January 30, 2007

My Late Start

Hi everyone, I’m sorry that this is so late. I joined the class late, and have had some technical difficulties.

My name is Scott Szesterniak. I am a full-time student majoring in Marketing and PR. This is my last semester of school, so I’m going to try and make the most out of it. Outside of school I find myself partaking in various sporting activities, and watching a fairly decent amount of TV. I’ve just recently started watching the show Heroes, which I give two thumbs up. Some “interesting? facts about me…..Hmmmm…. Well…My real name is Peter, but I’ve always gone by my middle name, Scott.

The first computer I used was the good ol’ Apple IIGS. I thought it was pretty cool at the time, but then again, so was wearing zooba pants. However, the first interaction I had with the internet was not with that particular computer, which by the way I had until my 8th grade year. I believe my first internet experience was in computer class my 7th grade year. This is where I learned the concept surfing the web, and how to follow the protocol needed to do it. It only took a few days before I was getting kicked out of class for being on sites that I shouldn’t have. While I knew what I did was wrong, I also knew something else; Our Apple IIGS at home couldn’t do that! After a year of telling my dad that our home computer was outdated, we went out and had a PC built for us. I distinctly remember loading AOL on it, so we could surf the web. Eventually, I started downloading MP3’s, and the use of yahoo! became a great search tool to aid me with my homework.

I currently use the internet as my primary source of information, and secondary source for entertainment. However, until reading the article, I was never familiar with the concept of WEB 2.0. I have been able to recognize that the internet has become much more interactive and user friendly in the past couple years. I look forward to the effects that the concept WEB 2.0 will continue to have on the internet.

Computer Brand Preference

Which Brand of computer do you trust and most prefer?

Hewlett Packard

January 25, 2007

Live, from D.C.

Sorry this is late, I'll try to catch up fast...
While I am in Washington, D.C. for the semester, I was born and raised near a small south-central Minnesota town on a farm. While I am actually a full-time student, this is my only "real" class for the semester, which I just added last night as I realized I will have enough time after all. My only other class is my internship, which I am taking out here with the House Agriculture Committee. My life is headed that way whether I like it or not (and I do), and I thought an internship out here would compliment my Agricultural Education (non-teaching) major. While I have only been in D.C. for a couple of weeks, my only hobbies are work and Internet, until I make some friends. Back home I enjoy sports, both participating in intra-murals and being a spectator of professional or Gopher sports.
I guess living out here is interesting, as I am living literally 3 blocks from the U.S. Capitol (and walk through it's basement on my way to work).

I was the first person to have the Internet in my 5th grade class. My first year was basically checking it out and playing some games. I had a hotmail account from day one, and MSN Messenger followed soon after. I taught myself HTML in 6th grade, and made a website (a very basic website) for my church in 8th grade. I stuck with the Internet through high school, but lost interest in the programming side as I did more and more agricultural activities. One thing about HTML is that it is easy to remember once to learn it, because the language is so unlike anything and is pretty straight forward. For instance, I understand the tags that this editor makes when I want to make a link. I am addicted to Firefox, Facebook and Gmail, and now that I have a job in a House Office Building, I do not know what would happen to our country without Internet and Blackberrys. I also have a blog on Blogspot where I can communicate easily with friends and family about my daily experiences out here.

Although I use the web daily, I am not familiar with the concept of Web 2.0. I have seen the obvious changes the article talks about, but of course you cannot draw a firm line between the two concepts. The user-friendliness and amount of user-interactive websites has of course increased dramatically, but I would have to agree with Blender and the article that the biggest difference was from trying to turn a page of the Internet into a store, library, or something we already have in Web 1.0 (keeping the Internet, as software, at a standstill), and we now are using our knowledge to create a better Internet. I enjoy:
My blog, as it saves me cell phone minutes
Facebook, so I know what my friends are up to, and what they have taken crazy pictures of
Gmail, for its 3 GB of storage (more than my first computers)
Craigslist, for being eBay's free evil step-brother
and Nike+, which is a running program integrated into your shoes, to see your distance and time of running. All set to the music of your iPod.

Continue reading "Live, from D.C." »

January 23, 2007

Programmer, Snowboarder

Apologies for the late entry, I too had a few technical difficulties. My name is Zach Snow, and I am a senior computer science major. I will be graduating at the end of this semester, and hopefully attending graduate school next fall. I also work on two different projects in the department. One of these projects, called Sharescape, seems to be related to this class. The project aims at creating an online community centered on tagging locations (depicted on a Google map) with useful information. I am also an avid snowboarder, and I like to build things out of wood (though I wouldn’t claim to be a carpenter). I also always put periods at the end of sentences, regardless of quotation marks or parentheses, because it seems more logical.

I can’t remember exactly when I got my first computer, but I remember it was an IBM 486, running Windows for Workgroups 3.11. However, I spent most of my time on the machine playing with the QBASIC interpreted it had. I also played a few games, and even tried my hand at writing one or two.

I first connected to the internet using Prodigy with a 9600 baud modem, however it was a very solitary experience: I didn’t enjoy chatting with strangers, and I had no friends with internet connections.

Most of my opinions on “the web? and Web 2.0 have been form in a vacuum, with very little discussion with others. Therefore I am excited to gain new perspectives on the efficacy of Web 2.0. I certainly agree that interactive websites have certainly become major players in our culture. And I agree that that Web 2.0 has “generally transformed user experiences online?, though I am unsure whether this has been a good thing. Oftentimes it seems that certain Web 2.0 technologies and tools are overused, with website designers adding interactive technologies when the site is really only intended to be informational. In my opinion this often detracts from the information quality and ease of access.

And for the survey:

Programming Languages

Which of the following programming languages have you exposure to?

Basic or variants
I have had no exposure to programming languages

Finally, I'm in!!!

Hello everyone. Sorry this is a bit late, but I had some technical difficulties entering into the course website. My name is Erin Milbrath and I am a senior in the Human Resource Development undergraduate program. I currently work full time as a Human Resources Coordinator at Opus Corporation in Minnetonka, MN. Opus is a full service real estate and construction company. One of their finished projects includes the Best Buy Headquarters in Edina, MN. As a Human Resources Coordinator I assist the various departments within the HR Department. Currently I’m working on many compensation and benefits projects, but am soon going to be transitioning into the training and development department helping design and implement various training programs for our organization. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, hanging out with friends, and of course playing with my new puppy Lola, who is a puggle. Puppies are A LOT of work but are great company to have.

My first computing experience was probably back when I was in elementary school, which was over 10 years ago. I remember playing various educational and learning games such as Word Munchers and Number Munchers and fun leisure games such as Oregon Trail and the Lemonade Stand game. My parents first purchased a computer for my sister and me when I was in the 4th grade. It was a Macintosh because my Uncle was and is a Mac/Apple fanatic and influenced my parents to purchase a Mac verse a PC. I was probably one of the last people to get the Internet out of all of my friends. My friends and I would spend hours at each other’s houses on American Online and chatting in various chat rooms. It took probably years to influence my parents in purchasing the Internet, but they finally did and we haven’t been living without it since. I must say that I was very fascinated with the possibilities the Internet let individuals do as far as: purchasing items, communicating with family/friends/strangers around the world, and the amount of resources on just about any topic you can think of.

After reading the article on Web 2.0 it made me reflect on how the Internet has really changed over the years. Web 2.0 I feel is more interactive and not so much informative. People are able to create and post just about anything. For example the Facebook and MySpace are two huge interactive programs that have become extremely popular within the past few years. For me, these two programs have become a thing I check almost 2-3 times a day. Thus Web 2.0 definitely plays an influence on people’s everyday lives, and I would even go to say that it has influenced our culture. It will be very interesting to see what the next 5-6 years will bring as far as improvements and advancements to the Internet.

Continue reading "Finally, I'm in!!!" »

January 19, 2007

Some folks still write on paper...

