Monday, May 9, 2011

Collaborative Consumption: A Mouthful of Meaning

     Upon enrolling in EMAC 6374 at UTD, I did not know I would be making a life-altering choice. As cliché as it sounds, it happened. After reading the first few chapters of Rachel Botsman and Roo Roger's book, What's Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, I was inspired. I made all promises of recycling at the beginning of the semester, cutting my entertainment and needless spending budget, and I posted my bedroom ad information from (a company I learned of in the book) on this blog. I was pumped and ready to roll.
     However, needless to say I was not 100% successful in all of my efforts. I still haven't started recycling, and I have probably spend double what I should have during unplanned escapades and tipsy shopping sprees. Therefore, I propose a second edition of What's Mine is Yours: A Dummies Guide to Collaborative Consumption. Yes, the former was very informative of the different ways people can participate in collaborative consumption, and efforts many have made to live in such a way. However, a second edition might address those who are just starting, or have weak will power.
     Regardless of my weak will power, I managed to keep up with my Airbnb profile, and I have had four guests so far. I have made close to $800 through Airbnb rentals, and this has helped me tremendously to pay bills and rent. I have met a commercial real estate agent from Oklahoma, a health foods business owner from Austin, a Utah professor, and a girl from Australia trying out for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. I love the connections and experiences created through collaborative consumption. Some people worry about strangers stayin in their home, but strangers live next door, and some of my neighbors are severey creepier than that of the Airbnb community. I have enjoyed everyone I have met on Airbnb, and I consister it to be a great way of networking. Airbnb has literally changed my life. I even learned towel origami from YouTube so that I can fold towels into cute animals for travelers. 
     However, being a host is not always stress-free and fun. I still have to make sure the bedroom is clean, towels and sheets are washed, the rest of my house isn't a complete wreck, and that I don't walk around in my long johns around the apartment. People expect certain things when they pay for a room. There are also things to be expected of a guest, so I created legal addendum documents for keys, bedbugs and lice, the treatment of my dog, damages and liability of both parties property, and optional accomodations for photogarphy and video. Overall, I enjoy hosting, but it does add certain stress levels, especially during busy times in my life. 
     I also joined, and now frequent the website of Craigslist. Freecylce isn't a problem, because eveyrthing is free, however on Craigslist there is just one free section. I always check the free section first, but somehow I end up wandering to all my favorite non-free sections: furniture, household, and tickets. Sometimes I even view "all for sale items." Ok, it happens every time. I save money on individual items, but end up spending the same amount of my budget because I don't want to pass up a good bargain. Collaborative consumption is becoming my addiction, in all the wrong ways. I even overbooked on Airbnb, just once, but it happened. I tried to get as many guests in my place as I could, but it was not logical. I still believe people can be just as greedy and selfish participating in collaborative consumption. For instance, travelers on Airbnb want to save money, and hosts wat to make money. Freecyclers just want to rid their space of crap (they obviously don't want anymore), and other Freecyclers just want to save money. Craigslist users just want all kinds of different things, which is a whole different blog topic. However, a little greed is just part of human nature, so there is no formula for solving that. Perhaps a little greed is what makes the layout work. I do think collaborative consumption is the lesser of two evils when compared to superficial people and mass consumerism. People at least pretend they are giving away something for the greater good, when in reality they just want it gone. Maybe I'm a pessimist, but that seems to always be the case. 
     I have found that I was very enthusiastic about giving nice items away when I first opened my accounts, but after people took my nice and valuable things in the blink of an eye, I started wondering if I could have gotten any amount of money for them. Greed takes over every time. I suppose I felt slightly better knowing that some person more unfortunate that me might be getting use out of items that were just sitting around my apartment. As previously stated, I love the idea and act of collaborative consumption; I just need a stronger will power. I need to realize that just because I am getting a bargain doesn't mean I should purchase an item, and just because it's free doesn't mean I should "find a use for it." Of course, easier said than done. 
     My ultimate goal is this: find a happy medium between what I really need and what I really want. The challenge is not overcoming an urge for an outrageously priced item, but rather the urge for multiple cheap and thrifty items. Collaborative consumption does not serve its full purpose if money isn't being saved. I just need to live according to this fact: just because it is collaborative doesn't mean it isn't some kind of consumption, and when you're poor college folk, you mustn't consume much of anything (except food and water).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


