Class Presentation Reflection: The Dark Side

Last week in my Social Internet course we had to give presentations about the Dark Side of social media and the Internet. Similar to an earlier presentation, are task was to coordinate this presentation using the Internet and social media. First, my classmates and I brainstormed in Google doc and came up with a list of topics we were all interested in. Then, we divided into groups. We then used social media to make sure everyone had a group and ask questions to one another. The topics we finalized included:

  1. Online Surveillance
  • NSA
  • Potential benefits of surveillance
  • Surveillance in China
  • Corporate
  1. Cyberbullying
  • Cyberbulling
  • Sexting & Child Pornography – my topic
  • Online Harassment
  1. Sexism
  • Gamer gate & Sexism
  1. Dark Side of Anonymity
  • Charity Fraud
  • Online Impersonation Theory
  • Social Comparison & Narcissism
  • Catfish and related issues

The interesting thing about this presentation is that we were doing it completely virtually! We used Blue Jeans Network to have our virtual meeting. I had never used this service before but it was so cool! All of us were able to join the meeting give our presentation by sharing our screen with the class. The website also had a chatroom type aspect, similar to instant messaging on skype, this allowed us to ask questions and talk during the presentations. I would highly recommend the Blue Jean Network! The connection was perfect and in a 3 hour class meeting we didn’t have a single glitch, very impressive! I think this was a great thing to integrate into a  Social Internet course, it showed us another great possibility the Internet gives us!

Blue Jeans Network Img

Curious what everyone thought about utilizing Blue Jean Network for class, so take my poll:


Week 10 Class Reflection: Internet Organizaiton

“Link by Link, Tag by Tag”

Monday nights Social Internet class was split into three parts dedicated to three specific questions, which I will discuss bellow:

What are we talking about?

Two Models for Organizing:

  1. Taxonomy – The traditional method for classifying. Taxonomy involves expert classifying things and coming up with the categories. (top down)
  2. Folksonomy – Opposite of the traditional method which does not require experts to classify things – folksonomy relies on anyone and everyone to classify things, no expert needed! Individuals can tag things and then we see categories emerge out of multiple tags. However they categories aren’t as organized as a traditional taxonomy – not as cleanly separated. One tag may fit in multiple categories.

We did a class exercise, to further emphasize this topic. One of my classmates had a pretty laptop cover of a sunset with mountains and water. Our professor tasked us with coming up with ten different “tags” for this laptop cover. We were asked to write them down and not discuss. These are the tags I came up with:Ocean

  1. Sunset
  2. Pinks
  3. Purple
  4. Skyline
  5. Rocks
  6. Mountains
  7. Shoreline
  8. Alaska
  9. Beautiful
  10. Romantic

Then our professor asked us to paste our tags into a google docs. There were some overlaps in the tags but also a lot of different tags. This is the tag cloud our professor made with the classes tags.

 icloud tag

No rules or guidelines were set prior to this. When rules / criteria are set, we only focus on the criteria and miss other categories by only focusing on the one thing, like color. A useful tagging system doesn’t have rules, this allows important characteristics to emerge.

My main take away from this portion of class: One thing can be “tagged” or classified as many things. One person may see something that no one else does. Suggested tags stop users for coming up with their own contributions!

Why does it even matter?

The next portion of class wad dedicated to answering why tagging even matters? We came up with the following list:

  • Efficiency
  • Necessity
  • Democratizes information organization
  • Feasibility
  • Helps connect the dots
  • This can be used to enhance productivity.
  • Social learning
  • Big data insights
  • Take something that is implicit (knowledge) and make it a more tangible resource that can be used (explicit.)

My take away: For me this discussion helped me clarify the readings – make the implicit explicit.

What do we do with this?

For the third part of class we discussed what we can do with these tags and folksonomies. We discussed reveres Google searches – allows you to search using just an image. Also, we talked about Facebook facial recognition tagging. Is it possible we will eventually get rid of taxonomies and solely use folksonomies.


This class discussion was based on our class readings from the book Everything is Miscellaneous (Prologue and Chapter 5 & 8). The author uses a lot of examples and analogies in his book which gave me a laugh and made it easy to understand the concepts he was talking about. This book is very enjoyable to read! If this is a topic you are interested, I would recommend it! Our professor also mentioned a similar book called Intertwingled by Peter Morville.

