Category Archives: creation/consumption

So it goes


cc2010 Robert, from

One of the many nice things about The Internet Course is that you never know where it will go. The course description gives it broad guidance as to what it covers, but the students determine how to approach the various topics. Now we’re in the final project phase, which is entirely student driven. This has produced a number of interesting projects in the past, and this semester looks to match the standard of creativity that has been set.

One group is taking a Buzzfeed-style listicle approach to the impacts of the internet – 10 reasons why the internet ruins everything. The plan is to take both serious and sarcastic approaches to items on the list. Tuesday’s class brainstormed ideas, some of which were:

lists (nothing like starting off meta)
childhood innocence
f2f communication
attention span
hope for humanity
music industry

What fascinates me about this is how easy it is to make arguments from both sides – the internet’s impacts can be seen as both positive and negative. Take music for example. That the internet has destroyed the industry is a common refrain. although I would contend that the industry had been shooting itself in the foot long before Napster came around. The traditional recording industry and music retail outlets have taken a hit, to be sure. But there are new players in the field, and at least two of them, Apple and Google, are profiting quite nicely. The flip side to the doom and gloom that the RIAA spouts was articulated by Steve Albini recently. There has never been a better time to be a fan of music. We’re no longer at the mercy of radio and retail gatekeepers. And neither are musicians – they can take control of their careers, rather than putting them and their profits in the hands of managers and labels and producers and promoters.

Tuesday’s other group is expanding on the creation/consumption topic by doing a survey on how people contribute original content to the web. That leads to some interesting questions about what constitutes original content and the nature of creativity. Is the Pentametron’s content original? Creative? I would say yes, but I am sure some would debate me. The idea of curation as a creative act seems to be born out of the internet. The survey avoids this potential minefield by providing a definition. The survey also asks about the nature and impact of original content, and charts the responses. I would be interested to see a breakdown of types of content – text, image, audio, video, code, etc – but that may be outside the scope of their study.

Both of these projects are different, both in topic and form, from what we’ve seen in previous iterations of the course. It goes where it goes and where it ends, no one knows.

Light and Gold

I think I want to make a post just to wrap up my thoughts for creation/consumption week.

Something about the whole “three wolf moon” argument that we had in class the other day has really got me thinking. Sure, there are a lot of people that spend a lot of time on the internet consuming information and products, and maybe it’s gotten to the point that the consumers exponentially outnumber the producers. But I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing at all.

The internet works in the exact same way as a capitalist economy– where there is demand, supply will be created, and in some cases, a supply will create a demand as new things become more and more popular. By that logic, consumers become creators in that they create the demand for content and for new products. Without consumers, there would be no platform for creation.

But one thing I definitely notice about internet culture is that there’s really no precedent or limitations for who can create content. Thus, we see a diverse representation of artistic/creative viewpoints that can be shared with people of all backgrounds. The infinite possibilities for new content inspires creativity in others that would not necessarily have pursued art (in whatever form) in a non-virtual setting. Most importantly, the internet has provided the platform, the how-to knowledge, the collaborators, and the cheapest available materials for people to attempt to bring their ideas to life. And with that you get videos like the one above, where you need nothing but built-in laptop webcams, basic video editing software, and 100 or so volunteers from around the globe to create a beautiful choir made up entirely of strangers.

Tl;dr, Even though a lot of the internet is made up of people who do nothing but instagram the waffles they had for breakfast, every so often you’ll get a little gem of creative genius like this that restores your faith in humanity and all its possibilities.

Panel Discussion Reflection: Creation and Consumption

This weeks panel discussed a wide range of topics that we all are familiar with and can relate to. It discussed commons things that the majority of the people who surf the web are aware about. A common occurrence in our society is the “seflie”. I’ve learned that the “selfie” has been created as some […]


I could not figure out the HTML way to get my cmap to work.

I discussed with Groom that while my links worked, I could not easily dig back up some of my sources on the library.  I decided to just leave links out this go around and export and image.  I will work on links and html for the future.

for Creation / Consumption

for Creation / Consumption

for Digital Identity

for Digital Identity



How to Create an App

In a world where everyone is glued to a smartphone, the market for Applications, usually shortened to Apps, has exploded virtually overnight. Apps allow users to do… well… pretty much anything. “There’s an app for that,” after all. Apps have been created to serve what seems like every form and function: mobile gaming, mobile banking, and mobile learning have all become phrases commonly used in our vocabulary today. It seems like things we once had to go out and do in the “real world” can just as easily be done from a phone’s touch screen, and you can bet that people are making a profit from it. But what exactly is an app? And how does it work?

As explained in the article, How to Create an App, Apps can divided into two categories: Native and Web apps. As you might be able to guess, Native apps take advantage of built-in hardware and software on the device to perform whatever functions they were designed for, and Web apps use the internet to do the same thing– that is, they actually function in the web browser, but “look and feel like a Native app”. Many apps are a combination of the two, having features that can be accessed with just the phone’s hardware, and additional features that are only available with an internet connection.

