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Week 9 Discussion

Q1. Based on the unit so far, and the readings for this week, are you able to define what you think is meant by the term ‘participatory culture’?  What do you think are the most important elements that enable such a culture, and how are these elements supported by a platform such as YouTube?

For me, YouTube is the ultimate participatory culture vehicle, as Jenkins’s suggests in his MIT video. It is the place to go to “create, to share, to express [myself] through every possible media channel” (What is Participatory Culture?, n.d.), allowing me to also connect with other users via comments and links to other websites. These are the most important aspects because this is what enables me to take part in the YouTube community. The website is full of a mix of amateur and professional works by people from all walks of life (Burgess & Green 2009 p 90), which is another attractive feature. I rather like the fact that I can contribute to this community with my own works.

Another way in which I can participate in this culture is through my blog which I started writing when I first started my uni studies. Basically I post weekly discussions, but also reflections about how I am finding the course, my lack of sleep and to share my panic at impending assessments. I can upload written posts or video or photos or links to other blogs that I find interesting or funny. I get some nice comments and some weird comments, but it’s all entertaining and part of the experience of this culture.

Q2. The YouTube slogan ‘Broadcast Yourself’ is emblematic of both ‘participatory culture’ and ‘web 2.0’:

Are these two concepts separable?  Do the tools drive the culture, or does a cultural need drive the construction of the tools?

While it is very easy to use O’Reilly’s (2005) buzz word ‘web 2.0’ to describe what participatory culture could be, such as collaboration of both user participation and the tools they use to evolve the web, such as open source software (Firefox), Jenkins (2010) explains that Web 2.0 is just a “business model”. The author goes on to elucidate that commercialising this concept has widen the relationship between consumers and the owners of web 2.0 websites such as Facebook or YouTube. One major complaint is the fact that consumers/producers often relinquish control over their content due to TOS changes. Jenkins (2010) also adds that web 2.0 tools reduce contributors into customers.

This sounds like a bleak outcome to me, even though, Jenkins is referring to the educational aspects of web 2.0, I still think YouTube is quite a website where you can find almost anything of interest and if you find anything that is offensive, you need only to keep searching until you find what you are looking for. I believe that we should have the agency to make our decisions regarding uploading content to YouTube, in other words, you should always read the fine print and know the rules and regulations. While there’s a chance of people wanting to “broadcast” themselves, there will always be someone who is willing to meet the demand and supply the tools for people to do that.

Q3. What exactly is being created and what sorts of creativity do you see at work on YouTube?  Why do you think they matter?

Having watched An anthropological introduction to YouTube (2008) by Wesch really brings home what type of creativity we are seeing uploaded to YouTube. At the time of his discourse, 88% of content was new and original, with around 200, 000 3 minute videos about anything and everything. What seems important is that most of these are addressing the lack of community users feel, by building and nurturing an online community with other YouTube users. Creativity, I think is paramount because everyone who uploads videos is seeking to express their “individualism… independence… and commercialisation” (Wesch, 2008) is so many different ways and styles, it makes sense users will want to stand out from the deluge.

From cat videos to make up tutorials to people’s rendition to favourite songs, YouTube has everything one could ever hope to find. Recently, my daughter saw Disney’s Frozen at the cinemas and has been glued to YouTube, watching whatever clips she can find of her favourite characters. Have I mentioned that she is three years old? YouTube is that ease to navigate that a toddler can search and find content that feeds her obsession. Users have gotten creative in uploading content that belongs to Disney (we all know they are walking a fine line here with copyright), for example, some clips are compilations of ads of the movie that have the soundtrack added to it, while others have other people singing the soundtrack to one still image of the protagonist.

Another type of creativity, for me is when I find something so good I have to share it friends; generally these videos are not just creative, but funny and inspiring. My all time favourite is this video.

Reference

An anthropological introduction to YouTube. (2008). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPAO-lZ4_hU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Jenkins, H. (2010, May 24). Why Participatory Culture Is Not Web 2.0: Some Basic Distinctions. Confessions of an aca-fan/The official weblog of Henry Jenkins. Retrieved February 2, 2014, from http://henryjenkins.org/2010/05/why_participatory_culture_is_n.html

O’Reilly, T. (2005, September 30). What Is Web 2.0 – O’Reilly Media. Retrieved November 2, 2013, from http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html

What is Participatory Culture? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://video.mit.edu/watch/what-is-participatory-culture-3027/

 
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Posted by on 02/02/2014 in WEB207

 

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New Study Period

Well so much for the week off before the new study period. I just managed to hand in my investigation for LIM135, but I was busy with my children, setting up my eldest for prep next year. I cannot believe how time is flying. It is insane.

