Crowdsourcing: Teamwork makes the dream work

Crowdsourcing: Teamwork makes the dream work October 18, 2014 Our lecture this week provided us with the following definition for crowdsourcing: Crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call. Crowd funding, a type of crowdsourcing, allows individuals the opportunity to finance projects that they put together through websites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe. People use these websites for a wide variety of things like start up costs for a business, surgeries, recording albums and more. It allows users to put their ideas in front of a great deal of people who are eager and willing to help, in many cases. In the past, I have contributed to different campaigns that people have set up to help pay for funeral expenses for a loved one they had that passed and to help a band get on the road for the summer. In both cases, I was a stranger to these people. So, you never know who will come across your link and want to help you if your project pulls on their heartstrings or they share a common interest. The above image is my friend Natalie Rosado on her last mission trip to Honduras. Quite recently I actually posted a link to Natalie’s funding campaign for her trip to Peru over the winter holidays this year on my blog. Natalie and her sister Rebekah are going to be delivering toys, tooth brushes, socks and shoes to different orphanages in December and they are short...

The outcome of Googling myself

The outcome of Googling myself October 11, 2014 Reputation management was the theme for class this week and now it is time to focus on our assignment–Googling ourselves. In the event that you were unaware, there is also an Australian vocalist named Megan Washington. How rad is that?! Someone that I share a name with also loves music just as much as I do! Anyway, the point of me telling you that is I immediately knew that any type of Google search may be difficult to turn up results on me unless the search terms were very specific. Our directions are to Google our name and email address. I know walking into this that if I do not Google my name and email address together or other specific terms like, “Megan Washington sports,” or “Megan Washington wrestling,” I was not going to get anything back on myself. That other Megan Washington is a pretty cool gal. My Results: I have blurred out search results of irrelevant information or of images that do not belong to me. The video results from the search turned up both MLB Fan Cave videos and video interviews that I have done with musical artists over the years. The most popular images associated with my name and email address were photos that I have taken at concerts, one of myself interviewing former professional baseball player and current ESPN analyst Aaron Boone, one of my head shots, a few photos from different blog entries and an image I had uploaded to Instagram. Surprises: My highest result was my LinkedIn profile and not my Google associated accounts...

Me in 2D!

Me in 2D! October 4, 2014 For class this week our assignment was to evaluate a mobile application on our smartphones. I recently downloaded FaceQ from the Apple App Store after I saw so many people creating cute little 2D versions of themselves. FaceQ is free to download, offered in a long list of languages and will take up 28.5MB on your device. I did some investigating and you are also able to download this application for Android. Blackberry users have also had some success with running the Android application on their phones. If there is one thing that I am terrible at–it’s drawing. Somehow the ideas I have in my head never translate correctly to paper–always a likely story. What I enjoyed about FaceQ is that I had the opportunity to create a “drawing” of myself without having to actually move a pencil around. In the end, I still was able to produce the same result–a fun cartoon! Unlike many apps that are available today, FaceQ does not include any advertising banners on any of its screens. I have never been a fan of the pop up ads that you accidentally click when you are trying to click on a button or link inside of an app–so this was actually refreshing to me! Figure 1. The welcome screen on FaceQ This particular application was a really fun and easy service to use because there was a wide assortment of different features that you could pick for your cartoon self. You had everything from hair styles, hair colors, eyes, lips, noses, outfits and skin tones. The facial features range...

When real life gets boring…

When real life gets boring… September 29, 2014 There is a complete parallel universe out there. Where? The things is, you can’t exactly see it because it’s virtual. It exists somewhere out there in internet coding. This week in class we have been exploring digital ethnography. As explained in our lecture (for those of you who aren’t in class with me but read my blogs), ethnography is a qualitative research method in which the researcher describes and interprets the shared and learned patterns of values, behaviors, beliefs and language of a culture-sharing group (Harris, 1968). So, digital ethnography involves taking all of the research to the web and having human-technology interactions. Before this week I had never heard of Second Life. For this assignment, we needed to jump in and spend some time on SL to learn how to fly, walk, and function in the virtual world. During our readings there were brief explanations for what certain things meant, so I thought I would be prepared well enough to have a basic understanding once I logged on. Boy, was I wrong! My initial log in featured my avatar standing on a beach as I tried to figure out the controls. Suddenly someone else appeared next to me and I could tell that they were trying to learn like I was because their avatar moved in circles. I had the walking around part just fine but I’ll be honest, I was more concerned with the less-than-cute outfit my avatar was wearing. My goal became to transform my avatar to look more like myself but I quickly learned that things in...

This isn’t Family Feud or Miss USA, but the results are in…

This isn’t Family Feud or Miss USA, but the results are in… September 23, 2014 Ernst & Young was not needed for the tabulation of these prestigious results. Over the period of one week, I posted on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook asking my friends who had a spare moment to take this survey for class that is based on the popular opinion of Major League Baseball according to fans. Respondents: 40 Question 1: Are you a fan of Major League Baseball? Yes: 32 (80%) No: 8 (20%) If respondents answered no to question one, they automatically skipped past question two, three and four. Question 2: Where does your League allegiance lie? American League: 20 (63%) National League: 9 (28%) No Allegiance: 3 (9%) Question 3: Which is your favorite National League team? Atlanta Braves: 3 (33%) San Francisco Giants: 2 (22%) New York Mets: 4 (44%) Question 4: Which is your favorite American League team? Oakland A’s: 2 (10%) Houston Astros: 1 (5%) Baltimore Orioles: 2 (10%) Texas Rangers: 1 (5%) Tampa Bay Rays: 4 (20%) Boston Red Sox: 2 (10%) Detroit Tigers: 1 (5%) Minnesota Twins: 1 (5%) New York Yankees: 6 (30%) Question 5: Should pitchers wear protective headgear? Yes: 14 (36%) No: 25 (64%) Total Responses: 39 Question 6: Has Instant Replay helped enhance the game of baseball? Yes: 27 (71%) No: 11 (29%) Total Responses: 38 Question 7: What do you think about MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention & Treatment Program? It’s not very good.: 4 (10%) It’s a good start but it needs improvement.: 29 (74%) It’s great!: 6 (15%) Total Responses: 39 Question 8:...

Asking organized questions with a purpose

Asking organized questions with a purpose September 15, 2014 Survey: [v. ser-vey; n. sur-vey, ser-vey] (1) to take a general or comprehensive view of or appraise, as a situation, area of study, etc. (2) to view in detail, especially to inspect, examine, or appraise formally or officially in order to ascertain condition, value, etc. This week for class, we needed to create a survey. Sounds easy, right? Well, there are a lot of things to consider so please hold off on your, “Yes, that sounds really easy!” comment. What are the benefits to doing a survey? With regards to doing an online survey, it is both time efficient and cost effective. It also allows potential respondents flexibility with when they can participate. Online surveys also help those who are conducting research have less calculation errors since our information is automatically processed. With positives also come negatives. Not everybody has access to the internet so we are limiting ourselves to only those who are present in the digital world. This has the ability to create a bias in our results. We also have to recognize that some potential respondents may have concerns about their privacy, security and anonymity. Things to consider: Will people be replying from a smartphone? Probably. My plan is to send out a link to my survey via social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Many times, people are using these apps on their smartphones so it is very possible that when they click the link to the survey, they will be using their mobile device. How will their technology affect my survey? If potential participants click...