Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Next New Thing

As we live during a time that has experienced tremendous advances in technology and are exposed to an unbounded amount of information at the click of a mouse, it is difficult to think of an aspect of New Media that has yet to be proposed. As an avid sports fan, I would like to see a Twitter-type application made exclusively for professional athletes and coaches. Although these same athletes have access to the original Twitter, their activity on the site is minimal. I believe if there were a micro-blogger made exclusively for the sports world, we would see a sharp increase in the amount of athletes that would speak up. As fans, the benefits of such an application are endless. We would be able to hear directly from the stars and build a more personal relationship to our favorite players as the biased opinions of the media would be cut out of the equation. For decades fans would receive all of their sports news and scandals through the distorted eye of the media and often not exposed to the real story. By receiving the first hand accounts from the players and coaches themselves, fans would be able to achieve a much greater appreciation of the game. Additionally, there is usually a delay from the time an important event such as an injury or a trade occurs until it is relayed to the public through the media. By use of a micro-blogger, the fans would be updated instantaneously which could prove vital for some fantasy sports fanatics. I think that it would be possible to see a similar application come out in the near future as we have all of the tools to make it happen. As long as athletes and coaches are encouraged to actively participate, this tool has the possibility to drastically change the sports world, for the better.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Our Class Wiki - So Far

I am a part of the team contributing to the New Media and sports section of our class wiki. So far I have added content to the "Smartphone Sports App" sub-section in regards to the new NFL Mobile App offered by Verizon Wireless. This app offers features that have never been available to consumers on the go. You can now view content from the NFL Network along with a live feed of NFL games directly to your smartphone. This is undoubtedly a great convenience to every sports fan as we know how stressful it can get not being able to follow your favorite team in the midst of all the action; I find myself checking scores and stats several times when I am not able to catch the Jet's game on TV. Additionally, I will be adding content referencing a few other smartphone sport appplication favorites. The "Top Sports News" app provides the user with updated news around the sports world. I particularly like this service as it takes articles from numerous sources, supplying many different points of view on an issue. Top Sports News provides content from all sports ranging from professional basketball to horse racing so you can be sure to find something suitable for your taste. I will also add some content about a new ESPN app that has been released for the droid market in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back for updates!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

About My Term Research Paper

I can honestly say that this assignment was the most enjoyable paper writing experience I have ever endured. My interest in the topic was sparked by fact that Social Networking is so expansive in today's culture along with the heated back and forth debate regarding it's alleged benefits. I started my research using Google's scholarly search to find articles by intellectuals discussing how Social Networking sites affect us individually and socially. Earlier in the year I had read an article claiming that although you communicate with dozens of "friends" via these websites, your actual face-to-face social skills are declining. I found this exceptionally interesting since I always found my Facebook, for example, experience to be enhancing my social skills as I am communicating and sharing ideas with many people that I would never had the chance to speak with otherwise. Through my research I have found that there are a lot of conflicting findings regarding and benefit or harm that Social Networking sites may be inflicting on their users. Some sources state that although we may be connecting and staying in touch with many "friends" through these websites, our core face-to-face interactions with family members are experiencing an expeditious decline. This source states that these family ties are key to ones social progression. However, other sources see Social Networking solely as a great medium to rekindle past love, network for potential careers and stay in touch with distant family members. Personally, I am not sure how being a user of this website is affecting me socially but I can say that it is definitely a great tool that is a contributing factor in retaining our social ties. Due to it's incredible popularity, I foresee social networking websites to stay around for a very long time, along with the debate over their advantages.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Privacy & Confidentiality

