Friday, October 31, 2014

"The Very Well Connected" Article Blog Post

In a chapter from his 2009 book “The Young and the Digital”, S. Craig Watkins describes the way in which today’s adolescents are spending more and more time engaged in networks, whether that be in mobile devices or on the Internet. While many will say that this constant engagement with a screen, termed “always on”, brings great worries that this new generation will be more connected than ever before at the loss of face to face communication and becoming more anti-social. Critics of this new movement towards an increasingly digital world will say that people will prefer the online world to the offline one, and invest more time into their online relationships than the intimate ones in front of them. In this chapter, Watkins disputes those claims and attempts to assuage worries by saying that teenagers’ use of these technologies is not to create a new world for themselves and create new friendships, but rather that they use networks to connect with, maintain, and deepen existing bonds with current friendships. Increasing connectivity does not make teenagers more anti-social, rather they are engaging in a new type of social behavior. This generation uses technology not as a substitute for face to face interaction, but often, as a way to facilitate it. To make his point, Watkins points to the similarities between this digital connectedness and a common technology – the telephone. Originally, the phone was used for business and for work, but evolved into a mass product, and soon became ubiquitous for both business and social phone calls alike. The telephone made it easier for humans to connect and also pulled them apart. People feared the loss of face-to-face conversations in the midst of the telephone, but that fear is no longer a part of our culture. Perhaps the fears of the Internet will go the same way.

The author of this piece, S. Craig Watkins is a professor at the University of Texas-Austin who focuses on studying people’s social and digital media. He has authored 3 books, and has been invited to be a Research Fellow at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences. As one of the nation’s foremost experts on youth culture and their interactions with digital media, his ideas and claims made in our reading are worth recognizing and are very valid opinions. The book “The Young and the Digital” received fairly positive reviews and currently holds a 3/5 on Google Books. His work was praised for including interviews with young people directly engaged with this culture and providing a historical context in examining technology.

I believe that Watkins’ intended audience for this reading was not the academic community, but rather for the general population. This is seen in the plain language that he uses throughout the chapter. When he uses terms like “absence in presence” or “third place”, there is no assumption that the reader knows exactly what he means, rather he clarifies each term. Furthermore, I believe that Watkins wrote this piece in part to assuage the fears of parents, educators, and older generations everywhere who are concerned about the current trend of increasing connectedness in today’s teenagers. He seeks to assure that concerned population 

Bridges between cultural and digital worlds in revolutionary Egypt by Ramesh Srinivasan

This article is a lot like the video we watched in class a week or so ago about Cairo. Most of it was firsthand account of the use of media to set up the protests. Ramesh Srinivasan starts off by posing a question how are networks effected and affect by culture. He talks about these networks online do not guarantee any revolution. In terms of that they have to have grass roots in case the network get terminated, and also people talking about revolution online does not always transition to the real world. Both of these obstacles where no issues for the people in Cairo. Then he begins to talk about his actually time in Cairo. In specific he talks about instants where there was a strong social media presence. And then from the three stories he tells he draws some conclusions. He talks about the how the leaders of this “leaderless” movement need strong roots to communicate. And on the flipside other people do not need to be so connects as long as a leader can get a hold of them. Ramesh next goes into how social networks have his “media ecology” where information can be spread rapidly. With sharing on Facebook and retweet button on twitter information can spread quickly and become viral quickly. On the flipside he mentions that some things just get taken out of hand when its spread so rabidly. Then he goes on to conclude the use of technology after the President was gone. They created places for online conversations and they “built bridges” between technologies and institutional networks.
This article was written by Ramesh Srinivasan who is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles in Information Studies at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and Design/Media Art. Ramesh passion is to examine how new media technologies can shape and are shaped by the cultures they are in. Ramesh has been featured on Ted Talks to talk about how cultures embrace technologies. If you still need convincing he has been published 24 times and reviewed 9 articles for other people. This particular articles has been cited in 6 other articles. This article was posted on January 7, 2013, by The Information Society: An International Journal. This comes almost a year after the President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, resigned from office.

