Shannon’s Corner

My Conversation on Social Media

Games and the City

I have never liked video games or enjoyed computer games.   Sorry, they just aren’t for everyone.  However, this assignment has been a different experience for me.  I can sincerely say that I have a new appreciation for the gaming industry and marvel at their technological accomplishments and revolutionary ideas for connecting with consumers.

I think people are drawn to this similarly to when the movie Sex and the City opened — women flocked to theaters wearing their most fashionable attire complete with shoes clearly not meant for popcorn on the floor.  Martini glasses filled and refilled throughout the movie.  Women really got into the whole experience.  They joined the Sex and the City conversation just like gamers can join in the Second Life (SL) experience.

I am fascinated and eager to follow its evolution over the next few years.  SL is a virtual alternative world for users where you can make up who you are, where you live and what you do.  So why wouldn’t companies and advertisers jump at the chance to put themselves in the game and into a larger conversation?  Nothing prevents you from attending the new art exhibit in London’s Mayfair district or in the heart of Brooklyn, New York. Want to visit The Tech Museum of Innovation and join The Tech Virtual Summit: Digital Democracy in Exhibit Design but just can’t be in California?  It’s no problem because the exhibit opens in real life and on SL.   The opportunities for individuals, companies and organizations are unlimited.  Do you want to plan a company conference but this year’s budget can’t accommodate a two day resort conference?  It’s no problem on SL.  Companies are creating employee-only islands and saving thousands in airfare and hotel bills.

OLG seems to hold many opportunities that are not just for “playing games.” It’s another world – literally — so who wouldn’t enjoy this new conversation? Surprisingly, I do.

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June 29, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Everyonelovesavegangirl & Melissasmusings Are On To Something

As I’ve remarked to everyonelovesavegangirl, I think her idea that one day there could be a “Wikipedia article about every person, place and thing in the world” isn’t so far off the mark.   Wikipedia is like the local community block watch where the individuals that live in the community know each other, meet regularly, police their own streets and work hard to provide a safe environment for their families.  So if Wikipedia endeavors to know everyone and everything, and they monitor their “home neighborhood” to prevent foul play, I think it’s a great idea and modeled off a system that we know provides a valuable service to many communities.  The information is already out there and it isn’t going to stop.  Just as you would watch your neighbor’s house or car while they were out of town, Wikipedia is simply extending this block watch philosophy to its entire online community.

Along the same topic, Melissasmusings also highlights the structured system of checks and balances Wikipedia employs and quotes Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody, “if enough people care enough about an article to read it, then enough people will care enough to improve it, and over time this will lead to a large enough body of good enough work to begin to take both availability and quality of articles for granted, and to integrate Wikipedia into daily use by millions.”   Melissasmusings’ great observation prompted me to compare the structure found within Wikipedia to that in the Neighborhood Watch program.  To demonstrate that I think Wikipedia is on to something, I looked at the statistics posted from the 2007 National Night Out initiative.  They estimate that “over 34 million people from families, communities, civic organizations, businesses and law enforcement agencies” participate with the mission to “enhance, support, and promote significant crime-and-drug control strategies in more than 10,000 communities.” In this program, average citizens are encouraged to volunteer in some capacity and just like with Wikipedia, everyone has something to contribute.  With Wikipedia creating and expanding its usefulness to consumers, the opportunity for increased participation and further growth seems to be unlimited.

June 28, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Trust but verify

If you used a calculator for a math exam, would it guarantee that you get every answer correct?  If a history final was open book, would that guarantee an A? Do you believe everything you hear rumored in the office? If you trained in a particular sport for years on end would it get you to the Olympics?  If you spent millions of dollars on a presidential campaign and won the popular vote, would that make you president? 

What I am trying to say is that there is no absolute formula for success regardless of subject or situation.  We can trust, but always verify.  This philosophy even extends to the content created on Wikipedia by lay people or industry experts.  All we can do is make the best decision using the information we have available to us at the time.  In a day or in another week, new information can be discovered and utilized.  If Wikipedia is “quick information” and our success and failures are posted online for all to see, isn’t Wikipedia doing its job?  Waiting for an industry expert to create Wikipedia entries would take not only a significant amount of time but once done, it would have to go through so many revisions to remain current that it may never be posted.  Entries are done on a level of accuracy that is constantly challenged informally which is why it is so useful.

In my opinion, Clay Shirky in Here Comes Everybody has this analogy right – “students usually wear useful paths thru grass before the university lays any walkways.”  In this case, it’s Wikipedia that is wearing down the path.

June 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 2 Comments

Who’s in charge – Google or me?

Search and Google have definitely expanded our world but I wonder, does it increase or diminish our personal relationships with people? 

If Google Desktop Serch (DGS) and my clickstream can identify personal purchasing intents and why (i.e. Battelle’s What to Expect When Your Expecting story from his book Search) and 1-800 Flowers already reminds me when its my sister’s birthday, what exactly am I doing other than inserting my credit card information (which is also likely information already stored online) into the computer?  So if I pay my bills, buy clothes, groceries, birthday presents and books all online, I don’t ever have to think of the next purchase because it has likely already been identified for me. 

What about when the GPS in my car identifies that I drove to Dr. Dentist, feeds that information to my computer back home and then reminds me in four months to get my next cleaning? Or when the computer recognizes Dr. Dentist just announced her retirement, sends me an email and suggests three alternatives within a one mile radius already approved by my healthcare plan? Let’s also say my GPS notes the amount of time spent in and out of my vehicle.  Monday thru Friday I drove to work at 6:30am and drive home at 11:30pm.  Would it recognize a long week at work, feed that information to my computer to produce an email on Saturday suggesting I take a bike ride or a trip to the spa? Then based on my previous purchases at X Spa (that my computer already knows), I would have services and availability all waiting for me with the click of a button?  Don’t forget Google’s intent-based marking would probably have already identified a number of alternative spas for me to choose from and then suggest that I bring my mother because it is her birthday.   

Am I having a relationship with Google or with people at this point? Maybe that’s what I’m afraid of.

June 15, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Podcasts & My Appendix

Yesterday I spent six hours in the GW emergency room with what doctors thought was appendicitis.  I tell you that not for sympathy (though a little pat on the back is nice – I was in pain after all!) but to say that I was then motivated to listen to a variety of podcasts from the Medical University of South Carolina  library (over 700 on variety of topics and over 500 by specific doctors) to vlogs and blogs on Webmd.com and Medicinenet.com.  Yes, I was multi-tasking by doing both my homework and personal research but I think this is valuable for all of us with limited time.  Podcasts allow us to get the information we missed on the Sunday talk shows or catch up on current events.  For fun I listened to Twit’s Roz who is rowing her way across the Pacific Ocean while I caught up with work on my blackberry.  Talk about technology and multi-tasking!

June 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

The Long Tail & Dating

The Long Tail offers an insightful look into how our economy is shifting from mass markets to millions of niches and how the internet has made it easier for consumers to find and buy those niche products they are looking for.  People have stopped going into the traditional record store to find that CD and opted instead to buy it off of iTunes from their thousands of selection of titles.  iTunes has something for everyone. 

This then got me thinking about the new way of dating – online.  In a world where many people have increasing demands on them with work and family, the traditional “brick and mortar” dating has been replaced with the Match.com and eHarmony alternatives.  If individuals are the “goods that aren’t selling so well in mainstream distribution”, these online aggregators have also been able to successfully connect its consumer to the “product” they are looking for.  This then gets me to ask, is the old way of meeting someone at a party or through friends eventually being replaced with this new “distribution of goods”? If, as the Long Tail theory predicts, the demand for even the most unique people are to be found online, then maybe this should be the way to go.  According to the Long Tail, there’s something for everyone. So how can we go wrong and why would we want to ever meet someone on “mainstream retail’s shelf” again?

June 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Thoughts on We The Media

We the Media is a great book that really gave me perspective on the world of New Media today and the possibilities of tomorrow (generally speaking since today is already gone and tomorrow’s media is already growing and changing even as we type, read and discuss it).   

To me, the book significantly highlights three key components to understanding New Media —

First, the Internet brings together all kinds of people, from all around the world and for all different reasons for a conversation that generates powerful impact.  Berners-Lee gave the world an open foundation on which new ground and innovation was to be explored.

Second, for over one hundred years, Big Media limited us with one-to-many communication but now we have the tools for many-to-many and few-to-few.  This New Media brings a dialogue to the table empowering openness, transparency, and the opportunity for every person to be heard. 

And lastly, the wide range of impact with this New Media extends across journalism, grassroots movements, the marketplace, politics, government, and even the military and law enforcement agencies (just to name a few) which all contribute to a local, national and globally engaged citizenry.

Ultimately, New Media’s scope for harnessing our collective energy and talents is important to us all because it connects the limitless opportunities to the conversations we join and the change we can effect in our new role of “the media”.

June 7, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Welcome to Shannon’s Corner!

Thanks for visiting my blog which has been created for my Social Media class at Georgetown University.  I look forward to diving into the world of social media and look forward to our future conversations.

June 7, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment