Friday, November 18, 2011

X. Coda

In the previous posts, we looked at the various features and functions of the Internet.

To refresh your memory, here is a list of what we have covered:
I. Introduction
II. Social media
III. Social networking
IV. e-Commerce/e-Biz
V. e-Learning
VI. Internet Security
VII. Multimedia
VIII. Politics
IX. Journalism

The next step now is to explore what the future holds for us, and the Internet. What will the Internet be like in the next 5-10 years? What major breakthroughs will there be? Will the Internet be replaced with something that is cleaner, more intelligent, more intuitive, and more efficient?

 No doubt devices and applications are getting smarter and faster, but they are often limited by the cosntraints of the current Internet. I envision a new Interent that is revolutionarily different from what we are used to now; in the future, the Internet may be intuitive to our use, and more "human-like".

Here are some videos that show the different predictions on what the future of the Internet will be like.

The Future Internet: Service Web 3.0 (by semantictechnology)

The Internet of Things (by IBMSocialMedia)

SOA4All in the Future Internet of Services (by semantictechnology)

Microsoft's Vision of the Future (Parody) (by IGNentertainment)

MOCOM 2020 - The Future of Mobile Media and Communication (by MontyMetzger)

However, this brings up an issue which may seem scary to some people. Will computers and the Internet rule our lives? If we rely on them to do so much for us, will our brains degenerate?


I feel that the advancement of new information and communication technology like the Internet should spur humankind to improve on current practices and better the world in which we live in. As long as we can keep up with the exponential growth of the Internet and other technology, the abovementioned worries should not be a problem. It is also a motivation for us to constantly improve ourselves and our world, and would be more of a boon than a bane to us.

This is all I have for you readers. It has been fun for me to do these weekly postings and I hope you enjoyed reading them too :) Though we have come to the last chapter of this journey, the process of learning should be ongoing. Let us explore and anticipate the future trends together!

Friday, November 4, 2011

IX. Online Citizen Journalism

Anybody still gets most of their news from the tv, radio, or the newspapers? Well, I don't, and I believe many of you are like me.

Our society is almost immersed in Internet usage, and this in turn affects our behavioural habits. It makes sense too, that if we spend so much of time on the Internet with our mobile phones or computers, we also just allocate a portion of this time to getting our news from online sources, instead of using another device (eg radio) to get news.


With Web 2.0's interactivity and user-generated content abilities, many people are also becoming citizen journalists, posting news, photos, videos on various websites. These material may not be professional or touch on "real news" (events that get reported on traditional mainstream media), but they are garnering much attention too.


As usual, here are some videos that might interest you on this topic.


Internet's impact on traditional journalism (by StateofMedia)

One important question is whether the Internet will kill off the power of traditional media. Will the newspapers, radio or tv be completely replaced by the Internet for journalism, particularly citizen journalism?


As much as I am a supporter of the Internet and online sources of journalism, I still believe that news from traditional media will still be around for quite some time. This is because many of the older generation, which forms a large proportion of our population, still rely very much on the traditional media. What do you think?

Friday, October 28, 2011

VIII. Politics on the Internet

With a larger proportion of people using the Internet, politicians have to engage their audience through online means too. Besides being able to update instantly from almost anywhere, using the Internet for political engagement also means that the politicians are reaching out more to the younger generation.


For Singapore's 2011 General Elections, we have seen a unprecedented rise in political use of Internet to reach out to potential voters. Besides getting Facebook pages for certain politicians, Twitter was also greatly utilised, though only mainly by the opposition parties. PM Lee Hsien Loong also hosted a Facebook forum chat to find out more about any major concerns citizens had, including housing, and jobs opportunities.


PM Lee's Facebook chat forum was, in my opinion, not an effective way to properly understand citizen's concerns. This is because a lot of people were just posting comments at the same time, and this doesn't allow enough time for PM Lee and his audience to read all comments and respond properly. This however, shows how willing PM Lee was to step into cyberspace to interact with citizens.


I believe that with this increasing trend of Internet use in the local political sphere, competition between parties will become more stiff, which would encourage more improvement. This will ultimately benefit us citizens, as well as our nation.



To end off, here's a cute comic that I'll like to share with you.


(image taken from personaldemocracy.com)



Note: I am not politically affiliated with any party.

Friday, October 21, 2011

VII. Multimedia on the Internet

Imagine how boring it will be if everything on the Internet was just black and white text.


If you say B/W texts are artistic, it is only because there are so many coloured multimedia online, which contrasts with B/W texts. With the array of multimedia on the Internet, our communication has become more enriched and exciting. They have also allowed for more varied expression of our thoughts and feelings.

I was required to make a video for this blog. At the beginning, I was frustrated over what content to feature. Then I thought, why not share my love for the GazettE (my favourite band ♥) with my readers? Rather than post a lengthy description about them, I figured a short video showing their pictures may be more interesting. So here's the video I made. Enjoy!


「FV」 ガゼット PEOPLE ERROR 
video
Note: I did not include the sources, but if your material has been featured here, please feel free to notify me and I'll gladly credit you.

