Intro to Networked Collaboration


I recently went to 2 events that I was invited to on facebook. Ever since events were created on facebook everyone has been using them to plan their own events. I invited people to my last two Birthday parties through facebook. It has been quite convenient for me. It’s nice to get event invitations because there’s almost always an event that I could possibly attend. The last 2 events that I attended from facebook was a friend’s Birthday party and a Thanksgiving eve party.

I had a lot of fun at the Thanksgiving party because I saw a lot of old friends/acquaintances that I haven’t seen in years. It’s fun to look at the facebook event to see who’s coming out of the people who were invited. Not only that, but since it was an open invite, you could invite as many people as you want and/or bring them along with you. Therefore I invited a bunch of my friends, many of which came. These facebook events have all the information for the event on one page and they are so simple to create. The party itself was a blast. My brother’s friends do it every year at the same venue and I went last year, so I knew what to expect. A lot more people showed up this year. All in all, I’m glad that I went.

As for the Birthday party, it was for a not so close friend of mine. She’s actually more of a friend of a friend. However, she invited me on facebook so I figured I’d check it out. This was actually last night. It was pretty far away and I brought some friends with me. She had specifically told us that we had to be there by 11:30pm so that women wouldn’t get charged for cover. But, when we got there we were informed that there was a Bar-Mitzvah until 12am. My friend was not informed of this. Therefore, my friends and I decided not to stay. I didn’t know anyone going anyway. And I knew about who was going through the event page on facebook.

What I find really interesting is that if something is going on there is usually an event for it on facebook now matter what kind of event it is. It replaces the need to call or send a letter through the mail. Now there are even websites that are made for weddings where all the information that you need to know about the wedding is right there on the website.

I also know from a facebook event that Starbucks is donating 5 cents for every beverage bought for the Global Fund to help save lives in Africa. This is going on for the entire month!

That’s all I want to say for right now. Enjoy your events!

November 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Politics360 Event Critique

I was invited to participate in a Politics360 event during the last Presidential Debate.  Politics360 is a social media community forming around our emerging collective interest in politics and the machinations and deviousness of our elected officials!  My friend is involved in promoting them and so invited me to the event.

It was a lot of fun to participate in it. Particularly, since listening to debates has become do depressing or anger inducing, it is a good idea for me to do this in the company of other people.

The idea is a really great one. It looked like about 30 people were logged in, and quite a few of them seemed to already know each other. But, I am not sure where they were. I only knew my friend.  We logged in with a pseudonym. I don’t think any of us were using our exact names. We were all commenting in posts as the debates went on, so it was like a rolling commentary. It was really fun, but in a way I felt that just throwing my ideas out there to a bunch of strangers was not necessarily the best idea. I did engage a few times in side conversations, cause people would respond to something someone else posted.  Sometimes, I am not sure humor is taken as intended, which we’ve talked about already here in Net Collab, and maybe is best to avoid although that is really censoring for me.  As the event went on, there were just more and more comments adding up.  We had to continually refresh our browser to keep the scrolling comments going on, which is the one thing I noticed that isn’t the case with SL or Paltalk.  The format in SL or in Paltalk just scrolls by without refreshing.

In the spirit of the smart mob or crowd sourcing, and networked collaboration, I like the idea of Politics360 aggregated with content from other political or activist sites.  Some of the content and functionality of CREDO or Move-on that actually sends us notices when specific bills are up in our legislatures, with all the links set up so we can write in, it would be a really effective tool for me. This is really powerful for knowing when to tune it to monitor Congress, or White House press conferences, for example and then send out comments and also send out links to the content to other mad voter peeps!

The next thing would be to have the comments scrolling under C-Span emissions!  That would really make Politics360 cool! And, also a way to chunk that content in Jumpcut so we can spread it around our peeps with our commentary! That would be pretty good, cause C-Span format is crap and totally inappropriate for the needs of today’s modern voters who are over-stretched time-wise and underpaid every other-wise. We need to be able to get more control of C-Span and monitoring Congress as time goes by so those scoundrels know we’re watching their every move (and every word they say or don’t say!)! I especially hear they wait till 2AM to pass the really dirty bills that they know they don’t want any journos and cameras around covering! (Matt Taibbi covers that stuff late at night: )

Politics360 would also be 24/7 then!

Anyway, I welcome all of this participatory media convergence for voters and hope we can make this more and more an everyday occurrence in every voter’s life in order to save the country from the predators!

November 29, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Meeting with Rafi Event Critique

I really enjoyed the visit to SL to hear Rafi in Josephine’s Island. That was really fun. Although, I have no idea how I found the link because searching for the links and wikis on SL is really really tedious and unbelievable for me. It is not the picture perfect idea of usability for me. At least not beyond the ‘enthusiast’, or ‘tech forward’ which I am definitely not.
I did enjoy the novelty of the whole thing. It is cool to be able to gather a bunch of people together who don’t have to be in the same city, timezone, or whatever. That is a real advantage over the kinds of meetings and conferences like this that have to take place at an appointed time and place. The whole thing about the avatar is really cool and being able to make up a name and a whole persona is really a cool game. I am sure there is something deep in there about why that is so appealing (at least to me). And, I guess building your own Island would also be really self-expressive and cathartic in a way.  That would be fun, although I doubt I would ever get around to that.

As far as the actual event goes, I really like the scrolling typing chat. It would have been more interactive for me if we had been able to view the I Dig Tanzania Youtube right in second life instead of having to open up separate browsers and leave SL for a while. that goes on , and also talking in the mics if we want to. I have seen this before on Paltalk, which is a great format even if most of the content I have seen there is not too compelling for me. I also participated in a Politics360 event, which I will critique separately. I was delighted to be able to sit down in the sofa and not have to walk around much, cause I haven’t mastered that yet in SL. I more or less bump into things, and can’t walk a straight line. I was so glad Josephine recognized that and just told me to right-click and sit down. I still have no real pathway in my brain about how to find destinations on SL and I am very glad that I can just be teleported as long as I can send an IM to the people I am trying to meet. I also got timed out twice the next time I went to the Art tour Josephine invited me too, but my friend added like tons more memory to my machine the other day, so hopefully that won’t happen again.

Also, recording it and making that available is a really cool way to revisit, review and firm up the learnings. I am becoming more and more used to this now that so many First Life events are also being recorded and I can download them at my leisure later. I think it is part of the emerging paradigm for how we will consume both live events, and online events. Also, it would be cool to do blog posts and comments on a wiki format or something. I guess a little like we’re doing now, except we aren’t watching the recording now simultaneiously. One time, I couldn’t even get to a First Life event, but watched it on the simultaneous webcast, and then watched it again, or send the links to other enthusiasts in my peeps full of my comments and recommendations, which may be more and more. This is like in Jenkins except it is also convergence with real-life or First Life.

I definitely like what Rafi and Global Kids do, and wholeheartedly support them.  I actually listened to the whole thing again later when Josephine sent it out and I made notes this time about the actual work and design process Rafi talked about and also the concepts they seek to teach the students who participate from all over the world. I really think the things about collaboration, media and information literacy, and cultural awareness all over the world, etc.  We really need that now before things get tenser and worse globally.  I’d like to see what Global Kids do happen more and more and everywhere. I am working with colleagues to try to introduce these formats more into media and to get sponsors interested in this kind of thing over broadcast formats, so the timing was really get for Rafi’s talk.

I look forward to more live events in SL.  I could definitely see it for myself for this conference thing. Not sure I would hang out much there to meet new people cause I do that so much already in First Life, and am not done with that yet! I am not at all a talk radio person, which is why Paltalk doesn’t work for me, so meeting random people in SL would have absolutely no appeal to me.  I also wonder about all the server farms out in Oregon and really just how much disk space all this content is taking up and also how we’ll get it back if there is a major disk or energy crash!  So much of our output is ending up there that used to get written down on paper. Now, we have no paper copy backups! But, that is a topic for another day.

November 29, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Class in Second Life

So I’ve been trying to post this for the longest time but for some reason my browser would not let me update the blog. 


So anyways here is my 2 cents on the second life meeting for class.


I though the whole thing was really interesting. Luckily we had listed off our second life names on the wiki page so it made things easier for me to find someone I knew from the class. 

So like Plumeria has mention it was really hard to not interact as much during the class session but having to listen. Rafi has a lot of interesting things to say and watching the video of the kids working with second life  on a archeological expedition in another country is such a cool idea. I did not know that second life could be that involved.