So, I had originally planned to create a story/narrative regarding a girl dressed in trash, who carries it with her always. After working on it all week, and all last night (I barely slept), I decided to go another route. Which, turned out to be a good idea. It turns out, the "Seven Deadly Sins," are used quite often in our society. All of these sins can make you spend money. Corporations are just relying on you to feel one of these, and then go impulse shopping. My ultimate goal is to take inspiration from these images, and create ads of my own for my portfolio, representing how each sin might be used in advertising today. Whether people have Christian beliefs or not, these seven acts people commit in society always create a negative end result for anyone. It is wise to not fall into the trap of committing any of them, especially when seeing advertising, because it allows the advertisers exactly what they wanted - your money. Whether Christian, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic, Darwinist, or whatever else, not committing these acts helps society in general.

For those unfamiliar with the Seven Deadly Sins, here is Wikipedia link: Seven Deadly Sins.

It really inspired me to show various pictures by different artists for my still image response. This provides a better idea of how I might formulate my final portfolio still image. Click on images for bigger and better quality.
 Let's start off with this picture. It combines all the seven deadly sins together. From left to right you see sloth, wrath, gluttony, lust, pride, greed, and envy. I think it is interesting that the artist chose a gold background for the seven deadly sins, and the fact they are on clouds is too. This almost glamorizes the sins and presents them in a pretty manner. All the girls are pretty, and in a dream-like state. I think it is good though, because it shows how alluring sin can be. 

Examples (what could happen to anyone): 
Sloth: You're too lazy, you never do anything, and you rarely exercise. 
Result: You gain weight, annoy people with your laziness, never truly get out and enjoy life because you're too lazy, and you end up with cardiovascular problems resulting from your lack of exercise. Also, being too lazy is slightly depressing. 

Wrath: Wrath = rage. Any kind of rage really... roid rage, road rage, children rage, etc. 
Result: Well, this is pretty easy. You get out of control, have too bad or quick of a temper, and no one wants to hang out with you. Also, you could lose your job for lack of ability to hold your tongue, and you get in fights and break your body parts. Rage isn't good. Especially roid rage folks. In Abilene, Texas a few weeks ago, my grandmother told me this story: One man rear-ended another man in his vehicle. The man who got rear-ended backed up into the car and nearly drove the people off a bridge. Then both men got out with guns, and the man who got rear-ended shot the man in the car. Really? Over a bumper bender? This happened in Abilene, Texas? Insanity. Wrath causes insanity!

Gluttony: Now this is something we all have done - eaten too much! This is when we consume too much  food, and cannot eat any more. It's that feeling when you have to unbutton your pants before you even have dessert, but you eat dessert anyway. 
Result: Add this with sloth, and you have a serious health risk. I think we all know what happens when we eat too much. People feel horrible, they can't move, and sometimes are in pain because of it. Overeating is a serious problem.

Lust: Premarital carnal relations, casual carnal relations, frequent carnal relations, californication.
Result: STD's, AIDS, HIV, basically anything with capital letters that looks really scary and can cause health problems.

Pride/Vanity: Loving to look at yourself in the mirror, basically being vain.
Result: You become selfish, you're self-absorbed, you become shallow, no one wants to wait for you to hang out because you take forever to put your make-up on and you stare into the mirror for just as long to make sure it stays on. 

Greed: Definitely selfish, people who only care about anything they want, and they want to keep it all to themselves. They are not big on sharing. 
Result: You may not have any friends because you're so greedy with everything, you can also lose sight of important things in life, because you're trying to acquire so many material things, that you forget about people.

Envy: You basically want everything that anyone else has. You covet for things that are not yours, and you're never happy with what you have, you just want more and more. If someone else has it before you, then you're unhappy.
Result: Never being happy with what you have in life, but always wanting more instead. You could also possibly become a thief if you want things bad enough.

Here are works by a different artist, Marta Dahlig, from Poland. My take on each picture is captioned below each one, and each relates to our reading material, Collaborative Consumption. My approach to the topic will be more about awareness of the problems at hand that provide a need for collaborative consumption, rather than the precise actions and ideas of collaborative consumption. I am interested in how these core values are flipped upside down and used in advertising and every day life. 

This girl looks totally content, just swinging and blowing bubbles. It reminds me of a housewife. Not real housewives that actually deal with children, cleaning the house, cooking all day, and running errands. This reminds me more of the reality shows on television that portray being a "Real Housewife of Atlanta" as this glamorous lifestyle where women depend on men to make all the money while they spend it and do nothing. This picture emphasizes that tenfold. She's beautiful, obviously not real, but people strive for the look anyway, and is content in blowing her bubbles and swinging, possibly forever. However, it ironic that she is skinny, with her being so lazy and all, right? That's part of the alluring part of the sin. People in marketing use this strategy all the time: ''Come buy this, relax, and you won't feel a thing while you use our product!'' I also associate sloth with being numb, much like the numbing effect that some drugs give people. Drugs are definitely on the market, and people definitely share them. Many people like to feel numb or "zoned out." People sometimes don't want to feel at all, so they buy more drugs, feel more numb, and just lay there. People also want to find jobs and put in the least amount of effort into their work for the highest amount of pay. Society is lazy. Collaborative consumption provides ways of raking in a little more income for people who want it, and reach out and get it. Most people pretend like they are working at their jobs, most of the time. However, there are those that actually work to their fullest, always. We are talking about the majority here though. Also, sloth sheds light on recycling in an abstract way. Corporations are more focused on profit than environmental issues. People are too lazy to find out how to recycle, but merely throw things away because it's faster and easier. 

This girl is beautiful, and looks pretty awesome to feel so angry. She has what appears to be a whip in her hand, that she might be planning to beat someone with. Most people, when they get angry, they go do something to get their mind off of the situation. Many people go shopping out of anger to make them feel better, go eat out of anger, or go drink out of anger. Anger helps companies, and companies like when you're angry, because it provides more ammunition for that sale. When people are angry, they do not think clearly, and impulse buy much easier and faster. Anger causes people to want revenge. For instance: a guy cheats on a girl, the girl gets angry and wants revenge, the girl goes out and buys a cute outfit to wear in front of the guy and his new girl. The situation is so cliché, but it happens all the time. Why not borrow an outfit from a friend? Because anger wants a new outfit.

This poor girl is a little more overweight than the rest, but she still manages to dress up and be pretty. Eating disorders are everywhere. Not just for eating too much, but eating too little as well. Many people eat when they are depressed. Everything is better in moderation, but many people do not live by that phrase. Everyone consumes way more than they need: food, drugs, pills, alcohol, products, toys, etc. We are mass consumerism, and businesses love it. 

It is no secret to anyone that sex sells. People are always lusting, women and men. People go to movies to see their favorite actors and actresses, and they usually aren't ugly. It is typical that this picture portrays a woman who has long, flowing hair, a slender form, a red dress (a color of passion) with a sleeve hanging off,  a waterfall in the background that obviously signifies a rush of temptation, and the fire in little icons surround her that ignite everyone's flame within. Of course it is no surprise she is as tall as a model and resembles one. Lust is a big reason people buy things as well. People lust and long for clothes and material things as they lust for other humans. Businesses rely on lust heavily, and probably use it in advertising above all other sins.

We just talked about how sex sells, and because it sells, people become vain. People want to resemble the people in advertisements, billboards, movies, and television shows. They want to look like celebrities look, only when they are airbrushed. These kinds of looks are not possible, but people become so vain in trying to accomplish the impossible anyway. Some people won't go to the mailbox without make-up on. There is a show on television, My Strange Addiction, about strange addictions people possess. One lady on the show would wake up and take an hour to put on her make up. She had done it all of her life. If you cannot love yourself how you are, how can anyone else? Advertising uses vanity to its advantage as well. Advertisers know people want to look their best, and so they emphasize the signs of aging to sell age-defying creams and lotions. 

Diamonds surround this character. She is in a beautiful dress, everything around her is gold, she is sitting on a throne, and she is covered in extravagant, gaudy jewelry. This picture says to me, "she wants it all and has it all." A person may simply take a stroll through the Northpark Mall to witness such greed. People can also drive through the richer parts of dallas and witness seeing luscious, extravagant, elegant homes, with landscaping costs worth half of their house payment. Society now wants bigger, because bigger is better. The more you have and own, the bigger your house, the nicer your car, and the money you have produces a higher social and economical status. People are greedy. Everyone is greedy about something.

