Reading Response: September 14

“Mashups: The new breed of Web app, An introduction to mashups” Duane Merrill
This reading really helped me to further grasp the technical side of a “mash-up.”  Although I was aware of these applications, I did not consider that it was turning into a genre.  Mashups was discussed to be found in mapping (locations), video and photo (pictures and info), searches and shopping (finding deals), and news (RSS feeds).  When I think about the sites that I go to on a daily basis, or get directed to by friends, a lot of the ones I find practical, worthwhile or interesting are of the Mashup genre.  To my girl friends, we tend to share a lot of the search engine shopping sites that bring together sales of the day.  One of the first I was introduced to two years ago was Shop It To Me. Other news sites I have seen gather your favorites online news pages and show the latest headlines.  For the most part, this has become an entertainment/interest genre.  Many of these sites are starting to look like reiterations of one another.  I agree when Merrill raises interest to find how “the genre impacts social issues such as fair-use and intellectual property as well as other application domains that integrate data across organizational boundaries.”  We must not stop at what we have already seen the Mashups do, but how it can be used in other contexts rather than personal interests and headlines.
“Calm Technologies 2.0: Visualizing Social Data as an Experience ” Michael Hohl
The term “calm technologies” is ironic because a lot of our experiences with technologies are not calm. In face technology brings much more complication into life. When something breaks, we panic. If we forget our cell phone one day, we panic. In the case that the electricity goes out, we panic.  I was interested to see what Hohl introduces the idea that “calm technologies utilizing information visualization where data is not rendered as graphs, charts, or diagrams on the screen , but as a sensual experience in a physical space.” This is something I relate to and actually agree with. I am very much so a hands on person. I like to be in a space, and get a feeling from it. I react to my surroundings.  I love my computer, I also love being away from it. The examples of projects really bring an awareness to how the notification process of information can give a clue to how much time we actually spend online. It brings a physical visualization into our environment which although not filled with colors, and charting patterns, may have a greater impact since we are able to see, hear or “feel” the data.
“A Manifesto for Networked Objects: Why Things Matter”,  Julian Bleeker
Throughout the discussion of a blogject and how a blogject tracks, traces, embeds history, reveals events, and allows for an exchange in ideas I could not help to think that this is no new technology or idea.  In Kindergarten, I remember learning about the Humpback Whales that migrate to Hawaii every winter to breed in warmer waters. This triggered my memory because we learned about how they track the same whales year to year by the prints on their tail fins. Another animal that is tracked is the green sea turtle. The Hawaii Wildlife Foundation uses this data to learn more about the turtle’s journey. Both of these examples are similar to how a the idea of a blogject was first introduced with the idea of a pigeon. These tracking devices tell histories of where these animals have been. In a certain way I think that my 7×7 project is a type of “blogject.”  The bottles itself contain items that track what I did that day, my experiences and reactions. It is a type of personal mapping that I will always have to look back to if I wanted to re-live this past week.
Grey Album Producer Danger Mouse Explains How He Did It
I heard the Grey Album before, but I did not know the back story of who did it and how.  This article is just one way to showcase how much time an artist or designer puts into a successful piece of work.  When someone is good at something, they make it look easy. The final product is seamless because they are highly qualified or worked hard to do their job. In this case, I never put a second thought into The Grey Album, and how difficult it was to produce.  Reading about how Danger Mouse had to deconstruct each song and break down the musical beats, I started to appreciate the album a lot more.  To know that he paid attention to every detail brings more value to the work.  The fact that it was controversial, but he continued makes it better.  With anything a person creates, they must do it because they want to, not because they are told to. “I just made sure it was something I would dig myself.” –Danger Mouse

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