Hardwick Analytical Report

Top 10 Sites Visited Most Often:

Webmail
Facebook
Etsy
ModCloth
Blinkx.com
George Washington University Application Status
Weather.com
Publisher’s Weekly
Twilighters.org

Site Use:

Webmail:

My VT webmail is what I check most online. Often it is the first or second thing I do when opening my browser. I always have it open in a tab in the background while I surf the web and frequently update it to see if there are new messages. I am always paranoid that if I don’t check it I will miss something, and I usually have to read/answer/write e-mails to Professors. This is the website or service that I interact with most.

Facebook:

Like many others this is a website I usually checked when online. I usually don’t spend a whole lot of time just browsing Facebook, but I did regularly check Farmville and a few family member’s profile’s for updates. This is one of the few websites that I interact with though besides webmail. Most of the others I just browse or take in information, and I don’t contribute anything.

Etsy:

I was recently introduced to this website and have been spending a good amount of time on it since. This is a website that hosts other people’s online stores. You can find pretty much anything under the sun that you are looking for, but they focus on handmade specialty products including but not limited to: soap, art, clothing, jewelry, furniture, ect. Since there are so many stores, so many options, and so many different types of products, I find myself browsing the website for long periods of time, looking at all the different artwork, debating if I should buy a necklace, and finding things I think other people would enjoy.

ModCloth:

This is an online store which specializes in “indie” clothing. They have a wide selection of dresses that are updated throughout the day and I enjoy perusing them while I am online as well. Usually I will open their site and look at the new arrivals for probably a minute. Then switch over to another tab like webmail. After a while I will go back to ModCloth and refresh the page to see what else new has been added.

Blinkx.com:

We don’t have cable at my house, so this is how I usually watch TV. During dinner is usually when I pull up Blinkx.com to watch episodes of either NCIS, Gilmore Girls, Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer, or Project Runway.

George Washington University Application Status:

Recently I have submitted my online application to George Washington University’s Publishing Program. So of course I am manically checking my application status so I can find out whether I got in or not.

Weather.com: Often I will check weather.com in the morning to figure out what the weather will be like throughout the day so I may dress accordingly. I also will check the weather for any place I will be traveling soon so I know what to pack.

Publishers Weekly:

This website for Publishers Weekly magazine has different headlines everyday which talk about what is going on in the publishing world. Things like what new books are coming out or have been contracted, what new management the major companies are under, and what new technologies are being developed for the eBook readers. I like to visit this website because it covers a variety of publishing ground in one location, and the stories are often short and straight forward so I can get the news quickly.

Twilighters.org:

So, I admit it, I am a dorky fan of the Twilight books. This is a website I check to see if there is any news or information about the movies, the books, or pretty much anything related to the Twilight that is happening or going on.

Analysis:

While reviewing my user diary not a whole lot surprised me. I knew I visited a lot of the same sites, and I know I rarely really interact with a lot of websites, preferring to browse or take in information rather than respond or contribute to the collective knowledge. I think the sheer total amount of time I spent online was kind of surprising, but often I will get online and look up a lot of different things so I never feel like I am spending a whole lot of time on one site. Also will be doing other things while online like folding laundry, cooking, ect.

Only on Facebook do I really interact when I am talking with my family or friends about what is going on in my life or sharing stories, and I feel comfortable responding. Maybe because I have an inaccurate mindset that although I am posting something to the internet, not many people except close friends and family are going to take the time to read what I say on Facebook.

On other websites I don’t respond because I don’t really see the point or care to take the time to. By my web use you see I spend a lot of time browsing shops online. I don’t have a reason to post anything there unless I want to give feedback after I buy something, which doesn’t happen often. Even then I don’t give feedback unless it is an easy ‘star’ or ‘thumbs up’ ‘thumbs down’ rating system where I am not required to actually write out a response. When I visit websites like Twilighters that encourage posting comments, I don’t because I don’t feel like I need to voice my opinion when it doesn’t really matter what I think. My logic- Who really cares that I like a shirt Ashley Green is wearing? No one. So why should I post it?

My media interactivity has changed over the years significantly. When I was younger I was on AIM and in Chat rooms often, and felt no danger or hesitation what so ever. This might be due to the fact I was younger and more naive about the internet, and AIM was an easy outlet to talk to my friends. I think another reason this might be the case is because my friends and I were all so young we didn’t have cell phones and text messaging was really around, so AIM was the easiest communication. Now that I am older however I hardly ever use any type of chat feature unless expressly asked to by a friend or family member. Even on Facebook my ‘chat’ setting is turned off. I think this is because I have learned that people who I am really close to and what to talk to me will either text, call, or meet me in person to talk about something.

The difference between knowledge and information gained from digital media compared to more traditional sources is quite simply a matter of speed and convenience. During my user diary I looked up some information online for a paper on Harry Potter, and was able to gain everything I needed quickly by searching the Harry Potter Wikipedia. If I had gone a more traditional route by looking for everything by hand through the seven Harry Potter books, it would have taken me a considerable more amount of time. Through I did use traditional book media as well to supplement what I found online, the convenience of all the information in one place gave me a better idea of where to look.

Granted, I think there are some things that are better learned through traditional media, like books, hands on experience, or lectures. For example I would prefer that my doctor had hands on experience opposed to having obtained a degree through a virtual means. Also, I prefer to read books for enjoyment in print rather than digitally because I like the feel of traditional books better, and I don’t quite feel like the digital readers have reached a level of advancement to where I would feel comfortable giving up print books.

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