Contribution & Maintenance

In regards to content and maintenance of the Wikispace I created pages as well as maintained and contributed to those of others. My personal page contributions towards CCT205 Wikispace include the following: Biometrics, Crytography, Dexit, Failures, Facebook, Flickr, Killer Application, M-Commerce, Online Gambling, PSP, Short Message Service, and TransFlash Card. I choose to choose topics of digital innovation in the realm of technology, commerce, application, and software. The main concentration of my work however is with M-Commerce, SMS, Biometrics, and Cryptography. I felt that these four issues deserved special attention since they each are emerging topics of interest as we continue to technologically advance.

Mobile Commerce is fairly new and presently over shadowed by E-Commerce – although closely related. The realization of M-Commerce as an increasing way of performing business is seen with the continual advancement of wireless mobile device capabilities. The realization of this by Japan’s NTT has turned out a 10 billion dollar M-Commerce industry through the successful implementation of an innovative Web Browser platform – iMode.

SMS has turned from fad to billion dollar industry. With over 500 billion SMS that occur annually (2005 statistic) the realization of SMS as a tool of communication cannot be more real. People use SMS so frequently when we are at work, in class, at the mall, or doing groceries we barely even realize it. On a social and cultural level SMS has greatly affected us, consider text speak, a result of SMS and a new language consisting of abbreviations. (CUL8R = see you later). Even M-Commerce has realized SMS potential. A Pilipino company (Remit), has made SMS a way of M-Commerce by allowing people to “text” money.

With so much texting and money traveling over potential insecure networks it is important to protect such vital information. Digital cryptography seems to be the answer with various institutions such as Banks, E-payment systems, online communities, software companies, all using encryption as a way of making the potentially dangerous internet a safer place. Out of the digital realm and into the physical is Biometrics. This is the system of protection from which human characteristics such as eyes, fingerprints, body gesture, voice, and facial structure are scanned to provide security. It is a new mean of technology that goes beyond simple passwords, pins, or paper identification. It is much more personal and thus controversial.

I found that these four topics were important to discuss since they demonstrated the relative freedom associated with digital innovation (M-Commerce and SMS) while at the same time the feelings of insecurity (Cryptography and Biometrics). It appears that while we gain freedom we also lose it. It’s ironic how innovation is a double edged sword.

A huge responsibility of Wiki members is maintenance. Although I maintained my own pages by researching and updating I also applied that to other people’s pages as well. I felt that it was important to support other pages such as electronic commerce, invasion of privacy, sims, and etc out of personal interest but also since they related to my own pages. Since the topics to be chosen were theoretical concepts expressed in CCT205 and primarily those out of digital innovation our entire Wiki is one. Specifically I would browse through the table of contents, recent updates, and look for pages which I believe I could add my knowledge to – in situations were I was learning I researched topics and added to the pages. As well as adding knowledge I improved the general layout of pages through headings, line dividers, TOC, importing pictures, and interlinking pages through hyper text. Ultimately I actively edited, maintained, and updated as many wikipages as I could.

Reflection & Suggestions

The implementation of a Wikispace for CCT205 was definitely a great idea. I understand this was the first time a Wikispace was used for this project and thus is somewhat of a pilot – not quite sure what the results will be. Personally I can tell you that the Wiki has myself as well as other students a greater understanding of collaboration through community knowledge. University despite having groups projects/assignment/ and etc are very competitive and individualistic. However, the Wikispace eliminates any sense of individuality or superiority since we are all maintaining a Wiki by contributing, editing, updating, and further adding knowledge. People build upon other peoples work and what may have started out as a paragraph is now several pages long full of illustrations, hyperlinks, external pages, and a greater understanding. Having said this I believe that the Wikispace should stay as a part of CCT205 as it has many benefits. Perhaps a way of further increasing this community knowledge would be creating a larger Wikis incorporating other classes. My roommate for example had a Wikispace for another course (geographical systems), perhaps blending the two would be a good idea, and the wikispace could take an approach which blends both courses.

A problem I found with the Wikispace was towards the end there were many pages that it proved difficult when trying to find something specific. An implementation of a “search field” would be useful in solving this problem. Another thing worth mentioning is to facilitate more “discussion postings of pages.” Initially discussions take place by clicking on the page and than via hyper link “discussion”- a kind of tedious process. If you notice hardly anyone ever posts. Perhaps placing a “table of contents for discussion” where each page has a discussion link would solve this. This further would lessen flame wars, as people can discuss before posting on original material, rather than deleting, or discrediting original work.

Lastly, I noticed that lots of the pages posted by students contained great material worth sharing with others. Much of the collaboration on students’ behalfs refined knowledge on topics into great masterpieces. Thus I think it would be suitable to share this information to others. I know Wikispaces is invite only, so why not start a University Wikispace Network facilitated by U of T or Sheridan available to their students. I know for a fact it would really help CCIT students. This should seriously be considered since after putting all of this effort into something so great, it would be nice to share it with others than besides the class.