Yeah yeah, Tumblr again.

As it is an open post, I want to come back to week 5 and talk about online communities. I think this was the most interesting week for me because my whole life is on the internet, inside online communities, that’s why it was nice to hear others’ opinions on this matter.

I personally believe that Tumblr is one of the best websites out there and, apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks the same way as there’ve been plenty of posts about it. But why is it so good? What’s so special about it? I have no idea but it just feels nice for some reason and it’s very addictive. It’s impossible to remember how many times I said to myself, ‘Just 3 minutes to find that one picture’ and then spent 5 hours looking at baby alpacas.

As I wrote earlier in my other post, I’ve never seen a mean or a rude comment. I’ve seen screenshots which were supposed to be funny but I actually never saw a real one myself. This makes me assume that it does depend on the community, but how right am I? There’re both positive and negative people in all communities but why some fandoms’ members are ruder than others? Can one rude comment define the whole fandom? I don’t know, I haven’t found my answers to this yet but what I know is that my profile is a lovely place full of rainbows; therefore it’s no wonder people I follow and who follow me back are the same.

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YouTube Red, I’m unfriending you from my life.

The thing about YouTube Red is: once you pay $10 (it’s a monthly subscription fee), you get access to not only the usual content but also original series with some of the biggest YouTubers acting there + more music and a so-called “background play” feature which allows to close the video (if it’s watched in an app) but still listen to its audio. However, the coolest thing is that you watch whatever you want with no annoying ads popping out every 5 minutes. Seems like it’s worth its money at first but then if you think about it, it’s not that cool. Maybe for a viewer but definitely not for content creators. YouTubers make their money out of the amount of views and the ads that are featured in their videos but when it comes to YouTube Red, you can watch the same content as others but every time you do, you kind of take a penny out of your favourite YouTuber’s pocket, which doesn’t seem fair whatsoever. Although ads might be annoying sometimes, I’d rather wait 30 seconds than pay $10 every month for the website which is originally free. Sooner or later those ‘exclusive’ series are going to be stolen by somebody and uploaded on pirate websites and Google won’t be able to do anything about it. “Copyright” does sound like a scary word but people don’t seem to care too much because free content is always more appealing than respecting and paying for others’ work.

 

More information can be found here:

http://www.cnet.com/how-to/youtube-red-details/

http://techcrunch.com/2015/10/21/youtube-red/

http://superfame.com/post/youtube-red-reaction/

Fake names for the win.

I have accounts on all kinds of social networks, such as Facebook, VK (Russian equivalent of FB), Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Weibo (Chinese equivalent of Twitter), and a few more. All of them require my full name, date of birth, gender and sometimes ‘bio’ where I’m expected to say something about myself; introduce myself to those who don’t know me. I have a fake name on every website apart from FB and VK because these two are used by almost everybody; therefore having a fake name would be quite embarrassing and in some cases inconvenient. It’s not that I try to pretend to be somebody who I’m not in reality, I just feel that a fake name is more interesting and sometimes it describes  in 2 words who I am better than a short introduction.

I don’t share much about myself. There’s no particular reason. I just don’t think that the name of the school I attended before or the list of my favourite films is something all people I have as ‘friends’ on social networks need to know. If they’re really interested in this information, they’ll ask me. I believe that it depends on us what information about us is available. It’s not that you’re forced to write anything too personal – some people do but it’s their choice. I actually don’t trust people who write too much about themselves and I can’t really explain why.

The only thing I don’t feel happy about is sharing my credit card details on Amazon or such because I have a constant paranoia that somebody will find my account number and steal my money.

Tumblr.

Tumblr was founded in 2007, however it took time for me to get used to it. Once I did, I realised that life without tumblr wasn’t a life anymore. It’s a great blog-like website where people can share their thoughts, photos, videos, music, etc. Personally, I started to use it because of hundreds if not thousands of fanarts, which can be found there via hashtags (#). There’re truly talented people out there who share their artworks for free and everybody can ‘like’ them and re-post to their pages.

I’ve been on Tumblr for about 6 years and — maybe I just follow the right people — but I’ve never seen any rude comments. They might be sarcastic but there’s nothing wrong about it, in my opinion.

Recently, a chat option has been added that’s why it makes it easier to chat with people you like. It used to be ‘send a letter’ before and it was possible to make it anonymous that’s why the chance of getting a hate-mail was too high. I’m not sure if it’s still there, though because I only use chats now. callmemrcomedy.tumblr

Tumblr is a huge community with hundreds of communities inside. Any fandom you can think of — it must be there. It helps to find people who are as obsessed with a TV show or a band as you’re, which helps when nobody understands you in reality. Nonetheless, not all communities are about unicorns and rainbows; there’re some, which provide information and visuals on topics like suicide and mental disorders, animal cruelty and whatnot that make this website a dangerous place for those who are easily influenced.

 

English-speaking S.Korea

For this week’s blog I chose a YouTube channel called “BapMokja and Haeppy”. It was created by an English and a Canadian guys who live in South Korea. They started to upload themselves reacting to kpop music videos, called this “smashed reactions” and that’s how the channel started to gain audience. People liked it but as the amount of subscribers was rising, B.&H. started to get asked if they could make videos about Korea in general. This is how the “twoplustwo” show was created – for people who wanted to know more about Korean food and culture, which I prefer more, personally, because it’s both entertaining and educating. At some point the “smashed reactions” segment was divided into “kpop reaction drinking game” and “drunk kpop review”. For the “drinking game” a set of rules has been created; for example, if there’s a shot of a girl winking, B.&H. have to take a shot of a traditional Korean alcoholic drink, while “kpop review” is all about their overall opinion on a song and on the concept of the video they just got drunk to.

The audience’s requests didn’t change the channel completely but they helped the content creators to have a better idea of what they should do to appeal more. The audience shaped the channel in a sense and made it what it is now but I’m pretty sure that B.&H. themselves wanted to make those changes and their subscribers kind of allowed to do so.

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You should definitely check out their channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmgIBGpwwwcnxW5ETXEW2uw

Twitter inside your TV

I’m not sure if it’s right but I thought of a music tv show called ‘The Voice’ and tweets which are demonstrated on the screen while the show is being recorded live. The old medium is a television ‘box’ and the new medium is a social network which is kind of integrated into the tv. I don’t know if other shows do this because I’ve never watched ‘X-factor’ or any programmes of this kind apart from ‘The Voice’ as we have it in the country where I’m from.

I like this twitter feature because it’s interesting to read people’s opinions while a song is being performed or some action is taking place. I think it’s astonishing how a tiny hashtag sign (#) can unite so many people and let them share opinions on the Internet while being shown on tv at the same time. This way it gets even more interactive, especially if you have no one to discuss the show with. However, obviously those tweets, which are being allowed during the show is aired, are checked a few times. ‘Distorting the truth’ isn’t the right way to call it but it definitely is a tool of creating some kind of mood and opinion which the creators of the show want the audience to have. Surely, angry or unsatisfied tweets are there but are rarely seen; it’s sad because, in my opinion, that would be much more interesting to read, not only positive but negative opinions.

thevoice1

Emails and privacy?

On week 6, Pinelopi will be giving us a lecture on privacy and surveillance that’s why the source I’ve chosen might be useful for those who’ll have a presentation on that topic or for those who’d like to know more about online privacy and emails in particular.

In “Think your email’s private?” by Andy Yen, the speech is clear that’s why there should be no difficulty with comprehension. He explains how to encrypt emails which might sound like a very complicated process, especially if you are not a computer nerd (I’m not trying to offend any computer nerds out there, I respect you guys) but he manages to make it sound simple and easy to understand by comparing our privacy with a lock and access to our privacy as a key which makes sense, doesn’t it? Later he describes how he and 2 other scientists created a platform called “ProtonMail” which allows its users to send emails privately without anybody collecting data. Although it might seem unrealistic but it works and there’re plenty of users who donate money in order to keep that service going without ads popping out from nowhere.

At the end, Yen claims that it’s possible to make our lives online private and the website he created is the proof of that because people start to value their privacy more than before. Therefore if money needs donating in order to run ad-free websites then people will be ready to do that. But is that really so? I’d rather let Facebook know I love llamas then pay to a website in order to send emails to my friends. Please share your opinions!

1) This is the lecture + you can find his reading list if you’d like to see it:

https://www.ted.com/talks/andy_yen_think_your_email_s_private_think_again#t-708395

2) Here’s the website Andy Yen and his co-workers created to send private emails, take a look if you’re interested (you can sign up if you’re tired of Google spying on you):

https://protonmail.com