Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A New Forum

I had never heard of Youtube until I had to go to the site for class. It is quite the amazing website. I went through a lot of videos before choosing one to focus on. There are so many different categories to choose from on Youtube that it’s hard to find something to focus on; which is why I picked “As One”: a video about the Youtube website; specifically a convention in Hollywood.

This video stood out to me more than others because it put me in the position of seeing the other side, the movie maker’s point of view, and why they do it. The video shows you clips of all the different types of people that put movies on the site and the reason why. I feel the maker did this to emphasize the diversity the site offers. It is a new forum for different people to express themselves and voice their opinions. The video is focused on getting more people to the web site by showing all the different people that do it looking so happy and proud. But, this also makes me wonder what kinds of things have been left out. I’m sure that with this forum, like the others, there are copywriting problems, people complaining that they have been offended by one video or another, and so on.
The beginning of the video leads to another aspect that stood out to me: everyone wants their fifteen minutes of fame. Just the fact that the convention was held in Hollywood can lead to this idea. This is a place to go and be heard and seen, to be recognized (and rated-yikes!). The video shows one man that was making videos before, but had no one to show them to, and now he does. This helps artists without and audience to find one. The video also asks the question: “What is the future of Hollywood?” showing all the clips of different people and ideas and bringing them all together-“As One”. At the end of the video he ties back into the “New Hollywood” theme by showing you a group of movie makers together, but still all different.
In watching the video, I realized that it is different from television or movies in many ways. First, you aren’t watching a video that was censored or, in most cases, edited. It’s not structured the same either; most of it is amateurs doing this for the first time. The quality is not as good either, but without being supported by a television or movie company, who can afford all the expensive equipment. Watching it on a computer, and being able to rank it gives me the feeling of interaction. I’m not just sitting there watching it and taking it in. I’m a part of it; I can comment or rank it. In a weird way, you almost feel more connected then the other genres. The world is changing in many ways, and everyone is being able to reach people all over the world. The video I chose puts emphasis on this fact; the title alone implies that we are all coming together as one, through our new technological advances.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Helpful or Harmful

In the last post I was discussing how WebMD is a very versitile site with conventional and non-conventional aspects. There can be some problems that have to do with these aspects. WebMD is a site for the doctor as well as the patient. It's a research site to look up medical information to help teach and learn.
With being a medical professional this is very helpful to get to a large sum of information. With all of this being at one website, it takes less time for the doctor to access the information, therefore making it easier to assess and treat patients. It also makes it possible to confer with other physicians in specialized areas. Not only that, but doctors can also print out instruction guides on exercise, diet, etc. for patients to take home with them.
On the other end of the spectrum is where I tend to see more confusion happening. Some patients do not have any kind of medical background, but they can still access the same places on WebMD as doctors. This can cause patients to be lead in the wrong directions. Some people will try to diagnose and treat themselves before they ever see a doctor. With certain things this is fine, but if you get pulled too off course something stressing could happen. This happened with a woman having a slight pain by her belly-button now and then; she got lead astray and called the office thinking she had ovarian cancer. She was very upset and crying, she came in, and it was just gas. That was more stress than she needed. I find in the information age, we can access mass amounts of information, but if we do not have the training or background, it can be very confusing.
Another thing that can be misleading is the advertisements on WebMD, just like on television(click to see example). I understand they pay for the other aspects of the website, but with medications it is a different story. Medications affect every one differently, wiether it be due to your physiology, or because of the other medications you are taking. But ads seem to have a way of convincing people it's only one thay can have, or will work; I admit I've done this myself before. When the doctor tries to say otherwise, some people do not listen or understand this, so the confusion gets worse.
It is hard in this "information age" to not get clouded by all the different data being offered up to us. I love the website because of all the information that is accessible, but at the same time I want to make sure I and everyone else are careful of how we take in and apply the knowledge. Otherwise, it will be one confusing, stressful mess.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Well Rounded Website

When I was working as a medical assistant I would run into all kinds of different issues that people had. And, sometimes even the doctor didn’t know all of the problems people had. One of our biggest resources was This website focuses on health information, and was a very useful tool for me.
This website is conventional in many ways (website conventions). It starts with a homepage that is broken down and organized by a few different ways. The main tool bar lets you search by ailment. There is also a search bar to just type in what you’re looking for. And, like other websites it has hyperlinks to different areas; and a subtle background to make it easier to read. Also, it has lots of ads, and who can have a website with out ads?
There are also other areas that are similar to other websites, but with their own little traits. There is an index area, which isn’t amazing in it’s self; but when you click on it, you are in access to the largest medical library I’ve ever seen. Doctors are able to look things up with a click of a button, instead of trying to flip through a book, or go from one website to another to find what they need. Also, unlike other websites I’ve seen, you can actually get on to different blog sites of other doctors to ask direct questions. In another twist to the conventions, WebMD has a tool bar that is actually just a body, and you are able to click on the area of the body that you are trying to research on. And this website isn’t just for doctors; it is also a way for patients to get information they need on ailments, as well as a link to other things like diet, exercise groups, and others. This is a website that stands out to me because it’s not just for one group of people, which is a twist on conventions in it’s self.
In writing this post it has occurred to me how amazing the information age is. It’s not that WebMD is a crazy, new site with tons of new information or anything; it’s that in trying to do research in the medical field, you can be lead astray by how the books are set up. With the innovation of this website it makes it easier to find your subject and stay on your subject. It’s also very time consuming to try and collect information from thousands of different books. In WebMD you have almost every medical book you can think of at the touch of the mouse.
Living in this age, there are millions of different websites out there and all have conventional and non-conventional aspects. I hope that in reading this you can see the specific little things that WebMD uses to try and set it’s self apart from the rest. It is a site that is unique and all encompassing at the same time.