Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Internet: Good or Bad for a Democracy?

The emergence of the Internet has been accompanied by both negative and positive reactions in terms of its ability to create a democracy. On one hand, Barlow calls for the Internet to be a government-free space in ‘A Declaration of … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 5 Comments

Digital Activism, Repressed

In repressive regimes, authorities have always sought to silence any opposition in any form.  As Simon Columbus discusses in “The New Casualties: Prisons and Persecution,” the Internet has provided activists with a new platform to voice such opposition, and hence, … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 3 Comments

Online Activity and Civic Engagement Offline

Research regarding the role of SNS/Internet use within the political realm is primarily concerned with whether or not online activity can effectively promote offline activism. The researches we discussed this week made a number of contributions to this effort. However, … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A Mind of Our Own

Realizing the Social Internet? Online Social Networking Meets Offline Civic Engagement by Pasek, More, and Romer is a study about social networking sites (SNSs) and how they help or hurt users social capital.  Looking specifically at MySpace and Facebook and … Continue reading

Posted in Week 5 | 5 Comments

The World of Instant Information

From the finger-print unlocking iPhone 5S to amazing new tablet computers, our world is becoming ever more digital.  With technology expanding into the mobile sphere, more and more people are beginning to utilize the Internet on a wide variety of … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 4 Comments

Digital Campaigning Platforms

In Measuring the Success of Digital Campaigns, David Karpf acknowledges that there are many more sites available on the Internet for users to express their ideas and engage in activist campaigns however, he questions whether these “platforms make our attempts … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 1 Comment

The Fight to Operationalize

I relate the conversation about “slacktivism” to the philosophical question: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? As it pertains to the Internet, the spatial limitations up … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 1 Comment

The Internet is probably making us antisocial

I found the above video particularly interesting and applicable when discussing technology, the internet and social media in conjunction with the use’s effect on socialization and interaction. Though smartphones are a relatively new way to harness communication tools, the medium … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

On Digital Campaigning

Slacktivism has been discussed repeatedly in class the past few weeks. One point Prof Pasek brought forth was the idea of a “threshold” which people have to meet in order to take action against a specific policy that they believe is wrong. It … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Relative Impact of Social Media on Society

The term “slactivism” gets thrown around in regards to the impact of social media on politics and society. Some argue that this click-to-cure mentality, in which people think that liking or sharing a Facebook post is sufficient civil engagement. While … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 4 Comments

Civic-minded? By: Robbie Austin

We are living in the Information Age. The advent of the Internet brought a familiar debate: Is this new media technology complementing, supplementing, or supplanting face-to-face community? Hence, does Internet use have the potential to build social capital? Social capital … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | Leave a comment

Does any presence count as good presence?

In Pasek, et. al’s “Realizing the Social Internet? Online Social Networking Meets Offline Civic Engagement”, the authors perform research on the hypothesis that “website use induces a site-specific culture that can either encourage or hinder social capital” (Pasek et. al … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | Leave a comment

Defending Slacktivism

Evgeny Morozov’s article in Foreign Policy attacks the idea of slacktivism as well as throwing jabs at those who engage slacktivism. He implies that these people are lazy and not truly concerned with the issues at large. Yet, if these … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 1 Comment

Print News versus Internet News

When I was in elementary school, Sunday mornings in my household consisted of me running outside to grab the New York Times, sitting on the bed with my parents, and reading the newspaper. Of course, I would only read the … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 6 Comments

Slacking Off in the Internet Bubble

As Eli Pariser states in The Filter Bubble, the Internet is becoming more personalized through the filter bubble, which is a collection of different algorithms that filters web content based on individual user’s interests. This leaves us as users with … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | Leave a comment

The filtered world

Pariser starts his argument by defining the meaning behind the title of his book. The filter bubble is the tiny world everyone has willingly or unwillingly created for themselves through their media choices.  This bubble changes with almost every click … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 3 Comments

Bubbles and Slactivists: Debilitating to Social Change?

The large place that is the Internet, it seems that nobody quite has a handle on its possibilities or can predict where it’s going next. As we recall our discussions last week, we continue to build on our understanding of … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 1 Comment

Does Slacktivism Work?

            With social media’s rapid expansion, the internet has seen a wide variety of activism campaigns, which frequently find its way into the public’s email and Facebook feed. However, one of the results of all these … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Are We Enclosed In Our Own Bubbles?

Before the Internet started bombarding users with strategically selected advertisements and news, the Internet used to be simpler and provided the same information and news to its users. As Eli Pariser states in The Filter Bubble, the Internet is becoming … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 2 Comments

Slacktivism: Is it the Easy Way Out?

        We live in a society that relies heavily on the Internet, as the virtual reality that it has created has essentially become an extension of our own life and experiences.  As heavy users of the Internet … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 4 Comments

Personalization & The Filter Bubble

Because of the influx in available information on the Internet, it seems inevitable and necessary that a system would eventually be created to better help people find what they need while simultaneously streamlining advertising based on their observed interests. While … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 2 Comments

Taking the positive from Slacktivism and The Filter Bubble.

In this week’s readings on Slacktivism and The Filter Bubble, there were many interesting ideas and arguments on internet participation and democracy. Morozov makes an interesting point in saying that the online tools that we have are driving us away … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 2 Comments

The Tragedy of the Internet

In the beginning of the Rheingold chapter, UCLA graduate and Microsoft research sociologist Marc Smith poses the question, “Does the new medium change the way people cooperate?” Even though Smith continues on saying that the answer to the question not … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 4 Comments

Shirky reiterates a lesson that most of us have been repetitively taught since as early as we can remember: do unto others as you would want done to you. Our parents called it “the golden rule,” but Shirky refers to … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 2 Comments

The Internet: Bringing Together New Communities of People

The emergence of new communication technologies, including the mobile phone and the Internet, has greatly influenced the way people interact in day-to-day life. Endless information is now available at peoples’ fingertips, with search engines like Google allowing people to sift … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 6 Comments

Selfish or Supportive?

Nature says as humans we have a tendency toward our own self-interests considering that we are rational beings.  This is according to political philosopher Thomas Hobbes as described by Rheingold in Chapter 2: Technologies of Cooperation.  When it comes to … Continue reading

Posted in Week 3 | 2 Comments

The Internet: An Atypical Common Good

John Barlow commented in his “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” that the internet is a place that should be unregulated by the government and recognized as an entirely free domain. He references a future where “anyone, anywhere may … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 1 Comment

Media Evolution

The creation of the Internet seems to be evolutionary from the pre-existing media and society as opposed to a revolutionary creation. This idea is similar to the argument made by Barlow which suggests cyberspace is like nature and it grows … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | Leave a comment

The Shadow of the Future: Computers changing the way we live

Based on Shirky’s and Rheingold’s interpretations of social cooperation in today’s environment, I cannot help but be convinced that our strives and means subconsciously loop through the ideas of social construction of technology [SCOT] and technological determinism, but lean toward … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 2 Comments

“The History of Civilization in 7 Words”

When I was 10 and a student at Barnard Elementary School in a suburb not far from Ann Arbor, I was convinced that I could write enough letters to Rupert Grint that he would personally receive them and be able … Continue reading

Posted in Winter 2012 | 3 Comments