Adda21's Blog

Twitter – excuse me?

Posted in Twitter by adda21 on October 4, 2009
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“Twitter” – I must admit, the first time I heard this very word has not occured long ago. Even though I would consider myself to be well active on the Social Web,  it has only been a term for me since I’ve started studying “International Communication and Media”.

Since then, I’ve started to notice more and more people falling in love with this platform. And why not? My first thought after taking a look myself was “it is really, really simple”.  Twitter seems to be the purest and quickest form of social networking, or, if you can call it that…blogging.

Twitter also seems to be the new uniform of the Social Web. Almost every site you visit, be it videos, forums, other networks, everyone is offering to “follow us on Twitter” up front.

Some reports say that social networks such as Facebook or Twitter would reduce the user’s morals and empathy, which studies seem to have rejected.
Meanwhile a psychologists claims that while Facebook strenghtens the short-term memory and thus raise the intelligence of its user, Twitter with its fast style would work counterproductive towards these attributes.

People who critize Twitter often state that they do not want to read about just anybody’s issues online, and that people who would never speak up face to face, go on a rant about whatever comes to their head.

Since most other social platforms also offer opportunities to quick-post spontaneous thoughts, Twitter should just be seen as a combination of that and traditional blogging. If you don’t want to read just anybody’s rants…just avoid them!


The new kind of Role Playing

Posted in Online Games by adda21 on October 4, 2009
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If we talk about the Social Web, one thing that can’t be excluded is the new generation of MMORPGs (Mass-Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). Back then, they were nothing but a more fun alternative to solo or network gaming. But nowadays, they can even be an alternative to life itself.

The most prominent examples are “World Of Warcraft”(Wow), a MMORPG version of the famous strategy-game “Warcraft”, and “Second Life”, a title that speaks for itself.

WoW takes place in a fantasy world. The player can choose from a variety of races and classes, divided into two parties, the Allies and the Horde. Players are able to fight against monsters, each other in duels, or against enemy players. While there is a straight line of quests which everyone can finish, there are also thousands of other things to discover which will all help you to get more expierence, new abilities and better equipment.

The team factor in this game is quite high, as many places should not be encountered alone. But the potential for people to slip into their virtual identity more than their real identity, is also quite high. Especially people who want to escape problems or lack self-confidence tend to seize the opportunity to become mighty respected warriors, and even forget about their friends and family through it.

Second Life, hoewever, takes it even further, displaying almost a copy of the real world, with almost as many opportunities, except that, nothing is real.

Both games have over 10 million players worldwide and cost about 15 dollars a month.

Well, my opinion is, play it if you want, but when the people around you start worrying, listen to them. Please.


Posted in Social Networking by adda21 on September 14, 2009
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Hyves. StudiVz. MeinVz etc. These are the more recent, “national” social platforms in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In Germany, the currently more than 13-million members strong network StudiVz (along with its companion MeinVz), founded by Dennis Bemmann and Ehssan Dariani, has in recent past also been called “StasiVz”.

Stasi, what does that word tell you? Just for better understanding, “Stasi” is a short form for “Staatssicherheit”, the notorious executive force of the former German Democratic Republic.
A less dramatic term which has also been floating around is “Schnüffel”Vz, which, in proper English, means as much as “Sniffing”.

In 2007, when StudiVz counted around 4 million members (notice the amazing increase in 2 years!), people started protesting against the biggest national web platform in Germany.

But please don’t imagine an angry mob in the street; since it was mostly the users themselves, who started deleting information from their pages, setting their profiles to private (even though that unsurprisingly doesn’t hinder the admins from taking a look at your profile), using fake names and photos to represent themselves in this web community, which had become far more than a place to stay “in touch with your friends”.

Why, one may ask, did those people join in the first place. Well, the administrators had dared to change the rules. Actually each and every user had to agree to the new Terms of condition, which “obligates” them to use only “real” information, as well as it allows to use data in certain rare cases of persecution by the law.

So you see, the dark side of the Social Web comes to the surface once more.But why doesn’t it move us that much? Maybe because the platform has gotten so huge that it’s virtually uncontrolable, and people have realized it isn’t posing that much of a surveillance threat. In contrast to for example the constant surveillance in public areas, or even more, a German company (remaining unnamed at this point) which to this day is said to have a database about approximately 50 million German households.