Net Smart | Chapter 6 | How (Using) the Web (Mindfully) Can Make You Smarter


Chapter 6 | How (Using) the Web (Mindfully) Can Make You Smarter

I have learned smarter ways to use media online. Tips on how to apply crap detention will come in handy on all the research I will do in the future. One of the tips was to participate in online discussions to raise the level of debate. When participating online make sure not to attack people; cite your evidence and have an open mind. Participating in discussion will allow you to advocate, persuade, organize other in a collective action.

In the final chapter, it also mentioned that to do as a parent regarding online media and kids. Telling your kids “don’t do that” should be avoided, instead communicate with your kids and hear what they are saying about how they feel about online activities and share your perceptions. Also, when spending time with your kids, put your phone down and interact with them. Give the attention they need.

Also don’t forget to breathe!!!!

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Net Smart | Chapter 5 | Why Networks Matter


Chapter 5 | Why Networks Matter

People use emails, blogs, micro blogs, and wikis are all tools to send messages a form of communication to expand their networks. People create and share digital media to share their creativity and to hoping their production possibly help someone out there in the digital world. Networks have become complex. Social media has made it possible for all of us to be linked in one way or another.

Facebook is a good example of your size of network and how most your Facebook friends tend to have mutual friends. For example, I have become really good friends with whom I work with. She is originally from California and did not expect to have any mutual friends. But we learned that we have mutual friends that we were not aware of. One time she needed a club promotor so I gave her the number to the guy I always go to. Come to find out she already has his number when she tried calling him from her phone.

There have been many situations that I run into friends (or people I have met) in a network of friends that I would of never guessed that all knew each other. Social media has made that possible and all of our devices allows us to be connected at all times at any location, but the strength of connections vary from strong, weak, and latent.

Facebook was mentioned quite a bit in this chapter. The tips on Facebook is very helpful, because myself am a Facebook user. I have been wanting to establish and clean up my digital identity for some time now. Facebook can be beneficial in building your digital portfolio that can help you obtain jobs ad promotions, and advertise your business. While it can be beneficial to your career, it can also keep you from obtaining a job or promotion. In the book, it mentioned that Rheingold had students that missed out opportunities because of what is posted on their Facebook. These are the reasons why I try to be very careful of what I share on Facebook. I have my account set up where my friends need my approval to tag me in any photos and post to my wall. It was helpful to learn about all the privacy settings and to the do and don’ts.

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Net Smart | Chapter 4 | Social-Digital Know-How: The Arts and Sciences of Collective Intelligence


Chapter 4 | Social-Digital Know-How: The Arts and Sciences of Collective Intelligence

One is taking a part of the Web’s collective intelligence my tagging, commenting, wiki edit, curate, or blog. Scientists say that these are the tools and online skills which enable us to communicate media to organizes collective action. I completely agree with that the online tools have made it easier to keep organized in all different aspects our lives. As well as enrich our lives…

It mentioned about working together by sharing and acting together which is also known as collective action. Many things in our lives we use collective action to make choices and decisions such as what market to invest to start a religion. Aspects of collective action are networking, coordination, cooperation and collaboration was clearly explained.

Networking is the easiest aspect because it can be done by handing out business cards, flyers, attending conferences, hanging out in a chat room, or commenting on a blog. We all network all the time. It is simple, easy task and I feel we do it naturally.

Coordination is when ideas are shared which are then coordinated to make a decision. The only way this is going to work is if everyone contributes and share their ideas, wants, and wants. Recently, I have planned a trip to girl’s trip to Las Vegas. I started a group chat room to get an idea of what everyone wants to do regarding the trip. Some of the decisions I wanted coordination with is which hotel to stay and things everyone want to do. I realized that coordination is not efficient if not everyone contributes. What I did was to listen to the ones who had an opinion and from there made an itinerary incorporating everyone’s (who spoke up) wants.

Himmelman defines cooperation as “exchanging information, modifying activities, and sharing resources for mutual benefit and achieve a common purpose.” The purpose of our trip is for all of us to have a great time and experience. Cooperation was accomplished when we shared our resources to get VIP and club entry because we did not want waste our time standing in line to get into the hottest club. A few of us knew somebody, who knew somebody that could work out a VIP deal for us. One of the girls managed to work out a deal through one of her contacts. This would have not been possible if we did not cooperate. Everyone has connections and networks combined, the possibilities are endless.

