Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Live From the TC: My first podcast

Check out (or don't) this very embarrassing St. Patricks Day podcast by me and my friend. It sounds really rough, but I promise we actually did this take quite a few times. Hearing our voices makes us giggle too much. 

If anyone knows how to actually upload the file to the blog instead of linking it, I would really appreciate some help.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Paper Is Not Dead

For everyone who is holding out on the paperless revolution, this video is for you. My dad sent me this yesterday, and I think he did find the one area where real paper has the advantage over anything else.

Check out the video on vimeo.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Smaller Potatoes

In class today we are talking about some of the less popular new new media platforms. Levinson calls these sites "smaller potatoes" and includes Myspace, Reddit, Digg, and Second Life, as well as podcasts in the category. This blog posts is basically just my responses to class discussion questions about those sites.

What is your experience with Myspace?
When Myspace was popular, I was young enough that my parents regulated my computer access. They wouldn't let me have a Myspace account. I didn't know why, but I wasn't that interested anyway. I think that they probably saw news stories about the darker side of Myspace and didn't want me online for safety reasons. I didn't know about any of those things at the time. By the time I started using social media, Myspace had lost popularity and I just joined Facebook.

Any "cyberbullying" stories you are aware of?
I don't know that anything I see in my News Feed would be considered "cyberbullying." I went to a tiny school where making fun of our classmates was really common because we knew each other so well. Occasionally I have seen people post comments on Facebook that have gone to far. Picking on people in person when they are in on the joke is very different from typing a similar comment online where people can't hear the humor and don't know the relationship between the two parties.

What is your take on the Lori Drew/Meghan Meier story? Especially the result?
No doubt, Lori Drew is a really terrible person. That said, I don't think she should be held legally responsible for Meghan Meier's suicide. It is within a person's rights to create fictional identities online and it is within his rights to say something mean to someone when he is conversing with them. Drew did not appear to have a plan to cause a suicide, and those same words said to another person in a similar situation would likely not cause such an extreem response. I agree with the court's decision, but I hope that Drew feels the weight of what her actions did. I wish more parents would monitor what their children are doing online or make sure their children are mature enough to deal with strangers trying to form relationships with them online.

Levinson notes that the Truth on Earth band provided some "medicine" for "cyberbullying" on the internet. What's your take on that?
I think Levinson's argument is very week there. "Cyberbullying" and the song he mentioned may be linked by subject, but I don't see the song functioning as "medicine." For it to be medicine, the song would need to be functioning in a way that was impacting the same people affected by the bullying, and from what I can tell, the song had a very limited impact. The only thing the example illustrated is that the internet can present both problems and responses to those problems. It did not show a solution.

Are you aware of any stories of musical success on Myspace? Check to see whether some of your favorite bands have Myspace accounts. Choose one a check some other sites for their presence there. 
I listen almost exclusively to country music, and as far as I know, Myspace hasn't launched any major county stars. I looked up my favorite country artist, Eric Church, on the site and saw that he had a profile with a some songs. There wasn't much to it. I often listen to my Eric Church playlist on Pandora, but I don't know of any other popular music sites he can be found on. He's a more old-fashioned performer, and I'm not surprised that he doesn't have a large new new media presence.

Describe your use of Digg?
Non-existant. Why bother?

Same answer.

Any spare minute! I pin lots of things I never get around to trying offline.

How much social media contact did you have with the election of 2012?
I think everyone on Facebook can agree that the number of political posts last November came close to ruining the site for the weeks leading up to the election. I once browsed the Facebook page of the Presidential candidate I supported, but the comments on it were so hostile that I was turned off. I would "like" political statuses that I thought were well articulated, and I sent out one tweet after I voted ("Voted early. America's Comeback Team!"). Everything else I looked at about the election came from print, TV, and online news platforms.

Finally, have you ever used Second Life? Podcasting?
I have never used Second Life. It doesn't really appeal to me. I have listened to podcasts from iTunes by speakers that I like. I haven't heard any in at least a year though.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Books and Monuments

Library of Congress
Today is a very old media day. I finally got to visit the Library of Congress, but I'll admit I was a little disappointed at first. Apparently they don't just let random people come in off the street and smell their favorite books, which, naturally, was my plan for the morning. The books are separated from the public viewing area, but after I overcame my initial disappointment and started looking around, the Library of Congress is still one of my trip highlights. It's the most beautiful building I've seen here, and I was able to see the giant reading room through glass dividers. There was also an interesting exhibit about Thomas Jefferson's library. I didn't realize that his personal library was the basis for the Library of Congress collection after the first one burned down. The exhibit recreated his personal library. I couldn't open (or smell) the books because they were behind glass, but at that point I was thrilled just to see some books, especially ones that old.
Lincoln Memorial
After the library I met up with my family, and we walked around the Mall together. We started from the Washington Monument and worked our way through WWII, Lincoln (my favorite), Korean War, and Roosevelt. I would have liked to have made it all the way to the Jefferson Memorial on the water, but I saw his library and that will have to be enough for today.

