Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Final Project... one more time.

Natalie and I have changed our topic. We have decided to do a site about Gruene. If anyone has ever eaten at The Gristmill, then you know to where we are referring. The Gruene Historic District is in New Braunfels and has a lot to offer in regards to food, music, shopping, and wonderful scenery. We plan on interviewing people in the area and doing some extra research to thoroughly report on some different aspects that make this location so great.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

San Marcos Style

Katie and I are doing our final project on the most popular attractions in San Marcos. Particularly interviewing students on where they like to spend their time and money. We're focusing on revealing the fruits of San Marcos to someone looking to explore the town. Initially, we thought of Rachel Ray's "$40 a Day," a chronicle of eating around town. We've sort of expanded that idea and want to include activities, music, nightlife and the crazies around town.

final project

We are trying to target the most popular attractions in San Marcos by using interviews, pictures, and information on the different topics.

Monday, August 9, 2010

"Trekking the Hill"

David Keller and I will be doing our final project on the active lifestyle of Texas State students. We figured we'd do a number of interviews, such as one student at the rec center, one person on the intramural fields or at Sewell park, and maybe one grounds keeper, and one average student. We ask questions about their physical activity and routine in a typical week, and then make the point that even just the average student gets exercise from their walk to and from class and from walking "the Hill."

Final Project

Natalie and I will be doing our project over leisure time in San Marcos. We thought the river would be a good idea, but have decided to expand our topic a bit so we can have more flexibility with content, etc. We will include such activities as the river, night life in San Marcos, and the Outlets. We already have some ideas for interviews and are ready to get started.

Eat, Pray & Soccer

Katy Gentry and I decided to do our final project about a group of high school students (included my 15-year old twins) who went on a mission trip to El Salvador this summer. Our website will include information about their trip with video after the fact and a photo show featuring the time they were actually in the country. Other pages will focus on the country itself and what others can do to help the country. We have completed three interviews and are excited about the project.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


The site I will be evaluating is

This site is for used the dance community. It is a tool to put up choreography, meet other dancers, learn about auditions and basically anything a dancer could ask for.

The title of homepage says - YOUR online dance community connection!. The audience for this website is dancers and the content definitely is designed for them. All of the external links work.

There is no author, or contact to author of the website, listed but they have copyrighted the site since 2009. Many dance events and competitions sponsor the site and it is obviously stated. The site is very accurate and there is no way to back track. There is also no non-web version of the site.

The site is very professional looking, but I will say it is also a little cluttered. The grammar, spelling and punctuation is correct, but the site is a little confusing to use. All of the pictures, videos and text support the overall theme of the website. The way I found out about this website is through advertisement and YouTube. There source code isn't anything special.

Overall I like the website because it promotes dancing unity. I still find it hard to use this website if I wanted to become a member of it. I can't imagine how it would be for someone who doesn't dance.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

my topic

My topic for my new website is scuba diving!!!

The Daily BEAST!

Web Credibility Assignment

RTST, Inc. (Right Start, Inc.)

The website I chose is called The Daily Beast, and this site is a liberally-slanted news and information hub geared toward anyone from Generation X to present. The site is instantly pleasing to the eyes, full of pictures and organized graphics, with thoughtful uses of color and font. The site also uses easy-to-understand language, simple, to-the-point headlines. Here is a deeper look into my synopsis of The Daily Beast.

1. Content
The site I chose to critique is called The Daily Beast, and it is a site that was linked off of It is a political news site much like the Drudge Report, naturally, and seems to be very professionally made and completed to the fullest. In fact, not much empty space exists at all.
The site was last updated this year sometime, as it does not specify an exact date. Major media site links such as,, TMZ and The Cut are all listed at the bottom of the website. This tells me there may be more fiction than fact on this site, or at least with more information gathered upon “rumor.” News stories take a more serious tone, however.
The site seems to be geared toward the young and hip late twenty-something’s or early thirty-something’s, with high graphic appeal and clear, modern aesthetics and layout.

2. Authority:
RTST, Inc. created this website. An acronym for “Right Start,” RTST is part of the IAC family of businesses, which owns over 60 brands, including,, and
The site provides an avenue for responding via e-mail to various departments depending on your area of inquiry. This lets me know my question will be appropriately sent to a person from that department.
Sources are sited in the text if someone quoted something or if contributors were people to be recognized. However, no outside sources as I could see were quoted. Sources have naturally been pulled from news affiliates and the AP, since the site is corporately owned.
As professional as the site looks, I would have my doubts as to total truthfulness, simply because of their affiliation with TMZ. This would be a first impression.

3. Presentation:

The overall presentation of the site is excellent in my opinion. There are three columns, with two wide columns on the right and left, with one skinny column down the middle, known as the Cheat Sheet. While the site seems slightly cluttered at first glance, when closely observed, each section has a uniform heading and the site is surprisingly easy to navigate.
The site must be well edited, because I could not find any GSP errors, and all alignments of text are uniform. Headings are well contrasted with their associated text, and proportions, color and borders are used appropriately.
Finally, from looking at the source code, I recognized much of the basic tags and format, but also observed the hierarchic method of organization, which branched out from left to right. Much of the code was encrypted and highly complex, however.

The Daily Beast is definitely a unique and aesthetically inviting website, and one that would definitely target the younger more visually oriented crowds. I would recommend this site to anyone looking for humorous but truthful spins on the more important news of the day, ranging from politics to entertainment.

Austin News – Community Impact Newspaper for Northwest Austin

I chose to look at which is a site for the local news regarding Northwest Austin. It links up with a print edition as well. I normally get my news from the online site for the Austin American- Statesman. For this assignment, I wanted to find a different news site to look at.

The title of the page is Austin News – Community Impact Newspaper for Northwest Austin. It appears to be complete as well as updated every day. The copyright at the bottom of the page says 2005-2010. I didn’t see any other indication for a date of creation. Most of the articles I looked at had various dates, all from the month of July. I believe the audience is intended to be the community of Northwest Austin, but I’m sure it also includes the general public. There are links to other sections of the site specific to other parts of Austin and Central Texas. There are many, many internal links. I didn’t come across any that didn’t work. All the external links I came across were for advertisements. I would assume that some of this information could be supported by the Austin-American Statesman or other news sites, but I don’t think that either publication always report on exactly the same thing.

The copyright at the bottom of the page says JG Media. I don’t know who they are or what relation they have to the online paper. The site is done by a “Web Team” and there’s a link to contact them; each article has a different author. The site is owned by a couple named John and Jennifer Garrett. The “Contact Us” page has lots of links for getting in touch with multiple people on the paper and there are lots of phone numbers and addresses for other means of contact. All their advertisements have something to do with some business or activity in Austin. I’m assuming that St.David’s, Round Rock Express, and all sponsor the site. It’s a .com site and you can backtrack to get to main page for more options and information about the rest of the site. There’s not a lot available to verify that all the information is correct. It seems a lot like other news sites, just not as well known. There is a non-Web version of the site.

