Bradhuther’s Blog

Readings 10: Democracy, Politics and Technology
January 13, 2009, 3:12 am
Filed under: Assignments | Tags: , , , ,

Flickring here, twittering there

This article discusses how technology has been changing politics recently. It starts off by telling about the different politicians that use the Internet to get their name out there. McCain has his own YouTube channel where people could go on and see what he had to say and previous clips of him discussing his policies. Obama is very involved with the Internet and has tons of sites supporting his presidency and views on certain topics. There are so many people on the Internet everyday and thats where tons of people get information from. In this day and age, the Internet plays a large role in the economy and politics. People can go on a politician’s blog site and discuss things involving his presidency or the economy with other people who share their interest. Also we get a lot of our new from the Internet which is also why it such an important tool in politics. Even with our mobile phones, Obama had a contest to text a number and a guess who his running mate would be and a prize would be awarded to the winner who texts the right answer first. I think its very important for a politician to know how to navigate through the web, use the Internet, and incorporate technology into his work.

Obama Uses Text Messaging With Eye on Nov 4 (listen: 4 min)

This short clip was very interesting to me and at the same time surprising. I did not know that if you texted that number, they had the right to text you about information whenever they please and encourage you to go through your phonebook and get other people to join. Basically at a rally for Obama, he encouraged people to text a number proving that they were supporters of his party and they were willing to receive information on their cell phones via text message from time to time and encouraged to get more voters for Obama. I don’t really like the idea of a number texting me sometimes that I don’t even know telling me about statistics and policies of Obama’s campaign. I would rather receive my information on my own such as through the Internet, newspapers, or television, not through a text message on my phone. If I were running for a political position I would probably not adopt this strategy and try to get my information out there more through the Internet, television, and newspapers.

How Much is YouTube Worth to Obama and McCain?

I think YouTube is a great tool in political campaigns. At one point in the article, the author describes how people are not FORCED to watch it as they would be on TV but they have a choice whether to watch it or not. Since the Internet is becoming such a popular online tool, I believe if politicians put their videos on the website, they would receive more views and popularity which in turn could lead to more votes.

Twitter: An Antidote to Election Day Voting Problems?

This article was a little confusing to me but what I got out of it was that Twitter is basically a database that you can text about anything and people write things back on your post or text. It is basically a chat line where people can communicate to each other and ask others for questions or opinions. This could help voting because it could reduce voting ballot lines and can even sway someone’s opinion toward a certain politician. With this type of technology we can apply it directly to voting and people can even send in their votes which can in turn give the public an idea of how many people voted for who, it could be like a secondary way of telling how many people voted for who. For instance, say there was a really long day at one of the ballots to vote, one person can go on twitter and explain to people that the line is long and to go somewhere else. We could get more people informed and voting with Twitter.

The Daily Me

This article discusses the concept of filtering and personalization. There are many different ways we can personalize what we want to see, hear and learn over the Internet and with technology. Websites that enable our news and information to be filtered give us a sense of personalization and help us see what we want to to see. The upside to this is that we can share ideas with different people a topic of interest. We can get different views and ideas about something other than our own and get an outsiders point of view on something we care about. The downside to all this personalization is that we may not be exposed to as much stuff as we should. Because our world is so small and we made everything so personalized for ourselves, we don’t think or learn about other things. All this personalization leads to people being sheltered and knowledgeable only about the things they care about. The daily me refers to the concept that we choose to get whatever information we want and we listen and read things that only benefit ourselves.

Web of Activism (local politics)

I think local politics using the Internet to their advantage is a great idea. As I have previously stated, the Internet is really becoming a useful tool in getting people, especially young adults, informed. Politicians in this article described how videos and SNS’s helped them get their names out there and in getting them recognized. I think this idea is flawless because when these people put videos up on the Internet or make an SNS page, they don’t spend any money at all! What more can people ask for while running for a political position or in signing a petition? Free advertising defiantly will help their cause. However, with all these videos and SNS’s on these people, they have to be careful not to offend anyone or say anything wrong or offensive because that could really sway a lot of people’s votes. The main reason I think local politics using SNS”s and YouTube for advertising and getting their ideas out there is that they are reaching out to the younger crowd. I know when I was a kid I could care less about local politics and if I saw a YouTube or Facebook for a local politician I would be pretty impressed and might take a closer look.


