Reflection

My original post in the beginning of the year was this : As a student and soon to be worker in the workforce, it is important for me to work on my critiquing skills. Sometimes I feel as if I am too honest and although honesty is a great tool, sometimes it is too powerful. I feel as though when I am presented with a creative question, I sometimes tell the artist the brutal truth. I think it would be more effective if I presented my opinions as questions and alternatives. Although I believe telling the truth is important it is also important to be nice about how you critique someones work. I will try my best to stay honest, but also be mindful of the artists feelings.

REFLECTION: After reading my original post, I have realized that I have progressed and gotten closer to my goal of critiquing more effectively. This aspect of teamwork has always been a challenge for me because it involves the other persons feelings. In this day and age everyone is hyper-sensitive and it seems as though one wrong word and the whole tower of cards falls down. Over these last few months, our class has been involved in a lot of team work. This has enabled me to engage with my team members and give them honest feedback. I feel as though I have been honest, but given the feedback in a lighter way. I have thought longer about how to phrase things rather than go with my gut reaction. I still give them the feedback they need, just not as harsh. I am very happy I took this class because it has real world applications. Not only have I learned how to be a better critic, I also am a better public speaker.

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CCI Showcase

I have gone to the CCI Showcase to display both my internship and the work I have completed in Programmable Microcontrollers, INF 496. My internship with AkimboConnect.com has taught me how to be a team player in a startup culture. The company has developed an online platform to create interactive online resumes. These resumes are geared towards people that have media production work that they would like to showcase. When I arrived at the company it was only four of us and now we have grown to over eight staff members. Watching the team double has been amazing because you can tell that we are moving in the right direction.

After showing off my work at the CCI showcase, I understood the power of getting in front of people and directly promoting the brand. Since I was so used to cold calling and spamming out emails, it was a nice change to actually promote the brand in person. One idea that people at the showcase were interested about was a focus group. I will be holding it this week and the point is to figure out what students think about infographic resumes. I am excited to conduct the group as I have only been a part of a focus group from the other side. I am also very excited to hand the baton to the next CCI student and let them take over my internship for the following semester. I will still be available to them as a resource guide and a mentor even though I will most likely move in a new direction.

I also presented an alarm clock that a friend and I developed from scratch. This was a very fun and unique experience because we were in charge of manipulating both the hardware and the software. We had to use resistors to make sure we didnt short out our work and we learned the basic principles of electrical engineering. The end product was an alarm clock that actually had an alarm that could wake you up. Being able to see something that we built and fully coded was extremely gratifying.

 

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Open Source Festival

I was thrilled to go to the Open Source festival because it helped me understand the power of open source technology applied at an academic level. I attended the 4:15-5:30 program entitled, Connecting Academia and Industry: With Open Source Practices. The format of the program was very casual and enabled the audience to get involved as well. The set up included a panel of five members each from different types of organizations. Some were from government agencies working in Veterans Affairs, and others were from private companies. The reason I enjoyed the program was because the panel was made up of a diverse group. This allowed me to understand how each sector perceives open source data. One of the main talking points that stuck out to me the most was the idea that a coding project could be given to a class for a semester long assignment. This would be a great way to connect the open source community to a university’s student body. By raising awareness people will quickly realize the power of open source technologies.

The main part of the discussion was about the misconceptions many people have about open source platforms. CEOs for large organizations are focused on revenue, but this is a shortsighted vision because if the tip of the iceberg is given away for free, than services, maintenance and content can be charged later. After mustering up the courage, I finally asked a question, “how can you bring up open source to a board meeting without being thrown out?”. The responses I received were straight to the point and comprehensive. My favorite answer was from a man who owned a private tech company in the capital region. He took out his Android phone and said show the board members this. The success of the Android platform is an easy way to set up a point of reference for the superior. Another man gave me an enlightening look back into an older company, Gillette. He said that one day an employee suggested that they market the razor body for almost nothing, while the blades themselves would be very expensive. This model shows that revenue can be generated from ongoing costs, if users are initially given a sweet deal. I have learned a lot from the showcase and truly enjoyed my experience.

