How I’ve used web 2.0 tools this semester

I’ve been using many web 2.0 tools before this semester, but I’ve learned about a couple of new tools and new aspects of the tools I already use. Here are a few that stand out to me.

Twitter
I joined Twitter a little more than two years ago however I didn’t use it often. I thought it was just there to update people on what you were doing or where you were. This semester I saw that it was more than that. It is a way to add another dimension to a conversation. Before I had a smartphone and all my tweets were texts to my phone it used to annoy me when the people I follow had conversations over twitter. I didn’t get why they didn’t just text each other. But now I find it really cool. Virtually anyone can join in on the conversation and for me that makes Twitter more fun.

Wikipedia
I look up alot of things on Wikipedia. There was a time that anytime I had a question about something I’d Google it and read the Wikipedia article. That’s part of the reason why I know so much useless information, but it was a good way to get a brief overview about a word or topic to understand an article or book I was reading.
While I’ve used Wikipedia for years, I’ve never contributed an article till this semester. I wrote an article on Samantha Chapman. She’s a makeup artist that I watch on YouTube. The whole process was interesting. It showed me that almost anyone can contribute to Wikipedia but there are requirements and editors in place to make sure information is legit and useful.

Dropbox
I first got DropBox when my cousin told me about it this past summer. Every now and then we ask each other what apps and games we should get for our phones. However I didn’t really use DropBox till the semester started.
In my Computers and Writing (ENGL3372) class we use DropBox to turn in assignments, share articles, and edit each others’ papers. I think a few of my other classes would benefit from using DropBox the same way have in ENGL3372. Also since UT Arlington is promoting Going Paperless, DropBox would be another step forward in this.
I talked about DropBox in my Speech class for our Informative Speech assignment. It was cool to see that more than half of the class already use DropBox, but I was slightly disappointed that I wasn’t showing them something new. My professor in that class never heard about it so at least she was listening.
Aside from ENGL3372 I keep my class notes in DropBox. I used to email my notes to myself so I could read/study them on my phone whenever I’m waiting around somewhere. Now I don’t have to email them every time I update my notes. They automatically update when I save it to DropBox.

Delicious
I loved the idea of this website when I first heard about it in class (ENGL3372). My bookmarks bar on my browser is pretty full and I didn’t want to add more bookmarks. I also share alot of links with my cousins so I thought we could use Delicious to share stuff. That didn’t happen. Then Delicious changed things up a bit and I didn’t really like it anymore. So I haven’t used it in a while.

Google+ and Facebook
Facebook was great for me two years ago when I was officer of an organization on campus. It was a good way to promote events, keep in contact with my fellow officers and group members, however since I’ve left that organization I’ve become less active on Facebook. Also with the interface changing so often and all the new features I often want to delete my Facebook account. I still haven’t, but I don’t update anymore. Every now and then my sister or friend will tag me in a picture or check me in at a hangout but that is pretty much it. We’ve also talked in class about privacy issues which makes me not like Facebook even more.
I like Google+ so far. It’s still pretty new and not everyone has made the Facebook to Google+ switch yet. I find that to be a good thing. Most of my “friends” on Facebook are people I don’t talk to anymore and would rather not be connected to anymore. The main thing I like about Google+ is the hangout feature. It’s pretty much video chatting. I don’t believe there is a limit to how many people are on at once. My cousins have big video chat sessions every now and then. We’re all really close and grew up living close to each other but over the years we’ve spread out so it’s a great way to keep in touch. On the hangout feature you can also watch YouTube video at the same time (a cool little detail).

We also recently figured out we can video chat on our phones with the Google+ app. Again I think there’s no limit to the number of people on at a time but there are a few drawbacks. If any of you have hungout on Google+ before you know that the main video changes to whoever is talking automatically. You can click on a specific person if you want him/her on the main screen, but by default the main video changes on it’s own. On the phone anyone not on the main screen shows up only as a picture. Another glitch was that some people caused a feedback sound. May have been because their internet connection wasn’t strong enough or something but we don’t know the real reason behind this yet. Aside from those problems it was really cool being able to video chat with multiple people on my phone.

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Response to Rettberg’s “What is a Blog?”

In ch. 1 of Blogging, Rettberg goes over the many aspects of a blog to help us understand “What is a Blog?”  She discusses how one sets up a blog, various types of blogs, and a brief history of blogs.  Looking into these topics we find that there is not a clean-cut definition for a blog.  We can look at it as a medium, a “blogging software,” or a genre that calls for “frequency, brevity and personality.”  There is a common layout of 2 or 3 columns with unit posts that are arranged in reverse chronological order, yet a blog is not constrained to these commonalities.  There are always exceptions especially since the internet is always changing and evolving.  Blogs are a platform for people to be creative and with this freedom one can change up the style and layout.

How are blogs a part of Web 2.0?

In class we have discussed that Web 2.0 is essentially looking at internet as a platform for things user produced rather than information traditionally being produced by major companies or corporations.  The user can use the blog as a filterblog (post links to other sites), diary (personal “slice of life”), and a topic driven (fashion, politics, etc.).