Posted: April 4th, 2015
COMM3171—Computer Mediated Communication Final Assignment
Michael G. MacDonald, 902-563-1635
This assignment will consist of you writing your comments about any of the topics below. This project is NOT a formal academic paper; instead, I’m looking for your thoughts on how the internet engages people, or how the internet creates some kind of community, or how a website helps (or hurts) how we find information structured in consumable pieces.
Consider the meaning of “computer mediated communication” in the various forms we’ve discussed on Moodle, as well as your own experience. What aspects of CMC interest, astound, perplex, disgust, terrify, or amuse you? What is an “internet community” and how does CMC function in developing community? What differences/similarities are there between face-to-face and computer mediated interaction and is one better? Explore the ways you can be present on-line: what means of interaction are available to you? Participate in a chat room and keep a log of your interaction: what is the nature of the communication taking place there?
No matter what your topic, please use essay format and correct grammar. You must use sources to support your arguments—I expect you to provide the URLs of any sites you use for your project. Please be as creative as possible in your discussion of your topic. Work on being clear and concise. Remember: I’m looking for your thoughts on the internet based on the topic you select. Please ask if you have questions.
DUE DATE: uploaded to Moodle by 11:55 pm on Thursday 16 April. Late papers will NOT be accepted. I’m not providing a length requirement (number of pages or words). It is up to you to discuss your topic as you see fit. Please ensure that any links are clearly provided. Test each link you plan to include. If I can’t follow a link you provide, it does not count as a source.
Some possible topics include the following general suggestions, as well as the more detailed links further below:
? The internet and political communication
? Online games—interactive fun and/or competition
? Education and CMC
? Medical uses of CMC
? Social sites—keeping in touch by net
? The internet as meeting place—dating, hooking up, etc.
? Sharing stuff—video sharing, forums, ptp (peer-to-peer) downloads, etc.
? The look of CMC—visual aspects of the net
? Emerging voices—small or marginalized communities online
? The dark side of the web—‘dangerous’ places online
? Silly or serious—the internet as soapbox for conspiracy theorists
? Sales and marketing—ecommerce
Consider the following examples of “information” about the internet. Check the links. What (if any) sources are given for the information presented there? As a topic, you can find lists or other information and critique the site based on your thoughts and opinions. Perhaps you can compare one site to another to contrast the approaches to presenting information and ideas online.
• Although the World Wide Web is often referred to as the Internet, the two are not the same thing. The Internet is a huge network of networks that links computers together all over the world using a range of wires and wireless technologies. The World Wide Web is the collection of linked pages that are accessed using the Internet and a web browser.
• English physicist Sir Tim Berners-Lee is regarded as having invented the World Wide Web in 1989. Since then he has continued the development of web standards and other web related projects.
• Website addresses such as http://www.sciencekids.co.nz are known by the term Uniform Resource Locater (URL).
• The domain name system of the Internet includes top level domains such as .com, .info, .net, .org, .edu, .mil and .gov as well as country specific domains and more.
• As well as the World Wide Web, the Internet is used for such application as email, file sharing, online chat, phone and video calls, online gaming and more.
• Thanks to the increasing accessibility of the Internet, the popularity of the web has exploded over the last 10 years. The web is now used for a number of different purposes including online shopping, social networking, games, news, travel information, business, advertising and much more.
• Social networking websites such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter have become popular over the last few years. People now spend a large amount of their time online keeping in touch with each other through these applications and services.
• Security and privacy concerns have always been a problem on the Internet with many people often unaware of the potential risks they take when inputting confidential data, passwords and personal information into various websites. Viruses and spam emails are other sources over security concerns which frequently cause disruptions and headaches for users of the web.
• One of the best and most common ways of finding information on the web is through the use of search engines such as Google and Bing. Google is currently the most popular search engine, receiving hundreds of millions of search queries every day.
1. There are 7 people in the world who hold the “key to the internet.” If in the event of a major catastrophe the internet is shut down these key holders will together be able to reboot an integral part of the system.
2. Nowadays we have Mozilla Firefox & Internet Explorer but the very first widely popular web browser was Mosaic which was available from 1993 and discontinued in 1997.
3. The internet accrued 50 million users in just 5 years. It took TV 13 years to do that.
4. 20% of the world’s population, that is over 1 billion people, are internet users.
5. A surfing session lasts on average just under an hour for most people – 51 minutes to be exact.
6. 75% of Swedish people use the internet making them the country with the largest percentage of internet users.
7. With satellite based internet now available there is no country in the world that cannot access the internet although Governments in certain countries still continue to severely restrict its use. In North Korea only Government officials and named officers have access to the net and China is famous for restricting its public’s access to certain sites.
8. People who use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter will use 10% of their entire life time on these sites.
9. As a continent Asia has the largest number of internet users at 42% and this looks set for massive growth as infiltration of the net is still at 20%, meaning 80% is still not using it.
10. 19% of married couples meet online, making it the most successful method for meeting the “one.” Following an online introduction the most successful methods for meeting a future wife or husband continues to be through work or friends, with each of these methods getting 17% of married couples together.
The 100 Best, Most Interesting Blogs and Websites of 2015
Every year I release a list of the best, most interesting blogs and websites I have encountered in the previous 365 days that I think other people should know about in the coming 365 days. I’ve done this for 3 years straight—this will be the 4th. As in years past this post was literally 1 year in the making (although it took a mere 2 days to organize and assemble).
How do I choose which sites make the cut? To be sure, website and blog owners tweet and email me suggestions year round (as do impartial third parties): but the funny thing is, with few exceptions, I only include sites I come across myself organically—making this list a sort of extension of myself. I look for sites that are well designed, unique in some way and, plainly put, addicting. There’s nothing scientific about these lists: they’re merely full of sites I think are interesting or cool for some reason. Yes, many of these sites have been around for more than a year—it’s just that I really discovered them and took an interest in them this year. See my picks from previous years:2012 | 2013 | 2014
1. Mind-Meltingly Awesome Blogs & Websites
2. For Guys
3. For Girls
4. News & Current Events
5. Viral Sites
6. Super Interesting Blogs
8. Design, Art & Photography
9. General Lifestyle
10. Boredom Killers
Mind-Meltingly Awesome Blogs & Websites
Every now and then I come across a website that impacts my life in a big way—or has the potential to—or could impact another person’s life in a big way. And by “big” I mean useful, fun, kind… something I basically can’t stop digging into (day after day). These 10 websites are some of my absolute favorites and I had to share them first.
1. Product Hunt – The best new products, every day.
2. Everyday Carry – Peek into the pockets/lives of interesting people.
3. Canopy – Amazon, curated. Amazing products you can actually buy.
4. The Big Roundtable – Publishes narrative nonfiction.
5. Grand St. – Creative technology marketplace. Cool stuff. Reallycool stuff.
6. Twitch – Social video for gamers. Watch the best video gamers game.
7. Love For The Elderly – Helps seniors get the love and attention they deserve.
8. Have I Been Pwned? – Find out if your personal info might have been stolen.
9. Genius – Annotate the world. Weigh in: from books to music, history to tech.
10. Expert Enough -Helping you learn more, do more, and be more.
For guys who want to get more out of the Internet than porn, I’ve collected 10 sites that cover everything from regular advice to fashion advice to, of course, cool stuff to buy.
1. Trunk Club – Style that works on your schedule (get a personal stylist).
2. Jack Threads – Men’s fashion and style, delivered daily.
3. Primer – A guys post-college guide to growing up.
4. Por Homme – Fashion, culture and lifestyle catered to men.
5. Mantelligence – More than stuff you should buy… mind, body, relationships.
6. Well Spent – Honestly crafted products that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
7. FREE / MAN – A men’s style publication with it’s own in-house creative unit.
8. Muted – Stuff for guys. But with great photography, short descriptions.
9. Supercompressor – Men’s buying guide with an eye on function, design.
10. Acquire – A focus on items with great product stories, heritage.
Look, I’m not a girl, but 42% of my audience here on DailyTekk is female so I did my best to collect 10 exciting blogs and websites for women. From the career advice to parenting advice to design and beauty, (I think) there’s plenty here for any girl.
1. Refinery29 – New media brand for smart, creative and stylish women.
2. Keep – Discover trends in fashion, decor, accessories and design.
3. ModCloth – Unique and cute clothes, accessories and decor.
4. The Everygirl – The life map for everygirls everywhere.
5. DailyWorth – The ambition woman’s guide to all things money and career.
6. Gretel – Modern design and all things pretty.
7. Cool Mom Picks – They find it, you flaunt it.
8. Jezebel – Info for women sans airbrushing.
9. We Heart It – Heart images that move you. Discover creativity.
10. Mom Trends – Positive, inspiring, pretty and social.
News & Current Events
I don’t know about you, but I often tire of the same old news sources I’ve been consuming for years. Fortunately there are some really fresh news sites that you can turn to for a different view on current events.
1. Vox – Understand the news.
2. Vocativ – Hidden perspectives and stories from the Deep Web.
3. The Raw Story – Investigative news. Highlights underreported news.
4. Mic – Quality news coverage tailored to millennials.
5. Matter – Long-form articles on science, tech, medicine and the environment.
6. FiveThirtyEight – News from politics to economics (ESPN).
7. The Intercept – Fearless, adversarial news.
8. Elite Daily – The voice of Gen Y.
9. The Upshot – Politics, policy, economics and everyday life (NYT).
10. The Vane – Interesting weather happenings (Gawker).
When you see the word viral these days you probably groan… not because you aren’t interested in the viral content but because you are. Yes, some viral sites are annoying, but there are others that are actually interesting… even useful. I’ll let you be the judge, but here are 10 viral sites to take a peek at.
