Monday, December 1, 2008

YouTube: We can't help it if people download copyrighted material to our site

Before the launch of YouTube in 2005, there were few simple methods available for ordinary computer users who wanted to post videos online. With its easy to use interface, YouTube made it possible for anyone who could use a computer to post a video that millions of people could watch within a few minutes. The wide range of topics covered by YouTube has turned video sharing into one of the most important parts of internet culture.YouTube is a Web 2.0 medium that provides users with a place to upload, view, and share video clips. YouTube's success was based on how easy its software made it for ordinary computer users to upload videos, and the network effect that meant that the more material that was uploaded, the more attractive the site became for viewers, and therefore for others seeking to share content (Buch & Thomas, 2007).

YouTube is the fastest growing website in internet history. “On average there are one hundred million videos streamed per day, with sixty five thousand new video clips uploaded every day. Fifty eight percent of internet videos are watched on YouTube. Thirty to forty percent of the content on YouTube is copyrighted (Buch & Thomas, 2007).

YouTube’s success has not come without problems. One of the biggest problems surrounding free video sharing is the ownership of content. Users post copyrighted material at an alarming rate. This has brought a number of lawsuits against YouTube. This paper is going to discuss the social implications concerning ownership of content surrounding YouTube, along with a history, description of YouTube’s functions, and an analysis of the demographics of the users.

YouTube was founded in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal (Yadiv, 2006). YouTube is the leader in online video, sharing original videos worldwide through a Web experience. YouTube allows people to easily upload and share video clips across the Internet through websites, mobile devices, blogs, and email. YouTube received funding from Sequoia Capital in November 2005 and was officially launched one month later in December (Yadiv, 2006). Chad Hurley and Steve Chen proceeded to become the first members of the YouTube management team and currently serve as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer respectively.

In November 2006, within a year of its launch, YouTube was purchased by Google Inc. in one of the most talked-about acquisitions to date. Google Inc. acquired YouTube for an astonishing one billion six hundred and fifty million dollars in Google stock.

In an effort to provide copyrighted material legitimately YouTube has struck numerous partnership deals with content providers such as CBS, BBC, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, Warner Music Group, NBA, the Sundance Channel and many more (Yadiv,2006).

In May 2007 YouTube announced a revenue-sharing arrangement called “Partners Program” to cut in creators and producers of original content on revenue from their videos on YouTube. YouTube says that content creators can earn revenue from relevant advertisements that run against their videos using Google's proprietary technology. The program is free to join and is based on cost-per-impression advertising. In June 2007 YouTube launched local versions in Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the U.K. Additionally in June, Apple’s iPhone launched with a YouTube application, further extending YouTube’s penetration in the mobile market following its November 2006 partnership with Verizon’s VCast service.

Over the summer and fall of 2007 major announcements were made about advertising models for YouTube. In August, YouTube introduced “YouTube In Video Ads,” a set of flash overlays displayed on the lower portion of videos. Advertisers are charged per impression, and the resulting revenue will be shared with the clip creator. In October, Google announced the inclusion of YouTube videos in its AdSense product. Site owners using AdSense can select videos from certain content providers, and ads will be served contextually as they relate to either the site or the video. Resulting revenue will be split between content providers, site owners, as well as Google.

YouTube allows a lot of interaction amongst its users. Users can post comments on videos, rate videos, and post video response to videos. Users can post comments to any video they view. The comments can not be edited or deleted by the viewer once it is posted. Comments can only be moderated or deleted by the video owner. The owner can also select options to change how comments are posted to their videos. If the owner chooses to edit the properties for his/ her videos, they have the option to allow all comments, require approval for all comments, or block all comments (YouTube, 2008). Users can also rate comments on videos. If there is a comment that a user likes for whatever reason they can click on a thumbs up icon indicating that the comment is worthwhile. A user can also click on the thumbs down icon if they do not like a comment. As more users score a comment it becomes easier to find. Then users can also sort comments based on the ratings they received. To sort comments users select an option from a drop screen below the video. Then they can choose view all comments, the highest rated comments, lowest rated comments, or somewhere in between.

YouTube users can rate videos as well. To rate comments all one needs is an account with YouTube and a verified email account. Once a user has rated a video there is no way that he /she can change it. The owner of the video can not change the ratings that their video clip has received either (YouTube, 2008).

YouTube also allows users to post video responses to videos. There are three types of video responses that one can make. They can either record a video right from their own computer utilizing their camera and a microphone, use an existing video from their account, or upload a new video that is not in their account (YouTube, 2008). The owner can select options to change how video responses are posted to their videos in the same way they can comments, either allow all, allow with approval, or allow none.

Given the generally anonymity of posting videos on YouTube, it is very difficult to identify the demographics of the users. However, by using the data that users give to obtain a YouTube account one can paint a vague picture of what the demographics of YouTube’s users are. YouTube’s audience is currently sixty nine percent male verse thirty one percent female. Users eighteen year of age or younger comprise the largest portion of YouTube’s users, at thirty two percent of all users. Users aged thirty five to forty five represent the second biggest audience at twenty seven percent. People aged eighteen to twenty five account for eleven percent of users, people aged fifty five to sixty five account for ten percent of users, people aged eighteen to twenty five account for eight percent of users so do people aged forty five to fifty five, and people aged sixty five and older represent the last four percent of users (CodeLathe, 2008). According to Nielsen Net Ratings, weekly U.S. Web traffic to youtube.com grew from 7.3 to 12.8 million unique visitors the week ending July 16.

Over the past decade, the emergence of broadband networks, Internet protocol and inexpensive wireless networks has revolutionized the way Americans inform and entertain themselves. Millions have seized the opportunities digital technology provides to express themselves creatively. Mean while, entrepreneurs have made fortunes providing the networks, the tools, and the creative works that have fueled this revolution. But these same innovations have also been misused to propel an explosion of copyright infringement by exploiting the inexpensive duplication and distribution made possible by digital technology (Yadiv, 2006). Some entities, rather than taking the lawful path of building businesses that respect intellectual property rights on the Internet, have sought their fortunes by openly exploiting the violating potential of digital technology ( The Utube Blog, 2008).

Is YouTube one such entity? It is said that YouTube has harnessed technology to willfully infringe copyrights on a huge scale, depriving writers, composers and performers of the reimbursement they are owed for their effort and creativity, reducing American’s incentive to produce original, creative work, and profiting from the illegal conduct of others ( Buch & Thomas, 2007). Using the leverage of the Internet, it is said that YouTube takes possession of valuable content on an enormous scale for YouTube’s benefit without payment or license. Is YouTube violating copyright law on a huge scale? Here are some of the lawsuits that YouTube is currently involved in, you decide.

