Internet Communications – By Angela Randall

An exploration of internet communications

Module 3: Web 2.0

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I use a lot of web 2.0 stuff. I guess my definition is anything that allows for easy information sharing between websites. Take for instance all the stuff in my sidebar or my Myspace page or my blog. All of that is content that’s generated elsewhere, but I can easily share it anywhere. All my pictures (via Flickr), music taste (via and iLike), bookmarks (via delicious), twitter updates, feeds of my other blogs (via feedburner), travel destinations (via 43 places), to do lists (via 43 things or remember the milk), Flixter movie ratings, the meebo chat widget etc.

The point is in the off-site content generation. These widgets just display what’s being generated elsewhere. It’s far more useful than written html because it gets updated as you change things elsewhere. I don’t need to keep adding my favourite links, photos or music because the widget will do it for me. Tis teh awesome.


Written by Angela Randall

April 18, 2008 at 9:53 pm

Posted in module 3, tasks

Module 3: Blogs Task

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This task is asking me to write about blogs, hmm. I’ve been keeping my personal blog for about six years. I’ve gradually added to it, adding web2.0 stuff to the sidebar(s), changing the layout and, of course, adding semi-regular blog posts. At some point I realised that there were quite a few people reading the blog, so the more private entries ended up in locked posts over at livejournal. I also got involved in some group blogs, some semi-professional blogs of my own. I even tried to make money from blogging. But, you know? That’s hard and damned annoying. If it happens then let it happen. If not, don’t worry about it.

I guess, along the way I managed to meet lots of people and learn a lot about blogs, web 2.0 and social networking.

What’s weird is that now I barely bother reading any blogs other than my friend’s blogs. I still have piles of rss subscriptions waiting for me to read them sometime.. but mostly I find them quite boring. Everyone’s out to make money and they’re sacrificing post quality for post quantity.

I changed strategies so I only read posts that made it to top posts for delicious, digg or reddit. But then even they got bland.. because all the boring blog-for-money people are out gaming the systems so they make it to the top. Maybe I’m too harsh, though. Sometimes I do see some gems that way.

For a taste of what I mean by the top posts of everywhere, take a look at It’s a fantastic way to quickly see what’s interesting on the net today.

But some of the old favourite blogs I will go back to on occasion are: and

Written by Angela Randall

April 18, 2008 at 8:18 am

Posted in module 3, tasks

Module 3: FTP Task

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The ftp task was very straightforward. Upload your website to your student oasis page via ftp. So, here it is:

Unfortunately, this can only be accessed from within Curtin or via the VPN. But, hey. 😀

Written by Angela Randall

April 18, 2008 at 7:49 am

Posted in module 3, tasks

Web Based IRC!

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Thanks to Mashable’s post on Mibbit I’ve found something I’ve wanted for a really long time – Web Based IRC! Fantastic! Mibbit looks great. 🙂

Written by Angela Randall

April 14, 2008 at 1:58 am

Posted in links, News

IM for Introverts

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My husband sent me this article on instant messaging for introverts saying “So that’s why I never log into facebook” and it got me thinking. I thought I would share my response with the class:

This is because you are introverted, don’t like to multi-task and you see all of these things as something that takes effort.

For myself, I agree a bit, but I guess I’m sort of different again. Still introverted, but different.

By updating twitter etc I feel as if I can go back to my solitude, but I’ve kept my friends in the loop. Same with IM – I can chat a little if I feel like it, but essentially I’m at home by myself or whatever.

I used to use it more often when living by myself so that I didn’t drop entirely out of the loop. These days I use it when I don’t mind some distraction. When I’m kind of ill, or off work but not trying to study. Or if I’m at work and WANT a distraction to make the day go quicker.

But I think the difference is in the attitude to IM and twitter as an interruption. I can ignore it. Just because I’m logged in doesn’t mean I’m at the computer. And most of my friends know that. I’ll respond when I feel like it. In that way it’s exactly like email.. only the conversation can go quicker if both parties feel like it. I see them all as another sort of email/asynchronous chat and I make the IM notifications as un-noticeable as possible.

In fact, I think most of my friends that use IM are similar. We all love being at home by ourselves, with an occasional communication with our friends via IM or whatever just to reassure us all that we ARE still friends. Then we go back to being alone. It’s perfection. We all still have friends to party with when we want them.

I therefore see IM and facebook as the tool of the introverted.

You’re just a different breed. 🙂

Written by Angela Randall

April 8, 2008 at 10:09 pm

Posted in module 2, News

Module 2: Chat with Classmate

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When I finally found a classmate online to chat to it was Peter Drewer. We went through all the usual topics: study, work, travel and religion.. only to find that he knew my ex-stepdad from 20 years ago. Go Adelaide. 😀

Anyway, we were chatting for a good 2 1/2 hours, so I’ll only cut and paste a teensy bit of the log.