Well, back to the grind. I decided to study one unit this time as this Summer we are busy with Christmas, Eric’s extra curriculum activities (Karate and Piano lessons) and obviously I’d rather spend time with my babies than in front of the computer… er no offense my trusty PC! Er, anyway, so my unit is Web Media (WEB207) and it looks like a great unit where I’ll be learning more about media such as Film and TV, Music, Games and Photography. And on the Web side of the house, I’ll be getting know about mushups and copyright, participatory culture and how to broadcast myself. I literally cannot wait.

The assessments will be as follows:

Essay             due 10 January, 2014

The Pitch      due 31 January, 2014

Web Media Creation      due 21 February, 2014

I’m really looking forward to starting the unit, I’ll post week one discussion momentarily. I’m going to start planning for A3, as yet, I’m not sure what medium to use and what to talk about. I suspect we’ll get more info in the coming weeks, so in the mean time I’m going to play, er analyse different web sites that create content. Watch this space.

 
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Posted by on 11/28/2013 in WEB207

 

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1.2 The Medium is the Message? When the media coverge

Henry Jenkins on Participatory Culture (Vid)

The video for me was a lot more interesting than the article, because even though it’s basically the same message, the visual helped a lot! When Jenkins was talking about big media companies, you could see in the background that he was referring to Disney as there were clips of Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Aladdin and even the Walt Disney Logo.

In this video he says, “major media companies claimed ownership of these stories in the 20th century” (Jenkins, 2009 on Transmedia from niko on Vimoe) and I take it to mean that Disney took stories like the Hans Christian Andersen story of The Little Mermaid and made it their own. The remediation of this story has Ariel living happily ever after with her prince at the end of the film. (As we all know she dies in the original story).

Since the movie came out in 1989, sequels have followed, as well as TV shows, games, toys, activity books and a vast array of merchandise including clothing and manchester. Disney has done this process to a number of other stories as well, whereby the story becomes the property of Disney, if not physically then by the very process of remediation. Ask a child today, 5 years ago, even 10 years ago who came up with The Little Mermaid and they will no doubt tell you it was Disney.

So according to Jenkins and to paraphrase, today’s participatory culture is allowing ordinary people with different perspectives to use the necessary tools to tell their own story. To come away from the shadows of big media companies such as Disney for example and to claim back stories that belonged to us so long ago. After all, “a world governed by participatory culture has the potential to be much more diverse than a world controlled by a handful of media companies.” (Jenkins, 2009 on Transmedia from niko on Vimoe).

http://cinematech.blogspot.com/2009/05/great-video-w-henry-jenkins-on.html

Lessing 2006

Personally, I know cyberspace is real even if I don’t indulge in that particular world. I enjoy Facebook, as I tend to participate in everything it has to offer: I write what is on my mind daily, I post photos for my friends and family to see, I catch up with friends here in Oz and over seas and I play games when time allows. Creating a whole life in cyberspace is a little too tedious for me, however, I guess both are part of Jenkin’s participatory culture!

What I got out this text was that virtual reality to paraphrase, enables us to have a duality, to have a life that might not be normal in today’s society, and can be acceptable online. However, is the government keeping up with the technology today? Do they have rules and regulations (apart from system codes that make a cyberspace program possible) that determine how people should behave, or punished for any wrong-doing and who they are governed by online? Do these rules border on the ambiguous because they are yet to be tested?

Another question is, can virtual worlds be governed by the real world and do the same rules apply? The example of Ann Arbour Jake and Hackensack Jake was very interesting because “It [cyberspace] created a competing authority for Jake and gave him the chance to select between these competing authorities merely by switching his computer on or off.” (Lessing, 2006).

Lecture: Merrick 2010 MED104 Key Themes

Finally got to listen to the whole thing! I love Star Trek. My step father got the movies for us to see every Friday night. If it wasn’t that, it was Chuck Norris or Steven Segal. Love it!

To answer your question Elaine, the unit themes are Ownership; Participatory Culture; Ethics; Credibility and Privacy.

Reservations, concerns about new media use

  • Identify and discuss community fears and concerns about new media use.

In regards to what I’ve learned from Jenkins and Lessing fears about new media use include online war games being too graphic and too violent; cyberbullying; sexual predators. Personally, I can attest that my mother is terrified of even owning a computer because she might break it! Aside from that, when she does log into Facebook, she often admits she would hate to look foolish on something so public should she accidentally publish a typo (my mum is bilingual, Spanish being her first language).

  • Consider violent and sexually explicit content on the web and in games.

As a Christian as a mother I do not tolerate such content in my home, and I have Family Safety Filter through Windows Live installed. However, I also believe each to their own, I’m not going to tell others what and what not to access on the net.

  • Discuss net filters and government regulations as well as resistance to regulation

Having young children, who are curious about everything, the internet included (my two year old knows how to access the ABC for Kids website) I trust and believe in net filters placed by the government. They are too young to question what is being left out and I’m happy with that. When they are older they can make their own decisions about what is suitable for them to see.

 
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Posted by on 03/12/2011 in MED104

 

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