In 2006, Robert Tur, owner and operator of Los Angela’s News Service, filed a lawsuit against YouTube over copyrighted material. The material in question is the video tape of Reginald Denny being beaten during the Los Angela’s riots of 1992. Tur says “That YouTube knows that there is copyrighted material being shared on their site and infringes copyright via the internet by means of contributory infringement (Sandoval, 2006).” Which is to say that they knowing facilitate copyright infringement with their service. YouTube maintains that they are observing copyright law under the Safe Harbor Provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This act says that it is the copyright owner’s responsibility to bring issues of copyright infringement to the service provider for them to take them down. YouTube has always abided by this. Tur argues that what good is the material to him after it has been viewed a couple thousand times for free on YouTube (Sandoval, 2006).

The next high profile case against YouTube was brought on by Viacom. Viacom is suing for a staggering one billion dollars for the illegal distribution of its copyrighted material. Viacom is a media company that owns TV channels including Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and the Paramount Film Studio just to name a few (Sweney, 2008). By Viacom’s count there are over a hundred thousand of their copyrighted works on YouTube at any one time. They have gone to YouTube before and asked them to remove the material and YouTube obliged. They are saying that they spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to hunt down this material on YouTube to have them remove it. Viacom argues that this is not what the creators of the DMCA had in mind when they wrote the act and that YouTube is clearly not covered under Safe Harbor protection (Sweney, 2008).

The English Football Association Premier league has launched a lawsuit against YouTube as well. They say are suing because YouTube is profiting from a knowing violation of its copyright in the league and in footage of games in that league. Again YouTube asserts that it is protected under Safe Harbor protection of the DMCA under the act YouTube does not have to check content before it is downloaded to their site. In accordance to the act they remove any copyrighted material once it is pointed out by the copyrighted holder. The English Football Association says “Why do they have to point out material that YouTube clearly knows violates copyright law (Out-Law News, 2007).” The claim says that YouTube should not qualify for "safe harbor" protection because it is not merely storing material at the request of a user. "YouTube take multiple voluntary acts to encourage and/or facilitate infringing activity, including (without limitation) by creating, on behalf of users, the HTML code necessary to 'embed' videos on other sites Out-Law News, 2007)," it says.

The New Jersey Turnpike also filed suite agianst YouTube. The material in question was of a car accident that occurred at one of their toll boothes on the turnpike. A fifty two year old man crashed into the toll booth and died. Once New Jersey authorities discovered the video on YouTube they asked that it be taking down and it was. By that time numerous people had already copied the video. Even thought youtube took it down it keeps being posted with different tags, making it hard to locate on the site. New Jersey authorities are unhappy with the fact that althought youtube took down the initial video it has not followed up and tried to keep copies from being posted back on the site. “The video serves no worthwhile purpose and shows a tremendous lack of common human decency towards the family of the victim,” says New Jersey Authorities (NowPublic, 2007). This case comes down to the DMCA and the fact that New Jersey authorities are suing over a video that YouTube has already removed.

On October 2007, YouTube announced a new service called “YouTube Video Identification” in order to assist copyright holders in protecting their content. With the service copyright holders upload full copies of their content to the service and complex algorithms are applied against YouTube’s library of clips to see if any match the uploaded content (Yadiv, 2006). Copyright holders can then either have YouTube remove the videos in question or allow YouTube to serve advertising along with the content and split the resulting revenue.

YouTube has enjoyed a lot of success with the use of copyrighted material. They maintain that they abide by the copyright laws set forth by the DMCA, which in large it appears that they have. Is it their job to police all the material that is downloaded to their site? With thirty five employees it hardly sounds feasible that they would even begin to be able to approval all the content before it was downloaded to the site. This is going to be the issue when all these lawsuits go to trial. The hope of this paper was to inform about the social implications that surround the ownership of content on YouTube’s website. You have to takes these facts and decide for yourself if YouTube is in violation of copyright law of if they are merely providing a service where people can easily upload, view and share videos.





Refrences

Yadiv, S. (2006). YouTube: The complete profile. Retrieved November 27, 2008, from http://www.rev2.org/2006/10/02/youtube-the-complete-profile/

Out-Law News. (2007). English football league sues Google. Retreived November 27, 2008, from http://www.out-law.com/page-8030

NowPublic. (2007). That video belongs to the New Jersey Turnpike: DMCA lawsuits continue. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from http://www.nowpublic.com/that_video_belongs_to_the_new_jersey_turnpike_dmca_lawsuits_continue

The Utube Blog. (2008). Some copyright lawsuits v. YouTube disappear. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from http://theutubeblog.com/2008/02/03/update-some-copyright-lawsuits-v-youtube-disappear/

Sandoval, G. (2006). YouTube sued over copyright infringement. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-148863.html

Sweney, M. (2008). Google and Viacom reach deal over YouTube user data. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/jul/15/googlethemedia.digitalmedia

YouTube. (2008). Interacting with videos. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/topic.py?topic=10534

Buch, V. & Thomas, D. (2007). YouTube case study: Widget marketing comes of age. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from http://www.startup-review.com/blog/youtube-case-study-widget-marketing-comes-of-age.php

Code Lathe. (2008). YouTube user demographics vs Face Book user Demographics. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from http://www.codelathe.com/blog/index.php/2008/10/02/youtube-user-demographics-vs-face-book-user-demographics/

YouTube demographics

By using the data that users give to obtain a YouTube account one can find outwhat the demographics of YouTube’s users are. YouTube’s audience is currently 69% male verse 31%female. Users eighteen year of age or younger comprise the largest portion of YouTube’s users, at 32%. Users aged thirty five to forty five represent the second biggest audience at 27%. People aged eighteen to twenty five account for 11% of users, people aged fifty five to sixty five account for 10% of users, people aged eighteen to twenty five account for 8%of user s so do people aged forty five to fifty five, and people aged sixty five and older represent the last 4% of users. According to Nielsen Net Ratings, weekly U.S. Web traffic to youtube.com grew from 7.3 to 12.8 million unique visitors the week ending July 16.

Interaction with videos on YouTube: vidoe responses to videos

YouTube allows users to post video responses to videos. There are three types of video responses that one can make. They can either record a video right from their own computer utilizing their camera and a microphone, use an existing video from their account, or upload a new video that is not in their account . The owner can select options to change how video responses are posted to their videos in the same way they can comments, either allow all, allow with approval, or allow none.

interaction with videos on YouTube: rating videos

YouTube users can rate videos. To rate comments all one needs is an account with YouTube and a verified email account. Once a user has rated a video there is no way that he /she can change it. The owner of the video can not change the ratings that their video clip has received either. The rating that a videos has is its average rating since it was uploaded to YouTube.

interaction with videos on YouTube: posting comments to vidoes

Users can post comments to any video they view. The comments can not be edited or deleted by the viewer once it is posted. Comments can only be moderated or deleted by the video owner. The owner can also select options to change how comments are posted to their videos. If the owner chooses to edit the properties for his/ her videos, they have the option to allow all comments, require approval for all comments, or block all comments. Users can also rate comments on videos. If there is a comment that a user likes for whatever reason they can click on a thumbs up icon indicating that the comment is worthwhile. A user can also click on the thumbs down icon if they do not like a comment. As more users score a comment it becomes easier to find. Then users can also sort comments based on the ratings they received. To sort comments users select an option from a drop screen below the video. Then they can choose view all comments, the highest rated comments, lowest rated comments, or somewhere in between.

