Life Changing Status Update

May 19, 2011

Well there ya go! It’s the end of the year and it’s time to start thinking about my future. To avoid that thought I decided to do one final blog post. No this is not going to be another presidential prediction or political uprise post. I want to challenge everyone. Yes challenge.

You see I have learned a lot this semester about this strange world of social media and I would like to propose a thought. Let’s start something. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the daily status updates about how cute our dogs are but I say we change that. Post something important to you. Get people talking. Get people aware. Let’s see if Facebook can really change the world by allowing it to change a small part of yours.

I believe through my work this semester that our generation has the capability to make serious changes. We also have the most wide and exciting technologies to do so. So go out and make your status heard. Let’s see what happens!


Facebook; “News Feed” feature

May 19, 2011

On February 4 2008 almost 10 million people in hundreds of cities in Colombia and 2 million more around the world, marched against FARC or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. This movement began in Oscar Morales’s bedroom just a month prior to the march when he created the group “Un Million de Voces Contra Las FARC” on Facebook. This was not the first time Facebook was used as a tool against oppressive governments and would not be the last, as we have seen with the “democratic revolution” in the Middle East. The question is how did the news spread so quickly? Facebook is a fundamentally new form of communication that can lead to new social and interpersonal effects. What enables this is Facebook’s software, which makes information viral, there is no need to search for new information, and instead it comes to you via “News Feeds”. The News Feed is one of Facebook’s greatest assets and is one of the main features that have allowed news to spread so quickly. The implementation of a News Feed was not only a great business decision but also an important shift in the way information is exchanged between people. Before Facebook and the “news feed” one had to initiate the process of getting information by making a phone call, send a letter or even an email. With Facebook this process is reversed and what Mark Zuckerberg calls “automated communications” making a big world smaller. With a “News Feed” information is far more personal than what any professional media organizations could ever deliver. In this way Faebook is redefining the news that is produced. Facebook users are now the editors of the news, reiterating the idea of a gift economy, each piece of news is a gift and should receive a comment or a like if people find it relevant. Many people, including CNN found out about the 2010 earthquake in Haiti via these news feeds, not to mention when the killing of Osama Bin Laden occurred the first place most people found out about it was on Facebook. Facebook may also pose a challenge for conventional media financially over time by drawing away the many lucrative brand advertising that has kept TV, magazines, and newspapers afloat for many years. The only way the media companies can do is try and work with Facebook by identifying themselves with Facebook.

-Rob Bettega

Dad stop!

May 12, 2011

So recently i was thinking about what i would write in my blog given that i have never written a blog before and am fairly new to the whole idea of blogging. But it hit me when i sent my dad a message via text the other day … not thinking he would ever respond to it. Which much to my surprise he did! Not to mention he added a smily face!! Get out … my dad is going to be 60 in june and he should not only NOT know how to text but he should certainly  not know how to send a smily face. Well not only did this disturb me slightly but he also has a Facebook and to top it all off knows how to like my pictures,  status and add them himself.  I really do not think that Facebook should be as crazy wide-spread as it has become. The initial purpose of Facebook being for college students i think is a great idea. When watching The Social Network i can see that it is a really great way to get to know other college students your age, so therefore I can see its place in society however what it has become i feel is ridiculous. People on a whole have become way to obsessed with it and now it not only transcends the line between teens and technology but it is being used by everyone!! LIterally everyone has a Facebook, when i walk into the library at school there are people who take up space and the computer to go on Facebook for hours! I mean really people go outside or something take in the air. Back to my original story though i hate that my dad is on Facebook and my mom and everyone else that i know over 50 with a Facebook, to me i don’t get it.

