So far my new media class has been very interesting and fun. The professor had mention that this class will be the most entertaining class in Baruch and she was right. In this new media class we had used many social networking sites like twitter, blogs, facebook, etc. My favorite social networking site is using the blogs because I get to personalize it. My least favorite social networking site is twitter because of the limitation it has with the 140 characters. In class I learned how much of an affect new media has on different societies. Throughout the semester I have been posting many things on my blog. I have also been updating our class wiki. I think that this type of learning is the best way to learn because it is very interactive. I wish that all my classes were structure this way or at least give me the chance to creative like this class has given me. Hopefully the rest of the semester is as good as the first half of the semester.
When I first heard of virtual worlds the first thing that I thought of was gaming because of the way the virtual world looks like. A virtual world basically a replica of our world but with no rules. Anything you could imagine could become reality in the virtual world. Once I started learning more about virtual worlds I soon found out that virtual worlds are more than just for gaming. Virtual world could be used for socializing, training, and even for giving the disabled the ability to do the thing they can't do in reality. Because virtual worlds are part of the internet this enables people to socialize and establish a community within the virtual world. Virtual worlds could also be used by businesses to train their employees. IBM has been using Second Life for just this reason (IBM Learning Programs Get a ‘Second Life’). They are using this technology to train their younger employees who have grown up playing 3-D video games. Virtual worlds are also being used to give the disabled the opportunity they don't have such as walking, playing different sports, and connecting with others with the same disability. Like in the article 'Naughty Auties' battle autism with virtual interaction a guy name David Savill has Asberger's syndrome and been able to a virtual world to connect with others with autism spectrum disorders.
The pros of using virtual worlds is that it allows you to be more creative like in the case of IBM training their employees. Another pro is that the virtual world allows people to replicate anything from the real world. This allows them to experiment with it without the fear of making a mistake. For example a building engineer could replicate a building from the real world into the virtual world and be able to find ways to improve the infrastructure. The cons of using virtual worlds for socializing is that sometimes people might become lost in the virtual world and forget about the real world.
Virtual worlds foster creativity by allowing people to come together and share ideas with each other. Because virtual worlds do not have any boundaries it allows people to let their imagination run wild.
The future of virtual worlds might be moving towards helping others improve their lives in more ways than it already does. Maybe it would be used for doctors making house calls in the virtual world and being able to diagnose a replicated version of the patient's symptoms.
My experience with Twitter has been a good one so far but there are a few things I didn't find too appealing. The first thing is that I feel that the 140 characters limitation is too constraining. It would have been better if it was 140 words limitation. This allows me to more space to express my opinions. This is one area that discussion board does better because there is no limitation on what to write. Another thing I didn't like is the way you reply on Twitter because you have to include RT and the class section which further limits the space to give a reply. One thing I like about Twitter is that I'm able to correct any mistakes before posting it which is why I like Twitter better than in-class discussion. One way Twitter is better than discussion board is that Twitter is more portable, easier to access, and can get updated much quicker. Many mobile phones allows you to post messages on Twitter directly unlike blackboard's discussion board.
Social networking sites have been used in many ways by individuals and businesses in order to get into contact with others. Social networking sites such as Twitter have been used extensively by businesses to communicate with their customers and also their potential employees. Like in an article in the NY Times, Tweeting Your Way to a Job, it mentioned that "Twitter is an extension of customer service, an efficient way to solve problems for disgruntled customers." Businesses are looking for employees who can effectively communicate with their customers using social networking sites in order to solve their problems and even establish a relationship so they can retain that customer.
Not only are social networking sites useful within the business community but they are also useful for education purposes. Many schools are using social networking sites to help communication between the students and the professors. Students are able to collaborate and complete assignments much more effectively because of social networking sites. For more examples on how to use Twitter within the school environment please read this article,50 Ways to Use Twitter in the College Classroom.
I believe that these technologies have a great benefit to our society because it helps bring people together which allows them to accomplish things with more efficiency than ever before. It also helps people become more inform about what is currently going on in their community and around the world. Social networking sites gives people the chance to voice their opinions on important matters. For example in the article, Twitter used to help land plane with aid for Haiti earthquake victims, Twitter was actually used to help save the lives of Haiti earthquake victims. Many people were allow to voice their opinion by tweeting that the plane, full with medical supplies, land on the tarmac.
Of course where ever there are so many people connected to each other there is always going to be a dark side because some people are going to abuse these technologies to meet their needs. There have been reports of individuals stalking and tormenting others using these social networking sites. Sometimes finding these individuals is difficult because they may multiple accounts with different profiles. Also employers may find information about their employees on these social networking sites that may get them fired. So there is the potential of these sites to have a negative impact on people lives.
But I do believe that the future for social networking sites to be bright. These sites have the potential to evolve into something great especially in the business world. Employers could have interviews with potential employees from across the world and feel like they're sitting right in front of them. Also in the medical field, doctors could examine a patient when they're located in another country. If the pros continue to outweigh the cons popularity of social networking sites will continue to grow.
There are many social networking sites which allow people to connect with others. Four of the social networking sites that I'm familiar with are Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, and LinkedIn. Each of these sites are very similar to each other but have their own differences that set them apart. The main similarity between these sites is that they connect people with each other. These sites allow you to find people that you haven't talked to in a long time. The main difference between these sites is the look of the sites. Another difference is who they try to you with. Facebook, MySpace, and Friendster try to connect you with other friends who have the same account but LinkedIn focuses on trying to connect you with professionals in your career path. I also notice by looking at these sites is that Facebook and MySpace have ads and Friendster and LinkedIn do not. I should mention that Friendster does allow you to post free classified ads. As I checked out these sites I noticed that Facebook is mostly targeted at college students or adults, MySpace and Friendster targets younger kids, and LinkedIn targets professionals. All of these except LinkedIn allow you to post photos and play games. MySpace allows you to search your favorite music. The site I'm most impress with is Facebook because I feel it is easier to interact with and I know more people who have Facebook accounts.