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November 23, 2009

Online community

Filed under: internet,online community,technology — smalleyesftw @ 5:00 am
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According to Ed Technology Glossary of Terms, online community is defined as a meeting place on the Internet for people who share common interests and needs. Online communities can be open to all or be limited to membership only and may or may not be moderated.

Being a fan of Korean Pop music, I myself is a member of several forums. Being part of these forums, I can get the latest information of the artist and communicate with people who have the same interest as me. Besides forums, the more popular online community would be Habbo Hotel and Second Life.

Second Life is a free 3D virtual world where users can socialize, connect and create using free voice and text chat. Second Life allows you to create a virtual version of you, and it allows you to explore the place, meet people, go shopping and settle down by buying virtual land and build dream house. Basically at Second Life, it allows one to live a life with no boundaries. Everything is achievable with the power of imagination.

Several people use Second Life for fun, to interact with other people. Others make a living by using Second Life. For example, Jennifer Grinnell is a furniture delivery dispatcher in real life but in Second Life, she is a fashion designer owning a shop called Mischief. Her shop creates digital clothes and skins, both allowing Second Life users to customise their avatars. A month after setting up the shop, she realises she was earning more money than her real job. Three months later, she finds out that her income online is sufficient enough to allow her to quit her day job. More and more people are using Second Life as the main source of income. (Read more here)

I think it is cool that people can make a living using Second Life, especially if the person is enjoying the job. Second Life also allows people to find people who share similar interests with groups set up. For instance in the US Presidential Election in 2008, supporters of Barack Obama could come together to attend rallies without leaving the comfort of their house.

Another popular online community would be Habbo Hotel. Similar to Second Life, Habbo allows interaction between people. However the average age users for Habbo is 15 years old whereas for Second Life, users have to be 18 years old and above. However a more secure version of second life is made available for teens between the age of 13-17, called Teen Second Life. With online community, people from all over the world can communicate with each other and make new friends. People with similar interest can meet virtually to discuss content they are passionate about. Whatever the technology made available, there are bound to be advantages and disadvantages present.

Posted by Crispin Butteriss – http://www.onlinecommunityconsultation.com/2008/11/advantages-disadvantages-of-online.html

Advantages Disadvantages
Flexibility: accessible 24×7, any place as long as you have an internet connection Text-based: Predominantly relies on inputting text which can be challenging for those who don’t like to write or have poor keyboard skills, but with the advance of broadband connectivity and voice and video conference technology — this will be less of an issue.
Levelling: reserved people who usually don’t speak up can say as much as they like while “loud” people are just another voice and can’t interrupt No physical cues: without facial expressions and gestures or the ability to retract immediately there’s a big risk of misunderstanding
Documented: unlike verbal conversation, online discussion is lasting and can be revisited Information overload: a large volume of messages can be overwhelming and hard to follow, even stress-inducing
Encourages reflection: participants don’t have to contribute until they’ve thought about the issue and feel ready Threads: logical sequence of discussion is often broken by users not sticking to the topic (thread)
Relevance: provides a place for real life examples and experience to be exchanged Time lag: even if you log on daily, 24 hours can seem like a long time if you’re waiting for a reply; and then the discussion could have moved on and left you behind
Choice: a quick question or comment, or a long reflective account are equally possible Inefficient: it takes longer than verbal conversation and so it’s hard to reply to all the points in a message, easily leaving questions unanswered
Community: over time can develop into a supportive, stimulating community which participants come to regard as the high point of their course Isolation: some learners prefer to learn on their own and don’t participate in the discussions
Limitless: you can never predict where the discussion will go; the unexpected often results in increased incidental learning Directionless: participants used to having a teacher or instructor telling them what to do can find it a leaderless environment (and that’s where tutors come in

Ultimately, I believe in the advantages online community have to offer rather than the disadvantages. What about you? 🙂


November 22, 2009

Future of advertising

The 30 seconds commercials seen on tv or the printed page on newspaper enticing you to buy hand phones. Those are advertisements you see daily. Companies want to advertise these products, where the call to action is to buy the products/services. According to dictionary.com, advertising is defined as, the act or practice of calling public attention to one’s product, service, need, etc., esp. by paid announcements in newspapers and magazines, over radio or television, on billboards, etc.: to get more customers by advertising.

In the past, the main and most common advertising platforms were newspaper, magazines, radio and television. These platforms are also known as traditional advertising. However there is a shift from traditional advertising to online advertising, mobile advertising and even product placement as part of advertising. We all know about online advertising, and it is visible on social media sites like facebook, twitter and habbo. There is also the annoying advertisement banners and pop-ups. It has become like the normal advertisements seen on television/newspapers that we start to tune it out.