1. 22 Words – Curious, cute, comical and crazy. Funny, smart, amazing stories.
2. ClickHole – Content that panders to and misleads readers enough to go viral.
3. Know More – A site for people who like learning stuff.
4. Faithit – Change the world. Share what matters.
5. A+ – Viral site with an audience of 50 million.
6. ViralNova – Aims to entertain, intrigue and uplift through social content.
7. Foodbeast – Food news, recipes and humor.
8. List25 – Consistently conciliating curiosity.
9. Zergnet – A collection of viral content from all over the Internet.
10. Guff – Viral/entertaining. Funny/informative. Outrageous/compelling.
Super Interesting Blogs
Looking for an interesting niche to settle into to learn something new? Whether driven by a single personality or a team (even a team of 2), these sites offer compelling insights into various aspects of the personal and business lives of their makers.
1. Feld Thoughts – A thoughtful look at venture capital, Boulder and life.
2. Nir and Far – Business, behavior and the brain.
3. Milk The Pigeon – Feel like your life is pointless? Don’t. Here’s why.
4. Food Politics – A professor’s take on the politics of food.
5. Marginal Revolution – Small steps toward a much better world.
6. The Clip Report – Dispatches on the future of media (by Steve Rubel).
7. Marc and Angel Hack Life – Practical tips for productive living.
8. SlowStruck – Taking time is the ultimate rush.
9. Lumosity Blog – Learn all about neuroscience.
10. To Work Or Play – 4 ladies, advertising, London and life.
This is a technology blog so I’d feel a bit odd without including a technology category. If you think you know about “all the best tech blogs” out there… you’re wrong. Here’s a few you may not have heard about yet.
1. Dcurt.is – I love the insight and opinion coming from Dustin Curtis, villain.
2. Re/code – All things tech from the team that formerly built AllThingsD.
3. The Information – Tech industry news for the world’s professionals.
4. Officelovin – Discover the best tech and startup offices.
5. The Tech Block – Good tech reads from around the Internet.
6. Stratechery – Former Apple and Microsoft employee writes about tech.
7. Louis Gray – Silicon Valley tech blogger.
8. Jeremiah Owyang – Industry analyst and speaker.
9. TechSpiked – Entertainment for techies.
10. I, Cringely – Bob Cringley has over 30 years experience in tech news.
Design, Art & Photography
I love all things design. From UX to architecture to nature itself. If it’s creative it gets my attention. I suppose that’s why I studied design in college. There are so many great creative-focused blogs out there (and I’ve covered plenty in the past) but here are 10 I’m sure you’re going to love
1. Design You Trust – Design trends, news, portfolios, fashion and ads.
2. The Fox Is Black – From design and illustration to food and photography.
3. Decoist – Architecture and modern design.
4. Inky Collective – Where doodlers and dreamers meet creative adventure.
5. Saatchi Art – Connecting people with art and artists they love.
6. Creative Market Blog – Tutorials, design inspiration and tips and tricks.
7. Daily Overview – Curated satellite photography.
8. The Sketchbook Project – See the world’s largest collection of sketchbooks.
9. FlowingData – Visualization and statistics blog (if you love infographics…).
10. BLOUIN ARTINFO – Up to the minute art news and commentary.
Whether you want to get a glimpse into life in another city, want to do some traveling or want to discover interesting people leading interesting lives, you can do so with the links below.
1. Booya Fitness – Every type of fitness class you can imagine—online.
2. Hodinkee – Wristwatch news, reviews and original stories.
3. Gothamist – NYC’s news, food, art and events. Many sister cities/sites.
4. LAist – Los Angeles news, food, art and events.
5. TravelWell – Photographic journal showcasing various destinations.
6. Tourist Meets Traveler – A mother/daughter travel blogging team.
7. The Standard Edition – Lifestyle blog with lots of interesting pics/stories.
8. The Mother List – Amazing people, inspiring moments.
9. Pop-Up City – Explores the trends that will shape the city of the future.
10. Untapped Cities – The best of urban living from cities around the globe.
And now we’ve come to the final section. If you’ve made it this far your appetite for entertainment and information must be insatiable. Here are a few “can’t miss” sites covering a variety of topics that will keep you busy (but knowing you it’ll be over all too soon). Until next year…
1. iDreamBooks – Never read a crappy book again.
2. Sploid – Delicious brain candy (Kinja).
3. Instructables – DIY! How-to make all kinds of things…
4. Wondernode – Things we wonder.
5. Nothing Cooler – 9 awesome videos posted daily.
6. The Smart Passive Income Blog – The crash test dummy of online business. See what works.
7. Math With Bad Drawings – A teacher who likes math and writing but can’t draw.
8. Defense One – Trends that will define the future of U.S. defense and national security (Atlantic Media).
9. Nerdophiles – A collaborative blog on nerd culture.
10. CreativeLive – Creative classes from the world’s top experts.
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