Readings 11: Games & Stories

I’m going to talk about this weeks topics a little differently this week.

Let’s begin with Stories

In the article Televisions Invitation To Participate we find that successful storytelling has always relied on the listener/reader/viewer feeling personally connected in some way. So there is no doubt that in order for television to be successful the shows need to relate and connect the viewers. The teen/tween show iCarly on Nickelodeon is a perfect example of how television engages the viewer. Viewers could go online and message the iCarly webcam show (even though it’s fake) and in the TV show iCarly when they are recording an episode of the iCarly podcast, the members answer the questions posted on the internet.

Our iming, web surfing, texting teens are going to be tomorrow’s multimedia-texting adults. With that said, television producers are already marketing products and shows towards them. When cell phones first came out, you didn’t really see characters on TV shows using them that often. Now every character on every TV show is being shown texting, you see their texts, and emailing, they show you their emails. (even cartoons!) Every show has some sort of technological device being showed and used in each episode.

It was neat to read Release: Immersive & Interactive Digital Media Programs to Receive Emmys. I didn’t know that the Emmy’s had these categories. (Probably because they aren’t announced on live television) The following categories are as followed. Multiplatform Storytelling, Original Interactive Program, Social TV Experience, User Experience & Visual Design. I’m not going to talk about all four winners but I would like to talk about User Experience and Visual Design. Nick Apps won this category. How Cool! The app is so easy to navigate that it allows children to really discover and explore. Go Nickelodeon!

We meet Katsura Okiyama in the article Tone Language. She is a mother of one, and a typical Japanese woman in her mid 20’s. She is a writer, but not just an ordinary writer. A mobile writer. In Japan it is very popular for people of all ages to type their novels on their phones. When I was reading the article I thought that makes a whole lot of sense because everyone is always on their phones anyway but when I looked at her picture she had a flip phone. Wouldn’t her fingers get even more tired texting on those old buttons? I couldn’t help but think that. Also, how does her phone have enough storage space to keep all these texts in order? The website Maho i-Rando is a mobile novel publishing site. Whoever helped turn these mobile novels into hard copies is a genius! The novels turn into movies and series. This is the future of storytelling.

We Tell Stories Project, is by far my most favorite story I have read this semester in this class! Well, the story, Your Place or Mine that was one of the story projects was my favorite. I have found a lot of the information in class to be neat, strange and interesting, but this story tops them all! I’m sure we will talk about the detailed story of Laurence and Terry in class (crazzzzzyyyyyy) so I will talk about the concept. We Tell Stories, is a project that Penguin UK Publishers created to promote digital story telling. Every time readers follow a story and finish it, they are directed to a new page with a new story. After they read all 6 stories by 6 different authors they will find the hidden secret 7th story. It’s such a fun, creative way to promote this new style of writing. I absolutely loved it.

The quick read version of Hamlet being told as a Facebook page was great. If Historical Events had Facebook Pages, was just as funny. I couldn’t help but read all those posts and think, hmm, this is really funny but how cool is it that now every piece of human history is being recorded this way. Everyone wants to share their story and their lives, on Facebook.

Next Topic Games

This week, in Sherry Turkle’s book Alone Together, we read chapter 11 Reduction and Betrayal. It was really hard for me to follow along only because of how repetitive it was. I feel like we already touched base on some of the topics she brought up. So here is what I did find different. Towards the end of the chapter Sherry brings up Chatroulette. Yet another thing I have not heard about. So this caught my attention. Chatroulette is a game that brings you live video and audio feed of any other people who are logged into the game. If you do not like what you see you can hit the next button and someone else will appear on your computer screen. How nuts! So pretty much you can meet anymone face to face now. No more hiding. Chatroulette has also added a new word to the international lexicon: “nexting”.

Another thing from Sherry that I really liked was when she wrote, “But looking to games for amusement is one thing. Looking to them for a life is another.” Games were created for fun. I don’t think the person who created Pac-Man or Galaga would have ever predicted some of the games we have to play with now. They are so interactive that it could be a positive thing or it could be a downfall.

