September 11, 2007

Blogs have feelings too.

When browsing through articles on the CNN site, I noticed an almost uncanny similarity throughout the pages. The articles contained all the facts, yet didn’t give any feeling towards the events. The blogs I read however were more apt to talk about the feelings of the families or people involved.

Both the CNN article and the Wake Up America blog about the trapped Utah miners give the facts about the accident and mention the famalies of the miners. The blog however uses the facts to place more emphasis on the families. The CNN article uses the facts to simply give the facts to the reader. Without directly saying it, the blog asks you to put yourself into the shoes of the families.

“The pain the families are feeling right now must be unimaginable. Not knowing for a fact one way or another and being told that they will not keep looking, the will never know if the men are really dead or not when the search has been given up.”

The writer is asking you to be human; to have feelings and to use them. In doing so, she brings a human aspect to the story, whereas the article on CNN article simply gives the facts in an almost robotic format. In the blog, you don’t get as many details and facts about the accident, but more of you become more emotionally involved.

2 comments September 6, 2007






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