Hi everyone. If the lateness of this post could be any more telling about my internet habits I'd be set. My name is Andrew Ranallo and I'm a senior at the U majoring in English and American Indian Studies (mainly in the study and revitalization program for the Ojibwe Language).
I definately have a long history with computers and the internet but interestingly my understanding of some of the new concepts plateaued along with my interest in the new features of technology. I remember the black floppys with pen written titles, and putting them in my apple gave me nothing but some kind of prompt. When I was a young roustabout I would work at it until I got those games to work. Usually they were the kind where you say things like "Go East" and then it would respond with "You see a hermit with a cat." and you would say "Take Cat." and it would say "You cannot take Cat." and that's when I would usually shut it off.
Then my Mom, a few years later got an ISP called WOW and we'd collect URLs in an envelope becasue we looked at them like strange codes that would only work if entered perfectly. This was before Google even entered the webosphere. So I'd clip URL's from magazines and I distinctly remember how slowly but surely I started to see more and more of them, and began to realize that many variables could go between "www." and ".com" and my big envelope of URLs was kind of pointless.
Moving on, to me Web 2.0 does seem like a simple buzzword made to alienate those without high-speed internet and perhaps boost internet investments and capital. Perhaps define the digital divide a little more clearly. "What, you don't have DSL? Whaaaat? You don't use wikipedia?" I don't mean to sound sure, because, as much as it seems this way to me, when a term is applied, and then used by the general population with a definite (albeit broad) definition in mind, how can it'svalidity or existence be questioned? I think vast improvements have come across the electronic world we spend so much of our waking time in though along with everything that makes our time easier and more secure comes something like this that makes me question the goal of advancing technologies, and more importantly, the real outcome, intended or not.

 Oregon Trail Memories  

As I saw Oregon Trail mentioned in many other posts, I thought this would be fitting. What was your favorite default character name in Oregon Trail?

Zeke (my favorite)

Current Results

Here is my post

Hello my name is Nick Johnson and I am turning this in really close to the deadline as you can well see. Story of my life. A little bit about me: I am a full time student hopefully graduating this spring with a degree in Economics. I enjoy camping, canoeing, rock climbing, movies, music, concerts, and much more.

I came along on the internet during approximately the 8th grade in which the internet at the time was quite developed. Most people at the time already had internet and aol instant messenger and the like. All of my friends had email accounts as well. I was using a computer with windows 98 if I remember correctly and it had an earlier version of internet explorer.

Web 2.0 to me (after reading this article, previous knowledge, and other websites) seems to be a general interactive experience whereas the original form of the internet was more single sided. In the original internet a site would be created by some entity and you would read/view its contents and that’s all that would come from it. Web 2.0 is more of an interactive experience such as noted by the person who coined the term Tim O’Reilly. His original thoughts on it were for it to be a sort of conferencing device. It has since evolved into a million different ways of interaction such as Wikipedia (my favorite site), various social networking sites such as facebook or myspace, and much more. It is my opinion that web 2.0 is accomplishing what the internet originally was set out to create in a more interconnected world.

On a side note I think it is a fantastic thing as I find it a very similar concept to open-source software which I have ALWAYS been a huge proponent.

And here is my survey, hopefully it works

My Survey

Who is the best actor portraying someone in the mafia?

Robert Deniro
Danny Devito
Al Pacino
Christopher Walken
Ray Liotta
Paul Sorvino
Johnny Depp

Squeezed in before the deadline...

I had this all typed up, and then went back a page and erased it all. Anyways, hi, my name is Matt Erickson, and I am a sophomore and art history major here at the U. This is not my first time blogging, although in previous blogging experiances I haven't had the need to punctuate properly (i used to blog using all lowercase, and only using commas and periods).

My first experiance with a computer was with the internet. In 1991 I played a game on a Packard Bell (I don't know the specs) which I learned tonight was called MadMaze, here is a link to a recreation of the game: MadMaze was a game run using prodigy, and playing this game is one of my earliest memories. Since then I've played many other games over the internet, such as Diablo, Starcraft, Day of Defeat, World of Warcraft, CS: Source.

The Internet has seemed to have gotten more simple to use in the past few years (four of five?), but I never would have thought to label what the internet has become as Web 2.0. If Web 2.0 means that the internet is getting more and more simple, or user friendly, then I see it as a good thing. I use the internet for a variety of things. I read most of the news online; if anyone is looking for an interesting website for news I would suggest Some other websties that I use are,,,, and many others.

Internet Gaming

What do you think of internet gaming?

I don't game, it's a waste of time.
I don't game, but I wish I had time.
I game but not over the internet.
Internet gaming all the way!

Internet: Thanks for everything.

Howdy, everyone. My name is Paul Treiber, and I am an internet junkie. I'm in my fourth year of college and second at the U of M. I used to be a Computer Science major, but after a year in the major, I found that I liked language better. Currently, I'm a full-time student majoring in Asian Languages and Literature (Japanese Subplan). I hope to teach English in Japan, China, and Korea after graduating. After soaking in as much language and culture as I can from those three countries, I would like to become an interpreter. I enjoy all kinds of music, but my favorite is classical--especially Bach (I know, technically, he's baroque), Beethoven, Chopin, and Rachmaninov. I love to play piano, but I'm a little out of practice since coming to college. I also love to read nonfiction, biographies, online comics, history, and classic novels. I love camping, but I haven't really been out of the city in the last year. I have actually worked for an online university for the last four years, so I'm very curious to finally participate in an online course.

I miss command-line interface (I was so used to DOS 6.0) and BBSes. I began keeping a journal at the age of 5 on my parents' first computer, which had a chip that ran at about...20 MHz, if I remember correctly. It also had two 5-inch floppy drives and a green monochrome monitor. In 1992, we got a computer with a 386 chip (a whooping 33 MHz!), 3.5 inch floppy drive, and a color monitor. I remember playing Wolfenstein 3D, Gorillas, and Snakes (the last two are games in BASIC! Woo!). I enjoyed creating macros in DOS, writing short stories, and making short songs using the beep function in DOS (I got carried away once and wrote out Für Elise...) Our uncle upgraded his modem in '92 or '93 and sent us his old 2400 baud modem--8 times better than our 300 baud one! My family went to the library often when I was very young, and my dad always picked up the newest issue of Computer User. In the back, there were listings for local BBSes, and many of them had simple games. At the age of 8, I began to play "door games" such as Exitilus, Legend of the Red Dragon (LORD), Planets, Trade Wars, The Pit, and many more on these BBSes. They had daily limits on your actions, such as being able to search for monsters to fight only 30 times, and this limit was reset every day at midnight. I got so involved in these games that, for a while, I would set the alarm on my watch for midnight and go play whichever game was my favorite at the time until I ran out of turns. Around the same time, we found out that we could make library reservations by dialing into the library BBS. We could also surf the limited web through it, but only by using text commands (awesome!). Even though I was only 9 or so by that point, and it was text-only, I was completely captivated. Little did I imagine the possibilities that have been realized in today's internet.

O'Reilly's comparison of the ongoing development of the internet to the formation of synapses in the brain makes so much sense. I thought it was a great metaphor for one of the central ideas of Web 2.0: users are ultimately going to improve the internet through their sheer numbers. Through email/text/blog/comment, they not only help draw more people to interesting and useful sites, but they also help improve content and services for all users. This is what amazes me most about Web 2.0: continual improvement in which any user can participate! Although there are plenty of users who do not make positive contributions (I stay far, far away from most discussion boards), sites like Wikipedia, eBay, and Google have expanded the possibilties for user involvement in a profound way. I see it as a great chance for people to participate in democratic action, because even one person can have a tangible effect on those services. Web 1.0 was machine-based, and thus was limited by the collective imagination and intelligence of its designers. Web 2.0 is user-based and does not have that limitation (not that it does not have any). I regularly use Wikipedia, Google, Amazon, CNet, and Pandora.

 2 vs. 10  

Which definition of gigabyte do you use?

2^30 bytes--and I hate the new definition.
2^30 bytes--but I'm not complaining.
1 billion bytes--why not?
1 billion bytes--but I'm not happy about it.'s not important to me.

Current Results

I'm not a noob....

I’m slow on the draw, but I’ve finally gotten around to my fabulous introductory blog post. This is not my first time blogging, so I can’t really use that as an excuse for my late posting, so I hope that you will forgive me. I am a senior in Scientific and Technical Communication, set to graduate in May with my BS. (I won’t even tell you how many jokes my dad has made about the fact that I’m getting a ‘BS’ from the Rhetoric department.) I just returned from a semester in Sydney, Australia, so if I insert a few “crikeys!? and “g’days? into my posts, you will just have to go along with it. Let’s see…for fun…I like to bake all sorts of sweets, go to concerts, snowboard and read any book that may strike my interest. I hope this gives you a little more insight into who I am as a person. Now I will give you a little more background on my ‘net history’.

I started using the internet in 4th grade for ‘research’ projects. This was back in 1994 when the internet was a scary and dangerous place for us little 4th graders to be wandering around unsupervised. Prior to that, most of my computing experience was word processing on an ancient IBM that I recall using DOS commands on. After my intro to the internet via research in the library, my real ‘use’ began in middle school when I got my first hotmail account and eventually AIM. (My typing teachers that I had from 4th-7th grade would be very upset to hear this, but it wasn’t until instant messaging that my typing vastly improved. The best part about this is that I’m seeing the same thing with my little brothers who are in 4th and 7th grade.)