Like I said, this chapter Reduction and Betrayal was repetitive but it made me think, this video game vs. reality problem going on is a cycle. People use video games to escape their every day, normal, boring lives. But then they get so wrapped up in these fantasy worlds that when they come back to reality their bills still aren’t paid, they are still in their unhappy relationship, and they still have to go to work. They procrastinate by spending hours playing a game. They could be spending hours working at on their unhappy relationships, or working towards getting a better position at their job or a new job but instead they are addictive to these games because they are an easy fix. To me, it sounds like just a vicious cycle.

So, what are the good things that come from playing interactive games? One good thing is leadership skills. According to an IBM Study: Online Multiplayer Games Build Business Leaders, gamers learn collaboration, self-organization, risk taking, openness, and influence. Playing video games also train brains to solve puzzles. In the article, Online Gamers Help Solve Mystery of Critical AIDS Virus, researchers turned to a group of FoldIt experts to help them solve what automated methods could not. (Fold It is a game where players need to figure out how to fold proteins into their final form.) Sure enough, the experts from FoldIt solved what the researchers wanted them to and now we are one step closer to finding a cure.

Have you ever heard of Machinima? Cause I haven’t, but here is what it is. Machinima is the use of REAL-TIME computer video graphics engines that create a cinematic production. Here’s my question, what makes Machinima any different from Pixar?

Last, but not least, the article Ridiculous Life Lessons From New Girl Games. I gotta say I agree with the author 100%. These video games are doing nothing but teaching young girls unrealistic lessons. But I have to play devils advocate. When I grew up all I played with was Barbie. Although Barbie advertised that as a woman Barbie could be anything and do everything, she was shaped unrealistic to how real woman look. We also had a game called Dream Phone, that allowed us to make pretend phone calls to dreamy boys (who weren’t real) but we hoped they were. What was that teaching us??

 

 

 

 

Readings 10: Photography & Lying

Retouching:  to improve or repair (a painting, a photograph, makeup, etc.) by making slight additions or alterations.

This week the readings focused and discussed photo manipulation and retouching. How much is too much? Where does the line begin to become thin? When does the photograph lose its honesty and becomes a lie?

I don’t necessarily think all retouching is bad. It is however hard to tell if a picture is 100% real. In the article No Boo-Boo or Cowlicks-Only In School Pictures, we read Oliver Tracey’s story. His parents were concerned for their son to take his first grade picture because he had a huge scrape on the side of his head. They never had to fear of a bad photo of their son because the photographer just removed the scrape digitally. Here is what I think.. Is it wrong? No, I don’t necessarily think that it is wrong however, it’s not the end of the world if little Oliver has a school photo with a scrape on his face. The scrape will always be a memory. He is a kid and kids have accidents. With that said, is it so bad that he has a picture with his scrape? School photos are taken yearly to capture a timeline of us growing up. Wouldn’t it be sort of funny to look back and Oliver to see the scar that he got a few days  before school photos? That scar is part of Oliver’s history, why try to forget about it?

Retouching:How Much Is Too Much? In this article author Shaun Dreisbach brings up valid points. He shares the results that Glamour magazine found while surveying 1,000 women. The results were a bit shocking. Most women are completely fine with retouching their own photographs. They say that pictures are no longer living in an old dusty box but they are all over the online world for whoever to see. They want to portray themselves looking their best on their best days! However, the article also states that when women see modified, touched-up photographs, it leads to low self-esteem and anxiety. No one is perfect. Even the super models have flaws. The only thing that comes from touched up photography is lies. H&M even openly admits to having 100% fake bodies for their models. In the article H&M puts real model heads on fake bodies, we learn that all of H&M photographs are manipulated and that the bodies are all the same because they are digitally made. Pretty soon models will be out of jobs and H&M will only model their clothing on cyborgs.

I was really intrigued by the article Body by Victoria. Here the author goes step by step through the manipulation of one picture. It was so interesting to find out that Victoria Secret even altered the skin tone of one of their models. Was that really necessary? These models are so beautiful as they are. These photo manipulated pictures really just lead the average woman to believe she is unattractive if she doesn’t look like these models.

In, In Brochures, What You See Isn’t What You Get, I was stunned. How did that college not get in trouble? They took a boy’s body and placed it in a crowd so they could deceitfully look as a diverse school. How wrong! They can’t lie about whether they have a diverse campus. A lot of students use diversity as a deciding factor for where they go to school and if they choose a campus based off a lie how deceiving!!

