Shipp Analytical Report

Analytical Report

Part One

Rough Chart:

Part One

Rough Chart:

Web 2.0 sites Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

VT Webmail 12 log ons/6:30 minutes 21 log ons/28 minutes 10 log on/ 3 minutes 19 log ons/8 minutes 14 log ons/4 minutes 4 log ons/2 minutes 6 log ons/4 minutes

Facebook 5 log ons/23 minutes 7 log ons/1 hour, 22 minutes 4 log on/ 1 hour, 13 minutes 8 log ons/1 hour, 32 minutes 3 log ons/4 minutes 15 log ons/24 minutes 19 log ons/15 minutes

Youtube 14 log ons/28 minutes 3 log ons/21 minutes 0 log ons 4 log ons/38 minutes 3 log ons/5 minutes 7 log ons/13 minutes 2 log ons/3 minutes

ESPN Fantasy Sports 6 log ons/2 hours, 52 minutes 8 log ons/1 hour, 48 minutes 3 log ons/45 minutes 2 log ons/1 hour, 21 minutes 4 log ons/2 hours 8 log ons/6 minutes 12 log ons/11 minutes

ESPN Conversation forum 3 log ons/3 hours, 2 minutes 0 log ons 1 log on/ 3 minutes 0 log ons 5 log ons/2 hours, 46 minutes 2 log ons/1 hour, 2 minutes 1 log in/ 25 minutes

Scholar 14 log ons/12 minutes 11 log ons/1 hour, 22 minutes 3 log ons/2 minutes 8 log ons/ 1 hour, 42 minutes 3 log ons/6 minutes 0 log ons 1 log on/ 2 minutes

Wiki 2 log ons/19 minutes 0 log ons 0 log ons 0 logs ons 2 log ons/32 minutes 0 log ons 0 log ons

Skype 1 log on/14 minutes 0 log ons 0 log ons 1 log on/23 minutes 0 log ons 1 log on/41 minutes 0 log ons

Notable Observations:

1. VT Webmail

This was consistently the first website I accessed whenever I opened a new browser window. Even if my main intention of accessing the Internet were to explore some other site, I would always check my email first simply out of habit. Being in a fraternity, my email address is on a listserv with about 70 other students who tend to flood my inbox with nearly 20 emails per day. Usually the emails consist of pointless electronic arguments, jokes, and comedic Youtube videos, with only a few offering valuable information. I was also awaiting and electronic acceptance letter for an internship that I had applied for during the break from classes. Most of the time, each email session lasted less than one or two minutes, except on Monday during which I was drafting an outline for a group project.

2. Facebook

Though these numbers seem extreme, much of the time logged on Facebook was spent doing something completely unrelated to the features offered on the site. Facebook has become the most popular form of instant messaging, so although I am not searching the website for friends, photos, etc., I am logged on to make myself available for conversation between other online friends. Also, one of my best friends is currently without a cell phone, so our only form of conversation is through Facebook messaging. Facebook is also a common tool to trade class notes and other educational materials in case a friend or myself is unable to attend class, or if a group is compiling a project inside or outside of class. Time was also spent viewing recent pictures of a recent vacation to Key West posted by friends.

3. Youtube

As stated before, many of my Youtube accesses spurred from hyperlinks sent through emails from fraternity brothers and family members. The highest numbers are during the week, specifically on Monday, and Wednesday. I enjoy utilizing this website to listen to free music while I work on other academic projects, these two days having been my busiest days of the week. Also, there is a comedic television show that airs every Wednesday night. Much of the content and humor is derived from random Youtube videos, and towards the conclusion of the show the host encourages viewers to post comments on the appropriate video thread during and after the show. I occasionally follow his instructions depending on the hilarity of the video, since reading the comments are sometimes just as funny.

4. ESPN Fantasy Sports

I’ve discovered that I use the bulletin boards and chat windows offered by ESPN’s fantasy basketball league account for nearly as many conversations with friends as I do Facebook. Many of the participants in our fictitious sport competitions are old friends from high school and college who have moved away. Competing and conversing brings back forgotten camaraderie. Each user’s team must be modified multiple times per day to remain up to date in case of surprise player injuries or suspensions. With up to ten users logging on multiple times per day, messages are sent and received at a fairly quick pace.

