Kolton's ideas, thoughts and opinions

20 Mar

New Communication Technology’s Impact on Sports Reporting

19 Mar

Field Work #2

In this phase I did the interviews and took photographs. One problem I ran into was that all the cameras were checked out at Anderson Library on one of the days of my interviews so even though I needed it for the video portion of the project I was unable to get video footage of the interview. Another difficulty I am running into is taking the 15 photographs. I’m having a hard time coming up with 15 ideas for photos especially at this time of the year (in between basketball and baseball season) where there are next to no sporting events going on within a 30 mile radius.

19 Mar

Field Work #1

The first step of my field work was organizing my thoughts and setting up interviews. Setting up the interviews was the most difficult process for me, not just because you can’t always fit into other peoples’ schedules, but also because I don’t have a working camera on my phone so not only do I have to make sure I can make the interview, but I also have to make sure I will be able to secure a camera at the time of the interview and that adds another layer to the project. It was pretty easy for me to decide on my topic of “What impact does NCT have on sports reporting?”.

19 Mar

The internet is not making us stupid

For class this week we looked at a couple of articles that argued for and against the concept that the internet is making us stupid. In my personal opinion I think this is one of the most, if not the most, ludicrous claims someone can make. Arguing that the internet makes us stupid would be like people in the early industrial revolution arguing that books were making them stupid. Or like people in the late 1800s arguing that radio made people stupid. Or like people arguing that television makes people stupid. The thing is that the number one way for people to continue to learn and grow intellectually is to learn and build on what was taught in the past. That’s why all these resources have only improved intelligence as people have grown up. Just think that a couple hundred years ago nobody knew what germs were, and now we are finding cures to some of the worlds’ deadliest diseases. To argue that the internet is making people stupid is foolish.

12 Feb

Facebook’s impact on loneliness

The articles Facebook Isn’t Making Us Lonely by Eric Klinenberg and Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? By Stephen Marche both attack the same concept, except from different angles. Both articles ultimately are trying to answer the question of whether or not social medias make us more or less lonely.

The article by Eric Klinenberg argues that Facebook defitnely does not make people lonely. He argues the opposite, actually taking apart lines from Marche’s arguments and breaking down why he believed they were not true. My favorite argument that Klinenberg makes is that social media is a “supplement, not a surrogate for our social lives”. This rings true with me in the sense that things like facebook and snapchat have not replaced day to day interaction. I’d much rather hang out with my friends rather than talk to them all in a group chat, but most of the time people are too busy or too far away to do these things so they have to supplement face to face interaction with talking on social media.

Stephen Marche argues that social media is making people lonelier, going as far as to say that “We live in an accelerating contradiction: The more connected we become, the lonelier we are.” Marche starts out the article by talking about a death of a former playmate and how she went viral because she exemplified loneliness. To me, Mache’s argument starts to fall apart when he tries to bring up statistics and numbers because he says things like marriage can or can’t affect your loneliness, living alone can or can affect your loneliness and other things like that. So many of his arguments were ambivalent it was tough to believe the whole thing.

In my opinion Klinenberg’s argument held more true, but I do think that it is easier to piece-by-piece break down an argument rather than build one from scratch like Marche did. In my opinion I do not think facebook is making us lonely, it only amplifies human behavior. Meaning lonely people will be lonely with or without facebook and the same applies for those who are not lonely.

12 Feb

Future of Reputation

The article the “Future of Reputation” touches on how the internet has impacted how reputation can be seen even before a first impression. The article focuses on a couple instances, most specifically dog-poop girl, where a person receives massive public shaming due to an instance that gets blown out of proportion and can receive thousands of views.

In the situation of dog-poop girl a girl on a train in Asia who was carrying her dog let her dog poop on the train and even though other train-riders asked the girl to clean up the poop the girl refused to clean it up. It was then one of the passengers took a photo of the girl to a popular asian blog, quickly becoming mainstream news. It was at this time where this dog-poop girl became famous for breaking a social norm. This is massive enforcement of breaking a social norm may not be a bad thing, but it’s also not necessarily good that this girl can be remembered for the rest of her life for breaking a social norm. It was at this point the dog-poop girl was having a hard time getting through life. Everywhere she went, job she applied for for and social interaction the girl was recognized as dog-poop girl.