I’m still a bit foggy on this whole concept of “Web 2.0?, but I think that if I look at how my experiences with the internet have changed over the years, I can say that it has definitely made a difference in the way that I utilize the internet. Before I came to college, the internet was a novelty, now it seems a necessity. I check the weather, news, my email, pay my bills, buy things and entertain myself with the internet. I have a personalized Google page, I use torrent sites, Wikipedia, am Facebook obsessed and rarely go to the library thanks to Google scholar and the online journal archives that the U of M subscribes to.

I am really looking forward to this course and getting to know all of you through your blogs. In the meantime, I’m going to test your political savvy in terms of the great country of Australia. Cheers!

Australian Politics

Who is the prime minister of Australia?

Edmund Barton
Don Bradman
John Howard
Neville Bonner

Survey Fix

Okay I'm trying my survey again. Apparently I didn't get all of the code.

Food Survey

What is your favorite type of cuisine?

Fast Food

You are now entering the blogosphere

Hello everyone, nice to meet you. My name is Travis Carr, I’m a third year student, full time, from Blaine, Minnesota (a suburb about 20 minutes north of campus)I’m majoring in English but a bigger passion of mine is music, which I’m completely in love with. I play drums in a band named daybreak. We played at the Whole in Coffman a year or two ago with band we’re good friends with; to my knowledge it was close to selling out and the biggest show they had had there, but I didn’t get that first hand so I’m not positive.

I remember my family got our first computer as a family gift one Christmas, and I was on it a fair amount. I don’t remember what service we used to connect to the internet, but I distinctly remember the (now depressing) fact that the only website I visited when we first got access to the internet was, simply because a friend showed it to me and I didn’t know what else to do online. I suppose in the development of the net I would consider myself as coming along sometime during the tail end of the dot-com bubble. My family was never really on the forefront of technology.

Although I get confused in some of the specifics of what qualifies as Web 2.0 and what doesn’t, I think it has greatly changed user experiences online. I definitely feel when I look at sites online that things seem a little more personalized and focused on the user. When Napster just became popular I was using it all the time; it opened a lot of doors for me to hear bands that I just wouldn’t be able to hear on the radio. Someone (I’m having trouble finding the entry again) said before me that Web 2.0 seemed like a logical next step for the internet, and I agree. I’m sure it won’t be long until we see another new generation of web applications as technology continues to evolve and entrepreneurs continue to create them.

At any rate, I apologize if my blog is coming in late. I look forward to working with all of you this semester!

 How is your Spring '07 session?  

How do your classes this semester compare with last semester?

Much Better
About the Same
Much Worse

Current Results

In with the new...

Hello all! Sorry that this is last minute, but boy o boy I have never blogged before. It took a while for me to find everything. I guess I’m not as good with computers as I thought I was. My name is Kelly Colbert and I am a third year at the University. I am studying Applied Economics and Marketing and finding that I really enjoy my classes. I hope to and plan on graduating in the spring of 2008 and heading out of the cold. I plan on moving to Colorado or Arizona where the sun shines a little bit more. I do enjoy the summers up in Minnesota but having nice weather year round would be wonderful. I just don’t really like walking to class with 8 layers on… I guess I am in the wrong state! I also love listening to music. I have to have it on at all times when I do anything! So if you know of any good bands or anything of the sort, let me know!

My first memory of computers was when I was slightly younger and in the first grade. We would have computer class each week and learn how to type on computers using Number Munchers and Mavis Beaken Teaches Typing. It was so amazing to me that I could press a button and it would show up on the screen. It was a huge step up from the typewriter that my family had at home. I guess I had a great experience with the computers at such a young age because I find myself constantly on my computer checking e-mails on an hourly basis and signed in to the AIM program all day every day. During middle school my friends and I would rush home from school and chat for hours on-line with our friends that we saw all day long at school. It was to the point that my mom had given me a time limit to be on the computer and would always tell me that the times are changing with the technology era.

I find myself being awestruck with our generation and the use of technology today. Everything that you could imagine is on the web and everything that is being advertised always has a .com address as well. I think many times of the progression of the internet that I have personally used; new updates for programs almost on a weekly basis and new and more efficient websites that help immensely for finding the information that I need. Also the speed of the modems that my family has gone through over the years is quite humorous when I look back. There would be days that I would click on a page to load, go make myself lunch and come back to the computer and the page still would not have loaded. As the article talked about, in just a few years modems will be a word of the past and everyone is going to have WiFi. Minneapolis in just a few years is going to have wireless for the whole city which is really going to change the way that people interact. Sitting out at Calhoun in the summer, everyone will be on their computer instead of the numerous activities that usually take place.

Web 2.0 really boggles my mind in more ways than just one. The amount of technology at our hands everyday who knows what my kids are going to be making fun of me the way that I sometimes tease my parents about the technology that they had growing up. Being able to create websites and having anything at your fingertips is quite amazing when you realize that the Web is not tangible. I am an avid user of on line shopping almost to the point that if they do not have it posted on their site many times I do not go to that particular store to purchase the item. I have also dedicated many hours to Ebay and Amazon browsing what’s new and personalized my own web pages through Facebook at Myspace; a whole new way to stay in touch with friends. The new technology that is coming out in an incredibly fast pace is exciting and yet a bit scary in that the world is becoming so dependent on the use of the web. Just a few decades ago, no one would have ever dreamed of taking a class on line. It would have been crazy talk. Web 2.0 is the new thing for now… but in the age of technology it seems like the new become the old very quickly.

 YouTube Craze  

Are you being sucked into the YouTube craze?

What is YouTube??

Current Results

January 18, 2007

Does the Internet have a birthday

Does the Internet have a birthday?

The term internet is diverse. It is diverse among origin, definition, and application. Is defining the origin of the internet necessary or is it just an opportunity for individual’s or company’s claim to fame in the soon to be historical textbooks? I believe our pursuit to completely understand the internet reaches beyond textbook definitions and will leave us students and experts in suspense throughout this technological revolution. It is for this reason that I strongly proclaim there may be no existence of a birthday for the internet. Poor internet.

Perhaps the internet is nothing but a global network, with tools such as computers created to be a catalyst of human communications. Therefore in theory, maybe the internet is so abstract that it has no origin, nor any clear definition, and has been forever in existence.

Ian Peter states the following regarding email, “It was never invented; it evolved from very simple beginnings.? Yet later in the article it states that Ray Tomlinson was credited for inventing email in 1972. Perhaps this discrepancy of writings stems from a clear definition of what email is, the simple @ that was created for computers to communicate with one-another. My point is that perhaps there will not be a clear origin of the internet because even defining such a thing is too complex.

Through the frenzy, from Web1.0 to Web 2.0, and from Netscape to Google, the internet is ongoing and ever-changing. There never seems to be clear definitions or understandings but rather radical hype and on-going, ever changing applications. Web 2.0 to be has been transformational as it has allowed for the everyday users to create their own uses for internet. We no longer must subscribe to a system or software only to be confined to specific applications, paying high-prices to be part of this internet evolution. Through the ever changing need and creativity of the online users, Web 2.0 applications allow for the simplicity and expansion needed to maintain the interest and need of the user.

My experience with computers and the internet can be summed up similar to the history of the internet outlined by Ian Peter in his online writing, “History of the Internet.? Began as a concept and quickly moved into application through the use of computers, through the era, and into Web 2.0 and future applications. I began with personal thoughts that computers and internet technology was that of the government and not for everyday users. I never dreamed that a computer or the internet would be part of my daily life.

I was introduced to a computer through a friend at approximately the age of 8. Because her parents were teachers they encouraged us to put hours of play into the floppy disk game Grover Math. Before long I was in junior high, my family with our very own computer, and surfing the World Wide Web through Netscape. It began as a fascination with online chatting, and soon led to an academic resource. Soon libraries became ancient research facilities and the internet with it’s sites directed me to choosing a specific college to attend.

Throughout college the internet has become my favorite communication tool. It allowed me to do research papers, while sipping tea at the local coffee hotspot, and allowing my friends to send me online messages while I was too busy to attend local house parties. Today the internet accompanied with Web 2.0 applications serves as a catalyst to school and business applications. I am able to research job possibilities through the websites of local and global organizations. I am also able to gain work experience while being a fulltime student through online course work at the University of Minnesota.

Now to all my fellow bloggers. Sorry to put all my thoughts of the reading at the beginning but that is the most critical to my grade so I saved my personal introduction to the end.

