Discussion Post: Week 1

Hello everyone, and once again, welcome to the COM 315 course blog! Let’s get right into things with our first discussion post of the semester — you can feel free to respond to any part or parts of this post, including the additional stories at the end, and you can also make a new post on any relevant topic that I didn’t cover in this post. The same goes for all our other discussion posts over the course of the term.

Our first set of presentations is quickly approaching, so what have you been considering in terms of topics that you and your audience might both find interesting? What sorts of presentations would you like to see a few weeks from now? In what areas do you feel prepared to excel, and where do you think challenges might arise?

Let’s take a look at some of this week’s big headlines. “How’s the weather?” just became a serious question in New York City, where Hurricane Irene has forced a mandatory evacuation of low-lying waterfront areas, such as the financial district in lower Manhattan. The city that never sleeps suddenly has a number of abandoned regions thanks to the hurricane and the first ever mandatory evacuation of these areas; in all, around 270,000 residents have been ordered to leave. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg also ordered that the city’s subway system be shut down from yesterday afternoon through tomorrow, which a spokesperson for the transit system said has only been done twice before. The storm even forced the PGA Tour to cancel the final round of its first 2011 FedEx Cup golf tournament, and Atlantic City all the way in New Jersey is shutting down. Has this storm affected you or your loved ones? Is Hurricane Irene having any effect on professionals within your industry of choice?

Speaking of weather, a recent study that appears to link El Niño to civil war has spurred a debate among scientists about the impact of the weather phenomenon. Solomon M. Hsiang and his colleagues at Columbia University noted that 20% of all civil wars since 1950 could be correlated with El Niño-related heat increases. To put that in different terms, “Tropical conflicts double during El Niño years” according to Quirin Schiermeier of Nature. Of course, not everyone agrees; Halvard Buhaug of Peace Research Institute Oslo, for example, says that the study is merely speculative, since it makes so effort to explain the apparent connection between El Niño heat and civil strife. What do you think about Hsiang et al.’s findings? Do you buy into the idea that these heat waves directly contribute to armed conflicts? Is there something else going on that better connects to both factors? Or does the whole idea sound rather fishy to you? Whether or not you think the findings are spurious, what does this study mean for our understanding of human behavior and of the environment? Furthermore, does the fact that there is such disagreement among scientists surprise you? What does this argument — and the fact that argumentation is necessary — mean for your own work?

If you thought social media was unimportant, you’re officially in the minority. A new report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project says that almost two-thirds of all American internet-using adults — and half of all adults in the U.S. — are now users of Facebook, Twitter, or a similar social network. This trend is also growing among baby boomers, 32% of whom are now social media users. This is a whopping 20% increase from last year. How do you use (or avoid) social networks? Given that they have attained such prevalence in the daily lives of so many, how does that affect the ways in which you interact socially and professionally? What does it mean that so many of us spend so much time on these sites? Is it good that we have such means with which to connect with others, or does it represent some sort of problem?

Finally, we’ll conclude with the obvious story of the week: on Wednesday, Steve Jobs resigned from his position as Apple’s CEO. All three sections of our class have discussed this news to some extent, so I won’t belabor the point with further prompts, but please, feel free to talk further about this hot topic.

That’s all for this discussion post. Feel free, again, to discuss any of the above topics and any of the below stories; you can also make a brand-new post on a subject not addressed here, if you’d like. It’s all fair game, so have at it!

Other articles of interest:
Half of adults in the U.S. could be obese by 2030
Astronomers: We’ve found a planet made of diamond
Black Hole Behemoth Found Guilty of Star’s Murder
Russia likely to suspend space deliveries over loss of Progress freighter
Moon mission to explore Earth’s origins
NASA Robonaut R2 Tweets From Outer Space
Facebook hits 1 trillion page views? Nope.
Apple Just Hired a Notorious iPhone Jailbreak Hacker for an Internship
MasterImage 3D: The best glasses-free 3D technology yet
‘Jurassic Mother’ of Mammals, Humans Discovered in China


59 responses to “Discussion Post: Week 1”

  1. greene4 says :

    Social Networks have become more and more popular as the years increase. Now-a-days I feel as though social networks take away from our communication skills. For instance, children in younger grades have new lingo and now everything is an acronym (i.e. Lol, btw, wyd). This is taking children away from giving better speeches and writing better papers. Another thing I find is the fact that younger children are becoming more involved on social networks. When I was younger a computer was the least of my worries. I wanted to go outside ride my bike, play hide and go seek, and other fun outside activities. Now children are becoming more obese because they aren’t active enough and that’s a problem. On a plus side, having these social networks keeps you up to date with loved ones and friends you aren’t able to talk to like normally. It also provides different sale strategies and promotes businesses better. It’s actually easier to spread the word on these websites than via email and sending mail to the homes. These sites can be beneficial with the process of helping our world GO GREEN! I feel as though that’s the best part. I don’t knock social networks because I’m on Facebook and Twitter and I thoroughly love both. I just would rather it be for a more mature crowd. You have kids who can’t spell or even write in complete sentences trying to be apart of these websites and that’s not cool.

    • meshiach0machshevi says :

      How do I use (or avoid) social networks? Well, I am part of, actively participate in, and extensively use for a great variety of purposes a vast number of nested and overlapping social networks, up to and including the global social network that is humanity. But I don’t think that’s what you meant. I think you meant “how do you use (or avoid) services such as Facebook”. The answer to that question is: like the black death.

      I don’t contend, as greene4 does, that use of the feature set of such services is harmful, far from it. I don’t make any objection to communicating with computers, writing in acronyms, or anything else along these lines. People find the features of social networking websites useful, to begrudge that is just silly.

      What I find so damaging about these services is their proprietary nature; Facebook and its ilk are communication services such that one can only use them to communicate with people using the exact same service. Someone using one social networking website and someone using another can’t communicate with each other. When something as important as the ability to communicate effectively with family friends and acquaintances is at stake, this creates enormous vender lock-in, stifling innovation and leaving people at the mercy of monopolists. Facebook, for example, has used people’s inability to leave while still communicating effectively with their social networks, to get away with trampling on people’s privacy, among other things.

      This matter is reaching crisis level. The social scene of whole societies moving onto the servers of some Palo Alto company under Terms of Service that don’t promise not to disclose people’s data to absolutely anyone and use it for absolutely any purpose they want to, is a calamity anyplace, but in the Middle East and North Africa people are absolutely desperate for social networking tools that resist censorship and surveillance.

