Trust in Web Communities

To some degree, most successful communities on the web, from couch surfing to ebay, depend on Pierre Omidyar’s maxim “people are basically good” being mostly true. Communities rely on trust, whether that trust risk little– such as cooking a meal or knitting an object based on the instructions for others– or a lot, such as potential losses of money and even physical danger with sites like CouchSurfing.com. What kind of trust(s) do you place in these kinds of communities, large or small?

I use eBay for a lot of my educational needs – both as a teacher and as a student. Everything’s cheap, I can typically find what I’m looking for, and I can get what I want in a timely manner. However, because I’m buying from strangers on the internet, I have to trust that they’re not scammers looking to get a quick buck. It’s difficult at times, and I do follow my own set of stipulations to make purchases – there has to be a thorough description of the item, there needs to be a photograph of said item, and the seller’s feedback needs to be above 99.5% to get my business. Not everyone on eBay can be trusted, and I think that it’s in part up to the buyer to make informed decisions. As much as I’d love to say that everyone on the site is worthy of 100% positive feedback, I already know from my own experience that it’s far from the truth. However, because eBay as a whole is a trust-worthy site (and has always been quite helpful if I’ve had an issue that needs to be addressed), I don’t think twice about putting my trust in the company.

Three Blogs

Here are three blogs I love to browse and hang out on in my down time:

  • Adagio Teas – This tumblr blog gives the latest and greatest from the tea-ordering website, Adagio.com, and often hosts give-aways for bundles of teas/teapots/tea sets.
  • Hyperbole and a Half – This blog/web comic is simply a collection of one girl’s stories. It’s quite entertaining to read, and is great if you need a smile or two.
  • The Science of Deduction – The personal blog of the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes, with plenty of case references and information for the show.

And here are three from Technorati/Google, as defined by the assignment:

  • Discover Ireland – A travel blog with information about Ireland ranging from things to see to trivia about the nation.
  • England Football – A football blog for English football fans with the latest and greatest news involving the sport.
  • SurLaLune – A blog dedicated to fairy tales and fantasy stories.

Web 2.0

Before you started this class, had you heard of the term Web 2.0? In what context?

I have been vaguely familiar with the term “Web 2.0,” though I believe it’s more commonly referred to as Social Media nowadays. There have been times in news reports about the progression of the internet that talk about Web 2.0, but I do believe these reports are fairly limited to specialty news sites dedicated solely to internet jargon and tech news.

Imagine you are telling someone about Web 2.0 who uses the Web but knows nothing about the term. What would you tell them?

Web 2.0 is very simple – Twitter, Blogger, Facebook, Myspace (yes, even Myspace), Tumblr, and any other social media site you can think of are classified as “Web 2.0,” or the “second generation of the internet.” This refers to the change in the internet’s interface to become more user-friendly to any person who wishes to participate in collaborating on the internet. User-generated media is born of Web 2.0 sites, and dominates the focus of most internet users in this day and age.

Do you participate in any sites that you think are “Web 2.0” sites? If so, what are they?

I do participate in Web 2.0 – it’d be easier to list them, though.

  • Youtube
  • Twitter
  • Wikipedia
  • IMDb
  • Photobucket
  • Blogger
  • Tumbr
  • eHow
  • Reddit
  • Facebook

A New Introductory Post For CITS F220

Hello hello again. It’s been some time since I last posted on this blog, and it seems as if those posts were all only about art. Well, as much as I’d love to continue talking about art, I know that times change, classes change, interests change… the point is, I’ve got to move on to bigger and greater things! (Not really. I honestly don’t know who’s keeping up with this blog anymore.)

Without further ado….

Hello! My name is Jennifer Slingerland. I’m from North Pole, Alaska. I attended North Pole High School, and currently take distance courses through UAF. I will be graduating this spring with an AA in general studies, but hope to continue on to grad school in Michigan at SC4 (and perhaps study abroad for a year at Kensington in London. It’s a dream of mine to take a hop across the pond and see what all the racket is about).

Anyways, I’m an Elementary School RTI (Response to Intervention) Assistant, which basically means I teach low-level kids reading skills. I was a maths tutor as well out at Ticasuk Brown Elementary, but had to leave once the expenses for travel outweighed the paychecks I received. I’ve had fun, though, teaching and mingling with the kids (most of whom are incredibly bright and well-mannered, though there are a couple rotten eggs among the classes. It is unfortunate, but manageable).

I do graphic design as a personal side project (if you want to see my work, look for the Logo on the new University Women’s Health office on University Avenue, just down from UAF’s CD). I’m currently debating whether I should re-immerse myself in acting, or if I should continue on drawing and writing for my own personal enjoyment. I do hope to be professional and one day have a book on the New York Time’s Best Seller List, but acting is quite a passion as well.

I suppose I should stop talking before this becomes too much of a rambling post. If you’d like to know more, feel free to ask a question through comments, and I’ll try to get back to you when I can.

Thank you for reading! 🙂

The Legend of Amaterasu

Iwato kagura no kigen (ćČ©æˆžç„žæ„œäč‹è”·éĄ•) – Origin of Music and Dance at the Rock Door signed by Shunsai Toshimasa (昄斎ćčŽæ˜Œ); Dated Meiji 20 (1887)

I’ll begin by saying that I love a good legend, myth, or fairy tale. And perhaps some of the most interesting tales emerge from ancient Japan. Therefore, I’ve chosen to present a Japanese piece for this project – not only for the Ukiyo-e style (which is a marvelous process that includes carving wood blocks and transferring ink to paper via these wooden patterns) but for the entertainment and stories behind these pieces.

