Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Barlow C2

In Barlow's disccusion in chapter 2 he states how the number of blogs on the Internet is constantly growing, even though only half may be legitimate or accurate. People can find blogs on all sorts of topics, ranging from sports, news, technology, entertainment, education, science,gossip and many other variations of blogs. So many blogs exist on the Internet that most people know somebody who owns a blog, or may even own one themselves.

Anyone has the ability to create a blog and publish it onto the Internet. Barlow stated that one of the common criticisms of blogs is that they are too easy, because anyone can create one. I don’t think that owning a blog is too easy because although everybody can create a blog, not everybody can create a good blog that is worth reading and attract a number of viewers to it. Owning a blog that has a large audience is not easy because not only is the creator responsible for updating on a daily basis, but he or she also must make sure each post has good quality and is accurate information. The most widely-read blogs on the Internet are the ones that the bloggers put the most time and effort into and it becomes a familar routine of blogging. Bloggers spend a number of hours a day working on their blogs to maintain a large audience, which is definitely not easy to do and takes hard work and dedication. Actually creating a blog is the easy part, but keeping it at a quality that will gain an audience is what makes blogging difficult and should be aprreciated.

“Community, that is what lies at the heart of the blog – though that is not how the blogs have often been seen, too many envisioning them as a force weakening the very real world-communities they can – and often do – help strengthen.” (Barlow, pg 37) Community is what makes blogs what they are today because without readers, the blogs would be useless, what other use would the have? The community reads content on the blogs and interacts by commenting on each post, and discuss with eachother. Barlow also says that bloggers want to be “taken seriously within the greater society,”(Barlow C.2) which is why many of them post content that they feel will attract an audience. Bloggers need to do a lot of research to find out what topics the public is most interested in, so they can write about them to gain the audeinces attention.

Barlow, Aaron. Blogging America. (2008). The Blogs in Society (Chapter 2).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Essay #3

YouTube is an example of a great Web 2.0 technology for sharing videos and music. When it was first created in 2005, it was unclear how well the website would perform, or who would use it and what they would use it for. Today, YouTube has a huge headquarters in San Bruno, California and a massive online following across many different countries becoming, a cultural center for all kinds of videos. YouTube today is a place for all kinds of people who want to become producers of online content, they can upload anything they want without the issues of censoring. With the additions of the Fair Use Act, this gives the producers of online media even more freedom and flexibility in producing content.

The search engines used for research were LexisNexis, Google, Yahoo. Each of these returned a lot of information, but some of these returned better and more useful results then others. On LexisNexis, a general search of the word "YouTube" yielded over 3000 results. Among the first of these results were major news papers such as The Boston Globe and New York Times. LexisNexis is a great academic search, and that is why it was selected because it encompasses so many different results with great reliability information credibility as opposed to other search engines. This search engine had the best information with the most credibility because you have to pay to use it. The Tensen reading outlined six areas for evaluating academic research on the Internet, "Purpose, Source, Intended Audience, Date of Publication, Appearance and Reputation."

One search result through LexisNexis that I found was an article from The Boston Globe, titled "Google to buy YouTube in $1.65b deal Video website also cut content deals." This article provided information on Google's acquisition of Youtube and exclusive content deals YouTube had with Sony BMG and Warner Music and outlined basically that YouTube was going to get big on the internet. Purpose in this case is to inform people of new acquisition by Google. This newspaper is a credible source, and its intended audience is anyone who reads this paper's business section. Publication is fairly recent, 2006.

Next on LexisNexis an article came up on how YouTube has its own country specific site in France, Netherlands, Spain, Japan, Poland, Italy and Ireland and has become multilingual. This article also talks about how YouTube streams 200 million videos a day. This information is from website called and its purpose is to inform people of the many different countries YouTube is accessed in. Its publication is also fairly recent, in 2007.

Third on LexisNexis is an article about how YouTube has launched nine new international versions of the website, and each site is completely translated and has local news of that country. Giving the experiences of that specific country through video and other channels. Countries include Brazil, France, Italy and the UK. This article was written by Telecom Worldwide and published in June of 2007. As far as reputation, Telecom seems credible.

The fourth article I found on LexisNexis discussed how YouTube launched its own Canadian-content site. As a result of YouTube's popularity, this site aims to cater towards specifically Canadians. When users search for videos on this site, the results tailor more towards Canadians than the results do on the original YouTube site. This article was written by The Gazette, a newspaper in montreal. I would consider this a credible source because I have heard of this newspaper on many occasions, and the article itself was recently published in November of 2007.

Next, general search queries on Google of "Youtube history" or "YouTube Awards" yielded many more results, a lot of information was found on various awards YouTube has received and the past history of this website. Just searching YouTube on Google would not yield any results oriented towards research besides many different videos and links to the website. You have to use a specific search query on this search engine otherwise you will not get the results you want, something like "YouTube Statistics" or the like.

