Monday, November 24, 2008

November 24th Observation

In the reading, Here comes everybody: The power of organizing without organizations by Clay Shirky discusses the six degrees of separation. Shirky explains in this chapter the odds of meeting a person that that knows someone in your social network. Shirky really breaks down the chances of this happening and explains why this is not so odd after all. Some of the factors that Shirky use to explain the connections are “homophily, large groups being thinly connected, bridging, and bonding.

“Homophily is the grouping of like with like (Shirky, 213).” This could be closely related to my high school class. My graduating class was close to 600 students and we all knew each other some way or another. We all knew someone that knew someone and we were all linked in a sense. We did not know each other’s brothers and sisters names but we could most likely point them out by face. This is due to Skirky’s explanation of homophily and tight small networks.

Shirky explains that it is more efficient to know more people in small, tight networks rather than loose, large networks. Shirky says, “Instead of one loose group of twenty-five, you have five tight groups of five (Shirky, 216).” There might be less people in the overall number of connections this way but the group will be more resourceful and stronger.

The dodgeball social network was quite interesting as well. I did not know there was such a network where you could relay current position and the network would tell all your friends. I like how the network connected Shirky and Andy using friend-of-a-friend networking. This is pretty neat and practical.

Overall I thought this chapter was very interesting in the actuality of someone knowing a person in my social network. I thought it was resourceful to have a larger social network but after reading this article my views have changed. Shirky’s diagrams on the connection patterns clarified why small, tight networks are better than big, loose networks.

Shirky, Clay. (2008) Here comes everybody: the power of organizing without organizations (chapter 9). New York: Penguin.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Reading for 11/12/2008

For today’s class reading I read Shout into the wind and it shouts back, by Lori Kendall. LiveJournal reminded me of blogging. It is more like a diary in which you can talk about whatever you want, but I think mostly personal or everyday events. Of course a network of friends, family, and coworkers may have access to this so you have to watch what you say or don’t say. I believe this is good for people that feel they have to express every thought on their mind. Also this site is good for social networking. It is neat how you can link to friend’s journals and search their friends as well. This is similar to FaceBook or MySpace but of course this is a journal type atmosphere.

In this reading Kendall explains her two years of observation about LiveJournal and her recordings. The participants were in their late 20s to late 30s. Most of them have education up to a bachelor’s degree and she points out several of their jobs.

Some important studies she got from this were the separation of personal and work life. I think this should be the case for many things. Also surprisingly there are technicalities that LiveJournal sometimes goes through and filters can fail. This can create awkward or threatening situations in many cases. Kendall also concludes that the observers were pleased with the control they had with their own journals but were dissatisfied with the limited control on others journals.

I think that LiveJournal is a great way to relieve everything on your head and keep track of life. There are so many things that run through our heads daily that we forget. LiveJournal could be beneficial whether personal or business related. I have heard about LiveJournal but after this article I believe I will put some exploration into this site.

Kendall, Lori. (2007). "Shout into the wind, and it shouts back." Identity and interactional tensions on LiveJournal. First Monday, 12. Retrieved on August 21, 2008 from

Dallas Cowboys Blog

A blog is a website where an individual could express their own personal feelings, interests, and opinions. This place is not limited nor should it be. Where all these blogs exist and are making such an impact is in the blogosphere. The blogosphere is the whole blogging world, which consists of all blogs and well as their community. A Blogger is the individual who creates a blog or reacts to a blog. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear of a “Blogger”? Is it the stereotypical picture of a disheveled, computer-addicted individual? You may still be thinking when are they going to move out of their parent’s house and make an impact on society? Well if this is the outlook you had on Blogger’s then you have no clue what they have created. All these so called “basement rats” that blog all day long are making an impact on society and doing so in a remarkable way. Blogging @merica written by Aaron Barlow says, “As of April 2007, Technorati, a major blog monitoring service, claimed to be tracking more than 75 million blogs.” 75 million blogs is a huge number and this means that people are out there expressing their opinions on all sorts of subject matters. Over the past couple of weeks we have been reading

