Monday, July 28, 2008

The "Ultimate" Resource: Wikipedia

Learning From Wikipedia
Thanks to for the inspiration in today's post.

Perhaps everyone who had used the net at least once had seen or heard (if not used) Wikipedia. Wikipedia, as defined in their own site, is a "free, multilingual, open content encyclopedia project operated by the United States-based non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its name is a portmanteau of the words wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites) and encyclopedia. Launched in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, it attempts to collect and summarize all human knowledge in every major language." (Source: where else?) Currently translated into 253 languages, Wikipedia can definitely boast as the "most popular general reference resource in the Internet". It is the first thing I consult for all those define-this-and-that homeworks our teachers and professors love. Admit it. If you've been using Wikipedia long enough, you definitely had at least once copy-pasted something from it. Whether it's a picture, a paragraph or even the whole article, we are all guilty of using something from the Wikipedia.

But that aside, Wikipedia may be the coolest thing out there, but like all things, it has its downsides. Being an open source, Wikipedia allows any Internet user to edit any article with out having to log in to the site. How many of you had experienced reading and sometimes linking to an article when all of the sudden after a day or two that same article has been changed? Take for example the article of Ino Yamanaka from the anime series, Naruto. (Please excuse the following Narutardness). There used to be a full page article about Ino Yamanaka, complete with some of the significant appearances she made during the whole first season and some spoilers from the Shippuden Arc of the manga. A week or so before the Shippuden arc was released, the said article disappeared. (I was following it because I wanted to cosplay as the 2 1/2 years later Ino and the original article had the picture.) Ino Yamanaka was then edited into a chunky small paragraph in the wiki's List of Naruto Characters. Perhaps the admins themselves edited it, or somebody else did. I will never know. But anyway, that's just a sample of what can and is happening in Wikipedia. (I'm talking about the main Wikipedia article. Not those in the other wikipages like this.) Some were even worse, giving biased opinions on some topics and others giving wrong information period.

Still, Wikipedia had taken steps to avoid these mishaps by controlling the number of articles that can be edited by the masses and the people who can actually do the editing. This mere effort proves that Wiki does care of what goes out of their site and want to make it as credible as it possibly can. Seriously, Wiki is still the number one resource for me, and still begin my definition searches from them. But if you are ever caught in doubt, you can always consult other websites or other people. You don't really have to rely on Wiki for everything.

**P.S. This is not a remark against Wikipedia, but a shout out to the people who turn this wonderful site into a gossip bin. Stop ruining Wiki. Go to your blog or forums and rant there instead. A lot of people are relying on the information on Wiki, so please don't clutter it with trash.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Favorite Social Networking Sites

Oh the social networking sites of today seem to grow more and more interesting, don't they? Here's a rundown of the sites I frequently go to. Watch out, coz I just might meet you there!

Friendster's Log-in page

Who could forget where it all started? When the Friendster fever hit the Philippines, it hit hard. People can be seeing advertising their email addresses everywhere. Introductions included: "Do you have a Friendster account? Please add me!" I remember the main goal at why our class in college required of a class directory: to add 50 people in their friendster list. There were conventions, eyeballs, grand eyeballs and relationships coming and going. Friendster was in every body's mouths until other social networks came in.

2. Gaia Online

First started out as, Gaia online is probably the first (and for me the best) social networking site that had used the anime avatar system. I first found out about Gaia back when it was still, with only one town, Barton, and
the other two towns (Durem and Akaea) just on the way. Back then, Gaia was mainly for forums and avatars. And you guess it, its all about anime, manga, gaming, and everything in between. The best thing about Gaia besides the very customizable cute avatars is the gold earning system wherein you earn gold just by hanging around the site! There used to be a gift box that pops up wherein you can win cool rare items. The gift box is still there, though it is really really rare nowadays. You can also earn gold with the Daily Chance that appears instead.

My Gaia me! See you in the forums!

After a few changes and a lot of awesome updates, new improved GaiaOnline now boasts its own share of community with games, Cash shops, merchandise, their very own manga, evolving items and more. From one, the towns grew into three. Future plans include the launch of the official GaiaOnline MMORPG, zOMG!. Continuous change and updates is what made Gaia a truly successful and memorable Social network that anime fans will surely love.

3. Meez

Probably the best one for now is Meez. I found about it through Photobucket (where it enables you to create an avatar of your own.)
Meez 3D avatar avatars games
Where can you find a Witch as sexy as that? LOLZ.

Using Java technology, Meez creates not only customizable avatars, THEY ALSO MOVE. That's right. Probably the one thing that makes it really different from Gaia is that the avatars are animated. Lots of stuff to choose from too. To earn gold, you need to play games. Though the games themselves are cool too, you'd have to make past a certain level to earn a big haul (and earn a very nice award that is displayed in your profile for all to see.)

There are others out there, but so far, these are the ones that I really love hanging around in. Check them out for yourself. Don't blame me if you get addicted!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Love at first Stumble

When I first went online back in 2002 (and never knew about the existence of the Internet before that being a lame computer noob that I was.), I was lead by the leash of Google search, typing in search query after search query in vain effort to get lucky and find the info I am looking for. I knew no other option for exploring the net except by typing the actual URL, which is also lame since I was never really good at remembering them. I wanted to explore the whole Internet and all that there is to it (save porn). It was as if the Net was the well that can quench my thirst for knowledge: fact, fiction, or lies. And I wished there was another way. A faster way...

6 years later, I found the answer. It was named

Now that I have access to the fast Internet connection that I was deprived of six years ago (even up to now at my home PC), and working in the Internet industry as well, I "stumbled upon" it and fell in love at first "stumble!". It was so amazing that I found myself signing up and downloading the toolbar. It was instant Internet exploration/bookmarking at the same time, and I love it.

I is not gonna show you my account name there! Harhar! Stumble Upon me!

One of the downfalls of the site is that sometimes it generates the same results at every stumble. Meaning if you tagged "environment" as a favorite, one of the sites, say, (I don't know if this exists. Nudge me if it does.) will have a tendency to reappear as a stumble answer to that tag every single time. So you don't have to be surprised to have explored every single page in your favorite website. Furthermore, the results are on a per page basis. You don't really see the homepage unless the item is in the homepage. This can be a downside especially if there was a picture (this usually happens in pictures) that you like and would like to see more from that website, but there are no homepage buttons around, or you'll have to manually crop the URL on the address bar. But those aside, Stumble Upon is a great way to experience the web. It's fun, easy, and you can also find people with similar interests as you do and chat with them. Half the sites I will be posting here would be recommended by Stumble Upon too, so don't be surprised if you already had "Stumbled" into that site before I did or Stumble upon it afterwards.

*pushes the Stumble! button* Hey, here's another cool site...