PAF 591 – EPA Module 3

Vulnerability was the underlying theme of this week’s readings, videos and activities. The online community forces us to expose ourselves to people we do not know. Chris Anderson’s talk (the first video) discussed how online video can lead to greatness through innovation. By making yourself vulnerable and posting a video online, you can inspire others to improve on what you have done (his main example was dancing) and raise it to the next level. Moving past the realization you have an audience of several millennium people is the only way you can accomplish something outstanding. Allowing yourself to be exposed is how you become not just part of the crowd but a contributor. Anybody can be an innovator thanks to devises like YouTube. Due to the availability of interaction online, we now can have a voice and we now can make a difference that we have been told our entire life we were able to do. Before we may have only had a small crowd to share our ideas, but now we can touch millions of people.

In Jamie Hayworth’s moving presentation, health patients sharing their experiences with their respective diseases online is aiding their fellow patients. By releasing their conditions, their prescriptions, their feelings, their side effects, it helps create a community they may have not had other wise. On top of that, it helps future patients not only cope but have a better understanding of how certain treatments will affect them. Again, it is people putting themselves out there that creates a better community. Similar to Hayworth’s “Patients Like Me”, online communities are assisting veterans in coping with returning from war. Through online communities such as Second Life, they can share how they are feeling due to the fact it is easily accessible, they can be anonymous and they can talk to people in similar situations.

The additional readings and the video Jenna posted related more towards how exposed we are online. I found the video Jenna posted to be fascinating, in fact I even put it on my own Twitter and Facebook account. The article regarding how there is no anonymity in the future I found intriguing. It makes me think how we are going to regard scandal in the future. I have a feeling a few years from now we will see several old photos of politicians that creep up from Facebook and that will become the norm in mudslinging campaigns. Similar examples have already begun such as Christine O’Donnell’s blast from the past videos and Ben Quayle’s involvement with TheDirty.com.

As the CNN article stated, there have been occasions in the workplace where things you post online can come back to haunt you. I know people who have gotten stern lectures due to having “OMG SO HUNGOVER!” statuses on weekday mornings. Employees need to be careful what they post because there will likely be consequences of some sort.

World of Warcraft
I decided to play World of Warcraft due to the fact I thought being a Night Elf sounded a lot more intriguing than just having a “Second Life” and I have heard more about WOW. I’ve always been a fan of both video games and fantasy/SciFi movies so I enjoyed WOW and will likely play again before my free trial is up (if I have the time of course). The challenges were fun, even though it was a little confusing how to work everything at first. It was also fun creating your avatar and picking out what type of character you were (I was a Night Elf Druid). There did not seem to be much interaction with other players, which was fine. I think a cool thing you could do to tie WOW to Public Administration could be to create teamwork challenges, although I am not completely sure how you do that… Second Life may be better for Public Administration challenges due to the fact WOW seems more like your average video game; however, that may not be the case the more you get involved in the game.

The activities I was the most interested in on meetup.com were book clubs (I love to read) and food and wine pairings. I think the site is fantastic for people who are new to an area or who may have different interests than their friends. It was a lot of fun exploring the different events and groups and once I’m done with my MPA, I may join one of the book clubs.

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