Module 3 Summative Blog Post: Team Wiki!

Before I start I want to thank everyone for taking the time out to read and comment on my blog post this week. This week’s topic on Wikipedia is definitely an interesting one that we all are familiar with. This module really helped to educate me and change my perspective of the use and accuracy of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is essentially a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit which is why Wikipedia is so popular and at the same time so controversial as well. There are so many different opinions when it comes to Wikipedia which is why I was interested in reading your comments. After reading the blogs of my group members it seems that most of us view Wikipedia with some skepticism, which I personally think is a good thing. And it seems that most of us are so cautious when it comes to Wikipedia because of our Professors and teachers who have discouraged the use of the site completely.

After reading this week’s readings my perspective about Wikipedia has shifted a little bit more towards a more positive light. I understand why Professors and teachers discouraged the use of Wikipedia but now I believe that instead of teaching students to avoid the use of Wikipedia completely, teachers should educate us on how Wikipedia works. Students need to know how to and when to use Wikipedia. If used properly it can help further the research process. By explaining the functions of Wikipedia and the way it is operated, a student can learn to make their own judgment when it comes to using Wikipedia. This way they will understand that anyone can edit or alter information on a Wikipedia article therefore it is vital to confirm any information retrieve from a Wiki page.

In my blog post I refereed to Wikipedia as being “democratic’ because I think it exists to empower and engage people around the world. Wikipedia is somewhere we can collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain of the website. We can do this freely and without any restrictions that is what I meant by “democratic”.  My train of thought was essentially revolving around what the Wikipedia community and its quasi-tribal rule of law will allow as appropriate contributions or edits to the site. From the comments below it seems that most of my peers agree that Wikipedia is most useful for retrieving quick and fast information. I think it’s most popular for being an informal research tool. Although I personally and some of my peers too, use Wikipedia for quick searches, from a general consensus it seems that we still believe it is not appropriate to source statistics, dates, or facts from Wikipedia.  I still believe that Wikipedia is a useful research tool that has so much potential to grow and improve. So I’m definitely team Wikipedia!

Module 3 Initial Blog Post – Wikipedia …. Yours , Mines,and Ours

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Wikipedia has always been criticised for being a free open-access encyclopedia. The website has been associated with problems related to the credibility of its authors and its general accountability for the information posted. That’s why I think today the website is viewed with such a negative connotation. I was strongly discouraged from using Wikipedia by my professors therefore I was always scared to uses it. I was always told that Wikipedia was an unreliable source because virtually anyone would could enter the database and edit it. Because of this I avoided using the site completely once I got to university. However in high school I was guilty of using Wikipedia occasionally. But when I did use it I always used it with some skepticism. I trusted nothing unless I found a second verifying source. I’ve always thought that Wikipedia was a good starting point for a summary of a topic. But whenever I did go on the site it was mostly for a brief summary or to view the links provided at the bottom of the page for outside sources. This saves so much more time, it saves time from sitting there sifting through a gazillion Google hits for some useful information. Today I use Wikipedia only for non-academic knowledge and information. 
 
The first article that I will relate to is “What’s on Wikipedia and What’s Not . . . ?” written by Cindy Royal and Deepina Kapil. In this article the authors listed risks involved with using Wikipedia. The risked listed were; accuracy, motives, uncertain expertise, volatility, coverage, and sources (Royal and Kapil, 2009). This really interested me because these are the risks that professors warned me about. But what really intrigued me was the idea of conflicting motives on Wikipedia. Each online member has different motives that explain as to why they are doing what they are doing. Thus meaning that we as users can in fact change or add information in a way that we perceive it or how we want others to perceive. This explains why Royal and Kapil refer to information on Wikipedia as being “ extremely volatile and dynamic” (Royal and Kapil, 2009).
 
The article titled “Internet encyclopedia’s go head to head” really put into perspective the idea of a writer’s bias. The author explained that an experiment was done where 42 submissions on the same topic were looked at from both Britannica and Wikipedia, and the mistakes that were found in both were considerably equal. There was an average about 4 mistakes in Wikipedia and around 3 mistakes found in Britannica (Giles, 2005). This really surprised me because we all consider Britannica to be a reliable and trustworthy source. I have actually used Britannica as a source in numerous university papers. The fact that Britannica has an editor does not make the site more reliable because with this it could make all the information available on the website bias and one sided. The information on the website is subject to bias because there is no one re-reading or correcting that editor’s work, so the editor has the opportunity to post what he feels is right.
 
