Thursday, February 28, 2008

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 can be best explained as the progression or transformation, a second generation, from Web 1.0 to the new, modern era of the internet as a social network. Clearly it is not our parents’ internet anymore as this type of interactive, democratic and personal social network allows easy access and display of information for others to view, such as pictures, blogs and newgroups. It is a great symposium for direct personal commentary and mass corroboration among web users. The sources that helped me the most were O’Reilly’s article: What is Web 2.0? and the YouTube video titled, “Understanding Web 2.0” which can be viewed at: .

O’reilly explains the various areas of the web, some we are already familiar with, that are part of Web 2.0. The more popular sites include Google, Yahoo, and Amazon which are known for information retrieval. He also includes additional less common sites some web users may have used but didn’t know they were part of Web 2.0; for example, Flickr and The growing popularity of social interaction on the web is why some areas of Web 2.0 are immensely popular such as MySpace, blogging and USENET.

Flickr and are examples of sites a user can seek specific information. These two sites, as others in Web 2.0, are known to categorize their information for the user via keywords (tags) to retrieve desired information. This practice is commonly called "Folksonomy" (O’Reilly, p 2). It became popular on the web for social applications, bookmarking and tagging photographs. Information is retrieved with ease and using these applications is relatively user friendly.

Blogging is probably the most popular of Web 2.0 era due directly to the advent of recent technology such as the permalink (O’Reilly, p 3). The permalink is what allows person to person direct discussion by just clicking the mouse. Before this, links wouldn’t last for an extended period of time and adequate information was quickly lost. Now conversations can be “archived and retraced” (O’Reilly, p 3, link for permalink). This is what helps create a social interaction between people; thus, internet users can discuss among one another (in the present), share commonalities, chat, make friendships etc.

I explored all the web tools provided to us and there are a several I liked: YouTube, Flickr and many eyes. I explored them all and decided to share using Flickr. Sharing memories using pictures is one of my favorite ways to use the web. Flickr provides an easy format to download, share, view and even copy photos. If you want to see some crazy ASU fans tailgating and enjoying the win over U of A last December, see them at: .


O'Reilly, T. (Sept. 30, 2005). What is web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Retrieved February 26, 2008, from

Understanding web 2.0(March 8, 2006). . Retrieved February 27, 2008, from

Thursday, February 21, 2008


USENET is an interesting format I have not experienced before. I never new so much information and communication on random topics is available. I spent time surfing from group to group familiarizing myself with what is posted and how the network is organized. I researched what USENET is all about to give me a better idea of the forum I would be encountering. A site that provides good information for those new to USENET is:

What I like about USENET is the relaxed format. Many of the posts are informative and educational. It is like carrying on a conversation around the dinner table. There is something for everyone: politics, career/ education information, health concerns, latest medical topics, not to mention the wacky alternative areas.

I personally do not like to communicate my thoughts using USENET. There are a few things in particular that were bothersome in searching among the groups. I assumed the material would be current topics but some of the groups I observed were very dated. I intended to respond to someone seeking a profession in Dental Hygiene before I realized it was dated 2006! By now she is most likely finishing up with her schooling. To find current material, one must look for it by date and search more current newsworthy topics rather than random issues; for example Obama, McCain issues will be very current and have some interesting replies since day by day we are following their campaign movements.

A few shortcomings I encountered while using USENET: there was one political post who thought the draft was still in operation. A reply followed saying the individual was an idiot since the draft ended when Obama was a child! I ran into posted web sites that weren’t there. This created a little anger and confusion among the group. Since anyone can post this will be more common than in the groups that are moderated. While the above is frustrating, I think there is a place for this type of discussion and can be a perfect outlet for those who want to vent or intelectually reply about various topics. USENET can also be a helpful resource for specific research and personal experiences regarding medical problems or help for ailments. Overall, it is an easy way for us to converse in our modern world and some prefer to use this mode than to be fed news and stories via television.

If I had to choose to communicate using this type of style, I would investigate the WELL. I enjoyed looking through their free groups and the conversation was more intellectual in terms of material posted and topics discussed. I appreciated the in depth interviews with selected authors. This is a great forum and gives insight about the featured author and thus encourages me to explore various literature I may not be prone to reading otherwise. I especially liked Topic 321: interview with Pamela McCorduck, on her book The Edge of Chaos. She seems like a zany person and I now I am drawn to reading her book. It sounds like it may be a little bit bizarre but I am familiar with the Sante Fe area, where the story takes place, since this is one of my more memorable vacations. To read this interview:

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Internet Hoaxes

Hoaxes are becoming commonplace among internet mail, spam and phishing. While they are convincing, it will take network users working together to adequately inform those who are still emotionally responsive to these hoaxes. Hoaxes waste our time, emotional response and takes up an enormous amount of bandwith. How many times have relatives, coworkers, or friend’s forward seemingly helpful information? You may have recently received some of these most common hoaxes, now taking on legendary status:

* If you don't disinfect canned goods before opening them, you can get poisoned by residue from deadly rat droppings.

* A gang of kidnappers at malls and amusement parks (Disneyland used often) are abducting children, taking them into bathrooms, drugging them, dyeing their hair, changing their clothing, and smuggling them through exits disguised as the opposite sex. (This story was featured on episode of Law & Order, which helps keep this hoax alive.)

* If you use pancake mix beyond its expiration date, you and your family members risk a life-threatening allergic reaction from mold that can grow in it.

* Beware of car thieves in parking lots who render their victims unconscious with ether-laced perfume.
(Goldsborough, 2006)

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Beware of earning “free” money by forwarding email. A recent twist was earning a $25 gift card from Applebee’s if you forwarded the email. The claim stated that after forwarding the particular message to multiple internet users, Appleby’s will present you with a gift card when you visit their restaurant. Now, what a absurd presentation to be face to face with an Applebee’s manager trying to explain how you earned a “free” gift card just by forwarding mail.

Some of the emotional “lost children- help find them” hoaxes are the most difficult to know if they are legitimate or just a fraud. This is a parent’s worst nightmare to have a missing child so the emotional plea draws many into believing the hoax. A fraudulent site will lack necessary information such as no mention of child’s height, eye color, or clothing description when they disappeared. Warning: Do not forward without doing your homework.

There are plenty of sites online that are simple to use to determine whether a missing child story is the truth. First an online search using a search engine with the child’s missing name, or subject line will be sufficient. An alternative is to use sites set up to combat these grand missing children hoaxes. Some of these sites are:, Don’t Spread the Hoax, Hoax-Slayer, and (McAffey 2008, Goldsborough, 2006). When mail you are receiving is suspect, research it by going to Symantecs ComprehensiveList of Hoaxes at
This site lists the popular hoaxes including legends and dire warnings which continue to make their rounds online every day.

McAfee: How to avoid hoax emails. Retrieved February 7., 2008, from

Reid Goldsborough (2006, September). What to Do About Internet Hoaxes. Information Today, 23(8), 41-42.

Viruses, Spams Prevention,Uurban Legends, Hoaxes, Frauds. (2008). Retrieved February 7, 2008, from