Mr. Dangin is a very popular person in the retouching world. He owns his own company in New York City called Box. He is well-known for working with different celebrities and making sure they all look perfect in their photographs. I liked the fact that Kate Winslet spoke out against too much retouching. She told the press, after she was made thinner for the cover of GQ magazine that “Retouching was becoming excessive” Good for her!

Lastly, bravo to Shirely Hornstein! I’m shocked that someone could be so dumb. Yes, she fooled people into thinking that she was a true investor so some could argue that the people who believed her are the dumb ones, but I think she was the dumb one to lie and promote on the internet all these lies about herself. Eventually lies on the internet become truths and are told as truths. It all comes out. Eventually Shirley’s lies did catch up to her and the name she tried so hard to promote and build up was ruined. I give her props for her Photoshop skills though. Those pictures did look like the real deal!

Readings 9: Are We Human? Technology, Intelligence & the Body

Robots are a mechanical or virtual agents. They have no feelings. They only understand material that is programmed into them. This weeks readings were about the intelligence in robots, the lack of emotion in robots, and how the human race interacts with them. Are robots a healthy positive invention, or are robots a step in the wrong direction?

Cyborgs are a mix between human and robots. We are all cyborgs now with the help of our phones. They are attached to us, they have somehow become us. We can now, with the help of technology, change our appearance and enhance our personal qualities.

We read three chapters in Sherry Turkles “Alone Together”. The chapters were called, Alive Enough, True Companion, and Enchantment. All three were tided together. Each a little different but very similar at the same time. In the first chapter we read and think about how children take to having robots in their lives. The toy named Furby, was invented in 2000 by the Hasbro toy company. It was a little round animal (looked sort of like a Star Wars character) and it responded back to kids. You were suppose to teach Furby english and take care of it the way you would take care of a pet. Furbies were great for a while until they malfunctioned and broke. Children don’t really understand death. So when a Furby broke some children felt this great void in their lives. It was like a friend was gone. They started feeling upset, worried, and anxious. People started questioning if Furbies were actually a good toy for kids to be playing with. A 4-year-old can’t mentally process loosing a friend.

In the chapter True Companions we read about AIBO the robot dog, and we discover how adults react to robotic pets. They react sort of similar to children but not to the extreme as kids do. Even as a mature adult people were beginning to bond with AIBO’s when they came out in 1999. They were very expensive to get but they were so much like a real dog that people didn’t find the need to get any other pets. I couldn’t help but think, why wouldn’t people just get a real dog. Adopt a pet for free! The sentence that really stood out to me in the chapter was, “Brenda feels guilty if she doesn’t keep AIBO entertained.” Brenda is 8. Although AIBO is just a mechanical aspect, people begin to relate and see it as parts of their family, a true companion.

In the chapter Enchantment, they discuss this idea of having robots as babysitters. A robot as a care taker? It’s all so foreign to me. Children need eyes on them at all times. Although a robot would keep track of a child at all times could they tell them good job, or correct them when they did something wrong/bad? A robot can’t do those things. It can not possibly know the correct way to answer a child. What would a robot do if a child was throwing a fit? Just tell it to calm down on repeat? What if the child is correct in throwing a fit. Example, if a child got hurt and the robot responded with “calm down” what good would that do? The child would still be hurt.

Is This Man Cheating On His Wife, was an article that we had to read this week. My answer is YES. He spent so much time on Second Life with his Second Life wife that he completely ignored his REAL life wife. Cheating is not just physical. It could be emotional and mental as well. His primary person in his life was not his real life wife. He was emotionally cheating on her with his Second Life WIFE (just the fact that he used his avatar to marry another avatar says alot).  What really interested me in this article wasn’t his personal relationship with this online avatar but more with the fact that this man took on another set of responsibilities and committment. It boggles my mind how a 53-year-old man could completely ignore his real life.

The other article that interested me nuts was In Korea, a Boot Camp Cure For Web Obsession. In South Korea they created a place for teens with web addictions to go to. It’s pretty much a rehab for tech crazy kids. It drove me nuts reading this article because where has self-control gone? These kids are also the way they are because Korea forces everyone to be so tech savvy and these kids feel the pressure to be ahead of the curve. The more the kids play online, and learn about the online culture, the better the look. But now that pressure has created addictions.