Tonight I'm making the sacrifice and going to watch the Wizards/Bobcats game with my brother at the Verizon Center instead of finding Georgetown Cupcakes with the rest of our group. Yet, the more I think about it, if we find a Chipotle before the game, I'll probably come out with a much better night. Laters!
And the game ended up being a trip highlight...

Friday, March 8, 2013

The day I ate the world's best hamburger and also did other stuff

Guess who's back at Starbucks writing away? This girl! Confession: this is actually my 3rd (!) trip to Starbucks today. I'm guessing that's the only thing keeping me up wandering around instead of passed out in our suite like the rest of my weary family. We've been walking all around DC today.

Holocaust Museum
This morning we walked down to the Holocaust Museum and spent a few hours going through the main exhibit. It was by far the most well-done museum exhibit I've been through and a very moving experience. As I was passing through, the exhibit had all kinds of objects and recreations, print, audio, and video media, but the most touching element for me was a short booklet put together from survivors' stories. The museum set out about ten copies in a small glass room set off from the concentration camp section. Maybe it's just my bias for reading, but hearing their stories in their own words really brought the history to life. Everyone told us the Holocaust Museum was the one museum not to miss, and I'd give the same advice to anyone coming out this way.
DeAnn impressed with my appetite
After the museum, we took a break for lunch at the Hard Rock next to Ford's Theater. I don't want to brag, but I did finish an entire 10 oz. burger. I hate for this to overshadow the rest of the trip, but the concept of putting ranch AND guacamole, my two favorite things, on a hamburger is, in two words, Life Changing!
Lincoln Museum

After lunch we hit Ford's Theater. The basement now houses a small museum about Lincoln's life and the Civil War. I was especially interested after the movie Lincoln revived my interest in the President. (If you haven't seen the movie, go! Lincoln is such an interesting character, and the movie is well done in every way.) Across the street from Ford's Theater, you can walk through the house were Lincoln died. It's not as interesting, but there are a few more exhibits there about his assassination and legacy. My favorite element is a three level tower of works written about Lincoln.
Alexandria waterfront

Tonight, I'm looking forward to taking the Metro to Alexandria and walking down to the waterfront. Spring break is going way to fast already, so I better get moving. Laters!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

First Impressions

Me and my siblings at the American History Museum
Hey all! Greetings from Washington, or more specifically from Starbucks, where I am finally inhaling my afternoon latte. It's been a busy few days for me as I finally made it here and started exploring. We flew in yesterday under a winter snow emergency, and the government was officially shut down (thanks Obama!). That didn't stop us from walking a mile through the "blizzard" to the American History Museum. The blizzard was actually just some slushy light rain, and the museum was worth the trip. I thought maybe I could stretch to find something new new media related at the museum, but I unfortunately didn't come up with anything. I am trying! I didn't go through every exhibit, but I did spend quite a bit of time exploring the "Americans at War" exhibit. To me that is the most interesting, especially from WWI and on.
That was my main outing yesterday. My first priority was tracking down a Chipotle, and we finished off an early night by eating Ben and Jerry's and watching Forrest Gump on TV. Not too crazy, but I did get up at 3 am.

My family with John Thune
Today was a "work day" for us. My dad is here for the American Chiropractic Association conference and on today's agenda was meeting with our South Dakota congressmen about legislation affecting chiropractors. This morning we had appointments with Senator Thune's and Representative Noem's offices, and with Senator Johnson's this afternoon. If you don't know this about me, I'm a big fan of John Thune, and I've been obnoxiously excited about the possibility of meeting with and (dare I hope) getting a picture with him. Knowing that, you can understand my distress when he had to be on the floor while the chiropractors talked to one of his aids. Devastated. UNTILL, after our meeting had ended and we ran into him in the hallway (: He showed us his office, took a picture, chatted about basketball, and overall just made my day.
Since I can't top that, it will probably be a pretty chill night. Laters!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Blogging Spring Break

This will be my first time blogging just for fun, and if you are just checking in for a class related post, you might be out of luck. I'm heading to Washington DC for a spring break trip, and I want to try blogging through it. I'll try to throw in some new media references, but mostly I just want to see if I like blogging about my own life, thoughts, experiences, and what not. I won't bore you with tales from the airport, because its bad enough to live through it, nobody should have to read about it. Hope you all are enjoying your "spring" breaks. Stay tuned for stories from Washington when/if I ever get out of here.

My family and I at the airport