Bradhuther’s Blog

Readings 5: Narrative
January 4, 2009, 4:29 am
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Article 1: Tone Language

I found this article to be very interesting because i learned something new. I had no idea that stories were being written on cell phones and am stunned by this new phenomenon. The stories written on cell phones are called Keitai shosetsu and are becoming very popular. This article discussed how people especially is japan have been going on their cell phones and writing about their lives and the lives of others. Apparently it is becoming pretty popular In Japan and their are websites created just for these stories. They write the stories as if it were a text message. By this i mean they use electronic emotional expression, digital slang lingo, and when reading them it sounds like the way they would talk. The stories are not in the formal, traditional form which is what really seperates them from other stories. I think its a neat idea but i would personally not due it. I feel like the only people that will really want to write these stories would need to have a phone with a full keyboard or else it would take forever to write a story.

1. What are your thoughts on Keitai shosetsu’s?

2. Do you think you would ever write a story on your phone? why or why not?

Article 2: Cross-Platform Storytelling

Cross-platform storytelling refers to engaging the audience viewing a tv show outside of the tv show. For example, there might be a certain book that a soap opera character wrote for purpose of the movie. Cross-platform story telling would enable the viewer of the show to go out and actually buy the book. Things like this make the show more enjoyable and the author of this article explains that cross-platform storytelling is important for a lot of shows. I think its a neat idea, but not really necessary from my point of view. One example i have actually been part of was for the show “Lost”. There is a character named Sawyer who seems to have funny nicknames for everyone on the island. The game i played was a nickname generator from Sawyer. You would type you name in, body type, hair color, etc. and click submit and you would have a nickname. It was a fun excersis but i feel like it did not really draw me to the show any more than i already was.

1. Do you cross-platform storytelling makes the viewer more “into” a show?

2. Can cross-platform storytelling be a useful tool for marketing tv shows and in turn making profit?

Article 3: Hill, Dan “Why Lost is genuinely new media”

Lost has done excelled in something most other shows did not, and thats interactiveness. There are so many sites on the internet that have to do with the show lost. This article really gave me a better understanding of why they do this and what the purpous is. It makes people feel like TV is more real and enhances their viewing experience. I was not aware of all the things television shows did to boost viewing enhancement. At the same time the whole concept is a little weird to me i guess because it feels like im “pretending” which is what i used to do when i was a child. However, if it enhances your viewing experience, i am all for it. I have not really gotten into any of these sites and activities more than a couple of times but I might take a look at it sometime now that this article made me more aware of how people really enjoy the show the better. I think interactive media is a great idea but it also at the same time, makes people become even more dependent on the computer than we already are. In turn i think that might be a good thing due to all the tasks we complete efficiently on a computer within minutes.

1. Have you ever experienced a website that makes the viewer feel like the show is more realistic?

2. Do you think interactive media will urge more people to use the internet to enhance their TV viewing?


Readings 4: Copyright and Creativity
January 3, 2009, 1:38 am
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Article 1: The ecstasy of influence: A plagiarism

This article taught me a lot about plagiarism and someone else’s perspective on it. It basically discusses history of plagiarism and copyright laws and how they originated. The consitution states the copyright protection law and how any work “copied” from another person must be credited. Plagirism can be directly related to music, art, and papers. There were multiple artists who stole lyrics from others, however some artists did not mind while others did. Everyone has a different view on plagiarism and it is a very touchy subject especially with the growth of the internet. This article discusses the different of gifts and how for instance a commons is something that belongs to all people. Plagiarism is a very touchy subject that can be hard to pin point. Having something copywriten basically allows you to work off of other people’s ideas or inventions but gives them credit for the original thought. There is an argument that if people did not work off each other’s ideas how would anything get done? For this reason i believe copyright laws are very useful and protect artists. I do agree that people need to work off of other people’s ideas but they need to give the originator credit and recognition.


1. Do you believe copyright laws are too strict?

2. Do you think people plagiarise by coincidence? By this i mean someone writes something that has already been written with knowing?