The first article that appeared in Google's search engine after typing "YouTube History" was written on Wikipedia. The History of YouTube provided thorough information on the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, and how they created YouTube into the success that it is known as today. Although I don't know if I will use this in my research project, I found that this article provided a lot of information. This source is not credible, and I would have to further investigate this information before using it in my final research paper.

When I typed "YouTube Awards" into Google's search engine, I found an article published by Time Magazine that discussed the award that YouTube received for, the Best Invention of 2006. Time Magazine is a very popular magazine read by many people across the country, and I would consider it a credible source. The article was written in 2006, which is not only fairly recent but right after YouTube received the award that is discussed in the article.

Typing "YouTube Statistics" into Google's search engine brought me to an article written by Digital Enthrography at Kansas State University. The article provides statistics that could be very useful in my research paper, such as the amount of videos uploaded per day, videos uploaded by category, and average age of each uploader. I found this to be a credible source because Kansas State University is a highly reputable university, so I highly doubt that they would provide false information without checking the facts first. The article was recently published in March of 2008.

Lastly Yahoo, the last search engine the search query used here was "YouTube Information" yielded 295,000,000 results. One result was an article provided by, which was about the ability that users now have to view full length TV shows on YouTube. is a credible source because it is used by people nationwide to find information on various topics so I would trust the site enough to use it for my research paper. The article was recently published in October of 2008.

Another search result I found by typing "YouTube Information" in Yahoo's search information was titled "Viacom, YouTube reach data deal." The article discussed how Viacom has allowed YouTube to remove user names and IP addresses from data in order to ensure protection of privacy. CNN Money published this article, so I would consider it to be a credible source and the information valid enough to use in my research paper. The article was recently published in July of 2008.

I also found the article, "YouTube Debuts Viewer Analytics Tool," by typing "YouTube Information" in Yahoo's search engine. This article discussed a new service that helps video producers determine where their viewers are and how their videos were found. The article was published on Information Week, which is a credible source. It was recently published in March of 2007.

In each of the search engines I used, I found a lot of information on many different aspects of my topic. Although I did not find each article to be completely useful and credible in terms of writing a research paper, a more thorough investigation could easily provide me with the validity I need.

Tensen, Bonnie L. (2004). Research strategies for a digital age.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Externalities of Search 2.0

Today's reading "The Externalities of Search 2.0: The Emerging Privacy Threats when the Drive for the Perfect Search Engine meets Web 2.0" focused mainly on how search engines on the Internet are becoming much more advanced and are more in tune with users search queries then ever before. Today's Web users enjoy the benefit of a wide variety of information easily accessed through many popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo. Now more then ever users search results are much more accurate and relevant to their original search queries. This is partly due to advancements in indexing and collection of past search queries using Web 2.0 technologies. The merging of "Google’s suite of information-seeking products with Web 2.0 infrastructures" has lead the author to coin the phrase "Search 2.0". (Zimmer p.1) All of these factors have contributed to advancements in search engine technology. Web 2.0 includes many new websites such as MySpace and YouTube and these new technologies allow Internet users access to a "wide variety of new services and communities" (Zimmer p.1) that were not available before. In 2005 Yahoo "claimed to have indexed over 20 billion items, including 19.2 billion web documents, 1.6 billion images, and over 50 million audio and video files." (Zimmer p.2) All of this is great and can benefit Internet users immensely, but the main focus of the article is aimed at the negative connotations of Web 2.0.

The main reason Web 2.0 is viewed negatively is while search engine companies are trying to create the "Perfect Search Engine" (Zimmer p.2) This means that search engines are being created with the idea that search results will be "intuitive and results based on users past searches and general browsing history" (Zimmer p.2) Some companies are abusing this new technology and its power and are conducting "dataveillance" which is "aggregation of one's online information-seeking activities inflaming a growing environment of discipline and social control."(Zimmer p.2) These companies are collecting alot of information on browsing history of users for better or worse, something called "perfect recall" (Zimmer p.3) is enhancing users search results by attempting to understand Internet users wants and needs for searching originally. This is done by keeping logs of previous searches and a record of pages visited in the past. Google in the past has had to turn records over to the U.S. Government of past users search history. Alot of information about our Internet history is readily available stored away somewhere, for many people to have access to such as Police Investigators or potential employers.

Web 2.0 technologies are no doubt beneficial to the Internet today, they provide us with many cool new websites and faster more accurate search engines then ever before. Like anything else there has to be limits set up on what kinds of information these search engine companies can collect and how much of it and who can access it. Its not far that alot of people have lost employment or where never hired because of something lurking in cyberspace. There should be some degree of privacy, but on the other hand if a criminal is caught by an investigation conducted by the police on the Internet due to incriminating evidence, that is perfectly legal. There has to be clear cut rules of what information is allowed to collected and what is not and then everything will balance out.

Zimmer, Michael. (2008). The externalities of search 2.0: The emerging privacy threats when the drive for perfect search engine meets Web 2.0. First Monday 13.