Being in two places at once?? How cool! Except YOU wouldn’t really be in two places, your avatar would. The article 3-D Avatars Could Put You in Two Places at Once shares the idea that avatars that like just like, have your same mannerisms and could replace you at any function, like class or meetings. The idea is pretty cool but would we really want that?

War Machines: Recruiting Robots for Combat. Scary. Pure fear. Putting all this control and trust into a robot to tell a good guy from a bad guy in war zones. Is this really the best idea? There will inevitably be an ethical lapse. How can a robot tell the difference? It will also remove the emotional attachment to war. It could be a good and bad thing at the same time. It would save our men and women from emotional distraught or night terrors after coming home from war but it would also allow them to become detached from their actions. They won’t be the ones killing other humans anymore, the robots will be. They won’t feel bad, because technically they didn’t kill the enemy. It will create this sense of numbness towards war. I would be nervous having veterans return from war and back into society when they don’t feel bad for their actions in war. It’s sad that they have to go through what they do, but would if benefit society if they were numb to violence returning to normal day life?

 

Readings 8: GPS, Mobile Technology, & Multitasking

GPS & Mobile Technology:

When I was in my teens my older sister and I really began to bond. We would spend almost every minute together other than the time we were in class. We had an honest and opened relationship. We had the same relationship with our parents. My parents were trusting of us.  My sister and I never had a curfew.  Did we every break a rule, or tell a fib? Yes, of course. But we were for the most part well-mannered, well-behaved teens. We respected our parents and our privileges and in return our parents respected us. Your probably thinking, get to the point already Kristin!  My point is, our parents never would question us because we were always honest. They would never think of putting a GPS tracking device on our car because if they wanted to know where we were, they could ASK us. Parents don’t have the same relationships today that parents had with their kids twenty years ago. Everyone is so busy busy busy that the lines of communication have closed. In the reading “GPS Technology Helps Parents Track Teens” Melissa J. Hipolit discusses the Pros & Cons of having a GPS device hooked-up to a child’s car.  A huge pro is that parents will know what their children are doing and where they are when the phone is turned on, or when the car is moving. It is a great tool for protection.   A con is that if the phone isn’t on, the GPS doesn’t’ work. I don’t believe there is a reason to “track” your children. Kids learn by making mistakes. Yes, it would probably keep them in line but it is when we fall out of line that we learn life lessons. Also, maybe parents today should take a little more time in their children’s lives and build a strong foundation in their relationships so that there is trust and instead of sneaking a tracking device on their kids car they can just ask their kid where they are going, when they will be home etc. and they will have an answer.

Speaking of tracking…China has recently passed a law that mandates their citizens to register their cell phones in their own names. In the article “China Deputes Smart Phones to Spy on Beijing Residents’ Real Time Location” we learn that China  wanted to pass a law that allows the government to track their citizens in real-time to allow them insight to all the traffic on the roads. My opinion? I think its bologna and cheese!  China is going to use that data against their citizens. How, or better yet, why does China have the power to take away rights from their people. Like how they block the accurate news about their country on Google. Now they are tracking each one of their residents in Beijing. Hmmm…I wonder what they are really going to use that research to do?

I wrote the paragraph above before reading, “Everything You Need to Know About The NSA’s Phone Records.” What is going on? Is the American government turning into China?? How could the government be allowed to take all the records from Verizon and read all the text messages and track all the phones calls of Verizon customers accounts? They say that it might break the 4th amendment. It might? Here is the fourth amendment of the United States of America.

Amendment IV (law.cornell.edu)

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

So, what do you think? Did the government have probable cause to take records of all the Verizon Carriers phone records?

While reading the article “On Locational Privacy, and How To Avoid Loosing It Forever” I was a bit confused. It talked a lot about machines following you based off of electronic tolls & transit passes. My confusion was that the article was written in 2009 and it is now 2013. Do our E-Z pass track and record what tolls we go through? Or is it sort of anonymous in the sense that we aren’t people we are just codes. Or is this what the author hopes happens in the future? That electronic tolls change the way of reading our cars from our licenses plates to just a code? Like I said, this article confused me.

