The Living Is Easy

Social Media and Whatever Else Tickles My Fancy

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Dear Blog

I will be back to posting to you soon.  I have been on a very long hiatus since last semster.  I am trying to finish my Master’s and will be done in 5 weeks.  I promise you will not be left out there is cyberspace without me…

Sharing and Connecting Is Just As Important As Closing The Big Deal

When I think of Johnson and Johnson I tend to think of babies and the sweet smell that J&J products give to babies.  Did you know that Johnson and Johnson had a blog?  I didn’t.  And surprisingly it is a very good blog.  I like the blog because the topics are just as random as the topics on my own blog and the posts are written in a very familiar voice as if you talking to an old friend.  Currently their are four contributing writers, Ray Jordan, Jeff Leebaw, Shaun Mickus, and Bill Price.  The editor of this blog is Marc Monseau .  A recent post written by an employee named Rob was about his experience at BlogHer 2008.  Rob attended a blog conference that was attended mostly by female bloggers.  One thing that Rob pointed out was that he noticed at this woman dominated conference women were more interested in “sharing” and connecting with each other whereas male dominated conferences would more interested in “selling” and “deal making.”

 I can totally agree with Rob’s observation.  As a higher education administrator  I have attended two NASPA conferences.  Many people use the conference as a chance to interview for positions at other universities.  However, I love to go to the conference to use it as a chance to not only learn about new trends in higher education, I also like to meet people from other universities that I would not ordinarily have an opportunity to meet.  I also get a chance to hear about the challenges that other universities may have or share “war” stories about housing issues, move in weekend, and helicopter parents. 

Last year, the conference was in Boston.  While I was there I meet Fabienne Naples, Ed.D and her husband Robert Naples.  Fabienne is the Associate Vice President at the University of Nevada, Reno.  Bob is the Associate Vice Chancellor/Dean of Students at UCLA.  Yes, the have a long distance marriage and they are the cutest couple I have ever seen.  They were also two of the nicest people that I think I’ve ever met.  And although both of them have very high positions at their universities, both of them are highly educated, and  exceptionally smart.  They were the most down to earth people you would ever want to meet.  Quite a few people at my university could learn from them.

 

On a side note…if you are involved in higer education in any way and you have never been to a NASPA Conference, you don’t know what you are missing.  

NASPA 2009 Seattle, Washington!!                                          

 

If You Are About To Eat That Do Not, I repeat DO NOT Sit Beside Me On The Train

Chow asks “Is it rude to eat on mass public transportation?”  I would like to use this blog entry to answer that question.  My answer is an unequivocal yes; it is absolutely rude to eat on mass public transportation.  I think it is totally disgusting to eat on public transportation because public transportation itself is totally disgusting.  I have heard that the Washington, DC trains and buses are the cleanest in the country however I think only surface dirt has been cleaned. While that is okay just to sit for thirty minutes to an hour as you ride to work I would never ever want to eat dinner while I am on the train.  Chow wrote “you’ve been touching germ-infested poles, turnstiles, and armrests, so unless you have an antiseptic wipe you’ll be eating with dirty hands.”

Sure, I have popped a piece of gum or a small piece of candy in my mouth while I was on the train, holding it with the wrapper of course, but never a full meal or a king sized candy bar.  I am even appalled that someone would even consider it.

There are enough strange smells on the train (this includes B.O. ) that I do not need to smell someone’s food too.  I am getting sick to my stomach just thinking about it.

Once I saw a man in a pink shirt clipping his fingernails on the train and letting his nails fall on the floor.   I totally disgusted by him and I decided that he was a “girlie man.”  I am sure he would have been angry with me had he known my thoughts but I don’t know any men who would actually groom themselves on the train.

What if someone was eating beside him and a nail popped into their plate?  Now that would have been comical.

Is Tom Cruise Updating Articles in Wikipedia Again?

Scientology is a religion founded by L. Ron Hubbard in 1952.   I have never met anyone who is or has been a scientologist.  However, they have a very large media presence especially since they have a large number of celebrity followers.  I must admit, I sometimes stereotype it as a religion for celebrities or rich people.

Recently, I have been checking out the Church’s activity on Wikipedia by researching Wikiscanner.  I have found that representatives of the church are somewhat active editors on Wikiedia.  As of August 2007 there were 170 updates throughout Wikipedia that linked to the Church’s IP address.  The obvious edits were on pages that discussed The Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard (founder), Dianetics, and David Miscavige the chairman of the board of Religious and Technology Center which oversees The Church of Scientology.  Most of the edits included adding links to their Web site or to Web sites that support their causes when it pertained to the subject matter.  They seem to edit on a wide variety of issues to help support their school of thought.

According to Wikipedia, Scientologists are “vehemently opposed” to psychology and psychiatry.   Several edits made in Wikiscanner were made to articles that dealt with depression or anti-depressants.  Articles that were edited that dealt with mental health or anti-depressants were:

·        Postpartum depression

·        Kurt Cobain

·        Schizophrenia

·        American Psychiatry

·        Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

·        Depression

·        Dyslexia

One article that was updated by The Church that I found interesting was about Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold of the Columbine High School massacre.  They edited the article to include the fact that the coroner’s offices found a “therapeutic amount” of the anti-depressant Luvox in Eric Harris’ system.  This was clearly edited to support their belief that anti-depressant cause suicidal thoughts and violence amongst its users.

