I recently found out about a specialized Twitter app called UberSocial. Up until now I have just been using Twitter on my computer and through the regular iPhone app (I’m not as “Twitter dependent” as most people are), so I was intrigued to see what this app was all about. I looked to their website to find out more information, in which I found out that the app works not only on iPhones, but also on Blackberrys and Androids. The website claims that UberMedia (the maker of UberSocial and another specialty app called Echofon) “makes it easier for users to find, follow and communicate with others on Twitter and other social media platforms.” I went ahead and downloaded UberSocial. I had to authorize the app to access my account, and informed me this application can: read tweets from your timeline, see who you follow and follow new people, update your profile, post tweets for you, and access your direct messages; which is similar to how the regular Twitter app functions. However, this app allows you to customize it by choosing a color scheme that you like, which differs from the default theme of the regular Twitter app.
UberSocial was also a bit more pervasive than the regular app. After I chose a color scheme, a message came up telling me to follow UberSocial on Twitter and to provide an email address so that they can send information about service issues and product updates. Since I don’t really care to know all this information, I decided not to follow UberSocial. Once I declined, another message came up asking to follow UberSocial just for news and updates, which I declined again. I personally found it annoying and didn’t like how the app itself had a social/interactive function on Twitter because I simply wanted to use it as a service.
Once I was all logged in, my Twitter feed immediately came up. While it has similar features as the regular Twitter app, there are a few differences. First, it shows account names, @ mentions, links, and hashtags in a different color than the main text of the Tweet, which I actually really like. Also, instead of the toolbar of options on the bottom, access to everything is located on the top of the screen. It also features advertisments on the bottom, which is a little annoying but tolerable. The biggest difference between the regular app and UberSocial is that it has a whole hidden toolbar of options. I clicked through most of the buttons and found that UberSocial is definitely more advanced than the original app. There are a ton of different types of settings that you can choose, including account settings, tweet settings and performance settings. It seems to give the user a lot of control over how they want the app to run and certain information or actions. While I can definitely see why many Twitter users would want to use UberSocial, it is just a little too intense for my liking. Everything that I would want to do on Twitter can be done with the regular app, so I’m not sure if I will continue to use this or not.
Adding a New Venue or Fake Venue on Foursquare is easy .
So I’ve decided to add a Fake Venue named “I love the Internet.”
First, you have to make a search for this place. If the search results are not satisfying, you can click “Add this Venue” at the bottom ofthe list.
Then, it allows you to add detailed information about the place.
So the name of the place is “I love the Internet.” Its category is Theme Park in Art&Entertainment section, and its address is 1234 State Street.
So the place is added!! Now you can check-in to that new venue.
Actually you can earn more points by doing this. If you come up with really funny name for a place, add the place then it will exsit on Foursquare.
Land of Whatever, which I made for just a quick experiment, is still on the venue list.
You can be a mayor of your own imaginary place by checking-in to the place a lot. The chances are high since only you know the place. Your friends can check in too.
I think this kind of feature may allow some deceitful jokes by fake businesses or shady individuals.. but I found this very interesting and fun to do.
As I peruse Reddit and Digg this evening, procrastinating the studying for my Art History exam tomorrow, I noticed some distinct differences about the “culture” surrounding each website that I think would be helpful to point out to the rest of the class.
Digg features a story submitted 21 hours and 6 minutes ago, but the comments range from 3 hours and 20 minutes to 2 hours and 29 minutes. There are 7 comments total out of the 2,138 people who viewed it.
However, on Reddit, a similar story with the same time frame of 3 hours accumulated 569 comments, although you cannot tell how many views it’s had.
I think this illustrates an important point about the uses of each website; the communities surrounding each site are very different in demographics, intent, and customary practices.
While Digg users have a ratio of almost 1:1 men to women, they are much younger and much wealthier than the average Reddit user, who is almost always male, late twenties to early forties, with a middle range income. For these reasons, in addition to the layout of the site, users treat the websites differently, and log on for different reasons. The Reddit community is tight-knit and leaves short witty comments on various stories. Digg users are more distant and browse a few stories; when they comment, they tend to be longer, more thought out messages.
I’d like to leave you with a screen shot of the Reddit page last night around midnight. It shows user “seriouslydave” commenting on another comment containing the words “seriously Dave.” He posted the joke and others knew he was probably excited about it, so they said so. The third user decides to log off, but comments on the comment to say he or she likes the jokes by saying “well done… good night.” I think this string of comments really portrays the environment of Reddit.
While it’s a bit of a stretch to claim that Bravo TV’s discussion board forum is a channel of networked activism, as conversation sparked here is void of political debate and/or plans to organize the next flash mob, some boards do generate disputes about and examinations of current social issues.
Almost every discussion board which exists for Bravo’s original program The Millionaire Matchmaker features comments about “The Millionaire’s Club” owner and series star Patti Stanger, more specifically her attitudes about/toward and her treatment of women. This high powered, highly botoxed reality TV celeb. is loud, vulgar, and aggressive. And while she claims to have women’s best interests in mind, many of the show’s viewers find her to be rather offensive, as she often ridicules the women in her “club” for being fat, ugly, unfashionable, and for emanating “bad energy.” The users of Bravo TV’s discussion board forum often post comments requesting that the program be removed from the network’s lineup.
