I found Philip Man’s article to be very interesting, yet at times I felt that it was a bit hostile while making the point. I agree that corporations beginning to use the concept of gamification solely for the generation of user interest and loyalty can be distasteful, yet it is obviously extremely effective. Personally, I feel the prime example of this would be Facebook and their inclusion of games. As stated in the article, games such as Farmville made Facebook the most visited website in 2010 (Man, 2011). While I’m sure many users genuinely enjoyed playing these games, I do not agree with the idea of it being used to increase a user base as Zuckerberg progressively tries to make a, “more personalized, humanized Web, where our network of friends, colleagues, peers and family is our primary source of information, just as it is offline (Vogelstein, 2009).” Obviously this is all personal opinion, but I do not think Facebook should ever be that large of a reference point. When I was on Facebook, and I’m sure it would be the same today, I would definitely not take the posts of my friends as completely credible. This could be due to the fact that I joined Facebook early on and did not choose my friends and what pages I liked with the idea of the website being an information hub in mind. Either way, I am positive that there are many more reliable sources to find information on doctors, appliances, and other needs than Facebook.

                Another interesting idea I found in Man’s article was his statement that, “It seems that the public has yet again been degraded, after the bureaucracy had already turned the individual into a number (2011).” I personally find the idea of corporations gathering data which moves beyond simple statistics to more specific sub-categories to be quite helpful. While I can say that it is not always used ideally with some organizations, companies such as Amazon, Netflix and Pandora have been very impressive. A recommendation given by these sources have actually been more accurate than they have not. Similarly, Pandora does a fantastic job the majority of the time as long as one remembers to give each song a thumb up or thumb down. This data collection, in the end, may be for corporate profit but it has also given the population somewhat of a voice and the sense of personalization. A recent event in which I am very interesting in seeing social media’s influence participate in is the NBA All-Star Weekend. I found this year’s festivities to be overwhelmingly disappointed, specifically in regard to the dunk contest. The new team format was strange and felt very anticlimactic and the blow up on Twitter in reference to this was instantaneous. Because of this, I’m very curious to see whether the data being voiced over this media outlet will actually be taken into account, or if the viewership and participation gained by using social media so prominently will cause the NBA to continue using the format.

                Man, P. (2011). Playing the real life the ludification of social ties in social media. New Media Theories, 1-13. Retrieved from http://vizedhtmlcontent.next.ecollege.com/CurrentCourse/Readings/man, playing the real life.pdf

Vogelstein, F. (2009). Great Wall of Facebook: The Social Network’s Plan to Dominate the Internet – And Keep Google Out. Wired Magazine. 17.07. Available at: <http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/17-07/ff_facebookwall?currentPage=all&gt;