Local Hang Out Spot: The Internet

My post originates from a point that Josè van Dijck made in the second chapter of their book “The Culture of Connectivity: a Critical History of Social Media”, this chapter focuses on sociality and platforms. I think an interesting topic from this chapter is Dijck’s point about how sharing platforms can enhance connections between people.

Sharing platforms are sites where users can tell other’s about themselves and contribute to a discussion, and the connections between people can take on different meaning, it could mean that is strengthens bonds between already existing relationships (e.g. Facebook, WhatsApp) or perhaps it creates them through similar interests (e.g. Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter).

I understand that many people would say that this use of the web weakens the connections between people and makes them less valid or more fragile. However, I like to argue that sharing platforms are a brilliant way of enhancing connections between people because while it can be hard to keep in contact with friends and family in the real world, because of distance or lack of time, it is quite easy to remain close to others through the use of the aforementioned platforms. Many users of these platforms have met others through these sites and have gone on to making life long friends that they would never have met without the internet.

The Obvious One: Netflix 

 

For me, Netflix is the first example I think of for this blog post, it is a paid service that relies heavily on the money is receives through its users. Although I can’t know for sure what would happen if Netflix went under a CC license and could be consumed easily and for free, I can take an educated guess that would mean bad news for the company. Although new users a greeted with a free trial month, it is clear that Netflix needs the revenue from it’s users to stay alive and grow like it has been more recently. To begin with, Netflix allowed its users to watch films and television shows that it had bought the rights to, but as time has gone on and Netflix has become more popular, it has been profiting from original Netflix products like “Orange is the New Black”. Netflix wouldn’t be able to fund these productions without the revenue it gains from paying users. With the recent release of “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones” it is clear that Netflix is making waves in the media industry, partnering up with a biggie like Marvel and therefore Disney, it is expected that this would help financially but would they have agreed to work together if Disney didn’t see a profit in the user numbers?

The (Almost) All-Seeing Eye of the Internet

 

Many web users have become fixated with sharing their experiences through social media platforms, whether it is pictures of their pets on Instagram, a rant about the university halls on Facebook or a tweet to their favourite actor, expressing their love for the actors new role, we can’t help but post it. How much do we share? Does this really vary from person to person or will the internet eventually find out all there is to know about you no matter how careful you think you are? There is so much we can control, we can limit the amount of information we put up on sites and privatise our profiles to make sure only those we wish to, can see them. We can choose whether people can tag us in photos on Facebook and report anything that infringes on our privacy. But there is an unimaginable amount of data floating around, even when you delete something, its trace remains. You also can’t always control what others post, either.
We are all visible in another way as well, sites like Facebook are keen to let everyone know if you’re online or exactly how long it has been since you were last online and whether you have indeed seen that message from that one person you just want to ignore. This can help in some ways but overall is a bit too ‘big brother’ish for me.

I Hesitate to Say … “Tumblr”

 

Tumblr is a blogging website in which users can post and reblog text, image, video etc.. For some people it’s a platform on which they can share their own work, for others its a place to silently watch and reblog, soaking in all that they see and passing it on to the next user. I chose Tumblr because it is where I grew as a person and learnt more about the world and those on it by interacting with others and hearing what other users had to say.

There are different parts of Tumblr but the part I am most familiar with and what I am focusing on for this blog post is the social discussions side, where social justice and ethics are taken into consideration and debates are sparked by anything and everything. The reason I hesitate to use this as a ‘positive example’ is because sometimes it isn’t too positive at all, because of the mass user base, it’s easy for opinions to get lost in the mess of heavy communication and for conversations to turn into arguments. In my personal experience, Tumblr has done more good than bad, it has helped widen the minds of this generation and created an open arena for the improvement (or at least, change) of society.

New Viewser Alert!

Daily Grace was a YouTube channel hosted by My Damn Channel and presented by Grace Helbig, which uploaded videos every day of the week excluding Sundays. There were six categories, one for each day, I will be talking about “Comment Tuesdays” where Grace would take user’s comments from YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and “haze” them.

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Firstly she would read out the user name or handle and the comment while showing the screenshot of it, she would then continue to haze them by making fun of their name or comment. This wasn’t seen as offensive or mean and many subscribers would try their hardest to get hazed by Grace in one of her Comment Tuesday videos.

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Every time that Grace thought she was hazing a new user, this graphic text would pop up the word “viewser” being a portmanteau of ‘viewer’ and ‘user’ showing that not only do her audience consume her videos, but they contribute to them as well. This showcases the need for an audience and how the user can add to the conversation, because that’s what videos and blogs are.

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As well as “Comment Tuesdays” being a fun and thrilling experience for the audience, it is also a great asset to Daily Grace and My Damn Channel as the shirt you see in the picture was put up for sale on her online shop, meaning that the audience driven videos can also bring in revenue.

Fox killed Firefly. Convergence brought it back.

I am basing my blogpost on the infamous television show, Firefly (2002), which began its seemingly short life on Fox, where the broadcasting television network did a horrendous job of creating a watchable environment for the television series, airing the episodes in the wrong order so the audience would find it near impossible to enjoy or understand the show. Due to the low views Fox had cancelled Firefly before they had even finished filming the first series and so it died, or did it?

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No it didn’t. The reason it didn’t die is because over the next few years Firefly gained a massive fanbase, full of passionate and understandably outraged audience members called the Browncoats. They worked with the creators and actors of Firefly, and together they made the film Serenity (2005), a follow on of the series.

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From both the television show and the movie came games, comic books, merchandise, forums, meetups and so many more channels of interest across the differing media forms.

Convergence saved Firefly, the Browncoats (including the creators) were given more of what they loved and felt a stronger connection to this fictional universe from the rebirth of the story.

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The Done the Impossible documentary (2006) captures this journey and is a wonderful, heart warming example of media convergence from the audiences point of view.

Musing on Technology

Although I understand the weight and importance of academia and the writings of the old and wise, I can’t help but feel more drawn into discussions between equals, that’s why my online resource is a blog created by students like myself, who in 2012 created 161 blog posts about technology in the modern world. The blogs tagline reads “A blog by undergraduates exploring the impact of technology in today’s world.” and as I’m studying network society and the media this seems like a suitable resource to get my brain working.

 

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The posts range from communication through social networking to ethics in technology and touches on everything in-between, having such a range of topics to think about and so many posts to refer to, makes this a perfect online resource. The blog also supplies references to academic writings and other resources online which helps create a larger list of potential research material for myself and adds more to the overall conversation that I have joined through this module.

 
The reason I chose to have my online resource as a blog is that no matter what we are studying there will be a post that supports the topic, I don’t have to read a two hundred page academic book or rely on a single article. The blog has so much to offer in terms of posts related to the main subject that I could find multiple posts that cover a large area of each weeks topic.

Check out the blog here:

 

http://jcit111.blogspot.co.uk