The INF115 Database

When I think of a database I mental-picture drawers filled with alphabetically organized folders, I don’t think of links or tags or even a platform like Diigo.

My sixth assignment for my New Digital Media and Social Media class changed that image.

For the past weeks, my classmates and I had to look for talks, tools, and publications all related to digital media and/or social media, two very broad technologies. Also, we had to search for privacy and the ethics in the topics.

This assignment arose from my professor’s interests to create a database for us and future students to use. In the class, we are constantly watching talks, sharing articles and tools so it made sense for him to want to create a database, organize everything we bring to the class in one place, and not let it vanish into space.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, database is a usually large collection of data organized especially for rapid search and retrieval (as by a computer).


[Photo by Samuel Zeller. CC Licensed]

In my class’ case we specifically organized a database through tags in Diigo, a social bookmarking website. We primarily used the tags #nmdb and #inf115 , but we also used other tags like #blog , #app and #privacy , depending on our assigned task for the database.

The database was divided into for topics and students were divided into groups.

Solimar, Natalia, Elisa, Paola, Yairimar, and me focused on finding talks. We looked for talks that could expand our perspective and knowledge on the specific topics.

Here’s the link to my Diigo talks’ lists.

The talks I chose were:

(1) Paul Conneally talks about how can mobile phones, through social media, help in humanitarian efforts through what would be called digital humanitarianism.

(2) Nadine Hachach-Haram says that there is a key ingredient to performing remote surgery and that is an augmented reality software. With this, surgeons don’t have to be in the same place as the person who is being operated by them. Through a video on their computer she demonstrates how this works.

(3) Johanna Blakley talks about how the use of social networking tools takes people out of the demographics media companies use to know their audience. She says that online is easier, better and more substantial to know your specific interests than your age, and gender.

(4) In this TED talk, Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu talk about what happens when you have smart devices at home and what they can share about what is supposed to be “your privacy”.

(5) Christopher Soghoian talks about how Apple smartphones encrypt all of the owner’s information while Android smartphones don’t. He says that this affects the people who use Android smartphones because, besides the fact that the persons who use Android are most likely to be society’s most vulnerable citizens, they become exposed to surveillance from the government, especially when they are also most likely to be the ones who today use smartphones to organize social movements.

(6) Neuroscientist David Eagleman proposes that in order to sense more than what we do in our “umwelt”, we need to add new peripherals to ourselves do it and we can do it with technology, in fact, we are already doing it.

(7) Journalist Bruno Torturra talks about how independent broadcasting changes journalism and how can anybody do it with just a smartphone. He was the first journalist to broadcast, without big equipment, live through social media, a protest in Brasil.

(8) Kristi Rogers talks about how so many digital ads are irrelevant to us and how they are being shaped by finance.

(9) Blaise Agüera y Arcas talks about how the software PhotoSynth can scan and connect all images of the world, whether it’s a whole book, a photo or a map.

(10) Amy Adele Hasinoff talks about why we shouldn’t worry about sexting and worrying about digital privacy.

These are the links of my classmates talks:

[Featured image: Photo by Jan Antonin Kolar. CC Licensed.]

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