All three articles highlight research that they have completed in understanding communication amongst communities online. They will be affective because I know what exactly to do in forming offline relationships because I have developed a sense of presenting myself as an individual (with my own favorable personality characteristics) in an appropriate manner towards others – with 22 years of experience. I have absolutely no idea to capture a casual conversation, how to be engaging, or how to enjoy an online conversation. Living In Virtual Communities by Denise Carter was an engaging article because the movement of face-to-face relationships is becoming less powerful as online communities grow. It is intriguing to discover why people are to prefer online relations to offline relationships, or even why they are attracted to them at all; especially if authenticity and truthfulness are present. He took an additional interest in longevity of relationships and if they stay online or move offline. He had spent three and a half years completing the study, yielding that after becoming an expert socialist he would have the right questions, and correct insight for our field trips and field notes. Making Smart Choices On Shifting Ground by Markhan and Baym also reference their research and studies but give a more what-to-do outlook versus a what-not-to-do tutorial in forming relationships amongst cyber communities rather than a result based outcome. They give leeway into why people act the way that they do in terms of convergence meshing personal and private barriers, which gave good insight into taking heed if people will come off strongly in a personal matter. They also gave instruction to be aware of different cultures, religions, and all controversial topics and to never be bias, but remain analytical.

On the first field trip, most of my group members and I had all collaborated face-to-face before hand, becoming comfortable with each other before we submerged ourselves into a virtual location. We went to the Miami, but did not teleport to the same location in Miami. It was such a team effort between us all using virtual communication to find each other and the whole experience ended up building our relationships – both online and offline and it will definitely be a challenging second life field trip without them this week. We stuck together and advised each other to try the activities that one of us had previously performed, not giving us a chance to branch off. There was literally one attempt amongst a few of us to talk to a “Bob Marley” in Miami. Two of us individually spoke to him and he literally ran in the opposite direction. As Living In Virtual Communities had stated that out of the 138 people that he had try to gather information from only a smaller fraction engaged. We had intimidated him by approaching him one after another hounding him with questions – that is just weird, and if somebody did that to me in real life I would also run away. You need to put yourselves into their shoes. Like Carter stated, the average person was a 29-year-old woman. I should imagine that I will be approaching a person of that stereotype and figure how she would like to be approached if I wanted to be her friend. What I got from these articles and my own personal experience is that it is easier to make friends when you are comfortable in your settings. I must acclimate as much as possible and be realistic, using lines like, “Hey I’m new here, do you know what the best place to go is?” and follow up with something like, “Are you busy?” and if there is negative feedback back off. Act like its your world – a world your comfortable with and your looking for friends. Once I get the swing of it, I can further go into asking questions of authenticity, truthness and motivation because off the bat that might be offensive. You must find comfort in the setting and with friends before you pursue the goal.

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