Building a web presence, which presents a useful addition to the World Wide Web, requires thoughtful researching, planning and execution. The web presence assignment for the Net11 unit has provided me with many hours of research and a greater understanding of how social media can assist in communicating a message to an audience. By using the information provided throughout the unit but in particular considering Web 2.0, blogging, Internet footprints and Social Me(dia) Rivers. I have built a web presence to assist people in finding photography competitions and inspiration to go out and make photographs. As the central node for my web presence I decided to use a WordPress blog. To support my central node I registered for a Twitter account, Flickr account, a Delicious account and a Friendfeed account. I will begin with the reasoning behind using a WordPress blog as my central node.
As the web presence being created was to assist photographers to find photography competitions relevant to them, it was important to consider the best way of presenting that information. As stated by Rebecca Blood in Weblogs: A history and Perspective (2000) blogs can be used to create a filter-style website, revealing “glimpses of an unimagined web to those who have no time to surf” (Blood, 2000). Weblogs also contain tools such as trackbacks, permalinks, an RSS feed and comments to assist with developing a greater Internet footprint. By using the cutline theme I was able to change the header image to more successfully link the blog with the supporting nodes. It was possible through the use of widgets to expand the range of options available to a reader when looking for further information. Within the sidebar I have included links to subscribe to the RSS feed via email, view recent Twitter activity, access my Friendfeed stream and view the latest Delicious bookmarks. These supporting nodes have assisted in increasing the views to the blog over the course of this assignment, with many viewers linking from Twitter.
Through the course of this unit, I came to realise that Twitter would be a valuable addition to my web presence due to its popularity with users and application developers, and its speed. Twitter offers the ability to communicate information multiple times throughout the day on a platform which is regularly indexed by the search engines, also “by encouraging shorter posts, it lowers users’ requirement of time and thought investment for content generation” (Akshay Java et al, 2007). Twitter offers the ability to upload a custom background. This allowed me to visually link the Twitter profile with both my central node and my Friendfeed profile. By following other Twitter users who had an interest in photography and photography competitions I was also able to find an additional source of competitions about which to post on my blog. The Twitterfeed tool allowed me to successfully link my friendfeed stream with my Twitter account and update my tweets during the day without additional input from me.
Friendfeed is a website which “offers a fun and interactive way to discover and discuss information among friends” (About Friendfeed, n.d.). By combining feeds from selected users, some of the more authoritative photography competition sites and Flickr I was able to create a constantly updated stream of information for research and also Twitter updates. Friendfeed offers the ability to upload a custom background for which I used a very similar background to my Twitter profile. Using Friendfeed as an aggregator has allowed me, and other users who view my profile, the ability to gain a basic view of the presence I am trying to create. This also assists in increasing the visibility of my web presence as discussed in the Net11 topic on digital shadows. While efforts have been taken over the course of this assignment to limit the amount of personal information accessible through the web presence created, I have been able to use a consistent theme and the PhotographyComp username, found through the Namechk website, to build a linked and associated visibility across the websites used.
As a photography themed web presence it is important to have a method of storing photographs taken. Some of which have been used in developing the central node. The ability to link both a WordPress blog and a Friendfeed stream to Flickr led me to use this as one of my supporting nodes. Flickr also offers the opportunity to specify the licensing rules with which the photo’s can used. After initially creating the Flickr account I was able to upload images and begin to add favourites from other users while searching for some inspiration. These can both be viewed through my profile page and can also be added as an RSS feed. Linking the Flickr account visually to the other supporting nodes and my central node was only possible through the addition of the same photographs used for my supporting node background templates. This is due to Flickr allowing only minimal customisation of pages. I was however able to link to my central node through the profile page and also by using the ‘Blog This’ feature. The final supporting node used was Delicious.
Delicious is “a collaborative tagging system for web bookmarks that its creator, Joshua Schachter, calls a ‘social bookmarks manager’ ”(Golder and Huberman, 2005). By using Delicious to bookmark many of the competition sites that were discovered during the course of this assignment, I was able to build metadata linking not only my profile with tags pertaining to photography competitions and the PhotographyComp username, but also to create a list of bookmarks which would automatically populate a post within my central WordPress blog to add to the ease of following the latest competitions. Delicious is also linked to my Friendfeed profile as an RSS feed to add to the information available through tweets produced by Twitterfeed.
By linking the wordpress.com blog as a central node and Twitter, Friendfeed, Flickr and Delicious accounts as supporting nodes, this web presence will allow photographers to find competitions which are valid to them. The visual linking of each different element of this web presence along with a consistent username throughout will allow users to find information across multiple platforms with ease. My Internet footprint and digital shadow have been taken into account during the execution of this assignment to maintain a level of privacy while offering the chance to gain visibility within the World Wide Web. In conclusion, by utilising the information learned throughout the Net11 unit. I have been able to develop a web presence, which is a valuable addition to the World Wide Web.
About Friendfeed. (n.d.) Retrieved November 21, 2009, from http://friendfeed.com/about/
Akshay Java et al (2007) ‘Why We Twitter: Understanding Microblogging Usage and Communities’, Procedings of the Joint 9th WEBKDD and 1st SNA-KDD Workshop 2007, Retrieved November 23, 2009, from http://ebiquity.umbc.edu/get/a/publication/369.pdf
Blood, Rebecca. (2000). “Weblogs: A History and Perspective”, Rebecca’s Pocket. Retrieved November 23, 2009, from http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html
Golder, Scott A. and Bernardo A. Huberman. (2005). The structure of collaborative tagging systems. (Electronic resource). Retrieved November 21, 2009, from http://arxiv.org/abs/cs.DL/0508082?guid=on
Namechk website http://www.namechk.com
Twitterfeed website http://www.twitterfeed.com
Link to web presence patterned notes:
Links to supporting nodes: