Monday, May 10, 2010

About someone else's term project

Raymond’s presentation was about Videogames. I found it entertaining because I play videogames. I was surprised at how media usually portrays videogames in a negative light because some videogames have graphic violence and sexual content. Even though there are many videogames that do not contain violence of sexual content. I was also glad to learn that gamers have made use of New Media to defend videogames. It was interesting to learn that the ESRB rating system was only implemented because of games like Doom and Mortal Kombat. It is incredible how much videogames have converged with new media. Now on many gaming networks there are socializing features similar to those found in facebook, twitter, etc.

I like the pamphlet that Raymond gave out as well. It was very informative, and I didn’t realize how little PC videogames sold compared to console videogames.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Next New Thing

I believe the Next New Thing in New Media will have something related to virtual worlds. Something that currently exists only in science fiction. Where a person can use some sort of device to plug themselves into the virtual world. The device stimulates their nervous system directly and it feels like the real world. In the virtual worlds you can do anything you want. This will be especially useful to disabled people, this will allow them to experience things they normally cannot do.

Now it may sound something like Second Life at initial glance, but the virtual version will be so much better. It will allow the users to be fully immersed into the virtual world and users will be unable to determine between the virtual world and the real world. I imagine people will spend immense amount of time if such technology does become created. Life would never be the same once this comes out.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Privacy & Confidentiality

The thing about New Media is that anything and everything is easily distributed online. Including private information, pictures, and videos. Many people forget how easy it is for something incriminating or embarrassing can be spread around the internet by friends or complete strangers. This can easily lead to serious consequences, such as bullying, harassment, employment termination, and if you are well known in the real world or even virtual world it could result in harsh criticism by people all over the world.

Of course those aren't the only privacy concerns. There is also matters containing to finance and identity theft. Some websites sell the personal information they gather from people opening accounts, which causes a lot of unwanted junk mail or spam email. And in the case of security breaches such as someone stealing the data off of new media website's servers or hacking their servers, they can do a lot of harm with that data.

So confidentiality is clearly a must have for many websites. The websites should have sufficient security and data encryption to prevent people from stealing that data. And the websites should have clear privacy policies stating what they intend to do with any personal information they gather.

Monday, April 19, 2010

About My Term Project

New Media’s Impact on our Social Lives

New Media has improved many aspects of our lives, especially our social lives. Social networking sites like Facebook allows people to instantly communicate all over the world, as well as share pictures and videos of their lives. Internet communities have sprang up all over the internet where people can socialize with people with similar interests. People with social disorders or physical disabilities can use new media to build or enrich their social lives.

Of course there have been negative impacts of New Media on our social lives. The anonymity of the internet makes it easy for people to don internet disguises in order to manipulate people for their own personal gain. As a result internet predators have appeared such as bullies, stalkers, and criminals. And there is the privacy issue. New Media has made it so easy to mass distribute content that anyone can do it. If you post an embarrassing or incriminating file on the internet, you may never know who is looking at it. And in some cases others will mass distribute your content themselves which could result in social embarrassment or harassment. The internet masses can serve as a magnifying glass putting unnecessary attention and scrutiny on a person’s social life.

But the worse thing of all is the fact that many people use New Media to waste time. While not necessarily a problem at first glance, but upon closer examination the potential implications speak volumes. Just look at how much children spend their time on New Media. Studies show that children are spending a vast amount of their exposed to media. And they are multi-tasking which means they are exposed to multiple forms of media at once. This is especially true in South Korea, where the government claims many of its citizens suffer from Internet addiction. What’s the problem you ask? How can we possibly expect future generations to become productive to society when they spend so much time entertaining themselves? Old habits die hard, and these children will grow up into adults with the same habits of spending a vast amount of time using the internet and New Media.

