Intro to Networked Collaboration

SL: Exhibition at Pencil Factory (review)

(This posting should again be a comment to smartscrutiny’s last entry – since I want to put up pictures I do my own post instead):picture-24





This SL meeting was about exploring space(s) and interacting with amazing, surprising, aesthetic objects – when the nicest part about it was to have a guided tour, get instructions on what to do in front of objects, and getting saved (re-teleported) once you got lost. I feel that meetings like this are a condensed learning experience. What would take me forever to figure out on my own, is happening here really quick: jumping into a cave, creating sounds together, creating messages on the huge typewriter. Or, meditating on a stone: I loved to see my movements that just happened without me doing anything, animated by the artwork (as I naively explain it).

This time communication (besides the tour guides)m mostly  happened through text, without voice, which made it possible form me to focus more on my experience on the exhibition then on the class interaction itself. Still there was this ‘doing something together’, and I think it was an important part of the class.

At times, being in an online class for the first time, some part was missing for me, communication- and energy wise: meeting people for talk and exchange: what you get from just listening to other people’s ides. The SL meetings where definitely inspiring in that way, there was the energy of the common experience …

Doing a performance together would have been the perfect part III, sorry I missed it but will come back for it. Thanks Josephine for a very inspiring class and ideas that can be built on!

December 16, 2008 Posted by | collaboration, crowdsourcing, culture, education, events, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Final Project – Mash up


Above is a link to the conversation Rohit and I had concerning our final project via Facebook Chat. This was just a day after Rohit had returned from Bangkok and he told me about his experience. It is very interesting and it also gave me a unique perspective looking at the photos he had uploaded onto Jumpcut. I felt very isolated and safe listening to his story and looking at the photos and i uploaded a video that expressed those feelings to me. It worked very well with music that Rohit downloaded… we added photos and tweaked the audio and placed words in the frames as well as splicing up the original video. I really like the ‘Ken Burns’ fade-outs and the way my video was spliced thru the photos in the end.  My computer is giving me problems with the sound but Rohit sais the audio works fine; the audio is a combination of added tracks by Rohit and audio by me off the pre-recorded videos… I really like the end result and I think it was fascinating to work on this project with Rohit, particularly to hear about his experience in the midst of a government crushing protest, but also to create art with someone thousands of miles away. I look forward to doing it again! Here’s a link to our film:

Hope y’all enjoy!

December 12, 2008 Posted by | collaboration, final, mashup | , , , | 2 Comments

SL Art Performance – Brooklyn is Watching

Last night, I participated in my first SL Art performance.  Josephine recorded the performance so it can be shown in an art space in Brooklyn at some time.  We were able to meet as a group in SL to practice beforehand.  It took a little effort to master the usage of the animations, but I must say that it was much easier than I originally anticipated.  I think in SL it is easy to be turned off or intimidated by the “foreignness” of the experience.  But once you jump in and open up yourself to the experience, I found that it is rewarding because you see what is possible in SL that is not in the real world and you can make meaningful connections with other people.

Interacting with my classmates as well as members of the grad class that I had not interacted with at all was definitely interesting.  It is interesting because there are some users that had voice activated and many that did not.  I enjoyed having the freedom to speak or to type as it further enriched the experience and felt that voice does allow a stronger personal connection.  I think that is probably because when you are listening you can sense emotions better that could be related to humor, shyness, or confidence.  During the actual event, there was no speaking and we did not focus on the musical aspect of the performance.

Motion and the visual were the most importance aspects of the performance.  The interplay of our avatars on screen made interesting patterns and the climax involved many additions to our bodies in the form of geometric conical structures or arches that exaggerated our motions in the virtual space.  Even without any major audio, there was a definite rhythm to the performance.  It helped that there was a leader (in this case Josephine) that could coordinate our actions within some general guidelines.  If it was totally free form, I think it would be too chaotic and more difficult to appreciate as a performance.  There was definite freedom to move through the space positioning your avatar next to above and below others doing dance moves that would be very difficult or impossible in real life (at least for me!).  As programs get more sophisticated and you get more skilled at controlling your avatar, I can foresee that you could really “freestyle” and present an intricate and unique dance performance.  In fact there must be some users of SL that already do this.

