« This class is very timely for me... | Main | The other half of the Web 2.0 equation. »

WHO AM I? MY LIFE ON EARTH AND IN WEB 2.0

Who am I? What do I do? How do I live? Where do I survive? When do I eat, sleep, breathe? Why all the questions? I could go on and on and on about myself. Have a question? Go ahead and ask. For the time being, here's my life in a snap-shot (well, more of a panorama view). I was born on April 28, 19 . . . okay, BORING! . . . Instead of giving you a novel, let's just give you a short story. Well, it's not going to be that short. However, it beats a 500 page autobiography! So let's not delay in telling everyone who I am. So, without further ado, here it goes . . . and feel free to enjoy some popcorn while you're reading this. . . .

Energetic, fun, friendly, hard-working, lively--those are some of the words that people use to describe me. I'm a little out there, but that makes me more fun I guess! : ) I was born overseas. My parents, who also had two other daughters (who were born before me and that makes me the youngest), immigrated from the other side of the world to America, America! Since we were really, really young when we came here, I don't think of my sisters and I as foreigners. We pretty much know American pop culture and all that . . . my proof . . . flashback to the 80's . . . Michael Jackson, big hair, banana clips, tapered pants, spandex, leg warmers -- all those were hot when we were growing up. Take it to the 90's . . . MC Hammer--"Can't touch this!", Mariah Carey and all her hit songs including the one I cannot get out of my head right now--"There's a hero if you look inside your heart, you don't have to be afraid of what you are; there's an answer if you reach into your soul and the sorrow that you know will melt away, and then a hero comes along with the strength to carry on . . ." I love that song!

Anyways, can you tell I get easily distracted? J/K--well, not really. My mind is always thinking and thinking and thinking though. Also, I'm always going and going and going. At any one time, I'll be involved in many activities, perhaps working multiple jobs or participating in several extra-curricular groups. Right now, besides taking this course, I work at a broadcasting company. They have a couple of TV stations, radio stations, a web based network. I work with their local TV stations with their traffic a.k.a. continuity. Traffic in media means advertising/programming--making sure that the daily flow of commercials/shows is correct and accurate. My job is kind of hard to explain, but an easy way to think of it is that I am a scheduler. It sounds easy, but there's a lot more to it. I love my job. I love the people I work with.

I also love a lot of other things. I love being involved; hence, outside of class and work, I participate in a student group. I also volunteer at an organization that prepares and packages meals to homebound and ill people. In addition, I am on an alum board, serving as Vice-President: Communications. That sounds important, but it is just the local board. If I am ever on the national board though, you might hear the sound of horns (due to me tooting my own horn). I try to take care of myself not only physically but spiritually. Once a month, I visit a group of nuns--and I'm not kidding--they call themselves "Nunz in the hood" because they are located in the inner city. They are great, and they love their location because it allows them to do outreach where they are at. I'm always looking to do outreach and making the community and world a better place. That sounds cheesy, but I always want to improve myself. Improvement is something that never stops. One way I strongly think that I am able to improve myself is through lifelong learning. That is why I am taking this course (and frankly it also fulfills a requirement). I pursued my B.A. here at the U a few years back, and I have returned to the U pursuing the Grad-level certificate in Organizational and Professional Communication.

So here I am now--taking this course and telling you about my life. The Web has become more and more important to not only my life but other people's lives. It has become a necessity as I think many times to myself: "what would we have done before without it?" When I think I know a lot about the Web, there is so much more that I don't know. Going over the assigned readings, repeated thoughts included, "Wow, I did not know that!" or "Interesting, I learned something new!" Just as I would like to continue improving, I would like to continue learning about Web 2.0. I first heard about Web 2.0 at my last job about 2 years ago. There was a position opened where that person would dedicate his/her time on Second Life, which is a virtual community. It's like living your life on earth but on the Web. If anyone is interested, the site is http://www.secondlife.com. What is interesting is that some major companies have invested their time in Second Life (such companies like my former employer). Honestly, it's hard for me to comprehend -- in terms of valuing a virtual community vs. actual community. What would the world be like if it were all virtual? That boggles my mind sometimes.

When it comes to my interactions online, I try to keep my life on earth the same as my life on the Web. I don't want to live another life online. The web is always changing and emerging. In the article, "What is Web 2.0?", it gives us an illustration of the evolution of the Web . . . from 1.0 to 2.0. That was very helpful for me to understand the web now vs. the web back then. To be honest, I am not a super-expert when it comes to technology. I think that I am tech-savvy (in terms of being able to use the computer), but there is a lot more that I would like to learn. I hope to learn a lot in this class. Live and Learn!

Reading material that really interested me . . .

"Ten years ago, Netscape's explosive IPO ignited huge piles of money. The brilliant flash revealed what had been invisible only a moment before: the World Wide Web. As Eric Schmidt (then at Sun, now at Google) noted, the day before the IPO, nothing about the Web; the day after, everything. (Kelly, We Are the Web)"

I totally remember 10 years ago, and I totally remember how Netscape Navigator was "da bomb"--lingo back then meaning really cool. It was only 10 years ago, but boy, have things really changed. I remember it took "forever" to load a web page. Also, do you remember when there were web addresses of well-known companies that did not even own their website? There was a person who would create web addresses URL's of well-known companies without their approval. If I recall right, Coca-Cola was one of them. Boy, has the web changed within a decade! Very fast!

"There is only one time in the history of each planet when its inhabitants first wire up its innumerable parts to make one large Machine. Later that Machine may run faster, but there is only one time when it is born. (Kelly, We Are the Web)"

Okay, the last quote really concerns me. The part where it says that "Machine may run faster", what if the world is taken over the Machine(s) and destroys us? You see that in science-fiction, but sometimes you have to wonder. That's why it concerns me.

"Due to deep changes in technology, demographics, business, the economy, and the world, we are entering a new age where people participate in the economy like never before. This new participation has reached a tipping point where new forms of mass collaboration are changing how goods and services are invented, produced, marketed, and distributed on a global basis. (Tapscott and Williams, 2006, p. 10)

Yes, I agree that technology has changed and developed tremendously in such a short time. Thus, changing the economy. Technology has changed how we live life. For example, instead of going to the store to buy items, you could shop online. Therefore, not only does a company have to think about marketing at a store but also marketing online. Also, take the political campaigns for example--the candidates are using YouTube to reach the audience. That's something different!

Comments

Hi Hoang-Uyen, I thought that it was very interesting that you had said "I try to keep your life on earth the same as your life of the web." I think that is very important. I think so many people now days try to live another life on the web and think that people won't find out. You don't benefit from doing that and the real you will always come out.

The split between real and virtual lives is an interesting thing. A researcher named Sherry Turkle has done quite a bit of work on this -- if you're interested in reading more about it, you might pick up a copy of "Life on the Screen."

I tend to follow the same basic philosophy as you: while I do spend quite a bit of time online, I always keep my online identity tied to my real identity and keep my life in one chunk. While I'm fascinated by other approaches and have fiddled with Second Life and various games, that's just what works for me right now