After reading this week’s readings on Wikipedia my perspective has definitely changed. I now look at Wikipedia as an essential component to democracy. The online community is able to contribute and share information on a global scale. From one perspective Wikipedia can be looked at as a free and open global community where anyone is allowed to contribute information ( Dijck and Nieborg, 2009). In today’s society much of what we see or do is a collective effort that involves the sharing of ideas. Wikipedia provides us with a platform to share these ideas and information and for that reason should be appreciated. Brown and Dugrid mentioned in their article that the collaboration of ideas has been used throughout history like in the Declaration of Independence and the Article of Confederation. Wikipedia is just a more updated and public version of sharing information that will benefit us. 

 

Module 2: Summary blog post

Hello!
I want to start off by thanking Steph and Amanda for taking the time out to read and comment on my blog post. Getting feedback from everyone really makes this blogging experience that much more enjoyable.

In response to the comment by Steph from stephanielavelle.wordpress.com , I’m glad we both appreciate social media for bringing closer together. Just like you I have family in different parts of the world and communicating with them through the telephone can not only be hard but also expensive. Social media sites like Facebook provide us with a platform to communicate with our loved ones that are miles away. I have relatives in Africa and before the internet communicating with them could only be done through the phone or mail. Making a phone call to Africa many years ago was also 50 cents a minute, therefore it was very expensive. However now with Facebook and email, I can constantly stay connected with them for free. It’s so much more convenient and obviously less expensive. When contacting someone via telephone you need to take into consideration time zones because it may be 9 am for you but 12 am for someone sitting across the world from you. This makes it harder to coordinate a proper time to make calls to your loved ones. When I use Facebook to connect with my families in different parts of the world I can easily type up a message and send it to them. The message is delivered to them instantly and they can access it whenever they get a chance. I personally think we are all so indebted to social media because it gives us control and offers so much convenience to the users.

Next I am going to address the comment written by Amanda Avila from rightstoanimals.blogspot.ca. Now that you mention it I have too noticed that when we see a group of people that are all friends sitting in the same room each person will be connected to their cell phones on their online profiles. Its strange that even when we are surrounded by our friends we need to be still connected with our online profiles. Do you think its because of insecurities or just something we are use to now? I completely agree with you, this is a perfect example of being alone together. I think social media has really helped to define what is meant by physically being together and what is meant by mentally being together. I’m glad that my point about altering personal identities interested you. It is most definitely scary and is the main reason why we are so scared of interacting with individuals we don’t know online. For that reason, I also don’t agree with companies taking a look at online profiles of potential employees while in the hiring process.  Although it sounds superficial its is actually just a way for employers to lurk a potential candidate based on looks and professional success.

After reading both comments on my blog post its obvious that we appreciate social media for its communication aspect. However it seems that we are spectacle about the cyber world at the same time. I think this is in a sense is good because it makes us more precautious and aware when we interact online. 

Initial blog post

Reflect upon how you balance the public, the private, the personal in relation to the social media that you already use:
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The Internet has changed the way we live and communicate with one another. Social media is appreciated because it possesses the ability to connect people even if they may be millions of miles away.  We are so attracted to the idea of social media because here we have the ability to control our individual identities and interactions. I use social media sites for the purpose of connecting and staying in touch with my friends and relatives. Online communication is popular because it is appreciated for the “silence of connection”. In the article “Cyberspace and Identity” Sherry Turkle argues that we are comforted by having the ability to communicate with so many people and that to with such ease. We have the opportunity to communicate with one another at a distance we can control, which is why social is media is so attractive to us. This is something I really like about social media sites. I am able to connect to people when I choose while still being in the comfort of my own home. In the TED Blog Sherry Turkle refers to this as the “Goldilocks effect”. She refers to this as having the desire to be with each of but at the same time apart.  

Whether or not one tries to change themselves in an online environment, one can never be completely different than their true selves. Online members have the ability to modify their personal persona; however can we really modify our true selves without adding some of our actual personalities?  With our increasing dependence on technology it seems that having an identity in the cyber world is becoming a growing phenomenon.  With this comes the challenge of balancing our public persona and our private persona in relation to its privacy implications. Consenting members of the online community we have the ability to choose how much we want to divulge. Sherry Turkle in a New York Times article writes that “Texting and e-mail and posting let us present the self we want to be. This means we can edit.” This is one of the main reasons I feel the online membership is so active. With these technologies we have the ability to control our persona. The keyword here is control, being in control is characterized with power which is a personal need that each human being desires. The fact that we posses this control, we feel important and the personal desire to be in control is in part fulfilled.  