The site looks very professional looking but has a very busy layout that I think is distracting. It’s organized, but there’s so much information right up front. I don’t read the paper format of this site, so I am curious to know if it is similar to the paper layout. I think the writing style is appropriate for the articles I viewed. I didn’t come across any grammar, spelling, or punctuation problems. The format and navigation all worked fine and seemed helpful. I liked that there were different sections for the news and think the headings are good indicators for what readers might be looking to find. The images on the site were fairly plain, not that much different from what I would expect to see on other news sites. I did not come across any sounds. Most of the images did directly relate to the specific articles they were with. I found the site by googling news in North Austin; it was the first link that came up. Upon first view, I didn’t really feel like the news, editorial, and advertisements had separate presentations because so much appears altogether on the home page. However, the home page is sectioned off so most everything has its own place. The source code looked both familiar and foreign to me.

Overall, I like the site but I would still rather get my news from the Austin-American Statesman site. I think I might feel a little better about that site because I see the print edition of the statesman all the time and am more familiar with it. I don’t really like the layout of this site’s home page.

The Westlake Picayune serves as the primary source of news for the small towns of Westlake and Rollingwood and all other communities in the Eanes Independent School District. The paper recently went online with I decided to analyze the site to see how they are doing, and overall I was impressed.

The content reflects the printed version to which I subscribe, but it also includes blog posts on most articles. It was fun to read what others were saying about the articles. Most of the links were internal links that worked well. I think in the future it would be helpful to include links to external sites. For example, the article about the school board’s bond election could be linked to the school district website or even more specifically to the board report on the website. The reporting, however, is primarily unbiased.

I am not sure who created the page, but I assume the newspaper staff had something to do with it. The paper is owned by Cox Newspapers and affiliated with the Austin American Statesman. As a .com site I know that it is not affiliated with the government or with an educational institution. The pages are set-up logically with the index page titled “Westlake Picayune” and others like “Westlake Picayune – News.”

The overall presentation of the website is professional, but I found several quirky things that need to be tweaked. For example, the navigation worked great from page to page, but there was no link to the home page, forcing the reader to reenter the url or hit the back button to return home. On another page the copy flowed on top of a photo. An email address was used to encourage readers to submit information for publication, but the reader cannot click on the email.

Looking at the code, it looks as if the page started as a WordPress theme, so I was surprised there wasn’t a link to the home page. I specifically like the way the photos rotated as a slideshow on the home page. I would like to learn how to do that on my own page. Overall I think the site is practical and user-friendly.

BlackListed News Credibility


Overall, the content of the page is pretty good. The page is complete and has a title: BlackListed News. The site was created in 2006 and was updated today. The audience is people seeking news outside of mainstream media. Some of the articles have an anti-government bias, but not in tea-bagger fashion. There are tons of external links, to legitimate news organizations as well as other popular news websites, and they all work properly. Although there is an enormous list of external links, they are well organized, breaking them down to: Alternative news, information and analysis; news wires; community news aggregators; online only; business/economics; military; health & environment; major U.S. Newspapers; science and tech news; and satire & animation. The outside sources do support the information, but some of the articles tend to take an overly-pessimistic view of the facts. The facts are right, and supported by other news sources, however the writers like to add a little bit of anarchist-type pessimistic opinion to some of the articles.

The website has no information on who was the original creator, however there are currently many submissions from many different authors, some with notable credentials and some opinion pieces from readers, as well as other stories derived directly from major news organizations. The website administrators’ email is available on the site, and well written articles from readers are always welcome. The site doesn’t seem to have or need associations/affiliations. They generate revenue through advertising (mostly technology companies) and don’t need much money to keep up the site, as most of their stories are derived from other news sources. The domain name is simply, which doesn’t say much except that it is not news and opinion that gets the same coverage in mainstream media. The site is accurate; however some of the articles from black listed news contributors are laced with strong anti-establishment opinion. They like to use words like new world order and global governance in a tone assuming that any global authority is evil. However, there are tons of stories from legitimate, unbiased news sources from around the world. Within most of the stories, facts and opinions are usually in close range to the external links that support them.

The site is not as professional looking as other news websites; however its appearance is sufficient for an independent news site. The writing is free of grammar, spelling and punctuation problems and the style is appropriate for the news as well as their brand image. The format is simple and easy to use, with their list of sources and external links in one column and internal links to their stories in the other column. However, the advertisements are a little off-putting and make you scroll down a little to get to their excellent list of external links. The navigation is helpful, with a search option if you can’t find what you are looking for. The logo and flash at the top of the page reflect the brand image of blacklisted news well. The advertisements take up space on the wrong column, pushing the external news links down a little. However it is easy to differentiate them from each other. In the list of links, there is an editorial/analysis section, but in the main news column opinion is mixed with hard news. However, editorial pieces are clearly designated as such in the first line of reading. I looked at the source code first thing, trying to find a name of somebody in the style sheet link, but BLN is the only name used. The source has the meta tag: “The best in uncensored news information and analysis”. I had googled uncensored news to find the site. Other than that, there is nothing significant about the source code.

Project 3 Topic

My project 3 topic is going to be about pugs. I LOVE pugs and think they are a really interesting and...misunderstood breed.

Website Evaluation: Above & Beyond Balloons

The website I found is , the website for Above & Beyond Balloons which is a company that sells advertising balloons, blimps, inflatable’s and more. At first glance I felt the website was going to be pretty bad, but it does have some good attributes.

The website was complete, all the pages worked as well as their internal links. The website has a title: Advertising, Balloons, Inflatables, RC Blimps, Searchlights – Above&Beyond. It’s a long title, but at least they have one. Above & Beyond Balloon’s key audiences are companies who need an advertising gimmick or are planning an event.

There wasn’t much on the authority of the website. I’m pretty sure one of the company’s employees constructed the website, it doesn’t look professionally done. So I would have to say the creator would be Above & Beyond Balloons and their credibility is as a company. There is a contact tab which includes the company’s phone number, email address and physical address. They also have an online order/interest form to give them and idea of what a prospective customer wants. The sites domain is good for the company, it is an explanation of what they do.

The presentation of the website is not professional looking. It looks like something a child would create. It has a lot of cheesy aspects such as the flashing clipart and text. It is also very busy which makes it a little difficult to navigate. The navigation bar itself was also strange, it worked but looked like you were dropping down a tab in word. There were a lot of relevant pictures but there were a lot of unnecessary ones as well. Although the presentation is lacking, the grammar and content is good.

I think the site might be older because of the source code. The creator didn’t use a style sheet and used some old tags, no divs, which is another reason I figured it was an amateur. I found this website through a link Google brought up when I searched “ugly websites”. It was a link for an ugly website contest, so I lucked out!

Above & Beyond’s website needs a little makeover but the content fits perfectly with what they are trying to do, sell their stuff. If I were to give them one piece of advice it would definitely be to de-clutter the site.

I saw a UFO

In the summer of 1947, alleged alien material was found in Roswell, New Mexico. Since the 1970s, the controversial subject has been an interesting topic of conversation. The United States military denies the recovered material to be that of an extra-terrestrial but a destroyed technological device from a classified program. However, not a lot of information is known about the classified project. Supporters of the UFO phenomenon believe the U.S. military is trying to cover up evidence supporting other extra-terrestrial life forms.