The snake wrapped around the woman's neck signifies the serpent in The Holy Bible who envied the people in the Garden of Eden, and God himself. The girl is in a forest type setting, and has two curly horns of hair sticking out from her scalp. It shows the girl in a plain dress, and perhaps she wants something more. She wants everything but what she has. Her glare even says, "I want what you have, give it now." For those who know not the story: God created man and woman and placed them in the Garden of Eden. They could help themselves to whatever they please, except the tree which produced apples - the tree of knowledge. The woman listened to a serpent (the devil in disguise) and ate from the tree. They were then banished from The Garden of Eden and given heavy burdens to carry. They were then knowledgable and went on their ways. This is where all the sins started. In today's society, people pay outrageous mortgages for houses they cannot afford, pay ridiculous credit card debt for items they want, and people can never get enough. Advertising thrives on this.

This picture illustrates what most people see when they are driving down the road, but don't realize it. Turn right, where you can buy some pride, or turn left up ahead for a plate full of food you cannot possibly eat in one sitting, but you can try! The advertising is everywhere.

The media even glamorizes the seven sins. The sins are sexy, sins are a look, wait - sins are a style!. This ad below is from a television show called America's Next Top Model. They used the sins to promote the next "cycle" of the show. The girls are actually in coffins, as seen in a close up of "greed" below this photo. I'm pretty sure being in a coffin would freak me out in general, but to be representing a sin in a boisterous way would set me off my rocker. Of course, models don't care and do anything to get fame or paid, so here it is folks - the fourth cycle of ANTM! Feel free to commit with us!

There is even a line of wine now, with individual bottles and tastes for each sin. Pick which sin you're going to commit today, and drink up folks. Do you feel angry, lazy, or lustful? We have a wine for that.

And don't forget to buy a mug with your favorite sin on it, you won't need a wine glass for that wine. Then, instead of having to tell people what wine you're drinking, just show them your cup! Drink up society, take a big gulp.

Works cited: 
Image sources from top to bottom: 


2. All Marta Dahlig art from:


4. ANTM:
Greed ANTM:



Monday, February 28, 2011

The Academy Awards

So, I watched the Academy Awards, with a few other Americans last night. I really enjoyed it. I thought there were more pros than cons to the event, such as, Alice in Wonderland won best costume design and best set design. I loved that movie! I was pleased with most of the awards, including the Black Swan Awards. However, we all know what people rave about regarding the Oscars - the dresses! So, I have decided to write down my own thoughts, then Google the fashion experts to see if I'm in line with what they say. I thought it would be fun.

Best Dressed:
Anne Hathaway: I think she looked amazing all throughout the night, and her personality made the dresses even better.
Reese Witherspoon: Classy, love the cut, and your hair was awesome.
Mila Kunis: I thought she was beautiful, and the dress accented her perfectly.
Hallie Berry: She just looked amazing.
Hilary Swank: I loved her flowing, feather-like dress. It made me happy.

Worst Dressed: 
Cate Blanchett: I don't even know what to say about this dress. You should have stuck with something from Lord of the Rings. Yes, it would have been re-worn, but not looking recycled from Easter candies.

Jennifer Hudson: Did you tan yourself? I swear I see tan lines...where there should not be tan lines. You have beautiful color as it is, and you seriously have me wondering if you tan. Please never wear that low-cut of a dress to the Oscars again, it is tacky girl.

Helena Bonham Carter: Girl, I love you, and I love every movie you're in. I also love your husband's work more than I can state. However, I was not loving your outfit. I know it's edgy like you and all, but leave it at home hun. We know you're crazy and all, and we love you, but keep the crazy clothes in the closet.

Marisa Tomei: I know what you were going for, but you missed. The dress was really unflattering and fit very awkwardly. I thought you could have found a much better vintage dress. At least it was black, and helping with thinning.

Annette Bening: You looked beautiful sitting down, but standing up your dress just like a sea of sparkles hanging off your body. The dress did not give you much shape or figure. The hair was slightly scary too.