3. What do you think the difference between being influenced and plagiarizing are?

The Generational Divide in Copyright Morality

I enjoyed reading this article because it was right to the point and very clear on its main issue: Do people think piracy laws are too strict and do what extent do people belive it is okay to copy something. David Pogue spoke to a lot of different audiences and discussed the issue of piracy. When he first started studying piracy, he knew what it was and that it was illegal and saw no shades of grey. However, when he started talking to people about the issue, he began to see where people do show shades of grey toward the issue of piracy. he began asking multiple question about piracy and have people raise their hands wheather they disagree. He spoke to many groups of adults who tended to put their hands up a good amount. However, he also spoke at a college and almost all of the students kept their hands down. Why is this you may ask? As i see it, it has to do with age difference and the culture we grew up in. First, cd’s today are expensive and due to the large amount of schoolwork and lack of career work students put in, i think they feel like piracy is not that serious. Alot of students can burn music and easily get away with it. I think they figure if i have no money and want to have music why not just download for free and the chances of getting caught are not very high. Also since the internet was not as popular in the lives of our parents, they do not realize what we do on the computer and are not aware that music can be downloaded for free and illegally so easily. Due to the lack of usage of the computer and internet between older parents and young kids, they are on a totally different level of computer knowledge. Also the article talked about people copying dvd’s from other sources or the television. The question involving this issue yeilded the same results.

1. Why do you think the adults raised their hands disagreeing with the senarios David spoke of but the college students did not?

2. Is it too easy to download music and movies illegally on the computer?

3. Do you record stores and movie stores are hurting because of the amount of piracy going on in the world today?

Lessig, Lawrence: watch this 20 minute presentation on youtube

This video was pretty interesting and informative on the issue of piracy. It discussed how creativity is being subsidized because of the government and the internet. Lawrence seemed to come across as a pretty liberal guy to me who thinks that people and the government are making piracy too big of a deal. I do agree with his point about creativity being challenged by piracy laws epseicaly over the internet. He discusses there needs to be some type of balance. I think that content like the videos he showed are fine because the songs are derived from someone else who already has recognition from them. I do believe however, if someone is going to make a video like the ones we saw, they should still include a small note such as “this song was originally performed by (Artist and song name). It is hard to enforce such a law because of all the endless numbers of spoofs on the internet already. I think what is done is done and maybe the governement should make internet websites require their submitters to properly cite their sources for their creative clips and images. The internet really complicates the plagirism issue and makes it hard to enforce it. I agree with Lawrence when he says the laws are not “balanced” and need to be more clear about what is okay especially on the internet. I do believe internet art should be cited more properly and they should try to figure out a way to tighten that enforcement.

1. Do you think that anime cartoons or “remixes” should be properly cited?

2. Do these remixes infringe copyright laws in your opinion?

3. How do you think plagiarism can be more effectively controlled on the Internet?

Picture Analysis
December 31, 2008, 12:03 am
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Picture 1

I think the meaning the person in this picture is trying to portray is her love for the baby in her arms. She has a big smile on her face with the baby on her lap and she is smiling looking very happy. I think she wanted people to see that she has a baby in her life and to prepare that if someone ever met her, they had to accept the fact that she had a child. Her profile does go consistent with her picture because it says she is divorced and there is a sad song in her profile. I got the idea that she is a single mom who has been through a lot and her profile said she is looking for new friends and not a relationship. It also says she is a proud parent which leads me to believe the child in her lap belongs to her.

Picture 2

This girl’s default picture is a typical picture of a young girl on Myspace’s default. As we read about previously, it is a self portrait that is slightly manipulated. It is a pose of her trying to look cute in the mirror of her bedroom. She wrote “sexy J” across the picture in an attempt to relate the word sexy with herself. She probably wants guys to look at her picture and see the words sexy across and say “yeah she is sexy”. I feel like a lot of younger girls do this because of the world we live in and how image is so important. This girl obviously feels image is important and wants to look “cute” for the world. I think her profile does coincide with her picture because her profile is very girly and artsy with an interesting artistic view of sunglasses on the background. I would defiantly guess her profile to be one of a younger teenage girls.