My name is Amber Rose. I am a senior here at the U of M and look forward to finding a job that is accessible world wide. I believe the tool that will accompany this goal is the internet and thus I am taking this course. I am also taking this course as it will challenge my frustrations with the complexity of the internet and its’ applications. Please be patient with these frustrations through my blogs. (only kidding!) The best of luck to all of us!

Continue reading "Does the Internet have a birthday" »

Hello class, sorry I'm late.

Hello everyone, from positively 4th Street, S.E.
Yes, this is my first time as a blogger, and yes, it did take me over a few days to figure it out, but now all is well. Anyway, my name is Eddie Olson, I am currently a junior, majoring in S&TC. So far it has been a great year. About a week ago I came back to the USA after spending six months living and studying in Vienna, Austria. As well as traveling around Europe, it was great! I am currently trying to get back into the USA life style, finishing moving in to my new place, getting back into school mode, and finding a job. Life is great.

I recall in elementary school playing the game Oregon Trail, that is my first memory of consistently using a computer. But besides playing games, I got to know computers during the early years of my schooling with typing classes and such. I believe my family got a computer when I was in 8th grade; that was the time when AOL was the thing to do. Looking back, thanks to my time on AOL chatting with my online buddies, I learned how to really type quickly. Sure the internet was very slow, but it was all we knew. Today I rarely if ever use an instant messaging system, but instead I will occasionally log onto the facebook.. yes I admit it.

I have experienced the transition from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. at my fingertips. And though I consider “web 2.0? just to be another name for the “more advanced/evolved web we already knew,? I must say I like it. It is more user friendly and much more efficient regarding usability. With so much stuff on the web today, it is just fun to imagine what the “web 3.0? will be like.

For free streaming movies, tv shows or what not, check out these sites:,, or search them at


Blu-ray Nay or Yay?

Will the Blu-ray take over the HD DVD/DVD market?


My First Time Blogging

Hi everyone my name is Dawn Luhmann. I am a full time student majoring in Agricultural Industries and Marketing. This is my final semester at the University because I am graduating after four wonderful years. Besides school, I work two part time jobs on campus one in research and as a library assistant. Other then school and working I love spending time with my family and friends. My family is my number one priority. I also enjoy traveling both in the states as well as abroad. I have been to Holland as well as just returning this last Monday from two weeks in Costa Rica.

When looking back the first computer I ever used was the old Macintosh green computers. This was when I was in elementary school. I had just used it to type. Then our school moved in with the internet but it was a very slow connection. We mainly only used it for research projects but were limited on our time limits. Growing up I never had a computer at my house till I was in my sophomore year in high school. Then we got internet my junior year. I just had used it to chat on MSN. Now I use it everyday for everything from email, research, reading the paper, and staying connected to my host family abroad.

Web 2.0 is very interesting but takes time to learn and understand. For me I see it as a huge umbrella. Everything fits under it somewhere it is just a matter of understanding it and using it correctly and perfectly.

Continue reading "My First Time Blogging" »

Happy Blogging!! Done it once or twice....

Hi my name is Jamie Johnson and I am senior here at the U and 22 years old. I am just finishing up my math degree, and possibly looking at finishing up a Mechanical engineering degree also. To be perfectly honest I am taking this class to help fill some elective credits and it fits into my schedule since I work alot. My current jobs involve being a DJ for parties on the weekend, working at a custom car shop during the week and trying to go to school full time. Besides my hectic work schedule I snowboard as much as possible and I have also been playing piano for around 13-14 years. Some other interesting tid-bits about myself is that me and a buddy just came back from a snowboarding trip in California and got stuck in the snow storm in Wyoming and witnessed around 4 accidents with semitrucks, but we made it fine, so happy blogging to all!

Continue reading "Happy Blogging!! Done it once or twice...." »

the other side of Web 2.0

As Matt pointed out, the idea of Web 2.0 isn’t exactly universally embraced or revered on the web. This list of Web 2.0 humor that he pointed to is worth clicking around in. The language isn’t exactly pristine, but it’ll give you a sense of some of the criticisms of the concept.

Hello Class

Hi there. I am Julie Swenson. I consider myself a super senior at the U. My major is Communications, with a 'minor' in Applied Business. I am self-employed as a Freelance Makeup Artist and Hairstylist, as well as a Salon/Spa/Beauty Industry Consultant. I turned 30 last year and am at peace with the grey hairs, cellulite and wrinkles that keep appearing daily. My husband and I are expecting in July of this year.

My first experience on a computer was around the age of 7. At that time we were either using IBM or Apples. I remember playing Number Munchers and Oregon Trail. It wasn't until my freshman year at the U of M (1995) that I started using the internet, mostly for research and e-mail.
I still use both a PC (desktop) and a MAC (laptop).

I believe Web 2.0 was the next (inevitable) evolution for the industry. Web 2.0 meets the demands of the internet's audience with benefits such as advanced data management, participation, and free services. I regularly use Craigslist to advertise my business, Amazon to buy books and materials for my business, MySpace to keep my social life going, and YouTube for entertainment.
However, I am still using old applications such as Evite and Ofoto. Because I am not on the internet often, I fall behind on the lastest and greatest.
This begs the question, what will Web 3.0 look like, and will Baby Boomers and Gen Xers be able to keep up? And further, with companies rushing to get on the Web 2.0 bandwagon without a strategic plan, how many of those companies will collapse?

Survey Question

If you could have walked in their shoes for one day, who would you be?

Buddy Holly
James Brown
Kurt Cobain
Frank Sinatra

Hello to all!

Hi, my name is Carl, and I'm a sophomore here at the U who will be turning 20 years old this coming Monday. I am a full time student currently majoring in neuroscience, although recently I've been considering a major change to something keeping scientific aspects but involving more writing, hence why I'm in this class. I've lived most of my life in Chesterfield, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. I'm a fan of all three major St. Louis sports teams, the Rams, Blues, and especially the world champion St. Louis Cardinals (man, that still feels awesome to say after three months), and I also really enjoy going to the Metrodome to cheer on the Gopher football team when they're in season. I really like video games too, getting my first system, an NES, for my fifth birthday and having owned at least one console from every generation since then, including the current one now that I've been fortunate enough to track down a Wii when I was home over winter break. Actually, it's the first nonportable Nintendo system I've owned since the days of the N64. I'm also an anime fan with a pretty extensive collection of DVDs, although most are of shows that are currently on or once aired on Adult Swim. I also regularly attend anime club meetings here at the U (That's from 6:30-10:00 every Thursday night in 2-520 Moos Tower, for those interested)

I don't remember quite when I first started using the internet, but I definitely remember when 28.8 dialup modems were common. I also vaguely remember using some old, text-based email software on my dad's computer to write to "keypals" when I was a really little kid. That's probably my earliest memory of using the internet. I didn't really become a regular user until well into the graphical interface era. A friend of mine introduced me to the message boards, and for a while I would spend a lot of time online just looking through them without an account of my own. Eventually I got my own computer that I actually owned (as opposed to just using my dad's when he wasn't around), and I started actually posting on those boards and playing online games like Starcraft and Diablo II with my crappy little dialup connection, which by then was slowly starting to become outdated. Honestly, it took a while for my house to finally go high speed since we actually were not equipped to handle DSL for a while despite living in a suburban area, and my dad was reluctant to get cable. Eventually though, we did get DSL, and we've been happy with that ever since. Currently, I don't really use my GameFAQs account anymore, but I am a regular poster over on the forums, which I started using once I realized I was using GameFAQs more to talk about anime and other stuff other than video games.

I think Web 2.0 pretty much defines what the internet is today. Although I haven't necessarily heard of everything on O'Reilly's list, I certainly am well familiar with the big names like Google and Wikipedia. I will admit I mostly go to Wikipedia for entertainment rather than serious research purposes since most college courses don't consider articles from there legitimate, but it comes in handy for settling informal arguments on message boards. I couldn't help but notice that part of the required readings for another technical writing class I'm taking actually consisted of Wikipedia entries. I saw that and immediately thought of this class. The community does include a blog too, so the concept of keeping one isn't totally foreign to me, but still, it's nothing I really update that often, maybe once or twice a month at best. Bittorrent is also important in the anime community for distributing fansubs, files of unlicensed anime series episodes with English subtitles created by fans, which ordinarily wouldn't be available in the US until; some American company licenses it, dubs it, and puts it on DVD. I tend to stay away from using it myself, opting instead to buy DVDs and occasionally watch stuff on Youtube, but I definitely know many people who do, plus it's the only source of certain series we watch in club.

Alright, now with the survey...

Adult Swim

Do you watch Adult Swim?

Yes, mostly for comedy
Yes, mostly for anime
Yes, a little of everything
No, it's not really my thing
What's Adult Swim?

