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November 7, 2009 / Elizabeth

Social Machines

For the 2nd tutorial, Eve, Khalid, Ning and Faith touched on the topic of Social Machines.

They explained what was Continuous Partial Attention (CPA) and the difference between CPA and multitasking by making us play a few games ( like those above).

Another game had us divided into pairs and one person had to reply an SMS while replying to his/her partner next to him/her.

Try these games! They’re supposed to measure how well you multitask!

(LMAO I got dreadfully embarrassing scores. =.=)

We learnt that multitasking is used when you want to achieve two things at once to increase your productivity. All of us do this tons of times a day. For example, doing mindless stuff such as walking while eating.

CPA, on the other hand, is more like scanning the surface of a few things at once and not really focusing on those things deeply. For example: using your laptop while trying to listen to lecture/tutorial.

CPA could be thought of as a bad way of multitasking, because it decreases your productivity.

Again, all of us have been guilty of this before. We all try to accomplish a few things at once, thinking that by dividing our attention like this, we would be more efficient in completing our work. When in fact, we might even be taking a longer time to finish everything.

Oh well, guess having a “one-track mind” can be good in some cases too.

Social Machines

450px-Digg_new.svgNext they taught us about the social news site Digg where people can discover and share content  (links, videos, stories, etc) with others. One can also check what are the news that people like the most by looking at the most number of “diggs”. Those that don’t like the Digg article can “bury” it too. Sounds nasty. Hahaha. But this website is also a good example of the wisdom of crowds. Hurhur.

668px-Delicious.svgThen we moved on to a social bookmarking site, Delicious, where we can bookmark our favourite websites on these sites without changing browsers to access our faves. We can also share our fave websites with others (if we choose to do so) and discover new websites that others have shared.

3341867838_4556772174Having an account at StumbleUpon, another social bookmarking site, also allows for easier discovering and sharing of websites that on your interests. StumbleUpon chooses which Web page to display based on the user’s ratings of previous pages, ratings by his/her friends, and by the ratings of users with similar interests. Users can rate or choose not to rate any Web page with a thumbs up or thumbs down. (Reference)

An example from class:
If you’re a musician and you want people to check out your website for your music, you can pay to have a sponsored page on StumbleUpon. This way, you can have your ad appear to only those who have signed up for an interest in music.

Couldn’t help but say this, but with these social bookmarking tools, I’ll be able to find more Kpop-related websites easily, and also kaypoh/RESEARCH what other Kpop fans are reading their Kpop news from! Woww.


There’s Google Reader, which constantly checks our favorite news sites and blogs for new content. Its like checking your email inbox and having all these updates sent to it. Subscribe to the websites’ RSS feeds or add subscriptions to Google Reader and all the information just starts coming in.

Checking the news (whether Kpop news or not) has never been easier, I can just get all the news I want from The Straits Times Interactive or OmonaTheyDidn’t! once I subscribe to their RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds.

I just have to click on this orange button RSS-Logowhether on the website itself:

Picture1or at the top of the browser:


and whenever these websites are updated, their updates would be on my Google Reader, waiting to be read.

For people like me who rely on the internet heavily for news (again whether Kpop news or not). Instead of visiting multiple websites, I can just go to one and read all my news from there. It saves so much time and effort, or as Andrea puts it, “Wahlau! Makes stalking our idols so much easier lor!”

I wish I knew about RSS feeds sooner. I always disregarded that orange button and didn’t question of its existence. Now that I know about these, I would definitely make use of it better. Hey, otherwise it would just be there for decor, right?

And note to self: Learn to be more inquisitive about such new technologies in future.

Just thinking about all my favourite websites in one place just gets me excited.

BRB I’m going to try it all now. YAY! XD *starts high-fiving everyone in sight*


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