Picture 3

This picture tells me that the girl and her significant other are happily together. Often a lot of people will post default picture of them and their significant other to show other people that they are happy and taken so as to tell people not to hit on them! Perhaps she also wanted to show her boyfriend that she was not afraid to put up a picture of him and her together and maybe proves that she has nothing to hide. I would not be surprised if his profile had a picture of them together as well. Often times when one of people in a relationship puts a picture of each other up together the other feels obligated to do so. Her profile goes along with her picture because she seems like she is very into her boyfriend and happy to be with him. It is filled with merry Christmas greeting and the background is full of snowflakes. It gives me the feeling of a good couple who spent a great Christmas together…

Picture 4

I think this picture of this girl was to show off her body. She knows she has a nice body and is fit and wants the world to see. She wants people to recognize that she excels in the excersise program and is more fit than a lot of other girls. She is holding her abs which attract attention to them for people to see. She is looking up into the air as if trying to make a more sexy pose such as a professional model would do. Perhaps she likes the beach which is why she chose her default picture on the beach. Her profile is consisten with her picture as well because it is very girls and “pretty” to the eye. Since she probably assumed her picture looked pretty, she probably made her profile that way.

Picture 5

This guys profile screams of ghetto fabulous. He is dressed in baggy clothes, wearing shiny “blinging” accessories, and there is a bunch of rap tracks playing the background. He is standing in a pose that could be considered as “tough” and has some type of writing on the side of his profile. He wants people to see that he wears nice clothes and likes fancy things but at the same time lives the “hip hop” lifestyle. He consideres himself to be a DJ and all of his pictures are of him in a particular pose with some type of writing along side of him saying “NOVA” which is his stage name. His profile goes along with his pictures 100% by the rap music playing, and the headphone and DJ equiptment background. He also has words saying I love hip hop and music all over his profile.

Keen Vs. Weinberger: Text
December 30, 2008, 11:16 pm
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Keen vs. Weinberger (text)

This argument which was transcribed into writing, was about two people who seemed to have very different attitudes toward the Internet: Mr. Keen and Mr. Weinberger. Mr. Keen seemed to trash the web 2.0 and Mr. Weinberger seemed to favor it and defend it any a number of different arguments throughout the discussion. One of the issues that came up was that there were too many voices from people who did not know enough about what it was they were talking about. Mr. Keen often refers to these people as “monkeys or cockroaches”. He believes that these people talk too much about insignificant things that do not matter and from the impression I got, should not even be part of the discussion at hand. He believes that the Web 2.0 gives people a false belief that they always have something interesting to say when in fact, they don’t. He think people are becoming too into themselves and thinking they are smarter than everyone else because of the things they are able to say over the Internet. The argument also states that the web is not a good source of news or information because a lot of the sites allow anyone to post topics up and participate at the discussion or event at hand. He believes the traditional ways of getting news and information is much more reliable and efficient than the web 2.0. He believes the media is flattened over the web because it is free. The issue of talent also was brought up over the Web 2.0. The argument of books and articles came up and discussed what method was better for publishing and writing: the Internet or traditional books. Anyone can post up a video of themselves singing or playing the guitar and Mr. Keen believes it takes away from the really talented people. The same concept goes with visual art as to who is credible or not for their works of art. I personally disagree with Mr. Keen on just about everything he said and would have defended Mr. Wienberger’s arguments because I believe Mr. Keen is taking the issue far too seriously. I think everyone has a right to say what they want and do what they want. America is the land of freedom and I believe the Internet lets us exercise that right. If someone wants to put up a video of themselves dancing or singing, whats the harm in that? I would be pretty happy if I put up a video of myself singing and I had talent agents calling me asking me to sign multi-million dollar contracts. I don’t see the harm that Mr. Keen implies on the Internet and I think he is making far too big a deal about it. He should give it another try and embrace it and I think his opinion would change.

  1. Do you think that the internet is a useful tool in finding talent?

  2. Do you agree with Mr. Keen when he said “Web 2.0 transforms us into monkeys”?

  3. Who would you side with more if you were part of this argument? Why?

Reading Assignment for 1/1: Reading assignement 3 part 2: DIY and Web 2.0
December 30, 2008, 10:42 pm
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Boutin, Paul “So you want to be a Blogging Star”

    Helft, Miguel “Great Photo on Flickr? Getty Might Pay You For It”

    Salkin, Allen: “Why Blog? Reason No. 92: Book Deal”

    Smith, Ethan, and Lattman, Peter: “YouTube Phenom Has a Big Secret”

    Blood, Rebecca “Weblogs: A History and Perspective”