Hello! I am hoping this works!

Hi! My name is Kate, I am 21 and I will be graduating in the Spring! I will have a degree from the Carlson School of Management in Marketing. I currently work in Strategic Marketing at Thomson West, part time. After I graduate, I will go full time! I work on their website,; more specifically, on SEO and banner merchandising. It is very exciting because I work on a team that is all new to making a website function better, and we get to learn together! For fun, I run, spend time with my family and friends, read, do crosswords, and I am also a 5K race organizer. Something unexpected about me is that I went to Africa a year ago!
My first experience with a computer was when I was probably 7. I learned to type using Mario teaches typing on a really old IBM, and then soon after that I remember our family getting AOL (circa 1993). I also remember playing games like Number Munchers, Oregon trail, and typing programs in grade school. The first online experience I can remember is figuring out what “IMing? was. My mom got mad when she realized I was talking to a complete stranger I had met in a “chat room.? I remember thinking typing was really cool, and someone once told my mom that it would be a blessing if I could learn how to type, because eventually, I would be able to type faster than I could write. And that meant I could get my thoughts out faster!

I think the concept of the Web 2.0 is brilliant! I think it is true that a new age has come for the internet. As I understood the article, what works and what doesn’t work online is becoming more clear. In my mind, the simpler a website is (little advertising like Craiglist and Google are the most successful because there is not a ton of clutter!) I think Web 2.0 has transformed users’ experiences and what they expect from the Web. Some Web 2.0 applications I use are Facebook,, Google, Ebay, and Craigslist.

Kate's Poll

What is your favorite place to grab a bite to eat around campus?

Panera Bread
Burrito Loco

This is like BBS

Good evening. My name is Ruoyu and it's my first time entering into a blog. I feel it's similar to BBS, like when you post a question. If I'm not using the right word, I beg your pardon.

I'm a 4th year student on physiology major, but am currently considering another track; yes, it doesn't make any sense, I don't deny. For the past 2 years I have been taking classes that I don't want to take, just because my parent hopes that I can study some medical science related major. I'm from a culture where traditional people fulfills their parents wishes -- they become what their parents hope them to become. So I thought I was only to study physiology, but I was wrong.

I'm taking this class because it seems interesting, as I'm thinking of taking rhetoric as one of my concentrating areas. It may not last long though -- it may change tomorrow. I'm a fairly inside person. I don't really go out, in fact I hate summer. What I enjoy doing the most now is probably to do anything on the computer, and to play my piano.

To this web 2.0, I'm one of those who thought it's a new technology. Well was that a beautiful misunderstanding... I'd like to see this replaces the desktop operating platform.

I was also introduced to computers by games, like most of you. When I was back in my country, some of my "rich" friends has started playing computer games while I thought Sega Saturn was the best creature in the universe. Until I was introduced to C&C Red Alert, that's when everything changed...I don't know much about computers, really. I have never formally taken any computer courses (except 1 semester of Visual Basic which was pretty much of a joke), all I know is just basic assembling, installing OS, and solve problems myself.

That's pretty much what I have to say. If I don't end up out of this class tomorrow afternoon, (please don't ask me why) I hope to have a great semester with you.

First Blogging Experience

Hi everyone! This is a new experience for me – blogging that is. ). Like many others, I’m used to posting on WebCt for classes. During 2006-2007 I decided to become a full time student trying to finish up my degree. I’ve been on the 80-year program – time to accelerate! After this semester I’m only two classes away from completing my undergrad degree (hopefully this fall). When I’m not in school or working, I like to bike with my husband, work in my garden, work out, hike, or just hang out with my kids. I also work full time as a Systems Analyst in a manufacturing company in St. Paul.

I started my career on the business side (Purchasing) and migrated to the IT side so I could work longer but few days while my kids were small. I became an operator at the Help Desk and my manager was excited because I had some background in LAN (local area network) security. Yes, I’ll be dating myself here but when I first started, we had to sign up to use the NBI (word processing computers) to type documents. The company graduated to PCs and connected them via the LAN. I was the security administrator for our floor. At the Help Desk, there were only a couple PCs. We were supporting mainframe applications (that included mounting big reels & tapes). Some of the “techies? were able to use the dial-up system to go through the library and bring back some archaic data from the web. It was really fun – we had text but no graphics. Boy have times have changed!

I still work on our legacy system (IDMS, DB2, SQL, etc) with little experience on the net. I want to become more Net savvy. I bought an Apple last year and love it! I am more comfortable using it than my PC at work. Safari and Firefox get my vote. From what I understand about Web 2.0 (and frankly I didn’t know there was a Web 1.0 and 2.0), it is so much better than before. Database management, in particular, can make or break you (key component). With contributions from everyone and everywhere, the amount of data can be endless. Web 2.0 appears to offer the flexibility that users demand. I like that releases are continuous and transparent - something that didn’t even occur to me before. Anyways, I’m excited about Web 2.0 and hopefully this class will prove to me that it’s not so intimidating once I get more familiar with the Net. Is it like going to a restaurant with a menu that is pages long? Overwhelming at first until you just look at it section by section?



What is your favorite type of cuisine?

Fast Food

Am I in the right place...?

I'm confused, but I think I can do this! My name is Christina Wahlberg, and I am a freshman here at the U of MN. I recently took a year off, and before then I took my first semester in the Duluth campus of the U of MN. I feel like such a youngster here, everyone else is talking about their last years in the University, and I've barely broken into the place!


Happy Blogging!

Hi Everyone! I am a full-time student currently trying to survive my last semester as an undergrad (in less than 4 months I will have a B.S. in Environmental & Natural Resources, with an emphasis in Environmental Education, YAY). I like to do all of the outdoorsy type of things for fun, like camping, hiking and fishing. I also love photography and art. I love traveling, so far my favorite places in the U.S. are New York, Vegas and California. I look forward to traveling to New Zealand, Iceland, and London someday. Something interesting about me is that I lived in Santa Barbara, CA for two years. I really miss the ocean!

My step-dad has always been a bit of a computer nerd so I can’t remember a time when we didn’t have a computer in the house; I can’t remember the exact systems we had. I used to love playing computer games when I was young. Some of my favorite computer games when I was a kid were (the original) Sim City, The Oregon Trail, Midnight Rescue, Pac-Man, Tetris (still a favorite), Minesweeper, and of course Solitaire.

I think Web 2.0 is awesome! I love how fast and easy it has made everything. I would like to consider myself as being pretty computer savvy, but before Web 2.0 creating web pages was such a hassle and I usually gave up before completely finishing a site. My main use of Web 2.0 (on a daily basis) is in the forms of blogs, Flickr, and Gmail.

Molly Ringwald Movies

What is your favorite 80's Molly Ringwald movie?

Sixteen Candles
The Breakfast Club
Pretty in Pink
P.K. and the Kid
The Pick-up Artist
For Keeps?
Fresh Horses

My first time blogging

Hi everyone my name is Dawn Luhmann. I am a full time student majoring in Agricultural Industries and Marketing. This is my final semester at the University because I am graduating after four wonderful years. Besides school, I work two part time jobs on campus one in research and as a library assistant. Other then school and working I love spending time with my family and friends. My family is my number one priority. I also enjoy traveling both in the states as well as abroad. I have been to Holland as well as just returning this last Monday from two weeks in Costa Rica.

When looking back the first computer I ever used was the old Macintosh green computers. This was when I was in elementary school. I had just used it to type. Then our school moved in with the internet but it was a very slow connection. We mainly only used it for research projects but were limited on our time limits. Growing up I never had a computer at my house till I was in my sophomore year in high school. Then we got internet my junior year. I just had used it to chat on MSN. Now I use it everyday for everything from email, research, reading the paper, and staying connected to my host family abroad.

Web 2.0 is very interesting but takes time to learn and understand. For me I see it as a huge umbrella. Everything fits under it somewhere it is just a matter of understanding it and using it correctly and perfectly.

What year in college am I?





Grad Student

Current Results

This week in computers

Hello. My name is Ramona, and I am currently a non-degree seeking student. I received my BA from the University a while back in English and art. Now I work at the U. I have two cats and a husband, love most movie genres, like to read good fiction and non-fiction, love cooking shows and magazines. I'm looking forward to starting seeds for my small vegetable garden next month. I bought some on line a few weeks ago and they are burning a hole in my pocket! I'm thinking of applying to the master's program in rhetoric. I don't have a cell phone but may need to buy one in the next several weeks. Any recommendations for a solid pay-as-you-go company and model?

