Featured

Culmination of my Experience on Networked Narratives (Self-assessment on The Class)

TOGE

 

 

 

My class of Networked Narratives, with Professors Mia Zamora and Alana Levine, has been one of interesting ongoing learning within digital spaces. I can share that my accomplishments and performance within the class were some that provided me with a certain experience, which affected what I enjoyed most, and what I learned in relation to the light and darkness of the internet, and what I took away from it.

To put it in simpler words, this class for me was one of the kind. I don’t remember ever taking another class like this in the past, and this is actually a good thing. It felt quite casual, and it makes sense to why this would be the case. After all, the context of the class requires you to be very well involved constantly in online spaces (surfing the web, visiting certain web sites, managing applications, researching information on certain topics, and similar activities). Obviously there we had lectures in class, but the rest of the time, we were expected to be immersed in the internet. This was also the case, even during lectures in class. But this was probably the factor I enjoyed the most. Being exposed to the internet almost frequently (online spaces), in order to work through assignments and ideas, made it all the more connecting to the purpose of the class. So, by immersing ourselves with the many events taking part of the online world, we got the chance to really dive into our selected topics of interest, and become all the more involved. This is not to mention that throughout the entire semester, we were expected to be working on (towards) our ‘Fieldguide’ project. This project required us to accumulate and investigate sources on our selected topic, relating to some type of darkness (negative phenomenon) in the internet.

This brings me to the next past of my self-assessment on the class: my reflection on what I learned about the darkness or light of the internet in 2019. Now, I understand that there is some light to the internet nowadays. But since working on my research project (Fieldguide) was mainly focused on investigating information on the darkness, I will focus such as part of my assessment. I have to honestly say that I did learn a lot of material which I was a bit clueless before taking this class. I was introduced to so many topics that were part of this ‘darkeness’ in the internet, which I found it hard at first to believe. Some of these things I learned about were Algorithms, Capitalism Surveillance, Online Identity Theft, and Catfishing (my selected topic), to name a few. Hearing about these is one thing, but learning more about them is a different one. Perhaps to some people out there these topics might seem very familiar, but that was not the case for me. For example, although I had previously heard the phrase Algorithms and a small definition of it, I did not know exactly how it worked. This class allowed me to take the interest on learning more about it, aside from my own personal means. Soon, I learned that such phenomenon was found almost everywhere online, as it is the reason to a few things I had already noticed but never deeply questioned: why is it that after I look up one image online, the rest of the recommended things are still related to that first image; why when I watch a video on Youtube, it is followed by a list of other videos similar to what I previously watched; or why I get random pop-up messages or notifications of things I am actually interested in, as if I left my trace (footprint) somewhere on the internet? Similarly to this topic or phenomenon, I learned about the others listed above. They all had negative aspects to them, and very little positives. But one thing they share in common is (despite them being different): they are part of the internet and we are subject to falling victims of them as we find ourselves in such online spaces; whether we watch videos on Youtube, browser sites on Google, watch movies online, and shop on Ebay or Amazon. Such darkness exists, I think, not only because there are certain people out there who want to take advantage of others, but also because certain parties (groups or associations behind programs, software, websites, applications, and more) take advantage of technology can understand us, for their own profit.

Putting all of this together, I feel I did manage to get away with something from the class. This ‘thing’ that I got away with was more knowledge on how to be more careful to falling victims of the various types of phenomenon occurring online these days. And while working on my fieldguide project and researching online, I came up with a list of measures to take, in order to prevent me of being a victim. My recommendation is: [1] avoid or limit the amount of time I spend on online spaces; [2] Don’t fall victim to anything that pops-up on my screen as a notification which appears of my interest; [3] don’t upload or share too much of my personal information on social media spaces; [4] don’t trust anyone online who I personally don’t know in real life. It might seem as a simple list, but I find it helpful when combating the dangers found in online spaces. I am already trying it, and I feel a positive chance, as I have more control and power over my personal data and actions.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

This all ties together to my overall performance in the class and my grade contract. To be honest, I think I did pretty well during the entire semester. I submitted the required assignments, attended classes and lectures as expected, posted regularly on my created blog for the class, communicated on Twitter with the Netnarr group, completed the required amount of DDAs, finished and published my fieldguide project to the Arganee Journal, and put me best personal effort in learning on the various topics that drove the class towards its goal (end). So according to the grade contract, I believe I met all or almost all of the expectations with my performance. But it is said that actions count more than words, so with this in mind, I recommend to anyone interested to carefully look below at the various examples of all the work I’ve done.

 

 

 

HYPOTHES.IS (accounts for Karel and Jane Kitten)

https://hypothes.is/users/karel

https://hypothes.is/users/Dr.Kittens

FIELDGUIDE PROJECT (Published on Arganee Journal)

http://journal.arganee.world/2019/377/

fieldguidecoverpic..

 THANK YOU!!