Monday, November 24, 2008

what a small world!

The reading for November 24 was from a book written by Clay Shirky titled, Here comes everybody: The power of organizing without organizations. The reading discusses the concept of six degrees of separation. This concept says that almost everyone has a connection in some way to people that they do not know personally. Though they do not know each other chances are that they have friends or acquaintances in common. One factor of this is homophily, which is the grouping of like with like. This increases the likely hood of running into someone that you know because it acknowledges the fact that people friend people that share commonalities. Like living on the same block, working together, having similar interests, etc. This increases the likelihood that when you meet someone the two of you have a friend in common.

Shirkey says that large groups are impractical and unbuildable. The best networks are those of many small tight groups that have a couple people from each group connected to a few people from other groups. This gives you the advantages of both the large and small scale.

In the reading Shirkey gives a good example of six degrees of separation through a personal experience of his. He was going to a bar and wanted to let his friends know what he was up to. He sent a message through Dodgeball, a personal network service, to his friends. In a matter of minutes he got a message back telling him that a friend of a friend was at the same bar. This allowed him to introduce himself and indentify how he knew this gentleman.

I feel that everyone is familiar with the small world pattern, even if they do not know the specific terms involved with it. Everybody has used the phase, “What a small world!” One instance where this happened to me was when I was catching up with a friend who I had not seen in a while. I was giving him a description of a girl who I had been seeing and he not only knew her; he also dated her as well. The reason that this was particularly interesting to me is that the girl lived an hour away. I could not believe we both knew and dated the same girl who lived so far away. If that is not the epitome of a small word story I do not know what is.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dear diary.. I can believe I wrote that on LiveJournal

For today’s post I read the article”Shout into the wind and it shouts back,” by Lori Kendall. The article deals with the tensions that participants of LiveJournals face. The first tension that is identified is that of the private journal and the public sphere. The problem here is that people generally write journals for themselves or close family and friends. The intended audience contradicts the public nature of posting diaries online. People are withdrawn from talking as freely as they would if they were just writing in a diary that no one else would see. They have to be aware that more people than they might want might see the post.

The next tension that is identified is efficiency vs. audience management. The article explains that LiveJournals are a great way to keep many people updated on recent events in your lives. The problem is that you cannot control who sees what you wrote. So it could be very advantageous in some aspects in others in could represent an invasion of privacy.

The next tension is that between control vs. connection. Control relates to the autonomy that people have to do and say whatever they want. Many people like this as an outlet for expression. But for those that use it to converse with people find that LiveJournals leave something to be desired in that area.

The last tension discussed is autonomy vs. the desire for comments. Autonomy refers to the participant’s awareness of an audience and this limits what people may disclose about themselves and the scope of the discussion that they may engage in. Autonomy is in direct conflict with some people’s desire for comments. The less people feel they have control over their posts and the less they feel that talking about something is appropriate the less they are likely to comment on other people’s journals.

I have never understood why people keep diaries. I have been lead to believe that a diary is something where people write things that they do not want anyone else to see. With that being said, I think that posting your diary online, in the public’s eye, then bitching about the wrong people seeing it is ludicrous. Of course the wrong people are going to see it eventually. And of course you should be wary of what you write in them…. People are going to see it.


Kendall, Lori. (2007). “shout into the wind, and it shouts back.” Identity and interactional tensions on LiveJournal. First Monday, 12. Retrieved on August 21, 2008 from
http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue12_9/kendall/index.html

The Blogging Glass

Recently I have been observing and participating in a political blog. The site that I found the blog on is a political forum and only deals with political issues. The issue that the blog that I participated in covered was whether or not Barack Obama’s campaign was protected in the media. The people that participate in this forum are people that have an interest in politics. I do not feel that everyone that participates on the blog are equally savvy in politics. That is, however, the strength of blogs, anyone with an opinion can participate, albeit right or wrong.

In the book Blogging America, Aaron Barlow introduces the concept of the blogging glass. The blogging glass is a concept that explains that when people participate in blogs, they interact with people who are mirrors of themselves. This means that they seek blogs that confirm their values and beliefs. This essay is going to apply this theme from Aaron Barlow’s book to the blog that I observed and discuss whether or not the blogging glass occurred in this blog.

The first thing that I had noticed was that the democratic members of the blog repeatedly made the same argument about how Obama ran a clean campaign and that is why he was not scrutinized in the media as much as McCain. While the republican members of the blog repeatedly made the same argument that Obama is a communist Muslim who keeps bad company, was not born a citizen of the United States, and has no right to be America’s next president. All the posts closely mirror each other. No member so far has seemed to care about discussing the issues; they simply want to be heard and in no way seem opened minded in hearing the other side’s argument. I think that this is a great example of McLuhan’s blogging glass. Although it is obvious that there are opposing sides in this blog, no one has come to be swayed by a persuasive discussion. They all just want to heard and have their values and beliefs confirmed by others who share those same values and beliefs.



I had also noticed that a lot of members of this blog simply copy and paste the same exact passage that they wrote before again and again. I believe that this is yet another attempt to confirm their feelings and beliefs on the election with other people with similar feelings and beliefs. Konasurfer is very passionate about Obama not being elected president and brings up a few good arguments in his post why he should not be. However he repeats the same post numerous times throughout the 241 post blog. I feel that he does this because he wants to hear his own voice and variations of it through other people. This is narcissistic on his behave and confirms the concept of the blogging glass.



Burke says, One of the greatest weaknesses of blogs is that in a nearly infinite universe it is easy for one to turn away without regret from any one thing; in an “on demand” universe, there is little incentive to turn to something one does not already know one will like. This ties back into the concept of the blogging glass, for people choose blogs to confirm their beliefs and values. They know that if they interact with people who feel similar on a subject that they will like participating in the blog. No one in this blog is attempting to weigh out the arguments and make a decision on those arguments. They have simply conjugated here to spew their beliefs. I can honestly say there is no discussion going on in this blog. I feel that the members of this blog believe they are broadening conversation on the topic, but they are not. They believe that something noteworthy is being said based on the volume of everyone else saying the same thing. Which is not a conversation at all; it is just everyone mirroring everyone that has similar beliefs.