Here are some sources that agree or disagree:

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Airbnb + What's Mine is Yours: Changing Lives for the Better

      So, after reading the intro and Part One of What’s  Mine is Yours, by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers, I have basically changed my way of viewing life. I know it sounds cliché that a book has changed my life, however, it is a true statement. I always knew that I owned a bunch of crap and had a hard time getting rid of it, but now I have so many questions to ask myself about why I keep it. My storage needs a storage! The book states:
"If you put out your arms, you create about seven square feed around you, That is roughly how much self-storage space there is for every man, woman, and child in America. It means every single person in the country could comfortably stand together inside self-storage units."
I don't want to be that person. Granted I do not pay for storage anywhere, I just cram it into my apartment storage closet.
      I even have two iPods. I have a first and second generation iPod Touch. I just gave one to my best friend, Sofia, because I realized I will never use two of them, even though it is a nice idea. I am giving her the second generation, which is SOO awesome! It has newer features, and cooler specs, but after reading this book I realized it was frivolous of me to keep two, and a little selfish, when my best friend only has a pathetic little shuffle. But how do we, as Emerging Media and Communications graduate students, not want the newest, neatest, or most interesting gadgets? Is this act of wanting gadgets acceptable because this is our field of study? After reading this, I wonder, what items are justifiable to want and which are not? I know what is a want of my own, and what is a need, but that isn’t the issue at hand. The issue is: what is acceptable to my conscious to purchase and have, but not need?
      I also vowed to start recycling more, like at my apartment, and to give more to Goodwill than I already do. But then I thought: how do I feel that Goodwill charges the poor to have the clothes I donated? Why not just go knocking door to door to find people who need them, and give clothes for free? This collaborative consumption idea has me thinking about all kinds of things, such as: where to buy my groceries, goods, furniture, decorations, dog food, etc. Why not buy them online from Etsy users, or from people on Amazon or Ebay? I don’t mind big businesses, I know they donate and give so much to the world in the sense of jobs and low prices, but I do like the idea of trading goods with others. I reminisce about how people used to interact: I do this deed for you, or give you this, you give or do something back for me, and we’re even. However, it cannot be that way anymore do to the progressive hyper-consumerism of society. 
      I do think it is sad that children growing up now have it embedded into their minds that "more is better." The book states:
"A child born today will live to about eighty years old and consume on average 2.5 million liters of water, the wood of 1,000 trees, 21,000 tons of gasoline, 220,000 kilos of steel, and 800,000 watts of electrical energy. At these rates, the average American child will produce in his or her lifetime twice the environmental impact of  Swedish child, 3 times that of an Italian, 12 times that of a Brazilian, 35 times that of an Indian, and 280 times that of a Haitian. If everyone on the planet lived like the average American child, we would need five planets to sustain them during their lifetime."
I know that I do not want my children growing up that way. I grew up knowing we didn’t have much and so I didn’t ask for a lot, but somehow my mother always found a way to surprise me when I least expected it. But you know what? Not having a lot as a child, then getting surprised with a few nice things, make you appreciate and take care of them more, versus if you got things all the time and expected them. 
      I am very interested in living my life better and being more conscious about what I buy/discard, and saving money. Everyone spends their disposable income to pieces, and people are never satisfied with what we have, but only want more to fill some sort of vortex void. I will continue writing about my efforts to change my lifestyle. 
      The first step I am taking is to rent out an extra room I will have in my apartment, because my roommate is moving out and getting married. I used from the book. I love the web site and I think it is a great invention. Thanks to this class I have found a way to help with income in these hard times. Let’s all pray it works for me. This is the listing for my apartment: 
I have a two bedroom, two bath apartment. Travelers will have their own bedroom and bathroom. The room has a walk in, big closet, with its own private large bathroom. The laundry room is connected to the private bathroom, so guests have easy access to it. The bedroom has a large window with 2-3 inch faux wood blinds. I provide a blow-up Queen-sized mattress (and of course, fresh bedding). I also have a covered parking spot for your vehicle. The neighborhood is very safe and friendly. The apartment complex also has a splash pad and playground for children.
*Note: I only have one air mattress. I have an oversized couch and love seat for anyone who would like to stay on them. I also have a 50lb mixed dog. If you are not a dog person at all, I would not recommend you staying here, as she loves people.
Optional Accommodations:
● Dogs up to 80lbs are welcome. Cats are loved, but not a good idea to have them at this time, as my dog is a one-year-old. Exotic animals can be discussed.
● I will also cook breakfast and dinner for travelers upon their request. Breakfast and dinner is an extra $20.00 per day (for the price of groceries). I am a true southern cook and I can get you full!
● I know the hot spots, and do not mind being a guide/help for your trip. I also own a media business, so I can take professional photos of you on your trip for $30.00 total. That is an outstanding deal for unlimited pictures throughout your whole trip.
  • No smoking in the house. I have a balcony for smokers.
  • No eating on the furniture.
  • No parties.
  • No mistreating my dog.
  • Just treat my house as if it were your own.