1. Do you think the internet can be a useful tool for politicians? why or why not?

2. How do you think someone running for a local mayor position could use the internet to his advantage?

3. What are the negative and positive results of being able to personalize our information so easily?

4. How could our cell phones change the proccess of voting?




Readings 7: Mobile Technologies
January 8, 2009, 12:04 am
Filed under: Assignments | Tags: , , , , ,

The Camera Phone

The camera phone is an invention that can be used for both good or evil. This article explains how the person who created the camera phone first used the invention. his baby was being born and he wanted to record it so he simply just took out his phone, snapped a picture of her, and posted it on the web for his family and friends to see her. This would be an excellent example of how the camera phone could be used to something good. An example of something bad that happened due to the camera phone found within the article was the example of women in Saudi Arabia. Women would unviel themselves in weddings or other events and someone could snap a picture of them with their viel off which was a form of disrespect to their religion. They could be shunned from their community or looked down upon by society if this image were ever to get out. I think no matter what the invention is, people will find flaws and ways to turn it into evil. Although camera phones can both help and hurt us, they are still a ground breaking invention that has shaped society today.

1. How do you think camera phones could help the world?

2. Are camera phones just another invention to contribute to our invasion of privacy?

A World of Witnesses

This article was very interesting and made me think about cell phones in a different way. It begins by explaining how text messaging is becoming a very important tool in the technological world today. People use texts to inform other people, form groups, and even make plans to meet up. I learned the world of text messaging is even more in-depth than that. This article showed me all the numbers around the world people can text and recieve so much information from pollen counts to weather reports. I didn’t realize that there were so many different numbers you could text and recieve so much information until reading this article. It also discusses the camera feature on phones and discusses the Rodney King incident. I believe camera phones can help people in distress and uncover many things that a bulky video camera could. The cell phone is a very popular techonological device with many features and is shaping the way we live and recieve our information. I feel like every week there is a new feature for cell phones and i can only imagine what they can do for you in 10 years.

1. Did you realize before reading this article how many numbers there are to text to recieve different information?

2. What new concepts or ideas did you learn about from reading this article?

Always-on/ Always-on-you: The Tethered Self

This article was created in order to explain how our electronics are tethered to us and we are so dependent on them for everything. It starts out by describing a group of MIT student that carried around a portable laptop special electrical glasses and other electronical devices teathered to them. The author relates us and our cell phones and computers to them. We are connected to our cell phones more than ever and we use it for virtually almost everything. We can look up stock quotes, play video games, turn to bots for comfort, network with people, etc. However, with all these endless possibilities, it is hard for us to turn off our electronical devices. Because we do so much with computers and cell phones, we are very dependent on them and find it very difficult to pull the plug for even a weekend. The cell phone has changed the world so much even in the way we talk to people. When we talk in public say at a coffee house, we would turn to the person we are talking to and saying something quietly in his or her ear. However with phones, we often see people putting their finger in one ear and yelling into their phone without any recognition there are people all around him listening and being bothered. The article describes the virtual life we live in and how we are dependent on techonology in almost every aspect of our life and because of this, we are in fact, addicted. I myself find it nearly impossible to turn off my electronic devices or not use them for more than an hour. I am always on my computer and looking at my cell phone. I can even relate this article to our class by saying how dependent i am on the computer to fulfull a class for my major in order to recieve my bachelors degree! I bet if you said this to someone ten years ago they would think you were absolutely crazy, but its true. Technology has come a long way and because of that people stay connected and put it at the center of their life.

1. Do you think our electronics are too “tethered” to us?

2. Why do you think we are so dependent on our cell phones in this day and age?

 Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004, AND
Eight Reasons Why Blogging Will be Bigger Than Ever in 2009

According to this article, an opinion is voiced pertaining to the pointlessness of blogging. The author believes that if you have a personal blog, think about getting rid of it. People are more into business blogs and blogs involving current issues. The author also believes that blogging on other blog sites such as political sites is pointless as well. Since there are so many blog posting there is a small chance people will even see what you write anyways because as more people post, your post goes down the page making it difficult for people to see. I was a little confused as to what the author was trying to convey in this article other than blogging is pointless. From what i understood he explained that you have more of a chance to be heard or seen on Facebook, Youtube, Myspace, or Flickr. I think blogging is a good way to express your feelings still if you are into it. I don’t personally blog other than for the class but i can see why people do. Its just like keeping a diary, people don’t have to read it, sometimes people just want to get their ideas down. However, the second article disagrees with the first in every way possible. The author of this article explains that blogging will be bigger than every in 2009. They explain that you have to choose your blogging site carefully. They also discuss how blogging is the best way to creating an online identity. Obviously these people have two very different views about blogging and the future of it. This article relates to the previous ones on mobile technologies because it also shows how we are so connected to the computer and phones. Wether its on our phones or on our computers we can constantly update our blogs. Blogs are a great example of how we are connected to technology and use it for many different things, one of which is to keep the world in contact with our daily lives, which can be shown through blogging. It explains how technology has changed and is ever changing and how we are part of that change.
1. Do you think personal blogging will be more popular, less popular, or equally as popular in 2009?

2. Do you believe ideas, emotions, and stories are better expressed through sites like Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, and Youtube compared to blogs? Why or why not?



Readings 5: Narrative
January 4, 2009, 4:29 am
Filed under: Assignments | Tags: , , , , ,

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?