One thing that I could not believe did not spur conversation was the allegation that Obama is a communist. Hetta5750 wrote a very good post dealing with the fact that Obama was raised communist, mentored by a communist, Frank Marshall Davis, groomed by communists to run for president, was a member of the Chicago “new party” which was a splint of the communist party, and never hid it until he ran for senator. If anything I would have thought that this would have warranted being refuted by an Obama supporter. As it turned out no one even acknowledged the post and everyone went on saying what ever it was that they had been saying all along. This, again, ties back into the concept of the blogging glass. Members of this blog only want there to hear their voices or variations of it through other people. No one cared enough about what was being said as long as they got to say what they wanted to say.

All of the posts that I contributed to the blog went uncommented on except for one. The comment was not even really a comment. The post of mine that got commented on simply discussed the similarities between Hitler and Obama. CanuckGirl copy and pasted my post into her own and then copied and pasted a post that she had been intermittently distributing throughout the blog. It was rather irritating because her “response” to my post really had nothing to do with what I wrote. Further proving my point that people of this blog are simply here to hear their own voices.


As it turned out, I posted the last few posts on the blog before it went dead. This could have been anticipated because the blog I was participating on was a political blog dealing in large with the election. So you have to assume that participation was going to die down after the election. Another reason for the attendance of this blog dying down could be that people simply got tire of beating a dead horse.


The blog that I observed was very redundant. Every person pretty much just said variations of what other people were saying, without any attempt of trying to sway opponents of their views opinions. That is what I feel the definition of the blogging glass is, bloggers looking to have their values and beliefs confirmed by people that are similar to themselves.

Reference:
Barlow, A. (2008). Blogging America. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Politico

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

fifth and last journal

Still people keep reiterating the fact that Obama ran a clean campaign that is why he did not get as much focus in the media as McCain did. This passage is killing me because and it is not even like people are trying to say the same thing in a different way with a different argument, they are just saying the same thing. Aughhh…


One thing that I can not believe did not spur conversation was the allegation that Obama is pro communism. Hetta5750 wrote a very good post dealing with the fact that Obama was raised communist, mentored by a communist, Frank Marshall, groom by communists to run for president, was a member of the Chicago “new party” which was a splint of the communist party and never hid it until he ran for senator. If anything I would have thought that this would have warranted looking into or at least trying to refute by Obama’s supporters. As it turned out no one even acknowledged the post and everyone went on saying what ever it was that they had been saying all along. This, again, ties back into the concept of the blogging glass. Members of this blog only went there to hear their voices or variations of it through other people.

So finally someone acknowledged one of my posts, although not in a manner that would warrant conversation. I simply discussed the similarities between Hitler and Obama. CanuckGirl copy and pasted my post into hear own and then copied and pasted a post that she had been intermittently distributing throughout the blog. It was rather irritating because her “response” to my post really had nothing to do with what I wrote. So that further proves my point that people of this blog are simply here to hear their own voices.


As it turned out I posted the last few posts on the blog before it went dead. This could have been anticipated because I was participating in a political blog dealing with the election. So you have to assume that participation was going to die down after the election. The republican members have no reason to continue to complain about Obama’s campaign being protected by the media because McCain lost the election. While the democratic members have no need to protect Obama’s campaign anymore because Obama won the election. There could also be another reason for the attendance of this blog dying down. People simply got tire of beating a dead horse.

four down, one to go

Burke says, One of the greatest weaknesses of blogs is that in a nearly infinite universe it is easy for one to turn away without regret from any one thing; in an “on demand” universe, there is little incentive to turn to something one does not already know one will like. This ties back into the concept of the blogging glass for people choose blogs to confirm their beliefs and values. Now no one in this blog is attempting to weigh out the arguments and make a decision on those arguments. They have simply conjugated here to spew their beliefs. I can honestly say there is no discussion going on in this blog. I feel that the members of this blog believe they are broadening conversation on the topic, but are not. They believe that something significant is being said based on the volume of everyone else saying the same thing. Which is not a conversation at all; it is just everyone mirroring everyone that has similar beliefs.

three done, two to go

Scottwww is the first person that I saw that replied to another members post. It was in regards to McCain’s spiritual advisor. In the post that Scottwww is responding to the issue of McCain attending John Hagee’s church. As it turns out that guy is a nut case as well. Scottwww replied that he has not been a member of that church a fraction of how long Obama has attend trinity church with reverend Wright. Either way no one was giving an inch on the fact that one was alright or that both of them could have their own religious views and that would not affect how the candidate would run the country. Kenneth Burk wrote that, “Communication cannot be satisfactory unless the matter discussed bears in some notable respect upon the interests of the auditor.” Meaning that unless it is something that is of interest to the recipient the passage will not have the ability to capture the attention of and convert the auditor of the message. My posts fail at this as well. For my opinions on the candidates are already set in stone. So the passages that I wrote in this blog have gone largely unnoticed in part because they were not written well enough to be deemed worthy of further discussion. They were also not noticed because the way that I wrote the passages gave the impression that I am going to believe what I already believe and there is nothing that anyone can say that will change my mind

two down, three to go

I have noticed that a lot of members of this blog are simply copying and pasting the same exact passage that they wrote before again and again. I believe that this is yet another attempt to confirm their feelings and beliefs on the election with other people with similar feelings and beliefs. Konasurfer is very passionate about not having Obama elected as president and brings up a few good arguments in his post why he should not be. However he repeats the same post numerous times throughout the 241 post blog. The first time he posted the passage it was the sixth post and only two posts later did he post the same passage again. His passage was well received by people with similar beliefs, those who were already converted. I feel that he was not able to formulate his argument in away that would engage people that believed differently than he did and this is where he failed. Another theme that is getting rather redundant is republican members of the blog continually posting on how Barack did not get hammered in the media as hard as McCain did because Obama ran a cleaner campaign. I get it, and I think that everyone else does as well. Bring up a new argument already.

one down, four to go

For the last couple of days I have been observing a political blog that is concerned with discussing how and if Barack Obama’s campaign was protected by the media. I have noticed that the members of the blog have just continued to focus on the same few topics. All the posts closely mirror each other as well. The democratic members of the blog repeatedly talk about how McCain’s campaign primary focused on negative ads and that is why they came under public scrutiny. While the republican members of the blog continue to bring up the topic of Obama’s birth and the company he keeps. No member so far has seemed to care about discussing the issues, they simply want to be heard and in no way seem opened minded in hearing the other sides argument. I think that this is a great example of McLuhan’s blogging glass. The blogging glass is a concept that explains that when people go to blogs they see a mirror of themselves. This means that they seek blogs that confirm their values beliefs. Although it is obvious that there are opposing sides in this blog, no has come to be swayed by persuasive discussion.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Blogs and the Press

The reading for November 5 titled, “The Blogs, Political Issues, and the Press,” talks about how blogs are an essentially horizontal structure. Vertical structures run top down and decisions are made at the top. It is a hierarchal structure. That is not the case for blogs. Blogs offer so many channels that to help people circumvent authority. For instance if an editor or someone posts something that you do not like you can say whatever you want back to him or start a whole other blog that addresses your concerns. As it turned out this was a perfect outlet for liberals in response to conservative talk radio in the eighties and nineties.