Multitasking:

In the article “Multitasking Can Make You Loose…Um…Focus”, it states that multitasking adds to stress & it breaks up people’s train of thoughts. I use to think I was very good at multitasking. I don’t know if it is because I have aged a little bit but now I’m not so good. I could text and listen to someone talking at the same time, I thought I could, until I read this article and it told me that it is impossible for the brain to do. I use to retain information while multitasking but now I can’t anymore. I need to do one thing at a time.  I can only read and write in silence. Any sort of noise throws me off and distracts me. I feel as if I am missing out on something if I don’t follow that sound. Multitasking could not only be distracting but dangerous. If you multitask at the wrong time (i.e. while driving or walking near traffic) it could be lethal.

Texting while driving is a HUGE debate right now and it has been since texting became possible. Too many people are dying in-car accidents that are related to texting. When we will get it? I can’t act like I don’t do it because I do, but I’ve at least been more conscious and more aware that I am doing it and then I stop. The text can wait, or just pull over.

Alone Together Readings:

(Side note: I really enjoy reading from Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together. The chapters are more than just information, they are people’s stories. It makes the readings more interesting.)

Always On & No Need to Call

It starts off by talking about the 1996’s MIT Cyborgs. Cyborgs were tech students that were constantly connected to wireless internet. They were always ONline but away from desks and cables. These students behaved this way almost 20 years ago and look, today, everyone has a mobile wireless device that they carry with them wherever you go.

The title ‘Always On’ could be interpreted two ways, 1. that we always have our cell phones and computer ON, or 2. that we always carry them ON us. Turkle discusses how different our society has become because we are always doing something on the internet. We aren’t being ourselves 100% on social media sites, we are talking using Instant Messanger because it’s easier to say how you feel hidden behind screens, and we text because we do not like to hear each others voices anymore.

In the chapter “Always On”, I was extremely intrigued by the story about Pete & Jade. Pete is a middle age man, and is married with children. His marriage isn’t the happiest but he hasn’t left his wife. INSTEAD, he lives life through his very own avatar on Second Life. That is the website that he met his cyber wife Jade. They even share a part of the story that describes Pete being at a park with his kids, on his phone, and he’s communicating with Jade. Isn’t there something wrong here? I wrote in my notes “Pete+Jade cheating?!?!” I think it is. All these websites, email, texts, they all allow humans easy access to hide and be promiscuous. If Pete didn’t have Second Life he would either A. Be working harder on his marriage with his wife or B. He would have divorced his wife and would have another REAL LIFE relationship. Sherry Turkle asks him if he would ever meet Jade and his answer is no. Pete even accepts the fact that Jade could be a woman or a male but he doesn’t care. He just enjoys going on to Second Life and sharing a virtual life with this other person. It gets him through life. It’s pretty sad if you think about it. Pete is addicted to his phone and the internet. Pete needs to be ALWAYS ON.

The second chapter we read in “Alone Together” was ‘No Need to Call’. The chapter says it all. Ever since instant messaging, texting, and email were available to the public no one makes phone calls anymore. The reason for no more calls? We are just too busy. At one time it was cool to sit on the phone and talk to someone for hours. Now it’s cool to sit behind the computer and type. It is now the new “Life Mix.”

The topic of Avatars comes up in the chapter as well. I really liked the conversation Sherry had with the young girl Audrey. They talk about our online avatars, they profiles or images that we make up for ourselves. They are our “Little Twins On the Internet”. Audrey brings up the point that no one is 100% truthful about themselves online. We only put the nicest pictures of us up. We make up fake names. We manipulate our photos so that we are thinner. The lives online aren’t real nor truthful. So why do we waste so much of our time creating them?

The quote below really made me think. I would like to know what you guys think.

“But is loving your life as an avatar the same as loving your life in the real?”

Readings 7: Privacy, Surveillance + Exhibitionism

Privacy is the state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people.

The word privacy should be taken out of the dictionary because “privacy” does not exist anymore. For the most part, everything we do is being recorded/documented. It’s a surprise to  me that everything we say isn’t being recorded as well. (I’m sure one day it will be) This weeks readings had a lot of details that I would like to talk about.

First, let’s discuss “Lifelogging”. In the article “On the Record, All the Time,” written in 2007, Scott Carlson talks about “Lifelogging.” He talks about this subject like it is so far-fetched. He writes “consider that the latest cell phones are equipped to record video and track your location”, I laughed to myself when I read that because he only wrote the article six years ago, and look, cell phones track our location and record videos now, only six years later. He says that “lifelogging” & the fascination of recording life dates back to 1945. The whole idea of lifelogging is really neat. Our children, our loved ones, when we pass will have something to look back on and have history that we existed. It is how we have gotten to this point that we are at, that is the concerning thought.  We put all this information about ourselves on the internet for the world to see and we don’t even think twice about it anymore. Yes, our families will have records of us, but at what risks?