As of right now I use Facebook, Instragram, Email, and Pinterest. Facebook is obviously the most well-known and popular social media website. Although there are many surveillance and security issues associated with social media network I have still chosen to use it. I have become more aware of online privacy over the last couple of years thanks to the government who has made efforts to educate citizens about the dangerous of the cyber world. I do knowledge the issues and concerns involved with online participation and for that reason I am much more cautious about interacting online. The reason I feel comfortable using Facebook is because I have the ability to balance and control my public persona. I can choose to share what I want therefore have the ability to choose what private information I want to make public. Facebook has different features available that make it easier to balance the public, private and personal information. Only my cover photo, name and education is made visible to the public. And only my friends on Facebook can view my photos, status updates and posts. When I need to contact someone privately I usually send them an inbox message which only they are able to view. Because Facebook offers its users the ability to control public, private and personal information, makes it such a popular networking site.

Work Cited:

Turkle, S.  (1999). Cyberspace and identity. Contemporary Sociology. 28(6). 643-648. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.proxy.library.brocku.ca/stable/pdfplus/2655534.pdf?acceptTC=true

Turkle, S. (2012). Places we don’t want to go. TED. Retrieved from http://blog.ted.com/2012/03/01/places-we-dont-want-to-go-sherry-turkle-at-ted2012/

Cyberspace and Identity Sherry Turkle Contemporary Sociology Vol. 28, No. 6 (Nov., 1999), pp. 643-648
http://www.jstor.org.proxy.library.brocku.ca/stable/pdfplus/2655534.pdf?acceptTC=true

The Majestic Plastic Bag

This video is a great depiction of what “The Plastic cycle of Life” exactly is. After watching this it will definitely open your eyes about what happens to a plastic bag once you throw it out. Something to think about…

Introduction

Hello and welcome to my blog!

My name is Amanjot Singh; I am in my fourth year of studies in the Collaborative Political Science and Paralegal Studies Program at Brock University. I am a licensed paralegal currently practicing under the Law Society of Upper Canada. I love to travel, and recently I traveled to Greece where I had an amazing time indulging in Greek culture, history and food. I’ve also traveled to Mexico and India. In each of the countries I have travelled I have noticed the outstanding number of litter on the street, mostly plastic bags. I have followed the plastic bag reduction initiative in Toronto closely for awhile now and I think it will be interesting to explore this very issue in further detail through this blog. I plan on educating myself about the problem and hope to use this blog as away to share with the public my learning experience. I want this blog to raise awareness about the problems plastic bags pose to the environment and why we as citizens should be concerned.

A Plastic bag is a type of packaging made from thin and flexible plastic film. Plastic bags are most commonly used in retail by consumers for transporting goods such as groceries, books, and clothes. The most common arguments used against plastic bags are that plastic bags pollute the air and water, and pose a significant litter problem that results in clogging of lakes, rivers, and oceans. In order to combat this problem the governments around the world have introduced a plastic bag policy imitative. The plastic bag policy is a public policy initiative implemented for the purpose of limiting the use of plastic grocery bags in order to sustain a healthier environment. The purpose of this blog is to draw attention to the potential dangers plastics bags pose to the environment. I plan to explore topics such as:
• Environmental impacts of plastic bags
• Real stories of damage that plastic bags have caused
• Public policy initiatives to reduce plastic bags
• Pros and Cons of these initiatives
• Canada’s role in plastic bag reduction
• Plastic bag ban on an international level
If you’re interested in learning more about the plastic bag problem, check out the blogrolls, hashtags and websites that I have listed below.

BlogRoll
1.http://alltagsobjektplastiktuete.wordpress.com/
2.http://www.connecteko.com/apps/blog/show/24394675-a-plastic-bag-story-problem
3.http://plasticmanners.wordpress.com
4.http://dogtagsandplasticbags.wordpress.com/
5.http://phillyplasticphotog.wordpress.com/

Twitter Hashtags
1. #banthebag
2. #plasticbag
3. #plasticpollution
4. #thebag
5. #plasticbagreduction

Websites
1. http://plasticbagbanreport.com
2. http://www.reversethebagban.ca
3. http://www.allaboutbags.ca
4. http://envireusablebags.com
5. http://www.plastics.ca

plastic-bag.jpg

The Plastic Bag