            I believe this article was written for average Americans because it was really easy to read but also it told a story. It told us a story almost like a journalist would with his discoveries in Cairo. And this article was well thought out as he researched it for 2 years and it took him a year after President Mubarak resigned to publish the article. I could not find any physical reviews of this paper but of the 6 articles that cited his article all of them seemed to agree with him. There was no painful review unlike the case of Daniel Bell from earlier in the semester. And personally I really liked this article because of all of the stories it was interesting know what happened on the ground. And because of that this turned out to be one of my favorite reads thus far.

Srinivasan, R. (2013). Bridges between cultural and digital worlds in revolutionary Egypt. The Information Society29(1), 49-60.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Searching For Myself

In doing a search about my self and my hometown I found a lot of stuff. For my hometown I found out that there is a population of 17 thousand within the zip code which is a lot more than I thought. Of that 87.8 percent of the population followed by Native American at 8.4 percent. There is only a 90 percent graduation rate from High school. And the average income is 43 thousand. Which is actually higher than I thought.

Then I went to search for myself, so when I googled myself I first found 6 pictures and of those 6 only 2 where of me. Next I found my Facebook, My Twitter, and lastly my YouTube account. I do not really understand why my YouTube account came up because I have not posted a single video. After that I found 2 other people named Logan Hintz on Pintrest. What surprised me most was the fact that they were both females because I generally meet male Logan's. And I kept scrolling and found a Hudl account which is a film watching site for high school sports. I wanted to go watch my own film and relive the glory days but it was not me its was someone from North Dakota. And then I continued scrolling i found my Grandma's obituary. Which was kind of scary that they still had that but I read it and that ended my journey to find myself.

Searching Myself

     The first thing I did when googling for information about me was look at information for the 2010 census about my hometown. In doing this I learned that the area I am from is even less diverse than I thought being that 97% of people in my home town are Caucasian. I also learned that around 25% percent of my hometown makes $30,000 a year or less this figure really surprised me because I would not consider my hometown a low income area.
      Then I went on to start googling my name and things about me. When I googled Tim Edquist the first three results were Facebook. This did not surprise me or worry me because my Facebook is set on private so all that anyone would be able to see would be my profile picture and cover picture. After them three results, the next few had nothing to do with me but then on the next page there were a few more about me they were all either a newspaper article from when I drove a tractor to school or scores from wrestling meets I was in. Then I searched myself on google images. I did not find much besides pictures of when I drove the tractor to school. Lastly I googled my email address the only thing google found for that search was that I am a part of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. So overall I am happy who I look like I am on the internet there is nothing that I found that I would be worried future employers might see.


As I first did research on my hometown, and my neighborhood in particular, I realized how insanely creepy it was that more private issues such as salaries were made readily available to the public. Although it is an average for the neighborhood as a whole I was generally kind of, really, ok SUPER weirded out by that, but hey, thats life.
When I googled myself, naturally my social media sites popped up including Facebook and Twitter. I have really high security settings on my Facebook so outside people can only see my profile pictures and my cover photos. As for Twitter however, I have no privacy settings because I feel as if I have nothing to hide and plus I feel that the world could be a little brighter with my sarcastic and humorous (at least I think so!) tweets being public to everyone!
In addition to that, apparently I'm not the only Kassidy Franz in the world so Pinterest and Muzy accounts pop up under my name. I swear I have not fallen victim to the dangerous world known as Pinterest!
Overall, I don't necessarily feel incredibly creeped out by this information being readily available to anyone who googles my name, as long as personal info such as my address, number, credit card number, etc. isn't made public, isn't made public.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Jay Herman - Internet Sleuth Extraordinaire

By entering my phone number, I found that my number was linked to Madison, WI. Fairly unsurprising.

According to my census hometown data, I am most likely to be a white male between the ages of 45-55 years old.

On Facebook, I found out that I don't have my privacy settings figured out at all. Basically everything's visible to the public: my music, books, political affiliation, etc. That one was particularly concerning, since I thought I had figured it all out.

When googling my name, I found Youtube tutorials that I did for an assignment in a class I took freshman year, which was sort of funny. I also found my father related to me on whitepages.

In general, someone could find me if they looked hard and/or knew what to look for, but there isn't terribly much information about me out there on the internet.

Trevor Hogg on the Internet

When I searched for my zip code on the FactFinder website, it gave me a couple tables of demographics of people within my zip code. The majority of people in my zip code were between the ages of 20-24, and that is accurate of me as well. My phone number is still registered to Milwaukee, where I used to live even though I don't live there any more. The area in which I live is overwhelmingly white, with only 1% of the population identifying as black. In searching myself on Facebook and Twitter, all of my tweets were easily seen by an outside party, but only my likes and interests were viewable on Facebook. A geodemographic firm would see me most likely as a white college-age male attending the University of Wisconsin Madison who likes tennis, Catch-22, and Domino's Pizza.

As I Googled my name in various formats, the most common Trevor Hogg that popped up often was a saxophonist from Toronto, who is seemingly widely acclaimed. It was pretty difficult to find myself by simply typing in "Trevor Hogg" or "Hogg, Trevor" because I did not make an appearance in the Google search results until the 6th page with my contact info for a student organization that I lead here on campus. What I found disturbing however was that there was a site called, in which it knew my name, my age, where I have lived in the past, as well as the names of my immediate family members. Fair to say that creeped me out, because I have no idea how it could have made those connections. Scary stuff.

Google me

When I put in my phone number I got the right town, but I didn't really find that much else about me or my town besides the fact that my zip code has a majority of white people. It was only until I googled myself did I find anything. I was able to see almost everything I've ever done on social media in the search results, like facebook, twitter, myspace, and more. Also, there were a lot of random sites with my name because articles that I've published online are on a lot of random sites now. There's also an article from the chicago tribune with my name because it's on my grandma dying. I feel like anyone with the time could probably do some more research though and find everything I've ever posted online and it wouldn't really take that long (with the word "every" loosely defined).

Google Me

When I first was searching my phone number, it correctly located Madison, WI as where I live. I also found out some demographic characteristics about my zip code. It is mostly college students (45% 20-24 year olds, 17% 25-29), so one could assume that I am a younger person by the area. I didn't know it was 85% white (that was an interesting fact I found out), but it reflects the distribution in the University. They could not match my address on access dane so it isn't too easy to locate me. I looked at the distribution of race around Madison and it was interesting to compare that with other sides of the city like the East and South Sides of Madison. One of the only social media accounts I was able to find was my LinkedIn profile. I am also public on an app called Vine, but that is public for everyone. The only images I was able to access from google images were from my LinkedIn profile. This is because I set my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram all to private. Other than my LinkedIn, I could only find information about relatives of mine such as my Grandfather who I am named after, and my Uncle. I intentionally try to stay private with most of my social media life other than my business professional profile. There is a lot of information about my work history, however, and that gives away a lot about me. It even has some interests on there too, so I may look into changing that. I tried many variations of my name and email addresses, but not much information from google itself showed up.

Google Me

When looking through whitepages, and factfinder I found alot of cool but somewhat creepy information. When I typed my phone number in, it correctly showed what county I was from (Sheboygan) but it gave the wrong city. This led me to wonder how accurate the site really is. As for fact finder, this website gave an accurate description of my hometown. My hometown demographics show that it is populated by just under 50,000 people of which 82% are white, and Hispanics are the second highest. race at 10%. From growing up there, this seemed like an accurate description from what I observed. Nonetheless a website like this is really cool because it shows you things you never knew about your hometown.

As for searching through myself on social media, I found it surprising that someone who's not my friend, can still view all my photos and basically my whole Faceook profile because I don't have it set to private. Same goes for my Twitter. Instagram is the only account I have that is set to private, so unless I allow someone to follow me, they can't access my photos. Looking through social media made me realize that social media is kind of creepy and that I should probably set all my profiles to private.

