Most of us already instinctively know what a remix is — we’ve all bought music with tracks that have mixed lyrics from one song with beats from another.  However, with regard to music, this concept is often confused with sampling and vice-versa, which is a slightly different concept and often implies copyright disputes (as with artists like Girl Talk).  In discussing remix in his TED Talk on how laws stifle creativity, Larry Lessig observes, “it’s important to emphasize that what it is not… is not what we call, quote, ‘piracy’.” So then, what defines a remix?  A remix, according to Larry Lessig, is taking “sounds and images from the culture around us” and using them to “say things differently.”  The act of remixing then is a way, especially for younger generations, to communicate with one another and is a form of virtual and technological literacy, creativity, and self-expression.  The opening lines of RiP: A Remix Manifesto aptly summarize how the general public views remixing:  “A way to make something fresh out of something stale.”

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One of the topics that we’ve been examining most frequently in class in regards to online journalism has been the various methods of funding. Andrew and I have decided to begin our travelogue by furthering researching the disparate methods of funding for the two types of online journalism–traditional online news sites (Ex: New York Times) and non-profit online news sites (Ex: Propublica).

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Status used to be something you were born into or acquired through success in your profession, but the birth of social networking has come a new way to climb the ranks of the social ladder. Social networking sites provide anyone, with or without talent, the ability to obtain greater status. What we are researching are the ways in which people achieve “microfame.”  Microfame lies between popularity and fame on the status spectrum. It is a type of fame that does not come about through mass media outlets from being an actor, singer, or artist.  It occurs within a less mainstream audience that garners a lot of attention for said person. We will come to our conclusions through analyzing case studies and interviews of various micro celebrities on the social networking sites of MySpace and Facebook.  Through assessing patterns in these examples and their levels of successes, we have so far summed up the building blocks of microfame.  It comes down to marketing, interaction, and availability/proximity.
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The video game has been one of the most recently introduced media forms in our society today, and has experienced radical transformations over the past few decades.

What had begun as a form of narrative entertainment has now expanded to the creation of entire virtual worlds and social networks that affect our lives and how we relate to each other on a daily basis. As pointed out by Frasca, this is a trend that ludologists have detected, as they advocate “against the common assumption that video games should be viewed as extensions of narrative,” due to their level of high interactivity. Read the rest of this entry »

An article from the Wall Street Journal named “blogging” America’s Newest Profession. About 1.7 million people profit from blogging. From Clay Shirky, we learned that blogging is “mass amatuerization of publishing” but now some people’s full time job is blogging (i.e Perez Hilton). We will be focusing on the concept of “professional blogging” and “professional blogger.” Comparison between blogging professions and other forms of journalism. Some questions we will be exploring:

  • How professional blogging constitutes as a career
  • Are professional bloggers getting paid? how?
  • How “professional blogging” is reshaping the culture of online journalism?
  • Are “professional bloggers” considered journalists? What’s the difference? Do they have experience/knowledge in journalism?

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Our first task will be to try to pin down a contemporary definition of hacktivism, seeking, where possible, to distinguish it from political activism in cyberspace, cyberterrorism, and cyber warfare. We will rely on scholarly accounts, cyber manifestos, published chats, and original interviews.*

We will look at groups that have historically sought to pursue their political agenda through what Jordan and Taylor have called ‘mass action hacktivism,’ frequently activities that mimic traditional modes of resistance (the sit-in, defacement, etc.) in the cyber spatial realm. On this subject, the Electrohippies wrote:
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Every time Facebook changes the layout of profiles or edits the way the newsfeed works, users get up in arms. People do not like change, especially when it comes to their favorite social networking site. They take to their pages with fury to yell at Mark Zuckerburg and the rest of the Facebook team to leave Facebook the way it is. When Facebook updates its privacy policies and offers users new steps to secure their pages, no one comments and many ignore the window explaining the changes that pops up after they log in. A few years ago, privacy notifications elicited more a reaction. When social networking first became a phenomenon with sites like Myspace and Livejournal, the media was constantly discussing the issue of how people’s privacy was now at risk. Users did not trust social networking sites to protect their identities, and so were cautious and constantly warning each other with horror stories of Myspace pages gone awry. With the development of Facebook however, public opinion about social networking security seems to be changing. Read the rest of this entry »

The Future of Journalism article discusses the growing trends in journalism and examines the current crisis it is currently in. Traditional newspapers are closing and many believe this signals the end of journalism as we know it.

