Sunday, April 13, 2008


RSS, what is it? The first time I heard someone speaking about this was at a conference that I was attending for my job, the topic of the conference was integrating technology into the classroom. The gentleman giving the first presentation of the day was talking about RSS and I was under the impression from his description that it was a form of podcasting, you could subscribe to a site and lectures, news, entertainment, and etc. would be downloaded automatically onto your Ipod. I subscribed to one site and it was a daily literature lesson and after listening to the second which put me to sleep, I cancelled that subscription and did not pay anymore attention to what I thought was RSS.
When I read the Wikpedia definition and realized that it stood for Really Simple Syndication, I continued reading and learned how it really works. I was excited to learn from both the Wikpedia and video link provided on how RSS really functions.
I had created a Google account so I logged and went to the reader function and I immediately went to and subscribed to the MLB baseball subscription. It took about thirty seconds for me to realize that I like the news coming to me instead of going and looking for it.
I have now added more RSS feeds and I have even started sharing some of the feeds I receive with others. I know I have only scratched the surface of this but I can definitely agree with others that this is very addictive.

Video: RSS in Plain English. Lee Lefever.
Wikpedia: RSS definition.
What is RSS. RSS explained.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Second Life

When I first read the article 'Your Second Life Is Ready' by Murdoch, Hall, and Getty, I realized that there was a whole new world of what I called gaming. I was familiar with the World of Warcraft and the other online games and never really thought much of wasting my time on these sites. That was until I loaded Second Life and started navigating around the site. Once I completed the first four required tasks, I started flying my avatar around, as shown in the picture. I found that this game if you want to call it that, was very entertaining. Soon I found or I should say they found me and I was making friends. The chat feature was nice and I soon realized that more than an hour had gone by. I don't know if this is really the best use of my time at this point. I have kids to feed and a wife that I want to spend real time with plus the many other aspects of having a family. I know this game or world could get very addictive very quickly and I could see myself escaping the real world to play around in this second world. I will visit this online escape from time to time just to see what different roles I can play and discover. I am amazed at the many aspects of it. The one thing that did creep me out was the way naked people seem to come and go. Just a tad weird for me.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Web 2.0

This weeks assignment was informative and educational. I have been learning many things about the web 2.0 movement. The web 2.0 movement caught me almost by accident. I have learned about these sites from other people who were using the tools in a variety of means. I have been excited with the creation and ablities that they have to offer. There are several websites that I would like to share. The first two are not in the list given, but I thought they were important. I find that google, has many features other than helping to search for information. There is a feature called 'documents' that I found and use as a great way of communicating and collaborting with others. I am able to upload and download different documents and work with other individuals without having to meet and work on one computer. I can create a document, another individual may then log in and modify and then save the changes so I can view them. It has allowed for great flexibility and productivity.
The second website that I have found and used recently is 'Myfamily', My wife and I have set this site up as a way to communicate among both sides of our family. It is a very interactive site that has allowed for a lot of uun and a great way to stay involved with both of our families. Since our families are spread throughout the country, it is a great way to see what is happening and not miss out on many of lifes exciting moments.
I visited the 'Twitter', site and set up my account. I am not sure how I will use this site to my benefit yet. I am sure I will integrate it as another way to stay in contact with friends and family. I use Myspace as a way of communicating but I like how Twitter has the instant ability to send a text message to ones phone. That could be fun.
In the 'flickr' site I uploaded a picture that I took. I started looking around this site and wondered how I might use it. I like to take pictures of a variety of subjects and thought this would be a great way to get opinions from other people and help improve my photography skills., this is the picture that I posted, please let me know what you think.
I read other students entries on the discussion board and this article that one student used was a great way to help explain the differences in web 1.0 to web 2.0. I really enjoy the direction of web 2.0 and I would like to incorporate into the lives of my family and friends and hopefully they will be able to see the benefits that I have.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Urban Legends have fascinated me for quite some time. I relate urban legends to ghost stories told around the campfire, it leaves me wondering as to whether there is truth or not in these stories. With the advent of Photoshop and other photo enhancing products, pictures that are now circulating the web and email have drawn my attention to as whether or not they are real.
One of the websites that I visit is I find that I can usually decipher whether a current legend or rumor I have heard is true or not. For example, I heard on the radio and the announcer was serious, that if you were ever to be forced to withdraw money from your account via an ATM, that you could enter your PIN backwards and it would immediately dispatch the police to your location and still give you the money. This turned out to be false and being the information was given out via the radio, how many people could have and did receive bad information? A quick check of this website as well as others could have cleared this up.
So, what exactly is an urban legend? According to, an urban legend are "stories that are either funny and/or contain horrifying content that may or may not be true. They spread quickly, and often have many different variants." This site also provides great information on current urban legends and their origins. They give great information on how to verify concerns you may have regarding these urban legends. For example, there was a rumor circulating that UPS uniforms were being purchased and used by terrorists. This rumor was deemed false and the site even gave phone number to UPS if a reader had a concern.
Urban legends have fascinated me for as long as I can remember. I know I spend more time than I should reading this sites, but there are probably a lot worse things I could be doing.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Spam, and I am not talking about the delicous Hormel deicacy that comes in a can. I am talking about Spam, the unsolicitated emails that seem to arrive by the hundreds in my inbox everyday. If you are like me, spam has caused me to miss important emails that I have deleted thinking they are spam. Spam has forced me to that point, if I don't recognize who an email is from it goes straight to the garbage and then deleted.
Another issue I have recently run into with spam is how certain internet providers like AOL automatically direct emails to the 'junk' folder. Part of my job is to email an electronic newsletter on a weekly basis to approximately 900 employees. I do not have time to try and take the many calls from the employees who do not get the newsletter and determine why they are not receiving it. This is a direct impact caused by spam that forces many internet providers and email services to direct the alleged spam away from the users. This has become a very frustrating aspect of emailing as a form of communication. This is also why I believe in the Boulder Pledge.
One of the site's I visit is It provides a nice amount of information on the fight against spam.

Hazen,Scott.(2008). Fight Spam On The Internet. Retrieved February 3, 2008.