The online world of blogging has taken the globe by storm. It’s considered a form of self-expression, an outlet for creativity and a space for anonymous or a full-disclosure style of conversation to take place. As is already apparent, blogging has recently taken on a more legitimate form and usually establishes itself as a credible source of information, regarding any topic under the sun. Music has advanced in previously unimaginable ways because of the Internet and websites, such as blogs and Twitter. I truly believe that very few could claim to have predicted such a radical shift in the music industry resulting from the advent of the Internet, the labels did/do not seem to have be prepared for it. Yet, such a shift indeed took place and now we remain with just four major music labels, all of which are scrambling to discover new ways to maintain revenue now that so much content is available for free online. It’s ultimately impossible for them to prevent.
I took on the role of trying to understand what contributed to this major shift. How are the music blogs changing consumers’ tastes and desires? Does the act of receiving constant updates on music and news related to that music, change our expectations of how music is to be acquired? I take a stab at answering these theoretical questions by observing the “movement” on three hip-hop music blogs, The Chuckness, Smoking Section and We Wore Masks, and also reached out to each blog’s contact person (also the main contributor),all of whom assisted me in obtaining valuable information. Read the rest of this entry »
This travelogue took a lot of self-control and focus to complete because I realized, on behalf of ‘research,’ that OkCupid is super addicting! I found myself in a blackhole I like to call ‘the man hunt.’ Without realizing it, I had wasted hours and hours just rating people, looking up matches, and reading ridiculous messages, pretending to be annoyed but secretly enjoying the attention I was getting. The reason I was so absorbed with the site was due to OKCupid’s “Quickmatch” service, where they show you a preview of possible matches – their photos, interests, basic information – and reveal their username (for further snooping or message initiating) once you rate them out of 5 stars. The cool thing about this application is that if you rate someone 4 or 5 stars and he/she rates you 4 or 5 stars too, both parties are notified of each others’ high ratings. Let the flirting begin!
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The Media Mobilizing Project (MMP) represents one of the first and most sophisticated attempts at organized social transformation and movement building under globalized neoliberal capitalism. Central to their strategy and analysis is the role of media and communications as a cohering/unifying factor in the midst of contemporary isolation and fragmentation of the working class. This understanding is reflected in the everyday practices of MMP, including through their use of new media tools and platforms. In order to better illuminate the uniqueness of how MMP operates, I’ve taken indymedia, and specifically the Philly Independent Media Center (Philly IMC) as a point of comparison, since it is often held up as the exemplar of new possibilities for organizing centered around new media. The Philly IMC is a part of an international network of Independent Media Centers founded on the idea that anyone can and should “be the media” as a counter force to increasingly centralized and commercialized global powers. The two groups have very different ideas about how to best make use of these tools- ideas that come out of very different ways of looking at the roots of our current social, economic, and political crises.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have personally been involved with MMP for the past 3 years or so, and have shared in their process of development. This project comes both out of my personal experiences (which I think we can count as participant observation) and out of interviews conducted with people involved with MMP, including founding members Todd Wolfson and Shivaani Selvaraj. Any comparisons made to indymedia is based on their discussion of MMPs values, and is not a reflection of their thoughts about the value of indymedia’s work. It’s also important to point out that the organizations have a complicated history and relationship- one that warrants further exploration, but not here necessarily. Two MMP founders are in fact on the Philly IMC editorial board, and one wrote his dissertation on indymedia. There’s a lot more to it than that, but it’s a good illustration of the connectedness. Despite this closeness however, the two groups do have different origins, and use new media technologies in markedly different ways. The best place to start with this analysis is with both groups’ main sites/blogs. Read the rest of this entry »
It was practically stealing. A gaze at the screen of my phone by the cashier was all that was needed in exchange for a falafel meal—no cash, change, or receipt was involved in this transaction. I had done nothing to earn such a bargain, and neither would the other eight hundred individuals that would enjoy the same offer throughout the week. My time and an automated Facebook update would be the only form of “payment” required, which was well worth the benefit.
This is exactly the kind of interaction that was envisioned by Mr. Nhon Ma when he began his start-up online service company, Tenka, in October of 2010.
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Board games used to be played on live boards in real time with live people. However, as with the advancement of technology, these times are changing. Now, thanks to Facebook applications and Apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Android, people can compete against friends or strangers in the classic game of Scrabble or the new, Scrabble-like Word With Friends. Although these games are extremely similar, the concept and following behind them are very different, especially in the way players interact with each other. The advent of implementing Scrabble on Facebook and the popularity of Words With Friends indicates a new aspect in social media; people do not just use Facebook or smart phones to communicate with friends, but to compete with them.
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Your weekly reading summaries and questions by Elizabeth, Hannah, Danielle, and Kevin
Here Comes Everybody, Chapter 1 (p. 1-24)
Chapter one talks about the changing idea of forming, joining, and acting in a group since the creation with the new ease of the internet. Here are some key phrases to make note of:
- The Former Audience-Dan Gilmore’s term describing the people who react to, participate in, and alter a story as it is unfolding. In our reading, the message board participants and viewers of the StolenSidekick website were the “former audience.”
- A Plausible Promise-Eric Raymond (remember him from open source?) defines this term as the “sweet spot” is an idea big enough to inspire an audience, but still achievable so as to also gain their confidence.
- The Institutional Dilemma-Shriky’s point highlighting the contradiction of all institutions that exists in order to make use of group effort, but at the same time lose resources by directing/paying for that effort. “Institutions expend resources to manage resources.” Read the rest of this entry »