“[The Millionaire Matchmaker] should be taken off the air immediately,” (Gillessnscolour).
“Take off this… televised prostitution from your programming BRAVO!” (sayingithowitis).
Likewise, other Bravo TV shows, such as Flipping Out, also receive quite a bit of flak via Bravo’s own message boards. Flipping Out’s star and interior designer Jeff Lewis is often criticized by several members of the gay community, individuals who maintain that Lewis, a gay man himself, represents homosexuals in a negative way. He’s been described as “egotistical, selfish, condescending, [and] anal,” (Stevehet). In a post to the show’s season 5 discussion board, user edwardc condemns Lewis for exhibiting values that “are not in line with mainstream gay America.” Much like The Millionaire Matchmaker, Flipping Out also gets requests (via Bravo’s discussion board) to be taken off the air.
Despite what I’ve shared in this particular practicum post, most participants on Bravo’s message boards do, in fact, enjoy the network’s programs and often post favorable comments to the webpage. However, comments such as those I’ve discussed here, ones which call attention to and critique televisual representations of women and homosexuals, do generate active debates about these current social issues. While these debates may not spark greater activism or social movements, Bravo TV’s discussion forum allows for a multiplicity of opinions to be heard. The Bravo network may control some aspects of discussion through the site’s terms and conditions, yet such debates are not censored. And, while Morozov may feel that such “activism” is that which doesn’t make any difference, each user’s comment is valued equally by Bravo and is displayed equally to fellow users. These Bravo discussion boards are representative of a democracy, of a networked public and virtual sphere, whereas perhaps Bravo TV itself is not.
Apart from social issues, discussion boards (in general) allow for the debate of any issue. The following comment is one I’ve posted to he discussion board for Million Dollar Decorators (season 1)…
This particular comment calls into question the authenticity of reality TV personalities, and while I thought it was the perfect comment for sparking debate, no one commented on it.
To be honest, I have never visited hulu! While I know many people watch all their TV shows using it, I cant stand watching TV or Movies on my laptop! So, I really only visit youtube when someone sends me a funny clip. For purposes of this blog though, I searched my all time favorite clip on both youtube and hulu. While it showed up on youtube, it did not on hulu!
My favorite video is of Sophia Grace and her hype girl Rosie singing “Super Bass” on the Ellen show. While the Ellen show has a “channel” on both youtube and hulu, I was surprised that that the clip wasnt on her channel on hulu, but was on youtube. The only thing remotely close to the clip on hulu was an interview Russel Brand gave where he talked about Sophia and Rosie.
Why the clip is on ellen’s youtube channel and not hulu I may never know… but I think I will stay with youtube.
I was thinking about how I play WoW, and how I’ve been making posts on the course blog, but I haven’t really discussed my interactions with other players and how they game, which is what this short post will be about.
Of the other players in WoW I have encountered, I can identify at least three different types: beginner, casual, and hardcore.
Beginners are the noobs who are still trying to figure things out, so their skill level is relatively low. The amount of time they dedicate can range from only 30 minutes a day to 8 hours a day. They play mostly for the gaming experience since they may not have many online friends when they first join. Once beginners reach an intermediate level, they either become hardcore or casual gamers.
Casual players have most of WoW figured out and play for the enjoyment of the social or gaming experience. Casual players play on average less than 3 hours a day, often not everyday of the week. I definitely fit into this category.
Hardcore players have mastered the skills of WoW. They can play anywhere from 1 hour-12 hours per day, and often marathon for up to 24 hours straight. Hardcore players are mostly just obsessed with the game for either the social or interactive experience, but some hardcore gamers play WoW for supplemental income by leveling other peoples’ characters in exchange for money. Hardcore players are also more competitive; they not only quest, but play in realms that are for player versus player (PvP) action – the battle mode of WoW which reflects on a player’s gaming record.
Here are some questions to think about for the interactive media presentation tomorrow:
– how do games like WoW and WWF (words with friends) blur the line between the self and the virtual self?
– how can the depth of play in WoW relate to its user base? Think about race, gender, class, etc., and how aspects of WoW might carry over into RL (real life).
Thanks for reading!
As my gameplay has progressed, I have been interacting more with people I have not talked to in a while. I recently started new games with facebook friends who I have not spoken to in a while. The chatbox was very useful to catch up with eachother. The different ways to connect to people creates this community. Words With Friends is so interactive that many who do not play can feel left out of this community. My best friend is not very good at words with friends and therefore hates playing it. She always says how she wishes she could like the game because she feels left out. This is one way how Words With Friends can be proven to have its own community now.
Another thing I decided to look at was the ways people could cheat when playing Words With Friends. I actually found out that there is an app you can download that looks exactly like Words With Friends but helps you come up with words to beat your opponents. I have yet to download this game since it costs 1.99 and I do not like cheating. I have been informed that you will not realize when this app is being used. There are also many websites that can help people cheat with this game. People have become so competitive that cheating is the solution for them to win. This makes this game a little unethical.
Here is an example of an online source that can help you cheat:
Questions for my project:
- Do you think Words With Friends would have been just as successful if it was just a pass and play game?
- Have you seen anyone interact socially over Words With Friends?
- Do you think that Words With Friends has created its own little community out of this network game?