However, some people think the so-called crisis journalism is in might be the best thing to ever happen to it.

Some consider this crisis as a sort of “purgative”. They believe the financial problems and sacking of journalists cleanses the field. Radical millenarians, as James Curran calls them, believe traditional news media only serves to promote the “overdog” and is a threat to true democracy. With traditional journalism being challenged, an opportunity is born for more progressive reporting to begin that were unable to gain footing when leading media conglomerates controlled the field.

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In the reading “Blog Theory,” Jodi Dean discusses how “the essence of the blog is the post.” A post is what constitutes the fundamentality of a blog, living on even after the blogger stops blogging. Anything can be included in a blog post and be represented “in moments as an image, reaction, feeling, or event.” But despite its obvious ubiquity, what makes people actually want to read a blog, be it personal or professional? How does a blog gather a community of interacting readers? Read the rest of this entry »

Kyle Hiedacavage, Kristen Yoonsoo Kim, and Jessica Yu

Here Comes Everybody – Clay Shirky

Chapter 3 (P55-69)

Jessica Yu

In the beginning of Chapter 3, Clay Shirky talks about the news professions, and how the introduction of internet and weblogs are changing the definition of news professions and news itself. Newspaper executives were slow to understand and react to the change brought by internet. The internet created a new “ecosystem of information” which introduced the concept of “mass amatuerization of publishing.” Everyone who owns a computer has the capability to publish news, you no longer have to be a professional to publish news story. Read the rest of this entry »

The accessibility of fame has always been perched high on a pedestal, but with the birth of social networking sites, that pedestal has gotten lower, making it more attainable.  As it is still a somewhat new concept, people do not exactly know what to make of or do with social networking sites.  Are they for making friends, corporate marketing and advertising, uploading pictures, exhibiting one’s talents, or boosting one’s reputation and self esteem?  Social networking sites allows for all of this, each pertaining to a different level of fame.  We now see variations of fame that would not be made possible without sites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.  Read the rest of this entry »

Clay Shirky focuses on the prevalence of “user generated content”  from social media sites in his book Here Comes Everybody. Shirky states that this is not “just the output of ordinary people with access to creative tools like word processors…it requires access to re-creative tools as well…that provide those same people with the ability to distribute their creations to others” (83). He cites Livejournal, Youtube, Myspace, Flickr, and Xanga as examples.

While I wouldn’t necessarily consider this to be “online journalism,” Shirky does provide a good foundation for further exploring said journalism. He juxtaposes the “neatness of traditional media” vs. “messiness of social media,” which I feel is the exact combination of these popular online journalism sites (96).

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You must be living under a rock if you haven’t yet heard of Charlie Sheen’s recent public antics that are adding fuel to the fire burning up what’s left of his career. He has gone out of his way to appear in several media interviews, presumably to redeem himself in the public eye; instead, as many of us as have witnessed, Sheen’s words have been repeatedly taken out of context and widely redisplayed across the Internet. This way no one missed their chance to see Charlie Sheen make a fool out of himself!

As if Sheen didn’t do enough to embarrass himself, the creative people who surf the web have liberally remixed and edited his recent interviews/recorded phone calls/general antics to further poke fun at him. Tom and I propose to research this particular  type of remixed culture, which turns people into internet memes and ultimately molds their perception for the world-at-large to view and judge upon. Read the rest of this entry »