The reading then goes on to talk about how blogs closely resemble the freedom of the press. Like the press anyone can enter into a blog and discuss whatever it is they want without first proving themselves. Then when you add journalism to the web it opens it up for much reader participation. This is due to how easy revisions can be made to information on the web.


The web also fills the gaps that the media leave. No matter how thorough the media is, it is still impossible for them to cover all the news. Blogging is a resource that helps the journalist enthusiasts report news to the public and contributes to existing stories.

I wish that the journalist enthusiasts had more resources to cover stories more thoroughly and with more credibility. There were people out there that tried like hell to get information on Obama, they blogged about him and reported stories that the liberal press would not touch. Yet bloggers obviously could not reach the masses. I feel that professional journalists did not due there civic duty for this 2008 presidential election. That is why I propose that they do away with the national news media. They have not done any hard journalism since Upton Sinclair broke the story on the unsanitary meat packing industry back in the early twentieth century. They are useless and journalism should be in the hands of amateurs who just want to get all the information out there.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

scope and accuracy of Wikipedia

The reading on October 22, 2008 deals with the information on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia. Its content is user-generated, that is to say that the users publish information on the wiki and they do not have to be authorities on the subjects that they publish information on. This leads people to doubt the accuracy of the information on the wiki. The accuracy of the information relies on the vast number of people who use Wikipedia; the assumption is that in the long run accuracy will triumph because people will continually edit the information until it is right. The reading says that compared to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia is considerably accurate.


The next section of the reading talks about a study used to examine the completeness of Wikipedia’s encyclopedia. The issue in question is whether or not Wikipedia covers all topics equally or if there is bias in the focus of information posted on Wikipedia. The study used word count to quantify how complete each chosen topic was covered. In most cases recency was the biggest predictor of how well a topic was covered. That is to say those more recent topics were covered more thoroughly than older ones. These discoveries further supported the fact that Wikipedia is a socially produced document rather than a value-free information source.

The fact that recency is the biggest predictor of well how well a topic is covered should be no surprise. The people who post information on Wikipedia are relatively young and are going to be more concerned with current issues that affect them and things that they are interested in. Take for instance the study on the coverage of Time’s man of the year. If Wikipedia had been around thirty years ago I bet Times man of the year for that year would have been important enough for some to write just as much as someone else did for this year’s man of the year. Then it would still be in the encyclopedia today. But because Wikipedia was not around back then no one is going to write as much about thirty years ago Time’s man of the year as they would for today’s Time’s man of the year. Only time will tell but I am under the impression that once a topic is talked about in Wikipedia it is there forever.

Bibliography

Royal, C., Kapila, D. (in press). What’s on Wikipedia, and what’s not…? Social Science Computer Review.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Relevant sources for an Essay on Youtube

When searching for information on the Internet, one must be very skeptical of the results he/she comes across. With all of the biased, incredible information on the Internet, it is almost an art to be able to pick out what information is good, and what is not. I chose to research the Web 2.0 medium Youtube to demonstrate how to properly conduct a search, and then evaluate the search engines that I decided to use, and quality of the sources that I came up with during the searches. I will be using three search engines/ databases for the purpose of this essay and evaluating ten sources I found through these search engines. Out of the ten sources I picked, only a few were relevant to research that I was conducting.


The first source that I found was from Google’s advanced search. The term Youtube was typed in the “All these words” section then history was typed in the “This exact word or phrase” section. One hundred and forty six million results came up for the search terms Youtube “history”. The article I used was named “Youtube- The complete profile”. It was found on Rev2.org. I would not use this source in a research paper because of how old it is. Youtube was launched in February 2005, so it is a rather new Web 2.0 medium. Although this article has a lot of good information it does not have a complete history. The article, being two years old, is considerably old when the topic I am researching is less than four years old.


The next result I received from Google’s advanced search was from the site Hitwise and was written by Bill Tancer. I obtained this source by searching with the terms “Youtube” and “demographic.” Like the last source I received, this source had a lot of good information. However it was very out dated. When researching demographics you are interested in how current the information is. What demographics visited the site back in October 2006 might not be what demographics visit the site now.


The third result I received from Google’s advanced search was from Forbes.com and it was titled “Your tube, whose dime?” I retrieved this source by using the terms “Youtube” and “how Youtube makes money.” This source was good and you know that you could count on it being credible because it was written be Dan Frommer, a technology reporter that focuses on the wireless, telecom, and networking industries. This source was too old and should not be used. The article is from April 2006 and it talks about how they are not really making any money now but are devising new ways to start making money. The problem is that it has been two and a half years since the article was written and by now they have enacted some of these plans to make more money from Youtube. But the article does not encompass any of them because of how old it is.


The last source that I retrieved from Google’s advanced search was an article from the Washington Post. I found it by searching with the terms “Youtube” and “profits and revenues.” I would use this source because it is very current compared to all the other sources I had been coming up with. The purpose of this source is strictly to inform so there is no bias. It also comes from a credible source.


The next search I conducted was through The University at Albany’s database, Minerva. This search produced a book called Youtube 4 you by Michael Miller. I obtained this source by simply doing a title/ subject key word search for the term “Youtube.” I would use this source because Michael Miller is a much respected writer when it comes to new technologies and how to use them. The book presents some historical and technical background but is mostly about how to use Youtube.


The next source that I am evaluating is form The University at Albany’s EBSCO database. The source was obtained by using the term “Youtube.” It is a very current and informative article. It talks about how Youtube is starting to offer full length TV shows on their site with ads in them, as commercials if you will. This is an idea that will help them generate more revenue. This source is relevant to what I am researching and I would use this in a research paper.


The next source I obtain was from AltaVista by using the terms “Youtube” and “history.” It was from Wikipedia.com and was titled “History of YouTube.” The article was updated on October 6 2008. I would not use this source for a research paper because you can not verify the validity of information that you get from Wikipedia. Anybody can post articles on Wikipedia and the subsequent information can be false.


The second source that I obtain from AltaVista was titled “Who’s watching your videos? Youtube now offers free demographics." The article was obtained by using the terms “Youtube” and “demographics.” This article does not talk about the demographics of the viewers of Youtube rather a new feature that Youtube offers that allows people who post videos to see who is viewing them. I would use this article in a research paper because the author, Marshall Kirkpatrick, is a respected internet consultant and the article is current.


The next source that I evaluated was from AltaVista and it was titled “Aussies: turn Youtube into your own money tube.” The search terms that I used were “Youtube” and “how Youtube makes money.” I would not use this source in a research paper because it focuses on promoting a new program to make money through Youtube and is biased towards the program.


The last search that I tried to conduct on AltaVista used the terms “Youtube” and “profits and revenues.” The search came up with nothing relevant. Every result that came up was an actual video clip from Youtube and had nothing to do with Youtube’s profits and revenues.