I am surprised to admit that I think The Church of Scientology is pretty responsible in their Wikipedia edits.  Obviously they want more people to submit to their teachings so they add links to their site were they fit.  Again, I noticed that there were several links and additions added to support their theories however, I do not believe they were too presumptuous in their editing.

Hello To My Second Life!

Allow me to introduce myself; Um um…I am now Lyndell Watkins. That is my avatar’s name in Second Life. It sounds weird but I like it! I really enjoyed navigating through Second Life. The tutorial and introductions were very helpful but I am a little confused about why a user cannot return to Help Island once they leave. Currently I am still in Help Island because I want to take advantage of the chance to learn but on the other hand I really just want to get out there to see what it is really like in Second Life. I met an avatar named Ayjay Carpenter on Help Island. He is a mentor for Help Island and he was really nice and helpful. I also chatted with another guy who was also new to Second Life. I do not remember his name but I do remember that he said he was from Ireland. I think that is pretty cool that a game can connect people from all over the world.

I also tried out a few games by Persuasive Games. “Xtreme Xmas Shopping” was interesting especially since you can get into a scuffle with someone if they had a gift you wanted to take from them and vice versa. I also played Airport Insecurity however I was not as successful with that game. I think these games are effectively getting their messages across. Many of these games informative and they also make you think about our lifestyles.  Xtreme Xmas Shopping definitely got the point out that maybe people should not be so rude while doing their Christmas shopping.

Today I read an article about the rise of  “adult” online games provided by GameDaily. These games are for mature audiences and can have material that some may find offensive. Based on the comments under the article it seems to have mixed reviews. Some people admitted to enjoying the games while others said they were perverted. I haven’t tried one of these games but I think I will take a look just to see what it is about. Hey, you have to admit it does sound a little interesting!

Here Comes Everybody and the Lost Sidekick Saga

Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky, explains the role the internet plays in making collaboration among people who do not know each other easier.  As someone who is currently using many of the new forms of social media, this book really made me think about how easy it is to connect with people who have the same interests as you.  Before the internet, people who had interests outside of what was “normal” in their communities probably felt alone or misunderstood.  Today someone can easily go online and type in their interest and find other people who are just like them.

The Stolen LOST Sidekick Saga

Shirky started his book with the tale of the Stolen Lost Sidekick (I refuse to link to the site.  Look it up yourself).  These are my thoughts on how two people used the Internet and social media to humiliate a 16 year old and to get their cell phone back.

I lost my cell phone twice within the past two years.  Once while vacationing in Barbados and another time while dining in Adams Morgan a the Bukom Cafe.  Both instances I naturally assumed that whoever found it would either use it or sell it.  Both times I immediately turned the service off so that it could not be used.  I had to admit to myself that losing the cell phone was due to my own carelessness and that I had no one to blame but myself.  While yes, I was miserable and I felt like I’d lost my best friend, I would have never thought about issuing a man hunt for a cell phone and I surely wouldn’t have gone as far as having the person who found it arrested; especially not a 16 year girl.  How could I blame the person who found it?

I think that Ivanna and Evan were petty and childish people playing the same game as a 16 year old.  Ivanna should have just been thankful that all of her information had been saved by T Mobile and left it at that.  What really got under my skin is that they have accused the girl of stealing the Sidekick and there are pictures of her plastered all over the Internet with the wording “I stole a Sidekick.”  Meanwhile I’ve yet to see a picture of Ivanna or Evan online.  Has anyone even thought about the fact that this girl still has her whole life ahead of her?  As I read the story about the LOST Sidekick, I had to wonder if this incident was more about putting someone from the wrong ethnic group as well as the wrong socio-economic background in their place.  I agree with Clay Shirky that this is a great example of what 21st century technology allows us to do but I also have to wonder if this is also a great example of a 21st century lynching.

Am I Afraid of Google?

 

I think that Google is a great company that is leading the way in modern day technology.  But I have to question the amount of information that is easily provided online by Google.  I recently downloaded Google Earth to my computer.  The technology and accuracy are amazing.   I was very impressed with the graphics and the ease of use.

 

I searched for my house, my parent’s house, and my sister’s house.  You could literally see everything in the yard.   I began to think about what someone could do with all of this information.  It was kind of scary to think that a terrorist could easily use this information to plan a massive attack against everyday citizens. So to answer the question yes, I am slightly afraid of Google.

 

I also checked out Google Health.  What a great idea.  Or is it?  I am not sure if I want my health records online.  While I do not have any major health issues, I do not want that information out there on the Web.  I am sure that Google has gone through great lengths to make sure the site is secure but there is still a chance that someone could break into the site.   People are already discriminated against enough in this country.  Imagine what would happen if someone figured out a way to get into these medical records.  They could easily use this information to deny someone a job or even to deny the right to rent a property. 

 

About six months ago I signed up for a free copy of my credit report through one of the major credit reporting companies.  I received an email from the company reminding me about my online account with them.  I decided to log on to see if there were any recent updates on my account.  As soon as I logged in my social security number and my name were both on the screen.  I was very surprised that my entire social security number was on the screen.  I immediately logged out of the site.  But imagine if a hacker was watching my internet activity.  Can anyone say IDENTITY THEFT? 

 

I added the video above entitled “Google Maps: Part I of The Googling” from YouTube since we discussed Google Maps in class.  I thought it was pretty funny.  I hope you enjoy!