In the past week I have noticed there were a few newspaper articles and blog posts on Wikipedia.

 

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Wikipedia is a free multilingual, open content encyclopedia project operated by the non-profit, Wikimedia Foundation. The site has been established since 2001, and is the fastest growing and most popular general reference work available on the internet.  It ranks number 7 on the top sites in Canada. 

Wikipedia has over 10 million articles posted in 253 different languages.  Just the other day, in a post by Mike ArringtonWikipedia had reached its 10 millionth article.

All of the articles posted on Wikipedia have been written interactively by volunteers from all around the world. The site can be edited by anyone, with an exception of a few pages, and that poses a problem.  

Dave Winer wrote a post on how random people think they have authority to write on Wikipedia, this is a problem because it creates invalid information and readers become wrongly informed. Just imagine how many people do it considering, we did it once as a class demonstration.

 

It has about 10-15 people who are actually paid employees of the company and they edit and monitor recently added content. Wikipedia wished to expand their staff to about 25 people by 2010. 

In an article found on the Globe and Mail website it stated that some people who contribute monetary donations to wikipedia thought that the organization is being reckless with the donations it receives, while others thought they should be spending more of the funds. Wikipedia needs the funds to keep their site up and running. This is why they seek out people who would like to donate to the site. Wikipedia is a site that needs to think of the long run because, according to most it is here to stay. Looking for donations is crucial for the sites operations. The donations keep the site in working order and pay the few employees on the payroll.  Alfred P. Sloan is donating three, 1 million dollar installments over the next 3 years. With his donation, he hopes that Wikipedia can become more financially stable in the years to come.

The sad thing is though, if wikipedia didn’t focus on donations they would have to go to the alternative of advertising on the wikipedia site. I don’t know about anybody else but I do not want to see any ads on the site. Ads just create clutter and confusion in my opinion. Hopefully Wikipedia will continue to look to its contributers for financial support, or we will soon be seeing ads on the wikipedia page.

 

Jen 

Obama in 30 Seconds..

March 16, 2008

When going through the required reading, I found one on Lessig’s blog that I found to be pretty interesting. It was actually a video entry, with the executive director of Moveon.org announcing a contest. First of all let me start off by saying that this isn’t the first contest that this site has put on. In 2004 there was a contest out to make a 30 sec television ad called Bush in 30 Seconds. It was a contest for filmmakers, writers, Animators, actors, you name it and you were welcome to submit a video, these videos basically mocked President Bush as much as they could in whatever way they saw fit. There were tons of entries and the winning video called “Child’s Pay” was aired nationally on TV and it was one of the most viewed political ads of all time. I was pretty impressed with the video, it didn’t mock Bush in a humorous way, and it was one of those videos that made you think.

Well now Moveon.org is putting on another contest called Obama in 30 Seconds, the only difference between the Bush and the Obama contest is that Moveon.org is in support of Obama so the videos have to be of the supporting nature this time. A panel of celebrity judges selects the winner too, and if you win the contest you get $20,000 for a new camera and what not and of course your commercial gets aired nationally.

This got me thinking about that chapter in Wikinomics on Goldcorp who seeked help from the Internet for help with finding gold in different areas. It seems that a ton of companies are seeking help from their consumers and why not? It is a huge resource for the company to use their consumers because not only is it convenient but it is free. Seeking input from your consumers and having a reward for it is a great way to utilize what is right in front of you, I mean who knows more about a product than the person who buys it. More and more companies are seeking input from their consumers and I think it’s a great way for companies to stay ahead on what their people want and how to give it to them.

Jen

Watch how to cook

March 9, 2008

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I noticed this post a few days ago on Guy Kawasaki’s blog, it was called A Lot to Learn From Start Cooking. It is a site that literally shows you how to cook something by showing it using a step-by-step process. I’m a terrible cook so I particularly enjoyed this site. It has a ton of videos showing how to make a bunch of different sort of recipes. It shows you the quantities of each ingredient, tells you what kind of cooking supplies needed, how long it should take to cook/bake and of course it shows you what the final product should look like. This site is very beneficial to those people, such as myself, that are visual learners. Though the videos on the site are quick, you can pause it while you gather your things and follow along. It is also an added bonus to do things at your own pace.

Another awesome feature of this site is that you can view the videos many different ways, through iTunes, RSS readers, TVTonic and you can also receive emails with the new recipes and demos available. 

