Greenlight means GO!

Steam.com is an on-line platform that enables users to purchase PC games; their account also hosts gaming data and makes sure that downloaded games are updated. However there is more to it, as the website also enables users to share and sell their own mods (modifications) to games as well as publish their own games on the web engine, making them available for purchase. Furthermore, not everyone’s games can be published on the website as that is decided through the other users showing interest in purchasing the game, through a system called Greenlight. Greenlight is not a compulsory experience and only those interested in indie games explore that part of the website. The system ensures that the engine is not cluttered with sub-par content as well as ensuring that all published items make sales, making it a reasonable business model.

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This kind of crowd-led decision making however can sometimes backfire, particularly when the content does not come under much regulation as it is not produced for mass audiences by big companies. There are many examples of arguably inappropriate games being Greenlit by the community, possibly more so because of how inappropriate they are rather than due to genuine interest, as the young users set out to test the system. An example of this is a game which came out on early release in December 2015 called ‘Who’s your Daddy?’ in which the player is put in the shoes of a father trying to prevent a baby from committing suicide by baby-proofing the apartment. ( A video of the game play. ) In the past Steam editors have taken down games they deemed too inappropriate from the website without allowing the users to vote for it. Like in the case of Hatred, a game in which you can be the perpetrator of a school mass shooting. The game however was later restored to the website as the decision generated backlash from the community. ( Read more here )

Steam is a very popular gaming engine, and it is largely due to the fact that it gives it’s users creative freedom, or at least it appears to.

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Where does the Internet think we should eat tonight?

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Yelp is an American multinational corporation headquartered in San Francisco, California. It develops, hosts and markets Yelp.com and the Yelp mobile app, which publish crowd-sourced reviews about local businesses, as well as the online reservation service SeatMe and online food-delivery service Eat24. The company also trains small businesses in how to respond to reviews, hosts social events for reviewers, and provides data about businesses, including health inspection scores. But this is not why it is so popular in the US and growing day by day in the UK; the real reason is because users give honest reviews about the restaurants they eat at. This has been for almost a year now the trust-worthiest source when it comes to choosing a restaurant. Users share their experience and their thoughts about the food and the service. Although there is no way to prove that people that write the reviews are actual customers, people still believe the reviews.

I think this business revolves the most on the users as they provide content such as ratings, reviews and opinions. There are top 10s made for bars, restaurants and cafe that update everyday according to the new ratings.

So, would you trust a site where users give their opinion about places to eat? Or do you still rely on your friends for this?

Send to all

 

Every week Michael McIntyre does a segment on his chat show called “Send to All” in which he asks a member of the audience to surrender their phone to him. He then sends one message to absolutely everyone in their contacts and then reads out the responses, which are more than often extremely comical, as they come through.

In this particular episode, McIntyre sends the message, ‘thinking of getting a total make-over where should I start?” To which his mother replies in a panic causing McIntyre to opt in calling Joseph’s mum claiming that he had tattooed her face on his bum.

This is a good segment as it means that the audience have a chance at feeling included in the chat show and do not remain passive the entire time. It also gives the show a sense of unpredictability, as we never know what Michael McIntyre will text.

 

 

 

 

 

Joseph Gordon Levitt’s HitRecord project brings in creativity from audiences

In 2005, the 500 Days of Summer star Joseph Gordon Levitt started a website with his brother to post self-made videos and receive feedback from his audience. But by 2010, the website had evolved into a collaborative platform for his audiences to join the actor in the making of artistic projects that range from short films to full-length DVDs. Now the website is in operation under the title HitRecord for anyone to contribute to and collaborate on various multimedia works. The hitREC●rd logo features the red circle to symbolize audio/video record, which Levitt has described as “a metaphor for taking things into my own hands and doing it.” The site now hosts over 80,000 members with as many as 1,000 videos, songs and text pieces pouring into to the website on a daily basis. 