I think I might have scared my roommate when I was responding and telling a little about myself. Because I share a room with 2 other people she thought I was talking to myself and I think it might have freaked her out a little.

Plumeria brought up a good point that not being able to have much interaction and having to listen more defiantly made the session a little more hard to focus. I had noticed my SL charter had slouched over so I had to move the mouse around so that she would be sitting upright again. I felt so tempted to just get up from the sitting position and run around in a circle and then sit down again.

So after the class session Plumeria, Stacy and I stayed and chatted a bit. It was fun to be able to type and give my 2 cents in regards to the conversation. It was difficult only because I felt so awkard to talk while my roommate was in the room. I guess that is why I am not a HUGE fan of video chatting, skype, or talking in secondlife…the feeling of being rude while others are doing something in the room. 

I think that there should be more classes held in second life.

November 27, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Second Life Meetings

The lecture by Rafi was an interesting experience.  I enjoyed being able to “meet” the class, even though our SL alter personalities were kind of confusing.  I did find it harder to focus on the speech since there was really no movement to watch.  I felt more able to focus when I treated the speech like a radio and just listened, instead of looking.

I really loved the idea of following an archeological expedition in another country.  I get the feeling that the students really learned a lot and got to feel some sort of kinship with the Tanzanian community they were networked with.  I think this has tremendous potential for conflict resolution/peacebuilding among disputing communities, and maybe even students from different environments in the U.S.

My Jumpcut group stayed after the lecture to discuss our project.  This too, was a great networking experience.  Stephanie was typing Stacie and I were using the mic, so sometimes we went a little to fast for Stephanie.  I think this was a more effective communication experience than the lecture because I was more involved rather than simply a listener.  I would like to see more instructor lead such experiences (bringing the possiblity of sharing educational videos etc.) at the online New School in general.  

In reference to the “resistance” to networked communication that one of the students had mentioned at the lecture and in her blog, I feel like I am finally overcoming that resistance and jumping into the stream of web sharing.  I am beginning to see the tremendous potential of our ability to communicate and create overseas and it’s very exciting.

November 21, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Twitter Connections via Search

I’ve been getting into Twitter on a daily basis now to find out information on photographers and events that might be happening in the city. A useful way of search for new tweets to follow has been to use the Search link on the banner at the bottom of the page and enter the search terms “photography”, “photographer”, or “photographs”. Through those I found someone had mentioned the documentary series In Harm’s Way. I’ve admired the work of James Nachtwey, Robert Capa, Margaret Bourke-White and others. By putting their names in the search box I can find links to what others are saying about them, news about gallery shows or new images on the web. Through a tweet I discovered Matt Armendariz who specializes in food photography and also runs a humorous and informative food blog, Matt Bites. I was so inspired by his photographs that I’ve written him an email telling him so. So who knows, maybe he’ll write me back. But even if not, it’s exciting to be as close as an email to artists I admire.
UPDATE: Matt Armendariz responded to my email with some very kind words of encouragement. To my classmates: if someone you admire has put their email on the web, use it! You have nothing to lose and a new contact to gain.

November 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

SL sub-adventure

OK so I am trying to get back to orientation island. I had a great time there last week, and created my avatar. But, now I am at this screen and it is not at all obvious to me how to get back to Orientation Island with that interface that seemed pretty good.  This is the kind of thing for which I need like hands-on instruction.  I need a help desk for the most basic things till I get the hang of it. Can anyone help? (Of course way after the fact).


November 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Smart Mob Democracy

It is inspiring to read how crowds are using tech to make democratic things happen in the public sphere.  I personally love participating in it, although I myself don’t use text messaging for that.

I am working to get a project off the ground that would give some partipatory information tools to youth groups who participate in UN general assembly sessions about sustainability economics and food system. Right now, these groups don’t have the money to invest in detailed statistical presentations like all the other lobbyists and country delegations, so their presentations are mostly emotional pleas, and are perhaps treated as such. We want to create information tools so they can do information and data mash-ups in real-time in response to the official presentations on the floor, with real hard core compelling evidence that they can present during their comments period and also enter into the official proceedings. So, I love this stuff.

