Global Voices

This website has such an eclectic feel to it. There is so much information being exchanged, that I just wanted to write a few of my thoughts on Mobile Web & Global Voice Online. The tag cloud is a brilliant way to navigate this site and follow by topic. I thought the comments on Obama and how other foreigners are viewing the United States and the campaign brings different insight and opinion from what we hear in our daily news. Another interesting story was how the food prices in Japan are going up -interesting to see the parallels across countries. I think this site is a great resource, in addition to CNN and the NYTimes, one we should tune into every now and then to see what is going on in the world.

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Culture & Blogging

I found Scoble’s research in Chapter 8 of Naked Conversations to be one of the most interesting topics in blogging thus far. When you think of blogging, even starting your own blog, you think of words like, cheap, easy, no rules…etc. Before reading this chapter and really thinking about blogging on a global level, I figured everyone everywhere was blogging just as much if not more as we are in the United States, but it seems that is not the case. Cultures, values, and governments have kept certain countries from even engaging in blogging, such as Ireland or Germany where their nature is to keep things to themselves, unlike the outspoken French or American way of life. I also would have thought the Asian Countries would be ahead of the game just because they are so tech savvy, but that is not the case with countries like China.

But regardless of the culture there are still similarities among why companies and people are blogging, which mostly centers around customer feedback, criticism, new ideas, and sales.

Did anyone else find it ironic that on pg 127, there was an example of how China’s government erased Mao’s blog because of a joke he posted on April Fools Day 2005…which is exactly 3 years ago today!  This reading was planned very well!

Wikiscanner

For the Wikiscanner Report, I took a closer look at the Google page, which resulted in some very interesting findings.

 

What are they changing?  As I scanned edit by edit, the changes ranged from spelling mistakes & grammatical changes to vandalism. There were financial edits that were made to better represent the company, and date edits such as replacing “recently” with the actual date “June, 21, 2005,” for more accuracy. There was a debate between labeling Google as Google, Inc or Google, LTD…which is currently Google, Inc. Obviously the most interesting edits were those of vandalism that I came across and could actually see highlighted. Here are some listed below, but there were many more I discovered and some were very inappropriate.
1. As of march 2006, google has announced that it will be officially taking over the world. Additionally, Google has also recently formed a partnership with [[Sun Microsystems]] to help share
2. Poop
3. U Suck
4. COW COW COW COW COW COW COW COW COW COW COW COW COW COW ………………………………………………                                   5. Google is a big Scammer in U.S. It’s ADWORD and ADSENSE programs require the participant to pay US$50 for exmaination fee and run the ADWORD with US1000 per month expenditure in order to qualify for passing the scam examination and get the phony professional certifcate.”’
6. The Google Corporation is a large evil Company bent on takimg over the world

Why are the editing? What does this mean?   Overall I think the edits were making the Google page more accurate, providing real facts in numbers, dates, and information, for example there was a line that compared Google Maps to Microsoft’s Virtual Earth, and this was edited to say that Google Earth should actually be the comparison to Microsoft’s Virtual Earth, not Maps. There were a ton of links added in as edits also, for example there was a link added for Google Watch. As I mentioned above, there was a ton of vandalism, which I guess is expected for a company with so many competitors and users. International edits saying that uk.ask.com was better than Google. Oh, and there was a discussion over the correct wording for the phrase “Don”t Be Evil!”

How often?   These changes were made every other minute, day, week…there was a total of close to 3000 edits on the wikiscanner, but all of the edits in the wikiscanner were mainly from 2005 and 2006, why is that? Why did it not have the most recent edits shown? I then went to the Google page in wikipedia and looked at the history, which showed recent edits, and there was an additional 500+. Is there a benchmark for how many edits is considered normal for an article in wikipedia?

Who is editing?  I found that there was a range of edits from individuals obviously trying to vandalize the Google article to university IP addresses, to communication company IP address, such as Comcast, Road Runner, Verizon…etc. There were also a lot of international IP addresses from Hong Kong, China, and the UK. And then I am sure a majority of edits were from within Google as well.

Are the abiding by the rules?  There are definitely contributors editing and breaking some of the articles policies, such as:

The Vandalism alone breaks all of these rules and there was a ton of vandalism!

Wikipedia Contribution

Bryson Spinner

I admit that I was intimidated with our project to contribute to Wikipedia this week. I found myself searching for a subject or topic where my thoughts would warrant something worthy of contributing. I went back and forth, searching around and around, until I finally found the perfect contribution. A very good friend of mine, Bryson Spinner, an American football player, a former high school and college star who is still trying to play in the NFL, did not have an article in wikipedia. He is mentioned in other entries, but again had nothing about himself. Spinner has been in large publications such as USA Today and The Washington Post, to smaller college publications like the Cavalier Daily. He is also a topic among sports bloggers on the web.

I know one of the guidelines of wikipedia is to not add your friends, but given his career, and knowing the history behind his career I thought he should be a part of the wikipedia project, and recognized much like his former football colleges.

