For my twitter follower assignment I chose to follow John A Byrne. Byrne is an Editor In Chief at a national magazine website. On his twitter account, he regularly posts headlines to articles he is covering for his website. Topics such as Indian and Chinese MBA applicants being rejected or debunking myths about Harvard University. Many of his updates announce which of his site’s articles were the most viewed for that day. Byrne appears to be a very good listener and responds to questions commentors post on his Twitter page. As an Editor in Chief, Byrne appears to be running his site very efficiently and always seems willing to answer any questions about how to get into journalism.
I am happy to say that as soon as I finish logging my blog posts, all I have to do is share them (along with the final paper) on SpiderOak and I am done for the module! More importantly, however, I am done with Facebook!
I never wanted to get a Facebook and was properly angry when I learned that my group was doing Facebook for the research project. I only had my closest friends and my group members as friends on the site but it still frustrated me. It was nice to see pictures of my friends who are going to school all around the country but other than that I felt like such a creep every time I was on there. I like my privacy, I love it, in fact, and I’m proud to say I emerged from Module 2 without an addiction to such an infamously-addicting website.
I have spent my entire life practically chained to south jersey. I was born here, I grew up here, and when college gave me the opportunity to escape, I ended up staying here. At 20 years old, I haven’t visited even half of the 50 states and I left the country once for just about 2 hours. While Laredo, Mexico was a dirty, humid town were street vendors almost threatened us into buying worthless products, those two hours gave me a taste of life outside of the US. I get restless here in South Jersey. I often evaluate my funds and ponder the consequences of disappearing down the coast for a few days. Don’t get me wrong, South Jersey is a pretty great place (at least for the natives) but I can’t stay here. I need to “get the hell outta dodge”. For that reason, I have entertained the idea of becoming a Travel Writer. I have started following a travel writer named Carl Parkes on Twitter. Parkes also has a blog that I skimmed through to see what life as a travel writer might entail. I was a little disappointed by his blog but I have not been dissuaded from the idea of this profession.
My disappointment is derived from the fact that Parkes doesn’t have much of his own work on his blog. I was expecting to find link after link to all of these grand places and stories about the wild adventures he’s had throughout the years. But most of his posts are pictures from other people and humorous anecdotes that other people have written. It was entertaining to look through, certainly but not exactly what I was expecting for someone who claims in their bio to have 15 years of travel writing experience.
Parkes’ interests are obvious after reviewing who he follows on twitter. The man is obsessed with Traveling. Of the 236 accounts that he follows, approximately 41 are accounts just for travel sites such as the twitter for American Airlines and AirTreks. He’s also crazy about San Francisco and the news which is evident from the 62 accounts regarding the news and SF that he follows (the majority of which are accounts for News in San Francisco) From his blog bio, I learned that he is from San Fran and did all of his travel writing throughout Asia. So of course, many of the accounts he follows are Asia related. And for almost every account that was for a person (unlike “CBSNews” or “msnbc_travel”) the person’s bio claimed that he or she was some sort of writer be it a columnist, journalist, travel writer, editorial supervisor, etc. (And most of them worked in or around the SF area with many of them working for The San Francisco Chronicle)There were a few wild card accounts mostly for comedians (we both follow Conan O’Brien) but other than that, I did not find much variety in who he follows and it is very clear that he is a travel writer from San Francisco who loves Asia.
For my twitter assignment, I chose to follow Kathy Cassidy, a first grade teacher in Canada. Kathy seems to follow other elementary school teachers and educational professionals, as well as mothers and coaches. In analyzing the people that Kathy follows, I would say that she utilizes twitter as a resource for her classroom and for networking with other educators. She is constantly micro blogging about her classroom and teaching strategies, and asking for imput and suggestions to make her teaching process more effective. I was very impressed when I saw that Kathy has never blogged about any of her students. I have also noticed that she follows many popular education departments and organizations, which I would guess she uses to keep up with current trends within the field of education. I would say that Kathy is an efficient teacher that cares about her classroom and her students, and is always looking for ways to improve and excite her teaching.
Most people assume that LinkedIn is just a place to store a resume/a bulletin board to post it, but that is not true. The website offers so much more than that. It allows you to plan out your career in many different fields, giving suggestions for jobs, durration, when to expect promotion, and what type of job-steps to plan on to reach the position of your dreams. I did this with my wish to be a top editor in publishing. I would start out as an intern to a lower editor and slowly gain enough experience to be hired. Over the course of maybe six different jobs/positions (and if lady luck is on my side) I would make it to general editor of whatever publishing/editing agency I was shooting for. For me, a person who has a firm goal in mind but not the true information on how to get there, this feature was a god-send. It made a tiny weight lift from my shoulders as I realized, Oh my God I could actually do this! There was a way, not some half-visible path through thorny thickets I would have to navigate on my own.
With new developments in web browsing it’s almost ironic that a program that arguably made several information sources obsolete, is now becoming old news itself thanks to the Internet. Reading an article that lists applications that I use almost everyday has me me believe that the traditional web is heading to the scrap heap. In all fairness, the web probably isn’t going to disappear anytime soon, we still use the web for writing and emails. The structure of the web isn’t based on Web 2.0 alone but it still works as a spine for the backbone of web applications.
Web 2.0 will still have a place in the world as the modern era of the Internet continues to make it’s presence known. I know that I will continue to use email and other forms of the web as long as it remains relevant.
In the article, “Are Video Games A Waste of Time?” the author, J.P. Gee, in a section titled An Alternative Perspective on Learning and Knowing, makes a really important point. He says that we should not ask the question is this a waste of time? We should ask whether or not we are learning valuable, if we learning to understand or participate, and what kind of domain this information refers to. I agree with this view point on learning entirely, as I feel that no matter what, each moment of everyday brings a new lesson for us. I have looked back on a day and realized that I had learned something, though more often than not it was not an academic type of learning. Simply taking a new path to class reveals more to us than we can imagine and that knowledge can stay with us and be useful to us in the future even though it seems useless in the moment. He also makes the point that it is hard to determine just what domain each bit of information falls into. The problem with this is that most domains overlap one another. He makes an educational reference to physics, but I prefer to think of the kind of learning we get just going through life. Lets bring back the new path to class example. Say you drive to class and one day, on a whim or because there’s road construction, you take a different route to school than you have taken before. Days, weeks, even months later a friend needs directions and you know the area they are talking about because you’ve driven through there on your way to school. Everything is connected, everything falls together in strange and sometimes coincidental ways, which is what makes classifying each bit of information so difficult. This is also why the attempts at placing video games in the “waste of time” category is hard to say because there is learnings gained from the activity. Not all the learning is useful, true, but some bit of it is because it provides a new link to other knowledge or information you have or will one day have.