5. ESPN Conversation Forum

Before I decided to aim my educational focus towards a career in broadcasting, I was an active staff writer for the Collegiate Times, covering various Virginia Tech sporting events, teams, and individual athletes. Though I no longer write formal newspaper articles, I do enjoy engaging in casual sports talk, especially during the NCAA tournament. With almost 100 college basketball games taking place in less than one week, there were plenty of open forums just begging for my opinion, explaining the multiple hours per day spent on this website.

6. Scholar

Virginia Tech’s Scholar website is my chief means of keeping up with class assignments as well as submitting projects and essays. Many of my teachers require assignments to be submitted through email, and I also document due dates in a daily planner, so minimal time is spent on Scholar. However, one of my classes on Monday and Wednesday use resources (articles, project rubrics) that require every student to remain logged in for the duration of the class, explaining the high numbers for those two days.

7. Wiki

I had never used a wiki before taking this class, and because we had a group project that incorporated many elements to be submitted through this site, I spent an above average amount of time on the wiki.

8. Skype

I am currently involved in a relationship with a friend I met in Africa this summer. Because she lives in Switzerland, phone calls are extremely expensive, so our main source of communication is Facebook and especially Skype.

Part Two

I was quite shocked to see how much time I waste arguing with students and fans of other university’s athletic teams. Whether football or basketball, I was in constant argument with anyone whose opinion was flawed or invalid (in my opinion). Obviously I think arguing is a lot more fun than I originally believed considering it consumed nearly eight hours of my week. My amount of Facebook use was also surprising, as I hate the fact that people use it to “stalk” other students’ profiles, so I try to stay off of it during the day unless I need information from another student regarding a class.

The reason that Facebook engages such a massive audience is because it’s content and types of communication are many, and are also interactive. When you are talking on the phone, you can only talk to one person. You can’t see them. Email and text communication are even less personal. The only type of communication that is more effective and private is one-on-one or group conversations when every party member is physically present. Facebook, like instant messaging, allows users to chat with multiple friends at once while seeing their pictures/videos. Like an answering machine, you can leave messages if your acquaintance is unavailable. According to the numbers of college students who check their Facebook accounts multiple times daily, it’s probably just as reliable. Live online communication is simply more interactive than classic forms, regarding information and knowledge storage. Anyone can learn almost anything from a person without so much as a five-minute chat, because different links on their profile give an indepth look into their lives, including relationship availability, political stance, etc. Facebook might as well as be suing eHarmony for stealing their idea.

When Web 2.0 technologies became mainstream during my early years in high school, I was completely against caving into their temptations. I thought it was pathetic that people stopped calling each other on the phone, and instead typing away on their keyboards. The last straw was pulled when a girl asked me to a dance over AIM (AOL Instant Messenger). I swore to stay away from Myspace, though only because so many of my friends and classmates had already gotten “sucked in.” I completely limited myself until college, when I realized that I didn’t have any friends. Facebook was a great way to start meeting people, and check out all the cute girls on my hallway of course, yet therein lies the problem. Before Facebook, I would have walked down the hall and personally met them, the traditional way. I’ve completely switched my stance over the past four years. Nearly every bookmark on my toolbar is a Web 2.0 site that I use every day.

The advantages to finding information through these new technologies compared to older methods barely outweigh the negatives. 20 years ago, if someone wanted information they searched a library, found a literary source, and extracted reliable, detailed information. What’s the downside? It took more than five minutes and books take up space. Currently, however, Web 2.0 technologies are diluting previously authentic information found on the Internet. For example, many students use Google as their first means of researching a topic. Much of the time the first results lead to Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia that can be edited by ANYONE. Not too mention knowledge retainability hits an all time low; skimming an article on a computer screen is not the same as reading it in a book and actually taking it all in. In this day and age, when speed and efficiency battle reliability and mental concentration, speed wins every time. People are not learning, they’re only repeating.

Based on my user diary, digital media is not an effective knowledge management system. I consider knowledge to be defined as something both that it both true and holds future mental value. Not to say that there are no Web 2.0 websites that manage knowledge and information well, but my frequented sites such as Youtube, Facebook, and ESPN offer little factual knowledge and few sources of proof. Webmail is the exception. It is a powerful yet compact electronic tool that acts as an effective organizer of a variety of information regarding classes, social events, internship offerings, and interpersonal communication with peers and family members.

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