TECH621 Assignment 1: 20 Social Media Sites

20 Social Media Sites that I didn’t know before (Some of the descriptions are quoted from Wikipedia):
1. Slatebox.com—Collaborative visualization tool
2. Quora.com—Question & answer forum created, edited and organized by its community of users
3. Foursquare.com—A location-based social networking website based on GPS-enabled mobile devices
4. Friendfeed.com—Real-time feed aggregator/sharing
5. Posterous.com—Blogging and sharing
6. Vimeo.com—Video sharing
7. Sourceforge.net—Find, create, and publish Open Source software for free
8. Friendster.com—previously social networking, and redesigned to social gaming
9. Orkut.com—Social Networking operated by Google, popular in Brazil
10. Eventful.com—Search, track, and share information about events
11. Cyworld.com—Korean social network service
12. LunarStorm.com– Swedish commercial advertisement-financed social networking website for teenagers
13. Skyrock.com—Social networking, blogging, profile, messaging
14. Bebo.com—Blogging
15. Ryze.com—Business networking
16. tribe.net—social networking
17. LiveJournal.com—Global social networking
18. Couchsurfing.com—A volunteer-based worldwide network connecting travelers with members of local communities
19. BlackPlanet.com—African-American community social network site
20. Dogster.com and Catster.com—social network for dog and cat owners

A bit problematic ones:
1. Google offers (beta) http://www.google.com/offers —Offers about places to eat, play, shop and stay. (not sure whether users can contribute to the information yet)

2. Nepster.com—Started as a P2P music sharing service, then turn to a music store because of copyright issue. (not sure whether it’s social media or not now)

3. Amazon Mechanical Turk http://www.mturk.com—Since this one has stimulated lots of discussion in class, so I’d like to list it here. Now I think Amazon Turk may not be fully qualified as a social media site, but it does emphasize and utilize one very important as aspect of Web 2.0 platforms, that is collective intelligence and crowd sourcing–the importance to utilize collective human effort to maintain and improve data quality.

Some social media sites from China:
I was thinking that China’s social media sites are largely controlled by government censorship, so there’s not that much to say about them. However, this turns out just naive thought out of my mind. Just because of the censorship, and people’s desire to express themselves freely, the social media territory is very controversial and is fostering many opportunities too. (reference: China’s Social Network Problem) Here is some examples among the most popular social media sites in China:
1. Renren.com–Social Networking, a Chinese version of Facebook

2. Youku.com–Video sharing, a Chinese version of YouTube

3. Tianya.cn–Internet Forum(news, gossip, etc)

4. Douban.com–Book, movie, music reviews and a lot more

5. SinaWeibo (Weibo.com)–Microblog, a Chinese version of Twitter, but better in my opinion

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Towards Being Professional

I went to TREC to play badminton yesterday morning, as I planned for this semester, I should go to play badminton every Saturday morning. I was playing badminton for fun here and there for all my life before I came to the US. Mostly I was playing in the backyard, or some random outdoor places, and never really become good at it. I don’t even know the rules for playing in a badminton competition. Now I realize that if I am going to sick with my plan and play every week at TREC with all those “professional” badminton buddies, I have to be professional! First of all, I should invest in a decent badminton racquet, preferably from YONEX, the world #1 badminton racquet brand. I should also invest in sports shorts and shoes. (No Jeans whiling doing sports anymore!) I should change my attitude to be professional, otherwise it will be even shameful to show up at the badminton court.

What’s changing me is the environment. I was playing in an unprofessional manner for almost 15 years, and all people around me were unprofessional. So I never think of that I should be serious about playing badminton, and I should work on polishing some of the hard parts. I will never get to be good this way, and I will get get more fun out of it this way. I now believe that part of the fun from doing things is being really good at it. If not, we should work on the hard part to be really good at it!

I talked about this with a friend who is doing her master degree at Saudi Arabia. She knows many Chinese students who have had some experience in the US, and many of them are very “professional” badminton players, different from Chinese students there directly from China. I feel maybe part of the good thing of this country is that people take many things serious, and getting all the gears to do it.

Similarly, I was “thinking critically” for all my life, but never know how to think like a professional researcher until I became a PhD student. I was using social media sites for so many years, but never know how to do research about it, until I am taking TECH621 Social Internet this semester~All these provide immerse environment for being professional.