However, the power of mobile advertising should not be underestimated. Some example of mobile advertisements are SMS/MMS advertising and WAP banner advertisements. To me these advertisements are annoying as I feel it is intrusive, the fact that these advertisements are shoved into my face. Now, I tune out advertisement received through sms/mms. However with technology changing, new and more effective mobile advertising could take place using location-based mobile advertising.

Imagine you are walking around the shopping malls in town, on a shopping trip. Suddenly you receive sms advertisement informing you about a sale going on a few metres from your location. That is just perfect! Essentially, mobile advertising is about delivering content that is relevant to the consumer and the location of the consumer. Relevant information will not be tuned out and sometimes, consumers might even appreciate the information given.

With web phones on the rise, location based mobile advertising could be made easier. One example would be iPhone’s Google-powered Maps application, where a sponsored link would appear. So for example when you search KFC on the google maps, a sponsored link will appear; an advertisement for KFC location near you. Should location based mobile advertising be fully utilised,a prediction by The Kelsey Group (a market research firm) that the mobile advertising market will balloon to $3.1 billion in 2013 with the rise of Web phones might just come true.

The main issue with advertisements now is that people tune it out because they are so used to it, or it is not of relevance to them. Since people always have their phones with them 24/7, I think we will see more of location-based mobile adverting in the future. Or advertisers could turn to quirky ways to attract attention for their advertisements? :p

Video advertisements on the armpits o:

November 8, 2009

Augmented reality

Filed under: augmented reality,technology — smalleyesftw @ 2:36 pm
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What is augmented reality?

According to Webopedia, Abbreviated as AR, Augmented Reality is a type of virtual reality that aims to duplicate the world’s environment in a computer. An augmented reality system generates a composite view for the user that is the combination of the real scene viewed by the user and a virtual scene generated by the computer that augments the scene with additional information. The virtual scene generated by the computer is designed to enhance the user’s sensory perception of the virtual world they are seeing or interacting with. The goal of Augmented Reality is to create a system in which the user cannot tell the difference between the real world and the virtual augmentation of it. Today Augmented Reality is used in entertainment, military training, engineering design, robotics, manufacturing and other industries.

I think augmented reality is cool, combining reality and virtual world into one. I am amazed at how augmented reality is used. Augmented reality can be used in games, and it makes gaming more interactive; involving actual movements. I have this perception that gamers are lazy people who do not move and just sit on the couch and play games 24/7. Ultimately, they are unhealthy couch potatos. This perception is true actually! In the US, it has been found that adults aged 35 years and above are more vulnerable to health issues by leading a lifestyle that just involves gaming.

As hypothesized, health-risk factors – specifically, a higher BMI and a greater number of poor mental-health days – differentiated adult video-game players from nonplayers. Video-game players also reported lower extraversion, consistent with research on adolescents that linked video-game playing to a sedentary lifestyle and overweight status, and to mental-health concerns.

However with augmented reality, playing games can even give one some exercise! Instead of just sitting down in front of the computer or television to play games while eating snacks, with augmented reality, greater interaction can be expected from players. This can be seen with the world’s first augmented reality game, which is really awesome! I would consider getting it for myself or even my game-addicted cousin, allowing him to get some fresh air.

Not only can augmented reality be used for games, it can be a new tool for tourism too. It can bring sightseeing to a whole new level. With augemented reality, experiencing the past in the present can be made possible. The video below features Augmented Reality GPS Tour, allowing one to learn history of a certain place in a country while sightseeing. It brings history back to life literally. I think this invention is awesome, allowing you to explore a certain place at your own time and pace without the need of a tour guide/tour book while sightseeing.

Augmented reality can be used on hand phones too. In the Netherlands, an application called Layar can be downloaded. It can gather information about a certain place using the camera on the phone and GPS. For example you face the phone towards a certain restaurant, information about it will appear on the phone’s screen. You can even tell if the restaurant in hiring!

In August 2009, some iPhone users were surprised to find an augmented-reality “easter egg” hidden within the Yelp application. Yelp is known for its user reviews of restaurants and other businesses, but its hidden augmented-reality component, called Monocle, takes things one step further. Just start up the Yelp app, shake your iPhone 3GS three times and Monocle activates. Using your phone’s GPS and compass, Monocle will display information about local restaurants, including ratings and reviews, on your cell phone screen. You can touch one of the listings to find out more about a particular restaurant. Read more here

I think augmented reality is one of the best thing on earth. It blurs the line between reality and virtual by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and smell. More importantly, how augmented reality can be used to make things better and improving a certain experience. With augmented reality, gaming can be made more interactive, sightseeing can be made more interesting by presenting it in a fresher way and information can be attained faster and easier.