Neil Postman wrote a book called “Amusing Ourselves to Death”. I believe that is a distinct possibility. New Media may become our version of the gladiatorial games in the Roman Empire. Something to distract us while hiding all the problems that exist in the world. Our society could become too obsessed with trivial matters and forget about the important things in real life. The unfortunate thing is that it seems like it is an inevitable product of technology. We create technology to make life easier for ourselves so we don't have to spend countless hours doing backbreaking labor on a daily basis. What else would we do with all that spare time we now have? The most appealing activity is entertainment. With New Media, you can be entertained whenever and wherever with all these internet enabled devices. Almost everything is just a click away. It can't be helped if people forget about the real world.

In conclusion, remember that the real world does indeed exist, and its more awesome than you realize. Never forget the dangers of doing anything excessively, especially the internet and New Media.

 Milton M. (Director). (2010, February 20). Homo Interneticus? [Television series episode] Crossley-Holland D. (Executive Producer). The Virtual Revolution. [Television series]
 Reinberg S. (2010, January 20). U.S. Kids Using Media Almost 8 Hours a Day. Retrieved March 21, 2010, from
 Kessler, Jason. , & Snow, Mary. (2009, April 21). Med student held without bail in possible Craigslist killing. Retrieved from
 Prairie, D. (2007, November 16). Mom: MySpace Hoax Led to Daughter's Suicide. Retrieved March 21, 2010, from,2933,312018,00.html
 Saidi N. (2008, March 28). iReport: 'Naughty Auties' battle autism with virtual interaction. Retrieved March 21, 2010, from

Friday, April 9, 2010

Advice to Baruch College

My advice to Baruch College on using new media would be creating their own wiki for its home page which should only be allowed access to its staff members. This way they can easily provide updates, and changes to any information. While allowing an easy to navigate website for college students and others. I personally liked using the wiki for my New Media class, and would not mind if Baruch allowed professors to use wiki instead of Blackboard for posting course documents, assignments, and etc. Although students submitting assignments might be a problem.

Baruch should also create accounts for social networking sites if not already. I did not find a Baruch account on youtube, and youtube is a high ranking website in terms of daily visitors, so by creating an account there and posting relevant videos about the college they can boost exposure of the Baruch college attracting new students and staff.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Our Class Wiki - So Far

Creating content on the wiki is much more difficult than I imagined. So far I have created the e-sports page in the gaming section. Since the only current video game article on the wikipedia is about MMORPG's. But there is much more than mmorpg's. New Media has allowed competitive video game communities to thrive since they can easily communicate and coordinate tournaments. And other users like to commentate and upload videos of e-sports competitions. It's fanbase is growing, and New Media may very well allow e-sports to rival real life sports in the coming decades.

I have also edited a few typos in the New Media & Social Change, and New Media and Privacy Issues‎ pages. I wrote the Potential Issues section in the New Media & Social Change page. It is it bit of a bleak outlook on the future of New Media and society, so it should not be taken too seriously. But it wouldn't hurt to keep those issues in mind. It serves as a brief preview of my presentation.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My New Media Class - So Far

So far in my New Media class, we have done quite a bit of work involving New Media obviously. There is this blog, contributing to the New Media wiki, checking out various social networking sites, and creating an account on twitter and having discussions on it. There was also a lot of readings involved, a lot of them were quite informative. I didn't realize the extent that New Media is integrated into modern society until I read those articles.

There is a lot of work involved, but its divided into small parts which makes it easier to manage. I prefer these type of assignments much more than classes where you only have one assignment, a 10-15 page research paper. Although we do have a research presentation, it should be much more fun since New Media is an entertaining and unique subject.

The professor also shows us a lot of videos during class. They are entertaining to watch, while managing to be educational. That makes them a good use of class time. Overall the class is much more engaging than others, with the discussion of articles, watching videos, and posting on blogs, wiki, and twitter. The class is more exciting than I origianlly thought it would be.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Modeling Reality with Virtual Worlds

Virtual Worlds are becoming a hot topic. Is it a complete waste of time or does it actually provide benefits to people?