[11:13] PeterDrewer: So, what is your preferred chat tool?
[11:14] PeterDrewer: We are supposed to discuss the relative merits etc…
[11:15] 54770840: oh yeha..
[11:15] PeterDrewer: I find typing a bit tedious – for a one-on-one I’d much rather use the phone
[11:15] 54770840: Hmm. Tricky to answer
[11:16] 54770840: Ah, but you couldn’t chat on the phone while you’re at work (most of the time)
[11:17] 54770840: All messaging is a good way of chatting with semi-asynchronistic style
[11:17] PeterDrewer: Yes, I can see how it could be useful for a ‘slower than real time’ session – long pauses of half hour or more over the phone could be a bit weird
Chat could be useful for collaboration/brainstorming – sort of a poor man’s conferencing
[11:17] 54770840: I know I’m chatting to you, yet I can get on with my work between messages
[11:18] PeterDrewer: Am I that slow?
[11:18] 54770840: heh no
[11:18] 54770840: But I’ve managed to fit in quite a bit of work
[11:18] PeterDrewer: That’s OK – yes would have been fine
[11:18] 54770840: no..
[11:18] 54770840: heh
[11:18] 54770840: It’s not so much the speed of the response that counts
[11:18] PeterDrewer: What are you supposed to be working on at the moment
[11:19] 54770840: I’m editing educational material, putting it in XML and uploading it
[11:20] PeterDrewer: I manage our own super fund, so I’m keeping an eye on the sharemarket most mornings
[11:20] 54770840: That’s cool 🙂
[11:20] PeterDrewer: Are you with the SA Education dept then?
[11:20] 54770840: Nope. A small place
[11:20] 54770840: ugh typo
[11:21] PeterDrewer: OK – That’s fine – not everyone can work for the govt – someone has to pay real taxes
[11:21] 54770840: Hah, True
[11:22] 54770840: Most people haven’t heard of us. We mainly do TAFE material at the moment
[11:22] 54770840: We tend to market lecturers rather than students
[11:23] PeterDrewer: Yes, I can see a need for that – it would pretty tough cranking out the material if you were a lecturer
[11:24] PeterDrewer: Typo – sorry
[11:24] PeterDrewer: Is someone monitoring your diligence at the moment?
[11:25] 54770840: Not exactly
[11:25] 54770840: We are trusted to not overdo the messaging
[11:25] 54770840: This is probably the longest conversation I’ve ever had while at work
[11:26] PeterDrewer: Getting back to retirement for a brief moment – it’s a bit weird – I don’t feel old, but then I am; and despite theoretically having all the time at my disposal, there just aren’t enough hours in the day
[11:26] PeterDrewer: Re the length of the chat, is work supporting you education program?
[11:26] 54770840: Anyway, I was trying to redeem myself on the timing of responses front: I presume that you are doing other things on your computer while you chat to me.
[11:28] 54770840: This means that I feel comfortable doing work between your messages as it’s not likely to impact things too much. That’s all I mean. Not that you’re slow!
[11:28] 54770840: Re retirement: Why feel old? You’re just getting started
[11:29] PeterDrewer: Sort of – I’m not really all that great at multitasking – I honestly think that women are better at that – part of the evolutionary process – men just had to worry about themselves and hunting (i.e. playing); whereas the women had to keep things together, keep an eye on on all the kids etc
[11:29] 54770840: re chat length: No. I am paying for it myself and I do it in my own time
[11:29] 54770840: OH.. Sorry then
[11:29] PeterDrewer: Don’t worry – it’s honestly not a problem!
[11:31] PeterDrewer: Actually, I don’t _feel_ old – that’s just the reality of it; but then I kid myself that age is just a mental thing
[11:32] 54770840: People stay mentally young as long as they want to
[11:32] PeterDrewer: Well, I’m trying real hard…
[11:32] 54770840: I’ve seen 98 year olds healthier and younger acting than 40 year olds
[11:34] PeterDrewer: My Mother is 96, and she still has all her marbles, but is (and always was) totally non-technological; she was a schoolteacher
[11:36] PeterDrewer: Do you use chat for work too? If so, I presume that it is not ICQ
[11:36] 54770840: Not really
[11:37] 54770840: Almost everyone in my office is on their preferred chat client (now) but we don’t use it for work
[11:37] PeterDrewer: Compatibility (non) between some of the chat tools/servers could be a problem
[11:37] 54770840: We need the excuse to go stretch our legs occasionally
[11:37] PeterDrewer: What do most people use, do you think?
[11:38] 54770840: Most young people use MSN
[11:38] 54770840: Most geeks I know use ICQ
[11:38] PeterDrewer: OK – I can sort of understand that
[11:38] 54770840: Anyone who uses gmail uses gmail chat (which is jabber)
[11:39] PeterDrewer: I do have a gmail acct, but wasn’t really aware that they offer chat too
[11:40] PeterDrewer: I had a chat with myself the other day (exciting!) – one end was MSN and the other Yahoo
[11:40] 54770840: Well, ICQ has been around longer. And since people can use clients like trillian or meebo to log in to everything they figure they people can use one of them to chat to them. And some of them have moral objections to msn
[11:40] 54770840: OH and mac users seem to be addicted to AIM
[11:40] PeterDrewer: I gather that several in NET11 are using Pidgin
[11:40] 54770840: yup. Also very useful
[11:41] 54770840: re gmail: Yup. Look on the left and activate it

Written by Angela Randall

April 8, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Posted in module 2, tasks

Module 3: WWW Standards

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So, my 5 best rules for writing online? Hmm.

  1. Be honest & be yourself. If everyone wrote like a text book the internet would be a truly boring place. Text limits the amount of personality you can show, so you have to be a little inventive when expressing yourself.
  2. Don’t ever write anything online you’d be upset with your boss, grandmother or the police finding. Someone unlikely will find it one day. If you’re not sure JUST DON’T DO IT. Same goes for photos etc.
  3. Similarly to point two, and possibly conversely to point one, try to use language and grammar correctly. If a potential employer looks at your blog to find that you misuse their/they’re/there they probably won’t hire you for anything other than their cleaner. This is public and it will haunt you forever, so do your best.
  4. Brighten things up with pictures and video. Explore the internet for free stuff and work out ways to make your writing more appealing.
  5. Don’t copy other people’s work. This goes for writing as well as photos and other media. If you really want to show off someone else’s work then link to them and give them some kudos.

Written by Angela Randall

April 2, 2008 at 11:32 pm

Posted in 1, module 3, tasks