What would you do for a cellphone?

What would you do-oo-oo for a Klondike Bar?

Sing it with me!

You can act like a monkey, bark like a dog or listen to your wife tell you about her day for 5 seconds (according to the commercials … love you babe).

According to the advertisements, people would do some crazy things for ice cream covered with chocolate, so just imagine what someone might do for a “free” cellphone?  Sure I’ll sign an eight year contract that makes me pay $150 dollars a month for only 30 minutes of phone calls, no internet time and 20 text messages a month but at least I got this nice shiny new phone … look, it even takes pictures and they still charge me 30 cents a picture but isn’t it cool!

 

That is how we do things now.  Even the cell phone companies are considered “crooks” but we are the customers dumb enough to sign the contracts for the newest and must have products.  We all have the opportunity to do what is right since we were all taught in our youth the difference between right and wrong but some people still believe in the “playground rules” of “Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers”.

After reading Shirky’s story of the stolen sidekick from his book, Here Comes Everybody, I wanted to feel sorry for the young girl Sasha for being ganged up on by the “Millions and Millions” of people who had followed good ol Evan’s ramblings that called for justice but who am I kidding.  As Wyatt Earp would have said, “YOU CALLED DOWN THE THUNDER, WELL NOW YOU GOT IT!!!

All of the problems that Evan and Ivanna went through with due to the loss of a smart phone in 2006 made me laugh.  With something that important to you that holds soooooo much of your personal information … you’d think that someone would make sure to never leave home without it much less NEVER LEAVE IT IN A CAB!!! But Ivanna and Evan took the proper steps in trying to recover the lost cellphone but their main roadblock consisted of a teen mother and her family.

Sasha’s family played a key role in this whole debacle but it shouldn’t have negated our moral compass or simple right and wrong.  Once Ivanna and Evan reached out to Sasha for their lost property, Sasha should have done what was right.

On the other hand, once Sasha became the obnoxious teenager that she really was … that didn’t give Evan the right to become a vigilante over the web.  Sure Evan didn’t actually cause any harm to Sasha but he did host the venue at which his followers could manifest their anger towards a juvenile.  Yup … I’m now playing Devil’s advocate.

“No your honor, I never placed one hand on Sasha or threatened her in any way”, could be Evan’s plea for innocence but his soap box preaching for justice could have been followed to some extreme views.  Just ask these guys …

I know that I might be pushing this just a little too far but these 2 guys did very little physical violence o their own.  Their words moved their followers to do crazy deeds and that is what scares me. Where do we draw the line?

 

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Web 2.0? I’m waiting for Web 5.0 … so they can work the bugs out.

While sitting in a job interview, the hiring manager always asks that same lame question:

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

and as long as you don’t answer like Peter Griffin did on Family Guy you should be golden.

But what if you asked the web the same question?

It’s truly amazing at how fast the web has grown and what it is capable of doing now.  I actually think of it as developing in “dog years” (yes, I’m simple that way).  As Clay Shirky mentioned in his presentation about “How Social Media Can Make History“, before the internet came along, we had only three uprisings of media and they were few and far between.  Writing, Printing and Audio/Video were the main advents in “technology” that connected the masses but then the computer made its way into almost every household.  When this happened most IT guys were always quoted as saying, “don’t worry … everyone will get use to it”.

 

 

I don’t know it became easier or if the internet just became over saturated with Awesomeness and that finally allowed the fearfull to become adventurous.  We now have children and elderly creating their own media, games and applications but where do we go next?

Comedian David Huntsberger mentions the advent of the Bluetooth and a possible future chip installed in our heads … but is he really that far off?  In the world of technology, computers went from huge machines that were the size of most living rooms and now we can hold one in our hands.  The sad part is that we will never be satisfied on the size of our machinery.

 

I know that Derrick Zoolander isn’t giving us Blue Steel or Magnum but he is showing us how “stupid” our options of size can get.  What’s next, are we going to want bigger screen cellphones … oh wait, that’s what Samsung already did before Apple came out with the iPhone 5.  Sorry Apple – I’m not a fan.

