Digital Democracy

A blog for the course New Media and a Democratic Society

Media Diary Day 5: Work, Work, Work

Posted by clocke22 on September 30, 2010

Photo Club Adventures

I skipped the radio this morning because I woke up late. I used my cell phone internet to email my coworker and let her know I was running late. I listened to the radio on the way to work. At work, I had on the iTunes radio again (80s/90s again!). I checked my email several times, checked Facebook several times, and was actually very productive at work, preparing a short grant proposal and editing a journal article. I also emailed some photos to a photo club I just joined. Our first trip was to an elephant farm in Williston. I also booked a flight for an upcoming trip.
On the way home, I listened to the radio. I read my mail. I went to a wine tasting, which was (obviously) fun. While cooking dinner and checking email some more, I watched a movie on instant Netflix: GI Jane. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it, it is almost over. Demi Moore must have worked out a lot for that role! She pretty much looks exactly the same, 14 years later. Hmm…..And this scene where they put plastic bags over their heads is really scary. 
After I post this I am going to look up some reviews on dayplanners (found out I can’t access the Hotmail calendar from my phone, which makes it non-portable and not as useful as I hoped). Besides, a written planner might work better for me because “out of sight out of mind” often applies to my train of thought. I like to keep things as simple as possible and I think a planner with space for notes, addresses, to dos, etc., might be the best for me. Then I will call it a night, falling asleep as usual to my spa/relaxation CD.


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Media Diary Day 4: Dear Committee Members

Posted by clocke22 on September 29, 2010

Today began, like most days with the local radio station (via a “boombox” CD/cassette/radio combo that I can’t part with) while I got ready.  Also, I don’t know if I mentioned it in my previous entries, but I use my cell phone as my alarm clock.  Sometimes I set my ringtone to a popular song that I downloads, so I suppose that would count as media consumption.  I am not “in” to ringtones as much as many people are, so I only have two options: “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga and the Pina Colada Song.  I should probably expand my horizons!  The Pina Colada Song was only my regular ringtone for a very short period of time because, well, it was embarassing.  But I love the song nonetheless.  I also think they should make a (Lifetime) movie based on it.

On the way to work/school, I listened to the radio in the car.  Once at work, I checked my mail and spent about an hour preparing and printing cover letters, CVs and mailing envelopes for the 9 or so positions I am applying for that don’t accept electronic applications.  Then I went to my A.M. class, where we viewed a PPT and listened to a lecture.  During my break, I continued prepping my applications. I also checked my email again.  I copied links from my Google Alerts to my work Facebook page.   Someone was mistenly remote connected to my computer so I had to use a different one.  Not a big deal except that it does not have Flash or the latest version and I can’t download it without an administrator login, so I could not listen to Internet radio (I tried several but they all required Flash) and this drove me crazy.  It was way too quiet.

During my New Media class, we looked at some websites and watched some Youtube clips during class.  I checked my email on my phone while walking to the parking lot.  I listened to the radio in the car.  When I got home, I turned on Roswell (via my Wii/instant Netflix) and left that on for the evening.  My main activity was to apply online for the rest of the jobs.  In total I applied for almost 40 jobs today!!  It was very tedious.  When I was done, I posted my three weekly comments for this course.  I had hoped to do other homework/personal online tasks this evening, but those job applications were very time consuming so I don’t think that is going to happen.  While I am falling asleep, I also usually put  on an instrumental or relaxation CD.  I used to have to fall asleep to the TV but broke that habit when I turned off the cable.  I also had a noise machine but it broke so I use the CDs.

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Media Diary Day 3: Organizing with the Aliens

Posted by clocke22 on September 28, 2010

The main reasons I watch Roswell

I turned on the radio this morning to provide some background noise (and some involuntary celebrity gossip) while I got ready and had breakfast.  Then I listened to more radio on the way to schoool.

While walking from the parking lot to Weimer, I checked my email on my phone.  Once I got to my office at work, I turned on the computer and turned on Itunes radio (80s/90s hits…as usual).  Then I checked my email.  Next I finished transferring my paper calendar information to my Hotmail calendar and played with the different features on it.  It was…okay.  I may have wasted time switching everything over, but the email/text alerts for appointments are nice and now that I am using the photos, documents, email and calendar tools on Hotmail it is more of a “one stop shop” which appeals to me.