When I first typed my named in google, I couldn't find anything about myself. Apparently there are a lot of people in the world that share my name. I then tried to narrow down my search by adding my hometown to the search bar. I found out that there are apparently two other Matt Schroeder's from my hometown that I didn't even know about. I did however find some articles about me mainly from high school sports. I also found this image of me on Google that shows how happy I was to take that photo!

Overall, I thought this was a cool assignment and I learned a lot of things I didn't know about my hometown and how public my profile actually is online. I'm sure this is small compared to what other people can do (which is very creepy). I was a little disappointed with my Google celebrity status, but hey, there's still time to change that.


After doing a little research on this infamous Brooke Francis, I found that once I found my girl, it was easy to do deep digging on her life. I first found Brooke Francis' Facebook profile page. I was actually able to see her wall posts and all of her profile pictures. I then googled her name in images and was able to see her cover picture of her LinkedIn page. I was able to see her whole professional side but also her crazy, so to speak "idgaf" side on Facebook.

This creeps me out to the max. I am currently trying to set all my profiles to ultra private but I am having some difficulties. I understand for LinkedIn you do want anyone, hopefully employers, to find you for a job or interview. Your LinkedIn profile is almost an online resume that's up for grabs. On the other hand, Facebook seems a little explicit. The privacy settings are tricky and tend to have loop wholes. I noticed that others were having difficulties finding themselves, and clearly I had no problem. It makes me question my SOE and algorithms of my pages, maybe it was easier to find myself because I go on my pages religiously. I wasn't logged in or anything, but I find it hard to believe that when anyone searches my name, I would be the first to come up. Overall creepy experience at how much the internet/ information society really has to it's advantage.

Googling Me

            When I searched for information about myself on various websites, I found the type of information that a geodemographic firm would use. On Whitepages, I found that when I type in my home phone number a map with my house on it shows up, as well as my parents’ names and their age ranges. When I searched my zip code on FactFinder, I found out a lot about my town that I did not even know. In Towaco, New Jersey, there are 5,384 residents, of whom only 36 are African American. There are also only 281 Hispanics living in my town. In addition, the median income is $137,941 and only 3.9% of people are below the poverty line. When I searched myself on Google, I found that my LinkedIn and Pinterest accounts came up. If someone was not friends with me on Facebook, the information they would be able to see is that I attend the University of Wisconsin, my age, and where I have previously worked.

A picture of my dog that comes up if you
Google "Jennie Russnow"

            I think that this representation of my existence is not too detailed or personal, but would be useful to advertisers on the web. You would be able to tell that I come from an upper middle class neighborhood that is not very diverse, and that I am privileged enough to be sent away to college. I have downloaded my Facebook archive before, and that was extremely more invasive and personal than this.

Google Georgia

When I looked up my personal cell phone number, no relevant information appeared. However when I searched my house phone, everyone's name in my family showed, along with the address that I lived in my entire life up until this past July (kind of creepy). I was pretty shocked when I found my neighborhood on Mapping America. As a true Chicagoan, I think of myself as being exposed to diversity growing up in Chicago. I recently moved about ten minutes north, and found that my new neighborhood is 90% white, 5% black, and 5% asian. I wouldn't exactly call this diverse. My old neighborhood wasn't much better, but if I switch just one county over, the percentage of whites drops by about 30% and each of the other ethnicities listed raised slightly.

When it came to searching myself on social networks, I didn't find anything I didn't think I would, as I have privatized all of my profiles. You can see my name, a picture of me, and who I'm friends with. Since my cover photo and profile picture are both me wearing Wisconsin gear on game day, people will probably guess I go here. I googled my twitter and Instagram names and I am indeed the first hits on Google.

The funny thing about googling myself is that the fabulous Mick Jagger just happens to have a daughter named Georgia May. So when I google both "Georgia May" and "May, Georgia," Georgia May Jagger immediately takes over the search. I even tried Georgia May Chicago or Georgia May Lincoln Park, but alas nothing. With "G May," a ton of random people appear, but not me. I searched my email addresses and again, nothing relevant to me appeared. My father's name came up a couple times when I searched my phone numbers, but nothing about me.

(Just a picture of me ^)
If an employer was to stalk me online as I just did myself, I don't think they would find that much about me. All they would be able to decipher is that I'm a caucasian college girl from Chicago, that lives in a predominately white neighborhood. It is a bit of a relief to know that I may have a bit more privacy online than others because Georgia May Jagger takes over the hits on search engines.

Google Me

When I first did a search to do a geodemographic marketing analysis on myself, I was surprised to see how accurate my currently location was. Although I had to make a payment to see my name and current address, my location was visible through their electronic map. When I submitted my zip code in factfinder, I was able find various information based on which location I lived. For example, in my community, there were estimate of 12,136 people with a median age of 21.7 and 92.5 percent of high school graduate. This makes sense because majority of the people where I live are college students. When I entered in my address in accessdane, I was able to retrieve financial information about my apartment. Nytimes also showed me diverse information about the distribution of racial groups in United States. I was very surprised by how anyone could retrieve my name and address along with some basic information about my current location based on a single information. On my social networking site, basic information about my profile was visible but all other information was inaccessible, as I have configured myself in such a way. When I did a Google search and entered my name, e-mail address, and phone number, no information was retrievable except for my soundcloud page that I created couple months ago. I noticed that Google has retrieved some photos from my soundcloud page, as I was able to see pictures of me in Google images. If a geodemographic firm searches me, they will be able see a picture of me and clearly locate where I live along with some information about my community. I think the reason why a detailed description of my identity was inaccessible was because I tend to be very cautious when revealing my identity online and to the public.


When I first started the assignment I knew it would be difficult but I didn't realize how difficult it would be until it was nighttime and I was extremely bored.  My phone was buzzing and I couldn't answer it.  My roommates were gone and I didn't know where they were.  I started watching movies for the night and luckily my roommates came back home and my neighbors visited so the night got much better.  On Saturday it was a different story.  I could not, under any circumstance, not use my cell phone on Saturday.  I had friends visiting from Washington, D.C and they would have been so lost if I couldn't communicate with them.  I don't know anyone that uses a land line  anymore so that wasn't even an option.  This experience helped me realize how dependent I am on technology but it is definitely necessary for most situations.

After I Googled myself

When I searched myself, much information about me popped up which I appreciate a lot. When I searched my address and phone number in the various websites, my name didn't pop up.  I got the most information when I Googled my name.  There was a lot of Da'Quan Palmer's but my Facebook was the second to pop up on the list.   I think if companies/employers/general public searched me they would see that I'm a young African-American male.  They make think I'm of lower class because the surrounding streets of my home are lower class.  It's funny how Google is able to paint a picture for other people or people can create kind of a summary of who you are.

A lot of information is about this Daquan Palmer

The DeQuan memes popped up quite often too.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


If a firm were to try and search for me on the Internet, they would have real trouble finding the right Kevin Nguyen. Scrolling through each page, every result had my name in it. But the only problem about this was that none of them were me. After 19 pages, my name still kept showing up, but with links ranked this low, they were not very pleasant results. Through the first couple of pages, Google only showed accounts for respectable websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Amazon, and big news websites. I also encountered a link that addressed the dilemma of why there are so many Kevin Nguyens when you search for them on Google. It stated that there are ~1234 Kevin Nguyens when you search for it.
Here is Kevin Nguyen's mug shot for child porn.
I thought it would be easier if I were to use my full name, but I was only disheartened at the fact that there were still multiple results for Kevin Thanh Nguyen without my face on the other end of the link. The only way a person could find me on Google is if I were to give them detailed instructions on locating me on Facebook, since I do not really have any other social networking accounts.

