Adopting Technology (And Dealing With Snow)

Assignments for our snow day (erh, night).

Blog Assignment #1

Think of some piece of technology that you have recently purchased or a piece of software or feature of an existing piece of technology that you have recently started using. (For example, I recently upgraded my

version of MSN Messenger.]

Think about why you made this decision – what factors caused the

Now – talk about your experience … and then think about the theories
we’ve talked about in class. Which theories help explain your behavior?

As I said in the example, I just upgraded MSN Messenger. Why? Because students in COM546 are using it to IM – and I need to be accessible in something other than Google Chat. I’ve used MSN Messenger forever, it seems, in the sense of "how long have you had it installed on your computer." But I’ve never been a big user of IM. The main exception was when Mike and I were first dating. :)

I’m clearly not an early adopter of this technology — I’m being pulled along by my social circle. Network effects and "peer pressure," I guess. Not sure why IM leaves me cold — I spent two hours with an undergrad I’m advising … and it worked better, I think, than face-to-face for that session.

Blog Assignment #2

How have you used information/communication technologies over the course
of the past 2.5 days — since snow began falling on Sunday. How has the
ubiquity of the Internet changed your behavior? In other words, in some
pre-Internet storm/event … how did you communicate? How did you learn
about the storm/event?

Susan, Mike and I talked about this Monday night – after I’d been on the phone with Susan off-and-on during her 3.45 hour commute from Capitol Hill to Lynnwood. The last big storm here, we think, was ’96. I listended to the radio (via the stereo) and TV — but I don’t know what I did when the power was out. (I was in Bellevue proper, so it wasn’t out that long.) I don’t recall using the Net for info – but I was plugged in, then. You didn’t use your cellphone for long distance then, like you do now.

I remember my cellphone worked during the first earthquake I experienced in Bellevue – was that 96 too? – but my landline didn’t.

In any case, for this storm event … I stayed informed first through KOMO weather updates to my gmail account. Second, through Third, popping in to (school closure info) or KOMO weather (the weather section wasn’t updated – the home page was and this took me a while to figure out). I did not use the radio – ever. I did not use the TV — but we did try. It was frustrating and useless. If you don’t tune in to the news report at the right time – you don’t get the weather. And you can’t get the weather from more than one station since they seem determined to run at the exact same time.

We did try using the radio on Friday night – driving to the motorcycle show at Qwest exhibition center, from UW. KOMO 1000. Ugh. It felt like two minutes of info for every five minutes of inane commercials – no wonder people are using satelllite radio. The business model is broken, folks.

(oops! forgot to change from draft mode)

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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