Overall, I think it would be interesting to hear comments from the viewers in the real world of the event.  Of what they took away from it.  On a minor technical note, I was unable to “fall asleep” at the end of performance as was planned due to a glitch in SL.  I think that this then also becomes part of the overall experience and the performance.  I’ll post some snapshots from our practice stage when I get a chance later!

SL Group Practice before actual performance

SL Group Practice before actual performance

December 12, 2008 Posted by | collaboration, culture, events, remix, social networking, virtual worlds | 2 Comments

Institute for Multimedia Literacy SL Event

I attended this event quite a while ago but I never blogged about.  The island I was on and the materials I was viewing were quite interesting.  One of the presentations that was streamed was by Anne Friedberg who was discussing her book The Virtual Window.  She discussed her ideas on “windows” from architectural to windows on a screen.  The idea of framing from painting, photography and the framing of information in the book and virtual forms.

There was also an interesting video created by Eric Faden called “Fair(y) Use Tale”.  It commented on fair use and copyright law by using the video and audio from famous Disney cartoons.  It was spliced together to explain copyright law and then the principle that if the purpose is to create a new message completely that “fair use” would apply.  I am not doing it any justice but I am sure it can be found on youtube or on the internet somewhere.

I did meet a few people at the event but because I had joined the event towards the end there were not that many people left.  They weren’t too social but that’s okay.  We agreed that that it was a really good forum to get together for people with common interests which Second Life in general is.  Here are some snapshots from the event.

Anne Friedberg "talking" to my avatar.

Anne Friedberg "talking" to my avatar.

Me floating around on this island...

Me floating around on this island...

December 10, 2008 Posted by | collaboration, education, events, virtual worlds | 1 Comment

My wiki experience…

I made significant edits to an entry on Gujarati cuisine because it was lacking a lot of information.  Gujarati cuisine refers to Gujarat which is one of the states of India.  I love all types of Indian food, and Gujarati food is probably significantly different from what you get at most Indian restaurants.  I wanted to add to this entry because this is part of my heritage even though I was born and raised in New Jersey.  I definitely will be going back to the entry to add even more information as I have time.  I am sure that there plenty of people out there that will correct my article and definitely will be able to add to it further.  There are so many varieties of foods that I did not get to cover even from this fairly small state in India because each region within the state has a slightly different style and specialty.  I am interested to see how the original author responds.  I think it feels good to have contributed to the “public domain” and I am relieved that this is a collaborative process because I definitely do not know everything about the topic.

I struggled a little bit to find references for my information, because much of it I considered as common knowledge.  I definitely would not be breaking the “no new research” rule of wikipedia, but it will be interesting to see what happens to the article.  Nothing has changed so far, but I will continue to keep an eye on it.  I hope my mom will be proud.  Haha.

October 13, 2008 Posted by | collaboration, tools and methodologies | , | 1 Comment

Wikipedia posts

Let’s start the conversation about our Wikipedia posts.  It’s interesting. I’ve never contributed to any other postings on Wikipedia. I really didn’t know what to write about.  I decided to write a little about the company I work for since the information was outdated as the company has been through a lot of changes in the past year. So I created an account on Wikipedia and made a few updates. 


In reviewing my changes I noticed that I had misspelled a word in the posting, but I decided to leave it to see what would happen. I checked the history a couple of days after I posted the updates but there was no change. I again checked back yesterday and noticed that my error had been corrected… by another member of our class (thanks Arielle)!


I’m glad to see that someone noticed and corrected my posting but I am also wondering if we weren’t reviewing these as part of this class, how long would it have taken before anyone noticed. 


What have been your experiences?

October 5, 2008 Posted by | collaboration, education, Uncategorized | | 3 Comments

Erin’s First Week Assignment

Henry Jenkins says that convergence culture is where old and new media collide. Converging media is all around us, and has been all around us for some time. In the 1870s, telegraph technology collided with Bell’s new technology to create a new media; the telephone. Highway billboards have become large TV screens in increasing numbers, tapes have given way to digital music technology in the form of CDs and mp3s, VHS media has met its digital future in the DVD and Blu-ray disc, direct marketing has progressed from catalog mailings to telemarketing to email marketing to text message advertising, TV viewers are spending more and more time watching YouTube videos, and digital written communication is moving away from email towards online communities like MySpace and Facebook. These examples illustrate progressions from one media type to another, but perhaps convergence culture signifies something more. Convergence culture implies a situation where the collision of old and new media produces a noticeable cultural shift. One could argue that all of the above have created cultural shifts, and yet Jenkins says, “YouTube is the fullest embodiment of convergence culture”. Perhaps he is alluding to the participatory nature of YouTube (he goes on to speak about “participatory culture”). YouTube is a prime example of participatory culture. It is only successful when users participate, i.e. upload their own media content and view the content of others.