    These 5 aritcles talked about how the internet can be a useful tool in order to get your opinion or talent on the internet and seen by the public. Blogging is a great way to express youself on the internet and there are many topics you can blog about: some funny, policitac, interactive, automobles, etc. Blogs can even be about companies or businesses. A lot of blogging effects people’s views about a certain topic or can help them with a problem. Webblogs are becoming very popular and are in tons of people bookmarks in their internet explorers. The second article discussed Getty and flickr merging together for a particular event/ contest. Getty planned to monitor Flickr’s website and comb through people’s pictures and art and pay them to use their art. This is another great way to get your work known over the internet and make some money. The third article explains how blogs can be turned into books. Someone wrote a blog about what white people like and it became a big hit! Because of this talent agents go onto blogging websites and look at people’s blogs in order to make books. This is another great way to get your ideas out there and make money off of them. The fourth article is about Youtube and a girl named Marie’ Digby who was a talented singer and posted herself singing on the internet. Word got around of her talent and tons of people started viewing her videos. Eventually a radio station even saw them and talent agents were bidding on her for a contract! All of the 5 articles I read basically described how the internet can be a powerful tool into getting your talent/work/interests out there and make money or even fame off of them. In addition, all of these people who’s work gets recognized do not pay a penny to put their stuff on the internet. Its a win-win situation!

    1. Why do you think the internet can be such a powerful tool into getting recognition?

    2. Do you think the Getty-Flicker contest is fair to paid photographers who try to make money off of their work? Esepcially since Flickr is a free service.

Reading Assignement for 12/30: Part 1 of Readings 3: DIY and Web 2.0

The Machine is Us/ing Us

The computer has become a major part in the life of everyone that helps us and harms us in many ways. This was a very creative video that showed some of the functions the computer preformed and what it does that makes us want more. Digital text is very different from written text because not only does it contain meaning, but it also could contain links that send us in other directions. The world of the internet is very complex with many different stems that branch out to different things. For example the word angry might be underlined in an article read online. You can scroll over the word “angry” and a window could pop up explaining what angry is or it could link us to another page explaining anger. I think the video was trying to show us that the computer learns from us by monitoring what we look at. I’ll use face book as an example of this. Tons of people use Facebook especially college students. The people who work for Facebook could see how many people click on the link every day, showing its importance. Also, it could even see what we write to people because a lot of the things we put on Facebook are available to the public. In my opinion, this video basically was trying to show us how the computer can be dangerous and how it hold such an important role in our lives. It also was showing us how the computer and the internet are very powerful tools that are readily available and can be used to our advantage or disadvantage depending on how you look at it.

1. What did you think the main point of this video was and what it was trying to display?
2. Do you think that the things we do on the computer or more monitored than we think they are? By this I mean do you think there are people on the other side watching what we do online at all times?

Watch this 10 minute video of Clay Shirky

(based on his book Here Comes Everybody for which there is also a blog, FYI)
The central theme about this video was love and helping others. Clay Shirky explained how the internet can be a very powerful tool into helping other people, voicing opinions, and innovation. He explains how he believe through commenting on message boards and blogging for companies can help give businesses better ideas for innovation and restructuring their companies. He compared these concepts to a Japanese shrine that was constantly being rebuilt as tradition to holy grounds. He explained how the internet and message boards are constantly rebuilding on ideas and concepts and keeping them going. He also explains how love is important as is caring and sharing. The central idea of this video was about how networking can help other people with problems as well as innovations for businesses, corporations, and companies. I do believe that networking could help businesses and it also makes the general population be more involved in their company. It gives people a sense of self-worth. I am for the idea of Pearl and message boards and think it’s a great way to safely voice your opinions and suggestions.

1. Do you think message boards and blogging for companies is an effective way to promote innovation?
2. Something that came to my mind when watching this is if someone posts something on a companies message board and the company that reads it puts that person’s suggestion into effect, will people be wanting recognition of their suggestion?

Read the Wikipedia entry on Do It Yourself

Do It Yourself refers to depending on yourself to complete a task rather than depending on other people to do it for you. The article argues that there were always people who were handy and did things themselves such as repair men, and there were also people who spent money to have people do something for them. The people who would spend money to have something done for them greatly exceed the number of people who do it themselves. Before the computer, do it yourself mostly focused on manual jobs around the house and business. Do it yourself People would perform repairs around their house or business would hire outsourced people to perform different tasks. However, with the growth of the internet, do it yourself has been given a new broader meaning. There are websites that strictly focus on doing things yourself, as well as magazines. If someone has a question about how to fix a sink that is leaking they can simply go online and post an entry on a message board and within minutes, could receive a number of different responses from other people who specialize in sink repairs. Not only does this save people money, it also gives them knowledge from people who specialize in the repair or learned from trail and error. Not only does online do it yourself websites help people, magazines and television shows strictly focus on projects. They help people get a better understanding of the task at hand and give them an insight as to how to approach the problem. I think do it yourself websites, TV shows, and magazines are great interactive tools that help people save money and gain knowledge.