      What the world needs right now more than almost anything else is a free and open protocol for rich featured social networking. Think email; I can use gmail.com, you can use purdue.edu, someone else can use hotmail.com, yet another person can run a server in his own basement, and all four of us can communicate seamlessly. That same concept will shortly revolutionize social networking, to the tremendous benefit of everyone.

      There many many such initiatives, (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Distributed_social_network has a pretty good list; I think Friendika and OneSocialWeb are two of the most promising). I know that many people reading this post are sick and tired of Facebook and all their bullshit, and if this describes you, consider taking out one of these libre alternatives out for a spin (http://dir.friendika.com/siteinfo is a good place to start).

    • rudyv12 says :

      I would have to agree that social networking sites have become the norm in today’s society. I would have to disagree in regards to it being the reason people lack in communication skills or grammar. I I believe to some extent that some people allow themselves to be influenced by their surroundings. A product of their environment if you will. I know several people who are able to articulate themselves fairly well on social sites and do not allow others to influence them. The youth are more susceptible to doing what is “cool” or considered the “norm”, but i think it all comes down to the way they are raised. Raise a child for personal success and you will get success. Neglect a child from proper education and allow them to surround themselves with the wrong crowd and the chances of him/her succeeding dwindle drastically.

      • Rebecca Ivic says :

        Well, I think this is a good point. Consider the sociodemographics of someone; that’s naturally going to influence their behavior on a social networking site. In fact, it’d be hard to escape that behavior. Does holding a higher education result in social networking activities to be more eloquent in decorum? I’m not sure- I’ve seen plenty of university students and know multiple friends who prefer to abbreviate their online behavior. You raise a lot of good questions…

  2. jamoliah says :

    I think there is definitely a relationship between El Niño and civil war. Generally speaking, wars start because of economic issues, ideological conflicts, or general power hunger. El Niño causes environmental changes that have intense effects on the tropical regions. Warm water moves to replace cold water in the sea, disrupting fishing and food supplies. Heavy rain seasons cause flooding and huge increases in mosquito transmitted diseases. These situations leave tropical residents hungry, homeless, jobless, and fearing the effects of malaria. This type of situations readily creates angst and leaves the masses wondering why their government isn’t doing more. Combine all of that with a few power hungry or unstable militants and you have the perfect storm for a coup d’etat or civil war.

    On a lighter note… I was thinking about presenting on Liberty Mutual’s internship program. It certainly occupied a lot of my time this summer, and might be an interesting prospect for college students.

    • Rebecca Ivic says :

      What a neat internship- maybe you can make a post about your experiences sometime for those that don’t share the class with you? I’d be really interested!

  3. falkhali says :

    The recent hurricane Irene, which was downgraded to a tropical storm, has left New York City in complete disarray and leaving many stores to shut down and board up their windows. You can see just how the stores were barricaded from the floods:


    It’s a relief to know that there wasn’t any serious damage done to the city or it’s people, and that hopefully things return to normal soon.

    In addition to this week’s earlier events regarding Steve Job’s resignation, personally I think that we won’t see any serious reprecussions any time soon. Tim Cook (Job’s replacement) has done an impeccable job in the past and I believe will still continue to follow Job’s vision for the company, not to mention Jobs still remains the chairman of the board and will probably still be involved with some of Apple’s innovations.

    What has come out of his resignation is a lot of fan tributes for Steve Job’s hard work over the past 13 years. One fan ran 21km around Tokyo to map out an Apple logo, which can be seen in the link below:


  4. Chelsea Berryman says :

    Steve Jobs resigned as the CEO of Apple, but that doesn’t mean he is really leaving Apple. He’s just leaving that position, and continue his efforts in serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration. I believe if he left Apple, not only would stocks go down, but Apple as a whole would not be the success it once was.

    • Rebecca Ivic says :

      Good point, Chelsea. I think Apple’s stocks would drop as well, but that’s largely because I can’t really imagine Apple without the huge branding of Steve Jobs. It’ll certainly be interesting to see what happens in the coming years!

  5. Derek Stewart says :

    As I flew to south bend-benton harbor today and upon my return to Lafayette the skies were clear and not a cloud in the sky! I thought to myself how lucky I am to be living in the midwest during times like these. After landing, my friend called me who flies for Continental out of Newark and said they had cancelled Honolulu-Newwark flight due to the hurricane. I wasn’t sure if I was suppose to empathize with him or express jealousy for him getting to stay an extra night in Honolulu! Not bad, right? As far as the social network goes…I have been addicted since I created a profile! (it’s sad facebook has become the first thing I check when logging onto my computer) I love the opportunities it has enabled me to receonnect with friends and family, while at the same time being able to met new people. With that said, I am often concerned employeers might use these networks as a tool for determining employment during the interviewing and selection process, therefore I feel like I have to watch everything I post. Personally, I use facebook as means of connecting with friends and family, and don’t think employers should bias one’s profile on whether or not one will be hired; how does one’s profile reflect his/her work ethic or skils. If only Steve Jobs could be my spokesman for this growing concern, then things would be done right! I think we can take a lot from what he has brought to the table, not only his experience with Apple but the way he leads…charismatically!

  6. brad5627 says :

    In class, some of the discussion seemed to revolve around how Apple’s CEO always brought out the new products with a big song and dance to follow; Apple always had their signature big presentation when releasing something… And the discussion continued with how no other competitors really did that, which must mean that’s the reason for the success of Apple… I was thinking… Apple had no choice but to do that… They had to do something different from everyone else. It’s not like Bill Gates had to do anything special to trump the competition when Microsoft started because… at that point, there was no competition, so Microsoft didn’t need to do this kind of thing to establish themselves. Apple had to do something to differentiate themselves from the competition. So, it doesn’t mean Bill Gates doesn’t care, it just means he didn’t need to do it, which Steve Jobs did.

  7. Shawn Farrington says :

    I pretty much expected that Irene would weaken as it neared the East Coast because as the water gets shallower, the pressure that actually draws water up would also have to weaken due to the decrease in water. Being In the Northern Hemisphere +the Coriolis effect = drifting to the right. Now I think the hurricane will get weaker before anyone else thought, and won’t be as bad as previously worried about. Now, I’m not saying many lives won’t be disturbed due to heavy rainfall and stronger than normal winds, but this weather system is a tad anticlimactic such that the path and strength has changed dramatically in about a days time. I feel bad for those who have to evacuate; as a matter of fact, a friend of mine has family on an island just of the New Jersey coast and were forced to leave due to the oncoming storm.

