What makes Tweetdeck an appealing application is its immense customizable features that enhances the Twitter experience. When using Twitter on the web or mobile device, you only have a singular column that shows you tweets and retweets made by people you follow. Whereas with Tweetdeck, the app gives you the option to optimize the interface by adding more columns with your specific area of interests. Let’s say you live in Canada but want to be up to date with current events in another location, you can search “Hong Kong” and add a column to the interface with tweets about Hong Kong. Tweetdeck also allows you to filter down tweets by language, number of retweets, and more to further narrow down your searches.

Screenshot 2014-10-07 20.30.17

Sometimes I find more up-to-date information on Twitter than I do with search engines like Google. For example, I have been keeping up with the recent political protests in Hong Kong when it first occurred. Searching Hong Kong on Twitter resulted in many tweets regarding the issue. As oppose to searching on Google, only a few links (to news networks) were shown about the matter, and the rest was general information about Hong Kong. When the peaceful protest turned violent, a lot of Hong Kong twitter users live tweeted what was going on. It wasn’t until then did the first page of Google search results featured more predominantly relevant links to the issue at hand. In this scenario, I got a better understanding of the situation earlier on by searching on Twitter than I did with Google. Major news outlets for the most part summarized what happened and why. Whereas, I got a better feel for the real-emotions sent by live-tweeters as it happened.

I use both Twitter and Google to search for news and updates regarding my areas of interest. However, I do prefer Twitter whenever I am seeking real-time or very new information that has yet made its way to Google’s first search results page.


Going into this experiment, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. After what was discussed in last Wednesday’s class, there seems to be a lot of shady, ‘behind-the-scenes’ web activity happening users are not aware of.


After browsing the web for 20 minutes with the add-on Lightbeam running, I was surprised to see I have connected to 62 third party websites even though I only visited 13 websites.

chart 2chart 3

I didn’t expect surfing popular social media networks like Facebook, Tumblr and YouTube would have connected me to so many external websites, some of which I have never heard of. I assume some of these are ad networks or data brokers, collecting and tracking my info on the web. This just shows the different degrees of interoperability and how some websites prioritizes consumer privacy and security more so others.



I was pleased to see there were some websites I visited did not connect to third-party websites. Like the bank ATM example in Chapter 4 of Interop, (Bank of Montreal website) did not connect me to any third party websites. With something so serious and personal, it was a relief to see that their web services are highly interoperable and highly secure.

On one hand, I feel like my privacy was infiltrated and my information was shared without my consent. But on the other hand, I know that I am on the web and everything is elusively connected. Growing up in the digital era where web 2.0 emerged, there’s always a common understanding in the back of my head that once you connect to the internet, things you do are monitored by higher power and privacy does not really exist. Like discussed in class, we essentially sign our privacy away in the terms and conditions when we join a social media network.

62 third party websites were connected in 20 minutes. I’m curious how many more if I left the addon running for a whole day, a week and a month?

The introduction to social media platforms has revolutionized the way we communicate and exist within the online world. Although is no universal social media practice guideline, how you present yourself online should be a reflection of how you want to be perceived in real life. Just because it exists within the virtual realm, it doesn’t mean digital etiquette should be taken lackadaisically. The connotation that there’s no repercussions with what you do online cannot be more untrue. This is especially true for those using Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other social media platforms for professional use.

Keep in mind that everything posted onto the internet may stay online permanently. For example, Delaware governor Jack Markell accidentally tweets a racy photograph of a woman while publicizing a public education initiative. Although the photo was deleted, the tweet was screen captured and quickly circulated online. It is important to keep this in mind before finalizing any online postings.

Recent popular recording artist, Iggy Azelea has received controversial criticism for her use of offensive racial and homophobic slurs in her past tweets. “Iggy Azelea racist” is the second suggested search when you type her name in Google and numerous articles online delves into her digital past.

These two examples shows how you behave online may have immediate or eventual repercussions. Employers can easily search up an applicant’s social media to get a better idea of who they are and if they are suitable for a job. It is usually a good idea to leave out strong opinionated posts that may be inappropriate to maintain a professional online image.