In the book Interwingled, Peter Morville says “Classification shapes the way people view the world”. To discuss this we talked about the Dewey Classification system used in libraries. Our professor told us to Google Dewey’s classification for religion – which resulted in a list of Christian religions and then the word “other”. A person viewing this list may assume the world’s most popular religion is Christianity, which is not correct based on world religion stats. Therefore, this shapes people’s views about religions in the world incorrectly. This is an excellent example of Peter Morville’s statement about classification shaping the way people view the world.




Week 10 – Reflection

This week in my social internet course we had virtual class – we each had to pick two research studies from 2014 and read and summarize them for our blog. Then, during normal class hours, we had to comment and discuss the readings of on each other’s posts. Here are a few of my thoughts on this week’s virtual class meeting:

It was amazing to sit home, eat dinner at a normal time, and participate in class while on the couch in comfy clothes! Even in this non-traditional classroom setting, I still learned a LOT! All my classmates picked extremely interesting topics – ones I wouldn’t normally had the chance to read! The topics picked by everyone in the class varied but there were a few themes that emerged – addiction & distraction issues with social media, technology in the classroom / workplace and twitter user prediction based on various characteristics, like word choice. Predicting users based on tweets was fascinating to me and also a bit scary!!

As for commenting on each other’s blogs and discussing the readings – it was a little chaotic at first but also fun! At first I was spending so much time responding to comments on my blog I wasn’t getting a chance to visit and read my classmates posts! But then I started getting fewer comments and was able to go and read everyone posts. Finding the ‘comment’ button was a big problem for me! Everyone has different layouts, which put the “comment” button in different places on the posts. I found myself scrolling through the posts a few times before I could actually find the comment button! Some layouts have it at the top and it says “commentary” others have it at the bottom and it says “leave a comment” and one I only found the button to comment after I “liked” the blog posts. Not sure if only I had this problem and it was just a “blonde” moment – or maybe other people had this problem too? It was pretty comical how much trouble I was having finding the comment buttons on some of the posts!

Probably about half-way through “class” time I realized “OH people from class are probably tweeting too!!!” – sure enough they were! So then I joined in the twitter conversation as well! A lot of multi-tasking went on for class Monday night but it was very fun and I really enjoyed reading about so many different topics! I definitely think this sort of class meeting fits perfectly into a “Social Internet” course!

Week 9 Reflection – Self-Organization

This week in my social internet course, we discussed self-organization. For tonight’s class we discussed each assigned reading by first coming up with a thesis statement for the paper.

For those of you who might not know, a thesis statement is defined as: “a short statement, usually one sentence, that summarizes the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, etc., and is developed, supported, and explained in the text by means of examples and evidence”

This allowed us to quickly summarize the articles – their purpose, goals and findings, and support for their findings, which then led to a discussion on the paper. This type of class set up really gave me a better understanding of the papers.

Key points from class, in my opinion:

  1. Our society is seeing a shift in “power” between organization and individuals related to online activism.
  2. The internet has taken away previous barriers related to activism – e-mail is free and allows you to reach a multitude of individuals quickly as appose to cutting out articles, copying them and then paying to mail them to people.
  3. Organized hashtags are very powerful.
  4. The internet allows people from all over to connect about topics they are interested in.

A popular example of self-organizing would be Anonymous which has received a lot of news coverage in recent years. For anyone interested in articles related to Anonymous I would highly suggested reading Vanity Affairs article – 4chan’s Chaos Theory, which was one of our assigned readings that was very interesting!

Overall class reflection and week 8

So this week instead of just reflecting on just the week’s class I thought I would reflect on the whole class thus far and along with this week’s material.

For those of you don’t know, this blog is to fulfill a requirement for my graduate course at Purdue. At first, I wasn’t sure how I would like blogging. I typically don’t put a lot of information on the internet or like writing anything somewhat personal that a lot of people are going to read. However, I have really come to enjoy it! I find that writing about the class as a “class reflection” really helps me to process the information and gather my own thoughts about the topics. I als o find reading other blogs to be very informative -I have been able to stay up-to-date with new technologies, apps, hacking stories, various research interests of mine, etc. all from following other blogs!