    I believe the people of the East Coast were blessed and lucky that this storm was not as bad as it could have been. But it is still unfortunate that 10 people have died, a much smaller number than Katrina, although a much larger area was affected.

  8. vmgray says :

    I am a serious social networking person. I have Facebook and Twitter. I’m not one to share all of my business on these sites; however, I do like to be a motivator on these site. I post a lot of quotes and positive stuff that goes on in my life. Social networks have kind of become a necessity for most people. These networks allow people to keep in contact with friends or even find a long lost friend. It can also Even though I use social networks heavily, I do think that it can be a negative tool at times. For instance, these sites have made it where some people will only use the social network to keep in touch with people rather than picking up a phone. I know for a fact that it is easier to reach some of my friends on twitter than it is to reach them by text or call. Twitter is kind of a place where people can just say anything that comes to mind. Facebook is more all age inclusive which is bad in my eyes. I have friends ranging from 7 to 80+. The extreme ages are my family members, however, I do not think that anyone under 18 should be on the site. The site is dangerous for kids, there is a lot of spam, and there really are no boundaries on Facebook. Although, I’ve mentioned these negative aspects, I still think that social networks are a good thing overall if people use the site correctly. However, it’s really hard to control everyone’s behaviors on these sites.

  9. Merry Hetzer says :

    Steve Jobs says iQuit on Apple.

    Steve Jobs was a great influence in the technology advances of all corners of the world. From computers, internet, music devices, mobile devices, and a whole new way of communication, the society as a whole will never be the same. The advances in technology that continue to happen is one of the reasons I entered into the school of technology. Even though Steve Jobs left the CEO position, he did not resign his position to keep creating new devices and improvements. I can’t wait to see what else he comes up with.

    • cengland42 says :

      It is incredibly remarkable how big of an influence he played in the role of revamping Apple. Take for example the time before he returned to Apple, a price of Apple stock was only about $5 a share. Fast forward to today where the price is nearly $400. Although Jobs left his CEO hat at the door and he is primarily focusing on devices, I would not expect more from such an influential leader with the health issues he is dealing with. I’m sure measures have been made to keep the company culture going in the right direction even after influential people eventually leave the company permanently. There’s really no telling what will become of Apple in the future but there is no doubt that Jobs acted as a phenomenal leader at his prime.

    • Rebecca Ivic says :

      I like your optimism, Merry! And it’ll be neat to see what fresh faces do with the company.

  10. Jillian Straub says :

    I’m definitely guilty of spending too much time on social networking sites. These sites have both positives and negatives to them, but I think whether they are good or bad depends solely on the user. They can be really great for connecting with friends, especially old friends that you may have lost contact with before. They can be good for networking as well, as long as you keep your social and professional lives separate, in some cases. That in mind, they can also be very bad for you. In terms of your professional life, if you have something you wouldn’t want an employer to see on your Facebook, twitter, etc. it can be very easy to find and get you in a lot of trouble. One of the downfalls of the sites that I have found personally is that they can be a huge time waster and a great tool for procrastinating when you don’t want to do any real work.

    • Rebecca Ivic says :

      That’s a good point. I’ve found it difficult to separate my personal and professional lives, and often find them intertwining. I think that we as part of a university are also in a unique position because the students and faculty we work with are, in many cases, also a part of social networks and might connect with us that way. I’ve connected with faculty on Facebook that I haven’t actually met in person, for instance. I agree that how we use the tools determines any positives or pitfalls!

  11. Chris Reed says :

    facebook is by far the easiest way to keep in touch with friends besides directly texting them. it’s easy to just post or message the person. that’s why i like social media

  12. Chris Gerber says :

    Hurricane Irene is certainly nothing to ignore. I was in Florida for an entire month with the US Navy this summer doing Helicopter Operations w/ search and rescue teams and weather was always a huge factor while we were down there. There was a smaller hurricane coming up the coast while I was down there and delayed our flight schedule for most of the week and created some great surf on the beach. With that said though, hurricanes and tropical storms can do a lot of damage, not just physical, but economically too. Hurricane Irene has put the entire East Coast on hold and grounded the majority of airports with all of the flooding. It is quite a shame, but I guess it’s all part of nature. All I can say is I am very glad I left Florida when I did.

  13. davidjames1187 says :

    I completely disagree with the article about El Nino and civil wars. For starters, correlation doesn’t prove causation. This correlation of El Nino to civil wars is like the correlation between ice cream sales and murders. When ice cream sales are up, so are murders. Now there is a correlation involved, but absolutely no causation (one doesn’t cause the other). In this example there are so many other variables that are involved that would increase both ice cream sales and murders. Same with El Nino and civil wars. Also, there comparison is very questionable, for example, during our American civil war, we were only in an El Nino for 2 of the 4 years. Leaving 2 years of the civil war during a time of La Nina. So only 50% of the war was during El Nino, which should make you think twice about that comparison. On a side note, when the heck did we even decide we were in an El Nino year? As we have been in a La Nina since mid-2010….

  14. brianbritt says :

    I’m happy to see some great responses right from the start! I’d like to take just a moment to respond, if I may.

    First, greene4 (is this Aurielle?), quite a few people share your concerns about grammar and communication skills in general. Frankly, that’s part of the reason that Becky and I decided to develop the Professional Conduct component in this class — many employers will be aggravated with E-mails that toss about such lingo, so it seemed appropriate to give everyone a reason to start practicing more “professional” E-mail messages. The same goes for sites like Facebook. Employers will certainly judge those, as Derek noted, even if we might feel such an application of social behaviors to professional decisions are unfair. There are certainly many advantages to online social networks, of course, as meshiach noted (with a correct interpretation of what I meant, incidentally). There are many benefits to be derived from services that help you stay in contact with others, and I’m not about to disparage Facebook and the rest for that. But it is disconcerting to see how they’re managed. Facebook in particular seems to change its Terms of Service on a monthly basis, which makes it difficult to constantly manage who sees what information on your profile. Perhaps the lesson is that nothing can really be treated as “private,” “secret,” or anything else of that nature once you put it online. Still, as you mentioned, social media are invaluable for those trying to resist corrupt governments and keep from having their voices forever silenced. There is good and bad to be found.

    Vinchessica, it’s interesting that you mentioned the age ranges. The last time I checked, Facebook had a hard-and-fast rule that you couldn’t register unless you were at least 13 years old. Has that changed to a parental consent system? Either way, it’s hard to avoid social media these days and maintain one’s livelihood. In the academy, for instance, you’re pretty much an outcast if you don’t have a Facebook account. For someone in my position who studies organizations and technology (including social media sites, or SMSes), avoiding Facebook might appear to be a serious detriment, or even outright strange, when I enter the job market. With that in mind, Jillian’s comments bring to mind one of my biggest concerns: the division of one’s personal and professional lives. It’s very easy for those to become entangled (especially among university scholars), and once they’re intertwined it’s nearly impossible to separate them. Anyone of any age can make mistakes in how they use such sites, but perhaps that also goes back to Vinchessica’s comments on the age ranges. Many of us said very odd or foolish things at eight years old that would shame us now if employers or colleagues were to see them, especially if those comments were taken out of the age context. When childish comments (or pictures, videos, etc.) are posted online, they could wreak havoc on the child’s life years down the line. Still, perhaps the most immediate concern is the time we spend on such sites. Chris is right that Facebook is a useful tool, but if that tool is misused, as some of you have said we are wont to do, then it becomes a burden rather than a benefit.

    James and David, it’s always fun to see people completely disagree on the course blog. James, you have an interesting rationale for the El Niño-civil war connection. Shortages certainly cause economic and, therefore, emotional strife that could lead to such conflicts. It’s reasonable to expect that the two phenomena could be directly linked. At the same time, David, you’re thinking like a researcher in your analytic critique, which is great to see. It’s very easy to assume causality from a finding of correlation, even if the evidence doesn’t offer sufficient support for that transition. (On a side note, I love webcomics, and you immediately reminded me of this xkcd strip.) One could even make the case that off-years for the El Niño event somehow antagonize individuals, which fosters a delayed reaction that manifests itself in violence a few years later, when El Niño happens to occur. I’m curious to see how the academic community at large and our classes here continue to argue this issue.

    Faisal, I share your relief in the relative lack of damage that hurricane (now tropical storm) Irene dealt. Things certainly could have been much, much worse. I’m glad that none of us were caught in the storm’s wrath, as it sounds like you almost did, Derek. It’s good that things are weakening at the moment. I wasn’t as familiar with the science behind it as you are, Shawn, but I suppose that makes sense. After all, a storm that devastates everything it hits in the sea would probably weaken once it leaves that domain, right? Nonetheless, it’s still something for which anyone on the coast has to be watchful. I’m impressed by the work you did, Chris, and the experience you gained in that regard. Such severe inclement weather can be absolutely devastating, so we have to be prepared to deal with the hazards of the environment within which we live. Relatedly, I got up about five hours early today to substitute in a colleague’s classes; she’s stuck in New York right now amidst a slew of grounded flights, so she’s been desperate for help. We’re all just hoping she stays safe as the storm dies down.

    Of course, we had to bring up former CEO Jobs, didn’t we? I hadn’t heard about the fan tributes, Faisal, but I suppose that’s to be expected given all the “Mac heads” out there. We’ll see whether Jobs’ resignation affects the fans’ level of devotion in the long run. It may help that, as Chelsea noted, he’s just assuming a different role instead of outright leaving the company. I do wonder how that image will continue, though. As Brad (Cozza?) noted, Apple had to innovate in order to survive in the marketplace that Microsoft once dominated. Whether they will be able to continue as such without Jobs in the forefront remains to be seen. Finally, Merry, I absolutely love that tagline. Jobs certainly had a great impact on Apple, on the industry, and on the world, and it’s possible that he will be able to continue as such. The question may ultimately be whether the sparkle in our perceptions fades when his charisma doesn’t push product introductions to those early adopters, but at least the devices themselves may still go through his hands first.

  15. bcozza says :

    When Hurricane Irene swept over the East Coast this weekend, it left more than downed trees, snapped power lines, and muddy floodwaters in its wake. The historic storm also left commercial aviation reeling as it disrupted air travel along the East Coast. From Washington, D.C. to Boston, some of the country’s busiest airports suspended flight operations, including New York City’s three major airports, which closed prior to and during the storm. With the region’s normally congested skies closed to the usual mix of domestic and international traffic, Irene’s East Coast swing resulted in the cancellation of more than 11,000 flights. Given the East Coast’s prominence in the air traffic system, such flight disruptions will be felt in the days and weeks to come as airlines struggle to get stranded passengers to destinations across the country and around the world.

  16. dparkerr says :

    With the recent news of Steve Jobs stepping down as Apple’s CEO, one has to question how Apple is going to thrive without him. Steve Jobs was the figurehead of Apple, giving intense keynote presentations that enthralled consumers. This was after all the best time for Jobs to step down, seeing as how the iPad 2 was just released and rumors of the iPhone 5 releasing in October. Everyone questions if Job’s was in it for the money, or if he truly had a passion for Apple. My opinion is the latter, Jobs learned he had pancreatic cancer in October of 2003, and the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is 4%. That was almost eight years ago; this leads me to believe and never questions his passion for Apple. He could of quit Apple and lived his life how wanted to, but instead he stayed and helped develop and mold ground breaking products. As for the question of how Apple is going to thrive without him? That is answered with Jonathan Ive, Apples Senior Vice President of Industrial Design. What makes consumers want Apple products is the ease of use, but most important the streamlined design that sets it apart from the factory drab HP’s, Microsoft’s, and IBM’s. Ive started Apple with the iMac design and from there it was history. Jonathan Ive has art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has also won awards from Design Museum London, The Royal Society of Arts, and received an honorary doctorate from the Rhode Island School of Design. Once Ives decides to leave Apple, that is when the consumers should start worrying.

    • Rebecca Ivic says :

      DP, you bring up some incredible insight that we should probably address in class if we have time, just to put into context why we’re reading so much about Steve Jobs. There’s something really special to study about innovators who come up with groundbreaking concepts, and, at the same time have an incredible way of presenting that passion.