In Sherry Turkle’s “Alone Together” we read the chapter titled, True Confessions. The entire time reading I was thinking to myself, who would post these types of confessions online? I must have been living under a rock for the past five years because once again, I have never heard of these confessional sites. I understand that they act as therapy to most people, they are a place to confide secrets. I just don’t think its the smartest idea. It’s sad to think that there are enough people in the world that don’t have a close friend, or a family member that they can confide in and that could support them. That they search to find comfort and a “community” in an online confession world. I personally would never put my deepest darkest secrets on the internet for the world to see because nothing on the internet is private. I know, you can change your name to hide your identity, but come on, if someone searched hard enough they could find it.

Back to the recording of lives. In “A World of Witness”, the topic of cell phones recording every day life is discussed. Cell phones were once only used to make calls. Mostly in cases of emergency. Now they are not only used to make phone calls but also, to text, to take photographs, to Skype, & to update your status on Facebook. Cell phones have now also been used to vote in elections, & they have been used in terrorist acts. The article states that cell phones are affecting healthcare, environmental monitoring and human rights.  They can help environmental monitoring by recording personal lives and routines to determine higher areas of pollution.

The article “Help Wanted: Busybodies with Cameras” was CRAZY! (<– that’s what I wrote in my notebook) It’s absolutely nuts! That bounty hunters in Seoul South Korea use their cameras and camera phones to catch criminals in the act. Then they report it to the authorities and get paid for it. Where are the authorities?! Shouldn’t what the bounty hunters do, ( taking pictures of people with out them knowing or agreeing), be considered a crime? It’s so invasive. I get it, those being photographed are committing a felon, but it’s sort of wrong still. The authorities are being paid the big bucks to catch criminals. Shouldn’t they be the ones finding them? I guess I’m trying to say that these bounty hunters shouldn’t be needed. It shouldn’t be a way of getting income.

GOOGLE (GOOG) GLASS! it’s awesome! I’m going to contradict myself right now agreeing with Google Glass but I can’t help it. It’s a great gadget and it’s a great use of technology. Most days I find myself wishing I had a camera to capture a moment in time and with Google Glass I wouldn’t be wishing anymore. The one thing I don’t like about it is how it’s connected to everything. If I had a pair I would be annoyed when I’m taking a picture and enjoying a moment in time and then, BING! in the upper right corned its letting me know I got an email. I wish things could go back to being separate!

Lastly, “Anti-Drone Camouflage: What to Wear in Total Surveillance”, artist Adam Harvey created a line of clothing to protect people from being seen everywhere they go. The material that the clothing is made with, shields people’s faces from being seen on cameras. I love this idea. I think it is extremely innovated and I want a hoodie 🙂

 

 

 

Questions I thought of when reading this week:

1. Would you send a “Postcard”? If so, what would it say??

2. What do you wish your cell phone could do that it doesn’t do already?

3. What are your thoughts on “lifelogging”? I have a few friends with children already & they created Facebooks for them as timelines. Do you agree with this?

4.  Is “lifelogging” copyrited information?

5. Scott Carlson brings up the thought that one day everyones conversations will be recorded. That one day a verbal contract will be as good as a written one. Do you agree with this idea/concept? Why or why not?

 

 

Readings 6: Suggestions, Recommendations, and Dataveillance

Connected, everything is now connected, we are now all connected. From social networking, to navigational systems, to cell phones, to television. Everything is tracked, recorded, and connected. This is a very scary realization to most people. This weeks articles deal with the topic of algorithms culture and the lack of privacy on the internet.

The definition of algorithm is a step-by-step procedure for calculations. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning.

Examples of websites that use algorithms are Match.com, eHarmony.com, and URoomSurf.com. Match and eHarmony are both dating websites that use algorithms to find similarities between customers and pair them with matches based on their likes and dislikes. URoomSurf.com does the same thing but for finding roommates at different colleges. In the article, Hitting It off, Thanks To Algorithms of Love, the author John Tierney, brings up a valid point. Humans base a lot of their decisions on feelings and emotions. Using online dating sites to find love could work, and there is proof that it does, but sometimes it doesn’t. Using Algorithms to find love could work because it may spark interest based on the similarities between two people but after two years are you going to be bored? That’s the question Mr. Tierney brings to our attention. If two people are too much alike, will those people eventually get bored with one another?