This particular piece – Origin of Music and Dance at the Rock Door – is about the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, a Japanese myth of humility, perserverence, the triumph of good over evil, and the infectious power of laughter on even the most distraught of souls.

The Legend of Amaterasu

As retold by the author

Amaterasu ƌ-mikami was the first daughter of the two creationist deities, the god Izanagi and goddess Izanamino.  The pair had formed every piece of the land of the Earth, from the mountains rising into the sky to the waters of the oceans stirring around the land. Once the Earth had been formed, Izanagi and Izanamino wished to create life to frolic upon their creation. They gave birth to Amaterasu, whose radiance and beauty did nothing but bring utter joy to her parent’s life. She was placed in the sky for all to see, and now protects the day in the form of the sun. Amaterasu had two siblings who were born soon after, the god of the moon – Tsuki-yomi, a peaceful and composed child who was a fraction as bright as his sister – and the god of the seas – Susano-O, a boy with an awful temperament whom  was prone to violence. Susano’s rage and love of wreaking havoc upon the ocean eventually led him to be demoted to God of the underworld, but that is a story for another day.

One day, whilst weaving on her loom, Amaterasu befell a horrid attack by her brother. Infuriated by how beautiful and beloved she was, Susano-O killed the girl’s mare and tossed it into her weaving room, ruining all the looms and projects she had created. It is said that Susano’s rage was so great that he killed one of the attendant girls in the room and attacked Amaterasu herself, causing the gentle goddess to flee her palace. Amaterasu sought refuge in a cave within the mountains, refusing to shine her light and joy upon the world anymore. Slowly, the Earth began to wither and die, causing demons to crawl from the underworld and wreak their own chaos upon the people, plants, and animals upon its surface.

Knowing the world was in quite a dire state, the Gods and Goddesses assembled outside the cave and attempted to lure Amaterasu out to shine her light on the Earth once more. After a useless string of begging and pleading, Uzume – the Goddess of laughter – created a clever plan. She placed a large mirror facing Amaterasu’s cave against a nearby rock, hung jewels from the trees, and began to dance around, urging the other Gods and Goddesses to do the same. Their festivities were so intriguing to the sun Goddess that she couldn’t help but to ask what was happening outside, to which Uzume replied “We have found a new and much better sun goddess!” This caused Amaterasu to peek out of the cave to see what the ruckus was about; and when she did, Amaterasu caught sight of her own reflection in the mirror. Hypnotized by her own beauty, she left the cave – which was quickly sealed off with a giant rock to prevent her from hiding away once again – and soon found herself immersed in the amusement of her friends and family.

Unable to continue frowning for her misfortune, Amaterasu let her light shine upon the Earth once more. And just as quickly as they came, the demons and disease set upon the land receded to the Underworld with Susano-O, and the Earth was bathed in sunlight once more.

Sources:

[1] http://ameblo.jp/papakiti1/entry-11194497774.html

[2] http://silveropossum.homestead.com/Greek/Amaterasu.html

[3] http://voices.yahoo.com/discovering-supreme-shinto-goddess-amaterasu-644862.html

Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi

By Gian Lorenzo Bernini

The Fountain of the Four Rivers is one of the most impressive works Bernini produced during his lifetime, easily recognized by any fan of the Dan Brown novel (or movie adaptation of) Angels and Demons as one of the key points the protagonist must visit in a chain of clues to find the location of five papal candidates. But that story is for a different blog.

Located in Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy, the Fountain of the Four Rivers is truly a marvel to behold. The fountain was unveiled in June 1651 in a festival sponsored by the Pamphili family and Pope Innocent X as the pride of Rome at the time. Sculpted from a combination of copper and marble, the statue depicts the four great river Gods from the four continents of the world (as cartographers from the era knew them to be).  The Nile in Africa, the Ganges in Asia, the Danube in Europe and the Río de la Plata in America each are represented by an enormous depiction of a man, all with separate characteristics to be recognized by.

Rio de la Plata

In the fountain’s northwestern corner, we have Rio de la Plata of the Americas, a hoard of treasure beneath the man to represent prospective wealth and opportunity within the New World. The figure itself is said to be modeled as a black man, reflecting how little was truly understood and known about the continent at the time of the statue’s erection.

NileTo the left of this, we see the Nile river, shrouded by a veil around his head, symbolizing the unknown source of the river itself within the continent of Africa.

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The Ganges

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Continuing left, we come to the Ganges River of Africa, lounging with an oar between his legs. This is said to display the river’s easy means of travel and navigability in comparison to the others lounging about the statue.

The Danube Finally, we come to the Danube river, sitting to the right of the Rio de la Plata and the left of the Ganges. This statue represents Europe, with the Papal robe being held within his hands as he actively attempts to hold it up.

All four of these statues are seated around a large rock which holds a tall Egyptian obelisk which refers to Emporer Domitian as the Eternal Pharaoh in heiroglyphics; a dove – symbolizing the Pamphili family and Holy Spirit – rests atop the obelisk, capping it off peacefully.

I’ve always personally been fascinated by the fountain – the size alone is impressive enough to be drawing to a viewer. I truly hope one day I’ll be able to travel to Rome and visit these energetic statues for myself, but for now I’m content enough just looking at pictures on the internet.

Sources:

http://honorsaharchive.blogspot.com/2005/09/ppiazza-navona-and-berninis-four-rivers.html

http://www.rome.info/bernini/fountain-four-rivers/