  17. gregalles says :

    Recently I have started to wonder if Facebook is really such a good idea for myself to have. It consistently is a time waster in my life, and I feel like since the days of it and MySpace being released, my grades is school have done nothing but get worse. It is a very powerful and great tool for interacting with others when it is needed, but at the same time, it is a very big privacy concern in my eyes. Just looking at how much information these websites probably have about us, it makes me feel unsafe, knowing someone else is a few clicks away from all of that. I personally plan on deactivating my Facebook account on November 4th (Yes this coincides with the “attack” that the group Anonymous has planned for the 5th), and I’m going to give it a short break, and see how my life functions without it. I hope to become more social in the actual world, talk to people the “old fashioned” ways, and hopefully improve my schoolwork at the same time.

  18. rotosteckel says :

    The professor I work for and I shared a bit of a chuckle regarding Apple. Not because of Jobs resigning, but because of the reaction we foresee. We rolled our eyes at the image of upset fans and people hurriedly selling stocks before they “plummet”. I personally think that the whole thing is a bit over-hyped, but I can’t exactly call myself a Mac-head and I am certainly no evangelist of Apple. They were never a big part of my life (I’ve made 1 purchase in my life and my used iPod has been faithfully functional and has had no need of a replacement for at least 4 years), so although I understood the gravity that the situation can hold, I just kind of shrugged my shoulders and moved on, though it will be interesting to see where the company goes.

    As for El Nino, this is news to me. Truthfully I’m not surprised that scientists disagree. There’s always two sides to every coin and some things are more apparent to certain people than to others. Or they thing that something relevant is apparent when really it isn’t relevant at all. I agree with David in that correlation doesn’t mean causation (something that should be kept in mind for all things), though at the same time Jamoliah’s explanation holds sound logic in my head, even if it’s just theory. Truthfully my first thought was “humans are more tetchy and easily aggravated when it’s hot and humid out…at least I know I am”.

    As for the topic of our first presentation, I was having difficulty trying to find something for the past 4 or 5 days. Then it hit me: didn’t I just T.A. a lab where I talked for about 90 minutes about a singular topic? First informative topic: After Effects – a quick look behind the movie-making magic. Now if the computer in the lab has After Effects on it I will be set.

  19. mporter7 says :

    I find the El Nino story to be particularly interesting. I am definitely highly speculative any such relationship between hot weather and civil war. As some have stated above correlation does not necessitate causation. That being said it still is an an interesting topic. I for one am very much opposed to hot weather although I never think it would push me to a point of civil war. There is something to be said for group behavior though. Many times large groups act in ways that may not seem completely logical and I suppose it could be possible that this group dynamic could be affected by something as seemingly trivial as the temperature. Also many of the countries that are near that equator, where the effect of El Nino is most strongly felt, are underdeveloped. That alone can cause major tension in the political and social climate (no pun intended).

    The issue of the scientist disagreeing is of no surprise to me. There are a lot of intelligent people in the world and for the most part they all think they are right. Many modern scientific studies and experiments have become so complex that often the wrong conclusions are drawn. There is often just too many variables to approach a hypothesis in a completely scientific manner. Also much of science seems to have become politicized these days. The right people backing the right institutions can often produce conclusions that are far cry from “fact.” The more broad climate issue of global warming is one example that comes to mind.

  20. begardner says :

    It has been interesting to read all of the articles come out on the aftermath of hurricane Irene. At this time there is an estimated 40 dead and of course, billions of dollars worth of damage. But as far as the monetary number put on the damages, this was not a major event. The insurance companies loved this news and their stocks rose accordingly on Monday. I found it interesting to here that FEMA is once again in the spotlight. This seems to be common theme when a hurricane hits. FEMA has nearly ran through its budget for the year (they had about $800 million left in a disaster fund, but was already spending $400 million a month before the hurricane, according to the LA Times) The FEMA director announced they would be putting the brakes on some projects in Joplin, MO to make more money available for the East coast. I won’t go into how wrong this seems to be, but it seems to already be a hot topic among Congress and presidential candidates. I bet there will be more to come of this as the week progresses,

  21. James He (@He42) says :

    Steve jobs stepping down will have an enormous impact on apple. Maybe it will even turn focus on some of the underlying horrors of the apple company such as the Foxconn suicides ( the Taiwanese company that produces the iphones for apple). Workers were so overworked and underpaid in the production of the iphone that they chose killing themselves over working there and serve eternal suffering. Maybe I am putting it a little harshly because I do not like macs, but Steve jobs basically is the apple company. apple stocks even dropped because of Steve jobs health. I want to know what well happen in the weeks and months ahead for the apple company. Will someone be able to replace Steve Jobs? Will the company reach a low point? Will the apple” life style” change? I will be watching for the changes.

    -James He

  22. abemccullough says :

    In my mind El Nino and civil wars are most likely not connected any more than ice cream and crime. It is a well known fact that crime rates and ice cream consumption go up at the same time and down at the same time. Does this mean they cause each other? No. People eat more ice cream when its hot outside, the same goes for crime. I’m not interested in mugging anyone but if I did, I would rather do it during the summer when I’m not going to freeze to death waiting for an unsuspecting victim. The same applies to El Nino and civil war. Wars are very very difficult to fight in the winter – just ask Hitler and Napoleon who were tried to invade Russia in the late fall. They did well until winter set in and froze them all.

    Since El Nino changes depending on the seasons and wars are more commonly fought in the spring and summer I would say that the two most likely share a common cause rather than effect each other.

    As for Irene, Terboro, a prominent airport for private jet traffic in New York is currently underwater. Float plane pilots should take this opportunity to try landing where the Lear Jets usually go.

  23. han39 says :

    The birth of social media was fascinating in the first place but, there are some cons in same time. The Social media help us to stay connected with friends, and it spreads information faster. At same time, the social media is used for another method of spamming people. Information thieves use the social network service to gather personal information such as address, phone number, schools they attended, and etc. Government can force the social network provider to hand over all the information that it needs, the service provider cannot refuse government’s request. Lately, it is almost impossible to live without social network service, thus we have to care about what we do on the social media.

  24. aheeb says :

    El ninos do not cause civil wars. People cause civil wars. I find it hard to believe that a statistic of “20% of all civil wars since 1950 could be correlated with El Niño-related heat increases” as a credible reason to believe in such a study. I believe that weather can have an affect on people’s emotions and feelings, but I would not blame Mother Nature as the cause of human conflict.

