Open post, open mind


Week 6 had discussions in the lecture and the seminars talking about “online visibility”. I remember talking to my peers after class in regards to this- how open they felt they were online. Some said they felt that their visibility was ‘good’ enough for them- that they could pick and choose what was on their profile and what they wanted removed. They also said that they felt better about having a voice online. For example, their Twitter rants are no longer rants but people read, follow them and take into consideration what they say. However, some said that they felt insecure about what was posted online. They felt no or very little need to be at all prominent online or use their online voices to express themselves.

A Huffington Post article entitled ‘We Are Visible: Mark Horvath Launches Website To Empower The Homeless With Social Media’ talks about a new website created in order to help homeless people reconnect or connect with friends and family. The article went on to state that, ‘Homeless services are broken. The best way to change them is to let the people we serve have a voice.” However, the argument is that homeless people are always going to be at the lower end of the hierarchy triangle whilst the top is always occupied by the 1%.


Overall, online visibility for me is not just who can see what on my Facebook or wether my Instagram is private or not. Rather, it is about giving people a voice and a opinion online. It is about letting people, anonymous or not to speak out about issues and thoughts.


Amazon Prime (and TV) is great. But only if you pay for it. That’s £5.99 p/m. But that means that you get a lot more than what you’ve bargained for.

You get free one day delivery, which many usual amazon customers only dream of getting. They’d be lucky if they got their parcel delivered within 5-7 working days. Moreover and the most important of the online subscription is that of Amazon TV. Amazon TV is under strict copyright restrictions and the creative commons license means that Amazon is able to freely distribute work, films and tv shows that would be copyrighted. Alike to Netflix, Amazon is under strict control. There are advantages to this meaning that people can access work that would usually be copyrighted and the creator would put a strict lock on the sharing and use of their work. However, the negative to this is that users of Amazon TV and Prime are declining. Pirating and instant downloads are now available more and more to the general audience. Even though I have both Netflix and Amazon, i am still guilty of using other sites to watch films that have just come out. Or watching TV shows that are new and not yet available on Amazon TV. And I know many of you are too…

So, in conclusion Amazon Prime is a great idea however it can be said that it is a little unrealistic as people always find ways of breaking the barriers and finding new ways not to pay for it. So, although the creative commons licence protects artists work, someone can always pirate it and make it available for others.


I’ve got the memory of a goldfish…

I am very prominent online, especially since joining university. Prior to joining, my Facebook account was left untouched for around three years. When I had logged back onto it, I had absolutely no messages but a couple of dozen notifications telling me that “so and so has added a picture” or its someones birthday. But nothing relevant to me. Aside from those who have my number and my family whom had seen me the past three years, I honestly could have passed as missing or gone completely for anyone else.
However, times have changed now. I have a Instagram account (which is private), a SoundCloud account, Twitter, Facebook (again :() and other social media sites. I monitor all my social media sites, especially my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram very closely. If there’s a photo I dislike I immediately remove the tag. Although, it is possible that someone who is friends with me and the person who took the photo will still be able to see what I am up to. So in some sense, I am not completely in control of my Facebook and what gets posted. Moreover, all the social media sites and online platforms I am on- anyone can find me. I am partially to blame for this however as I use the same user name for a lot of my sites.

Overall, I have tried to in the past erase my presence from online platforms. Now, it’s more difficult. With university expecting me to create pages for different sites and have social media sites readily available, I am not so sure I can erase or remove myself so easily any more.

Will you surf a couch??

CouchSurfing is a networking site which was created in April 2003. The site allows people, consumers to browse the site and find places they will be in for the night or the duration of their trip.

Members benefit through their participation by giving up their ‘couches’ or rooms up to travellers or students. Furthermore, participation is heightened through people giving good feedback and comments of their stay. It’s very similar to the newer version and app created called “Airbnb”. However, Airbnb is paid for but Couchsurfing is free to do. It’s such a positive community as not only does it connect people from around the world online, but also people get to meet and spend time together in real life. Sometimes, these online bonds and communities create real friendships and ‘penpals’ from around the world. Different cultures and experiences are brought into one house.

