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Posts tagged ‘internet for everyone’

What Does It Mean to Affect?

Standing in a flowing river, I find a pebble in my hand. I float along, the pebble is lost and the river changed forever.

Something given, something changed forever.
This is affect.

cloud scribble affect illustration

Credit: James Jean

My prompt this week was something new. “How OurPangea affects the culture of the Internet”, it was also daunting. Should I start with OurPangea or should I start with the culture of the Internet?  I chose neither.

To me, this prompt was asking about affect, not OurPangea and the Internet. It was asking, how does one affect another? How do You affect the Internet? How do You affect the world?         Questions all equal, all interesting.

Questions all pointed towards revealing a sacred principal of OurPangea – You affect.

In your big actions and small actions. In public actions and private actions. You affect.

This basic idea courses through the DNA of OurPangea. Our goal is to show people that every little thing they do affects; and their affects are their contribution, for better or worse, to their community and beyond.

This is affect.
Something given, something changed forever.

Browsing OurPangea, others give to you. Engage with OurPangea, you give to others and OurPangea will be changed forever.

This is how OurPangea affects the culture of the Internet.
This is how you affect your culture.
This is your affect.

Using OurPangea to Gain Perspective

Think about where you live right now.  Is it an apartment complex? A city block? A college residence hall? Have you lived there for a long time? Are you friendly with your neighbors? Do you have a family or roommate or do you live alone? Are you involved in groups and committees in your neighborhood? Do you love your home? Do you not?

Now think about where you grew up. Do you still know all of your neighbors? Do the same traditions still exist? What is different? What is the same?

two face perspective man reflection effect

No matter how you feel about where you live, one thing is certain: you will not be there forever. And once you’re gone every community keeps living, breathing, and growing without you. New leaders are elected, new residents move in, and new stores will open and close. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to keep some connection to your old home through parents still living there, friends still in your old neighborhoods, or alumni associations keeping tabs on your high school or college graduating class. But we all inevitably lose the sense of belonging we used to feel with our old stomping grounds.

Think about your educational experience.  Weren’t you involved in any student or school groups? Were there any classes or teachers you particularly liked? You may not still be a part of those things, but wouldn’t you like to see what is happening with them now?

Imagine if you could reminisce on your old experiences and feel like you’re a part of the new ones being created. This is a perfect example of how using OurPangea will help us reconnect with groups and experiences in the same way Facebook has given us the ability to reconnect with old friends.

Alumni associations and Educational departments could use OurPangea to help alumni retain their connection to the schools, teachers, and groups they loved. Community centers, galleries, and museums could showcase annual events and exhibits for past participants to remember and meet the new ones.

Further, OurPangea can be used as more than simply a window to the past. Imagine being an incoming college freshman getting ready to move to a new city surrounded by people you don’t know. If our university communities are represented on OurPangea, incoming students will be able to see what their experience will be like in the major they’re entering. From participating in social discussions to learning how students see their peers to meeting classmates from around the world, it would be possible and maybe even expected to become an active part of the community goings-on before even getting there.

When our events, neighborhoods, and social lives live on OurPangea it will help us maximize our time in the present, relive the best experiences from our past, and proactively discover the things we might want to join in the future.

How Social Networking is Shaping a New World

continents word-cloud colorful map

The world is not the same place it was a decade ago. Much has happened during that time, but perhaps the most formative change has been the rise of social media and the role it has taken in the modern world. Aside from the most obvious benefit of these tools, improved communication and connection, the ways in which people are using social media have continued to evolve and are changing the world.

While some of the most obvious impacts of social media have occurred in the geopolitical sphere, politics have not been the only thing touched by the rise of social media. There has also been a dramatic cultural shift that has been felt across the world. Social media has made the sharing of information easier than at any other time in the history of the world. This has given rise to new trends and hobbies around the globe, has inspired people to try new things and has shown us that we have so much to learn from one another. Parkour, for example, the French martial art of “free running,” became famous overnight because of videos that were shared online.