Advertisements

Class between Kean and AUC

 

Today in class we had the opportunity to work on our ‘Fieldguide Project’, which will be the final project for the class and the rest of the semester. Since the class was meant to be devoted to us spending as much time researching and finding information for our projects, I found myself looking up information on the web in relation to my research question about Catfishers (people who steal some else’s identity to create a fake account or profile, in order to deceive a victim online). During this time, I came to the conclusion of having selected my specific question (one of the two): This is going to be:

[1] Can/Do catfishers fall in love (at some point) with the person that are trying to deceive? If so, how can they change what has falsely already been said on their end?

Jane Kitten Comes Alive! And She Is To Darn Hot, like ‘Spicy Watermelon-Bubble-Gum’… Is That Even A Thing?

 

This week as been an interesting one for sure. Especially with the class and our final project. I think this project will prove itself to be more fun than expected. So, this week we talked about coming up with a topic for the final project, as well as creating a ‘profile’ for our alchemist (mentor).

For my final the topic relating the final project, finally decided on what to go with. At first, I was think of doing something in relation to ‘online surveillance’. But after carefully thinking about it, I discovered that it was not an interesting topic anymore. But then, just recently, I came up with another one and this is is a keeper (Identity theft in online social spaces). My main focus with this topic is to mainly gain a deeper understanding of the things that go with it. In this case, I will be observing online places like Facebook, Twitter, or dating sites, where there are countless of ‘fake profiles’. These fake profiles are created for many reasons, I assume. And many of them include profiles with pictures of people that don’t belong to the person creating the profile. These photos or personal information can be stolen from pretty much anyone, saved onto a system (a computer or phone, for example), and used later on. This phenomenon is not only happening in online social spaces, but also is dating websites or applications. It is scary to think someone else has an exact image of you and your personal information, as they try to pretend to be you for their own means. Scary indeed!! It also has the same negative effect in online dating spaces, with these fake profiles trying to fool you, only to later try to scam you or make a fool of you.

Since, I’ll be working closely with my alchemist and mentor, this week I took the time help my mentor come to live. She already has a name (Jane Kitten), and a complex character profile. She is an expert in social media, especially in online dating and social spaces. It is for this reason that she will be very useful in my research and search for an answer to my topic.

Below is a picture of my mentor and a link to her profile:

 

MEET MY ALCHEMIST (MENTOR)

janekittens

Link to her profile:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BgMk_4_J67AVdFs0aj_JlZWBPWTuwvKhp4XNRhvebbU/edit?usp=sharing

How she looks like:

 

I KNOW!! SHE’S BABE!! LOL. Stay back guys, she’s mine. And best part of it, is that she is only 50% human and 50% ‘kitty cat’. It take this much to receive the proper help I need to deal with this topic, and so I believe Jane Kitten will be the perfect partner for this journey. She is smart, she knows about social spaces (Facebook, Twitter, Hinge, Tinder, and more). She is super sweet like ‘watermelon bubble-gum’, but determined and focused on her work when the time is right. This is Jane. But then again, don’t fall for her, …..because she’s mine….

 

Thank you for reading!

 

GIFs over MEMEs

 

 

This week in case, we went over another digital form of communication, known as GIF (Graphic Interchange Format). This one alone is very similar to MEMES. In fact, you could argue that GIF is the next level that follows. Regardless of how they work, one thing can be understood: they both aim to present a message or idea with text and image (still or motion picture). GIF however, does the job presentation of a message much better, since it contains a short motion picture that goes along with text. This alone gives it a clearer and vivid idea of what the person behind the GIF is thinking of arguing.

Just as I thought, in the previous class discussion, that MEMES are a useful informal way of communication in online spaces, I think that GIFs are even more efficient at their job. My reason to think this is because of the way they are formed together. Yes, a motion picture image can go a long way in describing a vivid idea of what you’re trying to say. Just imagine for a moment that you feel sick. If you only had the option of writing a short text of how you feel at this moment, it probably wouldn’t be very clear to the audience of how sick you are, how sick you feel, or what type of sick it is. You short text, in this case, will also be missing the visual representation of feelings, humor, sadness, or even anger. The audience might know that you are sick because of your short text (let’s say: composed of 3-4 words only).

But what if you mixed your text with a motion picture (short clip, in this case)? Now we’re talking. This is another layer that facilitates visualization to the audience. With this option of motion picture, you can now choose what time of image you want to put on your GIF, and how detailed in terms of representation of your idea. Now, the audience can see if you have a cold, a fever, and more, based on the type of motion picture you attach to the GIF. They can also, see the level of seriousness of your sickness if you attach the right image (how much emotion is showing). All of these are solid reasons to how a GIF can provide a better visualization of your idea.

Another reason to why I think GIFs are useful as a form of communication is in relation to its form of delivery. Being one that is always digital makes the difference in how the message is delivered in terms of speed and accessibility. The internet has really opened many possibilities for communication all over the world, in various ways. You can now send a message, GIF, MEME, video, sound, and many other tools of communication at a speed that is not possible with the mail services. Even the fastest of mail services can only deliver within days, but not in seconds or minutes (as in the case of online communication).

