Youtube is my train & Im getting off at all stops

Hey guys! So this week is all about cultural production and new media. I want to chat with you guys about what types of media I have consumed online and what types of media I have produced. I also wanted to touch base with the reasons as to why I don’t feel like the need produce more of my own online material.

Firstly, I want to share with you the different ways in which I consume new media. My most frequently used platform is YouTube. I have a serious YouTube addiction and as of late and have found myself watching Youtube way more then I watch television, and I love me some TV.  For me, Youtube is more of a learning tool then it is for gaining mindless satisfaction that I receive from television. By that I mean I could have the TV on in the background and casually be watching that, plus be surfing the web or doing other things and not really giving any outlet my full attention. Then again my favourite shows are designed for just that…no offense MTV… Anyways, when I go onto Youtube I usually have something specific in mind that I want to look up or learn how to do.  I have about 100 subscriptions to various channels, the majority being hair and makeup tutorials but I also have a lot of health and nutrition ones as well. In her article Tessa (2008) touches upon what fascinates us about Youtube and brings in comparisons to early cinemas. When she references the idea of railroads I thought for sure she was going to discuss how Youtube has the ability to link together various videos and uploads by using the “suggested videos” on the right side. That is how I came to having so many subscriptions; I watch one video and then like a train it brings me to the next stop (video), to the next, etc etc until I have been watching Youtube for over 2 hours and have 100 subscriptions. I think that the analogy of a train and Youtube is ingenious and perfectly describes the journey in which the site can take you on.

Since I have discussed with you what new media I consume, I now want to discuss what new media I produce, and why I choose to produce so little. My friends and I have considered creating our own Youtube channels, being motivated by the glamour gurus that we watch so frequently but then we think why? We aren’t funny? We don’t have anything worthwhile to contribute? We are also so late in the game that there are already so many established Youtubers who would watch us? I think for us it was that fear again that I discussed in Mod 2 about being irrelevant. What’s the point of uploading someone if no one bothers to watch it? But Manovich (2008) brings up an interesting point about the “long-tail” effect new media has on music. He writes,  “These audiences can be tiny but they are not 0. Every track no matter how obscure found at least one listener.” User generated culture allows people with even the smallest most muffled voice to be heard. It also allows for those voices, no matter their popularity, to come together in the form of blogs and forums and find others like themselves. It’s a great form of democracy and freedom.

Although…Im going to stick to watching Youtube videos, and not creating them!

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This image just shows the addiction that Youtube has over me

http://stuffpoint.com/youtube/image/158436/youtube-meme-picture/

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 This one is just a screen shot of some of my subscriptions. 

References 

Manovich, l. (2008) The Practice of Everyday (Media) Life: From Mass Consumption to Mass Cultural Production?

Rizzo, T. YouTube: the New Cinema of Attractions

 

EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT , My first ever Op-ed piece!

Lets “Talk”, a look at the process of creating a Wikipedia page and the validity of its authors. 

The purpose of this assignment is to better understand the process of creating and writing a Wikipedia article. By doing so I plan to determine whether or not I consider the information presented in the article to be reliable given the knowledge I have received from authors like Jenson (2012), Giles (2005) and Van Dijck & Nieborg (2009).  The topic of article that I choose to research was on cyber-bullying. I choose this theme because of its relevancy in today’s youth culture.  Stories like Amanda Todd’s (2012) and the several teen gay-youth suicide stories touched many lives in 2011. I think that, as the Internet era progresses so will the effects of cyber bullying and Internet users need to become more aware of this issue. 