Like Rheingold would say,”A virtual community is like a party host,” and I know that is true because that is what I do. As you can see I do lots of planning from parties and trips. I plan all these events though the internet using media and online tools. The more events I plan the more I learn.

One of the latest tricks I learned that you might find helpful is how I get complimentary hotel room upgrades. It is known online as the “sandwich trick.” Basically, what is it is tipping the front desk at check out to get free upgrades. The “sandwich trick” is basically putting money between your ID and your credit card when checking in. Usually $20 or the amount you think it is worth. Be very friendly with the person who is checking you in, and referring them to their first name. Then casually and nicely say, “Do you happen to have any complimentary upgrades?” I have tried at Mandalay Bay, Caesars Palace, and Planet Hollywood all in Las Vegas and it has been successful for me. I usually start with $20 and depending on what freebies they give me I will give them more. I’ve got early checkin while others had to wait, adjoining rooms, upgraded rooms, mini fridge (usually a daily charge)… Try it next time! What do you have to lose, $20?


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Net Smart | Chapter 3 | Participation Power


Chapter 3 | Participation Power

In this chapter it talked about the media production created by everyday people. Rheingold says, “Knowing how to blog, tweet, wiki, search innovate, program and/or organize on lie can be lead to political, cultural, and economic value.” I agree that everything that we do on the internet is beneficial.

For example, I started my webpage for my digital learning class. The more I worked on my webpage it gave me more ideas on what else I can do. After starting my own webpage, I got the idea of making wedding webpage for a friend of mine. When I made her webpage, I learned how to do numerous things that I did not know how to do before. I would get an idea what I want to include on the webpage, and then research on how to do it. For example, I wanted to include maps and “get directions” to the venue. The point I am trying to make it is the more I produce content on the internet, it gave me new ideas on all types of things I can do. It has given me the drive to think of ways to use media to be creative. I believe one can learn by creating content.

In this chapter it mentioned blogging and some of the things blogs should have are links sources, sources, comment box where other can ask questions, and tagging. I try to do as much traveling as I can. I try to research about the location as much as I can. I have been been looking at videos on Youtube of hotels and its room types before I decide which hotel to stay at. Have you ever stayed a hotel and it was not what you expected because its pictures on its site made it look nice?  I hate that! I also refer to travel blogs to find out tips on places to go, average price of airfare and when its the best time to book airfare. I feel that content like this made my average people is beneficial because they are not trying to sell you anything other than sharing their knowledge and experience.

I am going on a trip this Friday and I am planning to make a video of my room to post on Youtube. I found hotel room videos very useful in deciding where to stay and hope my video will do the same for someone else.


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Net Smart | Chapter 2 | Crap Detection 101: How to Find What You Need to Know, and How to Decide If It’s True


Chapter 2 | Crap Detection 101: How to Find What You Need to Know, and How to Decide If It’s True

I find this chapter very valuable. As a student, I am constantly researching online. In this chapter it gave ways to detect unreliable sources. Don’t be a fool to be believe all the false information and learn how to tell the difference between the good and bad stuff. In the example in the book, Rheingold wanted to prove a point to his daughter about crap detection. They used a search engine looking for information about Martin Luther King Jr. On top of the search results there was a link to website titled, “Martin Luther King,: A True Historical Examination.” His daughter said that it looks like most stuff on the internet. He then had his daughter to look for an author and did a search about that author. They found out that the author of this site is part of a white supremacist organization.

Some content are biased and we need to learn how to detect what is creditable and what is not. Other red flags are content that haven’t been updated recently, grammatical errors, urls that are not .gov or .edu are just some. Basically, think like a detective when evaluating content.

It mentioned ways to search in order to get exactly what you are looking for. For example by using quotes for exact match of words, (-) to exclude words, and Wikipedia is useful as a start to research.

Use Easywhois, Whois to find who owns the site. Comes in handy when there isn’t an author listed.

In high school, I was never taught anything about “detecting crap” on the Web. I have started learning to detect unreliable and biased sources when I started at UWB. I have been a student at UWB for almost two years. Detecting crap entails time to investigate but is worth the time. I try to use UW library database when doing research and I am guessing the sources are credible. When I can find all that I need, then I resort to Google.

I do a tremendous amount of shopping online. I have been wanting to buy clothes from companies that are  not popularly known. I am very sketchy about buying from sites/stores that are unfamiliar, because I have bought something online before but it was never shipped to me. Come to find out that the site was a scam. Ever since then I do my research on the site/company before I purchase. It has worked out so far. I wish I had the motivation to put this much effort in my research in my schoolwork.

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Net Smart | How to Thrive Online Intro & Chapter 1


Introduction: Why You Need Digital know-How-Why We All need It

Is Google making us stupid, Facebook commoditizing our privacy, or Twitter chopping our attention into microslices are the questions being asked in this book. I feel that the way Google is used can better educate a person while can make them stupid. With Google we are able to look up topics of our interest without having to leave our home. Google has made it possible to learn about anything at your convenience. At the same, Google has made it easy for people to look up answers without having the intension to learn. As for Facebook, we compromise our privacy by sharing content. If there are things that are private and wish others not to see, then do not post it. Twitter has made it easier to follow educated people in the topics that one is interested in. Yes, that does limit what you learn, but if the topic is not interesting to you then you won’t  take the time to learn from it anyway. You have no intention to learn about that particular subject. I agree that we all need to learn how to use social media intelligently, humanely, and mindful.

Social media can be distracting. When Rheingold told the story about picking up his daughter to have dinner and she would not get off her phone. She was checking her email and said she would fall behind if she did deal with them now. Technology has its pros and cons. We all have easy access to the internet at our fingertips. People are now having to work while off the clock. If one chooses not to, then they will fall behind. It is hard to ignore work or school emails. I feel if I do not handle them right away, then it will distract me from all the other things I need to do.

Chapter 1| Attention! Why and How to Control Your Mind’s Most Powerful Instrument

I feel that one can learn how to control their mind. In this chapter it started telling a story about a classroom of students on their laptops wondering if these students are actually learning while on their devices. I would like to think so, because I do it all the time in class. I like the luxury of being able to look up information and take notes on my laptop during class. While the professor is lecturing, I find myself wanting to know more and googling it. If I don’t look it up, then I will be distracted the whole time wondering what it is. For example, when I was in my digital learning class, the professor referred to Downtown Abbey (i forgot why). I had no clue what she was talking about and did not want to look stupid by asking. So I quickly Googled and continued to follow with the discussion/lecture. If I did not look it up, I would be distracted thinking what what she was talking about.

Basically this chapter mentioned ways to train/learn from getting distracted and be focused. I often do my homework and studying online. What I do to stay focused is every so often, I would take a break from studying and do whatever online. It helps me clear mind, and refocus when I get back to my studying. When I do that, I am not constantly thinking what I missing out online. Sometimes on my breaks from studying I do chores around the house to clear may mind. My method of multitasking seems to me be effective for me. My method is like “Pomodoro Technique.”

It also mentioned about starting your day of making a list of intentions. I can relate to that. I always have a list of all the things I need to do. When I accomplish each of those tasks, I feel like my day has been productive. Having a daily to-do list can help many people from getting distracted from the internet.

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Chapter 11 | The Future of Networked Individualism

Networked| The New Social Operating System by Lee Rainie & Barry Wellman

In chapter 11, it talked about the possibilities of networked individuals in the future. It mentioned about “Robocop” eyeglasses that can scan 400 facial images per second, acquire 46,000 biometric points for each face, which is stored in a central computer database. Police officers are able to scan people’s faces and instantly get information back about the person they are looking at. This device will come in handy for authorities, but can be used for no good if it gets in the wrong hands.

It mentioned the future trends of “Laws of Digital Development.” There is speculation of what technology can bring to us in the future, but the real answer is that none really knows. Laws like Glider’s law of available bandwidth, Nielsen’s law of increasing internet connection, and Cooper’s law of wireless communication are some of the laws most of have experienced with the last decade or so. We have noticed that the ITC storage needed and offered have increased. The speed of connectivity has increased throughout the years. Do you remember dial-up and how long it took to get online? I can’t image doing that now…. That would be awful! Cooper’s law of wireless communication is something we learned to depend on, and feels like a missing limb if we were go without our smartphones. How did we manage in the past without cellphones?

With the emerging technology, the two scenario mentioned in the book does not seem impossible to me.Some of the things described in the scenarios are actions what we already experience today. This personal agent they are referring to reminds me of a super advanced Siri. Could this personal agent like Jarvis, Tony Starts personal agent/computer in the Ironman.

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