Wednesday, May 12, 2010

google my maps

View Mission Mural Tour in a larger map

creating a map with the google my map application was pretty easy. i first thought of a neighborhood that was really full of life and had a lot of interesting street life, so i picked the mission, but more specifically, the mission murals. i think the mission murals are an incredible part of the mission culture and the murals always make me stop and take a closer look.

when i started my map, i made sure to zoom in closely to the map to see the interesting landmarks, public transportation and any points of interest. when i started to draw the lines to make the tour, i found that sometimes i would accidentally zoom in and out of the map and the lines would be crooked. but fixing the lines was easily done and i got the hang of it once i realized you could stretch out the points. also, when i would go back to edit the markers, i would accidentally click on the line, so i would make the mistake of filling out information for the line rather than the location marker. luckily these things are easily fixed. what i did like was the different types of location markers that you could choose, such as an airplane, bus, etc. this could be very handy because visual cues are necessary when making maps easy to read. i also liked to insert images, hyperlinks and a sentence or two about the location. what i liked about the map was that it was easy to interact with and it was a easy way to visualize a route. the timeline on dipity is a lot better for chronological events, such as a person's life, history or a schedule of events. maps are best for finding locations, while timelines are good for visualizing a history of something.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

part 4 the future of social networking

i think the future of social networking is hard to define, but here are some of my ideas of what could happen. because we are increasingly a mobile oriented world and a global economy, i think there will be social networking sites that will customize it for the mobile user.i'm sure this is already happening, but i think it will be even more heightened in the future. i also think because so many of us are members of multiple sites such as facebook, twitter, youtube, flickr, that when we update, it will let us update automatically to the other sites without having us do it.

i also think social networking will be really savvy and whenever someone updates, and for example they talk about cupcakes, the site will link the user to the stuff about cupcakes, other people who like cupcakes, cupcake shops in the local area, and so forth. basically the site will sort of 'think' for you. it will suggest items, images and video may show up, and generally be very intuitive.

i think that's the most important thing for social networking sites is to be very user oriented and have features that are intuitive to what the user needs and wants. and we should be able to watch tv by finding it on social networking. sites...

part 2 & 3: quarterlife

my profile page

the forums at quarterlife, this is where everyone can interact.

i decided to join the site,, which is a site that calls itself a place for artists, thinkers and do-ers. the site is easy to join, i just typed in my e-mail, my name and a username to apply to be in the group. then i waited a few hours for my account to be approved, which it was. so i think they just want to make sure people aren't spammers.

one of the most important things that i see when viewing other people's profiles is that they are customized with a template and colors. the templates are not as overwhelming as myspace, but there are ways to customize your profile, by choosing things like the colors of your text, headers, and choosing fonts. there's also an advanced option to fully customize the page through css and html.

each user on quarterlife is a "member". as i was viewing some of the members through their profile pictures, most of the members are young, in their twenties and thirties, possbily. most of the activity i see is through members commenting on each other's pages. and anything a member has commented on a post, photo, it will show up on their profile page. the main page of quarterlife also updates with new activity when members upload a photo, write a new status update, make a friend, give a gift. this is similar to what facebook does, which updates your activity on the site.

looking at the main goals on the site, i think that the members are here to find other creative people out there. one of the ways to connect with others is to join in on the forums, where you can disscuss different topics and the more specialized "groups." there are several groups within this site, such as graphic design, dealing with writer's block, photography, and they are open for anyone to join. groups are there for people with common interests to come together. each group has it's own page and the ability to have discussions on various topics.

a social object on quarterlife is a "gift." a gift is simply represented by a clip art graphic, such as a teddy bear, handbag a welcome mat and a birthday balloon. most of these gifts are't free. they require 75 credits. these virtual gifts require credits, which NING (the site quarterlife is hosted on) will charge you fees for. gifts are one way to be friendly towards other members. however, i think one of the best ways to succeed in Quarterlife is to be active in commenting artwork that other members upload, joining in on discussions in the general forum, inside the groups and doing blog posts because the more active a member is within the community, they will find more friends and interesting things.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

history and use of social networking

when i got my first computer, i was in middle school and i got a yahoo email address. looking around yahoo, i found yahoo groups. there were and are groups about anything and everything. groups for crafting and books and everything in between. i'm pretty sure the first social networking thing i joined was yahoogroups. i don't remember the specific group, but even back then when i was around 12 or 13 yahoogroups looked clunky and ugly, the messages were through a messageboard format and people would send them through emails which also made the messages, well messy. i'm pretty sure i'm still in some yahoogroups, except i never check the messages through e-mail or at the group's page.

now i use twitter, facebook and flickr primarily for social networking and these sites are much more interesting to be around and way more dynamic with their ability to combine images, text, links outside of the site without being so messy with the email formatting.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


virtual world: Yovile
avatar name: curbsidetreasure
description: curbsidetreasure is a fairly ordinary looking girl. she has black hair, blue eyes, and likes to wander around and observe the world around her. she can cook well, likes to make art and is friendly. however she finds living in virtual world boring, which is a fault because she's stuck there. other talents include swimming, creative writing and home decor. she can be kind of cynical and sarcastic, but is generally happy.

the event she attended was Kelley's election day. curbsidetreasure likes politics but is kind of apathetic and won't run for president. in fact no one else will run either. one person wants to run, so if no one else does they will win by default. the experience of being in the event was okay. people were talking all at once, often about random topics. however as i didn't know anyone in the room it was a rather dull discussion. one man sitting in the room looked like her was in charge, but even he wasn't running. other people were talking about the weather, which is a safe topic so curbsidetreasure joined in.

1. 3 components that provide text based info
when i use my cursor over an arrow it tells me what location it will take you to. like one arrow will take you into the kitchen.
another component are pop up alerts, they will say "friend mission" and it tells you that you can give a gift, or visit a friend or some other action
the 3rd is a button that says get cash and coins, in virtual worlds, like the real world, you need to make money so this text info directs you to places for you to get money

2. 3 components that are image based info
at the lower part of the virtual world, you have buttons, one is a house, another is a globe of the world, another is a party hat, a chair is to edit the room and the sunglasses is where you go to change appearances.

these buttons are image based you can quickly go to different places and are a simple way to convey info.

another aspect is the rooms/spaces that make up the world. they mimick the real world and you can step inside them, and you can "talk" to other people. the images try to look 3d but aren't really. and the avatars are really flat.

3. the virtual world simply mimicks the real world in the way it's built. the roads are grey, there are coffeeshops, nightclubs, clothing stores. the design of the places use color like the coffeeshop has wooden furniture, green letters spelling out coffee and it's obviously taking a nod at starbucks.

the avatar also moves around. she can turn her back toward you and move forward on a path. when the avatar talks there is a speech bubble on top of her head so you know what she is saying.

4. tasks such as earning money have been communicated from the start with pop up messages to go to work. also human interaction is important with visiting friends and giving gifts to them.

5. features such as having a apartment and being inside shops or rooms for events are more immersive. but when you leave the room you have to wait for the next room to load.

6. talking to other avatars can be with small talk, like the weather which is rather boring. saying hello, asking questions helps. in the world, it feels like no one really knows anyone else so there isn't much good conversation.'

7. the economy in yoville seems like it's based on the factory. you go to work there and you have to get/buy widgets to make something. the other part of the economy seems like buying/selling goods and services

8. my favorite in world activity is visiting a friend and giving them a gift. it's also fun to talk to them rather then some random person

9. in world objects are highlighted. when i brush my cursor over an object like a chair, my avatar will walk over there and sit on that specific chair.

10. yoville is related to the article about HOH agency chapter because in order to be a fully functioning member of yoville, you need to find ways to earn money. otherwise you can't buy things. spatial interactivity is also a part of yoville. the article says the more realized the immersive environment is, the more active we want to be in it. i think yoville attempts to be immersive, but to be it's kind of dull because it's kind of a ghost town? and it takes time to go from room to room.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

digital vs analog

i realize i am connected to the world in a way my grandfather or even my parents are not when they were growing up. what we have now for technology didn't even exist for them. in fact they didn't even have a tv until later in life, living in china. my grandfather is still amazed that we can buy things over the internet. i think the idea of transferring money over for goods through a computer linked to the internet was something he had never thought of. he is not pure analog, but close to it. my grandfather has a digital camera and cell phone but for the most part, he does not live on the internet the way i do.

I have a cell phone, a computer, a digital camera and i use twitter, gmail and facebook to connect with friends. i upload photos on flickr and read blogs on googlereader. everything in the digital world is instant, it's just a click away from my fingertips. as an artist, i find the internet an amazing resource for images. in fact i am flooded with images from blogs i read, flickr photos uploaded by friends and contacts around the world that it can be kind of overwhemling. sometimes it's so hard to pull away from being connected and i can't seem to get off the internet!

I found this quote from the article The Medium is the Message "That our human senses. of which all media are extensions, are also fixed charges on our personal energies." To me, this means that our senses, which include sight and sound, have been extended through media such as television and the internet and cell phones. with these new inventions, we spend our lives differently, by texting messages instead of talking on the phone. we download music through the internet rather than buy cds. i realize everything digital is compressed, weightless and often invisible to the eye. the object is no longer there.

i am analog when i make collages, when i write letters to my penpals, when i read a book. there's something about physical objects that i cherish.