There are two things that are issues for me. One is the vulnerability of mobile networks or the Internet to getting shut down in a crisis by a despotic government under threat. The next time a democratic mob in Philippines tries to shut down a government, those guys are going to know exactly which switches to ‘inadvertently’ switch off for a few hours. “Ooooops!  We didn’t know. We didn’t do it on purpose!” Like we had a black out here on the whole East Coast because someone in Buffalo, or Cleveland made a little mistake in a power plant!  Then of course there are the vulnerabilities from a rights and law perspective that Lawrence Lessig talks about the previous chapter ‘Wireless Quilts’. The legal frameworks that protect the Internet for what it is are quite fragile and there are plenty of big company lobbyists trying to change them to give more power to the infrastructure pipeline and information companies. So, we should not take this lightly, although we mostly do since legal stuff is so boring to talk about, or think about, or do anything about.

The other thing is that only 5M out of 70M Filipinos made the action happen in the Estrada case. They clearly represent a pretty high economic or urban status to be playing in the mobile network, so I wonder what the other 65M people would have done re: this regime. In our own country, really smart ‘mobs’ use their money and power to push things through legislation, while the rest of the people are not even in the Conversation. They just did that in California. They can create all kinds of emotional media and blast that on TV, under the guise of one thing, but really being acts of intolerance against a minority or tyranny of the majority against a minority and it is all protected under ‘free speech’ at the moment.  I am thinking mostly about Washington and all the secret Lobbying that goes on under our noses while we’re working and studying and child caring and elder caring…or entertaining ourselves into bankrupcy…So, how does this networked mob democracy thing change that?

Clearly though with participatory networking, we are able to connect with other people and share our truly democratic ideas through these tools (not without sacrificing anonymity to some information ‘authority’ however ), but the threatened minority shouldn’t have to rely on the largesse or ‘kindness’ of a privileged minority with mobile phones to look after their interests in the democratic sphere. That sounds unreliable to me and isn’t the way it was designed here at the beginning, although it is breaking down with these state constitional amendments and a Supreme Court Chief Justice who is overtly ‘anti-activist’ and will do nothing to correct inequities as they creep up.

November 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

my second life part II

Stacey and I met in Second Life.  It took us awhile to find each other.  I thought it would be fun to have a hind and seek in Second Life.  We chatted for a while and made a plan to find some more clothes, but then Stacey’s computer crashed & that was the end of our adventure.  

Later on, I visited Bollywood which is an oceanside pavilion with Eastern inspired architecture, furniture interior decorating.  It was really beautiful and peaceful there.  Nobody else was there though.  I went to the Stanford Library as well, but didn’t get a chance to use it, or find out whether is a “student only” thing or open to the public.  I was amazed that these institutions have such a presence on this networked program.  They are definitely progressive.  

A couple of days ago, I went to an art gallery but was mostly uninspired, except for the three dimensional, rotating or refractive-inspired pieces.  For some reason, many of paintings are blurry.  The idea of going to a “virtual” art gallery is pretty funny, however could be a useful idea for an online store.

November 16, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Second Life

wow.. so i just used second life for the first time this morning. i tried using it on my laptop at my apartment but the program freezes my computer. however, i am in NJ right now so i got to use my parents computer to go on second life. my first reaction to all of it was that i had no idea what i was doing. i spent most of my time going up to people and chatting with them.. i met someone from Turkey, another person from Ireland, and a few others. one guy was speaking Italian to me and i had no clue what he was saying. i couldn’t find anyone from the US. It also seemed like there were a lot of older guys trying to hit on me even though they didn’t know what i actually look like! it was reallly creepy! i even chatted with someone on my microphone just to test it out. in general my first impression from the program was that it is very dangerous because there are a lot of freaks out there. i didn’t put any personal information on there, however, i don’t even know how to. i wonder if this will be more accepted in the future because right now it scares me. i spoke to a few friends about it and they all think it is a bad idea. i think i need to explore it a little more to get a better judgment of it all. besides talking to people, i explored the world and flew around. as much as i hate to admit it, it could get very addicting. maybe it’s a good thing that it doesn’t work on my laptop!

i also took a few snapshots 😛

i would love to hear what everyone has to say about it.. by the a reminder, my name on there is REL Gothly.

bye for now! 🙂

November 16, 2008 Posted by | culture | 1 Comment