I learned of Levitt’s project through one of his talk show appearances (Jimmy Kimmel Live) where he presented RE: Number One, the first short-film episode of the first HitRecord season. I was entranced by the film that was comprised of different styles of video footage, visual effects, animations, music and voices, cohered by 426 individual artists. Due to its motley nature, the overall ambience of the film comes across as rather surreal – seemingly random in structure but so tightly knit by the level of creativity that each artist endeavoured to exhibit in one segment of the episode. The fact that your art can align with the creation of anyone else in the world is something that is perhaps obvious in such a globally wired community, yet the potential of humankind is further extended when you see it in action.

YouTube Q&A’s

YouTube Q&A’s are a perfect example of how audience participation can help to shape the content that’s being put out. YouTubers have massive following and, logically, their followers want to know more about them than the videos they’re putting out.

Q&A videos have such a simplistic formula to them and they’re so easy to make, however, they only work well when the audience actually participates and sends in questions for the YouTuber to answer. The wackier the question, the more interesting the video and the more viewers learn about their favourite internet stars.

These videos are important to most YouTubers as they help to keep the connection with their viewers and allow for the illusion that there’s a personal connection there. As soon as a YouTuber announces that they’re making a Q&A video (usually via twitter), their mentions are suddenly flooded with people offering their ideas for questions in the hopes that said YouTuber will see it and deem it entertaining enough to answer in the video.

It’s a win-win situation: viewers get their questions answered and are offered some entertaining anecdotes, meanwhile the YouTuber has a quick and easy video to upload and keep their viewers happy.

 

Lookbook.nu and Youth Culture

Lookbook.nu is a website that I have used 2 years ago to share and exmplore fashion. Lookbook.nu is a website community for fashion and youth culture, which allows individuals to post their fashion outfits on daily bases and recieve comments or reviews as well as “hypes” (likes) and “+fans” (followers). Users are able to share their ideas and styles through the use of colour pallete, personal photographs and a short description of the look and clothes’ brands that they are wearing. This website has been created by Yuri Lee in San Francisco in 2008. “Their goal is to provide a means for diverse, real people to provide fashion inspiration to others”. I believe that this is a great example of an online content which has been significantly shaped by the audience and users. This is because the website is community based, which allows all of the users to participate and discover fashion trends or inspirations. If there was no user participation on this website, there would been no shared content, therefore there would have been nothing to stream or read. Even though, this website also has other features such as “Explore” for users to explore brands, contests etc. I strongly believe that Lookbook.nu has been created by its audince’s particicpation, this participation is significant, because it delivers the content to other users which makes the website highly visitied and valuable for youth culture.

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Reference list:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lookbook.nu

http://lookbook.nu

TripAdvisor

A website whose content has been significantly influenced by user generated content is TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor is a travel website providing free travel-related information to users, who create most of the content. Users are able to engage in forums, pose questions to other users, and post reviews of restaurants, hotels, viewing tours, and other travel-related experiences and services all over the world. The content and reviews that users provide are then accessed by other users who are looking to see the rating of travel services before they go on their own journey.

Trip Advisor is one of the world’s most popular and most trusted travel websites, employing over 2,000 people as of 2015. The site has over 60 million members and over 170 million reviews, ratings, and opinions of travel-related businesses and attractions. This content seeks to help users create the best possible travel experience by allowing them to find and choose between businesses, to discover which would be best for them. For example, a user would be able to post a bad review of a hotel which they had a poor experience at due to bad services, and this review could prevent someone from having a similar bad experience on their own trip. On the other hand, the site also allows people to post a positive review of a restaurant they liked, and as more users posted positive reviews that business could grow and become more successful. For example, on a recent trip to Florence, Italy, I stayed near a small sandwich shop which is one of the most reviewed restaurants on TripAdvisor worldwide. This small shop constantly had a line going out the door and down the street, and the good business had allowed the owner to open two other locations nearby to compensate for the influx of customers. Successful businesses like this one, especially those who receive a rating among the “TripAdvisor Hall of Fame” often post a sticker saying such by the door, as due to the trusted content of its users a good rating from TripAdvisor is enough to get people in the door.