Monday, December 7, 2009

Recession Proof

Before I begin on all the sociological reflecting, I will devote the introduction to explaining exactly what my blog is all about. Essentially what I was looking for was a way to share my thrifty tips for college students with limited incomes. Living in a city like Charlottesville provides one many opportunities to cash in on their inner hippie and I was hoping to create a blog engaging those sorts of activities. As I began my blogging I had the mindset that I was going to keep it strictly to recycling tips and sustainable living ideas but I found it getting a little dry, so I decided to spice it up a bit with some humorous tips and videos that I found around the web.

This went well and the blog did not present many problems, besides that of Google Analytics, which proved to be an user error. Everything was sailing along smoothly and was proving to be a bit too easy for a class project. About half way through the semester I decided to run a parallel project/experiment on connectivity. I wanted to challenge myself to create the most wired blog and incorporate the widest array of technologies that I used in my daily life. I was interested in seeing how difficult it would be to completely wire myself silly with this project. While the creation and distribution of the blog was providing me the ability to participate in the web in the sense that I was a working and active contributor, it was the integration of all of the social mediums that gave me the greatest insight into how one truly interacts with technology and web 2.0.

I was also interested in exploring the limits of what we have come to know as Freeconmics. As a user and participant in this digital global community, I was afforded many rights and capabilities that allowed my information to disseminate more quickly and efficiently than those using a standard connection from a computer tethered to a desk. This also allowed me to experience the pressing issue of the digital participation/knowledge divide. I was able to use preexisting knowledge of how these applications interact in order to gain a wider readership and make my blog as efficient as possible. The knowledge of how all these social mediums interact allowed me to tap into a wealth of tools that would take my blog to the next level.

How was this done? With the diagram above, I sought to produce a visible representation of how all these mediums interact in order to form a perfect union between digital contribution and promotion. Viewing the Blog as the main hub of this diagram, I first created a gmail account under the same title ( in order to bolster the name and marketing of my blog. Secondly I established a twitter account under a similar account name to continue with this strategy and was easily able to link it with my blog as well as my gmail account. After this I found various ways to incorporate my personal technology (my iPhone). With a twitter app and the ability send SMS messages to Blogger in the form of blog posts, I had now increased my personal utility and that of my iPhone. Later on I imported my blog posts into my personal Facebook in the form of notes, and later was able to create a fanpage detailing the work on my blog. The fanpage also possessed the ability to be linked with my twitter, creating this massive web of interconnectivity that proved to be quite fluid in the exchange and deliverance of information from one medium to another.

The main topics from class that I was really able to explore were that of Freeconomics, issues with the participation/knowledge divide and that of the internet as a public forum. As stated earlier, with the Freeconomics I was able to utilize a wide variety of free social and networking tools to increase the overall efficiency of my blog, with posts being delivered through tweets, texts, and facebook messages. Again, while the availability of these tools are there for most (if not all) purveyors of digital technology, it was the preexisting knowledge that I possessed of how these tools interact that allowed me to swiftly sync all into this compounded technological exchange. When all of the tools began to work together, I was astounded as to how much creative control I possessed in how my messages and ideas would be delivered. The internet no longer existed as a forum bound by the restrictions of years past, with expensive equipment or unbearable startup costs, but was now a free flowing exchange of ideas that I could access through a bevy of inexpensive technological means.

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