The article "Toys with a Second Life" talks about Webkinz which is puzzling. There are already websites where children and play games online and have their own pets such as Neopets which has existed long before Webkinz. Purchasing real life merchandise is optional not required like the Webkinz. But the real question is that should we be concerned about how much we are exposing children to virtual worlds? What if they want to spend more time on virtual worlds instead of interacting in the real world? This could cause a significant change in how society works. There is nothing inherently wrong with virtual worlds, but we have to be concerned about excess.

The iReport "'Naughty Auties' battle autism with virtual interaction" talks about how they use virtual worlds to combat autism. Which goes to show that virtual worlds can have both positive effects, not just negative ones. The only problem would be in the event the internet stops working or there are power outages for the inviduauls relying on virtual worlds for their social lives, will they be able to survive without it? While its great that they are enriching their social lives, but they should consider giving the real world another chance.

Moving on from social aspects. Virtual worlds can foster creativity, since digital content is easily distributed and created. A lot of people use virtual worlds as sources for creating mashups. Such as video game models to create short films. An example being Top FPS which is a parody of First Person Shooter videogames and the reality TV show Survivor

What is the future of virtual worlds? On one hand, it may become a vacuum where people endlessly waste their time and life. On the other hand, isn't that the point of technology? To make life so easy and convienent so we can afford to spend countless hours doing leisurely activities instead of backbreaking labor like our ancestors. Personally, I think virtual worlds are currently quite limited. When they come out with virtual worlds where you can directly interact within the virtual world instead of just looking at the world through a computer screen, that will be exciting and frightening. Will future virtual worlds make people want to stay hooked up to machines all the time? Virtual worlds may cause life to change significantly in the future.

Twitter Discussion

Using twitter to discuss the articles was a different experience since the conversation was more of a free form where anyone can reply to anyone's tweet. While in a classroom everyone would have to wait their turns and pay attention to each other. Sometimes I forget what I want to say when its my turn. So for twitter since its text based, that is less likely to happen. What I didn't like was the character limit since every tweet I wrote was too long so I had to constantly rewrite them to make them shorter while maintaining a cohorent message.

Blackboard Discussion isn't that much different than Twitter, except its more organized and takes longer. So in terms of following a discussion, it is much more convinient using blackboard, but in terms of speed it might be annoying for impatient people. A distinct advantage is the lack of character limits. And if there is, its much less strict than twitter.

Overall I would prefer Blackboard discussion over the two, and in general I don't like using either.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Social Networking Sites

Visit Facebook, Myspace, Friendster - and one other social networking site of your choosing. Compare your impressions of these sites. Note that you probably should register and log in to get the complete picture.

Facebook - Facebook is a social networking site that is constantly changing. I don't log in that often so buttons always get rearranged and I can't figure out where they are. Not sure why they insist on changing it though. Originally it was a fairly good social networking site where only college students could join since you needed a college email to join. But now that they opened it up to everyone else, there is an increasing amount of fake profiles which was a big problem in myspace. Overall facebook is a great site that allows you to keep in touch with virtually anyone and everyone. You can easily share pictures, videos, and links. Although some of the newer features seem unnecessary. You can comment on someone's wallpost. Why not just post on the wall instead? I guess this allows for more detailed conversations that are visible in a convenient location.

Myspace - Myspace is one of the earlier social networking sites that existed before Facebook. It has many features that exist in Facebook, but the main two differences that I have found is the ability to upload music on Myspace and the rampant amount of fake profiles that just send you messages attempting to lure you onto their adult websites. Myspace also lets you make changes to your page which gives it greater customization, but that tends to be used poorly by people who plaster their pages with images that end up making the page unreadable. Myspace for the most part has lots its edge on social networking to Facebook.

Friendster - Friendster is an interesting social networking site since most of its users are located in Asia. It is the icon of social Networking there. Unfortunately that happens to be its main standing point. For the most part its quite similar to Facebook. Which may be a good or bad thing. If they expand globally they might become a major competitor to Myspace and Facebook.