Privacy and confidentiality has been a hot topic in reference to the Internet ever since it's formation in the 1970's. Although security and encryption has significantly improved since those early days, some user's are still reluctant to share their personal information, let alone sensitive credit card information, over the web. Although there are many examples of social networking sites, for example, being used for malicious purposes, I believe that overall internet security is pretty stable. In my opinion, the few unfortunate instances of a breach of such e-security tends to be the exception rather than the rule. Extensive measures have been taken to ensure user confidentiality and I believe that their success in doing so is demonstrated in the sheer popularity of e-commerce and buyer confidence. Earlier this month Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg spoke publicly about the advances in user privacy on his site and assured them of a safe, confident Facebook experience. I think that Facebook, especially recently, has stepped up their security with providing the user with an extensive list of options for who you would like your sensitive information to be exposed to. Additionally, users have the option to make their blogs or wiki's set to "private" to limit the amount of information exposed to people you don't know.

Advice to Baruch College

Although I have many grievances with Baruch technology, I feel that the biggest nuisance is the weekly (though sometimes more frequent) school newsletter and bulletin sent via the Baruch email. The baruchmail account is a very convenient medium to communicate with your professors and fellow classmates. I have even synched my account to my phone to make sure not to miss any pertinent information sent from faculty. To say that the frequent "CUNY Newswire" and "This week at CUNY" messages are an annoyance would be an understatement, and unfortunately there is no way to unsubscribe from them! Although I will go out on a limb and say that most of student body simply disregards these notifications, I recognize that some people probably read them and find them informative. I think that utilizing an RSS to show all CUNY updates and events would be an optimal way of conveying the information. This way, they are not clogging the inbox's of those who are not interested in the Newswire as well as opening an interactive channel to reach those who wish access the information. Another proposal would be to post all of the information on a live wiki that can be accessed by all of students and faculty. All of the significant CUNY information can be conveniently organized in easy to find sections updated weekly. I think that CUNY should take these propositions into consideration as it will help to both, keep our mailbox's uncluttered and convey important information in a more efficient manner.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Social Network

When I bought my ticket for The Social Network, I was expecting to see
the making of a phenomenon, but instead, I was exposed to the mind of
a genius.

What resonated with me the most is that the guy who created such an
impact for my generation with Facebook is also my peer. My generation
may be the first one where being an “entrepreneur” at age twenty is a
legitimate career. Technology makes it possible for people to surpass
the traditional corporate hierarchy and create something powerful that
will gain momentum through the internet versus a boardroom. Watching
the Social Network, and seeing the confidence of Mark Zuckerberg’s
statements in court made me believe… it made me believe in ideas, and
that even in this tough economic climate it has made me excited to see
how my peers and I will shape the age of technology.

Although some have called Mr. Zuckerberg ruthless, egotistical and
disloyal, I saw him as a person who followed his vision. This vision
may have blinded his senses, but it ultimately led him to the path he
chose at the very beginning, to create the next big thing.

The Social Network was one of the best stories I’ve seen on the big
screen in a long time, and it’s just a bonus that it happens to be
based on someone whose ideas will impact my life for years to come.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Twitter: Discussion

Though I am a little embarrassed to admit it, the first “tweet” I ever made in my life was for an assignment in this class. Having said that, I am already hooked on the idea and can foresee myself continuing to use its services to keep in touch with friends and celebrities. I think class discussions via Twitter have valuable advantages over mediums such as blackboard discussion board or even in class conversation. One major advantage of Twitter is its’ accessibility. With the functionality of being able to tweet on the go from my cell phone, I can easily converse with classmates from anywhere and post updates as they happen. I think these up to the minute notifications are appealing and create interest in the discussion. Additionally, I am an advocate of the 140-character max post limitation on each tweet. I think it forces users to be “short and sweet” which will aide in keeping the interest of the readers. I think the advantage of a twitter discussion compared to one conducted in the classroom is that students have the chance to think and do some research about their responses. In my opinion, this helps to facilitate informed discussions. The big advantage I see in this is that Twitter expands the learning channel from the traditional one-to-many (Professor to students) to many-to-many (Students learning from other students). I am excited to continue tweeting with my classmates and take part in the many intellectual discussions.