So does Wikipedia do stand up job of giving its users true and valid information on cyber bullying? According to Jenson (2012) “Wikipedia has become the world’s most dominant educational resource for practically all forms of internet-accessible information. It stands all on the electronic frontier.” (pg 1165) But does that mean that is reliable? @bigtuna09 seems to think so. He boasts that his experience with Wikipedia has always been positive, and articles are simple, informative, relevant and unbiased. After doing some further reading of my Wikipedia article I would have to agree. I found this cyber-bullying article very direct and to the point. In terms of my confidence in the level of validity I would say its pretty high. The knockout point for me in determining if Wikipedia was legitimate is the massive list of references given at the bottom of the article. Not to mention the comparison that was done in the Giles (2005) article. The article discusses that Wikipedia’s content may not be so different from these world-renowned encyclopedias.  There were number of errors found in both Britannica’s content and Wikipedia’s. Out of the articles reviewed in this study there were 162 misleading quotes in Wikipedia and 123 in Britannica.  This research swayed my opinion of Wikipedia into being a completely legitimate source of information. It is a lot quicker to access then an encyclopedia, and has proven to stand up against published authors. These author’s aren’t just adding random trivia, they have done their research and are sharing it with Wiki users.  But not everything authors write gets shared remember. It’s up to the Wikipedia editors to deem what is acceptable to be published. This editing process can be viewed on Wikipedia’s  “talk” page.

Before doing my research on Wikipedia articles I was unaware of the “talk” feature that all articles pages possess. The “talk” pages are used specifically for the request for editing and discussion about the edits that have been made. There is section at the top of the page outlining the guidelines for the page use also the some general rules of respect to other members. For example, the users need to remain civil to one another; this is not a forum to voice general opinions, only to voice potential editing.  There are some disputes between authors but they are done tastefully and in good faith. Which to me makes the page more professional, which adds to its legitimacy.  I think that this page is amazing. It really gives users a feel for how the cyber-bullying page gets edited and produced. I believe that it really enhances the validity of the article because in order for the statistic or content to be published it really does need to be juried by all of the readers. If a reader finds a mistake with the published work he or she may request for edit to manipulate what has been said. This really plays on the topics of mass creativity and collaborative culture that are outlined in work done by Van Dijck & Nieborg (2009). From what I gathered with their research they believe that the idea of “co-creation” is now replacing the usual hierarchal model of producer-consumer, and I would agree. I think that we know trust what other people, like ourselves are reading, thinking, and talking about certain topics. I love that anonymous users are allowed to voice how they interpret the topic and the content is somewhat unbiased. Where as reading published articles for say a paper, sometimes only prove on side of an argument.  

To conclude I believe that through my analysis of the “talk” page on Wikipedia’s cyber-bullying I would rate this article to be reliable. The information I found not only on the article itself but also discussed within the “talk” page really emphasizes the work and effort put fourth by the authors. You can actually see the editing process taking place; Wikipedia offers its users a sense of transparency, which I find refreshing and honorable. @colecrerar90 and I have basically the same resulting feelings that “Wikipedia is continuing to grow as a reliable source to get information and will only improve in the future.”

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I thought this picture was a good representation of the process in creating a Wikipedia article, and the teamwork that is needed. http://www.ltu.se/cms_fs/1.10873!/img/img/andreaslarsson_wordle.jpg

References:

Giles. J. (2005). Special Report: Internet encyclopaedias go head to headNature. 438, pp 900-901.

Jensen, R. (2012). Military History on the Electronic Frontier: Wikipedia Fights the War of 1812. Journal of Military History. 76, 1. pp 1165-1182

Van Dijk, J. & Nieborg, D. (2009). Wikinomics and its discontents: a critical analysis of Web 2.0 business manifestosNew Media & Society. 11, 5. pp 855-874.

 

The vote is in!!…and it’s a unanimous one!!

Wikipedia was everyone’s first choice of source when looking to find the answer to his or her questions. It may be considered to some as the “Holy Grail” of the World Wide Web. Due to its ease and search engine optimization @bigtuna09 stated within his blog post, “To me Wikipedia is such a great resource it can be considered Godly.” Whether it is a topic of debate between friends, looking up definitions, or getting some supporting information on papers and assignments, everyone admits to being a frequent user to Wikipedia and their vast variety of articles. 