Yes, communication through online space is now almost instant and very reliable. For this reason, GIFs make another useful way of communication, as it can reach a certain audience in no time. This means, your message and idea get across faster and you can receive faster feedback or responses. In addition to this, there is more accessibility with this form of communication. Nowadays, thanks to the internet, the information you post online can be visible to almost anyone who has access to the internet and online spaces. So, this means that more people can have access to your GIF in no time. Doesn’t that make your day? Not only is your GIF being distributed at a fast speed, but also to a large amount of people. And the best part of it is that your GIF message will tell your idea in a way that is easy to understand, without the need for someone to read a written paragraph from you.

[Fieldguide] Article Review on: The Hidden Costs of Identity Theft

URL Link to website:

https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/the-hidden-costs-of-identity-theft/

 

The web article of “The Hidden Costs of Identity Theft,” by Ellen Sirull, is one that talks in good detail about the negative impact that identity theft has on its victims. This include the negative effects on their emotional state, financial status, and personal or private information. The article also references the organization of ITRC (Identity Theft Resource Center), as it is one that has recently gotten itself involved with this issue of identity theft. This is an organization that helps the people (especially those who have been victims) though the collected data that it analyses, by identifying various important aspects of identity theft victims, such as by measuring the amount of cases, the types of theft, and the victims personal information or complaints.

 

 

Level of darkness on the internet: 6/10

Why Wait for Your Sculpture One Week, When You Can Take a Picture Today?

 

 

This week for class, we went over the topic of ‘digital art’ and how it has transformed art production. A discussion over this topic was started with an example of one of the forms of digital art we have today (digital photography), which originated from a more physical and simplistic form (sculptures, paintings, ect…). Looking at this example helped us clearly see the radical change that has taken place over the many years, on this art form of portraits and imagery. From the discussion, an argument emerged: that the valuable aspect of man-crafted art was lost with such change. Although this is true in many ways, I personally found myself partly disagreeing with this claim, for personal and contemporary (related to the present day) reasons.

 

At first, I did understand that there was a point to this claim and idea. But soon, I opened my understanding to other possibilities, as I brought into question aspects of ‘constant life-style advancement’ and ‘human’s desire for evolution’. If we think about it, our lives never stop due to the natural clock-of-life. This means that we are constantly living in the present and looking forward to the future, while often times remembering the past.

 

Before the evolution of such technology, traditional forms of art were both a need and desired life style. This is because it was not only useful in many ways, but also enjoyed by people. Just imagine, living in the ancient times of Greece, when Aristotle was alive. There are no cameras, or smart phones for take pictures. Naturally, the only option is to turn to the man-crafting skills of imagery if you desire a self portrait. In this sense, there is a need for a person or people with such formidable skills. And it is in this sense, that there is more value to their work and to the actual artist. This is all they had at their disposal, as they were limited to other technologies. It is obvious to why, looking at it from a perspective of the present, someone of us can argue that such artistic value is no longer there with more modern forms of photography and imagery.

But is this really true? I think it only partly, and is our perception of it is based what we choose to believe or accept. I personally don’t think the value of photography and the artists who work on it has been at all. It has merely changed, to adapt to a different time and era. Today, we have plentiful ways of capturing an image. We do it through our phones, laptops, digital cameras, and more. And although, we no longer rely on sculptures or paintings (since they are more expensive now), we still can appreciate the technology behind it and the capabilities that exist. In fact, we might feel blessed that it is this way now, since there is so much benefit to it, including the speed in which we can attain a portrait, picture, or image, type of quality, amount of copies, and low costs. And the best thing about it is that we can have it at any time we want, and wherever we want. The fact that we have become our own photographers is not so bad after all. Even with this being the case, the artists who have passionately devoted themselves for a career in this field (throughout the years), still are able to work in it in a more advanced way. Will you really be the one taking the pictures on your wedding day? I don’t think so. It is more than likely that you will hire a professional photographer to the videos and pictures of the wedding. And this professional will be able to capture the moment live and provide you with the work in days-time. My point in all of this is that, I think this form of art has not necessarily died, but rather transformed and changed to one more suitable to out era and life-style. Nowadays, we value speed of results and place great demand on it, since we live fast-paced lives.

[Fieldguide] Article Review on: The Negative Side of Memes

Article URL link:

http://elit.umwblogs.org/2012/03/14/the-negative-side-of-memes/

 

The article of The Negative Side Of Memes, by Kevin on Electronic Literature, talks on memes on the internet and how the are regarded as a form on digital literature (in this case, one that is negative). It argues that these are quite popular online because of how argumentative and provocative they can be, especially the memes that are based on racism and sexism. This alone is an important reason for its negative contribution to the the darkness found in the web. The article uses the examples of two popular memes online that belong to these two categories for analysis. Overall, this article shows how this form of communication online is just another negative component to the dark side of the web.

 

Level of darkness on the internet: 6/10