However, with all positive communities there are some negatives. For example, there are also a lot of negative reviews that have been seen on the site. A lot of users go to the site reddit to write and express their negative views.

Although there are negative reviews- a lot of people tend to see the positive outcomes and experiences that come with Couchsurfing. Furthermore, many tend to skip past the negative reviews and go with the people that are more trusted. With everything positive of course comes a negative. So, Couchsurfing is a great online community in which regular and friendly participation brings people from online to real life.


Reddit was created on the 23rd of June, 2005. It is a user generated website, but in its headquarters in San Francisco it has only 71 employers. It is a social network network service which allows registered members (its free to join) to post relevant content in relevant ‘subreddits’. There are plenty of subreddit topics; you can find anything from ‘AskReddit’, ‘gaming’, ‘democrats’ to ‘books’ and ‘running’. On this site and app, you can be as specific or as general as you like. What is good for the audience is that whatever you need to find, you will find.

The significance of audience participation and usage on this site not only means that it grows as a network but, the audience in some way also shape the creation of it too. One specific way in which audiences help participate with Reddit is its creation of “reddit gold”. It costs $3.99 and you award it to a person who’s comment you really like. With this, the gold lasts a month and gives additional features to you. More importantly, when people give reddit gold, it is a way in which people support Reddit and fund their site.
As a Quora article states, the community benefits by having new and additional features added to their reddit page. The company benefits from regular users generous donations by having a source of revenue.

In conclusion, Reddit’s content has been significantly shaped by its users and audience. Whatever is posted and created, others respond. Audience participation means that Reddit’s source of income, revenue and regular users go around in a circle. Everyone gets something out of it.

BBC3 converged

“Media convergence is the merging of mass communication outlets”. Convergence within the media allows us to tell stories and provide information and entertainment using a plethora of media outlets.

Take the example of BBC3. The BBC is deciding to axe it and make it a platform accessible only online. It is an example of online and broadcast being merged together. The BBC have allowed their viewers to access any programme they have missed or wish to watch again online. As the target audience for BBC3 is 16- 34 year olds, the BBC feel that this demographic now knows how to access online more and find it easier to do so.
It is said that by making BBC3 online, it is a new way found to engage and entertain young audiences, reinventing the public service. This is a great implication for audiences as it means that now, viewers no longer have to be scheduled to watch a show they like, but can access it when they wish to.

Not only does BBC3 use convergence, but the whole BBC platform. They are accessible online, on radio, on your phone or tablet and many other platforms. The BBC has ‘around the world’/ ‘global’. The BBC is now available everywhere, in Spain, France and Germany for example. BBC world has a weekly audience of “166 million globally, including shortwave, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels.” (Source: This is beneficial for for users and audiences as for example, people who go abroad still may want to access the BBC from their destination. It also means that the BBC gains a better audience viewing which works as a double whammy for both.

What kind of phone do you have?

Nowadays, technology is so readily available to us that we can have it wherever we go. We are now practically glued to our phones.
As a society, we are becoming more dependant on our phones. We become more involved and interested on what kinds of technology we use. As the article states, our phones are now “30 times more valuable per ounce than a block of solid silver”. Take the example of when at the Libertines gig in Birmingham, a thief stole 38 mobile phones.

Kill switch, but which? Towards a more holistic approach to phone theft” an article by Marc Rogers , writes that in order for him to “solve problems with technology”, it means that he often has to reshape the technology he works with. This is useful in this topic because in order for us to thrive, we constantly need to change and alter technology. We need to be able to work with our technology in order to solve questions and provide answers. Students may be able to use this article to their advantage in order to look at how people reshape technology to suit our needs.

The article also talks about security software and network security. Security, on the internet and our phones is a huge hot topic. Reading this article in the words of a hacker provides some good views. Moreover, the article would be a great source when looking at how we as a society can overcome and prevent phone theft and hacking. In the eyes of many, although there have been attempts to create “anti theft” softwares, there are still many ways around this.

Main online resource for students: