When Collaborative Context is Valuable

Two articles for this week’s readings both displayed the collaborative power the Internet could bring to its users. My argument is that collaborative context does not create values under any circumstances. Sometimes, it is really helpful for information sharing and increase productivity by use of collective intelligence. But it may not be a good idea to depend on the Internet collaboration for a better policy document.

 Nielsen (2010) believed that since the system for measuring the collaborative values in a programming competition is successful, the Internet could also be used as a place to collect public interests or encourage the public to help the edition of policy documents.

“The idea is to allow open editing of policy documents, in much the same way the Mathworks competition allows open editing of computer programs.” Michael Nielsen

Johnson (2010) argued that in order to increase textual productivity, which was one of the most important facts about web’s growth, and better preservation of professional journalism, it is better for publishers provide free Internet access for users to remix and link information for their own commonplace book.

“WHEN TEXT IS free to combine in new, surprising ways, new forms of value are created. Value for consumers searching for information, value for advertisers trying to share their messages with consumers searching for related topics, value for content creators who want an audience.” Johnson

Collaborative Writing Tools

New values are created if online text is free to share and edit by a mass of audience. It is not only convenient for information-searching, but also creates a platform for messages-sharing and interpersonal communication. 

“Collaborative writing tools can vary a great deal and can range from the simplicity of wiki system to more advanced systems. Basic features include the typical formatting and editing facilities of a standard word processor with the addition of live chat, live markup and annotation, co-editing, version tracking and more.”  Robin Good

Online Civic Engagement

Considering the differences in literacy level, Internet usage, and digital divide, the public do not share equal character of civic engagement in political activities, including creation process of policy document, if any, even on the Internet. Even though, it is feasible to have the public involved in edition of public policy, it is still only voice from higher level of social class.

“even after unequal access to the Internet—what is often called the ‘digital divide’—is taken into account, the well-educated and well-heeled are still more politically active online, just as they are offline” Smith

Public Policy Issue

Many issues come out when the public is involved in policy document making process, like time limitation, lack of knowledge about political issues, polarization of group discussions, lack of efficiency.

“Some officials believe that the majority of citizens are distrustful and apathetic about the functions of government. That may leave them wondering about how representative the participants are.” MRSC

October 31, 2010. Uncategorized. 7 comments.

Activism Presentation

Here is the powerpoint for our presentation today!

October 20, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Media diary 7: Close up

I was woken up by an international phone call from Shanghai at 8:50 am. One of my best friends, Cong, was in World Exposition. She was so excited to share with me what she saw and how the exposition was like when she was in Chinese Exhibition Hall at that time.

 At 9:16 pm, she was busying going to other exhibition halls and hang up. After that, I was neither in the mood of getting up or going back to sleep. So I picked up a Chinese novel, Dulala, which I borrowed from Maggie last week. It is a story about how a girl becomes a senior executive from a clerk with her excellent interactive skills.  

At 11:00 am, I turned on laptop and checked E-mail and messages on regular social networking websites I went to. Then, I inserted a CD in my computer with songs of my favorite singer. Listening to her songs, I finished my lunch. At 11:50 am, I went to online application of Mars website to apply for a training program for senior managers. The first round interview of this program requires a team work of three people. My roommate and I both want to apply and we need another teammate. So we posted a note on the website and look for people with same interest to the program. I was done with personal information part of the application at 1:30 pm. Then, I texted my friends in US and asked if they know any person who wants to go back and work in China after graduation. If so, maybe he or she could be our partner.

2:00 pm, my friend and I was heading to the swimming pool of our community. We swam and did sun bath until 3:20 pm. I took a shower after going back to my apartment. I kept searching other job opportunities from 3:50 pm to 5:20 pm.

