Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Revised: Gender Perspective: Vagina Monologues

Since this blog post. The Vagina Monologues have had a direct connection to me in Austin. Actually, everyone within the St. Edwards student body has been connected because St. Edwards Student Life was able to bring a presentation to our campus with students from our congregation participating. Since we do attend a catholic school, there were some issues on whether the Vagina Monologue presentation would be inappropriate or ineffective because of the irrelvancy. Luckily for us as members of St. Edwards, the catholic university allowed it, and offered opportunities to students to engage in the performance. The Dean for the school of Humanities was quoted in the Hilltop Views as saying, "A number of Catholic universities have not performed it in any official way because it ‘objectifies' a body part,". For me, the experience was well received and not only individually, but as a community. Change does not occur by one person focusing on one idea. Change occurs by people grouping and forming gatherings to relay ideas and propositions to alter a policy or social norm. The Vagina Monologues has done an excellent job of doing just that.
Back in 2007 I was able to watch a performance of the Vagina Monologues in Austin, TX. The performance was located at a venue outside called The Enchanted Forest. Typical shows included independent, amateur events such as fire dancing, interpretive theatre and music artist (DJ and performance). At the time, I had never heard or seen the Vagina Monologues. After hearing the title, I thought of it as a play in which women were the focus. As a male, I had no idea what to expect, and that gave the monologues more influence in leaving a long standing impression on my thoughts and future actions.
After the first couple minutes, the audience was in a trance. There was a huge turnout to watch the performances, more than 500 people. I had never heard such a graphic account of women's experiences, ecspecially of sexual molestation and harassment. It was shocking because of how our culture teaches us at an early age not to talk about denotations and connotations of vaginas. Not until this semester, 2011, when I watched the movie "VDay: Until the Violence Stops" did I understand the significance. Eve Ensler, the leader behind raising and gaining awareness for women and their experiences, made some excellent points about the "culture of silence" and by advocating for silence, one in a sense is advocating for the oppressive facets that are horrendous and unacceptable. Her emphasis is for our culture, the global culture of women and men, to not shun and silent experiences. Even if those experiences may be negative. Because the underlying issue that needs to be addressed is for females to have the opportunity and confidence to relay their experiences, to develop off those experiences; but in large that whatever experience it is, it is the same significance and same importance and same influence as any male experience. Women should be encouraged to live through their experiences, therefore evening the plane between gender expectations.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Separation by Kevin Bacon (or 6 degrees)

In class the other week we watched a documentary focusing on the theory that everyone in the world is connected by at least 6 handshakes or 6 degrees. It is a very interesting point and experiment. In the documentary they chose an individual stationed in Boston and attempted to pass out around 50. Out of the 50 only about 3 made it to the individual in Boston, but the concept that people and communities are separated by 6 different links still holds true. The movie calls it into a category of network theory and network theory is made up of components, one being the social hubs (or influencers). These hubs are individuals whom have many connections to different groups and maintain this influence in different scenarios. Without these social hubs, the network theory would not survive the way its system is set up. Social hubs attract and offer other individuals a means to participate in interacting or conveying messages. Conveying messages includes broadcasting and receiving and interpreting. Both parties effect and dictate the social hub because their messages are later passed on creating more links into the social hub. Without the broadcaster or receiver, the hub would be much more limited. Kevin Bacon is the icon behind the myth, he doesn't define the myth, rather provides a guide into the human web of social connection.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Terry "Burning" Jones

In class the other week we discussed a pastor located in Florida. Terry Jones has churned up the social media world with threatening and recently actually burning a Quran. I do not condone his behavior against a religion. I also do not condone the media and audiences behavior for their given attention to this silly story. People create situations and "news" out of nothing. I know I would not be writing this blog entree if people knew what was real news, and not just fabricated and created. The story the media was trying to target was not a man burning a book. The media was trying to anger another group of people in another country. That seems to be the target audience because who on earth cares about a pastor in Florida with a following of less than a hundred members burning a another countries religious book. It is hard for me to believe that people are that concerned about some no body burning a book. If the president or elected official had done that, then yea thats a story. This is now a story about innocent people working at the UN in Afghanistan getting killed. Why were they killed? -Because an angry mob, Angered by who? -By a pastor who burned a Quran, Who told the angry mob? -The american news media (cause its news now)

Engage Chapter 19-23

Chapter 21 starts the social media blueprint beautifully, "failing to plan is planning to fail." The introduction includes what the objective is for planning and defining our approach towards establishing and maintaining an online presence. The user must identify all media outlets that can be linked back and begin fine tuning those into whatever the user wants. Second, the user must establish themselves in one of the outlets if they have not already done so. This will allow the user to engage with fellow followers and readers in forums and blogs, exchanging ideas for the betterment of mankind. The Brand defines ones compass on the internet and revolves around the "Brand." Your brand is followed by the players, in which you will attract and find with a common brand goal, such as creating and establishing an online presence to use with questions that come up in the future. Players include, advocates, traditional media, new influencers, bloggers, champions, and tastemakers. All these players play a vital role in determining which role you as the online user will play. After your brand, and the role you will play, the station you decide to set up and establish in is important. The Platform gives an opportunity to connect, communicate, and congregate to many different categories, all of which are relevant to the particular user. Media platforms include, mobile, social dashboard, widgets, forums, blogs, social networks, content creation, events, and microcommunitites. In order to convey and broadcast your message on one of the platforms, the user must use channels to communicate to the audience. Channels include, aggregation, crowd-sourced, curation, search engine optimization (SEO), promotion, syndication, social media optimization, engagement, portability, content streams, and user-generated content (UGC). Since there are so many valid channels to broadcast and find valuable content, the user them self becomes a significant source. Their emotions effect compassion, care and feeling into the plan for maintaining an online presence. These emotions include, reciprocation, empathy, recognition, core values, resolution, empowerment, humanization, honesty, reward, value proposition, believable, and the most important, sincerity. If you can convey sincerity in your writing and comments, other users will be more willing to connect and follow your stream of social media content.
Awesome step by step by Brian Solis into how general online participants can begin to work into the cycle and dominate the system of act. He keeps the words and message simple to where people won't feel overwhelmed or turned off by the new, fluid, online media age! So what are you going to do?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Engage Chapter 12-18