But why does everyone resort back to Wikipedia so often? My group members and I believed that it was the ease of Wikipedia that brought such great appeal to its users. Wikipedia is extremely user friendly and the articles are simple, relevant and informative. As students we are accustomed to finding articles and having to PAIN STAKINGLY read through the entire article to find the relevant points and incorporate them into our papers. Most of the time these published articles are laced with various arguments and facts that are not useful to me or my essay. Wikipedia is different. Its articles are completely direct to the topic that you are looking for, and often give background information and or various definitions to help comprehend the articles purpose. Some may think that’s lazy but when you are writing a 3000+ word paper, and assigned to blend in 20 or so sources its nice to have something as basic as Wikipedia to #helpasistaout!   I think that @melaniemunroe’s comment depicted our love for Wikipedia well by saying that “The accessibility of Wikipedia makes it so much easier and efficient to find information and now that we know it is almost as credible as other encyclopedias, sometimes I wonder why bother?”

Now turning to the subject of credibility, most of my group members were in agreement that they would classify Wikipedia as being a legitimate resource of information, especially after reading the Giles (2005) article which made some comparison to Britannica articles. Even though all of our professors are against using Wikipedia as a proper citation we believed that as time goes on and as the way we receive information transforms, Wikipedia might be considered reliable among Universities and Colleges. @colecrerar90 summed up his feelings nicely about the change of information technology and our use of Wikipedia by commenting that, “I feel this just shows that Wikipedia is continuing to grow as a reliable source to get information and will only improve in the future.”

I lastly wanted to touch upon the forums that I had mentioned in my post. Everyone had similar experiences with forums and admitted to using them before purchasing certain products.  A couple of group members commented on the fact that forums are useful because they are, for the most part, unbiased, showing both positive and negative qualities of the product at hand. @nzaduban brought up an interesting point talking about how she feels that “many companies and services might have someone make multiple fake accounts and act as a random customer who loves the product, you know? It kind of comes into the idea of not trusting everyone online, because I feel like many companies may do that with their product and service so that the comments are overall positive to promote.” I personally never have that cross my mind whilst I’m a reading forum, mostly because there are such mixes of feelings towards the product. Although having taken tons of PR classes and understanding the marketing and publicity side of businesses I should never assume companies wouldn’t go that far to shed positive light on their product.

In conclusion my view of Wikipedia has gotten even more positive. I will never refrain from using Wikipedia for my everyday inquires, and I maybe will be more comfortable for using it for more academic purposes now. Although until professors come around to the advantages and reliability of the site and its articles I may have to keep that to myself.  😉  

Wiki Wiki Whaaattt?!

Hey Guys! This week we are discussing the validity of Wikipedia and its vast number of articles. The readings for this module are all focused around construction of Wikipedia articles and whether or not I find Wikipedia a credible source of information. The articles also got me to think about what I actually use Wikipedia for, and if the idea of “crowd sourced” knowledge is beneficial or hazardous to me, depending on the question that I’m seeking.

To start offI just wanted to chat about how I view Wikipedia. I think that it is a great resource to use if you need quick answer to a random fact. For example if my friends and I are arguing about a date of an event, author of a book, etc, we will often use Wikipedia to solve the argument. It just so happens to have amazing search engine optimization and shows up as one of the first links to choose from using a Google search. In his article Jenson (2012) agrees stating, “Wikipedia has become the world’s dominant education resource, with over four million articles in the English language that reaches hundreds of millions of readers.” (pg. 1165) He also goes on to talk about how popular Wikipedia is in terms of daily usage in ranks top 10 in competition with the likes of Google and Facebook.

Now in terms of academic papers teachers hammer their students with the warning that Wikipedia and its articles are not credible sources for essays and papers due to the fact that they are often written by amateur writers and therefore lack authority.  Seeing as I’ve been told this so many times, and it is forever engraved in my brain I find it hard to believe that people think that Wikipedia articles will overturn published academic sources. I do however believe that the way in which we receive and read these articles, is evolving. I mean there are classes that are completely online, and only use online articles. (Like this one!) This doesn’t mean that the articles are any less crediable; they are just being transformed into online documents that are more easily accessible to most readers.

