Monthly Archives: April 2009

last post?

I can’t believe it’s our last post for the project; it seems like hardly any time since we started. ^^;

Before I get into a wrap-up, I’d like to point to a new gaming journal I started at Dreamwidth, which is a fledgling web blog/journal service started by a former member of the Livejournal support team and utilizing the Livejournal code that prides itself on ‘Open Source, Open Expression, Open Operations’. Of course, there have been many Livejournal knockoffs past and present, but I know something of the person who’s running the site, and it doesn’t look or feel like a Livejournal knockoff — at the moment, it looks/feels better than Livejournal, IMO. It’s still in beta right now, but I have high hopes for it.

I’d also like to link the Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent video that was linked to me by my Livejournal friendslist. I hear that it’s been overhyped in the media lately, which is a shame, because it seems like it will hinder her more than it will help? But I don’t watch TV, and I would probably never have caught it if not for Youtube — and even if I saw it on the news, we’re just so conditioned nowadays to distrust the media that I’m not sure it would have touched me the way it did.

So! 2.0 wrap-up: Since the beginning of the project, I’ve gotten somewhat into Twitter, revisted my old Flickr site, done some other things I probably would not have done if left to my own devices, such as listening to podcasts or creating my own search engine, and learned about Library 2.0. I have also, of course, continued to make use of weblogs and Google docs and Youtube and all the other applications that were already deeply ingrained in my life.

I love the convenience of these services, how cheap and easy they make it to do things that twenty years ago were in the purview of a lucky few. As capitalism pushes us more and more towards a reality of huge, greedy corporations and conglomerates, it’s a way to ensure that the voice of the individual is not smothered. The #amazonfail event last week aptly illustrates this — rich as you may be, powerful as you may be, the world is watching, and it’s gossiping amongst itself.

I really do believe that 2.0 and the Internet itself are powerful weapons that will ultimately prove to be a great boon to society — a compilation of human knowledge, imperfect and at times dangerous, to be sure, but so is humanity itself, after all. They are tools, and tools are only reflections of those who wield them. The potential for greatness is there, but will not materialize on its own; it’s up to the users — to all of us — to see that it is achieved.

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five minutes of fame

Podcasts

(Just a note: podcast.net seems to be gone? At least, I cannot find it.)

Frankly, I’ve never felt their appeal, though I can certainly understand it — then again, I’ve never listened much to radios, either. Text > sound! *g*

As mentioned above, podcast.net appears to have vanished (was it supposed to be podcast.com?), podcastalley.com’s featured podcasts all seem to be erotica (also, there is a typo on the front page), while podcasts.yahoo.com leads to a File Not Found page.

I did find a podcast on umm World of Warcraft gold farming and how omg laborious it is! One-track mind, sorry. I must say it is rather tempting, cough, especially since some of the Chinese gold farmers are actually making more money than teachers.

But yes, podcasts. For some reason, they never really caught on in the corner of the virtual world I inhabit, possibly since we now have

Youtube

Why just listen to sound when you can have images and sound? Now everybody has a chance at their five minutes of fame, even if it is just literally five minutes.

I remember when the Paul Potts audition video started making the rounds among my friends; I’d never even heard of Britain’s Got Talent before, and I definitely wouldn’t have watched the show on TV even if others had recommended it to me. But it’s easy and quick to click on a link, so I found myself watching the video, and was touched by it as so many others before me had been. That’s just one example out of many. I was linked to the Free Hugs video when going through a fairly difficult time in my life, and it made things just a little bit better for a while.

The signal to noise ratio is very low, as it generally is in the Web 2.0 era, but there are always those gems that make it worthwhile.

Audiobooks

I once downloaded a bunch of audiobooks with the intention of listening to them each night as I fell asleep, as an attempt to improve my writing, in hopes that the ‘feel’ of the flow of words would take root in my subconscious brain, I guess.

The experiment failed abysmally. For one thing, it’s odd to listen to one person doing all the voices of the different people, although I suppose that is how people tell stories all the time. It’s just different when it’s in my head, you know? And it throws me out of the story. For another, you can’t tell the audiobook ‘Wait, stop, I didn’t get that part, can you go back a bit?’ if you missed a vital piece of information — you can rewind it, which already feels like a bit more trouble than it’s worth, but what if you have only a vague idea where the information could be? Reading is just so much easier for those who have the option.

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