I feel the best search engine/ database for the research I conducted was AltaVista.com. AltaVista gave me the most relevant current search results. Google on the other hand gave me numerous outdated articles that I really could not use for a research paper. The University at Albany’s databases provided me with a relevant book and article however the databases did not have breadth of information on the topic I was researching.
I found that the best search term for researching Youtube was just the search term “Youtube” itself. Doing advanced searches with boolean operators did not provide me with any more relevant, credible search results. Take for instance the University at Albany’s databases, when I used more then the just the term “Youtube” the search would not even produce results.


When doing internet searches it is very important to use good search engines/ databases as well as carefully choosing good key words for the search. As one can see from the results my searches produced not all sources are useful in an academic research paper. It is very helpful to know what to look for when trying to find relevant, credible sources.


Bibliography

Miller, M. (2007). Youtube 4 you. Indianapolis, In: Que.

Stelter, B. (2008, October 11). Youtube to offer TV shows with ads strewn through. The
New YorkTimes,12, 67-75.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Navigating The Net

The reading for October 8, 2008 was The Role of Expertise in Navigating Links of Influence by Eszter Hargittai. The essay started out by discussing why links are important. Links are said to be important because they allocate user attention. But links can be bad as well for they can spread unsubstantiated rumors and temporarily render a system inactive because of the popularity generated by the link.

There are many types of links, some that the producers of a web site have control over and others that they do not. Links that producers have control over include links the bring people to additional information that constitutes the main content of the page and links that facilitate navigation.

Links that producers have no control over include ones that change according to the preferences and recommendations of the users. They are not stable and generally change very often. Then there are search engine companies that sell placement on their ad link section to companies that can pay the most for the position.

Next the different kinds of manipulation that content providers use to attract users to their sites were discussed. The techniques included were “Google Bombing “or setting up a “spam blog”.

The last section talked about user skill and how it was important in determining why it is that some content is viewed more or is more popular than others.

I have always wondered to myself how it was that search results were presented. You would think that search result would be presented to you based on relevance and content. Well I knew that could not be the case when I started to realized that one of the top three results for every search I had done was Wikipedia. How could Wikipedia be a relevant source for everything that you search? The answer is that it is not. You cannot even trust the content on Wikipedia because anybody can update any term in the online dictionary. So why is it at the top of almost every search you make? The reason is that Wikipedia pays to be at the top of every search you make. The more people that go to Wikipedia the more money Wikipedia can get for placing ads on their web site. So search engines are not concerned with putting you in contact with information that you need, just its own monetary needs.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Web 2.0 versus Web 1.0

The reading for September 24 explained the differences that differentiate Web 1.0 from Web 2.0. The Netscape versus Google section of the text really clarified the differences for me. I have used Google as long as I can remember for navigating the Internet. However I used to use Netscape to get to Google. Web 1.0 is considered soft ware where as Web 2.0 are applications that run on soft ware. Soft ware relies on being updated every couple of years to stay up to date, Web 2.0 applications update themselves continuously. This makes Web 2.0 superior. Another feature that makes Web 2.0 applications more successful is the innovators of Web 2.0 applications understood the collective power of small cites that made up the bulk of the web’s content (O’Reilly, 2005). Why would you go after a small market of big fish when there is a sea of little fish that will out weight those few big fish? That is what made Web 2.0 the power house that it is today. Web 2.0 met the needs of 80% of people whose needs were not being met. The rest of the reading further explained Web 2.0 and how platforms are soon going to be in completion for their existence as Web 2.0 further dominates the Internet with its innovative ideas

I feel the BitTorrent approach to internet decentralization paved the way for the Web 2.0 applications. “There approach says that every client is also a server; files are broken up into fragments that can be served from multiple locations, transparently harnessing the network of down loaders to provide both bandwidth and data to others users” (O’Reilly, 2005). This was exactly the concept of Napster. Napster provided an application so that people could trade music. Their catalogue of music was only as good as what the members of Napster were contributing to the site. Napster built breadth of collection from its users. They gave access to a site that cost money to make and maintain in order to get breadth of their collection. Then since they got so popular they could then charge money to advertise on their site.

Bibliography

O’Reilly, Tim. (2005). What is Web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Retrieved August 21, 2008 from http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html

How Usenet groups Succesfully Use Bandwidth

There are many computer-mediated communication systems on the Internet. All communication has inherent problems and computer-mediated communication is no different. The biggest problem that confronts computer-mediated communication is the ability to cooperate for a common good. The term “the common good” as it will be used in this paper will refer to the free flow of ideas on the conversation floor that allows all members to accomplish his/her interactional goals (Kollock and Smith, 1996). The computer-mediated communication that will be the focus of this paper is a group that was observed on a Usenet. The group was titled “Thoughts on Current Economic Condition.” One of the most important aspects of being able to provide all members of a group with their common good is to conserve bandwidth, or at least not abuse it. “Abuse of Bandwidth refers to posting extremely long articles, reproducing long sections of text from a previous post rather than summarizing or excerpting the relevant passages, or including long signatures full of comments and diagrams at the end of a post” (Kollock and Smith, 1996, p. 115). This paper is going to discuss how the observed group successfully used bandwidth, and how that resulted in and effective and efficient means to exchange information and carry on their discussion.

The group observed was titled “Thoughts on Current Economic Condition.” As one could imagine, this was a particularly hot topic given the recent events that have been taking place in the economy. Jon Slaughter was the originator of the group. His first post set the stage for a thread that was very conducive to good discussion on the economy.

Posting extremely long articles is considered an abuse of bandwidth. “Bandwidth not only refers to the amount of information that the Usenet can carry and store but also the capacity of members of a group to attend to and consume the information” (Kollock and Smith, 1996, p. 115). In other words, if members of the group post extremely long articles, the Usenet might not have the capacity to function as it ought to. It also means that members of the group might not be able to keep up with the information being posted by other members. This could hinder them from being able to carry on with the discussion in an effective and efficient fashion. This was not the case in the group being discussed; no one in this group free-rode off of other’s efforts to conserve bandwidth. A technique that many members of this group employed for conserving bandwidth was including hyperlinks to other useful sources of information that pertained to the discussion. If the members of the group included all of the information that they wanted to share from the hyperlink in their post that would surely reduced how efficient the Usenet operated and made the effective exchange of information more difficult.

Reproducing long sections of text from a previous post rather than summarizing or excerpting the relevant passages is also considered an abuse of bandwidth. Members of this group did a good job avoiding this. Paul Hovnanian is excellent example of a member of the group that thoughtfully excerpted sections of other member’s posts to comment on. At 9:09 pm on September 16, Paul excerpts five lines from a twenty line post written by Jon Slaughter that he used to contribute to the discussion. This would give someone following the thread a clear idea of exactly what Paul was responding to, without him having to abuse bandwidth.

