Communicating in Cyberspace

Cyberspace Communication 215 Communication in Cyberspace what does it means and how do these works fit together. To begin I first looked up the definition of these two words. Communications: All means of symbolic or verbal communication (newspapers, mail, email, telephones, television, radio, etc. ) that people and machines use to make contact and share information. [i] Cyberspace: Imaginary, intangible, virtual-reality realm where (in general) computer-communications and simulations and (in particular) internet activity takes place.

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The electronic equivalent of human psyche (the ‘mindspace’ where thinking and dreaming occur), cyberspace is the domain where objects are neither physical nor representations of the physical world, but are made up entirely of data manipulation and information [ii] After taking this course it appears the sum of these words are greater than their individual parts. The dynamics of this subject is overwhelming. I can why as an assignment we only had to address three of the topics explored otherwise you could wind up with writing something that approaches the size of War and Peace.

The three subjects that interested me the most was the aspects of ethics and privacy, web site design and how it is culturally modified to meet the respective audiences and HTML programming Ethics and privacy, in one of our first lessons, we watched a video of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who by most counts is responsible for the internet, as we know it today explained how he fell victim to fraud while buying a Christmas present via the internet. He continued to say how violated he felt after he found out that had happened, to him it was similar to discovering that one of your children has stolen money from you.

The internet has also spawned an industry of dubious distinction identity theft. No one is safe from it as it cut across all culture and ethics divides. Interestingly most of the thieves are from so-called poor Eastern European counties. While other countries such as China has taking the high road and setting their sights on stealing intellectual property from high tech companies. In the past few months there have been attacks on Google and other United States companies’ computer systems, these coordinated attacks have originated from Chinese University’s and colleges. Their sole purpose is to steal echnology[iii] Privacy or the expectation of if has all but disappeared with increased usage of the internet. Anything you send electronically cannot be with all certainty be truly deleted. Just because you press, the delete key does not mean it gone. Mail servers or back servers can hold copies of correspondence for eternity. One of the ironies is that emails are now widely used as evidence in divorce cases. The second takeaway from this class is the study of international websites and how much thought, and investigation into the ethnic culture needs to be done in order to successfully tailor a site to a particular country.

The McDonalds Company seems to have succeeded in this area. By visiting their websites for different countries, you can see how they have personalized each one based on the different cultures values that exist. There is clear evidence that they have investigated the five cultural values of their target markets. By evaluating these five values, which include individualism, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, power distance and high low context value. They are able to insure the website will be well received by the target audience.

The importance of being sensitive to a countries culture values and beliefs cannot be underestimated as failure to do so can result in consequences far greater than just lost hamburger sales. HTML, which stands for HyperText Markup Language, is the predominant markup language for web pages. It provides a means to create structured documents by denoting structural semantics for text such as headings, paragraphs, lists etc as well as for links, quotes, and other items. It allows images and objects to be embedded and can be used to create interactive forms.

It is written in the form of HTML elements consisting of “tags” surrounded by angle brackets within the web page content. It can include or can load scripts in languages such as JavaScript which affect the behavior of HTML processors like Web browsers; and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to define the appearance and layout of text and other material. The W3C, maintainer of both HTML and CSS standards, encourages the use of CSS over explicit presentational markup. [iv]] The definition as given above does not begin to describe he power that HTML actually has.

In counties with high context values like the United States HTLM is like a fireworks display, as a well-designed web site can become truly mesmerizing. HTML is very powerful and somewhat easy to use in its simplest form as we discovered in this class. Any text file can be easily converted into HTML with just a simple “save as” command. Generating a web page can become an addictive pastime as you can continually try to improve the look and feel of the page by adding new features and colors.

In web design, the only real limitation is your imagination and your desire for perfection As Voltaire quoted the “the better is the enemy of the good”[v] ———————– [i] http://www. businessdictionary. com/definition/communication. html [ii] http://www. businessdictionary. com/definition/cyberspace. html [iii] http://www. nytimes. com/2010/02/19/technology/19china. html [iv] http://www. w3. org/TR/html401/conform. html#deprecated [v] http://en. wikiquote. org/wiki/Voltaire


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