"Googling" Myself

It's ME!!!
When I "Googled" myself i didn't find anything very interesting.  Mostly what i found were a lot of college graduates and other young professionals on LinkedIn ,Twitter, and other networking sites with the same name (most of them in computer science surprisingly).  I didn't find anything about me, which is probably a good thing, and sadly there were no actors or other famous people with the same name.  When i searched in images, pictures of a famous actor with the same first name (Kyle Chandler) popped up.  What kind of freaked me out was that, as i scrolled down i found a picture of me!  It just kind of reminds you that nothing you put on the internet is truly private.  Everyone has access to that information whether you allow them to or not.

I also found this picture in the image search... i was not dissapointed

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Relevance of Algorithms

Tarleton Gillespie born January 25, 1973 (age 41) is an associate professor at Cornell University, Department of Communication, and an author of the book Wired Shut: Copyright and the Shape of Digital Culture. He received his Bachelors degree from Amherst College in 1994, and then his Masters in Communication from the University of California, San Diego in 1997. He then went on to receive his Ph. D in Communication again from the University of California, San Diego in 2002 (Cornell University).
            Gillespie’s teaching focuses on the relationship between technologies, media and public life in a historical and sociological point of view. What he teaches correlates with his research focus on debates within algorithms of digital media and culture (Cornell University).
            The article assigned to read by Gillespie is apart of the book Media Technologies: Essays on Communication, Materiality, and Society. He describes an algorithm, and how they are more than just calculations, but a “crucial feature of our participation in public life” (Gillespie). With Gillespie’s six dimensions of public relevance algorithms he lays out a “conceptual map” of algorithms with political valence. I agree with his point that algorithms remain outside our grasp, but we should still try to illuminate their workings. This article makes me wonder where we would be without algorithms, and how would our logic be differed.

"Cornell University." Tarleton Gillespie. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.

Gillespie, Tarleton, Pablo J. Boczkowski, and Kirsten A. Foot. "The Relevance of Algorithms." Media Technologies: Essays on Communication, Materiality, and Society. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Print.

Surveillance, Power, and Everyday Life

The article, “Surveillance, Power, and Everyday Life” by David Lyon emphasizes the idea that surveillance is constantly growing and has now become integrated into our everyday lives. He even refers to other sources that claim that we have reached the “end of privacy.” Lyon argues that these various “surveillance societies” that are evident today, are a byproduct of the information society.
            This article is published in an anthology book entitled, “The Oxford Handbook of Information and Communication Technologies” which features articles from multiple authors that all tie in with the issues and challenges presented by Information and Communication Technologies. The Oxford University Press published this book in 2009 in Oxford, United Kingdom. The intended audience for this article, and the whole book in general, are those who are interested in learning about how these new technologies work and interfere in our everyday lives, whether it be in more obvious aspects of our daily life such as the government or economy, or not as obvious aspects such as our own daily life and the actions we perform without thinking twice.
            The author David Lyon, is a sociologist and professor in the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. He is also the director of the Surveillance Studies Center which is a leading organization in research for expanding surveillance practices. Like the information presented in his article, Lyon’s life work consists of researching how and why surveillance is one of the biggest issues presented in modern information-based societies, with particular interest in national identification cards and aviation security processes.
            The book as a whole has been praised for its wide array of authors that were published, a total of 39. These authors are deemed as scholars from various fields of studies in regards to information systems, media, communication, and information technology policy. On top of that, the book itself is described as being presented in an organized manner with the articles being arranged in a cohesive sequence. The articles themselves are praised with being practical and relevant to today’s times and technologies as well as being able to offer the most up to date augments and trends in regards to applications of ICT’s in today’s society.
            One idea that Lyon had presented in his article that stood out to me was his expansion on the idea of the “panopticon.” The idea of the panopticon is essentially the idea that everyone will behave accordingly knowing that they are being watched, even when they have no idea when they are being watched, or who is watching them. Lyon took this idea and related it to the United States post 9/11 attacks. We all knew security was going to increase, however we didn’t know who was going to be watching us and when. In response to this, we all behaved in order to avoid the consequences that could follow if we were accused as being a potential threat to the security of our country.

            Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this article and I though that Lyon made several great points about the usages of surveillance in society today. It made me realize that surveillance is everywhere, we just choose to pay attention to some modes of surveillance more than others.