  • I have an addendum to sign for various reasons.
  • Upon arrival I will request the signature of adults, 18 and up, on the addendum forms. 
    • Lice & Bedbug addendum (stating if you bring them into the house, you will pay for the clean up) 
    • Key addendum (stating if you have a key, you will not make copies and will return it after your stay, or be in trouble. I only give keys to those who sign this addendum) 
    • Animal treatment addendum (stating you will not mistreat my dog or feed her, and you will pick up after your pet)  
    • Damages and liability addendum (stating if you break or damage something, you will pay to fix it, and I am not responsible for your injuries) 
    • Agreement of payment for optional accommodations (states if you want the optional accommodations, you will pay for them)
If you would like to write a recommendation for me and vouch for me on the web site so I can have more reviews, I would appreciate it!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Droid X Mission

I think the next mission my Droid X will conduct is to take over my brain. Last night I had a dream that I kept leaving my phone everywhere I went, and I went to find it in the ghetto, except I was walking, and the world was coming to an end. It was very strange. My GPS wouldn't work to get back home, and the ghetto kept getting worse because it was getting closer to nightfall. All of us (I don't remember who) had to run from the world ending and go through these strange sequences of obstacles to get to a safe planet. It was pretty weird. I wonder if the Droid X is trying to implant an invasion strategy into my brain. Oh, and in the midst of all of the commotion of the world ending, in one instance where I lost my phone, I went into a blown up Verizon and asked the employee if I could just go ahead and have an iPhone 4 as a back up because the world was ending and all. He told me no. I couldn't believe it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Last, Dedicated to the Class

This was my final list of people who commented and did not on my blog. I made a list of those who did and did not, and thought to do so in the Christmas spirit! These were the results for the semester:
Alan - 1
Amanda - 1
Andy - 1
Brianni - 3
Carol - 1
Danelle - 3
Kevin - 1
Kim Knight - 10
Lewis - 1
Mattie - 9
Meagan - 1
Nakoya - 1
Nick - 2
Olumide - 2
Samuel - 2
Sydnie - 2
Tameka - 1
Yvonne - 2

Alex - 0
John - 0
Mary - 0

FIRST PLACE: Kim Knight!
THIRD PLACE TIE: Danelle and Brianni! 

Sorry, I had to have a little fun with that. But honestly, thank you all for commenting, reading, and making this a wonderful class. In light of the Christmas season, I believe in giving. And sometimes, giving is just saying a kind word to someone. Therefore, I have decided to dedicate my last class blog to all of you, and give you each a kind word on my page. An honest, kind word. This is merely by alphabetical order, and what short snapshots I got from the class. 

Alan: You're an awesome and loyal Texas Ranger's fan and I high five you! (Virtually, of course). I think you stand for awesome morals and you're dedicated to your studies and work in general. I'm also jealous of your job - ha!

Alex: You're a quiet one, but you're full of knowledge and fun facts. You're also pretty hilarious. You're always back there in that chair, smiling about something going on. I really enjoyed when you would talk to me about something I had brought up, it always made me feel like someone was listening to me! Keep up the geekiness- long live the geekiness!

Amanda: I respect that you're proud, loud, and can be yourself no matter what stands in your way. You're so energetic and even though you bring the conversation out of focus sometimes, you always bring fun points to the table while doing so! I love your famous, "this is so off topic guys, but..." I know you're pumped about your job and I wish you the best in your exciting position!