From 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm, my roommate and I made dinner together. We were watching PPStream when we were eating.  At 9:25 pm, my friend and I went back to our post on the official website of Mars to check if there were people replied. Fortunately, four people left their MSN on our post. From 9:40 pm to 11:00 pm, we were communicating with these people in order to find the best partner to finish the team project. Finally, we picked up a Chinese guy who went to school in London as our last team member. We decided to meet tomorrow afternoon online to talk more about our project because it was already 4am in London and he had to sleep. By that time, we were excited about our first step on this program. Hope we could make it in the final!

Summary of whole week’s media usage:

Basically, the Internet is the only medium I consumed every day and at least spent four to five hours on it, no matter I was studying and playing. Since I do not have TV and regular radio, I watched shows and listening to radio on the Internet. Cell phone is one of main approaches I keep in touch with my family and friends. I made phone calls and also send or receive text messages. Reading newspaper is not a routine thing for me. I only did that once or twice a week. Maybe I would do that more frequently since Mindy helped me find out there were USA today and New York Times free with student ID. I never did magazines in the whole week because it was expensive and I did not have access to it except those gossip magazines at the check-out desk of supermarket. In the weekend, I sometimes went out to see a film or my friend would take their TV to our apartment to watch DVD together. We play cards once or twice a month. When I was bored and did not want to go online, I would read novels, at the most time, I read novel in my native language.

October 16, 2010. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Media diary 6: A day without class

I woke up at 8:40 am this morning. After checking E-mail and regular networking websites I usually go to, I started to read activism articles and search political organizations on Google for this week’s assignment. There are millions of political organizations all over the world, but among them, not many are non-partisan and have membership. At 10:30am, I called my friend Bin in Beijing with my cell phone using “Zapel” phone card I bought online. It is really good deal to make international phone calls with the charge of 3.2 cents per minute. Today is Bin’s birthday. We are best friends for more than ten years. Every year on our birthdays, we will call each other no matter where we are. We talked about what happened recently around us and new movies on in Beijing. 11:20 am, hanged up the phone, then, I continued my Google search.

At about 1:10 pm, my roommate made us lunch. We random talked about celebrity news on Yahoo China during lunch, with online music on as background sound. I started to write this week’s blog at 1:50 pm and got it done at 3:00 pm. My roommate’s friend Eric called at 3:16 pm, and asked us to hang out tonight. In the end, we decided to have dinner at our apartment and he and other two girls would bring sushi. After the phone call, my roommate and I decided to go to a Korean super market to buy drinks for tonight’s little party of 5. We bought hoodle drinks which recall us childhood memory. It is a drink with a hoodle inside. Before drinking, we have to push the hoodle to the bottle neck with special bottle cap then it would stay at the neck of bottle. It would move when we drink it and make tinkle sounds. It is originally from Japan and little kids love it.

6:45 pm, our little sushi party started. During dinner, we had “Taiwanese Got Talent” show on using PPS software. It is a singing competition with very high rating. We sang together with the players if we recognized the song. It was like a home karaoke. 7:40 pm after dinner, Eric set up DVD player and we all sat on the floor to watch a movie called “Date Night”. Maybe because the movie was not fun to me, I felt like it was more than two hours long but actually it was not. 10: 20 pm, the movie was over and we played WUNO poker game for a few rounds. 11:20 pm, our friends left and I went to bed after checking my E-mail and message for another time.

October 15, 2010. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

WCF leads to female activism

The political organization I found is called Women’s Campaign Forum which is public known as WCF. Founded in 1974, “WCF is the only national, non-partisan political organization supporting women who respect reproductive health choices at all levels of office, during the earliest stages of their public life.” Everyone could become a member by signing up with their E-mail address. Members could participate in campaigns and programs, or even become a candidate who would be supported by the organization.

Compare to Moveon:

The content of both websites include member sign up section, donation access, current campaigns and programs, connections to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, news release for updated sources. Basically, elements mentioned in Rohlinger and Brown (2009)’s article like membership, donation, intermediary actions are found in both websites. Besides that, WCF website also includes candidate, detailed programs and link which direct audience to a media project which fights against sexism called “Name it, change it”. On webpage of the project, membership sign up and other actions like report sexist incidents in media are also available. Activism is found on both websites. Different from moveon, WCF encourages members to activated involved in their campaigns and participate either being a candidate or volunteer.

