Analysis and Reflection

My own contribution to this assignment was not as timely or well rounded as the many others that wrote and edited the class wiki but it is still there nonetheless. My wiki page outlines the growing problem of cyber stalking in an online environment.

Cyber stalking or harassment through intimidation by electronic means focuses on a particular individual or group. It is facilitated in many ways by the very nature of the internet. Much of the web is untamable and due to its shear size and diversity only a few organizations on the planet have the resources to monitor it. Remaining anonymous online is the biggest draw for potential stalkers because they can maintain their distance from the victim.

I also edited the surveillance page that someone had put up. I mentioned the Carnivore software that Michelle Levesque had mentioned in her guest lecture period. The software can log all internet traffic on a given ISP as long as the government gets a warrant to do so.

I think wikis have great potential for collaborative work. The ability to edit on the fly is pretty amazing (and I never thought that I would say that, I don’t get amazed all that often anymore). Changes are saved, can be reviewed, and reverted back to the original form. The interface is also pretty exceptional, incorporating many of the standard functions of many word processors making it easier to pick up and get going.

One thing I would like to see however is the addition of a spell checker. I realise that it is up to the community to edit and revise these pages but having that added functionality would be a great bonus in my opinion.

Another feature that works pretty well is the table of contents feature. It is very easy to use and places the headings in perfect order intuitively.

That being said, some problems are inherent in this type of online collaborative program. People can change and edit as they please, which may not go over too well with the authors of some pages, including titles such as "DO NOT EDIT THE PAGE". This is of course impossible and also counter-intuitive to the whole reason for having a wiki in the first place. I suppose it comes down to having good 'netiquette' and respecting other people's work as well as their freedom.

I don’t think there were any flaws in this assignment because of one simple fact. It has evolved. The submissions and guidelines for this assignment have not stayed static but changed as new opinions and new suggestions were made. In some ways this is the ultimate progressive online activity for an institution of learning because it provides experience with a real world phenomenon. The analysis and reflection for example was supposed to be handed in on paper only, but deciding to post it up online was a students idea. Also, any problems or question that a student might have had could be addressed through the student created FAQ.