Anyway, who knows what our next cellphone will look like but I am kinda hoping that it resembles this.  This internet is still a baby and is still growing up with us.  When we learn, it learns. When we improve, it improves.  So when people as a whole can use the internet to improve their health, finances and total livelihood then I ask again … What’s next?

I’d like to think that one day I can go shopping like this guy but corporate America can barely get U-scan to work correctly in Wal-Mart so I can dream, can’t I?  Until then … Welcome to the Internet’s Sh*tty 1000th draft.

I’m on YouTube? Oh crap!!!!!!

I know that I’ve done some crazy sh…,

“Shut your mouth!”

But I was only talking about “stuff”.

Where did she come from?

Anyway I know that I’ve done some crazy things in my youth, teens, 20’s and even yesterday but I never thought that I’d have to worry about seeing them on the internet.  With the advent of YouTube in 2005, anyone and everyone can instantly become a star without “accidentally” tweeting out a nude picture of themself.  Michael Wesch, an Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University, spoke at the Library of Congress back in June of 2008 about “An Anthropological introduction to YouTube”.

Wesch’s discussion was about how people use the internet to “speak” to the world but in actuality they are only talking to themselves in front of a camera.  Who are we really speaking to on YouTube?  Are we speaking to your friends, family or anyone that you hope will listen to your gibberish? Most people create their minutes of “star dome” in hopes of becoming the next big thing but they are lucky if their best friends actually glimpse at it.  Although some people are lucky to be talented, others will become “viral hits” for being horribly funny … so much so that others will recreate their disasters.

Just like Facebook and Twitter, YouTube has many security features that can help you, as the new “producer/ consumer” of media, focus your videos at your target audience.  Clay Shirky would probably laugh or say “right?” at our inability to keep our target audience in the cross hairs of our media blitz but if it can be shared … it will be.

You can do your best to live your life as clean as possible and do as many good deeds as possible but as long as we live in the information age with cellphones affixed to our hands … you too can be caught doing something others consider dumb.

As a man who is trying to become a teacher of the next generation of great minds (Lord help us!), I can’t ever say to those children that “I’ve never done that” because there is probably video proof of it somewhere in the hands of my archenemies or ex girlfriends.

So in 50 years, when my kids are trying to tell my grandkids or great grandkids how I helped shape the minds of students, helped create a new language or even thumb wrestled an intergalactic robot to negotiate world peace (it could happen) … they’ll google my name and will see this.  I guess my future Nobel Prize for World Peace by Thumb War Victory will forever be over shadowed by my choice of head-gear in the early 1990’s but then again most people forgot how great OJ Simpson was as an actor too.

All I can say is, just make sure to be careful about what you put on the internet.  You might be hoping that your loved ones are watching and reading everything that you are posting.  The scary part is that your actual audience will more closely resemble this guy.

So in the words of Ron Burgundy, “Stay classy San Diego”!

The Age of Twitter is Upon Us!!!!!

As someone who has actually been asked the question, “what did you do before you had a cellphone”, I laughed at the idea of Twitter catching on.  Now I find myself reaching for my phone to take a picture or comment about something I deemed funny earlier in the day.  Even with only 9 followers on Twitter (hold your applause), I still post as if for that one moment … I did something legen … (wait for it) … dary!

So what if I hit the gym for 2 hours today, had homemade potato and egg tacos for lunch or took a bull by the horns (its a metaphor … but I really did that).  Why would anyone care?

  1. Could it be that our lives are are distracting enough that we need to focus on someone else’s problems?
  2. Could it be that I’d rather just sum up a days worth of conversations in 140 characters?
  3. Could it be that we’ve all just got really out of touch?