October 30, 2009


Filed under: internet,school,twitter — smalleyesftw @ 1:46 pm


TGIF! Me and carissa was talking about Pokemon, out of the blue and we decided to youtube pokemon videos. We relived our childhood memories by saying memorable lines from the show! While watching, we were tweeting about pokemon and our tweet was re-tweeted by Pokemon Bot! That is so hilarious! But hey, our tweets got re-tweet 🙂

October 29, 2009

Facebook – good vs bad

Filed under: facebook,internet,technology — smalleyesftw @ 4:14 pm
Tags: , ,

Facebook. I am sure you have heard of it and most of your friends have a Facebook account. However, do you know the main purpose of Facebook? Did you create an account just because everyone was doing it?

As stated on facebook.com, their ultimate purpose – facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life. This can be seen from the various tools available on Facebook allowing you to connect by writing on a friend’s wall, viewing and commenting on pictures uploaded by a friend and many more. Undeniably, Facebook helps you connect with exisiting friends or old friends. With facebook, you can even make new friends, those who have similar interest with you. This can be done by joining groups or becoming a fan of a certain page. With facebook you can widen your connection and/or group of friends.

Facebook can also be used to promote a business/brand by using groups or page. The difference between group and page:

Page Group
Will appear on search engine result Will not appear on search engine result
Check visitor statistics Not able to check statistics, but communication is more personal to a certain extent (notifications sent to email)
Connect with the fans without having to add them on facebook Connect with people in the same group through discussions

Both page and group features on Facebook have its own advantage and disadvantage, but ultimately it depends on the business/brand preference and use. If a business wants to have a rough gauge of the number of people who favour their products/services, setting up a page will be better since visitor statistics can be checked. Recent updates of products/services offered can also be made available on a page. On the other hand, if a business/brand wants to have a discussion over a new product, setting up a group will be better.

Despite all the advantages facebook have to offer, there are disadvantages to it too. How many of you have been guilty of looking for information of a new friend through facebook? Maybe some of us are embarrassed to admit it, but I know a handful of people who do so, including myself. With information made readily available, all you have to do is just type in the person’s name on facebook and you can view his/her profile. In some ways, it has made society more stalkerish.

Even employers view your profile, to check if they should or should not hire you.

According to a June 2009 CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,600 hiring managers, almost half (forty-five percent) of employers reported that they used social networking sites to screen potential employees during background checks, twice as many as the 22 percent who viewed social networking sites in 2008. In addition, eleven percent of employers planned to start using social networking sites during the background check process.

Also according to the survey, some of the information that might kill your chances of getting a job would be;

  • Posting of provocative photographs or information
  • Posting of content about drinking or using drugs
  • Bad-mouthing previous employer, co-workers, or clients
  • Displaying poor communication skills

With technology, any information about you found online could be used against you. So make sure you clean your facebook profile! All in all, I think Facebook is an excellent tool to connect with exisitng or new friends and re-connect with old friends. However, one have to ensure that not every single information about oneself is made availble online since people can track you down and form judgements too early. And for Facebook addicts, do not annoy your friends like the people in the video! :p

  • Showing poor communication skills (29 percent)
  • Making discriminatory comments (26 percent)
  • Lying about qualifications (24 percent)
  • Sharing confidential information from previous employer (20 percent)

October 26, 2009

First week back at school

Filed under: minority report,technology — smalleyesftw @ 3:17 am

First week of school passed by quickly. Only 5 more weeks to go!

Anyway last wednesday in nct class, I watched minority report. The movie was good and I feel like watching the whole movie instead of just parts of the movie. The story is about how in the year 2054, the future can be seen by the “pre-cogs” (psychic having the ability to see visions of murders), and the guilty party who committed crime will be punished before the crime has ever been committed.

The show was pretty interesting, not only because of the plot but also due to the technology used in the year 2054. There is something called iris recognition scanner, where people can be identified easily just by scanning their eyes. 3-D Holograms also exist, where it makes people appear as if he/she is standing right in front. It is pretty cool, as if your memory comes alive and you can interact with it.

The pre-crime department is set-up to prevent murders from taking place, and in the movie, Washington has been murder-free for six years. It seems as if humans want to create a better society, a perfect one that does not exist yet which is called utopia. However, I think it is impossible to create utopia, a perfect society, when nothing can ever be perfect. Sometimes when human try so hard to make something perfect, only the opposite happens. In the case of this move, it is a dystopia.

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