This Daniel J. Solove argues is the future of reputation. With things like social media sites and viral videos people can develop a first impression, a reputation, before they even meet. This can affect all things including employment moving forward.

06 Feb

NCT: Twitter and Tear Gas

The first chapter in the book Twitter and Tear Gas by Zeynep Tufekci essentially breaks down how fast the world of communication is changing around us and how that affects our day-to-day interactions with the media and also with each other. He uses this to connect new communication technologies to community, self worth and social issues. He achieves that by comparing new communication technologies to older communication like newspapers and radios and by looking at examples of how new communication technologies affected protests, attacks and world news coverage.

The book opens up by talking about the author’s grandma who was born during the first World War and how starkly different the way that she grew up was. The grandma didn’t even know what her birthday was, something almost unfathomable in today’s society. The author also went on to talk about how because of this way of growing up, and this initial interaction with communication technology the grandma valued certain things way more than people of the new generations do. The author cited one newspaper article that they made it in, something the grandma cherished, something that almost made her cry just thinking about it and he didn’t get it.

When you compare things that used to be big deals in older times, like making your local newspaper, compared to what is valued in New Communication technology today it almost seems apples to oranges. When people have facebook, twitter and Instagram accounts that can get hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people following every single one of their posts could get them the notoriety, the sense of self worth, people used to receive in the newspaper.

While this may sound bad to someone like me who may be heading into the newspaper business, it can also be a positive. The author also points out that in this new system a creator has more individual control than ever before. Through the internet creators can cut out or minimize the impact of larger corporations, but still get their message out there and maybe more importantly creators are able to build their own brand without having to rely on the big money investments needed for television or radio.

The other thing this chapter talks about is how these new communication technologies have shrunk the world. Now all it takes to video chat with a person from across the world all you need is a solid internet connection and a smart-phone. This tech along with things like email have made it where no distance can separate people and this has made a fairly large impact on language as now there are less and less dialects as the world shrinks. This process can be called unification.

This shrinking of the world has also increased the rate at which the world progresses. In the 1600’-1990’s most of the information that was shared (architecture, science etc..) was done so through newspapers so it would take time for the information to be shared across the world. Now the world’s smartest minds are actively working together, bouncing ideas and honestly copying each others ideas at such a rate that it is increasing the speed at which stuff, like new communication technologies, are progressing.

This shrinking of the world has also created an increased sense and care of issues around the world. Earlier people could only find out about world issues was if their local newspaper or TV station covered the issue. Now anyone with a smartphone can document what’s going on (protest, terror attack) they can share it instantly and share it globally on things like Twitter. This is where the author thinks the internet and new communication technologies can make its’ biggest impact.

As the author focuses on this impact of new communication technologies he also looks at how they can also give people a sense of hope, belonging and community. And this is why we share these things online and why we are so willing to try to get involved when we see stuff like riots, protests or anything on social media.

One other thing that Zeynep Tufekci compares in this first chapter is how new communication technologies differently impacts certain nations. We covered how it can be positive and negative for those in countries with free speech like the USA, but in countries where the government tries to control its’ people new communication technologies have proved to be big problems. New communication technologies provide a voice to those that governments want voiceless and this is a problem that has gotten much larger since the development of the internet.

29 Jan

Love Online and It takes a village to find a phone review

Love Online

Henry Jenkins’ article Love Online takes a deep look at his son’s online relationship. The article was written in 2002 so I feel like it delves into a lot of stigmas and problems that are no longer true when it comes to online dating.

First, Jenkins talked about some of the problems his son had with connection. For example, he talks about the first time his son and his girlfriend confessed their love for each other. During this first confession, his son’s internet disconnected causing an awkward interaction between the two. This is an issue that is not nearly as big of a problem in today’s internet space.