I took a break to look up a plane ticket price to DC later in October.  I didn’t buy one yet.  I have a bad habit of looking up the same flight about 40 times and end up getting the first one I found.  I also looked up the Gator football schedule online while filling in my calendar.  Then I turned to more dissertation planning/scheduling and work.

After lunch, I read a photocopied article and some book chapters for my afternoon oral history seminar.  During class, we watched a photo slideshow from our professor’s trip last week to the Mississippi Delta to gather oral histories about Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement.  During the break, I checked my email on my phone.  After class, I yet again checked my email on my phone while walking to my car (I seriously hope I never fall into a manhole because of this bad habit) and also looked up the news on CNN mobile.  I listened to the radio on the way home.

Once home, I downloaded some of the Couch to 5K podcasts I looked up yesterday and transferred them to my mp3 player.  Then I actually finished the first one.  It went by pretty fast.

I turned on the TV, Wii and started up Nextflix after working out.  I turned on the TV show Roswell while making dinner.  It stayed on from about 8pm until the present (will be done in a few) while I did lots of other kind of boring things.  I finished figuring out how I am going to finish all my papers and projects this semester.  I checked my email.  I mapped the walking distance between my house and work in case I decide to walk (2.4 miles, FYI).  In between watching Roswell and getting organized online, I was also text messaging my BFF in Atlanta about her watching the show Bad Girls and how crazy those girls are, about the movie Scream 4, and some other things.  Neve Campbell is playing the mom of a teenager so my friend made me IMDB Neve Campbell to see how much older she was than us.  Ha ha.  Seven years.  Then I looked up a picture of the Roswell actors to attach to this post:)  I am going to apply online for some jobs and then call it a night.

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Media Diary Day 2: Top That!

Posted by clocke22 on September 27, 2010

Today I first checked my email on my mobile phone (after sleeping in). I listened to the radio while cleaning my house and heard that the power was out in Weimer. So I checked my email until I got an email letting me know the power was back on. I went into work at the Brechner Center and turned on my computer. I turned on Itunes to the 80s/90s radio channel, which I keep on all day as backgroud noise. I checked my email, the voicemail, and returned calls. I checked my personal Facebook and then posted some news links to the Brechner Facebook page. Then I talked on my cell phone with a friend. After that I spoke briefly with a search committee chair about a job opening. Then I read a few other media diary posts to see what my classmates were up to. Then I looked at some of my favorite blogs. I looked into a “Couch to 5K” program and found a podcast that has music and verbal cues for when to run/walk. I downloaded one and listened to off and on to see if I liked it.
I listened to a CD on the way home (about 10 minutes). When I got home, I turned on my Netflix/Wii (I don’t have cable). I tend to watch TV series in chunks. I can’t seem to commit to a movie but I will watch four episodes of a one-hour show?!?! After finishing Seasons 1-3 of 30 Rock and Season 1 of LA Ink over the past month or so, I am now on Season 3 of Roswell. I kept that on while I did lots of other things, half paying attention. I paused it for awhile to go for a walk. This was from about 7-11 pm. During that time, I uploaded pictures from my weekend in Atlanta and emailed them to my friend; checked out some more blogs; checked Facebook twice; made dinner; sorted my mail; paid bills online; added dates to my Hotmail calendar; and sorted through the various papers and notes I have collected over the past week. I also spent about an hour or two trying get together a timeline to complete my dissertation. This was frightening. I accessed the qualifying exam policy online through the College’s website and used other websites to put together a tentative timeline so I can graduate next summer. I was tempted to transfer all of my paper calendar events to my Hotmail calendar, which I have just started using, but decided I should get some sleep instead. The video clip I am embedding is one that I was reminded of today and then posted to my Facebook. I still remember the words to this ridiculous song. You can’t help but laugh. 

One of the pictures I uploaded today

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Media Diary Day 1: Corporate Propaganda

Posted by clocke22 on September 26, 2010

I am visiting friends in Atlanta so the first thing I did this morning was to get online to buy tickets to the Georgia Aquarium.  Then I listened to TV in the dining room while I ate breakfast.  During the 30-minute drive downtown, we listened to the radio.

At the Aquarium, there was lots of music, brochures, posters, and audio narration as we went throughthe exhibits.  The sea otters were my favorite entertainment of the day.   Next we went to lunch and there was football on TV but I only glanced at it.

