Roberts Analytical Report

Sites and Services
NeoGAF – Gaming forum with a very large userbase that I read on a semi-regular basis. It always tends to be open in my browser, even if I won’t be looking at it for hours. Recently, a group of members from the site have begun work on a game of their own. I’ve been trying to keep up with their progress, so I tend to check the thread about it at least once per day.

Twitter – I originally used this to talk to my parents and a few friends with the hopes of being able to keep up with them a little more and use instant messenger a little less. This was largely unsuccessful because of the amount of spam users, celebrities that people would rather follow, and the obnoxious “retweets” from my family.

Xbox Live – The online gaming service for Microsoft’s gaming console “Xbox 360.” Xbox Live has been a large part of my online gaming simply because of how easy it makes it to stay connected with friends. There have been options for chatting, sending messages, and following each other into games with little issue for a long period of time.

Usage Analysis
My usage of Web 2.0 services has been on a rapid decline recently. As I’ve gone through college, I’ve hated services like Facebook more every day. I find the updates pointless, I don’t talk to any of my friends from high school on it, and everyone that I would talk to in college with it is close enough that I can just talk to them face-to-face. From my vantage point, Facebook is entirely useless and the only reason I haven’t closed my account is in case this class wants to use Facebook for the collaborative project.

Twitter was something that never struck me as very interesting, but I was talked into using it by my parents who were very heavily into it at one point in time. At first, I would update a few times a day and was vaguely interested in what people had to say, but like Facebook, Twitter has become nothing but meaningless messages that I don’t need to stay updated on. If I want to talk to a friend or family, I can just instant message, email, call, or text them. These services that are so incredibly popular today seem like nothing more than a temporary fad that I have no use for.

NeoGAF is a gaming forum that I generally lurk, but since it has such a large userbase that is extremely active, I felt like I should include it. My usage of it varies by day-to-day. It generally depends on how active the gaming community is at that point in time or how interested I am in what’s about to be released. Recently, I’ve been trying to keep up to date on threads about games like “Battlefield: Bad Company 2” and “Super Street Fighter IV.” Large numbers of users are involved in the threads for these games and conversation is kept going on a very consistent basis. This is the largest community that I would say I’ve had some sort of continuing involvement with.

Xbox Live is another service I used to stay connected with other people. I’ve been on the service since the original Xbox and I still keep in touch with friends from those days. I try to connect at least once a day for a few minutes just so I can see what kind of new games have been released for download and what my friends are up to. With the revamps that it has been going through recently, it has become much more of a social network for me than sites like Facebook ever were. Players can set avatars, show and share what they’re streaming on Netflix, listen to web radio with Last.FM, voice or video chat, and even play games together from the comfort of a “party” that will exclude other users on the service from interrupting their conversations.

While it wouldn’t normally count as a Web 2.0 service, I use a program called Ventrilo on a regular basis. Like Skype, it allows for voice chat between people online. Where it differs, though, is that you generally connect to a server that multiple people can create channels in and everyone is free to move about as they wish. It is usually used for PC gaming so players can talk to each other in attempts to coordinate their teams. Since a large portion of my friends that I met on games like “World of Warcraft” a few years ago are still in contact with me, we’ve found Ventrilo to be one of the easiest ways to stay in touch. We can all share the connection information for one server and meet there to talk while we play different games. There are no issues when one of us tries to play something like “Team Fortress 2” while another group plays something like “Starcraft.”

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