One word to describe this year’s 4th year META show was UNDERWHELMING. We get this stigma how META is the biggest and most important show for our program, but some of the pieces I saw was just disappointing and insulting in a way. I feel like you were given a year to show the best work you have ever created, you better show something with amazing construction, originality and functions flawlessly. Let’s be honest, the opening is the most important day of any show because that’s when most people show up. So if your piece doesn’t work, people are most likely not going to re-visit the exhibition again thus forever remember your piece as the one that didn’t work. Not only is that shameful for the artist, but also insulting to the profs that has drilled the importance of ‘make sure it works!’ into our heads the 4 years we studied there.

It’s really shocking to me that some of these pieces were jury approved. The loop video with the girl’s face projected onto a wall was so mundane, done before and easy to make. The rain piece beside it with the Kinect and projection is basically a direct copy of Camile Utterback’s Text Rain (the artist even listed it as one of the inspirations). The male and female imprints that filled up when people pressed buttons stops working when it fills up, so it should’ve been reset itself when it reaches maximum capacity. The white paper projection sculpture that hovered above was beautiful and probably the best piece of the show, it should’ve been placed at the front. But instead, we got carts that didn’t work to welcome us at the entrance. I had no idea that this piece had anything to do with sound because you couldn’t hear any of the sounds the piece was suppose to make. The artists should’ve anticipated the noise level of the opening to make sure that their piece stood out. It was basically the opening piece that people saw first when they walked in, so it was embarrassing to see all the confused faces staring down at the frozen cars not doing anything. The WTF piece was really WTF. The automated drawing machine was one of the better pieces but was hidden at the little corner at the back. The sound-making buttons beside the WTF piece didn’t work. The medical hearing devices piece at the back was interesting, but does not accommodate people of all heights (should have had a wooden step or something). The game beside it was basically a personality test, and the graphics was alright but not spectacular. The piece beside that was not working. Moving onto the next room, the moving dress was beautiful and actually worked. It stood out and people understood the interaction. The wooden pier was poorly designed because many people stepped on it when you’re suppose to touch it with your hands. The computer orchestra at the very left was cool but it wasn’t loud enough to hear the significant changes according to the hand motions. Only other thing I remember from this room was the guestbook which should’ve been at the entrance/exit area. The womb room was really black cloths covering the entire space and a soundtrack of a womb. The artist who did the clubbing photos that was hung on the wall of the staircase heading up to the roof should be pissed because it was basically shunned from the rest of the show, like there was no space for it so you can sit outside. If I forgot any pieces, that’s because they weren’t very memorable.

Everything felt cramped. I didn’t understand why there was 2 sofas that took up a lot of space when it could’ve been used to spread the pieces out, giving it more room to breathe.

Nothing against the artists, but it was really an underwhelming show with a lot of pieces that lacked the conceptual and execution quality to be there. People who went to last year’s META said this year was a lot better so I’m glad I didn’t go to last years. I just hope and pray that next year when we have our META that it would not turn out to be such a mess. But if I was an artist or on the curator team, I sure as hell won’t let that happen if I’m putting my name on it in the list.


(notes taken by Kurt)

Arusha kicked the meeting off and we discussed her research in the context of acquiring more details for further work.
– Jeffrey suggested more scholarly sources to supplement the survey she’s done
– Kurt added she perhaps could look for more specificity in her questions
– looking to narrow the topic down
– Arusha read us a few examples of things she collected, wondering how to narrow things down

Jeffrey has done more surveys and research, talked about his work
– Canadians want to travel because of food
– BUT most ads advertise sightseeing. Not food. Interesting disconnect
– Narrowed down research to Asian Canadians
– Can link to Arusha’s work- how does advertising/media contribute to people’s decision? In Jeffrey’s case to travel
– Expressed a concern for where theis topic of travel is going

Discussed Kurt’s work
– progress in interviews and interesting discoveries

– discussing the findings of her most recent research
– people say you can read body language and its more personal, that’s why they prefer speaking in person
– but online is more convenient, making it the most frequently used method of communication for most online users
– discussed the value of face-to-face interviews in comparison to online. How the change in method might affect her results

Chat with Kathleen, who opened up some new perspectives on our research and the topics we discussed
– PEW RESEARCH CENTER is a great resource for much of our work
– For Kurt, she suggested asking people about civil liberties offline and comparing their answers to their online behaviour.
– “Political surveying”, outlining scenarios for them, also taking care to avoid the white coat effect
– Karen talked about her newest sample
– in her initial survey she had a large number of respondents
– this week she wants to interview 5-10 people in person to see if asking the questions face-to-face changes the results
– Jeffrey feels that his topic lacks depth
– went through a mall, did face-to-face interviews- found that cuisine was the main reason for travel and tourism
– Kathleen brought up a really interesting article by the NY Times about TORONTO food culture. A good recommendation for Jeffrey’s research further
– Arusha noticed people perceive “media” as television, Facebook and Twitter. She is looking for specificity
– In the presentations, Kathleen made sure to remind us to STATE METHOD, STATE YOUR QUESTION, THEN TALK ABOUT FINDINGS

Since it was our class exhibiting at the IMA Gallery, I had an idea of what might be shown. With the exception of Julian who made an entirely new piece, everyone’s pieces were versions of their past work done for Fall. The opening was pretty successful with a lot of attendants. I also got the pleasure to watch over all the pieces every Friday during my gallery shift.

Although I preferred the concept of Colleen’s swings last term, her modified version was refreshing and cute. It was very well made and I loved how she added the sand instead of what she had last term to give it a ‘sandbox playground’ feel. I think the sensors could be improved because sometimes the other swing wont move even it’s counterpart is.

I liked how Finlay’s piece twisted the artist and viewer relationship. The art only exists when a viewer sticks their head into the piece. While you think you are enjoying footage of other people’s faces in the box, you are also being recorded and becoming part of the piece. Personally, I did not put my face into the box simply because no one should be seeing my skin that closeup ! no no no.

I liked the mechanism that controls Kathryn’s piece. It was very well made and worked with the projection in an interesting way. The piece in itself was funny for the first few times, but got seriously kind of annoying when the woman wouldn’t shut up (no offense). I guess that was the objective of the piece! 

I didn’t completely understand Katrina’s piece but I did liked how clean each frame was presented. I also liked how she didn’t submit an interactive art even though it is a new media show. It kind of got outstaged by the other digital pieces!

I love the interactive and 2 player aspect of Julian’s piece. You can tell that he spent a lot of time on it and people enjoyed themselves playing the game. One thing I noticed though was how the controllers could malfunction unless the player stands behind the dotted line. A lot of people were standing in front of the line which causes the glitches. Clearly indicating where the players should stand would have helped the piece a lot.

Zoe, Erin and Candice’s Emotive Wall was my favorite simply because of the anonymous and filterless nature. It was fun seeing what sort of random things people texted to the wall. What was interesting was people that are usually quiet and shy in class texted the most (ahem we all know who). Her piece was very successful and a lot of people interacted with it because the program got some many texts that it crashed several times, requiring her to restart it.

All in all, the opening for Threshold was pretty hectic but everything came out well. Each of the pieces have their own charm which made this year’s show very special. I would’ve submitted if there was something I was immensely proud of ! Maybe next time around. . .

Group Members: Arushaa, Karen, Jeffrey, Kurt, Keenan (absent)

Initial Discussion:

Arushaa: How does the media affect society? What platforms are used most effectively to manipulate people’s opinions?
Karen: Why do people choose to communicate online when they prefer talking in person?
– We discussed the findings of her previous research. Personally, I was surprised to see that so many people admitted to preferring to speak online, I had thought there would be a serious bias.
– We talked about some of the reasons people prefer it going past “it’s convenient”
Jeffrey: Where do Canadians want to travel most and why?
Luke: What is the value of interactive, web-based advertising?

Next we tried our best to combine some of these topics to see what new perspectives we could unlock:
Kurt + Arushaa + Jeffrey had come up with: How do advertisements and the manipulative techniques of social media affect where Canadians travel?
Jeffrey is discussing demographic and culture
– How do our social identities represent themselves in data, and how do we appear in our media?

Meeting with Kathleen:
– Stressed the importance of articulating research
Luke: Might be a good idea to reference each others observations and research
– We have two basic sides to this discussion of media and manipulation: Political (Kurt) and marketing (Jeffrey)
– Everyone else is somewhere in between in a spectrum answering a basic question: How does influence and persuasion work?
– based off the discussion, Jeffrey expressed interest in narrowing his question to embrace a more specific Asian-Canadian demographic, and what factors influence their travel decisions
– Discussed the difference between influencing somebody in person and online