Saturday, May 14, 2005


I contributed to the project by emailing press releases to museums and galleries. I also went to MoMA with Elena and Lania and helped check out some of the paintings.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

We need more people like long haired GNU guy

Before I go into the difference between Wal-Mart and GNU-Linux, I must first comment on the share holders meeting for Wal-Mart. How disturbing was that? “Give me a W!” Also, the guys in Revolution Open Source, although I liked them, kind of creeped me out. You know the first thing they did when they were done being interviewed was go home and play Dungeon and Dragons. Now that I have that off my chest…

I knew I hated Wal-Mart and this piece just justified my hatred. I understand that Wal-Mart wants to sell the cheapest products, but when it directly affects the American economy, I see a problem. I felt terrible watching the workers talk about their plants being shut down because they couldn’t compete with foreign companies who could produce a product for much cheaper. Megan described it perfect when she said that Wal-Mart uses fear to be able to have such low prices. Being a bully will make you the number one superstore, but it will almost make you hated by many. I guess you pick your poison and Wal-Mart has chosen to be hated, but hated with a lot of money.

The guys in Revolution Open Source see things very differently. They’re all about things being free and sharing and everyone participating. Now, that’s a concept I can get behind. Instead of bowing to the bigger companies, Microsoft, GNU-Linux opposes its dominance. I totally respect the long haired GNU guy and his ideas about sharing software. I love that he is all about doing what is best for the people. You really don’t see people who are willing to sacrifice money and ownership for the betterment of a product. Bill Gates obviously wanted his piece of the pie with that nasty letter he wrote. All he cared about was making sure that whoever created the software got paid. I guess that’s why he’s a billionaire. I don’t have a problem with people looking out for themselves, but if someone is willing to do something not for money, fame or power, I just really respect and admire them. Long live long haired GNU guy!!

Alexis talks about the push and pull aspect of business and how Wal-Mart has a pull system, while GNU has neither. Wal-Mart can just continue to pull if they want to and put American companies under. Rubbermaid and other companies were forced out of business because they just couldn’t compete with companies in China. It was reassuring to see that the company in Tennessee (was it Tennessee?) won its case against the companies in China. That gives me hope that maybe, just maybe things might someday change.

Well, even if things don’t change, at least there are still people out there like long haired GNU guy who really do care about the people. He doesn’t do anything just for himself, but he does it for everyone else and I think he is just amazing. And let me just end by saying that the song at the end of Revolution Open Source was wicked awesome!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

the longer the tail, the better

When I first read this assignment, to define The Long Tail, I had absolutely no idea what exactly I would be defining. It wasn’t until I saw the graph that I remembered that we had learned about this in class. The graph triggered my memory and I instantly remembered that The Long Tail is the phrase given to describe how a large amount of products will sell very little while a few products will sell a large amount. You would think that the few items selling a lot would produce the most income, but actually the many products that only sell rarely actually produce the most income. If this explanation is a bit confusing, you can look at this graph which makes it easier to understand. If you are still having trouble, check out Meghan's post. The Long Tail at the end of the graph is how a certain business makes its money. In class and in the Wikipedia definition, the example of was given. Amazon makes most of its money through The Long Tail. Justin Timberlake would probably appear in the red area of the graph, but items like Pat Benatar’s Greatest Hits , which I own and love, would be more likely to appear in the yellow area and along with other such items would bring in more income.

Certain factors have to occur for The Long Tail to be successful. Chris Anderson’s article talks about how Nexflix is able to take advantage of The Long Tail because it has an abundant amount of storage space to keep popular and unpopular movies, which Chris talks about in his post. A regular movie rental store doesn’t have that luxury because there storage is limited to just that store. It seems to me that many internet companies are enjoying the most success from The Long Tail. Without the restriction of a limited amount of storage space and the ability to store things for cheaper, they are benefiting from being able to keep random things in stock.

Although The Long Tail is beneficial to many companies, it can also hurt companies that aren’t able keep less popular things. The Anderson article mentions how companies with broader coverage could be hurt by smaller companies that focus on just certain things. The smaller companies are able to focus down their content and cover it better than the bigger companies.