Next we went to the very creepy World of Coca-Cola Museum.  There was an intro video about how Coke makes people happy.  Then we wandered through exhibits with written explanations of the history of Coke and some pop art exhibits.  There was another video, this one a 4D movie about the “secret” of Coke.  The video featured actors talking about how Coke made them happy and bubbly and how their greatest childhood memories involved Coke.  There was also a lesson on the “four Us” of Coke, about how it is available uniformly, universally, one I can’t remember, and the YOU that is of course the most important.  The experience was strange!

While at the museum, I used my cell phone to check my email.

Then I reviewed my readings and wrote and posted my blog post.  I am now going to drive back to Gainesville and listen to the radio for the 5.5 hour drive (with a Glee soundtrack CD thrown in when the channels get sparse!).

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Speech, Democracy and Playing Nice: Blogs as democratic tools

Posted by clocke22 on September 26, 2010

I read John W. Maynor’s “Blogging for democracy: deliberation, autonomy, and reasonableness in the blogosphere” for this post. Maynor examines the potential for blogs to promote deliberative democracy. Some of the key issues he discusses are a blog Code of Conduct (CoC), the theory of autonomy and “the three Vs”. CoC is a set of norms and rules for a particular site. Maynor presents six key priniciples: 1) responsiblity not to post (or conversely, to take down) offensive content; 2) to act as you would in person; 3) private resolution of conflicts; 4) taking action against unfairness; 5) not participating anonymously; and 6) ignoring trolls. The theory of autonomy is based in part on the idea that increased autonomy, or self-direction, will lead to an increase in self-governance. Finally, the three Vs that challenge autonomy theory are value (reliablity and accuracy of information), volume (information overload), and velocity (the speed at which new information hits the web).

I chose blog posts from The Volokh Conspiracy and The Huffington Post  for this blog post. At the Volokh Conspiracy, I selected the post Speech Hostile to Gays Constitutionally Unprotected, Speech Hostile to Whites Constitutionally Protected?, which discussed the differing treatment of judges in Mississippi who spoke out on various issues and the current nomination of a Missisissipi Supreme Court judge to a federal position. Volokh criticizes the nominee’s stance in three different cases, where judges were subject to discipline for speaking against gays or African-Americans but not when speaking against whites. The comments (89 when I first selected the post, up to 128 at the time of writing) were generally much more thoughtful and detailed than those I encountered on Youtube. The Code of Conduct Maynor refers to was defintiely not adhered to among these posters. While there were very thoughtful comments and quite a bit of feedback from Volokh at first, the thread sort of devolved into a quarrel between “Alessandra” and other commenters on her offensive comments about homosexuality and some off-topic discussion about sexuality. Some comments were outright offensive towards homosexuals but were not removed fromt he comment thread. While Volokh’s post was detailed and well-researched The value and volume Vs came into play because I was weary of their assertions. Also, the sheer number of comments can be overwhelming. Overall, despite the pitfalls predicted by Maynor, I think the Volokh blog is actually a better example of blogs assisting with deliberative democracy.
On The Huffington Post, I looked at Troubled Times: When Mark Zuckerberg’s Inspiring, Courageous Generosity Is Not Good Enough, which discussed Zuckerberg’s donation of $100 million to the Newark public school system as a possible PR move for his potrayal in the upcoming “The Social Network” movie. There were 434 comments when I first printed the article and more than 600 upon writing this post. Despite the value (lots of facts and figures about the education system) and volume problems (more than 600 comments is a lot!) with the comments, the commenters made a lot of good points and helped illustrate the autonomy theory in that this type of discussion seems like if it were localized, lead to political action.

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Twitter has gained a convert

Posted by clocke22 on September 19, 2010

A confession: I had never used Twitter prior to this assignment and quite frankly, I was very reluctant to do so.  I already feel overwhelmed by other technologies available and I didn’t want to check my Twitter account (@clocke22) a zillion times a day as I do my Facebook account.   BUT, I am pleased to say that Twitter is, in some ways, the best of Facebook.  I am a “fan” of various political/academic organizations and I enjoy seeing them pop up in my news feed.  With the Twitter feed that I created, it was the best of the best.  I can get right to the focus of issues important to me personally, politically and academically.  Twitter, though, with its concise messages and links and lack of visual clutter of Facebook, is refreshing.  In fact, I am considering forgoing my daily Facebook check-ins with daily Tweet check-ins.

