Reading Responses

Mashups: The new breed of Web app
An introduction to mashups
by Duane Merrill
I had no prior knowledge of what mashups were, and when I read this article, it was made a little more clear how most of the sites that I visit are technically mashups. Sites that come to mind include ebaumsworld, Newgrounds, and content providers such as AOL, Huffington Post, Something Awful,, and so on.

I think though, the actual defining of why these were mash ups, and what makes them effective mash ups is somewhat unclear. Personally, I think it would have been more effective to link to examples that clearly illustrate what mash ups are. Fortunately, I used google to look at some good examples of mash ups I was actually a little disappointed the article didn’t do this.

Why Things Matter
by Julian Bleecker
At 17 pages, this was the longest read, but it was interesting in certain parts, and I think confusing in others. I think Bleecker has a lot of interesting ideas about Web 2.0 and it’s capabilities, but has a hard time explaining or formulating an idea on how these Blogjects, Splimey or “Pigeons that blog” will change the landscape or how they’re already here. He explains how certain everyday things are “blogjects” but why are these things “Blogjects”. Is it certain characteristics? Can an RSS Feeder be a blogject? Or a banner?

“Calm Technologies 2.0: Visualising Social Data as an Experience in Physical Space”
by Michael Hohl
I was ready to quit on this reading and walk away in anger, especially when he began with “Technology weaving itself into our everyday lives”, because this is a pretty huge brushstroke of a statement in and of itself (to whom? which classes of people? Because there are dead zones all over this country, not everyone can even get internet access in certain parts of this country ) but I decided to give it a chance. It, frankly, didn’t get that much better.

I feel like the qualities and faults of this reading are qualities that are inherent in the digital/coding world right now, which is a seemingly disconnect from reality. That might sound hasty or even judgmental, but that’s also the truth. Much like the stock market or big business, not everyone can read this kind of material. These things are not necessities but luxuries, conveniences even. And technology, for people who are able bodied and rely on it for simply being able to “get around” is a convenience, unless your very livelihood depends on it, in which that is exempted. And how you respond to technology is determined largely by class and how much of this technology you’ve been exposed to already. And it may surprise most people in the coding world to realize, not everyone has.

Grey Album Producer Danger Mouse Explains How He Did It
By Corey Moss

I like Danger Mouse and like to hear some interesting music mash ups. It didn’t dawn on me when I was a kid what I was listening to was the musical definition of a “mash up”, I just simply thought it was ‘scratch’ or “remixes”. Anyway, I think this article opened an interesting subject on copyright and how it effects the work of artists. I don’t necessarily find it fair to everyone that they aren’t allowed to express themselves creatively and that limitations should be placed on them, but I also realize that artists try to recoop whatever money they can from owning their own work, and that even for mainstream artists, there is a struggle of ownership as record labels try to claim profits for themselves.

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