Apps are written in programming language, just as all computer programs are written in programming languages. For the Apple iOS, Objective-C is the primary Native app language. Android apps use Java, and Windows apps use C#. Web apps across platforms use HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.

Once past learning and writing the basic code for the app, app builders can use storyboarding design tools to format the layout and look of the app. Next, they program the logic and data storage of the app, which ensures that the app functions as you would expect it to. For example, you press a button and the button responds by leading you to a new page, where you then enter information, press another button, and have your information stored in the app for future reference. Once this is complete, the app can be tested, and then published for public consumption.

The article goes more in-depth about the programs available for app creation and development, and concludes by stressing the importance of continued development of mobile apps as people continue to demand these applications on their mobile devices.


Creation and Consumption Book 3: Wildcat Currency

Chapter 3: Is It Legal?

In this chapter, the author, Mr. Castronova, states that the constitution never says that someone outside of the government could not coin their own mint. There were several actions taken by the government and the supreme court that restricted the use of private money, and eventually drove a lot of the private money out of the economy. For example, several actions taken were: to forbid anyone from making anything metal or any metal compounds for the intended use as currency. There was also legislation passed to not allow currency less than a dollar to be made. The third example of legislation passed to decrease private currency would be to make the counterfeiting of currency illegal. An new point brought up by the author is that physical currency, such as casino chips are highly regulated, virtual currency is not. Currently, there are not any laws specifically prohibiting virtual currency. Therefore, someone’s amazon reward points, or World of Warcraft coins are their own. At some point we can be sure that the government will step in and have a say about the legality of virtual currency, but that day has not come yet.

Creation and Consumption Book 2: Sharing

Chapter 3: The value of non-market sharing

In this chapter, the concept of sharing is introduced. For the most part, Mr. Aigrain talks about Peer to Peer sharing, also known as P2P sharing for short. This is a type of sharing where users connect, either through a website or directly, to share files. This can be done in multiple ways. A popular way for many people would be the use of USB keys. These are portable devices capable of storing a lot of data. If one wanted to share a file with his or her friends, they could simply store the file on the USB key and  then hand the key to their friends. That friend could then insert the USB key into their computer and have immediate access to the files in which their friend had imparted to them. There are other ways of sharing files, one of which was brought up in the book. That example was Napster. Napster was an online service that allowed users to share their music library with others. This was Peer to Peer sharing on a massive scale. The author also brings up BitTorrent, which is another example of Peer to Peer sharing in which the user obtains different parts of the file from several or potentially many users, which are then spliced back together once the file transfer is complete. Another point brought up is the media industry’s distaste of Peer to Peer or file sharing. When a file is shared without the consent of the owner, which belongs to the media industry, the owner looses out on some profits, because that owner could make some money selling their work to you instead of the file being shared with you for free. This is why the media industry does not want to allow Peer to Peer or file sharing. If it is allowed, the industries profits would sink, causing less money for the owners of the work.

A New Front: Cyber Crime and Warfare in the Digital Age

This article, titled “Cybercrime, Cyberweapons, and Cyber Wars: Is There Too Much of It in the Air?” discusses how the capabilities of criminals and terrorists has evolved with the advent of increased online traffic. Criminals can produce and/or sell fake documents, malware, credit card and bank information, bulletproof web hosting, and hacking services such as DDoS attacks and bot spamming for a relatively low cost. And they still make a huge profit because the market for those things has expanded so greatly.

The use of malware and hacking techniques is not limited to the criminal underbelly of the internet. In fact, law enforcement and counter-terrorist forces have had to don the black hat in order to prevent so-called “cyber-terrorist” attacks. These attacks are easy to launch with very little skill in computer programming– in fact, according to the article, they can be waged with little more than the malware available on a petty cyber-criminal’s website. Even so, counter-cyber-terrorists seem to be one step behind their adversaries, and the effects of their efforts have been mostly negative for the general populace. Violations of privacy and freedom of information by intelligence agencies in its attempts to combat terrorism have become more and more popular in the news, especially following the Snowden leaks.

Creation and consumption book 1: iDisorder

Chapter four: Getting High on Technology

In this chapter, Dr. Rosen, Dr. Cheever and Dr. Carrier explain the effect technology has on individuals living today. Through several examples, they have shown different ways that people have become addicted to technology. Several different addictions are: Cell phone addiction, internet addiction, general technology addiction, and more. Through the use of applications on phones, tablets and computers, the programmers have found a way to keep people coming back to the programmers applications. In this chapter, that is referenced as “The pull of technology”. With users constantly checking back in using the internet for certain rewards such as new information, possibly bonuses to use in games, and such, the average user is using more and more data from the internet. As I have mentioned earlier, there are several disorders that have come about from this increased use in technology. It turns out that these disorders are much more common in Asian countries, rather than western countries, which I speculate is due to the huge influx of technology companies that base out of Asian countries. So in all, technology dependance has become several new disorders, although they do not effect us as much in the Western part of the world, they are legitimate disorders and therefore things we should be concerned about. Our consumption of technology is rising steadily and one day we might have to be careful to not become addicted to it ourselves.