I found the website,, through a search on Google. The searched “Roswell UFO facts.” Even though the idea came to me randomly, I thought this would be an interesting topic to research because of the skepticism surrounding the subject. The site is under construction and a date is not listed for when it was last updated. The information used to create the website is historical dating back to the late 1940s and the site uses the information from that time. The site has several internal links leading to different pages: The Story, The Storytellers, The Government, The Witnesses, and The FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). Given the complexity of the subject, outside evidence supporting the incident in Roswell is questionable. The creators, The Aerial Anomalies Research Exchange, used a scientific approach when creating the website but outside information regarding the subject is two sided. There are proponents who support the idea of another life outside of Earth, and those who believe it is a hoax. The creators listed references on their “Credits” page. In it, they base their content on the knowledge acquired from witnesses and storytellers, as well as government agencies.

The Aerial Anomalies Research Exchange (A.A.R.E.) is the creator consisting of a group of authors: Matthew Graeber, Wim Van Utrecht and Bruce Hutchinson. Their mission statement is to provide as much information to followers in a scientific manner. I performed an additional search on Google of A.A.R.E. and there was not any information on the group. This made me think their credentials are not as significant as another groups. You can contact the group via e-mail but the site does not have a discussion forum for web engagement. The .com website does not have a sponsor. There are several references to outside sources but that does not make the information credible. The internal links lead to governmental data within their own site and the external links lead to other .com websites. The information is not factual nor presented by a government entity. Reports filed by the CIA and Air Force are located under “The Government” tab and the documents are shown to be written by the officials of that time in 1947.

The site is professional looking and easy for the viewer to use. The writing style is appropriate for the subject, scientific in nature but in some areas the creators show bias by questioning the historical documents presented to the public. It is free of any grammar, spelling or punctuation problems. The images used on the site are appropriate in relation to the content. The main image behind the title is a UFO and the type looks like the style of typewriter allowing the viewer to envision a government agency typing a classified report.

I find the site’s credentials questionable at best. I am unsure of my views of other life forms. However, I am fascinated by the subject but I would not use this website to base for more facts. The group is forthcoming in presenting their resources used to build the site but the links do not lead to .gov websites. They are presented within the website and it could be likely the resources are false and were used to create more influence on the material. Also, because I could not find any other information about the group, it made it difficult for me to take them seriously.

For project 3, I will make a hobby page surrounding my passion for art. In it I will outline my art preferences and favorite artists.

Website Credibility

Okay so I’m doing because it's a gossip website obviously, but because it draws a lot of attention.

Content: is a completely finished blog site, it is being constantly updated and the layout changes day to day with different themes. So say if Perez Hilton, the creator of the site, is wanting to advertise a show, he will make the background of the site a picture of the show’s cast and what time and date it will premiere. The audience of the site is the general public, it's just an informative site of celebrities and other issues. And there is some bias information on there, although Hilton does generally give the right information, he does slant it for his opinion. For example, the Miss America contestant from California , Carrie Prejean, he didn’t like at all, so he would give information and news about her, he would call her names and bash her. He has internal links on the site, so say if one of the titles is “Wacky but true” you can click that link and it will take you to all the other posts under, “wacky but true.” Outside sources do support his information because he generally is right and if it's not, he will correct himself. Hilton’s site is not scholarly supported because it's simply a celebrity gossip blog site.

Perez Hilton is the creator of this page. He has no credentials because he simply just made a blog page of celebrity gossip that has become very popular for his information. There are a few ways to reach Hilton, he has his e-mail address listed on the page to reach him and you can comment on this blogs too. There are no associations or affiliations on his page because again, it is a celebrity blog site. It is not clearly stated on who sponsors his site but it is a .com site. You can't back track the url because the site is so that is the home page. But if you click through other categories it can take you to different parts of the site and you can always back track to the home page. The site is predominately accurate, he does use outside sources but always keeps them confidential. If he gets information from another place he does credit them in his posts. However, if he is ever wrong with information, he does state the he was wrong and puts the correct information up. And there is no non-web version of this site.

The site isn’t very, professional looking, but it doesn’t look unprofessional either. There is a lot of advertisements making the page look busy. I haven’t seen any grammar problems but he does purposely misspell words just for the style of the articles. The page is easy to navigate you can find your away around it easily. If there is a certain topic you are wanting to find, you can just type in the name and it will pull up all the information on that person or event up for you in an archive. Hilton does have image and sound bites for the different stories and they all function properly. However some of the images can be a bit inappropriate but it's just Hilton adding his own “touch” to his stories by drawing on faces and what not. You can google “Perez Hilton” and his site is the first one to pop up on google search. All the advertisements are on the side and bottom of the site and the stories are always in the middle. It's a busy site with all the advertisements, but it's clear and easy to read and find information. He uses meta tags and divs for his page construction.

I'm from McAllen, and our leading source of local news is the Monitor. I use it pretty regularly to keep up with what's going on at home. For the project I decided to evaluate a different McAllen news source, and that is how I found

McAllen News-Topix seems like a kind of social newspaper that is continuously updated. It all seems pretty well established and current (the last post was 3 hours ago) so it's not under construction. The site was launched in 2004 (but another site said it was founded in 2002), edited and the reopened in 2007 to "give anyone the power to discuss, edit and share the news that matters to them" (kind of sounds like Wikipedia...?) The audience is YOU, basically. Anyone who is interested in news or looking for news. There are both inside and outside links, and I did not find one that did not work. There is, I think, some slant or bias of information but not given the from the site creators themselves. Recent "McAllen Discussions" include such tops as "Border patrol guys can't be trusted-they cheat!" and "How do I hack into someone's myspace?" But other articles on the site are picked up from actual valley news sources, such as KRGV and the Valley Morning Star. So really, content credibility is up to the judgment of the reader.

Topix is based in Palo Alto, Calif., and was created by Topix LLC, a privately held company with investment from Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) and Tribune Company. Chris Tolles is CEO and orginially worked for Spoke Software, a business social networking company, where he was a co-founder and VP of marketing. Before Spoke, Chris was a Director of Marketing at AOL/Netscape for AOL Music, Netscape Search and Directory Products. You can contact him, but only through various outlets of the site itself. There is no direct email address, phone number, etc. You can leave a comment in the Feedback System, Press Room, Partners Page, etc.
Topix is a .com site and has advertising. You can backtrack the url, but only to the main site. I think the site is both accurate and inaccurate. It has links to news articles of other legitimate news entities, but it's also filled with opinion forums that seem to run unchecked and it claims that its content can be created as well as edited by anyone who wants to. I don't think there is a non-Web version.

This site is professional looking. The public posts and forums have some punctuation and spelling issues. The site is easy to use and the navigation is useful. Photos and visuals identify with news content and are not inappropriate. I found the site through, under McAllen tx news. It was #3 on the list. I feel like advertising is pretty blatant and easy to distinguish from news content. There was nothing in the source code that really grabbed my attention, but it could be because I'm still learning about all of this.

So overall impression, very interesting! However, I think I'll stick to the Monitor for my valley news.


I will be doing my new website on my future (hopefully) dance crew The ArchiTEKS.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Project 3

For project 3 I'm going to design a web site about the organization I'm involved in, Rotaract Club. It's a student branch of the International Rotary Club. I joined it my freshman year of college, and me and my friend Sara Basham have been trying to build it up ever since. Basically we perform community service acts around the city of San Marcos in connection with the Greater Rotary Club of San Marcos. It's usually small-town stuff, such as the Thanksgiving Dinner at the Community Center or Farmer Fred festivals, but I absolutely love it and I thought this web site would be a great way to get the word out there.