On the Usenet Google Groups, there is a function to hide quoted text. It allows members to hide quoted text so that their posts are not overly long, but if one so wishes he/ she can observe exactly what that member was quoting by clicking on the “show quoted text” link. Seeing as how people could not see the text that person was quoting, unless they want to, it is remarkable that the person posting the comment did not think that reproducing huge sections of other’s posts would have an significant effect on the bandwidth for others, but they did (Kollock and Smith, 1996). They summarized or excerpted the relevant information from other people’s post just as if they were posting it for all to see, further reserving bandwidth. At 3:36 pm on September 17, Kris Krieger excerpted information from Jim Thompson’s post that was relevant for him to comment on and hid the quote as well, so one would only have to read it if they wished. This further helps the members attains their goals of exchanging information and answering questions because now they do not have to re-process information that has already been posted.

The last abuse of bandwidth that will be discussed is using obnoxiously long signatures at the end of a post. These include signatures that have diagrams and comments at the end of them. There was no real culprit of using too long of a signature. Jim Thompson had the wordiest signature. His signature included the name of the company that he works for, department in the company he works in, all of his contact information and a funny comment plus his actual signature. This does not qualify as free- riding off of others efforts to conserve bandwidth by not using overly long signatures. This is appropriate information to have at the end of a post for other members to be able to contact him. All the other members just had their names for signatures or nothing at all. These members just might not want to be contacted outside the group so they left this information out.

The ability of computer-mediated communication to function as it should rests on the member’s ability to cooperate. The group that was observed for this paper is an excellent example of members of a group cooperating to meet their goals, effectively exchanging information, and carrying on their discussion. This group could have never helped its members attained their goals if everyone did not work together to conserve/ properly use bandwidth.


Bibliography

Kollock, P., & Smith, M. (1996). Managing the virtual commons: Cooperation and conflict in computer communities. In Susan C. Herring (Ed.), Computer-mediated communication: Linguistics, social and cross-cultural perspectives (pp. 109- 128). Philadelphia: John Benjamins.


http://groups.google.com/group/sci.electronics.design/browse_thread/thread/6c17561943f40637#

stategic use of excerpting relevant information

Paul Hovnanian is excellent example of a member of the group that thoughtfully excerpted sections of other member’s posts to comment on. At 9:09 pm on September 16, Paul excerpts five lines from a twenty line post written by Jon Slaughter that he used to contribute to the discussion. This would give someone following the thread a clear idea of exactly what Paul was responding to, without him having to abuse bandwidth.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

long signatures

Jim Thompson has a rather long signature at the end of his posts. This is an abuxe of bandwidth. I do not see the need for him to have all of his contact information at the end of every post. This gentleman is just looking for someone to have a conversation with. There is also no need for a different joke at the end of every post either. Jon slaughter on the other hand with a lot of other people keep there signature short and concise with just their name.

including links in the discussion thread

I feel that the group I am observing is using bandwidth very well. A lot of people are including links to information that positively contributes to the discussion but they are not just copying and pasting the information into thread. This conserves bandwidth and yet provides useful information if one so chooses to go read it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

First group observation

John Slaughter started the group that I am observing. He is concerned that the United States is heading for an economic disaster. He believes that it is the greed of corporate America that is to blame for the current economic instability.

Some people in the group are using the bandwidth wisely. They are not quoting whole texts, however, some people are. I found this very aggravating because I felt that I had to read the whole quoted section so that I could understand what the person was commenting on. Ross Herbert is one the biggest culprits of quoting large sections of other people’s postings. He quotes lines of other people’s postings then only contributes a sentence or two of his own thoughts.

No Spam uses bandwidth wisely. He/ she only quotes a line or two from another person’s posting but contributes lines of her own thoughts.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Media and Web Production

Let me first start out by saying that the reading for September 17 was excruciating to read. The reading was filled with jargon that was directed toward an audience that already had a background in the field of internet design. Quite frankly, I do not. I am lucky that I know how to check my email. With that being said, let us decipher what I actually got from this week’s reading.

This week’s reading started off by giving a more detailed history of the development of hypertext than passed readings. It was interesting to find out that the idea for hypertext might have been stolen from the British Telecom. Everyone enjoys a good scandal, and I am no exception.

Next there was the section on digital imaging. Jason Whitaker said that at one point a photograph was the cornerstone of truth, but now because of digital imagining one cannot be sure if what you are seeing is real or manipulated in some way. Pictures have always been manipulated however digital imagining has made it a lot less time consuming. Following that is a long explanation of pixels, bits, and colors pertaining to photography and digital imaging. Of course no explanation of pixel, bits, and colors would be complete without a brief description of digital photography, which followed it.

Then there was the history and the basics of audio and video. Most of this section was like beeps and clicks to me. However, the psychoacoustic model was interesting. This explains how MP3 cuts out wavelengths of sound that we cannot here in order to make digital music more seamless and faster to download.

Lastly, the reading finishes up with web production. This section gave a good introduction into programming Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML, and everything else one would need to design a web site. It even gets into mundane details of website design like carefully choosing the colors you use in your site, as so that different cultures do not infer the wrong meaning from them.

The text overall was about convergence of technology, and how the Internet can now be used to do things that it never could. The internet technology and technology for playing music, for example, have been brought together so now you can play music on the internet. This is truly amazing because in not that long of time the Internet went from having very little practicality to being able to do so many useful, everyday things. I remember when I first started using the internet, there were no sounds or videos on it, now I can download whole movies and listen to whatever music I choose.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

free-ridin

The reading for September 10, 2008 dealt with cooperation and conflict in computer communities. It is a widely accepted assumption that computer-mediated communication encourages wide participation, produces a greater level of candor amongst its participants, and emphasizes merit over status. However, there are problems with computer-mediated communication.
To successfully communicate via the internet there must be cooperation. The reading starts by talking about the biggest problem that is associated with cooperation, which is the tendency to behave selfishly. That is to say what is best for an individual leads to a poorer outcome for all (Kollock & Smith, 1996, p. 109).
This leads into the free-problem. The free-rider problem says that whenever one cannot be excluded from the benefits that others provide, each person is motivated not to contribute and to free-ride off the efforts of the others (Kollock & Smith, 1996, p. 110). The problem with this is if no one is contributing to the public good, but everyone is using it, then the public good is going to be exhausted and no one will have it.
The reading then starts talking about the Usenet. The Usenet is the largest computer-mediated communication system in existence and is an excellent example to talk about when discussing cooperation and conflict in computer communities. It first explains how the Usenet works then uses it as an example of the successes and downfalls of computer-mediated communication. Last it talks about what can be down and what is being done to address those downfalls.
I can absolutely relate to the idea of free-riding. I feel that I am a hard worker. However, when I am in a group with a bunch of people that do not pull their own weight it makes me less motivated to do my portion of the work. This was the case this summer where I worked. I was doing energy conservation work and getting paid by the job. Which is I got a set amount of money for the job, no matter how long it took me to complete. So the goal was to get it done as quickly as possible, so to make as much money as possible. Well half way through the summer these two kids that did not know what they were doing joined our crew. Now the pay for the job was getting split four ways and the job took just as long because they did nothing. That in turn made me not want to contribute to the public good, which in our case was money, because I was still doing half the work with the other gentleman and it was taking us the same amount of time but now we had to split the public good four ways. It just was not worth it for me to bust my ass anymore.


