Social Media and Self-Representation: a Selective, Self-Imposed Surveillance

As of late, I have been intensely interested in how people of my general age bracket (25-35) represent themselves online, and why they represent themselves in the ways that they do.  Unfortunately, this post will probably raise more questions than answers, but I hope to begin a dialogue that will enrich our awareness of how social media, self-knowledge, and self-representation intersect. 

At work, my colleagues and I have regular conversations and debates about the usage of Facebook and other social media.  What purpose does it serve?  How do people use it and misuse it?  How much is too much?  My part in the great Facebook debate always turns to how annoying all the blatant self-promotion is that some folks enjoy on one hand, or public self-flagellation on the other.  I am sure, however, that if you went through past status updates you would find that I am guilty of this from time to time as well, almost without awareness. 

New Summer Jams

As summer finally creeps upon us, we have cookouts, porch sitting, cornhole, and a plethora of outdoor activites to look forward to. No one does their favorite summer activities without some summery jams in the background. It's always a good idea to have some chill tunes on the playlist, but if you're looking to bring the party running, then you need to go out and get a copy of the new Beastie Boys album, "Hot Sauce Committee pt. II" (there is no pt. 1). These guys are pushing 50 yrs old and one of them is battling cancer, yet, this albums beats alone could sell it. Lyrically I think it's for sure one of their best since "Ill Communication." If you pick this one up you'll find that once you hear one song, you just won't be able to stop listening. Party friendly, campfire friendly, you can't miss with this album. Attached is a video of their single "Make Some Noise", featuring cameos from all your favorite movie/TV stars of recent years.

Just follow the link, its a Vevo video so I can't embed it. You won't be sorry.

Until next time.

Appalshop's Appalachian Media Institute

There is a wonderful program at Appalshop in Whitesburg, KY called the Appalachian Media Institute that I am excited to have the opportunity to work for this summer.  Appalshop was founded in 1969 as a non-profit multi-media arts and cultural organization dedicated to preserving Appalachian culture as well as addressing the issues that the Appalachian region is confronted with.  They have a community radio station that broadcasts throughout the area as well as internationally streaming on the web.  They have also produced numerous films, some of which were played at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City last fall. 

Check out all that Appalshop has to offer here:

Chromebook, the New Frontier

Look out world; a new way to compute is about to hit the market. On June 15 the Chromebook will go on sale in Best Buy and online.This is a revolution in computing, the Chromebook, developed by Google, boasts of an experience that is simple, secure and almost instant in web computing.

The idea is why do you need programs, any program, when basically everything is available on the web. From office products to photo editors, GoogleChrome offers a wide array of applications that are secure and constantly updated automatically. Google says that one of the best features is that you can get on the Internet in 8 seconds after powering on the device, instead of having to wait for the whole booting up process which can seem like forever. Once you're connected you just choose from many apps that are on your account in a "cloud" and perform all of your computing functions.

Many say this is similar to the Iphone environment, regardless the Chromebook could be a pioneer with this new idea that is still unknown to computer users everywhere.

If you want to watch an introductory video about this you can go to :

Happy computing!

Improving Your Online Experience with Basic Web Design Skills

To say it in short, I love the internet. I think it is a great tool for education and networking, and is just plain fun.  I have even heard that playing around on the internet is actually better for your brain than watching television, so I don’t feel so bad about spending hours on “Stumble Upon” and “Tumblr.”  However, sometimes the internet can also be a daunting place, especially when you realize that you have no idea how it works or how a website is made.  This impacted me even more while working here at Online Ed, because I was expected to troubleshoot Blackboard and other web tools and realized that I didn’t even understand some of the basics of how the interwebs work.  It may seem like something that is far too complicated for a non-techie to understand, but I’ve found that learning about web development is a fun process that is not too difficult, and can help you greatly in all aspects of your internet use.

Unbelievable Stop-Motion Street Art Depiction of the Big Bang

Currently, embedded Vimeo content isn't viewable so click the link below to watch this amazing video. Its a combination of graffiti and found objects used to create a stop-motion depiction of the history of the universe that sprawls over an enitre urban landscape. The foresight, patience, and talent behind this video is truly inspiring, so enjoy!

BIG BANG BIG BOOM - the new wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Will I ever have this much time and this many friends?

Judo at work?

One of my hobbies, which I have just recently begun to practice, is judo.  Most people may be familiar with judo in its Olympic form or heard the name in some campy martial arts flick, but these mainstream representations tend to play down, or completely disregard the nonphysical aspects of judo.  Judo, and all of budo training, is about much more than self defense and throwing people around.  I feel that these principles (the nonphysical, not the throwing people around) can be applied in any aspect of life, particularly the workplace.  One of the fundamental beliefs of judo is that maximum effect should be achieved with minimum effort.  In the actual practice of the martial art this is represented by completing techniques that use your attackers momentum, balance, and strength against him or her, while expending very little of your own.  This probably does not sound very foreign to any financial manager or business owner.  Obviously, it is best to get the most out of a limited supply of resources.

Online Education: A New Job

Starting a new job is rather hard to do.  Most times you don’t know anybody and although you have the skills for this new job, it may be hard to find exactly your place in the team.  Coming into a new job is something that can be very nerve-racking for some people and for people that are shy it can be even worse. 

Luckily, I am neither of those things, and as I started my new job here at Online Education, the rest of the staff here has been very kind to me.  I immediately felt welcomed, as some of the people that have been here for a while have helped to show me the processes and introduced me to some of the other people around the office.  In the first couple of days, as I began to meet people and try to remember everyone’s name, I learned this community is very laid back.  Everybody is serious about the work that needs to be done, but they still have time to say a quick “hello,” or to chat a little about how your day has been going.  The people here at Online Ed have made me feel very welcome. 

Our office is a very helpful place.  It is helpful to professors that are teaching online classes, it is helpful to the students that need to view those classes.  Online Education is a great place to work and a great place if you need help with any online courses.


I had been reading online about how there are “noodles” made out of tofu that are extremely low calorie compared to traditional wheat based noodles.  Essentially, they are a high fiber product pressed into noodle shapes that have no taste of their own but are able to function as pasta under any sauce combination.  While I had read some disappointing reviews about them, there were more than enough people who praised them for me to try them myself.  I finally tried them myself and was amazed.  I tasted nothing negative about them (some people had spoken of a “fishy taste”) and had no problem with the irregularly rubbery texture.  I put them under some alfredo sauce and had a wonderful dinner.   Next I even tried using some of the “rice” product and made a version of Spanish rice.  It was the most awesome thing I had tasted in a while.  It tasted JUST like traditional Spanish rice with a fraction of the calories! It’s a dieter’s dream! I was highly impressed and I cannot wait to try many other combinations.  I am already thinking up several, including: south-west pasta with some cheese, corn, and black beans; pasta with peanut butter sauce, Cajun pasta, and anything else I can wrap my head around.  Any suggestions any one has are highly welcomed!

Levelator Makes Your Podcasts Sound Great, for Free!

So I have been working on some audio tutorials for my fellow Media Mafia members, here at A&S Online Education. I thought I would share one that I think ANYONE can use. Feel free to watch the video to see Levelator in action, or read the instructions below and download it for yourself!

VIDEO:    If the video embed isn't visable, click the link to watch on Vimeo

Levelator Makes Your Voice Recordings Sound Great, for Free! from John Buckman on Vimeo.

Leveling Audio with Levelator (aka, performing Black Magic)

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