In today’s day and age, I feel like there isn’t as much of a negative stigma around online dating. If someone told me they met their girlfriend or boyfriend on Tinder, eharmony or anything of the sorts I, and most of the people I know, would not judge that relationship any differently. However, I do feel that long-distance online relationships are met with more superstition in today’s age because of TV shows like Cat Fish and high profile cases like Manti Teo.

It Takes a Village to Find a Phone

The story ‘It Takes a Village to Find a Phone’ is about a woman, Ivanna, who lost her phone on a taxi cab in New York City. The phone that Ivanna lost was a smart phone that contained very important information so she contacted a fried, Evan, to send an email to the phone offering a reward. After a couple days no one responded to the email and Ivanna was forced to buy a new phone. Upon purchasing the new phone her old phone’s data was wirelessly synced to the new phone. During this process Ivanna saw pictures of somebody who appeared to have her old phone. Along with the pictures Ivanna got the name and email of the girl. Despite asking nicely to get the phone back the person was not willing so Ivanna’s friend Evan put the girl who refused to return the phone on blast on his website. The post gained traction and eventually it seemed like Evan had gotten the entirety of New York City on his side. In the end Sasha was confronted by the police and forced to return the phone.

This story really shows the power of communication and more specifically online communication. Without the internet Evan and Ivanna were powerless in retrieving the phone because Ivanna had already filed a lost claim and there was practically nothing else she could do. The internet and websites like Digg came together and provided assistance. Eventually the internet audience turned on the NYPD forcing them to make a move and assist. Without the power of communication or the power of the internet Ivanna would not have been able to get her phone back and that power has only gotten stronger over the past 11 years. Now, especially with websites like Kickstarter and Patreon that allow large groups of people to support causes financially and benefit those who normally would not be able to gain financial independence from things like publishers and manufacturers that had traditionally been needed. This makes me think that there have been so many stories like the one in It Takes a Village to Find a Phone that the internet has helped out someone who just 30 years ago would have been helpless.

Discussion Questions

 

  • Provide a brief overview of each article

 

      1. Village to find a phone- lost phone, set up blog that put pressure on NYPD and they ended up recovering stolen phone
      2. Love Online- Father explores online relationship between son and girlfriend that he meets for the first time in person and wonders if it is any different than meeting someone for the first time

 

  • How does new technology enable a new kind of group-formation?

 

      1. It enables people to communicate with people who, in years past, they would not have been able to communicate with each other

 

  • On page 17, Clay Shirky refers to Tim O’Reilly’s concept of “architecture if participation.” What does that mean in the context of these two articles.

 

      1. The transfer of these capabilities from various professional classes to the general public is epochal

 

  • “When we change the way we communicate, we change society.” Discuss this statement by making reference to the contents of the two articles.

 

      1. Love Online- internet has led to the change of social norms such as how we date, communicate, what’s acceptable, who we communicate with and how many people we can communicate with
      2. Village to find a phone- Articulates how the internet can give power to those who would have otherwise been powerless.

 

  • After reading these two articles, what do you think motivates people to share information? What is the source of trust, for example, when sharing information on an online dating site? What makes people take the risk?

 

      1. Love Online shows that people are willing to put a lot of information on the internet in order to find companionship. For example in the town that I grew up in there were only 60 people in my high school class. So if half of those are girls and half are boys, and you assume there will already be 10 or so couples that left only around 20 or so girls my age from my hometown that I could get companionship with. But with things like facebook and text you were able to contact people you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to contact with. People are willing to put themselves out there because I feel sometimes they think it is the only option.
      2. I think It Takes a Village to Find a Phone is more of a risk versus reward situation. In that story the girl lost her phone, which is already expensive, but it also had important information on it that she needed. So I think in this case the girl felt that the reward of getting her phone back outweighed the risk of people stealing her information off the internet.