Evaluation of

The website I chose to evaluate is, and it is a news station in Houston, TX. I chose this website because I find them to be very credible.

Credibility is always under construction, but it is never apparent. It is updated constantly throughout the day. This website it titled: Houston News, Local News, Breaking News,
Weather. The audience is obviously people living in and around the Houston area, but the website can be viewed by anyone anywhere who needs to know Houston News. There does not seem to be a slant or bias in any of the information, which is part of the reason why I like this website. It just reports the news as it comes. There are many links to other sites, articles, and advertisements, and they all seem to work just fine. Most open in a new window, and all seem very credible and relate to the main page, except the advertisements they are random.

This website was created by Khou and does not have a specific person they are giving credit to. They are pretty credible since they are a news station in Houston. They have many affiliations with many different people and places around Houston. It looks like they do a lot with the Red Cross, Newspapers, and other Houston companies. They also have a yellow pages section that is cool, because you can click on a topic and find people. You cannot back track the URL any further than the original The website seems very credible and has many articles that have where the information came from posted.

Presentation is very professional looking. Each page flows perfectly with the next. It is very busy, but that is expected for a news website. The layout is easy to follow and very nicely put together. Each page has a specific header and looks very similar to the main page. The images on the website are very well done. However, there are weather maps across the top that are a little too much and could be toned down or possibly put on their own page. When searched in Google this website is the very first to come up on the search. The website has its advertisements and articles all in a specific format, which seems relatively repetitive throughout the website. The ads are further toward the bottom and do not distract from the main information from the page. The source code looks confusing, and thats really all I can say about it.

Overall, I find this website very credible, and this is why I have it bookmarked on my MacBook!

Project #3

Ok...compared to the everyone else's sites, mine isn't very exciting. On the other hand, it is the reason I am taking this course. My plan is to set up a website for my middle school's online newspaper. When school starts, I hope to have it in place so students can start adding content immediately. As they learn, I will allow them to change the website to become their own.

Project 3 Idea: Guten Tag! Welcome to Austria!

My idea for a project 3 hobby or interest page is to cover four aspects of my homeland, Austria. I would like to explore my birth town, (1) Oberndorf, my family's town of endearment, (2) Salzburg, with its' rich history and charm, a popular music festival called the (3) Salzburger FestSpiel on another, and finally have a page on my (4)family.

My Navigation would be as follows:

- Mine Familie
- Oberndorf
- Salzburg
- Salzburger Festspiel

My layout would include native flag colors, festive pictures on each page relevant to the topic, and small buttons that include a rollover emblem of the Austrian flag.

Hope you think it will be great!

Project 3

I've decided to go the fan website route. I have always been a fan of MTV's The Hills. I got started way back in the day with Laguna Beach. With the recent series finale, now seems like a good time to weigh in as a fan and use their complete project as inspiration for my new project. Some, not all, of the cast members have become some of my favorite people to keep up with and I think using this show as my project topic will be a fun little experiment. I have never made a fan website before but have seen dozens - so here I go! I will focus on cast members, where it all got started, future projects and of course, a homepage just to cover The Hills in general and dish a bit about reality TV and my opinions about it, etc. Wish me luck.

Spontaneous Jam

In Austin, San Marcos and New Braunfels, there's open mic nights, monday night blues jams open to unknown artists, drum circles, songwriting swaps, pop up carnival sideshows, complete with fire spinning, aerial shows, musical art, etc. This web site will attempt to cover it all, everything that in my mind makes up the "spontaneous jam".

Project 3

For my project I am going to make a cite for people interested in my photography as well as photography in general. Something that people can enjoy and also learn from.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Social Media in Plain English

When watching this video, I am reminded of the UPS commercials. I like it because it is a simplified video describing social media. I think it would be a good video to show in a classroom, educating youth on the progression from and toward social networking. They would be accepting of this learning tool because children today are more technologically advanced than our generation.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fox News Post something of Interest

So I don't watch Fox News, but I found this on YouTube. I think it makes some good points about social media and its importance to advertising.


this new york times story discusses twitter's wildly high usage during the world cup...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Social Media

Time to get serious :-| <= this is my serious face

Social Media Essential

Fox shows the importance of social media in the business world, as well as the top 10 social media-savvy cities in the United States. Austin rates at #3.

While searching for this video, I also found a mock iPhone advertisement about what we've mentioned in class:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Machine is Us/ing Us

I thought this video was interesting because it shows a little of what digital text can do for us. The concept directly connects with what we're learning about in class.

New Media Literacies

This video just talks about the literacy skills that you must have with new media. Short and sweet.

Social Media and PR

This video is pretty basic, but I wanted to find something on social media and Public Relations since that is my major. Plus I dig this chicks speaking voice!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Social Networking

I saw this video and I thought it was just hilarious. It's just a funny take on social media.
#ff #webpub follow tech @akttiwari12 @socialmdnsw @virtualgestures
-funny discussion about apple and gay porn cartoon

Follow Austin Art

#webpub #ff
Austin art is always getting crazier, follow it on twitter:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Twitter as most see it...

So last year I did a project for a media research methods class that involved research into Twitter and its' effectiveness with college students. Part of my research included finding out general knowledge about the capabilities of Twitter, as well as the overall sentiment towards Twitter from the general public, which led me to this video.
It is part of a series of tech-related cartoon shorts called Current, that each humorously describes different aspects of Web 2.0 culture, and as you can see, this video alone has over 2 million views.

Twitter in my opinion is much more than what this video depicts, however it is very interesting nonetheless because it shows how people have viewed Twitter for a long time, and it shows why many people had stayed away from and continue to avoid this vastly growing social media.
Please enjoy.

Intro and Video

So, I did this post like two days ago and when I looked at this blog today I realized it didn't post. So, I will be re-writing the post I meant to originally post.

The video we watched in class was old, it was also full of great information. The fact that the internet is only about 40 years old amazes me. It surpassed all other communicational inventions that have ever been with in this short time frame. I also find it funny that email was basically an accident. E-mail was his side project, then it became this huge phenomena. All I know is that I couldn't live without the internet!

Now, it is time to share info about who I am. My name is Daniel Glaze. Here is a fact sheet about me:
I was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but was raised in North Austin.
I went to Running Brushy Middle School then graduated from Leander High School in '07.
I was on the step team in high school and step and dance have been a huge passion of mine for along time.
I am a devout Catholic, I love my faith.
I am a "professional" dancer. I teach hip-hop here in San Marcos at the Pointe Dance Studio. Ages range from 4-Adult.
I will hopefully graduate in May!
I run a youtube channel called DGlazeAllDay...check it out
Other then that you can ask me anything you want cause I'm an open book!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dixie McGrath - Grad Student

Hello everyone. I’m sorry I haven’t been in class, but I have enjoyed getting to know you through your posts. Here’s a little about me….

Today is my BIRTHDAY. I am 49-years old, and I just spent the past four days celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary with my husband, Kerry. He had planned a vacation to Florida before he found out I was going to be able to take courses this second summer session.

We have four children – four teenagers, actually. Two sets of twins. The oldest two, both boys, graduated from high school in 2009. Ryan attends the University of Arizona, and Sean is currently serving a year in AmeriCcorps NCCC. His last assignment is in the San Bernardino Mountains, preventing forest fires. In August, he will attend Texas State as a freshman.