Andy: You're just hilarious. I'm really happy you get my jokes and ridiculousness. Also that you love Invader Zim like I do. When you knew who Gir was, I knew it was instant friendship. You have awesome ideas and I thought your war collectors book was awesome. You're dynamic and smart and fun to be around!
Brianni: I see you as a beautiful, strong, intelligent woman, who always brings the conversation in class to a calming. You're like the mother bear that ends the fight and puts everyone in time out. Or a mother in general, having the last word when her children fight. I love it. It's like, "hush everyone, Brianni has spoken. This shall be so." Ha it's awesome. I have enjoyed you in class and your views.

Carol: I really enjoy your company and our conversations. You're passionate, smart, and a very deep thinker. I love how you dedicate yourself to your work and try to find new ideas. You do not let people step on you just because you have a different opinion than they do. I am glad you stand your ground and state your opinion no matter what. I've loved being in class with you!

Danelle: Thanks for putting up with sitting my me most of the semester. You're a fun roomie and I see how diligently you work on your studies. I know you're a woman of morals and you are a good one. You're always there for me when I need you. You're a great friend and classmate. I will also never forget our game of Cranium when you were humming to Nathan. Ha!

John: I just think you're so smart and intertwined in the depths and wires of technology, that you're bored with course work. That is my honest opinion. You should already be a millionaire. You're just really smart and laid back. I feel like you can read computers minds. You also have a quirky sense of humor.

Kevin: You're so passionate! That's an awesome quality to have. You're also very dedicated to your work, your beliefs, and opinions. However, you can be open-minded to the ideas of others as well. I think it is amazing that you ride the dart and do not own a car. That is so unique, and always makes you stand out in the crowd. It's very admirable that you do that.

Kim Knight: What can I say except that you're an awesome instructor! I really have enjoyed your class and everyone in it. I hope you have enjoyed everyone just as much. Instead of textsfromlastnight, we should have a web site called tweetsfromlastnight and dedicate to your EMAC classes. What do you think? Should I market it? Ha. I love your sense of humor and you do your best to stay unbiased about subjects in class, and let the discussion flow through the students. Thank you for this class experience.

Lewis: You're hilarious. I love your jokes and your sense of humor in general. Most people smile when they are telling jokes, but you usually make people think you'll say something serious, but it is a joke. I love being surprised by a good joke or funny line, and you always have them for me. I loved the Sinbad comment tonight, really took me back! You're just a funny guy and I love to see your opinions on gossip and anything else!

Mary: You're so quiet, then out of nowhere, you comment and you are heard! You are the ultimate geek. When I say geek, I do not mean that rude, that is a term of endearment coming from me. Without you, I would have never discovered Meebo, and I love Meebo!

Mattie: You're just awesome. What can I say? You're the top commenter on my blog, right under Kim, and that's just amazing in itself. I can't tell you how upset I am that my first two comments did not post. If I would have known that I would have been commenting earlier today. I will make it up to you! I do love to hear your funnies and contributions to conversations. I also love your bear pencils, those rock!

Meagan: Now the first thing that pops into my mind when I think of you is your presentation and aboriginals. I also find it hilarious that you and Lewis tweet each other when you sit next to each other. You're always smiling, you should definitely receive the happy award!

Nakoya: Oh girl, I just knew we were gonna be friends the first day of class. You are hilarious, I always love a joke coming from you, or anything for that matter. Seriously, if I need someone to put me in a good mood, I will come to you. There's just something about you that puts people in a good mood. Whether it be your humor or mad photography skills, it's something. You're awesome, and I can't wait for my Christmas photos!

Nick: Meagan gets the girl smiling award, and you get the guys! You're always cheesing when I talk to you. I know you were talking to Danelle tonight, and there wasn't a second you didn't have a smile on your face. You made me want to smile because you smile so much. You're always the first to finish an assignment, and that takes talent! You're ahead of the game, we could all take lessons for that!

Olumide: You're so funny. I think we have the exact same sense of humor. Is that calling myself funny? Maybe. Who knows? However, you should know that you are hilarious. Your presentation blog post just made my day. Your presentation in general just made my day. I think when we were in a group together we did grand. You're super!

Samuel: You're a cool cat as well. You used to hang out and sit by me and Tameka, but I guess you became allergic to us. Ha. We were a super analytical team in class ! You were the first person to friend me on Facebook from class! You're awesome and I'll always enjoy your Facebook posts, the ones I can ready anyway!

Sydnie: Oh geez, what can I say? You have so many amazing quotes from class that I can't just pick one. However, I think I'm going to have to go with, "Why you putting 22's on your car when you haven't even paid the car off?" Oh I couldn't stop laughing. I'm going to miss your opinions, jokes, and great ideas. Also your tweets of class.

Tameka: Well, you're my friend and classmate, this is something you know. Thanks for putting up with me all semester while sitting by me, and taking break walks with me to the candy machine. I always love our little traveling conversations. You always understand my humor, no matter what, and that takes someone awesome. I'm glad we're buddies!

Yvonne: You're such a beautiful, sweet, smart, and creative lady. I can tell you have culture, ethic, and morals as well. You don't let people get in your way of what you want to achieve, and you're not afraid to say it how you think. I wish I could have had more conversations with you. You're awesome!

Thank you all for commenting, and the wonderful discussions in class. Remember, without EMAC, we wouldn't have been there in class together all semester! I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Maybe we'll have more classes together!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Spy...

      My presentation for the week is based on multiple readings regarding locational privacy, rights for social network users, paranoia in the fiber optic age, and some form of privacy being reached by certain web sites.

Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics - Introduction by Wendy Hui Kyong Chun
      This piece started out very interesting, discussing the differences between freedom and liberty. The introduction also talked about a paranoia of believing data is ever erased from any electronic devices. Who is out there watching you while you're at school, an ATM, outside, inside, or in your car? This piece also discusses how fiber optics buried underground, all over the world, transform the world into a type of motherboard.
       Now people can also be watched at home on their computer, even if they are just playing Solitaire. I have a friend who once hacked into our mutual friend's computer and could watch what he did at any moment, and even delete his files or go through them. It had nothing to do with sharing internet connections, it was merely because of a program, a sniffer that the introduction talks about.
       After this section of privacy and wandering eyes, the introduction shifted to technology and the internet as sexuality, and paralleling it to electronics in sexual positions. I was a bit disturbed, intrigued, and lost during this time. I did enjoy the first section though.

A Bill of Rights for Social Network Users, Commentary by Kurt Opsahl
      This short article online suggests that users should be more aware of their privacy settings on social networking sites, and demand more control over them. This topic also rolls over into the next article.

On Locational Privacy, and How to Avoid Losing it Forever
      This is the article I mainly wanted to focus on, because this topic has blown up so big since this article was written in August 2009. It is a very interesting topic, and very creepy at that. To think that someone out there, you might not know who, and in multiple databases, has information about your locations. They might know where you ate that day, who you talked to, if you went to the doctor, what highways you were on and what time, if you were at work, at a hotel when you weren't supposed to be, and where you like to eat and how often. There are ways to get around locational privacy, but the companies do not want to participate in securing the privacy of users of applications. Every time you use your phone to find a place near you to eat, that is being written down somewhere. Why do they need to know where you're eating? To target you to spend more money, and to build the most popular businesses around the best areas for the market. Here is a question: is this good or bad? Would you like to have what you love the most right by your house? Or would it just encourage you to spend more money eating out and not cooking at home? What are the good and bad about locational databases?
Here are some questions from my Prezi Presentation.
  1. When do you consider locational data tracking useful/good?
  2. When is it invasive/bad?
  3. Have you thought much about this issue before now?
  4. Does this data sharing bother you?
The ironic thing about this questions, is that they are also data. This is not a closed, private site. So if you do not want to answer those questions in a comment, feel free not to.
This YouTube video relates to this topic.

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofit Organizations Can Use Social Media to Power Social Networks for Change
      However taboo this topic is, and even though I do not want to touch on it: the main message of the blog was understood. Women and men who have experienced abortion can go to the web site below and discuss their thoughts and experiences, and not be judged for them. They have an online community dedicated to those who have experienced abortion and need to reach out to someone. In the blog they do not use anyone's name, anyone's story, or even post the web site information. The site takes a stand against social media sites that share information. They are showing that an online community can be created and function, without the expense of the members and their personal stories and information.There is no personal information on the web site itself, and I found it pretty easily on Google, so "not finding it"  did not work.