Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mark Zuckerberg: You're an amazing genius but I kind of hate you

This post was inspired by the Social Network,to avoid movie spoilers scroll past the picture. The gist remains: Mark Zuckerberg created one of the most efficient social tools for the public and media. However his creation completely changed how people socialize with one another, for better or worse.
Case in point:
Zuckerberg's business partner, Eduardo Severin, is fighting with his girlfriend:
"Why are you still single on Facebook?
I-I was single when I created it!
I think a lot of people's reactions would be:

A lot of this sounds trivial and immature right?
Well..hold on a beat....
 The Social Network may have convinced people that Zuckerberg is a jerk. But the movie also portrays how genius he is. Once upon a time Zuckerberg and Severin created a social networking site for Harvard students to use to their advantage for dating opportunities. Now Facebook has over 600 million registered users. As mentioned in the movie, Bosnia is part of the Facebook generation, regardless if they have working roads or not.
On the down side Facebook has replaced communication in so many ways. So far I have noticed it's a bigger deal on Facebook as opposed to offline:
  • When people get into a relationship, going from single to in a relationship
  • When people break up, going from in a relationship to single
  • When someone gets a new job/internship offer
  • When someone is fired from a job and etc.
  • When people get into a fight or have an ongoing issue
  • When deleting people is a fate worse than death; losing them in real life is forgotten as long as you stay Facebook friends
The sad part is everyone goes on Facebook to update their newest success or tragedy. Venting, celebrating and talking to people offline seems to come in second place. A lot of voice is lost and replaced by assumptions and fake appearances. I doubt I'm the only one who has witnessed a seemingly casual Facebok status turn into a fight between other people through comments.When a Facebook fight breaks out, you pull up a chair and read. Sometimes with popcorn.
Facebook is now a cop out, if you can't face someone offline you can with your computer screen. Not to mention it has become a part of everyone's daily life, sometimes replacing actual interactions.
Two or more people having a conversation through wall posts...while sitting next to each other in the same room. Someone Facebook messages their roommate with a serious concern..while both are home. Watching your ex/crush like someone else...through Facebook updates. Keeping up with people's lives by Facebook stalking as opposed to talking face-to-face. When someone asks another person what is wrong, their reply could very well be "It's a long story. Go on Facebook for all the details."
You know, I'm pretty sure if you took Facebook out of the equation all these situations would be just as likely to happen offline. With the painful awkwardness intact. I remember those days. I even miss those days. Raise your hand if you agree? (Or even better, leave a comment)
 In the end, I would like to recognize that I believe Zuckerberg is one of the most innovative 26-year-olds out there. But I also kind of hate him. Facebook is in, communication is out. So much for the old days.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy Fifth Birthday, Twitter!

Tweet hear those sounds?
Twitter celebrates its fifth birthday today. I've taken a break from my photoblog but I'm back. Right now I'm on spring break and have no SLR camera in my grasp. I'm done with photojournalism class but plan to continue posting photos. However, for today, I would like to open Twitter to discussion.
I must admit, when I first heard of Twitter I was hesitant. 140 characters? A profile consisting of statuses only? I didn't think 140 characters would limit statuses I often saw on Facebook..such as "I'm going to eat a burrito now" or "I am sooooo drunklgiy3w6r83". I was confident I'd see less ranting statuses however.
Atleast on Twitter other people's awkward drama would show up in repeat statuses right? And hopefully get lost among your other followers and their tweets?
I've had my Twitter for about two years and I'm impressed. It's more than a social network. Twitter is news..which can sometimes be real or fake.
I've seen multiple death hoaxes since joining. Or otherwise fake rumors. Who has the most followers: Lady Gaga or CNN/Fox News combined? Don't get me started on Charlie Sheen.
On a more positive note Twitter is its own news outlet. I found about the U.S. bombing Libya on Twitter. When a US Airwars airplane crashed into the Hudson pictures were uploaded to Twitter from nearby ferry passengers. Egyptians fighting for their freedom used Twitter as their platform under dire circumstances. I'd have to say Twitter has come a long way since hatching five years ago.
Twitter and Facebook have become media outlets. Who is next? Tumblr, Plurk wanna step up and follow in this powerful stead?
I will toast to Twitter tonight: enjoy 5 more years of followers, breaking news and tweets. However after the clock strikes midnight I am back to Facebook stalking.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Picture Story: Woods Coffee

Our last assignment: the picture story. I wanted to do mine at a location. I was torn between Boulevard Park's boardwalk or the Arboretum lookout tower. However the boardwalk has been overdone and I was too lazy to hike to the lookout a few times a week. Then I thought of my latest addiction. My brain connected it to one of Bellingham's most popular coffee shops: Woods Coffee. The franchise is slowly extended with 10 locations and steady popularity. My story angle was going to be their sculpture design contest but that fell through. If this were to be a story it'd be based on Woods Viking Blend, a roast coffee specifically made for the Western and local community.
Things I learned from this:
5Ds are still better than 20Ds.
I need to tweak shutter speed, aperture and ISO to my definition of perfect.
Taking pictures of something coffee related was fun.
Taking outside shots in windy rain is a challenge and recipe for bad hair.
I managed to avoid spilling coffee on school equipment. Is my Nobel Peace Prize coming in the mail?
Brianna Clemen, 20, studies at Woods underneath a display of subdued excitement. Her friends Will Luce and George Watrous, 20 and 21, join her.
Woods Coffee added their 10th location, the Flatiron Prospect, in Jan. 2011.
Miette Dahlgren, 21, enjoys visiting Woods once a week to study.
Woods has a Viking Blend, which is a darker toast with all proceeds going to Western., says Woods music coordinator  Seth Overby.
Jessica Mecknee and Andy Stromberg, 31 and 29, like to meet at Woods with friends. Stromberg lives down the street from the Flatiron location.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Oh my...Coffee and Man Pies!

Cutline: Lindsey Bear, 21, works at Man Pies Wednesday afternoon. “Man Pies sales started out busy then slowed down, now we sell a steady amount,” Bear said

Stephanie Allen, 21, poses to illustrate how much money college students spend on caffeine.

I mixed up my assignment and shot both a cutline and photo illutstration. Most newspapers use a cutline as an interesting photo (such as Western Front's second page). The photo doesn't need action but an underlying theme or story should be present. I chose the Man Pies food stand on vendors row because of their decision to open a branch on Western's campus.
I decided to do a photo illustration of how much $ college students spend on coffee. Being recently addicted myself I witnessed irony get the best of me. I only had about $11 in cash and couldn't find any fake/toy money. Also my flames were not as cool as what I could've done in Photoshop or with a real lighter. A photo illustration can be posed and I was able to use a friend. 
I know from experience that buying coffee a couple times a week is pricey. Do I care? Not really. I still buy my mochas. Addiction or not, caffeine is something millions of people are willing to spend money on. Hence why I filled three grande Starbucks cups with cash and put little caps in front to demonstrate the flames as my friend, Stephanie, pretends to sip coffee in the background
The things I learned from this assignment? 
1. I CAN slack off a bit. Instead of using crayons to draw flames on cup tops I could've used Photoshop. Oh technology how I avoid you sometimes. Nostalgia got the best of me when I decided to be a kid again and use Crayola.
2. Finding a good window seat at Viking Commons is about as possible as finding a green pebble in grass. Try it sometime. Lighting also plays an important factor. A rainy day was better than sunny because I didn't have glaring light interfering with the photo.
3. Good lighting in the Humanities building on campus is unspoken of.
4. 5D cameras are better than 20Ds.