Copyright of Art

I am in a natural methods in communication class right now and we have a research project due at the end of the semester dealing with an online community and looking into it from and ethnographic position. The website we are dealing with currently is flickr.com. This site has a somewhat new feature entitled Commons. This is for international museums and school libraries to post images that have expired copyright. The point of this site is to allow people to see art on their own time and also comment on the them and make conversation.

Steve.museum
is another site that shows professional photos and has room to comment. These comments are one word tags about the piece of art on the screen. The purpose of this site is to build an art community and help people be exposed to art in museums that may not be near them.

I feel that these sites are doing something good and making art more democratized and easier for people to see if not near a major museum. The only thing I worry about is how they take photos from people who have died years ago, and how people can easily take credit for tagging and describing them since the copyright is expired. I wonder if sites like this foster the “greased” internet information concept we learned about form our text. Sure these pictures are easily accessible but now they are easier to distribute too since all it takes is a simple clip to copy and save an image.

I am in support of a art for the people but my main concern is that people can take this art and make it their own through tags and stealing pictures and trying to get by the fact the copyright has expired.

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Facebook Ads Are Invading!

Like most college students today I am a slave to website known as Facebook. I have a profile that lists everything there is to know about me, I have photos proving I do exist, and it is safe to say that I check it on a regular basis every day.

On one of these days that I was perusing the site and creeping on my friends I realized “Hey is that an advertisement for a cat adoption agency?” Thinking it was oddly coincidental and also awesome I began to think how does FB know that I would want to see and or be interested in this ad?

Literally everything you put on FB is stored in the data base and FB owns everything you post. So with that being said advertisers utilize this service to their benefit. The ads are targeted specifically to you according to the information posted.

Another ad that I encountered that was interesting and overly specific was an ad for single Catholic girls looking for a partner. It was a Catholic dating website targeted towards teens. I may have put on my FB I was Catholic and single but do I want to date? Do I need help? After being mildly offended I laughed it off and realized that Advertisers did this due to my data.

Is this fair of FB? Should there be a disclaimer on the site telling its users about how its advertising is targeted? Do users besides me feel that FB is invading them with these advertisements and feel they are just a little too specific?

I know this isn’t a pressing issue but it seems relevant in my life currently.

The Gamer’s Lifestyle

Last week in class we watched a documentary on Gamers and the community that is surrounding this lifestyle. For lack of better words it blew my mind. Never have I ever been more fascinated and confused about type of social networking community. It may be because I lack the experience in gaming but I was so confused by how people could truly form relationships over a computer game. I know an earlier post I did was about second life and I was somewhat empathetic towards members of the community… but this documentary got me thinking. How and when did our society feel that this subculture could exist and become more and more acceptable. If these people were just playing the game for a games sake I could understand it because trends come and go… but as a way to meet people socially confuses me. I realize that this is not outwardly an ethical dilemma and merely just me stating my opinion but I felt a need to blog about this.
The biggest issue I saw in this documentary with gaming is how people lose their sense of the real world. One man in particular almost lost everything because of his gaming addiction. Another story involved a man with a pregnant wife that he practically neglected most of the time to hang with his buddies and play World of Warcraft.
When did it become acceptable in our society to play games to this extreme? I understand that this gaming community has a stigma attached to it especially seeing this documentary but how is it growing at such a rapid speed? Will this be the new way for people to meet other and form relationships? These games online seem to be the new eharmony.com or the new facebook.com for meeting people online.
I realize that this is all opinion and coming from a position of lack of experience with these role-playing games online but it concerns me that society is turning to these means in order to meet people. Human interactions are becoming something of the past as technology increases in our lives.

The Mystery of Second Life

Second Life is a social networking site that I have yet to try and use. The thought of a “second life” or alternative to your first life continues to perplex me. I went online though and looked into the website. The website is very clear in its belief of building an online community amongst is users. Before you can even apply and try it out though there is a video that tells you what the website is. After investigating the site I found that there is a lot you can do as far as socializing goes and having Second Life relationships is not as shocking or unpredictable. This is a “community”.

I acknowledge I am incredibly biased of the site because I do not understand it at all. I am still new to Facebook for the most part and continue to learn all the tricks and socializing concepts on that site. After reading articles in class about the topic including an article by Don Heider, the Dean of Communications here at Loyola it got me thinking more about the website.

When I first heard of Second Life I instantly thought why would someone want to do this and how can people do this for such long extended periods of time. But through reading articles for this class it seemed to make more and more sense to me. People much like the users of Facebook use this sight as a way of escaping. In two of the articles I read it talked about people feeling withdrawn from the world and a lack of connection with people in the “real world”. As soon as these people got an account on Second Life their personalities became larger than life. Although most of the relationships and friends you encounter on Second Life never really extend to the real world… people tend to reveal things they would never do before which surprises me. I have trouble writing in my information section what are my hobbies on Facebook yet people are saying their secrets to complete strangers on Second Life.

I can empathize with people that need a means to escape and can grasp the concept of having a “better” or “improved” you online, but in a game? I can understand playing it as a game but when it consumes you life and free time, it seems that game is not a way of describing Second Life. I acknowledge I need to actually use the site and experience it and what it has to offer but for now I am okay with using Facebook and seeking out communication and connection with the people in that community because it is authentic to a certain extent.