Creating the entry was challenging, you really have to make sure you reference what you are adding and stick to the truth, to the facts, when contributing. But then again, that is the great thing about edits! I probably would have never made a contribution to wikipedia had I not been forced to dive into it for class. In the end I found that its not so scary after all!

Virtual Life & Games

There were enough games to keep me playing all day, and when your unemployed you can do just that…but I had to stop myself! Out of the few games I played, I thought Cake Mania had an interesting concept about starting your own bakery and making the right items for your clientele, you have an amount each day that you need to reach, and its all based on how fast you can make the cakes, but the right cakes for your customers. Speedy Bubbles was boring, kind of like pinball, and my personal favorite, Dress Up Hillary was the most entertaining, but again I don’t think there was much of a message behind dressing her up! If you paste this wardrobe code (see below) into the wardrobe code box, you can see the outfit I put her in for the baseball game!

{f:1,mc:_level0.character_mc},{d:1009,c:shoes,y:353.55,x:36.75,mc:shoes004},
{d:3011,c:shirt,y:110.05,x:23.15,mc:shirt006},{d:5013,c:hat,y:76.1,x:73.75,mc:hat002},
{d:4011,c:glasses,y:113.5,x:44.45,mc:glasses009},{d:4012,c:glasses,y:77.1,x:103,mc:glasses008},
{d:4013,c:glasses,y:66.2,x:38.6,mc:glasses007},{d:5014,c:hat,y:63.2,x:89.7,mc:hat004},
{f:3,mc:_level0.background_mc},{d:4014,c:glasses,y:37.55,x:45.15,mc:glasses001},
{d:3012,c:shirt,y:172.3,x:71.95,mc:shirt005}

The range in choices of games out there is just amazing, for example Xtreme Xmas Shopping, and Cold Stone Creamery, which is trying to teach portion control! WOW!

I found the podcast of the journalist from BuisnessWeek to be more interesting than the article, because actually hearing him speak about his experience in Second Life came across differently then the article. You could tell he had not bought into the game and concept completely. Which I think it is very realistic, this whole idea of real life in a game is weird to me. I don’t know what it would take for me to get sucked into something like this, as I am not a gaming type. I was surprised to hear that there were tangible things to gain from this game, like $$$. The one avatar has $250,000 that she could cash out, and that is all she does for a living….play this game, are you kidding! (maybe I should broaden my job search to include Second Life). It was also mentioned that Coke was getting involved in Second Life, some big advertisers are having a presence in this game which means that it must be leaving an impression on someone.

Wikipedia

I am a firm believer in getting the facts and educating myself on an unfamiliar topic, such as wikipedia, before forming an opinion, and if you have that philosophy I think you would agree that wikipedia is creating a great tool, a free tool for everyone in the world to access and allowing anyone and everyone to contribute. 

People learn the same things in many different ways, languages etc.  I think wikipedia brings that idea to life, you have many different experts ranging in backgrounds contributing to the site, therefore many different definitions are provided for the same word.  This creates a definition/description much stronger than any encyclopedia.  The other advantage to the wikipedia is that it is constantly being updated and added to, making it current -so important!  But with anything I think you have to check your facts and your sources with several different site, publications etc, relying on just one source as the “godfather” is not the best idea. 

After listening to Jim Wales speak about wikipedia, it was interesting to hear that the controversies are not from the highly opinioned left or right, as one would assume, but between the thoughtful and the jerks, people just trying to vandalize the site because they can.   I image that will always be a problem, but if you have a strong community built with volunteers willing to handle and fix those situations, then it seems to be controlled. 

The most interesting wiki I came across in my field report search was the realestatebubblemap.pbwiki.com, which is an interactive map above and a twin map of Past Housing Price Corrections.  The goal of this experimental wiki is to protect homebuyers from overpaying in overvalued housing markets across the United States. Citizen journalists are encouraged to participate and add news articles, blog posts, and examples of falling prices to document what is going on in each local market.  The participation from real estate professionals and consumers is vital in the survival of this wiki, more so because it deals with very specific local markets.  This wiki had to be just recently started in the last few years as the housing market started declining.

How could wikipedia be set up better, to provide more accuracy?    Maybe it starts with the users, being stricter with a background check of some kind.  I mean it sounds like if you don’t play by the rules now you can be kicked out, so there is already something set in place for bad wiki use.  Limiting the contributors, takes away from the purpose and goal of wikipedia.  And even if you had only experts contributing –what would you then define as an expert –how would you set those standards?   I think more monitoring on the backend to fix and question what is being contributed would be something to consider.

Testing Out Twitter in Real Estate

As I was searching today for our field report, I came across this post on how real estate innovators are looking at ways to use Twitter. I know we have been discussing the purpose of Twitter in class, what the benefits are, why you would use this microblogging tool and not just SMS. It turns out this group used Twitter at an industry conference….check it out.

Twitter in Real Estate