Blogging @merica in class and learning a lot more about the blogosphere. Barlow states in chapter two (pg 36) that, “… blogs have become important to many people’s lives.” Over the past week I have noticed that this is especially true when it comes to public opinion and feeling part of a community. People get attached to blogs and blogging and treat it as if it is a community. The past week I have observed a football blog. I visit this site a couple times a week regularly to find out the latest news on my favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys. This site consists of many users that react to blogs that are posted by editors on the site. What I do not like about the site is the possibility of changing your identity so easily. You do not have to be a member or sign up. All you have to do when commenting is provide a name and an email address. This makes it a lot easier for trolls to disrupt the community norms. For the most part people respected each other’s opinions and defended what they believed in.

A big topic right now in the Cowboy community is the possibility of making the playoffs or not. A discussion arose in one blog Saturday November 8th about playoff hopes. The cowboys are in last place in their division right now and they are competing with two other teams for a wild card spot to make the playoffs. The New York Giants were playing one of those teams and there were two outcomes of the situation. If the Giants won the Cowboys could compete with the two other teams to win the wild card. If the Giants lost it would be harder for the Cowboys to get into the playoffs because all the teams would be close in record and the Cowboys are currently in last place. Many of the users posts you could feel they were offended or thought they were right. This is what makes it seem so realistic because people get really defensive on a subject that will no longer be talked about in 3 months. Many users feel they must post their opinions in this blog and predict the Cowboys wins and losses. I think that people post their reactions on here because they want to feel part of a community they are interested in. They have to feel that they actually are heard and they are making a difference when they post on this site. Chances are low that many people have Dallas Cowboy fan groups in their towns and have meetings in town halls about the future of the team. I think many of Blogger’s surround themselves in communities that they feel they make a difference in. This is a main reason why blogging has become so big. Public opinion plays a huge role on subject matters and especially in the blogosphere.

You can start your own blog or blog in someone else’s and receive instant feedback. Many people do not feel like they can express themselves at work or discuss such topics at home. I think this has become a reason why bloggers are so powerful. As compared to in my observations on the Cowboys blog I found that people like to feed off one another. On November 8th a user (GO DALLAS!! SUPER BOWL-TAMPA!!) posted that the cowboys are a 250 to 1 underdog in going to the Super Bowl. These are the comments that are put in here that stir the pot. Then you get the side of the diehard Cowboy fans that rebel and say they are going to win and support with their opinions. The blogosphere is made up of opinions and this is why they are becoming so strong. When people post their own opinions and the mass start to agree with them, then you start to think this opinion is fact. This outlines the ongoing battle between journalists and bloggers that Barlow speaks of in his book as well.

I posted a couple times in the blog about free agency. I feel that I was well respected and people were there for opinions and heard me out. There were many free agents that were available that the Cowboys could have picked up and they did not. I commented and stated my opinion and stated who I was talking to in the blog. I feel that the conflict in a blog is great for the community. There is no fun if everyone likes the Cowboys because we are all on the same page. If there are people that oppose the Cowboys then we can state our case and vice versa. Of course there were a couple trolls that were in every other blog. A particular troll that stood out was Chris. He was not liked because he went to every blog and compared the presidential election to the Cowboys season. He was saying since a Democratic president has been in office to take over next year, the Cowboys will turn it around. I think the community did not like this because he would just say what he had to say and not contribute much further. He was called names and pretty much disliked by all.

I learned a lot over the time period that we have spent on blogging and the blogosphere. Barlow’s book definitely puts emphasis on the real blogosphere and how people are reacting to the change. Again, the Dallas Cowboys blog was informational and a well respected blog environment. Many people are taking time from their daily lives to contribute to these online communities and I think it is great. Some people do not have a large number of friends and blogging is a great way to feel part of society. Blogging has affected many views and I believe that it will only grow and become more of a national norm.