Each new wave of media that rolls into our culture corresponds to a different point in my life. Email became mainstream as I was graduating from high school. The internet became highly accessible during my freshman year in college. I saw a mobile phone for the first time during my junior year, and I bought my first cell phone three years later when I moved to Manhattan. I now rely heavily on email, Facebook, and texting. I see the genius behind i-mode’s targeting of Japan’s child/adolescent market. These technologies hit me when I was in my late teens and early twenties, and as much as I do use email, Facebook, and texting, I can imagine them being even more ingrained in my life had I been exposed to them as a child.

I find that Facebook has changed the way I interact with specific groups of people. It’s incredibly easy to let all my Vermont friends know when I’m driving up to visit my parents. When my dog had kennel cough (highly contagious!) I alerted all my dog park friends at the touch of a button. If I’m singing in something or going to see a show, I can invite my music and theatre friends through Facebook. Casting directors are beginning to form groups on Facebook to make it easier for actors and singers to submit themselves for projects. Lastly (and somewhat to my embarrassment), my roommates and I regularly leave notes for each other on Facebook instead of walking out to the kitchen and writing on the dry-erase board on the fridge! Food is optional; Facebook is not.

September 7, 2008 Posted by | collaboration, convergence, culture, social networking | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Networked Collaboration affecting business environments

Networked collaboration has enabled businesses and industries to reach global audiences as well as people who might not have even been apart of the audience.  The internet and networked collaboration have allowed people and products to connect through ‘six degrees of separation’.  Someone knowing someone or being interested in something, creates a network of communication referring the other party to the other person or product.  Businesses can reach masses of people through one initial person or page.
The environment and exchange are affected through the simple idea of, how do we communicate when the audiences are so diverse?  We talk to our mothers in a different way than we talk to our best friends.  This is also true for business relationships.  As a manger, you speak differently to your boss than you do to your subordinates.  Not only must a certain level of caution be used when distributing a mass e-mail, but a degree of language awareness must be observed when considering who you are speaking to in individual e-mails.
Another factor to consider when looking at how the business environment and communication exchange is affected through networked collaboration is looking at the cost.  It is VERY low.  It can almost serve as free advertising and marketing.  WOM (Word of Mouth) is the most effective way to build your customer database.  Networked collaboration is WOM at its best.

March 5, 2008 Posted by | collaboration, process | | 1 Comment

Social Protocols, Tools and Methodologies for Online Collaboration

What are some of the tools that are used?
Self-organizing mesh networks that create societies of cognitively cooperating devices
Community computing grids that support emergent swarms of supercomputing power
Peer production networks that build a constantly expanding commons for innovation
Social mobile networks that foster the collective action of “smart mobs”
Group-forming networks that integrate social and technical networks
Social software that enables the management of personal social webs
Social accounting tools that serve as trust building mechanisms
Knowledge collectives that extend the nature and reach of knowledge economies

After reading through Technologies of Cooperation, I find the community computing grids fascinating. It’s pretty brilliant for a group of people to use network computers to “share” CPU cycles for the greater good. This seems like such a simple way of collaborating and making a difference in research, more people and large companies should get involved. 

CPU cycles, unlike disk space, have the power to compute, to do things to data—which translates into the power to analyze, simulate, calculate, search, sift, recognize, render, predict, communicate, and control.” “millions of people and their PCs are not just trading music, but are tackling cancer research, finding prime numbers, rendering films, forecasting weather, designing synthetic drugs by running simulations on billions of possible molecules”.  

How are processes of collaboration affected in a virtual environment? 
Virtual Collaboration allows people from around the world the flexibility to “work” together at any time without many restrictions. Drawbacks may be few but two I thought of are the lack of human interaction but that perhaps could be remedied by a webcam and the technology, does everyone have the same expertise and tools to collaborate online?

February 25, 2008 Posted by | collaboration, tools and methodologies, Uncategorized | 2 Comments