My youngest children, age 14, will be sophomores in high school. Megan and Brendan are currently in El Salvador on a mission trip with our church and will be home on Friday. Normally, they keep me busy.

I received my Bachelor of Journalism from UT Austin in 1983. I have 23 years experience teaching journalism and advising student publications. I started my career teaching high school but after 10 years switched to middle school. I spent 12 years teaching at Hill Country Middle School in the Eanes School District in Austin before I took four year leave of absence. Last year was my first year back and I was fortunate to return to the same school, where journalism is valued and use of technology is encouraged.

I have taught Yearbook, Newspaper, Computer Technology, English and Photojournalism. I love technology and I love learning, so I decided to pursue a Masters in Educational Technology at Texas State University. Having earned 20+ graduate credits in the eighties, I had hoped I could do it quicker; however, I had to start over completely. Then when I went to enroll this summer, I found out that most of the courses that I had wanted to take are not offered in the summer. Yikes…so I changed directions and am now working on a Masters in Secondary Education, which frees me to take courses in other departments. I am excited to be working with Dr. Royal to learn all I can about web-publishing, so I can start an online newspaper at my middle school this fall. I feel fortunate to have met her by chance this summer.

Myself and the Internet

Hello everyone. I'm Courtney Durant, PR major with a business minor. Probably the worst minor I could have picked for myself because the classes were about as foreign as my knowledge with electronic media. I do have an iPhone and a digital camera. We all seem to get along pretty well. I have very basic computer skills, but I can manage to figure out any problems I have encountered. The invention of the internet is an unknown concept to me because I have never really thought about it. The video mentioned the internet has grown tremendously and so fast, it has become a vital communication tool, touching many people. I am excited to learn more and become familiar with electronic media in this class, as I will need it to be actively involved in my career.

Intro - Movie

Morning everyone! I'll start off with a little information about me. My name's Chelsea Stockton and I'm a print journalism and English major set to graduate after this summer session. My writing emphasis is actually why I'm really looking forward to taking this course. I hate to admit it, but I don't know much about html and web publishing. However, I feel it's necessary for me to understand and be capable of all this in my career as a journalist. So bring on the learning!

I think that movie was a great way to start off the course because it really sparked my interest in the internet itself and how we'll be using it. I didn't know, for instance, that the first commercially available computer was made in the 1950s. A quote from the movie that I wrote down was that creation of the internet meant "Instant access to everything that's going on in the world." I think that sums it up perfectly. Combined with Ray Tomlinson's creation of what we now call e-mail, telecommunication and information accessibility will never be the same again as it continues to morph and evolve with the times.

Good Movie, and then there's Me :)

A little about the movie in class...I enjoyed it and thought it was very interesting, even though half the time I felt like they were speaking spanish about pods and papers being ripped up sent in different directions and then finding their place but never stopping. Very confusing stuff. I find it facinating that I can use a computer every day but I do not understand how they came up with them in the first place! My favorite part was about the guy who just happened to build the "killer app" aka Email. I liked this because he didnt even have to! Very cool!

And then there's me...My name is Lauren Marshall and I have so many hobbies that it would take me an hour to complete this blog since I only have 3o minutes before class I will sum it up. I love my photography and anything that has to do with creativity, I enjoy writing, singing, and dancing (IE in my apt alone because I am terrible). I like to work on cars, and I have a 69 Mustang Fastback. I have a VW GTI daily driver that is a lemon, and it breaks down every week. I love music and I am addicted to Third Eye Blind Pandora, and basically Pandora Radio in general. I dispise Justin Bieber for popping up on my Pandora Radio and really wish that he would go through puberty, so I could maybe take him seriously. I am not conventional and can be overwhelming at first, but most people grow to like me or at least stand my extrovertedness (I think I made that word up). I like to have a good time and am always down for a great party!

Internet Movie

Insight from the movie: demand access and distributive control... in other words, we get what we want when we want it and nobody gets control over the information that is on the web. That unveiling of secrecy gives everybody the same edge once enjoyed by the KKK, the illuminati, and real estate agents: control of information. (see: freakanomics)

Insight about me: I love all GOOD music.... from single frame to t-bone walker; from gogol bordello to cab calloway to violent femmes to the pinebox boys. If they're doing their own thing and they're good at it, then I will listen. My only other passion is living in the austin-hill country area, where I can wake up and go wakeboarding and then tube the river and hike the greenbelt and still go downtown for monday night blues and drunken russian foot-stomping gypsy music all in the same day. Also, I like people who can shoot laser beams out of their eyes.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A critique of "The Internet: Behind the Web." O and Hi, I'm David!

Having introduced ourselves, I'll just say that after this class I'll have a piece of paper. That's it. Being a graduate in general mass communication will only get me as far as the experience and practical usefullness I have to provide in the job market. And that's why I'm in this class and very excited to be here!

On to the documentary...

I think that the internet and the sharing of files across an endless network of intersecting electric signals makes the invention of the internet the most influential idea of this millenium. It expands endlessly and will change the world as we know it as information availability continues to set records every day.
And I agree with the saying that the internet is on par with the invention of the wheel, fire, and the printing press. In fact, I'd go to say in a short amount of time we will see just how much further the impact of the internet will have on humankind than even those aforementioned!

Good evening and goodnight.

Hi Everybody!

My name is Natalie Saldana. I am a public relations major and I will be graduating in December, which I am very excited about! Something about me...I have a pug puppy named Lily Bug and she's my best friend.

Something in the video that I found interesting was that nobody was really intrigued by the idea of the ARPA-net in the beginning. I bet IBM and AT&T were kicking themselves after it took off, becoming one of the most successful technical advances.

Intro Post - Kristy Hilbig

Since transferring to Texas State and furthering my studies of Mass Communication, I feel that I have learned a lot. However, I have yet to find one certain aspect of Journalism that I wish to make my career. I love writing, photography, and layout & design. I take more pictures than most people I know and I have scrapbooks filled with my pictures, drawings and own personal designs of creative magazine type layouts. I would love to get some experience working for a magazine and gain more of an idea of what goes into producing the final product. I think I would love working for Marie Claire, Self, Allure, Elle, Glamour, InStyle, or Vogue. For me, I think one of the most exciting jobs would be interviewing people I find fascinating.

I found the video we watched really interesting. I was somewhat surprised when, at the beginning, they said the internet could be compared to the wheel and fire. Although, the more I thought about it, the more I agreed. Had I been born before way before the Internet came along, I wonder if I would be more amazed by it than I actually am. I feel as though I was introduced to computers at a young age and by the time the Internet was really successful, it was something that kids were expected to know about. I remember long ago, when my friend John sent me my first email and I am fairly certain that this took place while I was in middle school. I feel silly now remembering how excited I was to receive my first ever email, even if it was only one sentence long! The video listed a few things that the Internet is: email, chat rooms, a shopping mall. What will it amount to in the next 10 years? Is there anything that is absolutely forbidden from being on the Internet? I think it's interesting how they said that they were still working on the... packets, I think it was, when they were sent off. I found it more interesting that they said they were still working on things and they could have KEPT working on things in regards to that project. I wonder what would've happened had they not sent it? There must be constant changes to the system we call the Internet. I imagine that if they had kept working on it, they may never have gotten around to perfecting it to their absolute satisfaction. I enjoyed learning about Ray Tomlinson. The @ symbol is so universal now, it's hard to imagine a time when it did not exist.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Peer Pressure

Selina Affram and Kristen Williams are doing a presentation aid on the topic of peer pressure. It will include video clips to open the presentation, advice for students, a photo slideshow to display common peer pressure scenarios, an original video with interviews from experts and students, and other useful links.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Diffusing Stereotypes Through Knowledge: Exploring Spanish-Language Documentaries

Anita Santa-Coloma and I will share with audiences coverage from Texas State University's recent international Spanish-language documentary festival "Puntos de Vista" and provide Web viewers with a more in-depth look at issues discussed in the documentaries. The event took place Thursday, April 8 in the LBJ Student Center and showcased 16 documentaries from eight institutions in four Latin American countries (Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru).