1. How has technology change the “do it yourself” attitude?
2. Since the growth in popularity of the internet, do you think more people have been attempting projects by themselves rather than hiring people?
3. Do you think “do it yourself” websites could help businesses?

Listen to the first two excerpts of James Surowieki’s book:Introduction to The Wisdom of Crowds (MP3 downloads)

These excerpts were about an anthropologist/scientist who specialized in statistics named Fracis Galton, who tested the genealogy of people. There was a contest going on in town that involved guessing the weight of livestock. There were trained butchers and farmers guessing the weight but at the same time, the majority of the people were not experts in the area and just common townsfolk with different jobs. The people were to look at an Ox and guess its weight after it was butchered and dressed. After everyone had their votes in and received their prizes, Galton took their tickets and began to run his experiments. He wanted to see if the results yielded a bell shaped curve, resulting in a normal distribution. Much to his surprise, after putting the numbers in sequential order (highest to lowest), he began to calculate the mean, or average number. The average number was in fact, 1 pound away from the actual weight. This test demonstrated that even the average person can know something an expert can not and that our common knowledge may be more extensive than we think. The excerpt also discussed how crowds influence us and how many experts argue the idea that crowds can accomplish tasks more effectively than experts.

1. Do you think people who are not experts in a particular field help people who are in that field?
2. Does this excerpt make you think of the internet, message boards, blogging, or the “do it yourself“ concept? If so, how?
3. Do you think people’s knowledge is underestimated or taken for granted of in society today?
4. Do you agree when people say “chasing the expert” is a mistake?
5. Do you believe people that people learn better in groups or crowds? Why or why not?

Read: Nicholas Carr’s article: The Ignorance of Crowds

This article was also about crowds and peers and how they contribute to the internet and in turn businesses and databases. There has been many programs out there that have been set out for peer to peer sharing of information such as Wikipedia, Linux, and Bazaar. These websites enabled people to sign on and post things and help other with problems they might have. Some of the benefits these websites have are the diversity of the approaches to problems from different people. Everyone has a different approach to something and may have looked elsewhere for their information or help. As I said in the other article, people can see what others have done by trail and error or extensive research. However, these websites are also negative because it is hard to monitor what people say and whether it is true or not. Also, although the style of the websites are decentralized, most of them have a centralized power where things are monitored and looked into. That central power may find it difficult to read everything due to the massive amounts of input people put into their website. Another negative to Wikipedia and sites like it are since they are free and anyone can join, the material is often disorganized and poorly-written. In my opinion, this article explained how these sites are great tools but central authority is very important when starting a peer-to-peer or peer-to-business website.

1. Since anyone can post on Wikipedia, do you consider it to be a good source for information?
2. Do you think these sites need to strengthen their central authority in order to improve the reliability of the information on these sites?

Read: A History Department Bans Citing Wikipedia as a Reference Source

This article was closely related to the previous article on peer-to-website sharing by explaining the negatives of Wikipedia. It argues that since anyone can put information up, it is not a reliable source. There is cases going on right now about weather to ban Wikipedia from citing in colleges. They argue that it is not reliable enough to cite and people are learning or could potentially adopt incorrect ideas or meanings. It all started in a Japanese history class over a war that was started and how the students had false information in their papers due to information cited from Wikipedia. I already knew that Wikipedia could not be counted for a valid source of information, but I do however believe most of the information on the website is in fact true, at least the things I look up (such as town demographics, band information.) I never use Wikipedia for school so even if the information is false, the things I look up on it are not very significant either way. I do believe Wikipedia should be banned from college papers and tests because of the lack of reliability.

1. Do you think Wikipedia should be banned from college citations?
2. What do you think would make Wikipedia a more valid source for information?

Assignment: Pixel Portrait
December 30, 2008, 2:20 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here is a self-portrait of myself in pixel form.