jlbeam4's blog

Growing Up Digital

"The bottom line is this: If you understand the Net Generation, you will understand the future. If you're a baby boomer or GenXer: This is your field guide," so says Don Tapscott in his 2009 publication, Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World. This book is one of three textbooks for my Media Arts & Studies 555 course, The Internet and Social Change. Tapscott recognizes how my generation--the Net Generation--is a unique and powerful social shift that is manifesting itself in nearly all aspects of life. The book is divided into chapters that analyze and compare the Net Generation and the Baby Boomers in terms of their cognitive processes, educational structures, the work force, the marketplace, the family unit, and more. The more I read it, the more I find myself agreeing with Tapscott. His argument is based on what he names "Eight Generation Net Norms".

Mix n Mash

My two current internet obsessions are Mashable and Turntable.


According to their website, "Mashable is the largest independent news source dedicated to covering digital culture, social media and technology. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world." Besides the insanely cool and relevant articles, I really like their use of "infographics." Instead of traditional black text on white background articles, These infographics sort of take graphs and charts and mash them up with traditional articles. I think it's a great way to get your information across in a simple and quick manner. These days, no one spends more than a few seconds on a webpage, so getting their attention is paramount. 

Here are some of my favorites: How are people using Twitter?; The Rise of the Mobile Workforce; Social Network Wars.


Missouri Outlaws Student-Teacher Facebook Friendship

I just read this article, entitled, "Missouri Outlaws Student-Teacher Facebook Friendship." Again, it seems like these discussions about social media effects and applications seem to gravitate towards me. But, I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts. As new technologies develop, new laws sprout up governing the use of such technologies. Don't believe me? Is sexting inappropriate? Would making it illegal be an infringement of privacy? What about spam? Shouldn't it be protected under the 1st ammendment? What if the one doing the spamming resides outside the United States? I had the pleasure of exploring these topics a few semesters ago in my Media Law & Regulation class. Neat stuff, right?

Another blog about Facebook? ugh.

Yes....this is probably another blogpost that rants and raves about Facebook, but hear me out. Some of what I do here at the College of Arts & Sciences involves managing social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and Flickr. With that, I have come to see social media's constantly growing potential and powers as it spreads like wildfire all over the Internet. Think about it. While many of us complain about the woes of Facebook and the tendency for us to become distracted and even consumed by it, I believe it to have unlimited potential for evolving forms of social interaction. It's already changing social ettiquete. Remember a few years ago when your professor might have said "...and I am on Facebook." and you thought that was weird? It's becoming commonplace and almost expected now. Consuming news media has shifted from reading a physical newspaper, to reading an online version, and now, many people stay informed by subscribing to various Twitter profiles and receiving updates via their twitter feed.

Lexington's Local Music Scene

I've lived in Lexington my entire life. If there's one thing that has always seemed to ring true through the years about this town it's this: There are so many musicians in this town. With that, some of them decide to publicize their talents, form groups and play for crowds all around town, but you also have those who haven't quite reached the stage or who have been played long under the radar.  Lexington is home to an amazing independent, volunteer-run radio station, a premiere indie music blog, and countless talenteed musicians. Once you start looking, you'll come to find that Lexington's actually a pretty happenin' place, musically speaking.

Last night, I came from work, made a bite to eat and almost settled down into my normal evening routine. I felt bored though, anxious even. There must be something to do, I thought. I found out there was a local bluegrass band playing down at Al's Bar. It made my night. Where else can you guy to hear a bluegrass version of Talking Head's "This Must Be the Place" while munching on delicious sweet potato fries?



Bonding experiences come in many forms. Maybe it's going on a father-son trip or the relationship accumulated with a friend over the years. For me, the result is something I can't quite put into words, but I know it's the there. A certain feeling of mutual closeness through shared experiences and feelings. This weekend, I spent several hours in a recording studio with many people; some friends, some practically strangers. Music's ability to bond one another proved to be very powerful. 

Baby Steps

I walk to work. Everyday. I realize that not everyone has this opportunity, and even when presented with it, often times it is not the most logical or efficient means of commuting. Fortunately for me, walking to work is the best way to commute. Stepping out my door, I stick in my ear buds and within 15 minutes or so, I'm at the office. Walking to work gives me a chance to clear my mind and commute peacefully, not having to deal with rush hour traffic. With the morning sun shining down on me, I know it's going to be a good day - and I haven't even had my first cup of coffee.


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