At this point, I think I will keep the blog up after the class ends in December. But I will probably add more of a personal touch to it. I am really interested in DIY crafts and make a LOT of wreaths that I think I would enjoy blogging about. No decisions has been made yet, I could possibly just create a new blog for post related to crafts and keep this one for professional blogs and keeping up with new technologies etc. Any suggestions?

For class, we are also required to professionally tweet. This is something I was more familiar with. I have had a twitter for a while now, but never used it to professionally tweet and therefore I created a new additional account. I was familiar with the twitter “etiquette” (unlike blogging etiquette which I am still trying to learn).

So the reason I decided to make this a twofold reflection was because my twitter was a part of a form of crowdsourcing, which was this week’s class topic. Crowdsourcing, for those of you who don’t know, is defined by the dictionary as:

the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers

On Saturdays, I tend to watch football and also all the tweets associated with the game. If I’m being honest, the social media aspect of sports has become one of my favorite parts of watching sports. I find it fun to read what fans are saying and also all the commentators will tweet clarification for rulings and penalties, etc. A few Saturdays ago I was looking at stories and found and interesting one – so I retweeted the article. A little bit later, I saw that someone had mentioned my story and thought they just found it interesting as well. Then the next day, I clicked on the link to see the story again but realized it was a different blog all together. I wasn’t sure why they were mentioning my tweet then? The blog had a variety of topics on the page with a ton of stories categorized by days for all the topics. I looked under the sports column for the page and realized the story I found was there and they said “Story shared by DMCrim”. All stories on their page had this line and many different twitter and blog usernames. So I asked my group about this on Monday – and they informed me that this was an example of crowdsourcing. Prior to this week I had very little knowledge on the topic, but now I am more informed!

Class Reflection – Week 6

This week in my social internet course, we were assigned readings about distraction caused by the internet. The readings really resonated with me and a lot of my classmates. We used the reading in class in three ways: demonstrate the layout of a paper and how to write a literature review, finding gaps / stepping stones in literature and a little group “therapy session” on coping with distraction. For my reflection I am going to focus on the last two topics:

To help us find the gaps / stepping stones in the 7 assigned readings, we were split into groups of 3 or 2. We were given 40-ish minutes to come up with a research goal and question and then 2 minutes to pitch the idea to the class. What I found extremely interesting was that all 4 groups came up with different research ideas. This made class discussion more interesting but also on a personal level I found this refreshing! I hope to make a career out of academic research and think that the ability for four new perspectives to be created after reading 7 articles shows we aren’t going to run out of research topics anytime soon!!

After this we began the “therapy session” part of class. Our teacher started by giving a metaphor for thinking about distractions:

If you get a puppy you might want to train him/her to stay in one place. You may do this by giving the puppy a mat or a specific place to stay and then watching him/her. Once the puppy strays you would bring it back to its designated area and remind it to stay! This will help teach the puppy to obey.

We then put this metaphor into use – for 2 minutes we were told to concentrate on our breathing and to attempt to keep track of how many times the “puppy” (our mind) wandered to a different place other than our breathing. I counted about 8 times that I knowingly saw myself wandering from my breath. I did however notice that I was able to concentrate more on my breath as the two minutes got closer to the end but during the beginning my puppy was all over the place, especially to the clock ticking!

After this exercise we discussed different ways to cope with distractions – I think the best way is to take a break! Our professor mentioned working for 50 minutes and then taking a break before continuing. I added to the discussion that I thought this was a great suggestion and I was going to try it. Once I got home to try this idea out while writing a paper, I remembered that even as a freshman I use to practice this technique. A group of us from history class would get together to write papers in the library and set a timer for 50 minutes and once it went off we would get 10 minutes to respond to text message and check social media before starting again. This brings me to the next topic discussed in class – we have the power to control the machine, not the other way around. We also have the tools to stop ourselves from becoming too involved while trying to accomplish a goal. As a freshman I used these techniques and as time passed I forgot, but I am aware of that now! I am going to make a conscious effort to attempt to limit my distractions.

I’m starting this change now! Currently while I write this my phone timer is sent for 45 minutes – once it goes off I am going to take a break until 9 and then start the time again! I am also going to try the 2 minute breathing drill once a day. I am going to try this for 10 days (not counting the weekend) and I’ll let you know how it works!