Technological Innovation:  While OECD discourse states that technological innovation will result from user-generated contact, Shepherd points out that users are still looked at as consumers and objects of marketing campaigns.  I think it is good to point out that the fabric of Web 2.0 and user-generated content is, most of the time, a for-profit corporation.  But, in using Twitter, I found that the lack of ads on the sidebar pages and the simple technology made me more comfortable.  Add to that the fact that Twitter has not really been profitable and you get the best you can expect from a corporation.

Global Village:  The “fabled global village” of OECD is criticized by Shepherd as a myth perpetuated by sites like Twitter, which was one sight with a very large number of users generating content (disproportionate to the number of users as a whole).  And, as Shepherd points out, geographic and real-life limits do exist even among Twitter users.  I think the global village concept might more aptly be called a “national village” in that while I felt more in touch with American thinkers and newsmakers (i.e., Harvard Citizen Media Law Project, Nicholas Kristof, TED), this was mediated by my own geographical and language limits.  Also, the celebrity aspect skews the concept of a worldview.

Diversity of Opinions:  This ties in quite a bit with the previous global village concept, and Shepherd specifically targets the concept that with a more diverse group of opinions available, democracy will be strengthened.  She points out that rather, we are parsed into demographic bits, with our thoughts, whims and clicks calculated to produce a (consumer) profile.  Again, I think she has a very valid point, but Twitter is a bit different.  For example, Facebook stores all types of information whereas the Twitter set up process is pretty simple.  While much can be gained from the types of people/organizations I follow (it is pretty clear I have an interest in journalism and democracy), this is more benign than Facebook, which will tell you who I am literally friends with as well as where I go, what I like, etc.

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PPT/Video of Sept. 8 Hess Presentation

Posted by clocke22 on September 15, 2010

Wendy and I led the discussion of the Sept. 8 class on Hess’ article about deliberation and Youtube.  His take on YouTube deliberation was that, at least based on his case study of responses to the ONDCP ads, it was too playful of an environment to serve as a real vehicle for deliberation, although parody might be its one saving grace.  We tended to disagree with this conclusion, noting that other topics might invite more serious responses and that YouTube can be a tool for those who choose to deliberate outside YouTube and its commenting capabilities.  The class also generated lots of ideas for future research, some of which are highlighted in this video.

In case you’re interested, here are links to some of the things we looked at and discussed during our presentation:

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Convergence Case Study: Health and Fitness Blogs

Posted by clocke22 on September 12, 2010

My case study focuses on health and fitness blogs.  I started reading Meals and Miles (then named Inner Workings of a College Graduate) several months ago after a Google search turned up a blog entry.  The blog is about a woman in her 20s and her health and fitness goals and routines.  She lives in Orlando and apparently works in marketing.  It is helpful not only for tips on recipes and workouts but also a nice snapshot of someone’s life, and this case she seems like a really nice, down to earth person.  As a communications scholar, her blog is really intriguing to me because it seems like companies send her free products/samples on a regular basis and within the community of bloggers, they often meet each other when they travel and form “real-life” friendships.  This is a good example of the convergence of media because it involves the corporate sphere (WordPress to host the blog, in addition to corporate entities who seek her out as a blogger to provide samples, which she often gives away in exchange for comments), the user (in this case, Meghann the blogger who decided to make blog one day and voila, it is successful; also readers who interact are also users), and the creative industries (the blog just went through a total re-design and re-name, thanks to a graphic designer).  Deuze might call the interaction between the bloggers and community they form an “informal editorial collective.”  Like many other people who read her blog or who read similar blogs, Meghann’s blog is a part of my weekly or sometimes daily media consumption and therefore probably supplants some sort of mainstream media source that I might otherwise read (probably a magazine in my case).  Thus, it is a good example of how user-generated content changes the dynamics of media consumption.  My ability to comment and interact with Meghann, though I don’t actually do this, adds another facet to the picture.  My comments can then be read by others so I can be both a media consumer and creator.  Forbes rounded up a list of health and fitness blogs and provides a short blurb about their use here.  Zen Habits, another blog I like, posted his own post of his favorite fitness blogs.  I think these blogs also literally embody Deuze’s description of ads not taking the “I’m the doctor” format anymore; now, you can learn from real people and gather a variety of viewpoints but pick what works best for you.

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Posted by clocke22 on September 10, 2010

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