 

  • What are the most important lessons you have learned from these two articles about communication technologies and their effect on our society?
    1. I think my biggest takeaways from these articles is just grasping how much more powerful NCT have become since the pieces were written. When you think of Love Online, at this point, in the day and age of eHarmony, Tinder and all other dating sites people no longer bat an eye at online relationships. However I do think that since the time of this article there has been an increased stigma on long distance relationships because of shows like Catfish and high profile cases of catfishing like Manti Teo. And in the case of It Takes a Village to Find a Phone I don’t think this would even be a story anymore. If you look at things like Patreon and Kickstarter people help out others on the internet all the time so I don’t think this story would have been as big of a deal if it happened today, but that is a good thing.

 

10 Oct

Parking Continues to Dominant Common Council

A crowd of people showed up to Whitewater’s Oct. 3 common council meeting to protest an ordinance that would allow the city to rescind the status of landmarks, but it was the university’s parking changes that made the most noise.

For the second common council meeting in a row it was the University of Wisconsin Whitewater’s decision to remove parking meters on the city owned Prince and Prairie Streets that was the main focus of the meeting. Chancellor Beverly Kopper, Vice Chancellor of Administrative Affairs Grace Crickett and Police Services Chief Matthew Kiederlen were all in attendance to defend the university’s decision.

Kopper made a short statement to the council to introduce the university’s defense to the changes, but most of the talking was done by Kiederlen.

The University of Wisconsin Whitewater and the city of Whitewater signed a Memorandum of Understanding in June 2012, that stated the university could charge for parking on the two streets and in exchange they paid the city $40,000 per year. Members of the council, especially Ald. James Allen, have called the parking enforcement a “double taxation” with the university charging patrons to park on city streets.

Over the summer the university switched the parking stalls on the two streets from meter parking to pass parking. The council questioned whether or not the university was allowed to make these changes without consulting the city first.

Kiederlen read the MOU during the council meeting to argue that the university did have the right.

“The city will not be responsible for any parking enforcement for the university-leased spaces,” Kiederlen said. “We decided that we could make these changes.”

Ald. Stephanie Goettl (District 5) said the biggest problem with the new changes is the lack of handicap parking on the two streets. Under current law if a vehicle has a disability license plate they are allowed to use meter parking without fear of being ticketed, but since the removal of the meters there are significantly fewer handicapped stalls available. In a school like UW-Whitewater that is so focused on being handicap accessible it’s an odd change to make.

Kopper, Kiederlen and Crickett also defended the university’s decision to raise all parking prices. The price of parking tickets, day passes and the yearly pass all went up for the 2017 fall semester. Goettl said it was an “unreasonable” increase. The university argued that all these changes were made to make parking more self-sustaining.

“Parking needs to be self-sustaining.” Crickett said.  “Even prior to me coming here – I’ve been here two months – the campus was working on moving to a self-sustaining model so we can direct resources to student success, to student housing, to other infrastructure.”

Goettl also asked the university trio if the increase to the ticket prices was needed. Later she asked what the expected impact of the increased tickets would be and what the university expected to make in parking ticket revenue.

“In a perfect world we don’t look at fines as a revenue source.” Kiederlen responded. “In a perfect parking situation we would never even have to ticket.”

The council brought up other problems that have raised since the changes have gone into effect. Such as neighboring streets and the lot at Starin Park being constantly filled now to decreased spaces.

“Maybe it’s coincidental, but Franklin Street used to have almost no university parking on it,” Ald. Lynn Binnie (District 4) said. “Now, probably a third of that street is routinely parked on. Even more than that, the lot in Starin Park adjacent to Starin Road is filled, or very close to filled.”

The university did not have an answer to the parking problems on the neighboring streets. The university also stated they would negotiate a new MOU with the city, or, if the city wanted to, they would give parking regulation on Prince and Prairie Street back to the city.

Landmarks

The other major point of the council meeting was the ordinance that allowed the City of Whitewater to rescind the status of a landmark for any reason. The ordinance died on the floor because it did not have a second council back the measure.

The ordinance, proposed by Ald. Chris Grady (District 3), met backlash as a crowd of about 20 Whitewater citizens stood outside of the Municipal Building holding signs saying things like “save our landmarks” and “what’s wrong with landmarks”. The crowd piled into the council meeting and left happy as the ordinance did not receive a second backer.