  25. rachkennedy says :

    In regards to 32% of baby-boomers now being social network users, this does not surprise me. I have seen many cases where my friends parents and even grandparents are Facebook users and use the site to socialize with their friends almost as much as most teenagers do. With the large increase in social media users among older adults, keeping in touch with old friends, acquaintances, and classmates has taken a new turn. With the amount of people you once knew keeping an eye on your profile, privacy and professionalism have become a much bigger concern. Personally, there are some things I post on Facebook that I would want my friends to see, but not my grandparents or coworkers. This concern has caused me to rely heavily on Facebook’s privacy settings and even move to LinkedIn specifically for my professional life. I make sure that my family, social, and professional lives never cross paths through social media, as I believe it can hurt someone greatly when any of the three intermingle.

  26. jmbalser says :

    Social network is obviously becoming more and more popular and even more efficient. With the rising number of people joining Facebook, Twitter, etc. you are almost not as “cool” or “in” with the trend if you chose to not participate. However, with some professions, such as C.E.O.’s or law enforcement officers, and your more professional careers, choosing to steer clear of the social network temptation is probably a good thing.

  27. weissapurdue says :

    I love blogging! So my first comment on this thread is about the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. I actually have a couple of direct connections to this storm. Being from southeast Massachusetts, my hometown was right in the path of this storm. I spoke to my mother who is back at home and she reported a significant amount of damage and cleanup that has to be done as a result of this storm. Downed trees, power lines, minor street flooding were just a few issues this storm has caused. She also told me that she just received power back today after almost 5 days without it. Other relatives of mine out in western MA reported similar conditions. Flooding out there was actually worse than it was where I’m from. My cousins were actually still cleaning up from the tornado that ravaged Springfield, MA a few months ago when this hurricane rolled through, making things worse. I’m glad to report everyone is fine, but that there’s still lots of cleanup that has to be done.

  28. cat3152011 says :

    Social media has definitely become a a great resource within the past few years. I use social networking every day in order to keep up with my family and friends. I have been a member of Facebook since 2004. I didn’t really have much use for it until I moved away from South Carolina to Indiana for college. It helped me to stay in touch with my family and friends so that when I go back to visit, I can easily get in touch with them in case they have changed their phone number, email, or address. Without social networking, I would have lost contact with many of my friends. Now I can just log into Facebook and check out photos and have conversations with those who are important to me. I can also look up local events, in case I am looking for something to do over the weekend.

    Recently, I have used facebook, youtube and twitter to help a few friends with advertising. One friend just recently graduated and shoots music videos for local artists. In case you are interested, his company name is the Golden Eagles Media. If interested, you can find them at goldeneaglesmedia.com. Without social networks, the only way for my friend to do advertising would have been by word of mouth or to purchase ads hoping that the right person might come across them. Now, he is able to post his videos on youtube, twitter and facebook so that people can check out his work without actually having to make an appointment. It has definitely taken his career a long way and just recently earned him a trip to New York to shoot videos for BET.

  29. macupp says :

    I agree with chris social networks are becoming the next best thing to just flat out texting a person. Its quick and easy, and the majority of people these days, not just youth, are a part of some sort of social networking site.

  30. lwinters26 says :

    As much as I love social networks, I feel like society has yet to find a way to properly balance it into our lives. We don’t know when it is appropriate to use these networks and when a simple phone call or email is best fit. One of my close friends does not understand how I am currently surviving with my temporary deactivation of Facebook. I am living perfectly fine without it and am not having any major withdrawls. I do feel like I am missing out on things but it is not anything I cant just give someone a quick call for or text and find out the details. I don’t try to make these networking sites something I have to obsess over, because in the case of my friend, I can see the what happens. I also see myself fortunate to know what life is like without these sites. I loved my childhood playing outside, meeting people, and finding out details about people myself without ‘stalking’ them. Sometimes a good old conversation with someone to find out where they are from and what they are up to is great for me. Plus the term ‘Facebook stalking’…how creepy (although I have to admit to doing it once or twice).

    This leads me into our current youth. My sister is still quite young, just starting high school and my mom did not see it fit for someone so young to be tied up in a network that was originally for college students. I totally agree with her on multiple levels. Not only are they vulnerable to bullying, and harassment, but they many times struggle with self esteem among many other things. The effects of social networks and increases in internet bullying are far beyond the point I am trying to make, but I think for many it is not hard to figure out what I am saying. To be available online for so many people to see and get to is just not fair to these young people that are not quite sure what life is all about yet.

    Now referring back to my sister as an example, she was involved in so many activities outside of the classroom throughout middle school. She loved it all, and really liked her one community service one. She was working with a committee that was led by high school students for the Ronald McDonald house. The one downside of this committee was that it communicated only through Facebook…this made me upset on multiple levels. Also, not only had my sister gone to the president of the group to ask if she can be notified by email about events, but she rarely ever got emails and often missed out on things. She was always so hurt when she was left out and rightfully so! No one deserves that treatment just because they don’t have Facebook, we still have so many other means of communication that is more formal and direct for things like this. A club willing to involve many people of all different backgrounds should not have Facebook be the only means of communication. Even in college where Facebook is so important and useful, emails are still used to send out emails for club callouts, and work on group projects. I just feel society needs to figure out how to properly use these networking sites.

    • Rebecca Ivic says :

      Lauren, thanks for taking the time to share something so personal and interesting. It’s certainly notable that, when there’s the option to pick up the phone, sometimes we e-mail instead. In my department, for instance, phones were actually removed from most offices, leaving instructors with e-mail and Blackboard as the primary method of contact, as I’m fairly certain the university doesn’t want instructors giving out phone numbers (I don’t have a problem with it as long as it’s used responsibly).

      Brian has a Facebook ‘experiment’ he’s been doing, where he’ll add friends, but only if they send the request first. He’s got his wall turned off and most other options as well. I’ve thought more than once about deactivating my account in an attempt to live a more simple life. It’s sometimes so overwhelming to be faced with so many social options. At the same time, it’s a difficult decision. You’re right, though– if Facebook is used as a sole mode of communication and a person doesn’t use the site, then it’s not fair to that person to have to sign up, especially if they don’t want a site. There’s a distinct difference between using e-mail and Facebook, and I believe that’s privacy.

      Good thoughts..looking forward to more of your posts!