Member benefits:

According to Rohlinger and Brown, three major member benefits could be achieved on Internet, free place for political challengers to form dissent opinions, allowing individuals to participate anonymously, and moving participants from armchair to real world. I would say members of WCF are more likely to achieve these benefits than ones of moveon. The primary reason is that low cost of participating in events of WCF. Online political organizations do provide a convenient way for people to get involved, and as said, it is a place for free speech. Although individuals could participate anonymously, we know it is not 100 percent guarantee. If the government really wants to find out who we are, they could have access to find it out. Activism in moveon events requires high cost. Apprehensions of being fired by a political loyal boss, risks posed to families may have an influence of implement of activism. But for WCF, activism of striving for women’s fair right does not involve that amount of risk. Besides that, women have the potential for public position get fellowships from the organization to help them gain firsthand experience.

October 15, 2010. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Media diary 5: Shocking news from newspaper

7:50 am got up and checked E-mail, and all kinds of online messages. I got an E-mail from a platform which was set up by my best friends, saying that there were new updates on it. It was an online forum which only opens to a few of us, a place to talk about private things between several friends.  It was under QQ chatting software. Users could choose which QQ friend their forum is open to. The new update is about one of our mutual friends in college is getting married. My friends are talking about which gifts we should send her on the forum.

9:35am-12:10pm in advertising theory class. No media consumption in that period.

12:34pm on RTS bus heading home. I play a game called “Diner Dash” on my AT&T cell phone when I was on the bus. It is a little similar to the massage game on iphone. 10 minutes later, my friend Ann called to talk about our gathering on Friday night so I exited my game at that time. After lunch, I went to a Chinese online purchase website- taobao.com , to buy a wedding gift for my friend. Since I am not in China at the time she gets married. Have the gift delivered for her is probably the best way. I picked up a music box for her and it would be delivered early morning tomorrow in China.

I do not have class on Friday. So the weekend starts today after class. I finally got a break to take a nap this week. I fell asleep when listened to the old songs in my MP3. I remember Chen-ting said listening to old songs was always good. With life moving on, it is easier to recall what happened and heard in the past as if the old songs could help us recall a lot sweet memories. I woke up at 4pm. After checking E-mail and messages like routine, I watched two episodes of a Korean drama-“sparks of desire” on PPS (Chinese free video software). After that, I read a Japanese detective novel Mr. Gutian which I downloaded earlier until 8:15pm.

After dinner, at 9:00 pm, I finally had time for USA today I got in front of Weimer hall. The front page is about rescue of Chilean miners. Until Wednesday, all 33 miners were safely rescued after survived 69 days trapped underground. The picture is one of miner hugging his wife. It is a happy ending story. When I turned to page 5A, a piece of news about Chinese government censorship got my attention. A letter signed by a retired professor in China decries Chinese censorship. I was shocked to read the news of awarding of the Nobel Pease Prize to imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo. Since most of my daily news is from Chinese websites and the Chinese government blocked this news, I had no access to it at all until today. I thought Chinese government is way over cross the line this time. I feel appointed for my future communication career back in China. Fortunately, I was not going to be a journalist. Then, I talked with my friend Ning on MSN. She is a news journalist in Beijing. She confirmed that censorship did exist everywhere. A lot of times, journalist could not publish everything they find valuable.

It was 10:30pm after talking to Ning. I searched “Liu Xiaobo” and “Nobel Prize” on Baidu.com which is our search engine like Google in US. The results showed that my search is related to information banned by law and regulation, so it would display. Even though growing up in China, I seem never going to get used to the censorship there, especially as a communication major. Even though censorship is a great deal in China, I still believe there is something we could do to disseminate information to the public, which they have the right to know. At 11:35pm, I decided to take a bath and go to bed with a lot concerns about the censorship issue.