BrightFuse - This is a new professional networking site created by At first glance this website looks quite similar to LinkedIn. Upon closer inspection I noticed it has more social networking features similar to Facebook. It has a "Working on section" which is similar to a status update on facebook/twitter but has a more professional association. Brightfuse also has a built in blog feature. It was created recently and is probably relying on the fact that they already have a large userbase from Careerbuilder which they can easily transfer over. It's careerbuilder usebase and its extra social networking features may help brightfuse stand out compared to the already successful LinkedIn.

P.S. I didn't realize this post was supposed come before Social Networking. =P.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Social Networking

Social networking websites are used to network obviously. Friends and relatives use it to keep in touch. It is especially beneficial to those that are living far apart. Some of my friends did study abroad and updated their facebook while there allowing everyone to see any pictures they took at the foreign country, or to simply communicate over long distances.

Companies have been using social networking sites to look for potential employees as stated in the article Social Networking Technology Boosts Job Recruiting. What isn't mentioned in the article is that sometimes companies use social networking sites for spying on their employees. Making sure that they aren't posting offending content on the internet since it may lead back to the company. Or they can even snoop on status updates to see if employees are really sick and not just skipping out on work. So on one hand its great that employers can seek out employees now online, but on the other hand employers now possess more knowledge of heir employees and might try to use or abuse that knowledge to their advantage.

Of course its usage will change in time. Presently its a great tool, and only occasionally you hear of it being abused such as cases of cyber bullying or cyber stalking. The BBC documentary "The Virtual Revolution" Episode 4 touches on the potential danger of social networking websites. Some people spend an excessive amount of time on facebook chatting with their online friends or playing applications like mafia wars and farmville instead of spending time their real world friends in the real world. In the future, more children will be exposed to such websites and other virtual world technologies that just sucks them in. Of course it is a worst case scenario, but the concern is valid. What will be the future of social networking and its impacts on humanity? Only time will tell. Perhaps we can become aware of these potential problems and prevent them from ever occurring.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blogs vs. Wikis

Blogs and Wikis are two aspects of new media. To be honest I have limited knowledge and experience with Blogs and not really sure what the fuss is. I have however spent countless hours reading articles on wikipedia. I never really got involved with editing or collaborating on wiki. I just like reading articles there for the huge sources of information.

Which brings up the most noticeable difference between blogs and wikis are that for wikis they are supposed to be objective repositories of knowledge where anyone can edit the content. As this CNN article points out is that Wiki is often criticized for its inaccuracies so they are focusing on refining their articles with proper references and citations. It is essentially a form of many to many communication.

On the other hand, blogs are more about personal opinions and thoughts without any sort of filtering or regulation. It is primarily a one to many communication. Visitors can post comments but cannot edit any of the content. As far as I can tell blogs aren't as popular as wikis no doubt due to the collaborative communities found in wikis.

As more people gain high speed connections to the internet, the more important internet social networking becomes, and the more essential collaborative sites like wikis and blogs will be. Since blogs also allows people to easily communicate their thoughts and have others comment on them, they can also be used for collaboration. Blogs have more direction communication features compared to wikis. For wikis there aren't too many direct communication features. So that means bloggers can easily collaborate by adding each other on their blog lists and commenting on posts.

I am not creative enough to think of new uses for wikis. But I imagine if they could implement some direct communication features similar to blogs, it could allow for more closer knit collaboration. And even have a user section where you could post your own blogs. There is no reason why wiki can't incorporate social networking features into its site as a subsection.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Old vs. New

I think it is quite easy to distinguish between new and old media, but I can't say the same about distinguishing between the various new media technologies. This is a long read, but only because I think it is best explained with many examples. Old media tends to be static, non-interactive, slower means of communication and less easily produced and distributed. While new media tends to be more dynamic, interactive, quicker and easier to produce and distribute.

Let me explain further on those concepts. For old media such as newspapers, or TV the content is the same. You can read the same newspaper over and over and the words printed on the page will not change. When re-watching a movie or episode of TV, it will play the same way every time. While for new media, the content can change. An example being's product referral system. If you click on a certain product or purchase a certain product, the website will make recommendations based on those products you viewed or purchased. A another example would be mmorpgs. When you play an mmo, every playthrough will be different. Like choosing a different character, learning different spells, using different items, and etc.