Veering away from the academic side of online articles I wanted to discuss the benefits I think that online collaboration has, and my thoughts on peer creation and mass creativity. My all time favourite example of peer creation would have to be the use of forums. Forums allow you to connect with people of like-minded interests and discuss thoughts on various products. Van Dijk & Nieborg (2009) agree that these forums and sites are great ways for users to express themselves creatively and or to communicate with one another. (pg. 862) Like Van Dijk & Nieborg, Brown & Duguid (1996) also discuss in their article the feeling of community these online forums can represent. They talk about the idea of social worlds and how new forms of media allow small communities to form and connect over large distances.

I find forums to be the most honest form of information (non academic) because of the structure. Only people who have interest in the topic, or have something to say about it (good/bad) will post. My favourite use of forums is finding reviews on a products or services. I will always rely on some form of online chat to tell me how other users rate the product or service before I actually purchase it myself.

Overall I think that depending on what type of information you are looking for will determine what type of source you will want to use. For my papers and all academic work I will probably stray away from Wikipedia articles, only because academic papers call for previously published work. But in terms of personal usage I find crowd-sourced articles and forums to be the most legitimate because they offer me other users true feelings and thoughts on the topic at hand.

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These are just some pictures of how I use online forums, which is mainly for product reviews! It allows me too see how real users of the product rate and view it

Sources!

Brown, J. S. & P. Duguid. (1996). The Social Life of Documents. First Monday. 1, 1.

Van Dijk, J. & Nieborg, D. (2009). Wikinomics and its discontents: a critical analysis of Web 2.0 business manifestos. New Media & Society. 11, 5. pp 855-874.

Jensen, R. (2012). Military History on the Electronic Frontier: Wikipedia Fights the War of 1812. Journal of Military History. 76, 1. pp 1165-1182

Summative blog post (MOD #1)

Hey Guys ! I hope you all had an amazing weekend, I sure did! Just a quick note before I delve into the comments that I received for my Module 1 post, I found it so funny that as soon as we got to the cottage my one friend asked “ OMG do you get wifi, I NEED the password!” My friends and I legit cannot go for a single weekend without our phones, and without posting, updating and instagramming parts of our weekend. I just thought it was funny considering we talked about all of these topics in this class!

Anyways this post is just a recap and overview of what comments other group members had left me on my first post. Last week we were asked in our first post to discuss the topics of privacy, and the sharing of personal information on social media platforms. I briefly discussed the different types of social media I was using, and then went into more detail about why, what and how I incorporate these forms of communication in my everyday life. @melaniemunroe agreed with me that social media sites were almost forcing you to add personal demographics about yourself in order to have a complete profile. She also added the point that she did not add everything that Facebook asked her too, because she does try to keep some of her work life private from her social life. I agreed with her, and I think that Facebook and other social media sites do give some ability to change your privacy settings in order to keep your profile information only reviewed by you certain friends, and too not add certain elements like your workplace, or schools attended to your profile. I also brought up the point in my reply to her comment that even when I had specifically decided not to add where I worked to my profile, I still received tons of notifications to update my profile. Someone from my work had tagged me in a post, using our workplace as the mutual connector, and ever since then I have received a notification every day about putting that workplace on my profile. They are so aggressive and persistant! Like do other people really need to know I worked at Swiss Chalet…I don’t think so.

@nzaduban made some really great comments and was completely honest with her response to my post. She raved about the fact that she wishes that she could disconnect from the social media world a little more, but like most people me included, we just want to be heard, and have that constant feeling of connection to others. She also hit home on the point that I made about feeling the need to constantly update and fill people in on what we’re doing, or what specials things we have done. We want to be relevant, what is the point of having all of these social media platforms if they are not up to date. The whole point of them is to showcase your milestones, and daily activities to others. You WANT them to creep you, and learn about your life.  I also agreed with her about the point that social media doesn’t necessarily have to be about posting your daily routine, and talking about every single thing you do every day, but it should be used as a tool of making connections, memory saving, and posting unique and fun things about yourself.

