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Warning: Another non-programmer, never-has-blogged, what-is-twitter student has joined your class!

I’m a senior biology major in my final semester at the U. My education has spanned 7 years as I took some time off to work and have a family to support. It seems impossible that this degree is finally (almost) done. I’m planning to start my masters this fall in the school of public health – epidemiology, though my acceptance remains to be confirmed! A future job may involve medical school…or not. That remains to be seen. I like to read, knit, and find a few moments for friends. Life changes after children come into one’s life.

May I join in the learning, please? I certainly need it. While I consider myself generally computer literate, I’ll quickly admit that until this class it has not been my priority to stay on top of new web developments. At least I do come from a generation that has had computers present in school and at home from the beginning so that they aren’t intimidating. After the first week in this class, I feel like I’m one of those crazy 13 year olds who can’t detach from their computers, cell phones, and ipods - and who know about all sorts of new technology that I usually don’t find essential to my life. I’m already grateful that I’m being forced to learn about the new technology that is out there because it will be essential in future endeavors, especially for job-hunting. I can see direct ties to jobs that I’ve had in the past where it would have been useful to have someone with the skills we are learning here.

I’ve at least heard of most of the Web 2.0 applications we’re talking about and using – if not actually used them myself. My personal feelings about the internet are mixed. While it has and is functionally changing most everything we do, I sometimes wonder if its negative impacts are being ignored…or what the unintended consequences will be. At this point I don’t have a real firm grasp of just what unsettles me about our wired world, but there is something there at a gut level that concerns me. Certainly doesn’t keep me from playing scrabulous though!

While I respect the Wikinomics take on business post-Web 2.0, I’m concerned at a possible lack of concern for the ‘little guy.’ The authors have started a compelling argument for how the coming changes are inevitable and good for businesses (ie for shareholders)…but I wasn’t impressed by the lack of consideration for what happens to the workers. On the other hand, I did respect the nods in Connect! to problems associated with constant availability and the possibilities of information overload. I concur with the author that the busy/bursty work-flow must be balanced. I know too many people who are great at bursty working…but find it incredibly difficult to sit down and really focus in on one small task. Tasks which could be completed in 30 minutes take 3 hours.

Apologies for excessive length – and the delays! I look forward to figuring out what these emerging technologies are, how to apply them in my personal and professional life, and the dialogue about just what role they should have…and I’m Jessica LaRoque.


I agree with your comment about being slightly uncomfortable about all of the possibilities and capabilities with Web 2.0. I often feel that people expose themselves too much through the use of Web 2.0 applications, it is almost as if we are encouraging web stalking. I've actually found a way around this for the most part. For awhile I was really worried about hacking, until I learned how to do it. Once you understand how the applications can be used a negative way you are more apt to account for that. Now, when working on my web page for work I take extra precautions to secure private information and better yet I use methods I would have never thought of if I hadn't learned how to hack. I think that our reservations regarding the web stem from a lack of knowledge sometimes. This is no fault of our own, since the web changes so much it is nearly impossible to keep up. I find learning both the positive and negative uses of Web 2.0 makes me a more comfortable and savvy web user!