Which brings to the next concept of interactivity. Using newspapers and TV again, you can only read the newspaper and watch TV episodes. And that's it. While for video games, you have to command your character to do every action. For websites like blogs and forums where you can make posts and share your thoughts, opinions, and pictures. Or wikis where you can add or edit pages. In old media websites, all you could do was read off the page and nothing else.

The next concept is speed. For old media, its much slower. Sending a letter through the post office will take days to weeks. If you write something for a newspaper or magazine, it takes time for them to be printed, distributed, then customers purchase them and read them. While for new media, its much faster and in some cases instantaneous. Such as a blog, all you have to do is click the "Publish Post" button and your writings are instantly available to read on your blog. Anyone and everyone can read it right away. It doesn't have to be distributed to stores, or require a release date like newspapers. Going back to the post office mail example, new media technology such as email or text message lets you send messages to a person anywhere almost instantly. And they can respond right away. So you don't have to wait weeks for a response or worry about your letters getting lost in the mail.

Lastly, the accessibility of the media technology is a great distinguishing factor. For old media, it is difficult and expensive to get an article published, or produce a film and have it aired on television or at theaters. While for new media, anyone can write their own articles and post them on blogs. As youtube as shown, pretty much everyone can produce their own films and distribute them online and reach a massive audience.

Hopefully I have explained the distinguishing factors between old and new media sufficiently enough so you the reader can easily tell the difference between old and new media.

Research Project Description

Title: Impact of New Media on our Social Lives.

Description: For my research project I intend on researching the impact of new media on our social lives. I will discuss both positive and negative affects. Examples of positive affects would be how new media technologies such as video chats, texting, and email allow people to communicate instantly across the globe with their friends and relatives. While others such as wikis, flickr, forums, etc allows people to find others with similar interests to form communities and they can collaborate/contribute to "projects". Of course negative effects will also be discussed such as cyberbullying, people posting incriminating texts or pictures on facebook, and any possible effects on our face to face communication skills.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What is New Media?

I feel that new media is an evolved form of old media. Since it is similar to the old media except new media is simpler and more accessible than old media.

More people now have access to the tools of new media and those tools have become much easier to use. Clive Thompson makes note of this in his article about Youtube videos. He talks about how everyone now has access to the tools that are required to create films. Even I have created my own videos and posted them on youtube. They are short stop motion animation videos made with Lego pieces. Anyone can easily create a film now.

Software such as Microsoft Movie Maker makes it easy to create your own film. Or programs like Skype or AIM allows people to easily communicate to people across the globe both in instant text messages or video chats in conjunction with webcams. Hardware such as laptops, cellphones, or even video game consoles allow you to access those software applications with ease. Of course none of this would be possible without internet. Most new media is transmitted via the internet such as blogs, video chats, email, or wikis.

In my opinion new media will coexist with it and enhance it. New and old media will probably adapt features from each other as time passes on and may create a third form of media which is a hybrid of new and old media.In certain areas I believe there will always be a demand for physical forms of media. Old media has the advantage of nostalgia. People will still want to have books and dvds on their shelves as digital distribution makes streaming videos and reading ebooks more widespread. You cannot feel an ebook nor can you have your ebook signed by your favorite author. Streaming videos won't have collector boxes or posters and other things that often come with the physical version. Of course, there is always the possibility of virtual worlds being so realistic to the point where you can read your ebook like a regular book in a virtual world. In other areas such as communication, video chats and instant messages are a vast improvement over cellphone calls. But I did say earlier that they can always adopt features from each other, so there is no reason why cellphones can't be equipped with video chat capabilities. While image hosting websites allow people to share their images easily, and social networking sites allow people to keep in touch with their friends even if they no longer see each other in real life. The future is a mystery and uncertain, only time will tell.