chrisfoxenglish

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Web 2.0 & Me

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Our class was privy to quite a number of various social media and web 2.0 applications throughout this semester. The oddness of this experience, personally, was that a great deal of these applications were already known by me. But I’m of the opinion that there are always lessons to be learned from every experience encountered. And to be true, there were things to be learned from this class.

One thing our class has had the fortune to do was introduce a wide variety of different applications, with very different methodology and uses. Due to the sheer size of the internet, this sort of sharing of tools is quite a wonderful thing, for even if I knew a majority of the applications, there were still many I had no knowledge of until their introduction in class.

By far the most useful, for me, has been 750 Words. As a novelist and lifelong writer, the use it provides, and the methodology it uses to achieve its means is fascinating to me. I love the ideas behind gamification, used by an increasing number of applications, including others such as Foursquare. I learned once from some teaching pedagogy that only a fool would pass up learning more about gamification, and the ability to incorporate it successfully. 750 Words does so in spades – their daily goals reinforced by the bowling card-styled checklist; competition set up by their point system; and a viable reward system supported by their badges, which are most certainly uneasy to earn. 750 Words is one of those few websites that has the ability to fundamentally change one’s life if one allows it to. It most certainly has for me, for while I have always had a high output of regular writing – both academic, novelistic, and otherwise – never has my writing been so forcibly consistent and daily. 750 Words forces me to be conscious of my output every single day, for fear of losing my hard-earned rewards.

Another application that is intriguing has been Dropbox. To be true, I feel as if I would have learned of this soon had we not discussed it in class, for I have heard many good things in the interim since September. But it was our class that provided the introduction, and the necessity for use, acting almost as a tutorial to the process, which is one that is a pleasurable experience. Dropbox is an application I could see myself using… especially given my “good fortune” with previous computers melting their own motherboards… sigh.

Linked.in is another application that I tried out after our discussions in class. This was admittedly more for the desire to experiment with Vizualize.me, to tinker with the various imagery it could construct. While I don’t think Vizualize.me is very practical, and while I have yet to find a good use for Linked.in, I’ve now used both services, and could see potential uses, which is better than nothing. It’s probably a wise idea for any professional connectivity to have previously created an account via Linked.in. Whether the use is there is something determined by time, I reckon. Prezi also offers a very unique take on presentation style, and I look forward to playing with the system in a few weeks.

The final benefit to this class was to experience those around me experiencing the same technology available to them. I grant that I’m a bit more technologically savvy than the average soul, and something of a social networking fiend, spending a great deal of my free time tinkering with various applications. But due to these inherent experiences, it has garnered me a great deal of biases: being able to disect a website in the first few minutes of looking and clicking around it, understanding internet jargon, gaining knowledge that is thus assumed upon me by the networks themselves. This assumed knowledge is something that was forced to be shed, as well as the biases built by my own use of the internet, to better address discussions in class. I always aimed to speak from a learned perspective, but always with as simple language as I could afford, attempting to make my messages as clear, simple, and concise as I could manage.

Learning of others inexperience with various social networks and technical internet knowledge, and learning which areas people lacked the knowledge in, gives me a greater understanding of how to speak about web content in the future, and moreover, how better to use it. Writers’ Bloc, along with many of my social networking ventures have been met with different levels of success, and many have not been as successful as one could hope for. Knowing better how others experience the internet in their personal lives better teaches me how to allow them to experience my own ventures. It gives me a broader understanding of where my energies should be focused in trying to maintain an online webseries, as well as which energies are wasted on certain areas. These skills are most certainly provides a strong knowledge base to continue pursuing my current goals.

 

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Written by Chris Fox

13 November, 2011 at 10:58

Posted in assignment

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