-Catherine Petrouleas-

Facebook deals with bullys

May 12, 2011

While browsing the internet i came across and article on Facebook and bullying and found myself reading the whole thing. Im not a huge reader so to read the whole thing for me was a big achievement, however, the article was written by Jolie O’Dell on the website Mashable, entitled “Facebook’s new anti-bullying tool creates a “culture of respect.” The article was interesting because they dove into how Arturo Bejas (the director of engineering) felt on the topics although he was clear on the reformation being that “the users” who feel that they are being harassed may send the person harassing them a private message. In order to address this issue and  an adult or authoritative figure (like a teacher) can also be involved in the conversation. However Bejas stated that “People post things they think are funny, but they don’t realize it’s stressful. There’s no malicious intent, and it might not violate the terms of service, but it still needs to be resolved.” Which i can see how that would be true. personally on Facebook i have friends who make me feel at times hurt by the things that they have commented on either pictures or in a status, yet when i confronted them they claimed it was only a joke. This whole bullying thing though has gone way to far. Not only are kids bullied in school but they have to face it when they get home as well.

-Catherine Petrouleas-

Facebook how it started

May 12, 2011

While doing some research about the creation of Facebook i found it really interesting in an article from business Insider that Mark Zuckerberg the creator was only a SOPHOMORE when he first launched he site which then was called “” . I dont think i could imagine being able to create something like that and then have it become so enormous in todays social media. i mean before Facebook there was MySpace which was good but their you were able to be any age. Where as on Facebook you had to originally be in college to join the site. Now all of this has changed but i think that it was interesting to find out that a sophomore was able to in a sense change the world and they way that we communicate with each other. I would love to see Facebook go back to its original purpose to unite college students but i feel that it has grown so large that is just out of the question 😦 !!

Facebook isn’t for Hipsters.

May 11, 2011

I had a odd experience on Saturday. I was walking into Brooklyn’s famed, hip centre “Williamsburg” with some friends. I heard someone discussing social media and it’s demise, naturally I listened in. He was talking to a friend about how social media is becoming outdated and sad, nobody uses it anymore and we have all become way to connected. I had to talk to this person. I mean, what’s a better blog post then a real moment? I worked up the courage to approach this stranger and said “Will you discuss social media with me?” he stared at me for a moment and said “Why not?”.

Our conversation became very intense and in-depth about the very thing I have been researching and promoting all semester. Now believe me when I say I am not going to delete my Facebook or stop texting my mother instead of calling her (sorry mom.) but I must admit this skinny jean wearing,   vegan really had a lot to say and it got me to thinking: I bet a lot more people have a lot more to say. So their I was in a strange land of tattoos and greasy hair asking people what they thought of social media. Without even discussing our class or it’s content people divulged into the world of Facebook and its  influence on most of their lives, most importantly there political ones. One by one I got responses like “Well Obama ruled Facebook” or “Tina Fey was all over YouTube, how could I not see the difference between her and the real Sarah Palin?” Over and over again I was informed of Facebook’s popularity becoming less and less with these young people who become more and more hip.

As I feasted in my new-found career as an investigative journalist I couldn’t help but think what is really happening here? Are these young people rebelling against what will likely becoming the most defining thing about my generation? Or are they simply moving onto the next trend? I have since given of my dreams of being on Dateline but my eyes were opened up to the Facebook rebellion.  As the world faces some of it’s hardest times, it is clear that young people have a duty to make and continue change. If there is one thing I have learned from my day spent being hip it would be social media has, without a doubt, created a whole new side of politics and not everyone is happy about that. Who knows Mark Zuckerberg could be president someday. How many “likes” would that get?

Jack Raymond

Facebook Goes to China

May 10, 2011

Facebook has recently reported that it will open a new social networking site in China. Facebook will launch this new site with Baidu, the most popular search engine there.  The site itself will not be the Facebook we know because of the current government censorship regulations and restrictions. Zuckerberg has explained that Facebook will just take the restrictions and run with them. This may have an impact on how this social media site has been used to organize citizens. The Chinese government will be able to hack into anyones Facebook and potentially arrest any “threats” to the government. Beware, US citizens who have friends in China becaue all of their information will be able to be targeted as well. Again, Facebook is willing to block content to some countries. Does this not go against some of the ethical responsibilities Facebook has been forced to take on, as being such a big part in organizing a revolution in the Middle East? I feel like this switch to blocking content will stain Facebooks reputation in some ways, however in the long run it is a great business plan because they will be gaining such a big share of a fast growing middle-class. 

Rob Bettega