  31. vsabatel says :

    I believe that the short article about social networking is a very relevant and important subject today. I personally have numerous social networking entities including Facebook, Google+ and twitter. There are many advantages and disadvantages about these social network medias. First, I believe that the advantages of these sites far outweigh the disadvantages. These sites help many different people to communicate with each other. For some people, contacting others is not as easy as a phone call away and some of these social media sites bridge that gap and make it possible to easily communicate. It also is used to lets friends know how you are doing and what you are doing. If you post something on a social networking site about what you are doing that night, a friend may also be interested and further get in touch with you. The disadvantages of these social networking sites it that it can train children to “live on the web” rather than real life or in person. It may hurt their social skills because they will not be learning how to interact with people face to face. It also serves the problem of putting too much information on the internet that can later get them into trouble. In conclusion I think that these social media sites are working more in our favor and I will always be a fan of them. I look forward to the new social networking medias as they come in the future.

  32. mfbecks says :

    I think that social media has truly changed the way one can communicate with friends and family over the internet. I think it’s great that I’ll be able to stay in touch with friends from home who went to different colleges while also being able to maintain contacts with fellow graduates long after graduation. I think it’s great that Facebook has now added video chat to its numerous features. It makes being far away from someone your care about easier when you can see and talk to them as if they were next to you. The only thing I don’t like is how employers are using these social media sites to determine job skills and work ethic. I think it’s unfair that they use these sites to judge someone without even knowing their background. I feel that one’s own social life and what they do in their free time should have no bearing on their job status. I think that we should all feel free to post what we want on our own social media pages without fear of what some HR worker may think about how it will affect job performance.

  33. spkuo says :

    Last Wednesday, Steve Jobs resigned from his position as Apple’s CEO. I think this will impact apple greatly. Whether it be positively or negatively will be something I’m sure everyone will be looking forward to. However, since I am not a mac person, I’m very curious as to how apple will continue on its rather successful path. Steve Jobs has been the highlight of the Apple company from the very beginning till now, so what will happen to the Apple company without him around? It was reported that a couple of hours right after Jobs announced his resignation as the CEO of Apple, Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares dropped 5% in after-hour trading. Many people have said that after Jobs resigned, it is obvious that the Apple company will take a hit. The question is how big of a hit? Although I have said earlier that I am not a mac person, I still respect Jobs and what he has accomplished. So even though I’m not expecting much from the Apple company after Jobs’ resignation as CEO, I want Apple to show us that they can still deliver the same hit products and items, the same uniqueness it carried all these years, and the same passion with or without Jobs.

  34. kaileenkraemer says :

    Social media’s ever-growing presence in our modern lives seems to be a topic I hear about almost every day. Whether it be a study about it published in the newspaper or online news or simply a friend explaining why they are going to deactivate their Facebook account for the next week, it is a hard subject to ignore. There’s one aspect that I am intuitively sure of, and that is that Facebook and Twitter are negatively affecting the way we connect to people. Because Facebook and Twitter both use very recognizable visual interfaces, we can’t help but start to see real life events follow a similar rhythm to that of a news feed. Our minds are evolving into true multi-tasking machines, if you will. In order to truly connect to someone, you have to be paying full attention to them. I imagine it was much easier to relax and be yourself in front of someone before the days of social media. It also must have been much easier to slow down and focus on the people you are conversing with. Everyone’s mind is multi-taking now, and it makes us less efficient and less focused. Of course social media does benefit society in several ways, but I strongly believe that its cons outweigh its pros.

  35. fiddlestix22 says :

    I’m going to be a little different and respond to the article about obesity. I believe the key to slowing and maybe stopping the obesity epidemic is educating kids at a young age about good eating habits and being active. This should be an important goal for all schools, especially at the elementary level, when children are most impressionable. Unfortunately this is not happening. Home-cooked healthy lunch options are giving way to more prepackaged and cheaper alternatives. And now physical education (as well as the arts) is disappearing from elementary schools. Now I can remember spending a lot of time running around the backyard as a kid. Tag and hide & seek kept us entertained for hours. Nowadays kids have more entertainment options that keep them sitting in one spot (the Internet, video games, smart phones, etc.). If these kids no longer have P.E. at school, what or who will cause them to be active? Parents perhaps, but if the parents don’t have healthy habits then who?

    The loss of art, music, and P.E. in elementary schools is an issue that is close to home for me. This has happened in my hometown in my own elementary school where my mom also works as a kindergarten teacher. I know the art, music, and P.E. teachers there that lost their jobs. The school is unfortunate to lose such people. The ironic thing is that the school corporation recently spent a large amount of money updating all the schools in the county, renovating and building new art and music rooms and gyms. And now they aren’t even being used.

    Here’s an article written by my elementary music teacher about the need for the arts and P.E. in schools. It must be said that Mr. Stanton is normally a quiet mild-mannered man and an all-around nice guy, but this is an issue he is very passionate about.


  36. jordanthielker12345 says :

    I just wanted to touch-base on a topic that has affected me. In conjunction with Hurricane Irene, I have family all over the East Coast. I am originally from Maryland where my parents currently are, I have grandparents in Delaware at Bethany Beach, and a brother in Boston. It was a little scary seeing Irene hit all those places where I have family. Fortunately, the ferocity of the storm subsided rather quickly. My grandparents were the only ones that had any “harm” done to their property. Before the storm hit, my grandparents were questioning whether to leave or not. My grandmother was freaking out saying that they should leave to go to a shelter and my grandfather said, ” A little rain never hurt nobody”. Long story short, they did end up leaving and when they came back, a couple windows were blown and there were some small damaged spots on the house. I think the worst part for them was that their garden had been destroyed. Everything heals with time right? I guess that includes their garden. I’m just thankful they are all okay.

  37. patterc says :

    Social networks are an important part of how people communicate anymore. Businesses are making it a standard to check the profiles of potential employees to check them out and see if they are hiding anything that wasn’t apparent in the interview. Businesses are even checking out potentials BEFORE the interviewing process starts. This can be discouraging for interviewees because they can often be unaware that this is distracting employers from contacting them. If you’re wondering why you can’t get a job anywhere, you might have a few too many embarrassing pictures haunting your Facebook profile.

    Some people are changing their names on their social network sites in order to defer this from happening, however, I’ve heard rumors that this doesn’t help and that employers are still able to find you. Facebook keeps records of name changes, but I haven’t seen any tool that employers can use to trace these things.