There are many pros to using algorithms to make matches. Because we do make a lot of impulse decisions as humans, they aren’t always the right decisions for us to make. I always tell my friends “numbers don’t lie.” For example if you are torn about a decision or a relationship, make a pro and cons list. Which ever one has more points, go with it. I personally think that online dating and roommate sites work, but I know a lot of people are hesitant. I think a lot of good could come from them. Humans relate well with others that have the same interests and passions as one another. I wish I knew about URoomSurf when I was a freshman in college. It could have saved me a room change.

Now onto the topic of privacy (or lack there of)…

How much is TOO much? I am all for companies suggesting other products for me to buy because I love to shop, but how they do it and how often they do it is where the problem lies.  Let’s begin with Amazon.  I am not sure if I am more creeped out by amazon or less creeped out because they actually have other people track and email customers different suggestions. So I feel as if its nicer and more personal because another person is actually making a suggestion but then the other side of that, is that an actual person is watching your purchasing and spending habits.  Is that an invasion of privacy?

In, Retargeting Ads Follow Surfers to Other Sites, they tell the story about Julie Matin and her “stalking shoes”. Julie was just browsing online one day and clicked on a pair of shoes. She thought they were cute and wanted to buy them but restrained herself because she thought she didn’t really need them. Then all of a sudden, every web page she visited, the shoes were in an advertisement. They followed her to every web address she went to. She felt a little creeped out after a while. It was like a sales woman who just would not leave her alone. If a sales woman in a department store stalked a customer throughout the store it would cause some sort of law suit and become news on the five o’clock news,  but when its an advertisement online, it doesn’t break any laws?

I really do think that advertisements on the internet work. They are clever and they are subtle. Most people, including myself,  had no idea about tracking cookies. I thought that it was just a coincidence that the products I was interested in were sometimes in an advertisement on a web page that I was visiting. Part of me is all for it, because sometimes you get recommendations for products that you have no idea about or that you could really use. However, I think they are taking it a little too far. My thoughts on the matter is that I think they should continue to use the algorithms to calculate what we might purchase next, but the advertisements should stay on that one website. It should not be allowed to follow you to another webpage. Its becoming a little much and a little overwhelming. They need to keep the advertisements on the websites that the products deal with. There needs to be some sort of boundaries. If they don’t make boundaries now then in the future we will have absolutely no privacy at all, and there will be nothing we could do about it!

The information that bothered me the most in this weeks assignment was in the video Hot On Your Trail. I had no idea that every move you make is being recorded. We think, and we have become comfortable with the idea of being tracked online but that is not the only case. Now we are being tracked everywhere we go.  If your phone has a navigation system on it i.e. google maps, they can tell your every move that you make. Not only could they track where you go but they know the exact store and what you buy. Then they use that information to create more ads targeted for you based on that purchase. My mind was blown away watching that short video. Nothing could be kept a secret anymore. It’s some what frightening knowing that your information and  the history of yourself is being stored somewhere. Who has access to this information? Why do they need to know this information? What if the information ended up in the wrong hands? How do they decide who gets access to this information? Just a few important questions to think about.

In the video clip from Tom Cruises movie Minority Report Tom’s character John Anderton eyes are being scanned to recognize that it is John Anderton. Then the advertisements are made to be directed to him. It seemed so far-fetched when I first saw the movie in 2002 but somehow I feel like that make believe world is not too far away from becoming our world.  Artifacts From the Future:Dating Sites in 2020 asks “What will our world look like in 10, 20 or 100 years?” I thought that was a great question. I think we are going to still look similar to how we look now. We will probably dress the same, have our own individual styles but we will have no privacy. I think that no matter where we go we will have to scan our fingertips to open doors, or unlock our cars. This way the government will be able to know who was in what building and at what time. The only positive thing that could come from living like with this type of technology ruling our lives is it could help find criminals and maybe stop criminals from committing crimes. They won’t be able to get away with bad behavior anymore. They won’t be able to hide because someone will always be watching. However, having someone know your every move is quite uncomfortable and invasive.

A cool website that everyone should check out is ‘What Should You Read Next?’ It is a simple concept and easy website to navigate. All you need to do is type in a book that you recently read and liked and it will suggest other books you will like based off of key words. I typed in, The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, and a list of books came up with the key words, love stories, american, fiction etc. It’s really neat and a very useful website!

 

 

 

 

Some Questions to Think About:

What do you think about tracking cookies?

How do you feel about dating websites?

Your personal information being stored… Who sees it? What do they use it for? What if it ends up in the wrong hands? Where does it go? How is it protected?

In what kind of world will our children grow up in?

Behavioral Targeting: Is it invasive or helpful?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Readings 5: Digital Marketing & Viral Media

The definition of marketing, approved by the American Marketing Association Board of Directors,  is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. So how does one market products or services online?

It took advertisement firms a while to strategize and come up with different ways to market products and advertisements online. They had to start thinking differently, more creativity. In the article “YouTube Ads Turn Videos Into Revenue” the executives came up with a clever plan. They came up with a plan that not only protects them from breaking copyright laws, but it also brings in profit. Google owns YouTube. I did not know this until the article, but in 2006 Google bought YouTube for over a billion dollars. In 2010, 90 percent of Google’s revenue was Ad searches. YouTube have become widely successful because of their marketing plans. They have made agreements to share half of their profits with their sources. What does this mean? It means that when videos are viewed, half of the profits from the video are given to YouTube and half go to the creator of the video. It is a win/win situation.

Alec Brownstein hit the nail on the head when he marketed himself to get a better job! The article, “For the Love of Google: Landing a Job with Search”,  tells the story of how Mr. Brownstein landed his dream job. He captured the attention of his current boss by purchasing a Google ad that connected to his bosses name. When his boss Googled himself Alec’s Ad popped up and got his attention. It was truly genius!

One of the other topic in this weeks articles is Viral Media. Old Spice is a perfect example of successfully making Viral Media. In the articles “How the Old Spice Videos Are Being Made” and “Old Spice Campaign Generated 35 Million Video Views in 7 Days” explains their marketing and sharing strategy. Old Spice wanted to answer their fans question from the social media sites. They came up with a very successful plan. They made short entertaining videos to do so and within days, the videos became viral. It gave the “Old” Old spice fans questions to their answers but also made “New” Old Spice fans! Over 35 million people viewed and enjoyed Old Spice’s 186 videos. Their YouTube page was the 3rd most viewed channel on YouTube. Nice job Old Spice!

When creating advertisements the first question ad executives ask themselves is ‘how can we reach the most amount of people?’. They want their ad’s to be seen and they must think of the most effective way to do so. The articles ” ‘Consumer’ or Multipliers’ ” and “How Spreadability Changes How We Think About Advertising” makes us think about this topic. To my understanding, Viral,  raises the question ‘To How Many’? How many can the content be seen by? Spreadable deals more with the importance of  what form the content is in, how the content appears, and whether people want to share the content based on the meer appearance of it.Designers need to ask themselves, do they go in a Viral Direction or a Spreadable one?

Since the online world became more popular than the real world Advertising took the back seat to Product Design. A perfect example of this is the online world called Second Life. It is an online game where real people make avatars of themselves and life a separate life online. So, like any other social networking site, Second Life encouraged Advertisers to create Ads for the new world. Advertisement firms totally bombed because the Ads came of as “boring and unimaginative”.

In 2009 MTV launched a campaign that shortly caught the attention of thousands of people. They teamed up with foursquare, a popular “checkin” site at the time, offering a GTY (Get Yourself Tested) badge. On foursquare people were checking into every place they went. The more places you check into the more badges you collect. The GYT badge was simple to receive. All you had to do was check in at STD testing center. Sounds simple right? Two questions immediately popped into my head. 1. Who would check into a STD testing center? 2.Who wants the world to know their every move? (What is the point of Foursquare?)

 

The Get Yourself Tested Badge from  Foursquare:

mtv_gyt_big

 

Some Questions to Think About:

1. Alec Brownstein marketed himself in a humerous, clever way. How would you market yourself?

2. Other than series of short films, what is another way companies can catch peoples attention?

3.If you were to design an Ad would it be more important to you that your Ad went “Viral” or if it was “Spreadable”?

4. Have you joined Foursquare? Why or why not?