Kollock, P., & Smith, M. (1996). Managing the virtual commons: Cooperation and conflict in
computer communities. In Susan C. Herring (Ed.), Computer-mediated communication:
linguistic, social and cross-cultural perspectives(pp. 109- 128). Philadelphia: John
Benjamins.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The four greatest Internet innovations

There are millions of people that access the Internet every day. Most of them have no idea how it works, and they take things like sending and receiving email for granted. However, there have been many important innovations that have happened in the last four decades that have given us the Internet as we know it today. The four most important innovations that have led to the Internet as we know it today are packet-switching, TCP, IP, and hypertext. Without these innovations, the Internet would not function as it does today.
To many people, how information gets from one place to another on the Internet is a mystery. They just know that when they type in a search word and press enter, they get the information that they want. To say that it is a little harder than that is an understatement. One innovation that helps a person get the information that they want from the Internet is packet-switching.
All information that is sent over the Internet is broken down into thousands of packets (Chechik & Gati). For instance, when you send an email, it is broken down and sent over the Internet. When the email reaches its destination, it is put back together in its original form. It is much easier and faster to send gravel down a pipe than it is a boulder. This holds true for information over the Internet as well; the smaller the bits of information the faster the message as a whole can reach its destination.
Impressive as that is, that is not the most impressive feature of packet-switching. The individual packets can all be sent over different paths to reach their final destination. As things change over the Internet, mainly traffic, packets can be redirected to areas of less resistance (Adams & Clark).
Packet-switching is very important because it gets information to its destination fast; however packet-switching would not be possible without the transmission control protocol or TCP. TCP is one of the protocols that govern packet-switching. As stated before, packets can travel many different routes to reach their final destination (Loshin). Some of those packets inevitably will get lost. TCP automatically sends word to the source of that information to resend that one packet; this ensures that you will receive the whole message every time.
That is not TCP’s only job. TCP also numbers every packet. That way the information can be successfully put together when it reaches its destination. There is TCP on both the sending and receiving end of a message. The TCP on the sending end of the information numbers the packets while the TCP on the receiving end of the information puts the information back together.
The Internet protocol, or IP, is the second protocol that governs packet-switching. IP is what breaks the information that you want into packets. This was innovative because it dramatically increased the speed at which information could be sent over the Internet by dramatically decreasing the size of the information that was sent.
The IP is also responsible for making sure that the individual packets get where they are going. The IP creates and binds what is called the header to every packet that is sent over the Internet. The header is like a mailing address, it contains information about who and where the packet is from, when the information was sent, who and where the information is going, the subject of the information, and the error information (Adams & Clark). Without the IP, sending information on the internet would be like sending mail without a mailing address; it would never get where it needed to go.
Everyone that has used the Internet has used the last innovation that is going to be discussed, but might not know what it is called. It is called hypertext, and by definition “hypertext is a method of storing data through a computer program that allows a user to create and link fields of information at will and to retrieve the data nonlinearly” (Hypertext, 2003). The creation of hypertext has changed the way everyone navigates the internet. It use to be that when you went into a webpage, email, etc. you had to back out of it or type in a new URL to proceed forward. Now a day if someone receives an email with a hyperlink to some piece of information, that person can click on that hyperlink to go look at that piece of information. Now, while in the new piece of information there is another hyperlink to something else, that person can click on the hyperlink and go there as well, and so on and so forth.
The Internet has evolved very fast since its inception in the 1960’s. People use the Internet everyday for almost every reason. However, without the four main innovations that were discussed in this essay the Internet that we know might not exist. That is why packet-switching, TCP, IP and hypertext are the four most important innovations that led to the Internet as we know it today. These innovations led to the high speed, reliability and ease of use that we have come to enjoy today with the Internet.

Work Cited

Loshin, P. (2003).TCP/IP clearly explained. Boston: Morgan Kaufmann.


Chechik, S., & Gati, A. Packet Switching. Retrieved September 8, 2008, from
http://www2.rad.com/networks/2004/PacketSwitching/main.htm


Adams & Clark

Hypertext. (2003). In The Internet: A historical encyclopedia (vol. 1, p. 15). Bakersfield, CA: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Adams and Clark Ch.2

Even though I have been using the internet since I was ten years old there was a lot of information in chapter two of the Adams and Clark text book that I did not know about the internet. It was especially interesting reading how scholars classify the internet as a medium. It is not just an interpersonal medium because on the internet you can talk to and reach more than just one person at a time. Take a telephone for instance, a telephone is primarily an interpersonal medium. However it has small group medium potential, say if you were in a meeting and you conference someone in over the telephone. Those are the only two medium a telephone can be classified in. Then there is television, which can serve as a mass medium, and can reach many different people.
The internet is unlike any of the other mediums that came before it. The internet has the ability to act as all mediums, and that is why scholars have classified it as macromedium or metamedium. It is considered macromedium because it has the ability to reach a global audience but it can also be used access the smallest bits of personal information that is tailored to an audience of one. It is quite impressive that you can email your next door neighbor about next week’s barbeque while talking to someone in India about why an appliance does not work. Then there is the classification metamedium which means medium of media. This implies how the internet serves as a platform for older media. Now you can go on the internet and get your daily news broadcast, news paper, even make a long distance phone call all in one place. This is interesting to me because even though I have been a user of the internet for many years now, I was still unaware of the full capabilities of the internet.
I also can also appreciate how the internet can be synchronous or asynchronous. When you are talking to someone in person or on the phone you have to have a response to what they just said right away. The conversation has to be synchronous. The opposite extreme to that would be mail. If someone writes you a letter you can take as long as you want to make the letter just right. That is asynchronous. It is nice when you are talking to someone via instant messenger and you can be a little asynchronous with the conversation to make sure what you say is not out a line. I remember when I was in middle school and first started being interested in girls; the asynchronous of the internet was a very helpful feature.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Developement of the internet

The reading for August 27 was a brief history of the internet. The introduction starts off by differenciating the terms internet and world wide web. It then goes into the uses for the internet and how it allows individuals to communicate with people around the world or right next door if they would like.
The body of the reading begins with the history of the internet. The need for the internet was first realized at the end of WWII and the on set of the Cold War. The united States needed a system of communication that would survive a nuclear attack. This system had to be able to operate independent of it's other parts. So they developed a system that could send messages, not just through one particular route, but others depending on witch route had the least resistence.