Not only will The Long Tail benefit companies, but Anderson believes that it could also benefit culture. The Long Tail offers people more of a choice and the ability to pick and choose. Individual’s needs are more easily met and because of this the culture level is able to rise. Instead of the most popular things being forced down our throats, The Long Tail provides choices and choices benefit culture.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


A folksonomy is user created metadata and we all know that metadata is data about data. While taxonomy is something that would help you find information in a library, a set of specific classifications set up by a certain person or institution, a folksonomy is created by the people. Things are listed or categorized the way the specific person wants them to be and that is the biggest difference between a folksonomy and taxonomy. One of the main advantages of a folksonomy is that the users themselves get to label and structure their data whatever way they want. There is not a rigid system set in place that tells them how they are supposed to label it. If a person has a flickr account with a picture of a rabbit and they want to label that picture with the word cute, then they can do that. Under a more rigid system the rabbit would always be labeled a rabbit and nothing else. The words that people use to describe things are called tags. People can use many different tags to describe or label many different things. Chris points out the negative side to tags. He states that different people may use different tags to describe the same thing and that could be confusing. Jennifer also talks about this in her response and she gives a really great quote about the “ambiguity of tags.”

I went and looked at Gilbert’s tag and saw many different things. He has many different tags and each on represents something different. Under comedy, he has a clip from The Daily Show, but he also has a tag labeled The Daily Show which has different stuff. He could have easily put those two clips together under either comedy or The Daily Show. It’s really just a matter of what the specific person wants to do and that’s the beauty of a folksonomy.

The ability to organize our own data is the best part of a folksonomy. The people are given the power over their own data and are able to do what they want with it. Through a folksonomy, information is more easily accessible to the masses and people are able to share information more easily. Wikapedia was created on this concept of people defining things and being able to contribute to the defining of things.

I think Alexis makes a good point about companies and organizations getting on board with folksonomies and giving their employee’s the opportunity to, “navigate through company information.” The web is talking over every aspect of people’s lives and the sooner everyone, including companies, normal people, schools, etc, take advantage of all of the possibilities it offers, including folksonomies, the better off they would be.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Let's keep talking

One of the most interesting things I found in this chapter, although Alexis didn't like it as much as I did, was the newsgroup section. The entire time I was reading it I was thinking about Robert Scoble, who works for Microsoft, and how he uses his blog in the same way the Saturn employee did. The ability to speak directly to the consumers and talk truthfully about your company is a way to really connect to the consumers and gain their trust. I definitely think if more companies embraced this idea they would be better off.

Everyone has a voice and that voice is different and distinctive from everyone elses. Even through email or other ways that people talk on the internet, people’s voices are still heard. Sometimes it is hard to relay the exact way you want your message to be heard, like Miss M's blog also points out, but most of the time the receiver of your message understands what you are trying to say. But I bet we’ve all had those experiences when your message was misinterpreted and then you were in a fight with you friend because she thought you were being rude? Luckily for me, those moments are very few, but they do happen.

I personally find it easier to write someone an email then call them. Although the internet keeps us connected, I also find that it keeps us distant from each other. Sometimes I can’t believe that I would rather email someone than just call them up, but it’s almost like I don’t want to deal with having to actually talk to them. Email is so much easier and a lot quicker than talking to someone on the phone.

I also found the section on chat to be interesting. I’m not into chatting online and never have been, so I look at it and think it’s kind of weird. When I do think about what is actually happening when people chat online, like Levine, it amazes me that people from all over the world are able to talk to each other. This type of communication through the internet really is more real than any other form, like email. There are many different sites that people can go to if they want to join a chatroomm, including Yahoo!Chat.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Manage Me

The last chapter of the Cluetrain Manifesto started by talking about how the web is used as a way for people to communicate with each other, while this chapter begins with the question, “what is the web for?” I thought that was somewhat explained in the last chapter, but maybe I missed it.