Friday, October 14, 2011

VI. Internet Security

The Internet is a vast space containing lots of personal or sensitive information. No doubt it is a very convenient medium for our transactions or information storage, but there are also many dangers lurking around.


(image taken from securityportal.co.za)


Malware can easily invade our computers and cause irreversible damage to the system. Although many may be childish pranks, there are some which are intentionally malicious.


(image taken from telegraph.co.uk)
Phishing is yet another threat that Internet users face. Phishers send scam emails to potential victims and direct them to pseudo websites that will capture the victims' personal information, such as log-in IDs and passwords of their internet banking accounts.
So, preventing identity theft and malicious attacks is very important for Internet users. Care must be taken to ensure that any web page that you visit is legitimate and secure. Installing anti-virus programs would also be helpful.
What measures do you take to ensure Internet security while you browse?

Friday, September 30, 2011

V. E-Learning

I remember slightly more than a decade ago, computers were just being added into our schools' education regimes. Before that, teachers were just relying on the white board, and the overhead projector. When computer lab sessions were introduced into the curriculum, everyone looked forward to them.
(image taken from theappslab.com)

 
It makes perfect sense, as using computers and the various softwares aimed at facilitating our learning, was definitely a lot more interesting than mere paper and pen. The usual physical materials that teachers used paled in comparison to the computer softwares; things were less mundane while using computers.


Compare it to how we use computers and the Internet in our education today. It has become so easy for us to gain access to information around the world (web). For superficial understanding, we go to search engines (eg Google), or wiki pages. For academic research in universities, we can access online databases which would direct us to specific journal content.


How has the Internet impacted your learning?

Friday, September 23, 2011

IV. Doing Business Online

How many of you have shopped online before?


I personally have, though on rare occasions. I prefer to have seen and felt the actual product before deciding to purchase it. But I have also bought stuff from websites that do not have physical brick-and-mortar shops too.


(image taken from topnews.com.sg)
 


Amazon is one e-business that everyone must be familiar with. It houses millions of titles on the cyberspace, which is an excellent strategy. Without the restrictions of a physical shop front, the cost of maintaining the business is drastically reduced.


(image taken from gandagilbert.blogspot.com)



Blogshops are also rampant in Singapore. Besides offering more choices for shoppers, many of their products are also sold at lower prices than physical shops. Hence, they are very popular among students in particular.


Have you set up any online businesses before? If not, do feel free to share your shopping experience too!

Friday, September 16, 2011

III. Online Social Networking

(image taken from relativitycorp.com)
 




Many people are into online social networking these days. From the earlier Friendster (and its predescessors) to Myspace to Facebook and Twitter, everyone is sharing their thoughts and photos with each other.


(image taken from lifehack.org)



I was paranoid about sharing information with other people on social networking sites. To be honest, it was only a year ago that my Facebook account was created. Immediately after its creation, I privatized it and checked many settings to ensure my privacy.


Is your Facebook (or any other social networking site) account public or private? How much personal information do you share on these sites?


I believe that while it is fun to network with other people online, security must be a top priority for Internet users. Be careful of sharing sensitive information!

Friday, September 9, 2011

II. Online Social Media

Here are some videos to kickstart today's discussion.


Social Media Explained Visually (by SayItVisually)




Social media is a huge part of our Internet experience. Youtube is one popular platform, and is the 4th greatest search engine on the Internet. Other popular social media platforms include Tumblr and Flickr.


Social media makes our lives more interesting because we can see what's going on in other people's lives. It is also an alternative platform for learning more about a certain topic. For example, if I am interested in cooking, I may search for cooking demonstration videos on Youtube. Or if I am interested in photography, I may visit Flickr and search for inspiration there.


What do you use social media for?

Friday, September 2, 2011

I. Prelude

I suppose the Internet is no stranger to the majority of us. We were born in the infocomm technology age. We grew up with computers and handphones. We are now connected to each other 24/7.
We are the internet (adapted from "wearetheweb.org").

It seems that an introduction about anything almost always have to include a history component, yeah? But I shan't go into details about it. Let's just make it optional, so here's a video about the history of the Internet for interested parties.

History of the Internet by picolsigns


And here's one more video about how the Internet works.


World Wide Web in Plain English by leelefever

When we speak of the Internet, we cannot isolate it from greater issues such as the digital divide, which exists between the developed and the developing nations, as well as between more affluent and poorer citizens in each country (albeit to a much milder extent). The 80/20 rule was mentioned in class.



The 80/20 rule (also known as the Pareto principle, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) predicts that ~80% of effects result from ~20% of the causes in many events. This principle is more commonly encountered in business, but can also be applied to technology and the Internet.

The Internet is a very vast space, and there are currently no less than 11.5 billion websites existing (statistic taken from WorldWideWebSize.com, retrieved 1 September 2011). But how many of them do we visit, or even are aware of? Just a very small fraction of that number, no doubt.


This is just a brief insight to how huge the Internet is, and there will definitely be more features that we will explore in this blog. Keep on reading, folks!