Overall I learnt that everyone uses social media differently. Everyone has his or hers own personal limits of what is acceptable to post online. And what I would find completely unacceptable to post online, others may not. It’s a very subjective form of communication with little to no rules or structures and I think that’s a great appeal to the craze that is social media

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These are just some pics from the weekend. Iphones were alllll around even deep in the woods! #obsessed

This are the references for the other 2 readings I used in MOD #2 post!

Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship  danah m. boyd Nicole B. Ellison Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication Volume 13, Issue 1, pages 210–230, October 2007

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/opinion/sunday/the-flight-from-conversation.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Places we don’t want to go: Sherry Turkle at TED2012

this is one of the readings I used for my mod #2 post!

TED Blog

Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Just a moment ago Sherry Turkle‘s daughter texted her: “Mom, you will rock.” Turkle loved it, she says. “Getting that text was like getting a hug.” Turkle, who has written extensively on the nature of human relations on the internet, who evangelized the internet, who loves receiving that text, is here to tell us that there may be a problem.

In 1996 she gave her first TEDTalk, “Celebrating our life on the internet.” She was excited, as a psychologist, to take what people were learning in the virtual world and apply it to the physical world. It made the cover of WIRED.

Her new book, Alone Together, will not make the cover of WIRED, she is pretty sure. She is still excited about technology, but is deeply worried that we are letting it “take us places we don’t want to go.” She’s interviewed hundreds of people…

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Module #2 – Online Identity

So this week we are focusing on two different themes, firstly online identity and second, privacy and surveillance. By using the readings outline for this week (which I will post a link to or reblog) I will discuss questions such as where, what and how do I release personal information on what social networking platforms.

Firstly I want to answer the where question by sharing the types of social media that I do use. I currently have a Facebook account, LinkedIn Account, Instagram, and for this class I have obviously started this WordPress blog, and a Twitter account. I do not have a personal Twitter account (shocking I know), and I used to have a Tumblr account but it was been out of use for a while now.

After listing my different types of social media that I use, and going through some of the readings, I realized that one of the readings from TEDBLOGS pretty much nailed it on the head by stating out the different fantasies or illusions these online personas give us.  This could answer the question of why. It states that we use social media because 1) we’ll have attention everywhere 2) we’ll always be heard 3) we’ll never have to be alone.  Even if you are too ashamed to believe it, it’s really true. Our generation craves constant attention and information. So much so that this social networking sites are starting to adapt, and allow us to customize and share so much of our personal lives in order to fulfill those above 3 criteria.

Back to the initial questions of what and how I release personal information on what social networking platforms, I don’t even think that it’s a question of “how” do I release personal information via social media, or “what” information I release it just happens. Like danah m. boyd & Nicole B. Ellison’s article discuss that sites can appeal to people of different races, sexual preferences, religions, or nationalities.  Therefore those people need to disclose any of the above traits, in order to connect with others of similar characteristics. It’s actually embedded in the design of social media site to require people to release various demographic information about themselves to create an account. For me social media is specifically designed to expose all of my personal information, and in doing so I get that satisfaction and attention I wanted in the first place. The NY Times article titled, “The Flight of Conversation” argues “we are able to be with one another, and also elsewhere, connected to wherever we want to be. We want to customize our lives” We are so concerned with the online persona that we create, and trying to maintain a relevant online presence with constant uploads and status updates. danah m. boyd Nicole B. Ellison also talk about how sites are now incorporating new information and communication tools such as mobile connectivity and photo/blog sharing to be able to constantly be in contact with this different social media platforms.

Overall I think that it is necessary for users of social media to disclose tons of personal information about themselves whether it be by picture uploading, adding to their profile where they have attended school, or even what their home town is. BUT that is why we do it, we love for everyone to know what we are doing, at every moment of everyday.

If you agree/disagree, or just have something to add leave me a comment! I’d love to hear other peoples experiences as well!!

ttyl, elise!

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Social Media and the Creation of Self: Identity Development in Youth

I used this VIdeo for my COMM 3P92 class. Its all about how social media can impact ones self identity