Information and Why It Is Important To Us

     Information is everything and everywhere and it is a way of telling us things that we do not already know. It also comes in all shapes and sizes, both literally and figuratively. Any data, instructions, or news can be seen as a type of information. As well as coming in all shapes and sizes some information carries a greater weight of importance for both the senders and the receivers.Information may not always be perceived by people the same when it comes to importance, however there are a few essential properties that information needs in order to be meaningful.

The first thing information requires to be meaningful is clarity. Information can be damaged over time or mistakes can be made which can cause things to be very unclear. Missing words or entire sentences out of phrases could make things very confusing and potentially dangerous in the case of emergency. For example, if my friend sends me a text that says ” eat my pizza in the fridge” ,when the message was intended to say DON’T eat my pizza in the fridge, the message is interpreted entirely different. A worse situation could be an instruction label missing from a fire extinguisher. Information must easy able to sort through and read.

In order to be meaningful, information should also be accurate. If the information is false then it is also useless, inconvenient or even dangerous. For example, if somebody gives you directions somewhere, and the directions are inaccurate,you most likely will not reach your intended destination. Another example would be if a box for a motherboard says that it needs and certain size power supply, but it turns out that the label is incorrect and it requires a larger one.

Finally information should be up to date. Information is no good to us if it is too old to matter. A very common example of this can be found in map applications. Many people rely on their phones and their map applications. However it seems to be common place for these maps to not be up to date. This results in people arriving in a destination only to find that the establishment they wished to visit, is no longer here or has been closed down. This could also be seen in things like tutorials. If the tutorial is for an older version of the software it may not provide the same results you were looking to achieve.

Information is everywhere and how we learn things in our lives whether it is conveyed by voice or written down. Almost all information is meaningful even if we do not realize that it is at the time. However it is not nearly as useful if the information is not clear, inaccurate, or out of date. Computers help make these things easier to achieve. Computers allow an infinite number of people to access the information at one time as well as edit it, correct it, and keep it up to date. A great example of this is Wikipedia. Wikipedia can be accessed by people all around the globe and is a great database. Although it is very accessible the information gathered here is not always correct, which is why many teachers do not allow it to be used as a source. Any one can post things they want on any topic and it can sometimes take a long time before somebody notices that the information given is incorrect. This video is another example of how misinformation effects us.

serendipitous flow theory

To gain knowledge on how to solve the wicked problem of how companies can have successful advertising without killing their website, I read a few articles Charles Dietz examines the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and its implications and Unintended Consequences of Targeting:Less Information,Less Serendipity – part 1 & 2 The first article describes flow theory. The second describes the lack of serendipitous when using targeted advertisement. I believe both of these give insight towards solving our wicked problem.

The article Charles Dietz examines the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and its implications talks about Mihaly Csiksentmihalyi’s Flow theory. Flow Theory is basically the phenomenon in which a person becomes so involved in an activity that nothing else matters. During this event, time typically becomes distorted in a sense that hours feel like minutes or minutes like seconds. The key to an individual experiencing flow depends on many variables and in turn the variables require different levels for every individual. The Individual must be entirely focused and concentrated on the activity involved.Curiosity aids in keeping this focus. The individual must also recognize a positive expectancy in the task and know that it is doable without feeling too anxious or too bored. The individual must also have a clear idea  or intuition of what needs to be done next.This clarity is  left unbroken by good immediate feedback so the individual knows they are on the right track. When all of these factors are combined they tend to give the individual a sense of ecstasy and peacefulness. Time is distorted when engaging in the activity and the activity becomes intrinsic and is a self rewarding experience.

The next article Unintended Consequences of Targeting:Less Information,Less Serendipity – part 1 & 2, touches on the effects of targeted advertising. Over the years companies have made targeted advertising  a very popular way to reach out to potential customers. Individuals subject to targeted advertising will see adds based on things such as browsing history, IP addresses, or “likes”. Some people may find this useful, however it does take away from the potential novelty that the web, or anything else that uses targeted advertising, has to offer. If everything is just showed to you based off the things you’ve already searched and know about, you’re not really discovering anything new from these adds. It takes away the serendipity, or pleasant  surprises, that one would normally come across with just random advertisements. For example, you may be going to buy you’re favorite magazine and stumble across another magazine at the store on a completely different topic that happens to catch your eye. With targeted advertisement only you most likely will miss out on this scenario. The article then even goes into how it can actually be depressing and or annoying for the individuals receiving the ads. One lady thought about purchasing a pair of shoes on-line but in the end decided not to buy them. The shoes then kept appearing in ads. Almost haunting her, and reminding her she couldn’t buy them.

I feel like I have learned some invaluable information about these subjects and am excited to incorporate them into a solution for our wicked problem. A user needs to enjoy the website they’re on and not be distracted by annoying full front in center distracting ads. They should be nice and neat on the sides and be random and spontaneous just like the people being exposed to them.

Cyberspace

In the article “A Rape in Cyberspace” by Julian Dibbell, Mr.Bungle is a character inside of a text based virtual reality community. One evening a few of the other players become victims of the words of this character. Mr.Bungle uses one of the aspects of the game to manipulate the other players text based characters, making them do things the original user did not intend for there characters to do such as engaging in sexual conduct with each other. The community of the game gets upset with this and wants his account to be deleted. They then use forums and chats to try to decide what to do about the situation. A few of the users suggest that his account be deleted. Several other users say that he didn’t really break any rules since there are no rules specified so deleting the account would be harsh. Eventually one moderator decides to delete the Mr.Bungle account. A few days later Mr.Bungle returns as Dr.Jest after easily creating a new account. Which after several months repeats his acts of rude conduct. The account is then immediately deleted without debate this time. Later it is believed that the character never actually belonged to one person but perhaps and entire college dorm floor that would get together and stir up trouble in the VR community.

Some of the implications are most likely setting codes of conduct as guidelines in your on-line community to prevent such situations from happening with the knowledge that banning is a punishment. It probably also led to the tracing and blocking of IPs instead of just deleting accounts. Now, most communities have a ranking system or government where there is the owner of the community or site and administrators that help enforce codes of conduct and take care of such issues. Thus one must take caution and acknowledge the possible punishments for being a troll as well as consider that some people take things seriously in these communities and may take your jokes to serious offense.

 

 

-Troll carefully.

JellyBean!

As the days keep passing we are coming closer and closer to U.S. launch of Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) on many of the most popular android devices. CNET has been covering the topic and all of the new features Jelly Bean will bring to it’s Google/Android users. A few of these new features include, smoother animations, better voice features, voice dictating w/o an internet connection, upgraded notification bar, better photo gallery/camera, Google Beam, and Google Now. Google Now periodically checks your location and connects it to your calender and sends you notifications based on your upcoming commute such as traffic and how long the commute will take. Jelly Bean is estimated to be released in October this year. Samsung, being one of the primary Android phone developers, will probably see these releases the soonest. Samsung provides some of the most powerful devices in the cell phone market and has released an ad comparing their Galaxy S3 to the new iPhone 5 and even though the device is almost 6 months old it has many advantages over the iPhone 5. Consumers might soon realize how apple is falling behind in there technology and pay less attention to apple’s marketing schemes.

.

GOOD VS EVIL

Good Web Design

One example of good web design is Tumblr.com.

The interface is simple and beautiful. It’s easy to sign up for and the mobile app is great too.

Another good example of good web design is YouTube.com

Works fantastic in browser and on mobile browsers. It also has a great mobile app. Best of all it is simple, easy to navigate, and provides endless entertainment.

BAD/Evil web design

MY first example of some horrible/EVIL web design is FACEBOOK

Facebook is one of those sites that makes me wish it never existed. Unfortunately it is also very useful for networking. When it actually is working well. The developers are always changing the website and not for the better. The mobile app is horrible even on the fastest smartphone available. The mobile browser doesn’t even allow the option of desktop view any more and it just as slow and crashes as much as the app. Let’s say you have a bunch “friends” you want to delete down to people you actually want to communicate with and see there posts. You have to delete every person individually and reload the page. It get’s exhausting.

Another example of not so good web design is right her on WordPress. The mobile browser version is rubbish and the app is irritatingly slow and backgrounds and other customizations don’t even show up. Also, lets just face it. The dashboard is way to cluttered and hard to find what you need as well as not being able to adjust the size of the window you are drafting your blog inside of while trying to see . I am still also trying to figure out whether I can actually position pictures in a particular spot among the text.

Websites worth visiting.

BLOGGING SITES

LIVE JOURNAL

Live journal focuses mostly on everyday blogging.

TUMBLR

Tumblr is a very popular photo blogging site.

EDUBLOGS

Edublogs is a free educational blogging website designed for a professor and student way to communicate outside of the class room.

TECH SITES

CNET

Compares all kinds of tech from software to hardware.

PRODUCT-REVIEWS

A great site for looking up reviews for recently released tech items like smartphones, computers, T.V.’s and video games.

PHONESCOOP

Specializes mostly in cellphone reviews and comparisons. Also gives details on phones yet to be released.

NEWS SITES

YAHOO!

Not sure if people really still use yahoo has a search engine anymore but, it does still turn out to be a pretty reliable news source.

MSN

I think most people look past the MSN homepage but it is full of tons of interesting articles

GOOGLE

Every hit the news tab at Google.com without typing in a search? Brings you knew in chronological order.

FUN SITES

Last.FM

Streaming music website that let’s you create a profile and keep track of what you listen to. It is either owned or partnered with Microsoft so you can find it on Xbox’s and Windows phones for free. There are subscription fee’s for other mobile users. Many sites like this don’t require a subscription and just have it as an option. Last.Fm out performs all of those services in my opinion and it also syncs with a media player call Songbird to show even better representation of what you listen to with your profile.

BASH.ORG

One of my favorite websites to read quotes and kill time. Takes a certain kind of humor as well as a good understanding of internet social groups and chats.

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.