I haven't always been a technophobe. My grade school and junior high school teachers made it clear to us that computers would be part of our future, even if they did not know exactly how. I remember being part of a select group of math students that got to observe a math teacher command a mainframe to make--a giant poster or calendar shaped by giant globs of numbers. I was unimpressed, except for the giant modem. Years later I was using computers in my professional life, and in about 1994 I decided to buy one. I looked in Computer and Computer User publications and decided upon a highly recommended 'best buy' that I ordered over the phone from Indonesia. I read another article on a new elegant operating system created by IBM, called OS/2 and was inspired to buy that and a word processing system called Ami Pro. Those were the first lessons to me in computer contrariness: no matter how elegant the system, don't be an elitist when purchasing software.

I subscribed to AOL and tiptoed around chatrooms for a time, coming upon many gentlemen whose wives did not understand them, no matter what the topic of the day turned out to be. I was alarmed in these pre-pop up blocker days at the number of explicit unsolicited e-mails and pop up ads and, though I admire the ability of the sex industry to adapt to new technologies, decided this environment was not for everyone. I also noticed a lot of chatrooms were dominated by probable teeagers spouting one-word sentence conversations.

The concept of the Web 2.0 ( as much as I understand it) both inspires and frightens me. In some applications there is a potential for lowest common denominator outcomes. In other well done applications, I think true e-democracy exists (except for those who can't afford access to computers or hookups--I'm looking forward to the $100 computer information). Defining Internet democracy can be tricky. This fall I heard Gov. Pawlenty speak before the election, and he posited that the iPod had democratized music. I wondered how that could be so when every part of it was for sale--the iPod, the tunes, even having an up to date enough computer. We weren't talking about economic access, that was for sure. I think it is interesting that the instincts of many intra-peneurs have been altruistic and community-building--i.e. shareware, Craigs List, Ebay.

That the Internet also attracts a more sinister clientele and business--predators, phishers, spammers, drug cartels selling phony designer purses, is of course the flip side of human nature and fascinating in its own way.

How do I use 2.0 applications? I do use Froogle to chase down bargains. I love IMDB, and have written an occasional review of a movie or DVD. I've looked at some blogs, and continue to be disappointed in the level of discourse on most messageboards. I've played on-line Jeopardy, but that is the extent of my interactive gaming.

Continue reading "This week in computers" »

Jumping Right In

I am a 3rd year full-time student at the U majoring in Electrical Engineering. I own a small consulting firm operating out of Madison, WI with 2 partners. We do embedded design work for other companies in many different industries but work mostly with researchers who have hardware requirements for their projects. I was very lucky to meet the guys who are now my business partners because I now always have something that is encouraging me to finish my degree. Between that, various jobs around the cities, and school I tend to keep myself fairly busy.

I was first introduced to computers in grade school working with Apple IIe's. My family bought a 33MHz powerhouse in '93 and I have been off and running ever since. I have always had fun playing around with computers in various ways but noting really grabbed my attention like the internet. My family (mainly my father and I) was definitely in on the beginning of what was to become the mainstream internet. I remember getting a 28.8 modem and being disappointed that we could only run it at 14.4kbps for the first few months of having it because our service provider could simply not support it. I started making websites for fun around 7th grade and have been doing web application programming for the last 4 to 5 years. The first ever full scale project I started was a content management system for a theatre company I worked with high school. I love the idea of websites that are aware of their users and current date and time and consequently change themselves without the need for intervention by a programmer/designer.

The dawn of Web 2.0 is bringing about very interesting changes in the world of the web. User generated content, pastel colors, and more DHTML than you can shake a stick at. Web 2.0 has been an amazing of example of how possible it is to misuse good technology and make total crap with it. That's not to say it's all bad but there is a reason so many humor sites have popped up about it. The user experience is certainly getting better with browser based web applications finally beginning to act like their desktop counterparts. I have certainly taken to Web 2.0 techniques in sites I make. Asynchronous server calls make things possible that I never even thought of before. I think the main problems with the craze are just that, the craze about it. Companies that have taken time to make something that is well thought out and useful like Google Maps, Meebo, or flickr show some of the great possibilities that are out there.

* * * EDIT * * *
I guess it would've been helpful to give an example of a site I've made (Thanks Julie). Here is one that is an ongoing project for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication here at the U. This system indexes and displays examples of students' work they've done for class. Let me know if you have any questions about. SJMC Student Work

Personal Blogging

Do you have a blog? If so what kind of software do you use to run it?

MoveableType (what we're using)
Online Service (blogger, xanga, etc.)
I have no idea
I don't have a blog

January 17, 2007

Chatting Nuthead

Hello everyone! My name is May Her and I am a full-time student, majoring in Business Marketing. This is my third year at the University and hope to finish next spring of 08. I currently work full-time at Wells Fargo Bank so that explains what I do if I am not at school. I have been with the company for three years and I hope to stick with the company and work my way up to the marketing department in the future if things go well. Besides school and work, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I come from a huge family of nine kids, seven being girls. (Poor father) ? I also enjoy traveling, which I plan to visit Italy the end of this semester.

I can’t recall the first computer I had ever used but it was pretty slow! :X Pretty much, I used it to play solitaire and battleship. The internet was a hobby for me and I spent hours on it once I learned how to use it. I remember having AOL and I was addicted to chatting online. (Even sneaking behind my dad’s back!) I made a lot of friends online and I was inseparatable from it then. Now I use it for more educational purposes (google, etc), e-mailing, etc.

Web 2.0 has been very useful today, although I may not be an expert at it. I remember using geocities and angelfire when I first learned how to use codes but still can’t get it down, unlike my sister who is an expert at it all! It has been a great experience for meeting others, finding information, etc.


Your favorite TV Show:

American Idol
Law & Order
Fashion Runway
None of the above

Let's See If This Works

Hi all,
My name is Mark and I am currently a Senior at the University of Minnesota. As of now I plan to graduate in May and hopefully get a job in my major, Public Relations. Being a huge sports fan, I hope to get a job with an athletic organization. Currently, I live near campus and attend classes and have never taken a course online so this should be an interesting experience. I live with my girlfriend and she was the one that convinced me to do this so if I somehow do poorly, I am going to blame it on her.

I have been around computers for quite a while. I remember when I was much younger my father brought home an Apple II E. The screen was green and one had to put floppy disks into the drives to play games or run a program, how things have changed. Around 1995 after we bought a crappy computer and hooked it up with a 28.8k modem. The whole family thought it was the weirdest thing. However, my family is slow to change and we kept the dial-up until just last summer when I convinced them that it is a lot easier to get things done with a faster hook-up.

When I came to college and experieced a faster, more fun internet, it was like my life was changed. I went from barely using the internet to being on it for hours exploring. And while I do not consider myself that computer literate, I hope to learn a lot through this class.

It is my belief that Web 2.0 has benefitted our culture greatly. We are now able to interact and exchange ideas quicker and easier. From my experieces of writing reviews for products, to writing opinions for IMDB and iTunes, I have been able to become more connected with people on the Internet. I am excited to learn about all my colleagues and about the limitless opportunities the Web gives us.

Video Games

Which Gaming Console Would You Purchase First?

Nintendo Wii
None, they are all too expensive.

I do not know what I am doing!

Hi to everyone! Am I doing this correctly? Is this where I would introduce who I am?

How do you do?

I'm a 30 year old "non-traditional" student in the Program for Individualized Learning, trying to scrape together a Bachelor's degree so I can get into library school and eventually become a public librarian. When I'm not hunched over my schoolwork, I'm tutoring Somali high school students at the library where I work, which is extremely fun. I'm into bicycles, quilting, gardening, and writing letters on my typewriter, activities which are all on the back burner until summertime, it looks like.

My family's first computer was an Apple II GS. Mostly I used it to play Tetris and make drawings. My dad was always the computer person in the family, and to this day, he has a sign that points to the power button so my mom can find it. I didn't use the Internet until a few years ago, when I reluctantly opened an e-mail account. Strangely, I don't remember much about my first experiences online, just the road-rage feeling of frustration at the slowness of it all. These days things are faster, and I've come to rely on the Internet for work and school. I cannot imagine giving it up.

Even though I don't really use Web 2.0 applications that often, they are interesting to me as a democratizing force. So much of media ownership and control is concentrated in the hands of the rich and powerful few, but the Internet allows for and encourages participation by anyone who can get connected (I have to remind myself that many people in the world don't even have reliable electricity, let alone internet access). That being said, I really like and Flickr. I like that users can define what they think is important, and influence the online environment accordingly. Communities of interest emerge and disband constantly and collaboration between strangers has become commonplace. Sort of like online classes.

Hello, strangers.