 

In a time when; if you don’t know the answer to a question, a common response would be “Google it”, we are making ourselves less and less socially stable to actual conversations.  We discussed in class the other day about how a person that walks into a room filled with strangers will pick up their phone and automatically connect to their comfort zone.  That small group of “friends” or “followers” that give them comfort.  We rely on that comfort for many, many things in our day to day life.  Simple things like :

  • Can anyone recommend a contractor?
  • I’m in South Dallas and want something good to eat, where do I go?
  • Does anyone know what time the game starts?

These are all simple requests that could take you seconds of your own time to find the proper response but we rely on our “friends” and “followers”.  Bernardo Huberman wrote an article about Twitter called Social Networks that Matter : Twitter under the Microscope where he demonstrated how users of Social Media and Twitter have strong core groups and vast extended groups.  This plays well in advertising and other money making possibilities.

You might be asking yourself, “how is this going to make money'”  Well it’s simple!  You say that you like something and “word of mouth” travels faster on the internet … so all of your core group people will also try that one thing you liked.  It also can do the same in the negative advertisement.  Just ask Chick-fil-a and JC Penny, both of these companies had a bad year in anti-gay remarks and were cast aside by many but strongly supported by others.  In their fights, I guess it just depended on whose core group of friends was stronger.

Although most people will use Twitter to just describe lunches, manicure and other mundane events, we have the ability to use it for a better purpose.  We can actually hyperlink articles, videos or music that have touched a cord with us, so that hopefully it can help someone else get through their day. Author Steven Johnson wrote an article for Time Magazine in June of 2009 were he expressed how Twitter is and will be on the for front of our current Social Media explosion.  His vision of how the tweaks to current applications and the users ability to customize the use of their daily ramblings to the Huberman style groups made it a very interesting read.  I found myself getting mad at Facebook for trying to buy out Twitter and then realized that they are trying to duplicate the same features to Facebook.

Oh well… as long as I can still pick up my cell phone in the morning and get my days fill of news via those alloted 140 characters, we should be good. Can you imagine the actual conversations at the work water cooler or the family dinner table that would occur if we all shared just a little something Extraordinary?

Getting My Edumacation On!

In our high tech – low touch life styles, we as Americans “claim” to want to return to the “way things were when we were young”.  Simple things like Saturday morning cartoons, silly putty copies of the newspaper comic section or even listening to a sporting event on the radio would make me feel like I just stepped out of Doc Brown’s Delorean after reaching 88 mph but who am I kidding?

Today I take a chance, if you will, to give my two cents on the “new sensation” known as blogging.  As a student that hates to read and a father/ husband that has far too much on his plate … I don’t see the hook to the whole blogging movement but I guess since it’s been around longer than my kids it might be sticking around.  Until my class on Friday, I honestly didn’t even know that I was reading blogs and today I’m actually writing my 3rd post … can you say crazy?

Anyway, let’s get back on topic.  The words blogging and web 2.0 are rather new terms that the latest generation can text circles around us with but in my best comparison they are simply “fancy magazines” in a packed library. With one click of the mouse you can have more information than your brain can intake and  process pop up on the screen and feed you scandal, lies, truths, videos, music or digital books (the things we see in libraries or our parents book shelves).  According to Rettberg, blogging can be done for multiple reasons,: diaries, business, helping and many others and we as “consumers” are so ready to be the next big thing, we will do whatever it takes for our 15 minutes of fame.  Why not? It’s only one click away and if you liked it, you’ll share it and so on and so forth.  That’s how Facebook started (according to the movie).

Are we, as a population, ready for this phase of technology?  Why not? We post and release so much of our “private information” on sites like Facebook and Indeed that if your account gets hacked … it could be hard to prove that you are who you say you are.  So just hold on and have some fun because I know I will try (as Pearl Jam’s – Yellow Ledbetter plays in the back).

See you soon … I hope.

Today could have been better

After my large window AC compressor went down, I’ve had some trouble staying on point with this heat in my house.  At least I finished reading for my classes.  Hopefully reading all these setting changes and link tools external pages, I’ll be able to upload links, blogs and other cool stuff.  Bear with me ladies and gentlemen … I’ll get this before Christmas (especially since this class ends on December 6th … I think).