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Social Data Mining

This topic was very intriguing because it represents an emerging field being born online, social media data mining. The article talks about what we can learn from the emerging social networks and the data that is collected from it. The true problem with researching social trends and networking sites is the privacy and protection that surrounds their users. Many of the popular social networking sites do not allow any of the data to be mined and shared with research projects, however this trend is currently changing. Wikipedia, yelp, and reddit, have been on the liberal side of things and are now sharing their data sets with researchers at Microsoft. These large participators will show the rest of the social networking giants that sharing is caring. Hopefully we can use this new data to understand social trends and how the internet is growing and evolving. Without full participation from both the users and the sites that host them, no real progress will be made.

http://socialmediacollective.org/2012/07/24/socl-data-available-for-science/

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Addictive behavior in the tech space

My article is a review of an interesting book called Addiction by Design.

http://socialmediacollective.org/2012/09/06/addiction-by-design-review/

The article points out some very good points that addiction can be manifested in both a gamblers mind and the machines that they play. The article shows that most players are addicted to video gaming systems like video poker and slot-machines. This type of gaming accounts for most of the addiction, the part i found most interesting. I thought that players would be most attracted to the table games, but I was wrong. Another interesting fact is that a majority of these video gambling addicts are women. When asked what was most addicting about the gaming systems, most women said that it took their mind off of their current anxieties. With flashy animations and loud sounds, many people are attracted and sucked in forever. It is important to understand that the addiction cannot be blamed on either the player or the machines’ designers. I wonder who we should really blame?

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Social Network Movie Thoughts

1. Facebook as a technological innovation: Revolutionary, expansive, communicative, dynamic, social

I believe these words are a great representation of Facebook as an innovator. Multiple cultural revolutions have been started on Facebook. Middle eastern tyrants and dictators have been overthrown using Facebook as a tool to motivate and distribute plans. Through the platform’s power of communication, it is not hard to believe that thousands of people could be brought up to date on a political situation faster than they could have if they resorted to traditional media practices. Facebook has also grown exponentially in the past 9 years now boasting over 1 billion users. 
2. Mark Zuckerberg as a CEO and technologist: Intelligent, creative, innovative, persevering, d-bag

In order to be a CEO of a billion dollar company, you must be a cut-throat businessman. I think the movie exemplified this aspect of his personality. Zuckerberg is undoubtedly a genius, but it also easy to understand that his social skills are not as perfect. Many geniuses are not as adept in social situations which may have led Zuckerberg to ditch his original business partners. The movie also shows how little sympathy he has for the Winkelvoss twins, another personality issue that proves his narcissism is overpowering. 
3. Facebook’s challenges: Privacy, security, storage, functionality, connecting

As a member of the Facebook community, I am most concerned about the privacy regulations Since it is the most popular social network, other sites will use the precendents set out by court rulings involving facebook. This means that it is important to keep the client protected at all costs. If Facebook is unable to protect its user’s privacy then no other site will stand a chance. I am very worried that my picture and my likeness will be used to advertise companies that I know nothing about. I believe facebook is a bit too invasive at thi point and the community is definitely in agreement with me.
4. Facebook’s successes: Networking, money, expansion, diversity, entertainment

Facebook has allowed millions of users to re-connect after years of being separated. Personally, I have connected with people I used to go to summer camp over 6 years ago! I was not surprised to find these people because Facebook’s networking system allows for people to be suggested based on your current friend database. The idea that everyone is connected through very few degrees allows people to re-connect after decades. The networks created do not always have to be personal. I have created business networks on facebook and have even managed a company’s facebook, giving me a different perspective.

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What I need to work on

As a student and soon to be worker in the workforce, it is important for me to work on my critiquing skills. Sometimes I feel as if I am too honest and although honesty is a great tool, sometimes it is too powerful. I feel as though when I am presented with a creative question, I sometimes tell the artist the brutal truth. I think it would be more effective if I presented my opinions as questions and alternatives. Although I believe telling the truth is important it is also important to be nice about how you critique someones work. I will try my best to stay honest, but also be mindful of the artists feelings. 

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