Network Aesthetics – week 1

Week 2

We had a new tutor for this module. The lecture started with an explanation of the module including the role of networks in digital communication and how networks influence our lives and the way we communicate today.

We learnt how the internet is the infrastructure that the World Wide Web sits on top of. The lecturer discussed how BT used to use telephone poles to make a network and how now we have mobile phone masts, satellite, copper cables, ads, modems and fibre optics to allow transmission of data which is what the internet is.

He then discussed “open architecture,” therefore open source which means the site is free for anyone to use and they can change things and resend the page. Linux and Wikipidea are open source. There was a discussion between the lecturer and a student where the lecturer does not like Linux because he felt it was too clunky, ugly and unfamiliar but a student thought it was quite speedy and liked the idea of the freedom to modify web pages. He explained how networks needed standards e.g. TCP or Protocol and that open systems could be more vulnerable to viruses.

The lecture continued discussing social networks like Google+, Facebook, Instagram ,Linkedin, Blip, Istock, Deviantart, Youtube and Vimeo. He explained that they have all gone from their uniqueness to being similar to Facebook.

Assignment 1

We have to create an idea for a website for social networking. We have to do an informal presentation on our ideas and have some sort of basic prototype whether or not it works yet.

Assignment 2

We have to develop our prototype into a working social networking website. This has to be tested and used by at least 4 people and we have to get their opinions and feedback. We also have to write a 1000 word critical evaluation after this.

Once the assignment was given we had to get into pairs and discuss our ideas. These are some of the ideas students said:

  • comic books
  • party games
  • film clips uploaded for editing
  • pictures of nature-geo tagging
  • gaming forums
  • music and dance
  • travel discussions

We also discussed the technology to create the websites e.g html, dreamweaver, wordpress, buddy press, elgg, jamroom.

I enjoyed this lecture. This assignment is quite interesting as I enjoy modules where I have to create websites. It does take a lot of time to get all the ideas together and then creating a usable website. I have started brainstorming ideas in my head trying to think of a unique website where social networking plays a big part.


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