Barlow, A. (2008). Bloggin America: The New Public Sphere. Westport: Praeger Publishers. Retrieved November 4th, 2008, from

November 8th Observation

The first blog that I was in today was about the Giants and Eagles game. People were immersing themselves with scenarios so the Cowboys could make the playoffs. I think the Cowboys should root for the Giants to win so they are not fighting more teams for a Wild Card berth. This is the breakdown of the Eagles and Giants game and the affect on the Cowboys. If the Eagles win they are two games ahead of the Cowboys in their division. This puts the Giants a couple of games ahead as well and the Redskins (the other team in the NFC division) will be ahead of the Cowboys too. On the other hand if the Giants win then the Eagles, Redskins, and Cowboys will all be competing for the wild card spot. The division will be much closer except for the Giants that basically look like they will go on and win the division. The blog consisted of mixed reviews.

For the most part many of the users think that the Giants should win so the rest of the division is bunched up. The Eagles and Redskins have pretty tough games ahead for the rest of the season. This is a good thing for the Cowboys and their future playoff spot. Users agree that the Cowboys have to win most of their games from here on out. They are all giving situations if the Giants win or if the Eagles win and so on. This is a pretty touchy subject because it involves the remainder of the Cowboys season. No one wants December to come and not see their team in the playoffs. To my surprise the same guy (chris) came into this blog once again posting his moronic remarks about the Cowboys winning because a Democrat got elected into office. This time he did not get any reactions to his comment. The blog closed with a user comparing the Cowboys to David and Goliath. GO DALLAS!! SUPER BOWL-TAMPA!! Said David was a 250 to 1 underdog and he won. You can tell this guy is one of those diehard Cowboy fans that paint their face on game day even though he is home watching the game.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November 7th Observation

I first jumped into an interesting article about a previous player for the Dallas Cowboys, Daryl Johnston, and his views on Cowboy fans. He argued that many people are bandwagon fans and are throwing in the white towel already to give up. He is saying since the Cowboys started out with a bang and they were doing exceptionally well, now that they are in the hole their fans are abandoning ship.

The bloggers were not too happy about this article. Right off the bat there was a couple people that said they were Cowboy fans to the end whether doing good or bad. It once again went off football talk and back to politics. This is getting to become routine now the whole mix of football and politics. Rudypm says the Cowboys have to stand up and take charge like Obama. This sparks a couple users attention and feelings start coming out. Ernest t rat throws in a smart remark about raising taxes and re-distributing them out to the NFL and Mo challenges his statement. Mo says that at least it would be a change for the cowboys and that is what they need. Ernest t rat then comes off, living up to his character, and states that Stalin and Hitler brought change as well. I believe all three of these users want change for the Cowboys but disagree on how to accomplish this. It is crazy to see how defensive people get about their favorite sports team and the measures they go to show their emotion.

November 6th Observation

The first article that I read today was on T.O. once again. It was on his reactions this season and how mellow he has been. He has not blown up like he usually does and is well known for. Every Cowboy fan is frustrated on how they have been playing. To be a player and be calm is a totally different thing. I think if I was a player I would be even angrier because the team stats are representing me as well. In this blog the bloggers are giving T.O. his credit for keeping his cool. It was a coin flip when the Cowboys went after T.O. for a player. Some fans thought it was crazy to get him based on his character. Then the other half thought that he is an excellent wide receiver and we should take a shot. Overall T.O. has been an asset to the Cowboys organization and most fans think so as well. There was another post about how the Democrats are in office and how the Cowboys are going to dominate once again. I think these guys are crazy to think since one party holds office it affects the outcome of a football team. The user that kept posting this got some nasty comments because he was leaving similar messages in all the blogs. I think it is funny how it goes from football and turns homosexual after about one reaction. Chris Crapcha on a graham craka says that cris is a moron and un-clever for comparing the two and it takes about a half hour for cris to react. They go off on another tangent but this shows how the users like to protect their community. Chris Crapcha on a graham craka is expressing that cris is filling the blogs with garbage and demoralizes him in efforts for cris to stop. This was the most interesting article today with the most chemistry in it.