Continue reading "How do you do?" »

From France to Minneapolis

Hello everyone. I am Pierre, a French student studying abroad for one year. Please pardon my English, which should be actually ok (I hope) but still may contain a few mistakes. I am from south of France, originally from Marseille, but I study in Montpellier. In our system, I should be graduated at the end of this year, in communication and media. I am a full-time student, and besides University I would say that all my time/money/energy go to music. I actually don't play any instruments but I go to a lot of concerts (around twice a week generally), I buy a lot of records, I write about music on some websites and I used to have a dj night every weeks back in France ( I will probably work for a small record label at the end of this exhange program.
Some of the rest of my time is dedicated to sport (not enough time maybe...). I have played european football for 10 years when I was younger, and I still play sometimes for fun. My roomates are big fan of this sport, which was a good surprise when I arrived here!

I started using Internet very late, compared to what I have read about you. The first computer my family had at home was a pc in 2000 with a 56kbs connection. My father had a Macintosh before (don't ask me which model!) but I never used it. Our first internet provider was a small French company which made us pay with a minute rate and my mother almost killed me when she got the first bill. I had discovered online video games. A few months later, AOL arrived in France with the first cheap illimited contract which was a revolution for us. I did not play video games very long but Internet became a fabulous place to discover music, and almost all my use of internet in now related to it. I started making a website about a band four years ago, and I gave up because I don't have enough technical knowledges. As I said, I have been involved in a few websites, but just as a writer (

I did not know what the Web 2.0 was exactly before reading the article, and I have to say I am not sure if I completely got it. I think I may have known Web 2.0 since I'm online so I don't really see the difference... I have a little question on this subject. I have seen a few references in the article to the facebook or other websites that I did not know, but nothing about myspace. Since I have been here, I have met many people telling me that myspace is not so popular in the USA, compared to the facebook. I did not expect that at all. In Europe, the facebook does not exist, and everyone (well, almost everyone) has a myspace account. So, is Myspace a good example of what the web 2.0 is? Did I only meet some people not representative of the USA?

French politics

Which French politician have you heard of the most?

Nicolas Sarkozy
Ségolège Royal
Jean-Marie le Pen
François Bayrou
None of them

Glad I Wasn't First!

Hello All,

I am finishing up my last semester at the U with a degree in Communication Studies. (Insert CLA joke here) Alot of people ask me what I am going to do with my degree to which I reply, communicate. I currently work for the University of Minnesota Foundation as a Student Development Representative or as most people commonly call it, a telemarketer. However, the job is not as bad as it may seem, in fact I have a lot of wonderful conversations with alumni and also help raise a substantial amount of money for the University. I was born and raised in southern MN before I attended the U and plan on moving somewhere, ANYWHERE, for a while with the most likely intention of coming back to the cities eventually.

Have you ever been in a class where you know the answer to the teacher's question, but are afraid to say it aloud just in case you might be wrong? This is how I felt last night as I thought I would try and tackle this week's assignment then. The blog stood with only Krista's posts and here I am trying not to look like an idiot or worse, computer illiterate by posting somewhere that I wasn't supposed to. My first experience with the internet happened throught computer gaming. I was the first kid on the block to have a PC but the last to get the internet. So, in the mid 90's when the computer we had was by far obsolete, my family got the internet and I officially became the last person you ever wanted to play StarCraft with. StarCraft, a computer game made post WarCraft, was my first influential experience with the internet. I say this because it was not the first, but it was probably the reason I fear technology today. Like I said my computer was slow and outdated and frequently became the reason for LAG in the game. This lack of confidence in my old IBM discouraged me from expanding my horizons and deterred me from strong internet usage.

Throughout my college years I have become increasingly comfortable with using computer technology but still overall am apprehensive. The concept of Web 2.0 seems to be another great advancement for computer-mediated communication as it allows users to become more proactive in their approach to the internet. As every college student I have watched the rising popularity of Facebook and Myspace. I use services like Ebay and Neteller as well. My main concern about Web 2.0 is not with the technology and freedom it has brought us, but the constant and extreme involvement computers now have in our everyday lives. I am curious to know the perspective of those of you who are more directly affiliated with the use of computers either in your major or your everyday life.

Are you addicted to the Net?

How much time during your day do you spend working/playing on the internet?

Less than 1 hour
1 to 3 hours
3 to 5 hours
more than 5 hours

Blog virgin

I have been taking online courses at the University since 1999 and I am approaching graduation in May with a Bachelor in Applied Business degree. It will be a different routine at home without 2 courses to worry about each semester. I am sure my wife will have plenty of projects for me to do.

I started at the University in 1974 working towards a Computer Science degree. I completed most of the initial core programming courses before I ran out of money and had to jump into the wonderful world of advertising.

I have always had an interest in computers since I was very young. My dad worked for Honeywell back when the mainframes occupied an entire room and everything was run from tapes. One of my first exposures using a remote computer was with a portable computer that came in a suitcase. We dialed into a mainframe and watched the printer churn out words that could be generated from our telephone number. I was so amazed that we could be accessing a remote computer from our kitchen. My 2 years at the University in the 1970’s were spent in the keypunch room writing programs for the courses I was taking and working for the Graduate School of Business as a programmer in Blegan Hall.

I live in Minnetonka with my wife and two children. They have been incredibly supportive of the time I have put into the completion of my degree. After 30 years in business, it is funny when my 9 year old asks my what I am going to do for a job after I graduate. All he knows I that you get a job after you finish school.

Web 2.0 has changed my current job dramatically. Ten years ago I was only selling commercial time for television stations around the country. Now my sales focus is twofold. Not only am I selling the television station’s broadcast property but also I am also selling their web site. I have to help the advertiser to create a compelling reason for the surfer to dig deeper into a site, which will help generate revenue for the advertiser.

Blog virgin?

In all of my previous online classes we have communicated through WebCT. This is my first attempt at blogging. I hope I can make a seamless transfer into blogging for the course.

On a side note, my 12-year-old son is pleading for a Sims 2 Game. Is it appropriate for a young boy?

Sims 2

Is the content in Sims 2 appropriate for a 12 year old boy?

With supervision
No way
I have no idea

January 16, 2007

Hello all!

Where do I start? I am yet another person that was working in the engineering field. I worked as an Electronic Technician for a company that manufactured power generators for seven years and became very very very very burned out. The occupation didn't have any room for growth and the work became pretty boring to me.

I got married last August to an amazing woman. She's a smart, caring Health Researcher with a Masters in Public Health. I proposed to her at the Louvre (sp?) in Paris. That makes for a good story ha ha. We spent our honeymoon on Vancouver Island (British Columbia). That was a beautiful place. Over the Christmas break we went to Puerto Vallarta for a few days. With all of our wedding planning and career changes (The wife changed jobs too) and me starting at the U, we needed another vacation. It was great. I hope we can afford to do that again ha ha.

We both love animals. We have three cats and sometimes "borrow" my parents' 105 pound lab/dane cross aptly named Clifford. He's a goofball. I joke about making them pay for ever being born but they're actually pretty well behaved. The cats are amazingly gentle with my niece and nephew.

I had been going to night classes for the past few years and finally earned enough credits for a transfer to the U. I quit my old job and work part time as a bartender. My wife has been really supportive. I'm currently in the Scientific and Technical Writing program full-time and look forward to a career where I can utilize my creativity.

My favorite hobbies/activities would have to include photography, mountain biking, skiing, and boating on the Saint Croix. I've been into photography for something like 14 years. Until recently I used my grandfather's 1969 Pentax Spotomatic. I've finally entered the digital age and bought a Nikon D50. There's never enough time to go out shooting.

I guess one interesting thing about me is that I've been described as having a freaky knowledge of trivia. I played an 80's trivia game recently and destroyed everyone. My only weakness is sports trivia. I never cared for team sports that much. I'm more interested in the individual sports like boxing and Olympic events.

My first experience with computers was an ancient "Pong" type video game system when I was 4 or 5. I was amazed and wondered how it all worked. Later on my dad bought an Atari 5200 game system. It was really cool and before it's time. We had fun playing games like Star Raiders and Missile Command.

My first experience with a personal computer occurred when dad bought an Apple Macintosh. I found that the Mac was far more interesting than the older Apple computers and anything IBM ever made. I was a Mac user until I started working at my Technician job. I finally had to learn how to operate the dreaded Windows operating systems.

I first became familiar with the internet in the mid 1990s. I had a friend that always tinkered with computers. So he started going online after the internet became fairly user friendly. He signed up with AOL and did some surfing and chatting. I wasn't too interested in the internet just yet. Later on my dad signed up with someone and used one of his old 486 computers to surf. It was SO SLOW! I emailed a little but wasn't too interested just yet. After I started my Technician job, I became more proficient with the internet. As my job became more boring, I surfed more and more ha ha!

I think that the concept of Web 2.0 relates to the evolution that took place. Web 1.0 seemed to be a result of companies trying to transfer their existing resources like encyclopedias onto the internet. Individuals would make their own website with out any way to connect with others. Web 2.0 seemed to convert these "islands of information" into sites that allowed for communication and collaboration.

I've enjoyed getting news on specific topics from various blogs. I like being able to comment on the topics. I also utilize forum websites to get information on how to repair my computer and Jeep. They are life savers!

Blender's Question

Where do you like to vacation?

Tropical Beach Resorts
Mountain Ski Resorts
The Boundary Waters
No Time to Vacation!

Hello Sports Fans its me SportsGuy22

Hello Class,
I am a senior studying science and technology communication, and looking to graduate next fall. I was in engineering for 3.5 years, and for the last 2 of it I was miserable, but now I am happy. Learning to communicate through several different mediums and using my technical knowledge has lead me to believe I have found the right major. I am an avid sports fan: Packers, Bucks, Brewers, Marquette Golden Eagles, as well as a temporarily retired gamer. I enjoy learning all about what is new in the world of online and computer technology and am thinking about learning to create a website and possibly use Linux on my next computer.
With the history of the internet, I was exposed to the early stages of the internet in elementary school, but was never allowed or had the ability to learn what it was. Over the years in middle school and high school I grew thirsty for knowledge. By the 7th grade my parents had borrowed a computer that ran DOS so that my sister and I could learn how to type. That computer quickly got scrapped after my parents realized it didn’t have a mouse. My parents are the victims of Gateway, but it was a nice first system for them and we bought a subscription to AOL and that is how I learned all about the internet. Looking back, it was amazing how much time I was allowed online alone, unsupervised when so many horrible things are readily available. I spent most of my time chatting using the instant messaging and developed quite a savvy for meeting people, I learned that chatrooms were ridiculous but that playing online games made for better interaction with online personalities. There was only one instance where I was completely fooled. I had an AOL profile and was found by a girl who was going to be coming to my school. She did the usual ambiguous online flirting and actually talked to some of my other friends, and in fact called them once. However, this all turned out to be a hoax, because the girl never showed up at our school. I think I might have been naïve about the whole online domain at that age, but it was a positive experience.
I can accept the fact that when a website is designated as Web 2.0, I can distinguish if, by this articles standards, it is or isn’t. However, I think the ever-changing landscape of online culture would soon dictate that newer versions or website or new technology can possibly be better than something that was deemed Web 2.0. I just like to refer to them as “The new sweetest thing I discovered? like I use, BensBargains, and recently began using I am looking forward to reading how others feel on Web 2.0, and hopefully this might lead into the discussion of what a KillerApp is.

Worst Sports Personality

Who do you despise the most?

Bill Walton
Michael Irvin
Stephen A. Smith
Dick Vitale

My Personal History Online

I am 53 years old, married for 27 years, and we live in a beautiful house in the woods on a pond in Taylors Falls, MN, with three cats. I am an adult learner in the Program for Individualized Learning ( My degree is Information Technology Management in a Medical Setting. I am a part-time student working full-time as a Lead Analyst/Programmer in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, where I have worked for 15 years. I am a pilot with an instrument rating and I also enjoy scuba diving.

I began my computing experience after buying an Apple II computer in 1979 and taught myself to program it. In 1980 I published a software program for the Apple II titled Mailing List Manager. This began my career as a computer programmer. I entered the development of the Net using modems to dial into Bulletin Board Systems ( in about 1981. The first modems I used were 300 baud and then 1200 baud. Wow! I immediately became enthralled with the all of the information available to me on-line! About 1994 I began browsing the Web 1.0 with Mozilla.

I think Web 2.0 has transformed user experiences online. Web 2.0 (O'Reilly, What Is Web 2.0?) certainly has transformed my experience online! I primarily use the web for news and information related to actively managing my investments, retirement accounts, and in support of my career. For weather and pilot preflight briefings, the wealth of infomation available to me has also transformed how I fly. I do as much of my shopping online as I can. For most of my searching I use Google and AltaVista. I use the bowsers Safari and FireFox, and for e-mail I use Apple and OutLook Mail.

Just because I'm a computer programmer does not mean I know everything (or much at all) about the Internet. I look forward to learning much more about Internet Communication: Tools and Issues. With the MovableType blog and Sparklit, I have already begun!

Don't get me started on the iPhone. This blog isn't large enough for me say how excited I am about the technology!


Are you a pilot?

Private pilot
Would like to learn to fly
Have never flown

January 15, 2007

Intro to Krista

It only seems right that I introduce myself while we’re at it. I’m a third-year PhD student in the Department of Rhetoric, Scientific and Technical Communication. I just finished taking my qualifying exams, so now I’'m beginning to write my dissertation. Some of you know me from other courses I’ve taught — most likely Scientific and Technical Presentations (RHET 3257) or the online version of Technical and Professional Writing (RHET 3562). Some of you may be surprised to learn that I don’t just sleep in my teacher’s coffin when I’m not teaching or researching. I cook, go to galleries and movies, and yes, I fiddle around online too much. My husband and I also take long road trips whenever we can. Last summer we drove 6,000 miles.

The first computer I ever worked on was an Atari that my parents bought in the early 80s. The monitor was an old TV. I played a zillion games of Battleship, Defender, and PacMan, wrote a bit in Turtle (the Atari variant of Logo), and learned basic word-processing. (It was very easy to impress teachers by turning in word-processed papers then.) I wasn’t online for another decade, though. I remember being amazed when one of my dad’s friends showed me Prodigy, because I had no idea you could talk make a computer talk to other computers. I had always thought of them as stand-alone objects. Around 1994, we jacked in with one of the early versions of AOL with a 28.8k modem. We got it because my mom was interested in the idea of the Net as a universal library, but she ended up being disappointed because there really wasn’t enough out there then and search engines were practically nonexistent. I think I used it mostly for chat and email.

In my experience, Web 2.0 has been completely transformative. I’m not a programming or coding geek, so for a long time the Net was a more passive experience for me. It was full of pages that I looked at, not pages that I made myself. (I was working full time while doing my undergrad coursework full time in the late 90s, so I never felt like I had the extra time to get a GeoCities or AngelFire page and learn to code.) When I started blogging in 2002 with MoveableType 1.something, that changed for me. Suddenly, I could put up my own content really easily! It changed me from an observer to a participant, and it really opened up the Net for me. I’ve met people I’ve have never run across otherwise and learned how to make emerging technologies really work for me. Now a good proportion of the sites I frequent are user-generated, from academic blogs to IMDB to Wikipedia to consumer reviews on EMusic and Amazon and student reviews on

Speaking of emergent technologies, I’m curious about your opinion of the New Next Big Thing:


Are you already lusting after an iPhone?

Maybe. I want the price to come down first.
Maybe. I want to let them run through a couple of versions first.
No, I think gadets are silly.
What's an iPhone?

Game on.

In the five years that I’ve been teaching online courses, I’ve found that it’s useful to spend some time getting to know each other at the beginning. These first posts will help us do that as we’re discussing the week’s readings. Since we’re starting on Tuesday this week, you’ll have an extra day to get your posts up. The deadline is Midnight on Thursday, January 18.

Your job this week is to integrate a bit of your personal history with your ideas and questions about the history of the Net. There are several things I’d like for you to accomplish in this post:

  • First, spend a just few words telling us a bit about who you are. Some questions you might answer are: Are you a full-time student? What’s your major? What do you do for fun? What’s interesting or unexpected about you?
  • Then, tell us where you came in in the development of the Net. (If you can give us a link, all the better. If not, no problem.) What were your first experiences with computing? With being online? What sort of equipment were you using? How did you react to it?
  • What are your thoughts on the concept of Web 2.0? Do you think it’s generally transformed user experiences online? What Web 2.0 apps do you regularly use? (Remember, things like Amazon reviews count here.)
  • Finally, ask your classmates a simple multiple-choice question using the Sparklit survey application. From the homepage, click on the MiniSurvey link and then on the 100% Free MiniSurveys sign-up link. Follow the directions to set up an account if you don’t already have one. Then follow the directions for setting up a questions. (I’d suggest having no more than five possible answers.) When you get to Step 4 (the “Select Survey Type” prompt), choose Embedded DHTML. Then copy the code it generates and paste the it into the end of your entry. Poof! A survey!
  • When you comment on other folks entries, do ’em a favor and take their survey too. Won’t take but a couple of seconds.