October 14, 2010. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Media diary 4: Regular school day

Today is like a normal school day like usual. I got up at 8:10am, turned on laptop to post my media dairy for yesterday as my first thing. Then, opened homepage of the music radio station I usually listened to. A fresh new day started! Since I did not have class in the morning, I decided to make noodles for breakfast. When I just added water on my pot, my friend Tao called from China. Until I finished talking with him, I found I did not turn the gas on to boil the water in pot. On my way heading to bus station at 10:05am, I met a friend of mine, Jamie. She was excited to introduce a game on her iphone. It was called Sarah’s Massage store if I did not remember it wrong. It is a fun game. The girl named Sarah worked in the massage store. She has to take care of all customers to taking a shower, massage or gives them heat treatment with a stone, and finally have them checked out. If a customer waits too long, his or her heart will break. If you have them wait longer, they will leave.  If their heart is broken, Sarah gets fewer tips. The aim of game is to get as much as tip and take care of all customers. I played a while with her iphone when we were on the bus.

10:30am arrived lobby of Reizt Union. I need to have my resume edited this morning in order to job application later. The girl works there is nice and is a great help and gave me some suggestions about job hunting.

11:10am got Journalism library. I started to look at peer’s blog on WordPress.com and leave comments. It was 1:10pm when my friend Sijia finished her class and we went to have lunch with Maggie. Since we have class together on Wednesday, we always meet in the Journalism library and have lunch together and talk about the past week. It is nice to have a random talking with friends and have a period of time away from my computer. Here is a vedio my friends sent me when I was in library. It is really funny.

3:00pm to 5:10pm in new media class. We watched a lot of clips on Youtube. Most of them are about political issues. I love the entertainment show which two actress played Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton. Those clips help me have a better understanding to American politics. Is that show Saturday live show which was mentioned a lot times in class? I wonder if there is online access to it because we do not have TV in our apartment. It really limits our media consumption. Even though the Internet makes it more accessible to many sources, watching TV and all commercials between shows is a different experience.

My friend Sijia and I went to TCBY and bought ice cream on our way back home. It was great to have an ice cream after a school day and walked home. 6:28pm, when we got home, I checked my Email, Facebook, Xiaonei, and Microblog and replied message left by my friends. At 7:17pm, I decided to read papers and write response paper for my Qualitative Research class. I took me more than 3 hours to finish the reading. The four articles I read are about new ways of collecting data for in-depth interviews like online dairies, blog, and videoconferencing. It was already 11:40pm after I turned in my response paper. It’s really a long day! Hope I would remember to pick up New York Times tomorrow! ^_^

October 14, 2010. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Media Diary 3: Feel the traditional media

I woke up this morning and realized I should give myself a better reason to get up except school. It was 7:30am when I got up. After checking E-mail and messages with my laptop, I turned on my online radio at 8am. It was a local music radio station in Jinan (China), the city I went for college. It cheered me up in the early morning. Whenever I listened to this radio station, I felt like going back to when I just entered the college with my friends. I was so excited when I found out there was online channel. I let this radio on when I was taking a shower and brushing my teeth, making breakfast. It is called Music 88.7. I feel much better to listen to radio than MP3 since there is a real DJ talking. I can almost feel the person especially when we are in the same city and he or she talks about the weather, and which restaurant is good. It was 8:40am when I was heading to bus station. I took a shortcut this morning across the lawn. Feeling the dew on my feet reminds me how wonderful to live in the world. 9:25am, I was in library west to renew one of books I borrowed. Then, I went back to Journalism library because I had class this afternoon. From 10:05am to 12:10pm, I was in library with my laptop. After going over the presentation I would give in the class later. I checked a series of pages of mine online, including Facebook, Xiaonei and Microblog. A picture I saw on sina microblog is so impressive. I have to share with you all.

