Reflections about my Lightbeam Graph

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This is the first time that I have ever installed Firefox on my computer and I am quite happy that I did because of the Lightbeam add-on. Lightbeam is a cool feature that allowed me to see the first party sites that I visited (the circles) and what third party sites (the triangles) are related to them. Some of the third party sites are related to a variety of the first party sites that I went to. For example, you can see that both Youtube.com and NBA.com are related to Twitter.com by way of the lines connecting the circles and triangles. This makes sense because Twitter allows people to do things such as share and like articles or videos on either of these sites. Expectedly, Google, Twitter and Facebook seemed to be third party sites to most of the sites that I visited which is why all of them are centered in the middle of the graph. This goes to show how the increase in the social media tools of the Web 2.0 has given us the opportunity to create an online identity and connect with people from around the world who might be interested in the same things that we are. I found it quite amusing though that Ryerson’s site is all by itself in the left bottom corner.

Lightbeam also has a toggle control that enables you to see which third party site is tracking your information and storing it as cookies on your hard drive as you go to first party sites. This is helpful because we can see which third-party companies are sacrificing our privacy by tracking our information and sharing it for commercial and other goals. For every one of the 14 sites that I visited, there were atleast 3 third party companies(purple lines from first party sites to third party sites) that were tracking my movements. This fact further encourages me to “think twice and click once” now that I know so much people are watching me.

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How to Search for Things on Google?

1. How would you search for an exact word or phrase?

  • You would have to put the exact word or phrase in quotations in the search box. For example, if you wanted to search for the word dog, you would put “dog” in the search box. Google will present search results that include the words and phrases in the quotations in the exact order they are in the quotations.

2. How would you search for something on a specific site?

  •  You would type what you are searching for in front of “site:” and whatever the site is after. For example, by typing “homeless people site: torontostar.com” in the search box, you can find everything that mentions homeless people on the Toronto Star website.

3. How would you correctly search for a definition?

  • You would type “define” followed by the word or phrase you are looking to define. For example, if you are looking for the definition of playing, you would type “define playing” in the search box. Also, if you wanted to look for a variety of definitions of a word or phrase from different online sources, you would type “define:” followed by the word or phrase.

4. How would you search for a specific product available within a specific price range?

  • You would type the type of product followed by the lowest number of the price range, two periods, and then the highest number of the price range. For example, if you wanted to search for all PlayStation 4’s between the prices of $400 and $500, you would type “PlayStation 4 400..500” in the search box.

5. How would you search for a specific filetype?

  • You would have to type “filetype:” followed by the type of file you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for jpg files on Google, you would type “filetype: jpg” in the search box.

6 . How would you include or ignore words in your search?

  • If you want to include common words in your search such as the and &, enclose them in quotations if they are necessary to your search. For example, if you want to search for things on the movie “The Lion King”, type “the” lion king in the search box. It does not matter whether the words you search for are capitalized or not.
  • If you want to ignore words in your search, put a dash in front of the word you want to be ignored. For example, if you want Google to bring up search results that exclude the word “cat”, you would type “-cat” in the search box.

7. How would you find related pages?

  • You would type “related:” followed by the website address. For example, if you are on the NHL’s website and want to search for other webpages about hockey, you would put “related: http://www.nhl.com” in the search box.

8. How would you find a topic, searching all available synonyms of a word?

  • You would have to put the tilde sign “~” in front of the word you are looking for the synonyms for. For example, if you are looking for the topic of food by searching for food and all of its synonyms, you would put “~food” in the search box.

9. How would you find the time in another country?

  • You would type “time” followed by the country you are looking for the time in. For example, if you are looking for the current time in China, you would type “time China” in the search box.

10. How would you find out how many Egyptian pounds you get for $20 Canadian dollars?

  • You would type “20 CAD in EGP” in the search box.

Digital Etiquette

Everything you post on the internet is recorded somewhere and could be there forever no matter how many times you try to get rid of it. For this reason alone, it is highly important to know some rules of what to and not to do online called digital etiquette. Digital etiquette can also be looked upon as a way to build your personal brand online. Your personal brand is basically your identity and what you represent. By having the proper digital etiquette, a person will have the highest chance of building successful business and personal relationships online. To be honest though, digital etiquette and real life manners are similar in the sense that you should not do anything your parents would not be proud of. For example, do not infuriate or annoy people by sending them too many unnecessary emails. Respect other peoples space online and they will give you yours. If someone is spamming your inbox or making you mad, do not hesitate to report them to whoever is in charge. On a business level, you should be professional when it comes to making email or other social media accounts. If you are selling a product or service, do not put anything on the internet that will jeopardize your company’s image. If someone has any questions or complaints about your product or service, converse with them to show that you care about them. Share your knowledge with people because a competitor might instead and you’ll lose customers. Moreover, when you are creating business profiles, make sure that you take nice and well-groomed pictures to give possible customers and employers the sign of a professional  businessman. Basically, do not post anything online that would make you squirm if you were to see it on the front page of a magazine.

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References (APA Style)

[Untitled illustration of the internet]. Retrieved January 15, 2015 from http://brooketel.ca/support/internet-support/