Reading through the chapter, the section "Multiple Personality Order" stood out to me because "The world's a stage and everybody's got to play their part," thanks to Outkast and originally Shakespeare. It is a constant dilemma every member of the social web is going to have to figure out. And the sooner the better because as we have been talking about in class, everything is configured to a database that does not forget and has limited access, as of now. For me this has always been why I've never committed to the web, I don't trust it. I feel like if I have fun by posting inappropriate sections then it will at some point come back to hinder my progress towards a career. We as internet users must decide on whether we want a business/corporate identity or a personal/casual identity. The book talks about building two online personalities. One personal and one professional. "Our profile should reflect our corporate soal and introduce the elemtns, essence, and purpose that attract the individuals seeking alliance and rapport with other possessing similar attributes." (130) My problem comes back to trust. If I have a professional identity that is up to date on relevant material, what keeps readers and people from finding my personal identity from my professional one. How do people seperate their identities when most people use the same email or phone number? A question the book offers as guidance is, "Who do you want to be?" Implying the first thing an online user needs to establish is a network that is relevant and advocates progress towards whichever path the user identifyied with. Social media is a term I must realize is not going away and will only be used exponentially more. Social media provides different accounts for people to follow and broadcast information that may be interesting, cool, important, or stupid. Thats the beauty of social media, you can find something for everyone, even if social media itself is not it. Thanks enage!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Engage Chp 6-12

Interestingly enough in Chp. 6 they talk about how in social networks people thrive through interacting or relating. Some cases it may be comments or wall posts, and others may join a group or create a fan page for something. I had not realized that you could be marketed to by CPM or CPC. (cost per 1000/ cost per click) Based on the chosen keywords, whatever you search or click on, the visual ad is categorized towards similar keywords. This way the marketing aspect is not wasting potential resources or ads on irrelevant or potential customers.
The case study at the end of Chapter 11 does a good job of describing and illustrating what competent home web pages should look like. First the page needs to address the audiences needs, in this case soap; so the home page has a purchase order and assistance for soaps. Second, they have relevant content for audiences to click on to experience from another page, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, or Vimeo. By doing this the home page creates more credibility for its product and future service. Third, the page offers audiences a station to read positive reviews and submit reviews. This plays off credibility and ensures to the customer the quality of the product and service.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Conglomerate: Google media

In class this week, we watched the documentary, "Inside the Mind of Google", exposing and illustrating the methods and processes Google as a company uses to sustain a successful company. They described facets of the company from how employees are treated and picked (only the brightest and smartest) to how Google has indexed every search done and maintains the abilitly to identify patterns or people. In their policy, they do not reveal their social database to third party people, even the government, but how long will that last? It only takes a little pressure and a nice incentive for a company like Google to hand over its information and clean its hands of any wrong doing. To Google, they claim they won't do this because it would hinder growth in how many people use their system daily. But years from now, Google may have other agendas rather than growth and popularity.
Personally, I have always been pesimisstic about searches and whose monitoring what, so I am not worried about what may come out in these social databases. But the question comes into play, when is it ethically wrong for Google to control peoples identities and the placement of their identities? People nowadays have a trust to the internet and a belief that it is made for good. People may have good intentions in creating or developing products or things but that is not always the case. And I am just worried about years from now when Google is no longer the "good" guy.

Google vs. China media battle

In January 2010, a little over a year from now, Google, the biggest search engine covering the world wide web, decided it would not allow the Chinese government to censor search engine results in order to moderate knowledge. The "Great Firewall of China" is the name given to the method of government interaction between internet users and potential websites or results. Google basically switched users to a site not censored by the national government (by redirecting users to to Hong Kong). Though this was a year ago, Google and China are still arguing over citizens rights and in the grand scheme, human rights. Is it our right as human beings to be able to surf and search the internet at our disposale? What are the potential consequences that may come from an entity like Google fighting against one of the most, if not the most, influential and strong governments in the world?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Engage Chp 3-6

Through these chapters, Engage helps the reader identify components of the new internet wave that will help improve ones awareness and ones presence on the web. They set aside things like blogs, podcasts, and flicker as important and influential facets of the web. The interesting thing to me is about social bookmarking. I was hesitant on the concept when we first were introduced to it at the beginning of the semester because it seemed unusual and difficult. Well it is the opposite, because it makes searches more relevant towards your interests and needs. Social bookmarking allows users to bookmark over different browsers in order to maintain the online edge. This way you can pull up previously viewed pages or pictures from different browsers. The user is not restricted to only pull up certain information on a certain computer, but opens the options up over the whole web. I've never been an Adobe user, but their examples make complete sense in that it gives a step by step or situational answers that may otherwise be very difficult if not impossible to find.