Grady made his case, stating that people had been “misinformed” when it came to the ordinance. He stated that the goal was to make sure the city of Whitewater would not be forced to pay for the replacement of a landmark if for some reason it was destroyed.

Goettl refuted Grady’s point saying that if this was the goal of the ordinance he needs to change the wording and make it state that the city could only rescind the landmark status in case of a disaster.

Most of those protesting the new ordinance left the meeting after it did not receive a second backer.

Budget

During the council meeting City Manager Cameron Clapper went through his proposed changes to the city budget.

The proposed budget is at $9,174,846 which is about $30,000 less than 2017. Internal revenues and taxes account for 87 percent of revenues. Administration and public safety account for 53 percent of expenditures.

City transfers have been reduced by about $50,000. This will effect things like the city cable station, parking permit fees, trail funds and state parks. The city of Whitewater receives extra shared revenue from the state of Wisconsin because of the power plant in town, but those extra funds are being reduced each year as the plant reduces in value, the city will receive $40,000 less in 2018 than it did in 2017 due to this depreciation.

The cities transportation budget has also been reduced.

The city will give its employees a 1.5 percent wage increase, but they will require city employees to pay a higher percentage of their health insurance. In 2017 employees paid 12 percent and that will increase to 15 percent.

The budget also calls for Whitewater to hire its human resources coordinator full-time instead of part-time. Even though the budget is lower than last year Clapper reminded its citizens that Whitewater’s property taxes are the lowest in the area of cities of comparable size.

The city also proposed a contract with a financial advisory service that would help the city plan long term.

This was just a proposed budget by Clapper and discussions will continue at the next couple council meetings.

In other news, during the open session Whitewater citizen and former UW-Whitewater professor Pam Zarinnia made a case that the crosswalk on Main Street in front of Anderson Library needs to be addressed. Zarinnia reminded the council that a student was killed on that crosswalk not too long ago, and she argued that the pedestrian crossing does not provide enough safety.

“We’re going to have another dead person not very long in the future.” Zarinnia said.

Zarinnia had a backer in Goettl who brought up the point that she was in a car accident at that cross walk because a car did not stop for a pedestrian. No action was able to be taken because this topic was not on the agenda. I have been told by multiple people that a person was hit in that crosswalk since Tuesday’s meeting, but was unable to confirm whether or not this was true.

07 Oct

Project Topic

 

I would like to take a look at how New Communication Technologies spreads political ideas. I think it would be fun to look at how and why things like gay marriage, legalization, and gun sales have grown in popularity with the growth of social media. I think it would also be fun to look at why people on both sides think that New Communication Tech helps their party and hurts the other party. I would like to interview both students and political science professors and see what they think about the topic. I am struggling on what I would use for photographs. I know I could get photos of meetings of the school democrats and republicans and photos of the professors that I interview, but other than that I am not sure what I would photograph. I could probably try and take photos of things like students on facebook political pages, but I’m not sure how I would do that without posing the picture.

 

Possible Sources

Professor- Eric Loepp is Political science professor who is relatively young. He could give his thoughts on the shift or changes caused by NCT.

Professor- Kate Ksobiech is a Health Communications professor here. Ksobiech works in the health communications department so she is not only aware on one of the biggest political debates at the moment, health care, but she is well versed in the role communication plays in it.

Group- UW-W College Republicans- I’ll contact try to meet leader

Group- UW-W College Democrats- Meet leader – I think it would be awesome to do an individual interview with the leader of both of the major political groups here on campus and see how they each think NCT is affecting the viewpoints of their fellow students.

I would like to interview a few regular students to get the perspective of an average Joe and how they think NCT is changing perceptions.

I would also like to try and interview a campaign leader for a large local campaign. I’m not sure if it is possible, but I will try to message via Twitter and email the campaign leader for a campaign like Tom Barrett and see how they tried to use NCT to increase their influence and reach.

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