November 5th Observation

The first article that came out today was about the game Sunday night against the New York Giants. It seems that people are really mad at the coach. They are saying how Wade Phillips is not worthy to be the Dallas Cowboys coach and they need a new head coach. I found it weird how it went from a game from a couple days ago to the presidential election. I mean it was the day after the election but everyone seemed oblivious to the topic that was originally at hand. I do not think Cowboy fans like Obama very much. One blogger put Obama’s change in presidency is just as unlikely as the Cowboys making the Playoffs.

Another article covered today was Terrell Owens, also known as T.O., outlook on the previous couple weeks of the backup quarterbacks. Understanding the mindset of T.O. is key before hearing anything about what he says. He is the type of player that likes the attention on him. He is a loud mouth player and likes attention. He is a good player when he is fed the ball and makes plays but when he does not get his way, move out of the way. He has been fined many of times for his behavior and will most likely be fined in the future for his behavior. He likes to celebrate and entertain when he scores and that has cost him thousands of dollars. To sum T.O. up he is a showboat. The article spoke about how T.O. said the backup quarterbacks were horrible and he is glad that the starting quarterback, Tony Romo, is back. T.O. said, “If I'm open and I don't get the ball, then I don't get the ball. There's nothing really I can do. I can't throw and catch the ball myself. I can only just do what I can control." This is just a typical statement from T.O. This perfectly sums him up as a player. I personally like his attitude because I think he is a good player and goes out there and gets his job done. The fans on the blog seem to disagree with T.O. and are complaining about his character and say he fumbles too much. One blogger compared the Cowboys winning to Republicans in office and Democrats in office. He goes on to state the years that they won while the Democrats were in and vice versa. I thought this was really interesting. It happened to be that they absolutely dominated while the Democrats were in office. He goes on to conclude that the Cowboys are going to rule for the next four years while Obama is in office.

November 4th Observation

So the blog that I chose was on the Dallas Cowboys. As many of us already know they are an National Football League (NFL) team. They have been struggling over the past couple of years to get into the Super Bowl where they belong, but they keep choking. I was going to do a blog on but I visit this site everyday and did not realize it was a blog type news report. Well today there was the first article that caught my attention about Monday Night Football. The Cowboys were not even playing on Monday Night Football and they still got mentioned. The broadcasters related back to the game from the previous day on Sunday November 2, 2008. The Cowboys played the New York Giants and got blown out. They were not even close in this game mainly because they did not have their starting quarterback, Tony Romo. He got hurt a couple weeks back and fractured his pinkie finger. Everyone is on the Cowboys back because they are expected to do well and they are not competing at the level they should be. The people posting to this article mostly agree with the author of the article that the Cowboys should be doing a lot better. Much of the loss can be contributed to the loss of the Cowboys starting quarterback but that is an excuse everyone does not care about. Cowboys overall have to pick up the slack and get it together to even think about the playoffs.

It is funny to see that a couple articles later talks about the head coach, Wade Phillips, saying how he thinks the Cowboys will have a strong finish. The article says that the Cowboys have to win the next 5 out of 7 games to even contend for a playoff spot. I think this is going to be pretty hard considering the teams that they are playing. Three tough teams that they are going to have to play are the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Pittsburgh Steelers. These are all solid teams that will give the Cowboys a run for their money. The Giants already embarrassed the Cowboys while the Eagles gave them a really close game. There were mixed feelings on the Cowboys making the playoffs in this blog. It seems that the diehard Cowboy fans are getting mad that people doubt that they will make the playoffs. The Cowboys are not going on the field with that championship spark. They were playing solid football in the first couple of weeks and then they lost it. It is going to be a tough road to make the playoffs.