We have also seen the Internet change modern education with the increased popularity of online continuing education programs and the improvement of educational discourse. Even modern romance has seen changes brought about by the rise of social media. Networks like Match.com and eHarmony have helped thousands of people connect and find love. Services like Skype and Facebook have even made long distance relationships more tolerable than they once were.

Considering that these tools and the internet itself are still in their infancy, it will be fascinating to see what other changes await us. Social media has given our generation the power to dramatically alter the way the world works. Let’s make sure that we keep changing it for the better.

Greed is good. Piracy is good. A SOPA Solution.

I want to shoot a shotgun of ideas at the SOPA supporters, and also the agitators. There are alternative solutions and alternate perspectives that shed new light on this issue yet to be considered.

Quite frankly, SOPA supporters, you need to be way more greedy. Shame on you for not taking more. I am sure Gordan Gecko would be insulted by your behavior, come on, get your head in the game. And when I say SOPA supporter, what I really mean is a business that produces something they want to protect and sell; just like any entrepreneur. So get greedy already, but before you do look around for a second and consider where you’re at. Clearly we’re in a turning point of history, the internet is making that obvious with its ability to equalize power relations between citizens and governments. Note: the internet is destabilizing governments, you know, that thing that protects businesses. Second, there is a movement against “greed” in your home turf, “Occupy…” It’s winter right now and you can try and let it falter and dissipate as they foolishly started so close to the cold weather, in fact that’s what you should be doing. And if that’s what you want then you want to avoid fueling it with nonsense like SOPA. The internet can be a friend or an enemy, inherently it’s neutral, as the environment dictates the response. If you fight it, it will fight back; if you embrace it, it will embrace you. So STOP thinking protectively and fighting it, and for god’s sake do not support legislation that hurts the internet. Unless you’re masochistic, then whatever.

Greed is a word we use in a derogatory manner to dehumanize businesses and corporations. At their core their goal is to make money, true. And many businesses jumped in bed with SOPA without really looking at the full picture because it sounded like protection for their ability to make money. The internet can be viewed as chaos where piracy reigns supreme and there is no safety – hide your women and children, it’s the Internet! It’s totally feasible to see things that way. But, with more knowledge it’s perhaps more reasonable to see things other ways too.

Another way of looking at the piracy on the internet is proclaiming it as the best thing that can happen to you. Companies spend millions of dollars on market research. Online piracy is a medium that will freely count the demand for their products and create good will because it’s free; something they want to censor and block, they’re very clever you see. Instead they should embrace it and look at the piracy as a metric, a really good one too. Or, for the bold, try and convert the pirates into customers. Piracy tells you there is demand for your product, and honestly, it seems like your fault for not capitalizing on that opportunity.

In place of taking advantage of piracy and turning to your advantage, the question you’ve been asking is how do we fight it? If the internet were mature, a place it certainly is not, I would suggest litigation; it would work in a stable environment where effects are clear. If, however, the internet was infant, which it undoubtedly is, I would avoid protective litigation at all costs and instead focus on the infancy of the beast and try to tame it.

When we look at the internet as an opportunity it quickly becomes clear that content producers should capitalize on it as fast as possible. Protective litigation at this stage is fully the wrong tactic to pursue. The proper course of action is the opposite. You want all barriers on the internet reduced so you can try to tame it. Protection at this stage is a huge miscalculation, now is the time to be bold and greedier than ever. If these businesses are interested in making money the correct path is not protection, instead the business should focus on finding ways to increase the value of their content and sell more of it, the demand is there. So be greedy and tame the internet.

To the agitators, to us: It is our job to continue creating and developing the web; that is our charge. If we can produce a large product base of apps and sites for the web where content is easily accessible and reasonably priced we will start to unite the internet with the rest of the world. If they don’t want to give us their content then we can continue making our own. If they give us their content we can help them promote it. We are young along with the internet and it is our responsibility to grow and develop together. The world of possibility is hidden by the thin veil of the internet.

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