At the time I was in library, my friend Tao in China sent me a message on QQ through his cell phone since he had the service which could bind cell phone to QQ software. I do not know whether I should be amazed how powerful technology is or lament there is no pure place to live a peaceful life. I grabbed a piece of Alligator when I came out of library.

12:50pm to 3:50pm class time. In the class, we had three presentations which were separately from our presenter, professor and discussion facilitator which would be me.

4:10pm, I was on RTS bus back to my apartment, reading Alligator. I could not even recall the last time I read newspaper. May it was three month ago, when I was in Beijing. How bad it is that a communication person even does not read paper! But I did read a lot of academic ones. Ha-ha…  Probably it is something related to my major, I pay attention to ads in media a lot. “Police investigate another area rape.” Wow… I thought Gainesville was a pretty safe place. The Asian American Student Union held a talent show few days ago. And Gator Growl performance is on Oct. 15th. I remember last year, a dancing group wearing masks (I could not recall the name) was invited and their dance was so…good.

4:50pm, I got home and made early dinner for myself.

6pm, after dinner, I decided to be away from computer for a while and took the garbage out and checked our mail and went for a walk in the neighborhood for almost 30 minutes. When I was back at 6:30pm, I got a call from my friend in DC. She was flying back to China this winter break and asked me if I need anything.  This phone call gave me a homesick. I missed my life in China, with my family and friends instead of company of my laptop for hours a day.

7:10pm, I started to watch a Taiwanese comedian show on PPStream (a online free video software, people load shows and movies on and every one registered could have free access to it). It was so funny. I could watch it all the day. 10:25pm, I turned off PPS and checked E-mail for another time. I saw an E-mail from International Center, UF, asking help for a survey. I took it. It was much longer than I expected. It was already 11:30pm when I finished.

Since I did not sleep well, I would go and take a bath and probably do a facial mask on bed.

October 13, 2010. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Media diary 2: Hate Technology

Every morning I have to fight with myself to get up. At 8:30am after my clock ringed three times, I dragged myself off bed. As usual, I turned on my computer as the first minute. After checking my MSN, QQ messages and E-mail. I talked to my parents for 20 minutes through QQ. They told me about a wedding of one of our neighbors I grow up with. He is like a brother tome. My mother complained about me being single again. In China, when girls reach almost mid-twenty, parents would expect us to get ready for marriage, or at least in a stable relationship. Ha-ha… When my mum started, I knew what was coming. So I told her I had to go to library to study and she set me free. It was already 9:30am when I was on RTS bus. On the bus, I looked at the ads on the top. There are plenty of advertisements, like runways bus to airport, animal protection and some advice about security issues taking the bus.  10:20am, I planned to directly go to sixth floor of library west after grabbing a cup of coffee. The sixth floor of library is for graduate students’ use, we need to have our cards activated before use which I already did at the beginning of semester. But I still got stuck in the elevator and it just would move. So I had to go to front desk and activated it again. The student in front desk said sometimes it happened. Finally, I have my laptop and papers set at 10:40am. Usually, before I actually get my work done, I would watch an episode of detective show or play some games. Today, I played Solitaire for two rounds.

 From 11am to 3pm. I was dedicated in the presentation I would make tomorrow in one of my class and made power point. During this period, I checked E-mail for two times and replied text messages from my friends. I do not know why I checked my E-mail once a while as long as I had access to it. Just could not help.  When I almost got everything done, here came the part made me hate technology again. My Microsoft software broke down. All of my Word and PowerPoint files could not be edited anymore. I was so concerned that all work I had done during the weekend and Monday would lose. Since I was not a technology person and I was starving, I decided to go home and eat first. On my way back home, I called my friend Guannan in Tennessee and complained about my situation. Though it did not solve any problems actually, but I felt much better then. 4pm I got home and had Chinese food I bought from a store, then took a short nap. 6pm, I got up and my roommate Sijia had Mircrosoft software which I can borrow. It cheered me up only for a while. Just a while. The technology depressed me once again when I was installing. I guess I just simply could not get along with technology. My friends always make fun of me because I could not handle Mac and iphone. I do not want one machine has some many functions. I have my camera when I need it. How old-fashioned I am! When I almost got cracy, the software was successfully installed. It was already 8:30pm. I watched two episodes of The Big Bang Theory to change the mood. I decided to get my interview guide homework done at 9:50pm. Since it was not hard and I had it done in 40 minutes. Then, I turned on my QQ music. With the music on, I took a shower and brushed my teeth, and checked my E-mail for another time. At 11pm, after I checked my Facebook page,Xiaonei page (Chinese version of Facebook),  MSN, QQ, and Microblog (a Chinese website functions like Twitter), I decided to go to bed early. Tomorrow would be a long day, too! Good dream to myself!

 (Microblog)

October 12, 2010. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Media diary 1: Productive Sunday

I got up very early at 8 o’clock this morning since I slept too much on Saturday.  I opened my laptop at the moment I got off bed. Ever since I came to the United States 4 years ago, I could hardly have a day without my PC. Turning it on is almost the first thing I would do in the morning. When it was processing to start, I brushed my teeth and washed my face. Then, I logged on my QQ. It is chatting software like MSN but it is domestic software in China. I keep in touch with my family and most of my friends through it. My mum leaves me message almost every day and makes me updated about what is happening in my family. I feel so close to home whenever I saw her messages. After replying my mother’s message, one of my best friends Jun invited me to talk on QQ. He is having a rough time recently because his girlfriend broke up with him after he lost his job. I tried to encourage him and cheer him up. I think he would get over it. When he was talking, I checked my E-mail very quick in case there was anything urgent.  Time flies! Three hours passed after our long conversation.

At about 11 o’clock, I started cooking and made some vegetables for lunch, listening to my MP3. I probably should get iPod but I really like my old MP3 since it was a birthday gift from one of my best friends. When the lunch was done, my two roommates and I ate together. We hadn’t had lunch together for a long time since everyone was busying at this time of semester. It was really great time for us three, eating and talking what happening the whole week. Nearly 1pm after lunch and I went back to my room and started to watch my favorite American show online, CSI-LV. Watching this kind of show gets my brain to work.  After one episode, I got down to work and read papers we were going to discuss in a class. Since I am the facilitator in the class this week, everyone in that class sent me their questions about this week’s reading. I left my E-mail on and there were more than ten coming from my classmates. Reading the papers and preparing for the class discussion took me about four hours. I did not come out my room until 5pm. When I was tired about reading paper, listening to music for 5 minutes would give me a break.

My best friends in undergraduate, Sophia called at about 5:20pm from Tennessee. We gossiped about our mutual friend Nan’s new date for a while. Ha-ha… She said they were ready for fall break in University of Tennessee. I wonder why we do not have fall break in Gator Nation. Is that because we have such a long summer and barely have autumn here?  ^_^

One of my roommates made us fish for dinner and it was delicious. We went out for a walking since we were too full. After we got home at 7:30pm, I took two more hours to read my papers. It is the most frequent thing I would do in my school life since I was in graduate school. Then, I told myself it was already a very productive Sunday and I could do something fun. I started surfing online. I went to official website of body shop and bought some eye cream and moisturizers. My mother kept reminding me of using eye cream to keep me from aging. We Asian women are so afraid of wrinkles.  Ha-ha… Time goes faster when surfing randomly than doing homework. At 11:30pm, I played online poker for a few rounds. It is a local way of playing in my hometown, Shandong Province. Only people from our province play. It is so fun and I am really good at it. After kicking people’s ass, I found it was already 12:30am. I opened a word file for my first day of media diary. Here I am, at 1:20am. Bed time! See you tomorrow!

October 11, 2010. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

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