While I thought this was a great site, it sure isn’t the only one out there. There are millions of other instructional videos on the web. You can pretty much think of anything and there will be a video on how to do it, whether you want to watch it or not is another story. YouTube has some out there, but I find that they are either not of particular good quality, and they are randomly added and inconsistent. It amazes me on how reliant we have become on the web to show us how things are done. In the past it was pretty easy to pick up a cooking book or phone a friend for a recipe for example and now it is just that much easier to look it up on the web instead.

Jen

Facebook for Baby

March 1, 2008

While reading through the required reading, I found Mike Arrington’s post on Totspot to be pretty good. First of all let me explain the Totspot site, in my opinion it is pretty much like a facebook for mothers and their babies. The mothers can post pictures of their babies on their page and pretty much document the baby’s entire childhood on the web. The parents can also have the page open to friends and family to check out or have them public for the entire Totspot members to see. Another feature of the site was that once you get all your babies’ precious moments and memories documented on the site you can order it in book form for a cost of course.

In my personal opinion, if I had a baby, I would not be putting pictures and a good amount of my baby’s personal information on the web. Like we talked about in class, once its out on the web it is hard to get it off there for good. And putting your child on the web cannot be a good thing, especially at such an early age, you never know who would be able to access their info. Also I think it would take away from the overall tradition of the baby book. Most parents document their child’s life in a book with notes, pictures, and baby’s first haircut and they add their own personal touches to the baby book. You just can’t get memories like that from the web.

Jen

DanceJam update…

March 1, 2008

So a few posts ago, I wrote about the new site by MC hammer called DanceJam, Well my friends, the website is now up and running. I checked it out and it was pretty good. I don’t even really like these dance shows, but this site is sorta good. The battles are a cool feature, the viewers can vote on who had the better dance off and critique them on it. My favourite is the enthusiastic Mc Hammer in the intro video to the site at the top left hand corner of the screen. Funny 

Jen

I was reading through Mike Arrington’s page and read about a site called StickK. StickK is a site that basically helps you keep your resolutions or commitments. For example if you wanted to quit smoking, the contract would say something along the lines of if you don’t quit smoking there will be a penalty. The penalty, if they fail their challenge, would be to donate money to a charity. You can also get friends and family in on it as your own support system to help you actually stay true to your commitment. In visiting the site, the sign up is pretty easy, almost anyone could do it, and you can customize your goals to your own specifications, which is helpful because you can go at your own pace with your commitment.   

I think it’s a pretty good concept. For the most part, people really don’t like to do anything unless there is a reward in the end, or they will do it if they know there will be negative consequences if not. I think the site will help some people achieve their goals/commitments if their stakes are at play. And I guess you wouldn’t join the site or sign the contract unless you actually wanted to say for example quit smoking.

I find it funny that they think that donating money to a charity is a punishment though, but that’s just me.

 Jen

As we all have witnessed, reality tv is consuming a lot of television channels. I for one do enjoy a few reality shows such as Dancing with the Stars, Big Brother and a couple of others. But it gets to be a point of too much, especially with the dancing shows like now on much music you have So You Think You Can Dance, and this new Randy Jackson one called America’s Next Dance Crew. Oh and you can’t forget the spin off one called Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann. I guess it’s the only tv that isn’t reruns on now due to the writers strike. But just when I didn’t think it could go any further, I read Mike Arrington’s article on DanceJam. The article states that the new company DanceJam are getting new investors investing a bunch of money into the upcoming interactive site. Just to fill you all in, DanceJam is a company founded by MC Hammer (yes you read correctly, maybe he will make a comeback if we are lucky) and Geoffrey Arone, who co-founded the web browser maker Flock. They teamed up to create a website called DanceJam. To get an overview on the upcoming launch, click here. But basically on this website you are able to record yourself dancing and get others to rate your dancing skills and the results will show the top dancers around the world. You are also able to send video messages to fellow dancers and basically critique them on their dance. Also for those who aren’t all that agile on your feet, there is also a feature on the site that allows you to watch the videos in slow motion so that you can get the moves right. And as if that wasn’t enough there will be dance tutorials by the one and only MC Hammer.

All in all I think this site will be successful when it gets up and running. I also think this website will incorporate a lot of participation thru the web as well, like how to improve the dance number that you just witnessed or maybe people will even team up to dance together and share their works on the website. I will keep you guys posted on the release, and maybe in the future I will watch you guys dancing on DanceJam.

 Jen