We plan to incorporate photographs from the event as well as video footage and interviews with a few of the festival's participants. It will be interesting to hear the students' opinions on the issues presented in their documentaries as well as their perceptions of media in the United States.

Lambda Delta- Leadership Development Program

We decided to do our project on Texas State's "Lambda Delta"- Leadership Development Program. Our focus is going to be about how the program got started and why, as well as what some of their goals are. We will also be hitting on who some of the members are, why they joined, and what they hope to get out of the program. Finally we will be including a section on the philanthropy project that the members are working on in the quad this week.

Amanda and Claire's final project idea

This multimedia project will tell the story of Texas State commuters through the eyes of one. It will also serve to recognize the non traditional student population at Texas State.

We are going to profile a commuter/nontraditional student. She is commutes from an hour and a half away and is a mother and wife as well. She is also pregnant.

This project will include a studio interview, printed story, map, chart, etc.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Eric and Rhea Tx State Music Site

In our site Eric and I are going to explore the music interest of Texas State students. On the homepage we plan to include a list of recent Texas State music events (songwriter's night, live performances) as well as resources relevant to students interested in local music. In another page we plan on shooting some video of live Tx State musicians in this section we will also include any interview with the musicians. We also want to include an interactive which correlates major to music interest. Finally we plan to include interviews with students and faculty discussing what they listen to and their thoughts and opinions on music. There may be sound-bites with this part.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Virtual Tour of San Marcos

Lisa and I are planning to make a website (not Web site, thanks to the new AP style handbook) about how great San Marcos is and what makes it so unique. We will include all aspects of San Marcos from class-life to nightlife. We will have a "People of San Marcos" section, a "Texas State" section, a "Nightlife" section, a "Local Business" section and a "River" section. Our goal is to basically give the people that go to our site a virtual tour of San Marcos.

And it'll be awesome. Just saying. :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

College students and diet - the way we eat (final project idea)

Adri and I are going to do our final assignment on the topic of college kids and diet. We plan to explain the way college kids eat, cook, and stay healthy (or unhealthy).
While many students rely solely on Ramen Noodles and EasyMac, others take the time to cook and plan meals on a daily basis - depending on lifestyle and schedule.
On the site, we could have pages that provide recipes for the on-the-go students, plans and tips to prepare meals when you are constantly busy, and unhealthy habits to kick. Also, we could provide a page that talks about how students actually eat and the unhealthy long term effects of such eating habits.
Maybe our pages could be this: 1) typical college diet 2) side effects of typical college diet 3)healthy alternatives (college friendly recipes) 4)tips for planning meals 5) interviews with students 6) helpful links
For the interviews, we could interview students around campus on camera and ask them questions about a normal day for them when it comes to diet and exercise. We could feature unhealthy students, as well as healthy students.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Online Change

The internet is not your ordinary search tool. You can now achieve pretty much everything through the internet. If it had a middle name it would probably be "innovative."
The internet has now mastered becoming THE marketplace. Ebay is extremely succesful and convenient. It has allowed people to sell and buy thei things through a computer screen.
Amazon is unother very succesful website. It is the biggest bookstore via web. You are allowed to browse for the book you want while in the comfort of your home. And variety is a must here.
Chris Anderson's publishings explain to us the internet's diveresity and adaptability to consumer's needs. The internet runs on our desires; our wants and our needs.
Rhapsody is the perfect example of meeting people's needs. They have an abundance of tracks available for consumers to listen and purchase.Again you are given the opprtunity to do this at home and not have to step out to a store to get the music you want. Not only is it convenient but it's perfect; you no longer have to buy a whole cd to listen to the song you want. Yes, you can now purchase single songs.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Digital World is Booming!

The Internet has forever changed the way we do things. Big contributors to this change are eBay and Amazon. Both of these companies found a way to create ecommerce. EBay's creator developed a way of online auctioning and Amazon is the biggest bookstore online. Although, both have different aspects of ideas, they both wanted to level the playing field for all people and make information fair and accessible. The markets boomed with both companies although eBay was more successful. Even after the horrible Black Friday in the 2000s they have bounced back and continue to empower ordinary people to use the tools of the Internet.

Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail, explains how all types of music, books and other things can be available to consumers. The Long Tail is explained as being able to reach all types of audiences and breaking barriers set by top hits to go beyond the popular to reach all types of audiences wants'. Through online distribution and retail, we are entering a world of abundance . For example Rhapsody, an online streaming music service has over 735,000 tracks. Rhapsody streams all tracks giving audiences a chance to hear something that they may like; It's not all about the top hits. Also buyers get a choice to buy by the track instead the whole CD, which is the main option available in stores.
On the net, a lot of things are provided for free, but it's not all free. While magazines, and newspapers may provide their publications for free they make profits through advertisements. It's like a trade off they offer some things for free and reap the profits in other areas. Many companies promote themselves by giving things away for free like the Gillette disposable razors idea and create a demand for their product.
This is the wave of the future, so jump on board while it's hot!
-Selina O. Affram

The Changing Online Marketplace

The expansion of the online marketplace in the past 15 years has revolutionized not only the Internet in general, but also how people conduct business. Advancements in e-commerce have led to changes in everything from product pricing to shopper behavior. While many were once skeptical of its reliability and level of convenience years ago, several computer-savvy individuals now cherish and rely on e-commerce for various purposes.

There once was a time in business when a customer could only buy products that were in stock at nearby stores (and that were at that price). Nowadays, a typical person can easily perform a search on the Web for a product and find detailed information regarding the product as well as a price comparison from multiple online sellers. International businesses are now recognizing all the resources that typical consumers have at their disposal to become more knowledgeable on the products or services they intend to purchase. Generally speaking, today’s shoppers are “smarter” and more selective than ever before. It will be interesting to see how companies adapt their business models to appeal to a better informed and more segmented consumer base.

Chris Anderson’s articles reveal how target audiences today are becoming increasingly diverse in their product tastes and more challenging to reach using traditional marketing methods. While the business models of online sellers will continue to evolve gradually in the next decade, I believe that more considerable change will bring new opportunities to the field of communications and public relations. More online businesses may consider employing integrated marketing communications (IMC) strategies to better connect with their current and prospective clientele.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

online business

I believe online business will be extremely successful moving forward. This is mainly due to the fact that the world as a whole is going digital and all of the technological advances resulting from that. Shopping online has made purchasing products quick and easy for consumers, and with more time I am sure this will become even more popular. The businesses that will succeed most are the ones that bring people what they want the easiest. Businesses which sell products everyone needs will find the industry most useful, as the ease they offer will attract consumers to get the wanted and needed products online. Examples currently seen of this include iTunes for music and Amazon for books, software and other products,

However, one of the biggest challenges to online businesses is the threat of identity theft. When shopping online consumers will face the possibility of picking up viruses on their computers or having personal information stolen by hackers. This has and will continue to turn some consumers off to the idea of online shopping and I think is the biggest thing handicapping the industry going forward.