  38. zjaw3150 says :

    There’s no doubt that social media is a growing factor in the way our world runs. I started using Facebook back in high school purely for connecting with friends, and I have tried to keep it that way up to the present. On occasion I friend instructors in my major, but I rarely (if ever) use Facebook for professional needs. It is important to me to keep work and personal life separate; mixing the two can be ugly. -Zac W.

  39. Teju Shyamsundar says :

    Social networking being a norm in today’s society is not necessarily a bad thing. Although websites such as Facebook and Twitter can be distracting, they provide a way of connecting with people whom you rarely get the chance to meet up with and provide a definite means of contacting someone. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, there are sites such as LinkedIn, which is a means of furthering one’s networking in their career. I definitely use Facebook on a daily basis and will admit that it can be distracting, but it is not distracting enough for me to not want to use it because of the benefits it brings. Many companies and organizations use Facebook to advertise, which is obviously beneficial for them. This is especially true because Facebook advertisements target audiences based on information posted in each person’s profile. Overall, while social media can be viewed negatively, there are many benefits to social media as well.

  40. khabenic says :

    I got kind of excited when I saw the paragraph about the link El Niño to civil war. After reading about it I instantly thought back to my first psychology class at Purdue. I remember being told that when the temperature begins to rise outside the amount of criminal activity increases as well. I am unaware if there is actually evidence that proves these two events are directly correlated. Some psychologist would argue that when the temperature rises people become more agitated which then causes them to engage in criminal behavior. Whether this is true or not, I do not know; I haven’t taken a psychology class since then.
    I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I “buy in” to the idea of El Niño related heat causing armed conflicts, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is proven true one day. Thinking back to my psychology class; it makes sense that heat agitates people, maybe even enough to cause armed conflicts. Do I think that heat causes wars, absolutely not. I do believe that this study, whether proven true of false, does prove that we as humans respond to our environment.
    It one hundred percent does not surprise me that there is disagreement amount scientist on this subject. Isn’t that the beauty of science? I wouldn’t expect one scientist to present his study on this subject and then have every other scientist out there say, “That sounds pretty good, I think we can all agree on that”. I want to hear every other possible reason that explains why armed conflicts occur.

  41. robpingry says :

    I would like to talk about obesity. Obesity! How is this a problem? Its a problem of excess, motivation its a problem of distraction. A major factor the leads to obesity is lack of exercise. Our lives are so connected. It’s so easy for us to be entertained or distracted. by the internet, TV, video games, now iPads the list is extensive. I don’t want to know how many hours of TV I watched this weekend. I think we would be getting out more, finding adventures if we were not constantly distracted. Smaller children would most defiantly be getting out more and that’s what is a real shame.

  42. lopurdue says :

    I know people are crazy and amazed by Steve Jobs and what he has done In my opinion, he is gorgeous and create some good products but not “excellent” products. For instance, iPhone doesn’t really make any innovation to my life because I bring my Macbook around all the time (I like the feeling typing with a keyboard more than with a touch screen, which is not friendly with people having big fingers). Moreover, iPhone is no more than a smartphone to me, and there were android phones before it already. I don’t doubt Apple’s success on these products, but some people are getting a bit too over. They do not really “need” an iPhone but they “want” it acting like a fan. Apple does change our lives. Considering all people using their smart phones while eating dinner together, people’s lives get better or worse? I don’t know.

    P.S. I hate Microsoft.

    To Becky, how do you distinguish who people are since we are using different account names? I am Dustin Lo for your information.

  43. bkershey says :

    The way I use social networks has definitely changed now that I’m approaching the end of college compared to my purpose later in high school or early college. I’m to the point where I have to consider the professional aspects much more as opposed to the more personal posts. Not that I still dont have the random discussions or posts, but I am more conscientious of what would be appropriate for potential employers, etc. I believe that the increased time of sites like facebook isn’t necessarily all bad. A lot of the time I spend on facebook is because I’m talking with friends or family back home who I never see. I think though some interactions are less personal, some relationships are more updated with the help of the social networking sites. I’m prefer to have the less meaningful interactions with friends and family on those sites than no communication at all.

  44. Mike Tuccori says :

    I use social networks to connect with my friends and family. They have enabled me to keep in touch with a great number of people with very little effort. It has opened up a world of possibilities-good and bad. They have certainly affected the ways people interact socially and professionally. Socially, these social networks have allowed people to connect easily and frequently. However, most of this is done over the internet and not face-to-face. This could be a negative thing based on a quote I remember claiming “Face-to-face communication is the most effective.” This quote applies to interactions in social and professional environments; albeit, the quote was pertaining to a study done in a professional environment. These social networks also give people the ability to know and see, day-to-day, far more than they would and should versus interacting the old fashion way and having to get this information in person (over the phone) through conversation. This can have an effect when naturally conversing or meeting people. For example, you wouldn’t have to ask someone how their day was because they have already answered that in their status, or you may know a lot of things that you wouldn’t normally know about a person (a person you know or don’t know) because this information was revealed through a social network. For Facebook, this is unofficially called “Facebook Creepin’.” Overall, a social network can have a good and a bad effect. Good being that we have the opportunity to easily connect with a great number of people all around the world, and the bad being that these social networks can reveal too much information. These sites must be used responsibly on the part of the creator and the user.

  45. bmasuoka says :

    I agree with the comment of “being a minority” if you dont have some sort of social networking site. With the world we live in today I feel like it is necessary for everyone to have one especially if they have some sort of business or someone who is very friendly to keep everyone up to date. Love it or hate them I’m sure most people will have one sort of social networking site in their life time. However, the thing people have to be careful of is how much time they are spending on these networking sites or groups. I feel like some people “waste” to much time on these when they could be doing other productive things. I believe people should only have these if they can mantain how much time they spend on them. Otherwise, they should be cut off from entering these sites.

  46. jkinnamo says :

    The social media industry today has become one most talked about topics around the business world. The rapid growth recently, has impacted the way of advertising greatly in the business world. Many different businesses now, big and small, are having to find new ways of incorporating some form of social media to their business plans. These new ways of reaching out to customers have changed the business world forever and have created new ways of drawing in different customers to the companies. I have seen the impact just in my time here at Purdue. It seems in every COM class i have had, this discussion always comes up. The ever growing social media networks seem to be the way of the future and look like they have no plan of slowing down any time soon with greater competition coming out including the Google plus. Google plus will be competing with Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks out there, and who knows what other social networks will come out next.

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