Weinberger talks about how much people like to be in control of things and manage things. Maybe we like to manage things, but I think that the people who created the web and a lot of the people who enjoy using it have turned to the web because of the freedom it provides. Weinberger believes that although people do like the freedom the web offers, they also secretly like the strict professionalism that their jobs offer them. Alexis feels that professionalism is an important thing to have within an office because it brings people together. I think there is a push and pull that goes on within people. They want to be managed because it’s tradition, but at the same time, most people resent the fact that they are being managed. Not only do businesses manage, but people in general manage their whole lives. We don’t like it when things are unmanageable because that means we don’t have control. I agree with Weinberger when he says that the more people reach out to the web, the more they are saying that they hate their job. Everyone wants what they can’t have and some companies are making people fear the web. Just like chapter 1, chapter 2 is also saying that companies need to embrace the possibilities the web has to offer.

While I was reading about the way people act when they are at work, essentially the same as everyone else, I was reminded of the show The Office. Everyone who works at Dunder Mifflin dresses alike, sits at their desks and although some of the things that take place within this office wouldn’t take place at a real office, the feeling is still the same. Everyone shows up to do the same thing every day and not have their voices heard.

While many people believe that companies are the ones in control, Weinberger points out how companies can't be managed. Although they may think they have the conrtol, things happen that are out of their control and unmanageable. If a company that your company trade's with goes under or suffers a hard loss, then that affects your company. This idea reminded me of the "Unmade in America" essay. Lyon believes that this leaves the world open to a "global catastrophe. "

Self expression is something that Weinberger emphasis throughtout the chapter and Elena points out how the internet allows for people to show a different side of themselves that they can't necessarily show at work. She talks about Marshall McLuhan and how the medium is the message. The internet is the message.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Let's get connected

The entire time I was reading The Cluetrain Manifesto I was constantly shaking my head in agreement with everything that Christopher Locke was saying. I must admit that I am a couch potato who just sits and passively watches what the TV gives me. Although I am connected to the internet and have been for many years, I know I don’t take full advantage of all that it has to offer. Email is the way that I “connect” with people. I know that there is so much more out there and this class is showing me that. By creating my blog and checking out everyone else’s blogs, I am seeing the true possibilities of the web.

The internet is quickly becoming more than just a tool, according to E-Commerce News. More people are using the internet for entertainment purposes and it has passed television for the first choice in media. Instead of just using the web as a way to connect people, as Locke points out, people are becoming more receptive to using it for more "media- oriented" purposes. The web is continuing to grow and the way people use it is continuing to change. I can't even imagine how the internet will change and develop in 10 years.

Like Locke points out, the average person has things to offer and the web gives them that chance. Unlike a business, which is run by the few, the web was created on the concept of the many. Anyone can get connected and give their input. Locke believes that companies need to accept the internet and embrace the possibilities that if offers them, even if they feel that it is forcing them to lose control. Everyone is in this thing together and companies have nothing to be scared about. Locke repeatedly talks about how everyone is just human beings and if companies would just get over themselves, the web wouldn’t be so scary. In her post, Deanna talks about how companies are creating intranets so people within companies can communicate with each other. Companies need to accept all of the wonderful opportunities that the web gives them and by creating intranets they are heading in the right direction.

In class a while ago, when Gilbert was telling us about blogs and the freedom that they offered us, he compared, or contrasted them, to blackboard. While blackboard is watched over by, “The Man,” blogs are free. The school can censor and watch what we say on blackboard and the freedom we think we have is really non existent. The web is our opportunity to say what we want to say and be heard.

The internet makes me feel very connected to people. Thanks to Lania, I have started reading Rosie O’Donnell’s blog. I am now obsessed. I was a fan of her show, so I love reading her blog because it’s almost like her show is back, but it is much more personal. I feel like I know her. Instead of just watching her on TV and not being able to respond or give feedback, her blog gives people that opportunity. The fact that I have a blog and Rosie has a blog is just bizarre to me.

While I agreed with almost everything Locke said throughout the article, Joy found problems with Locke. I really do believe that the internet was created on the concept of knowledge and wanting it to be more available to the masses. Unlike Joy, I don't believe that everything comes with a price. The internet connects people, dispenses knowledge and makes everyone feel a part of the process.