BreakDrink, CTCX, Open Education, Reflections

Is The Internet YOUR Playground?

This past week on @BreakDrink the Campus Tech Connection (#CTCX) podcast we discussed online filters and search, and how this impacts our knowledge, perception and view. The initial discussion was sparked by the Eli Pariser’s TED Talk about online “filter bubbles” but our conversation cycled into the retrieval and sharing of information within our personal and professional worlds. [Sorry @jefflail – I know you are not a fan of TED, but it was an “idea worth spreading” for the #CTCX show on Monday.]

On the show, we discussed if it was possible to seek unbiased information through our search results, consumption of media and varied perspectives on a topic.  As a History major, I was encouraged to review and assess my sources and citations. It was important to ensure there was an unbiased perspective and account of the information shared. Now that we have the ease of Google, Yahoo, Bing and other online search engines, few people take into account how or where this information is aggregated during search. To test the limitations to online filters, @jeffjackson, @jefflail & I spent some time Googling and contemplating if the internet was actually our playground. Ideas around search engine optimization, online experience, controlled sharing and the openness of our internet were key concepts discussed. It was a pretty good conversation about information collection and filtering – which shall continue throughout my research and professional work. 

For now, I will divert to someone who decided to take back the internet playground. David Thorne is a writer who decided to push the envelop one day through funny personal email exchanges (that not everyone might find funny, but he sure did). Thorne’s most famous exchange with a spider drawing went viral in 2008 which increased traffic to his personal website. To fund the server for this website David decided to create a book calledThe Internet Is My Playground, to share more online interactions. 

Thanks to NPR All Tech Considered for the great piece on David Thorne.

This blog post is also cross-posted on => Campus Tech Connection | Live Googling & Filter Bubbles

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