Change is the major message behind today's market, driven almost entirely by the Internet. Change in business model, change in technology, change in price and how businesses compete.

The Internet is causing businesses to be always on their toes, because competition is coming from everywhere. The fact that anyone can interact with anyone else at anytime, in almost anyway they want to has opened the doors to commerce for everyone. These doors used to be sealed to business suave guys, people that knew how to build a chain of stores, develop shipping trades, create great products to offer, and pay money to tell you why you need it. The model isn't like that anymore. It is not a market like "I have this product, and I'll do you a favor by giving you it for cheap". Businesses are going into relationship counseling.

Businesses that have succeed in the past are the ones that make you love them. They are the ones that will make you think, "I would kill myself if I didn't have so-and-so." Google has done this. Think about what your life would be like without Google. Pretty crappy, huh? The reason an Internet company succeeds is it creates life so much better for you, the company becomes ingrained in your daily habits. While I write this, I am using spellcheck, and I would kill myself if I didn't have spellcheck. I love Microsoft Word.

Gasoline companies did this. People love to drive their cars. Walmart did this. People love to one-stop shop. Yet these companies were offering products. Successful businesses in the future will not offer products. Wait. Some will, because people need things like clothes, houses, and beer. But the Internet has opened a whole new market, the tool market. Tools to shop, tools to be entertained, tools to make money, tools to find people, tools to do your taxes, tools to learn, tools to share. And the fact is money doesn't effect how good your site is, it is more based on creativity. That means you get it cheap, sometimes free. So the little man has the wheel, but the only way he is going to get your money is if your riding in the seat next to him.

As for advertising, who knows where the Internet will take it. I do think that advertisers are going to have to start thinking alot "dumber" though. Take a look at the top 10 viewed youtube video's as of Jan. 2010. I'm a fan of some of these videos, but they are dumb.

The future of online business

When I read about the assignment and how we should discuss which companies will be most successful in regards to the future of online business, I reflected back instantly on a question a student asked Robert Quigley, Austin American-Stateman's social media editor, during a panel. The student asked him, "What do you think the Internet will look like in 10 years?" Quigley laughed and responded with something along the lines of the idea he didn't know because certain aspects of the Internet change constantly.

I believe the same answer can be applied to this assignment. It's not easy to gauge whether or not, and how, online business will boom or bust. Experts in the video showed these signs, as many of them admitted they were unsure of how, and if, companies like Amazon and eBay would last. They took a risk, though, and these companies in particular have been successful since.

This video and the previous ones we've watched, as well as discussions we've had in class and the Long Tail article, basically address the same concept: The Internet is all about taking risks.

I believe the Long Tail is one of the best business models when it comes to online business, especially because it drives users to do their own way of promoting their favorite product/band/whatever it is and do it for free. People use the Internet for finding and engaging in information and pioneers of the Long Tail business model recognize this idea, which, in turn, results in a (currently) successful business model, making both the consumer and producer happy.

Of course, business models can be improved and new ones can be created as the Internet and users' preferences change. It's (as I mentioned before) hard to gauge what that business model could be now, but as social networks change and the Internet becomes more advanced, I believe the same concept will be applied to future business models -- one in which companies will continue to engage users and get them involved in order to make a profit.

photo courtesy of

Online Business- The Real Story

Previous to viewing Chris Anderson's articles and "The True Story of the Internet," I had no idea how differently numerous online businesses run as compared to other websites. Ideas such as Jeff Bazos', creator of He had the amazing idea of "Get Big Fast," basically, as more money came into, they would lower there prices so that they received more and more exposure. At the same time having stock traders promising that the company was about to explode- not to mention thousands of day traders working from home.

Chris Anderson discusses "Free."

I thought that the article "Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business," was very interesting and I hadn't read about it before, although I am a recipient of his business strategy. On more than one occasion I have received a free Gillette razor and have continued to purchase the disposable heads. With the amount high tech companies that are located in Silicon Valley, options are endless for the general public to strike it rich through e-commerce. Stockholder cash was being given away by these companies to help start up new online companies, of which all but one in each category will fail miserably.

A dash of creativity and practicallity

So, Chris Anderson is clearly a genius. It is difficult for a society like ours to redefine the meaning of success — or perhaps better yet, the means of getting there. However, Anderson's concepts, centered around the premises that free sells more and niche-audiences actually do matter, make even the most traditional of business leaders take a hard look at what we think of as successful economic models.

E-commerce has revolutionized supply and demand and the modern day form of capitalism. You want it? You can find it. In fact, you can find items, information, services, that you didn't even know you wanted — or perhaps were simply unaware of. At the crossroads of capitalism and the Web comes a breeding ground in which discovery can take place. Through sites like Amazon and Ebay, users can find what lies beyond spot commercials and billboards.

What is most interesting are the people behind this synergy. The inventors, creators, venture capitalists, the movers and shakers — whatever you want to call them — are of a unique breed. They are equal parts savvy business-minded, risk-takers as they are creative geniuses. Clearly, it's a combination which has the potential to lead to much success — billions of dollars of success.

Watching "Download: The True Story of The Internet - Bubble" in conjunction to reading Anderson's "The Long Tail" and "Free", I can't help but think of this year's Common Experience theme: A whole new mind. The theme, of course, comes from Daniel Pink's book. The concept is much the same as Anderson's and that of the Web pioneers' he discusses: no longer will the traditional business model be acceptable. Or at least, lead to success. A successful economic model and service will (and is already beginning to) stem from a combination of creativity and practicality. And taking a few risks doesn't hurt, either.

Understanding Online Business Models

Obviously, Amazon and Ebay are two of the most mentioned companies when talking about online businesses. After reading "The Long Tail," I didn't quite realize how launching your product on either of these sites could make it so popular. The fact that someone can feed off of another person's popularity and creativity without copying or plagiarizing their work is really mind-boggling at this point in time.

How many sites do we travel to and make a purchase, only to be directed to the side of the screen to more items with the title, "Users Who Bought This Also Bought:"? I know just the other day, I ordered a Kate Spade cover for my iPhone, and I was directed to a link that provided other links to headphones, workout straps, and other iPhone accessories that I didn't originally intend to buy, but they were looking kind of interesting. Obviously, according to "The Long Tail," people often do click those links and make their purchases larger than they had originally intended.

The Internet makes business easy because it is measurable, but it is vast. Even though a small percentage of the world is online than most think, the Internet allows businesses to do business without having physical stores within reach of consumers. I remember visiting the Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN one Christmas, and my dad commented to a sales clerk that they were not as busy as he was expecting. She commented back that most people prefer to online shop. It gives consumers the convenience of getting everything they need in the comfort of their own home (and possibly their own pajamas).

I think one of the challenges of online businesses are the fact that they are impersonal. People like the idea of having a salesperson help them. What if the size is off? What if the watch doesn't work? What if there are more iPod colors available? A person can help in all these areas in which a computer cannot. However, the opportunities for online businesses seem to exceed the challenges. Businesses can expand and become worldwide without actually having worldwide locations. Online shopping is also more vast than in-store shopping. If Target runs out of green sweatpants in a size Medium, I can just order them online.

I think online businesses are only going to become bigger and better as the years go on. With things like Facebook and Twitter out now, consumerism is getting huge. Conan O'Brien tweets that he loves popcorn jelly beans...and all of a sudden there is a popcorn jelly bean shortage. :)


The Long Tail business model seems to be rebuilding the relationship between buyer and seller. Obscurity can now compete with popularity. There is no need for a trade-off. It is cheaper to just offer everything—all products. This allows for a fuller culture with less focus on the hits. In contrast Amazon’s Get Big Fast model appears to be a one-time fling. The strategy rose and fell with the Internet-induced economic boom. It is still going strong today, but no company could successfully start now with the same strategy. There is a major point to take from Amazon, and Gillette for that matter, losing profits now can cause a worthwhile return in profits later. The Internet allows “free” and cheap to be more prominent than ever.

The Internet’s unabashed ability to cross any and all geographical limitations negates the price of shelf space. Production costs for entertainment and information are also significantly reduced through Internet use. Even services are cheaper and more convenient. The Internet doesn’t need coffee breaks, minimum wage, and can pull endless shifts. One issue that isn’t addressed in the readings is how labor will be changed. When machines become more prominent, labor transitioned into service. As computers and the web replace personal services, where will the jobs move to next? Will the jobs be fewer? More specialized?

Boom, Bubble, Bust & Resurection

After watching The True Story of the Internet: Bubble, I realized how interested I am in e-commerce and just how valuable this information is. For sure most new technological advances are started in a garage or a back room in someones house, but the fact that it's a new way of commerce aimed at reaching individuals and where regular people could compete on a level playing field with the "big players" is what catches my attention.
It's the idea that most of these new start up companies aren't out to get you, but to help you to help yourself and others that stands out to my ideals.

In the future I'm sure there will be more changes and bigger and better business models and technology, but for now I think we are on a steadily growing hill that's beginning to look like a mountain. We've ushered ourselves in to a technological generation with out thinking of the consequences. If everything is based on the internet, there could be some major problems that I hope others foresee as well.

The challenge now is just to keep up with your invention and don't let it take over from what you had first dreamed or imagined. Technology has a way of taking over and becoming an idol. Technology is a tool, to be used as a means to help, not something to take over absolutely every way we do every little thing.

There are many opportunities available for new companies to jump in with e-commerce. It's relatively simple and a great way to make money as well as to stay involved with clients and get involved in new clients in far away places.

Facebook and Twitter are definitely a great example of being successful in a new web venture without even asking users to pay for the service. It's an idea and a means of 
 sharing information that definitely appeal to most users.

Beyond these companies, I believe we need to continue to watch out for the intentions of companies. There are too many out there building, with ideas that are a rip off or not so great, that are spending too much money and just copying the guy next door.

Just like the AB testing mentioned in a SXSWi session for web sites. AB testing should be done on companies and start ups and blogged about, reported on, or a web site made about it to inform every user from novice to expert what to watch out for and expect on these sites.

Online Business Models

I think the future of online business models, or e-commerce is boundless because of mankind's need to make spend money.

From the videos, I think the "bubble" encompasses the balance of what will survive, occasionally join with other bubbles (economic ventures and mergers), and what will burst, or fail. The readings by Chris Anderson further develops this with the story of freebies, subsidies, recommendations, and overall having to create a demand for a product or service that wasn't there before, like the Gillette disposable razors. In some cases going back and selling more of a product that maybe be forgotten, like Joe Simpson's Touching the Void. Amazon has been found to do that in its suggestions.

I think sites like eBay and Craiglist (which has also become a verb in its own way) allows consumers be their own merchants and traders in this online auction forum. I think that in itself has a kinship with citizen journalism. Facebook even has an online "marketplace." It all plays off the old saying John Heileman alludes to: "one man's trash is another's treasure." Take the story of the red paper clip for example.

I think the challenges online business models face is the trust factor. We are always hearing of these scams people fall for and sometimes are made fun of or portrayed as a victim in the media. The second part of the "Bubble" videos gave me some comfort that my identity and information was thought of to be protected. I just ordered from Amazon the other day without any risk crossing my mind. I've dealt with Amazon on the phone before (and I actually had a pretty pleasant experience - no waiting on hold and a very understanding representative). I know people actually work there, and it's not just some company operated by robots. Being an unsecured business would be an easy way to lose revenue and profits.

I believe any business can survive if it 1) finds a niche that has never been served or created and 2) is marketable and is marketed well. Opportunities for online businesses are limitless. Just when we believe things can't get any better, another genius crosses the finish line as a billionaire in the venture capitalist game. I think the companies that involve the consumer in multiple ways, is interactive, will succeed.

The online business model

Online businesses have the gift of extreme potential. As Anderson says in 'The Long Tail' one of the best qualities of the web is that online markets can offer anything, as they are no longer constrained by physical space. Not only can the web offer anything, but offering anything for free is becoming increasingly possible.

In connecting 'The Long Tail' to the music industry, we will start to see less 'filler' tracks and more substance. Why? Tracks are being evaluated individually on their own merit. The benefit of paying per track is that consumers no longer have to pay for tracks they would skip over on the cd. And rather than solely hit songs being profitable, the 'misses' or what's on the long tail will also see profit. It's not just about the grossly profitable anymore, mildly profitable is still profit.

Amazon was used as an example by Anderson and by the bubble video because what Amazon did is create the ability to buy any book, not just the bestsellers. Now, without the constraint of physical bookstore space, anything is possible. Also, search terms and suggestions mean convenience.

Although Rhapsody was cited as a good example of music's success because of the long tail, I believe that it will eventually fail because of the free concept. There are sites like pandora that offer the same thing, without a monthly fee. Good luck Rhapsody.

As John said in the end of the video, the dotcom bubble and bust was terrible for some investors. However, sites like amazon and ebay are relevant today because of survival of the fittest. I believe that sites like these two will continue to survive because they both do something so well: put the power into the hands of the consumer.

Understanding Online Business Models

EBay and Amazon are two successful businesses that sell online because they are the ones who understood what people what. In the free article, he wanted to invent something that people could throw away, or what people wanted. People want easy. I use online retailers all the time, including eBay and Netflix. Netflix learned that people will keep searching for what they like until they find it. I use Netflix so I can watch documentaries, just like the article The Long Trail said.

I also use iTunes because it’s easy to pay a dollar and get the song I want from my computer. Online retailers have the good and bad just like anyone business. I think though they have more good. They are open 24/7 and anyone with internet access and a credit card or pay pal account can get something shipped to their house. On the downside, if you do not have one of those things then you are forced to pay cash, which you can only do in person. I think eBay will always be a successful business; I’m one of the customers too.

The whole point of even having the online shopping, like the movie said, is to create a marketplace where everyone could come together and when everyone comes together, it doesn’t take long to get a huge number. I think these big companies that just started over a weekend will stay in business because of stock holders, and their already loyal customers.